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Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann

KCUR's Gina Kaufmann brings you personal essays about how we're all adapting to a very different world.

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  • A Midtown "townie" priced off of her bus line. A retiree on fixed income forced out of her home of 17 years. Kansas City renters are facing substantial rent hikes, with serious repercussions.
  • Kansas City once again has a second local movie theater standing, after B&B Theatres opened a new location in the former Alamo Drafthouse space. But after a year adapting to home-viewing, it’s unclear how fast crowds are coming back.
  • The captain of the Haskell Indian Nations University women's cross-country team no longer feels shy about her Lakota identity. "That's who I am," she says. "I shouldn't have to cover that up to make you comfortable."
  • When she first postponed her wedding in 2020, Lauren Hughes focused on the privilege of safety. "It's just a party," she thought. But planning a once-in-a-lifetime event, three times, during global crisis has given her perspective on what matters.
  • Renee Blanche started hosting KCUR's "Night Tides" 27 years ago this month. She found exactly what her listeners now seek: "That Sunday night space became an island in the storm of my life."
  • After spending most of my free time in parks for a year, I visited St. Louis and saw a city that related to its parks very differently. My attempts to understand why revealed a stark truth: Kansas City's parks were designed to separate people, not bring them together.
  • This Lawrence-based artist left China in 1998 for the freedom to make art her own way. But she says the current political moment, in America, requires something different: joining with others.
  • The Real Humans podcast crew is off this week, so we’re sharing this story from KCUR’s new food podcast Hungry For MO. It’s about chef Qui Tran — who immigrated with his family from Vietnam to St. Louis, and fell in love with a unique, oddly-named dish called the St. Paul sandwich.
  • Musician Ryan Davis — known to fans as Kadesh Flow — didn't just survive a brutal year. The hip-hop performer is climbing up from a low place feeling stronger, more joyful, and more deserving of love than before.
  • While most districts spent the last year debating in-person vs. remote learning or going back and forth over masking policies, some schools focused on building classrooms in the great outdoors.