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Central Standard

Going To Kansas City: A City In A Renaissance

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Sasha Victorine
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  “Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Sasha Victorine was playing Major League Soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy when he got traded to what was the Kansas City Wizards nine years ago. Victorine is originally from the Southern California area. He says moving far away from his family was at first tough for him and his wife, but they grew to love Kansas City.

Victorine played in Kansas City for four years before he was traded back to the LA area to be on the Chivas USA team. When an injury caused him to retire from professional soccer, Victorine decided to move back to Kansas City. As the Wizards moved to a new stadium and rebranded as Sporting Kansas City, Victorine worked with the club in creating the company Sporting Innovations; a Kansas City technology firm that's designed a mobile platform tto enhance sports fans’ experiences at games. The company now has clients all around the globe.

Victorine says it’s amazing how Kansas City fans have embraced soccer. He loves to be a part of the bubbling creative community that’s making this city a fun and unique place to call home.

Name: Sasha Victorine

Age: 36

Came to Kansas City from: Huntington Beach, Calif.

Arrived in: 2005

Why I came: I was traded from the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS to the Kansas City Wizards.

First impressions: I thought the city had some good aspects, but overall, coming from the LA area, the city seemed to have limited nightlife, restaurants (other than chains) and retail. Also, the diversity of the types of food you could get in the city was limited. Also, definitely a much greener landscape than the Los Angeles area.

View today: I think the city is showing that it is in a renaissance and attracting some great development. I am amazed at the number of great restaurants, the mixology scene taking place here, the growth in innovation and a start-up scene, the redevelopment in the urban core (and other areas) and so much more.

The biggest surprise: That friends of mine in other cities are hearing a vibe about what Kansas City is doing. Also how far the city has come in creating a competitive restaurant and nightlife scene. Huge strides from back in 2005.

What I miss: The beach and mountains. I grew up very lucky with so many different experiences within an hour and a half (the beach, skiing, wine regions, amusement parks, etc.)

Why I stayed: The ability to raise our family in great environment, the friendships we made, and all the opportunities here.

Favorite thing to do in Kansas City: Go on walks and bike rides on great weather days with my family. Grabbing some ice cream and sitting on a bench in Brookside, going berry picking with the kids, enjoying wonderful nights with family and friends and occasionally stopping by Manifesto, Julep or Rye to try some new drinks. 

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Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a community storyteller taking a new look at local history, I aim to provide that context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.