What I Really Need is a 30 Day Brain Make-Over

September 29th, 2009

On Friday, the Country Doctor and I drove to Kansas City. He was taking a course in trauma care and I was just along for the ride. We left early in the morning and our kids had to get up and onto the bus by themselves. Somehow they managed to do this without a single nervous break-down from their mom regarding tooth-brushing or bed-making. Perhaps, I should just be gone every morning?

The CD and I reached Kansas City at 7 am. I dropped him off at his class and I headed to Westport for breakfast at the Corner Cafe.

 

 

 

If you ever find yourself in Kansas City nearer to pre-dawn hours than you prefer (which for me is anything before noon) you must promise me that you will eat breakfast at the Corner Cafe. If anyone leaves a comment that mentions ‘First Watch’ (another well-known breakfast spot in KC) I am coming to your house to pummel you into oblivion.

The Corner serves the best breakfast in KC… hands down… end of story… goodbye.  

 

 

 

 

First Watch is for people who are impressed by the words ‘cream cheese crepe with raspberry compote’ appearing on the cute little chalk board menu beside the cash register. First Watch is for people who can’t abide a few stains in the carpeting of their favorite cafe and First Watch is for people who just want to say they went to First Watch as if that communicates something vital about them. Which it does. It means they aren’t smart enough to go to the Corner Cafe. So go to the Corner!  It’s way better food and way better atmosphere with way more stains on the carpeting.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides!  The waitress with all the blond hair piled on top of her hair will be your new best friend by the time you finish your breakfast at the Corner and you will know all about her old boy friend who had a corvette that he started with a screwdriver and how much she loves french toast and that she knows every customer in the place by their first name and how much cream they are going to need to go with their coffee and if that doesn’t convince you, then you belong at First Watch and please enjoy your cream cheese crepes with raspberry compote! 

 

 

 

 

 

After breakfast, I set out to photograph a few of the great old neighborhoods in Kansas City.  

The first neighborhood I visited was exactly one block from the KU medical center in KCK. We lived in this neighborhood in the above pictured house for four years while the CD was in medical school. Both the CD and I walked to the Medical Center every day the first year.  He to go to class, and I to go to work at the KU School of Nursing where I was a ‘secretary I’.  I was never able to climb up to the lofty heights of ‘secretary II’ because after I had my first baby, I quit and became a ‘Mother I’.  I have no idea how many levels of motherhood I have transcended at this point, but with the advent of teenagers in my life, I think I may have recently received some kind of a cold hearted corporate demotion.  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Just a few houses down from our former house, was the home of the then Kansas City, Kansas mayor. (There are two Kansas Cities… Kansas City Kansas and Kansas City Missouri… or KCK and KCMO).  I was always very impressed by the fact that I lived only two blocks from the mayor of KCK. And I was even more impressed that she lived in our neighborhood. We rented our house for $575.00 a month which was a little over a third of our entire take-home pay. The other folks in the neighborhood at that time included a widowed mom of two young kids. A divorced mom of four daughters. A retired couple who mowed their lawn with an electric mower that plugged in with a super long extension cord and I was always afraid that the elderly man would mow over the cord and electrocute himself right in front of one of my toddlers.

Next door to us, were two medical residents married to each other who had a little boy with wild curly hair and one block over was a single man who had a gorgeous apricot standard poodle that I stalked.  Yes, I did.  I stalked that poodle.  I love-stalked that poodle.  I was the crazy standard poodle stalker lady of KU Med.  I wanted that poodle for my own and I always thought I would have one someday.  But instead I had four sons and that is all the apricot standard poodle I can handle right now.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

After walking around my old neighborhood for a while, I drove north to the Valentine neighborhood.  Valentine is where the artist Thomas Hart Benton lived and his home is now a historic site. I parked beside his home and got out to walk the neighborhood.

 

 

 

 

 


I was having a lovely time. Really lovely. It was a perfect autumnal morning… sunny, warm. My belly was full of corn cakes, bacon and coffee. Damp leaves in crimson and gold were cemented to the sidewalks like a cheerful kindergarten art project. People were out walking their dogs. Children in school uniforms of khaki pants and navy sweaters were chattering on street corners waiting for the school bus…

 

 

 

 

 

Dappled sunlight fell across porch rockers, yellow mums and garden statuary. I was surrounded on all sides by gorgeous old homes covered in chunky stone and decorative trim, while the quiet hum of a vibrant city kept time just a few blocks over. If there is a state of supreme contentment for me, this would have to be it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still, I never feel perfectly at ease when I am photographing houses. I am always just a bit on edge wondering if some irate home owner is going to come barrelling out of their front door demanding to know what I am doing taking pictures of their house.  But at least in a historic area like Valentine, it is probably not too unusual for the occasional wandering weirdo to be snapping photos willy nilly.

 

 

 

 

After Valentine, I drove down to the Kansas City Plaza and wandered around the Rock Hill neighborhood. It was here that the day took a sudden nose dive and all my fears about taking photos of people’s houses came to life.  Except it wasn’t an irate owner… and it wasn’t even a person who lived in the neighborhood.  Instead, it was a woman in a red car with a big dent in the side who pulled up beside me as I was walking down the street.  I wasn’t even taking pictures when she stopped me, but I had my camera slung over my shoulder.  

“Are you lost?”  she asked me.

“No.” I replied and shook my head smiling at her.

“Oh well… you know… you are walking around with a camera and well… these people might not like that.”

“Uh… Okay” I said.

“I don’t even live in this neighborhood,” she continued, “But I know the home owners would not like you taking photos of their homes.”

“Alright…” I answered her not really knowing what to say.

“They just wouldn’t appreciate it honey. They wouldn’t know what you were doing”

“Okay… thanks… ” and then I turned away from her and continued walking down the street.  She drove away.  I walked around the block trying to deal with this little incident. It could have been worse. It could have been an actual resident of the neighborhood or a police officer who called me honey and then told me that I was doing something wrong.  All I really knew is that I had been having a sparkly jewel of a day and suddenly that sparkly jewel was swirling down the street towards the sewer grate.

 

 

 

 

 

 


I am not going to insist that standing on a public sidewalk in a residential neighborhood and snapping photos of people’s houses is SANE.  And I am not going to insist that it is even RIGHT.  But I don’t think I am hurting anyone.  And I don’t think I am violating any-one’s privacy.  Home exteriors are by no means private.  I am not giving out any personal information about the homes or peeking in the windows.  I am simply photographing the exterior of a beautiful home in broad daylight from the sidewalk that anyone can see when they pass by.  

I wonder if that lady who stopped me ever flipped through a magazine looking for the photos of Brad and Angelina’s family?  I wonder if she ever got sucked into a You Tube video showing Heidi Klum at the park with her kids?  I wonder if she ever read a personal blog?  I mean in the grand scheme of voyeurism, taking photos of a house is pretty darn tame.  

But the problem is that once someone tells me I am doing something wrong, I feel like I am doing something wrong.  No matter what it is… I have some sort of freaked out hyper-morality compulsive disorder and even if what I am doing is completely fine or totally inane – like eating a bowl of oatmeal… or folding a towel… or wearing white tennis shoes to church… if someone comes up to me and tells me that what I am doing is wrong or how I am doing it is wrong, I am going to feel like it is wrong and then I am going to feel bad… for a long, long, long time.

I left Rock Hill and drove to pick the Country Doctor up for lunch.  He only had half an hour to eat, so we took a quick drive through Hyde Park while he ate a box lunch. I told him what happened.  I told him how the day had started out so great and beautiful and lovely and full of pancakes and sunshine and now I felt like prickles of fiery poison were lighting up my bloodstream with guilt and remorse.  The Country Doctor thought the whole incident was ludicrous and that the lady was crazy and that this is a free country and that I hadn’t done anything wrong.  I felt better after talking to him, but still not great.  I dropped him back off at his class and drove back to the Kansas City Hyde Park neighborhood.  

 

 

 

 

 


I found an amazing street to photograph, but circled the block several times before I worked up enough courage to park my car and take some pictures.  The street I had found was humming with activity. There were garden crews working on yards and housemaids taking their lunch breaks outside. There were a few construction crews at work too. Even in the middle of a workday, the street was alive. This old neighborhood still had a vital pulse and was practically begging to be appreciated and admired for what it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 


At first, I felt obtuse and awkward as I once again aimed my camera towards the grand old houses. I took the pictures furtively, nervously without much thought, because I just wanted to get it done and get out of there. But slowly, as I advanced down the street, I found myself lost again in a lovely day, surrounded by great old homes, huge old trees, massive urns filled with flowers, with golden sunlight spilling over all of it. No one questioned me. No one demanded to know what I was doing. I don’t know what they thought of me, but somehow taking photos of this neighborhood on this day was the only right thing to do for someone that happened to have a camera in their hand. To not take the photos… to not have captured the moment… in this neighborhood… would have been the crime.

And so

I did.

Comments

  • Ugh! Being a rather shy photographer myself, I would have felt bad too.

    But then I would have whipped out THIS!
    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm
    Ha! Take that nosy Lady!

    This has been a controversial subject, especially after 9-11. Here are a few more Must-Reads for photographers:

    http://photojojo.com/content/tips/legal-rights-of-photographers/

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/2008-04-17-public-photography_N.htm

    http://www.andrewkantor.com/useful/Legal-Rights-of-Photographers.pdf

    Don’t be discouraged but know your rights. And keep shooting! :)

  • My aunt and uncle lived in KCM when I was young and I used to spend several weeks a year with them. We went to the Corner Cafe every Saturday. It is where I first met and fell in love with banana pancakes. Who am I kidding, I fell in love with Kansas City.
    Thanks the walk down memory lane!

  • A pox on the conscience-inducing woman. Clearly she’s never heard the term ‘public property.’ As long as you’re standing on public property, you can take a picture of anything you want! A pox on the conscience-inducing woman.

  • Okay, I’ve locked my doors and closed the curtains so I think I can safely say this…
    I’ve never heard of First Watch but I would prolly choose that kind of place to eat breakfast. Hold it! Don’t hit me yet! Because….if I am gonna lay down my hard earned money, if I am going to PAY someone to give me food, the food better be something I can’t just make better myself at home. If they can’t make pancakesas good or better than mine, then I’m out the door looking for cream cheese crepes with raspberry compote.

    Yes, I am a snob. And I live with a lot of restaurant disappointment.

    Amazing houses you have there in Kansas. It would be great to see the insides though. Maybe next time you could saunter up to the windows and do some photos. You could even do this at night so as not to be seen…

  • kat:

    I HATE those people . . . you know, the one who feel like they need to give you their negative opinion when you haven’t asked for it. Next time you need a PLAN. This is what I do. Whenever I am engaging in an activity that I think someone might object to, I invent a persona in case said busybody should accost me. Like, that I’m a freelance photojournalist compiling photographs of historic homes and architecture for an article in (pick your favorite snooty mag). Or that I’m a professor of architecture at a neighboring university collecting photos to use in class. OR I LEARN A FEW PHRASES IN RUSSIAN and just look confused/shifty/ridiculously exuberant while babbling in a foreign language.

    Once my cousin and I were canoeing a teeny tiny rapid and a kayaker who went down before us told us that she thought we were stupid. So now our catchphrase is “well, PERSONALLY, I think you’re stupid”. You can always use that, too. “Um, excuse me, but you shouldn’t be taking photographs of those houses.” “Well, PERSONALLY, I think you’re stupid.”

  • Now is that Corner Cafe in Westport the same as the Corner Cafe in Riverside, MO? Because if so, I know where the Husband is taking me for breakfast this Sunday! Oh! Or maybe when I’m off on vacation in October he can take me there. Oh yes he will!

    And tell Gladys Kravitz in her banged up car to MYOB. You were standing on PUBLIC property and it’s not like you were using your zoom lens to look in people’s windows. (you weren’t right?) Great photos, I love them!

  • I think Kat’s on to something in her post. You could whip out that French-Spanglish you used in Paris the next time someone bothers you!

  • Rebecca:

    I had an experience yesterday as well where I was made to feel like I had messed up or was doing something wrong. It totally ruined the rest of my day. And like you, after receiving verification from another that I was not doing wrong, it only helped a little. I feel your pain!

  • Mistergee:

    Rechelle, for thirty years I visited KCMO in January for a board meeting of my trade organization. In the later years, I always stayed at the Quarterage Hotel in Westport. Many times our crowd would eat a late night snack (breakfast, usually) at a place called Nichol’s. A generally weird place with generally weird folks. Great food. By the way, I am glad to say, you seem to be okay. As in, you are back and I am very pleased. Generally very cold in January with snow and late running airplanes back to Florida. I guess you know all about that.

  • Okay, so I live in a house that is frequently photographed by strangers. Is it really that great? Probably not, but it still attracts regular attention. Do I stop people? No. But wait, there was this one time a couple years ago… I was in my study and looked out the window to see a film crew from “Inside Edition” filming the house. What???!!! So I bound down two flights of stairs and ask the awestruck videographer what he thinks he’s doing. Turns out he was on his way to film the outside of the scandal-ridden ex-governor’s house who lives down the street. He and his producer saw a stork on one of my chimneys as he passed. He asked if the stork belonged to me. No, not in this lifetime. So, apparently it is true that the house isn’t that great, the stork is, and Inside Edition has a healthy appreciation for nature.

  • suzetta:

    You are one wild woman! Maybe the people in that neighborhood are in the witness protection program or drug dealers. I can’t imagine any other reason someone would go out of their way to ruin a perfectly beautiful day.

  • Erin:

    Are you going to think less of me if I tell you that I used to be a hostess at First Watch? :-) The one in Corporate Woods is right by my parents’ house, so it was a 5 minute commute for me. But now that you told me all about the Corner Cafe I really want to try it – I LOVE breakfast!

    Speaking of taking pictures of houses, I was at my parents’ this weekend and Sat night we looked out the window and there was a whole group of 6 high school kids and a bunch of parents all taking homecoming snapshots in our yard! My mom was flattered that they apparently liked our tree enough to take all their pictures in front of it, but we thought it was hilarious that they had all driven down (and blocked the street and driveway!) to take pictures in a complete stranger’s yard before the dance!

    • No one seems to be taking my pummeling threat very seriously here! I really mean it people! This time I really mean it! No seriously! Really! That must be some tree Erin!

  • I am going to be in KCK to watch my daughter-in-law run in a marathon next month. I will have to see if I can find a Corner Cafe. Breakfast is my husband’s favorite eat out meal AND he judges all places by their pancakes.

  • Stephanie:

    What beautiful homes…I could spend for ever wandering through the old neighborhoods….

  • Man, this is great stuff. I have to leave KS this Friday, and after reading your post and looking at your photos, I think I am going to cry. Hopefully Texas has good psychotherapists who understand my withdrawal symptoms.

    Love being here. At your blog page, I mean.

    EFH

  • Sandy in MI:

    I don’t know, cream cheese crepes with raspberry compote sounds pretty danged good. Maybe if I heard some of the menu items from the Corner Cafe I would feel more compelled to eat there? The part about knowing all about my waitress when i’m done is not an incentive. Chatty waitresses are a reason *not* to go there, in my opinion. Do a lot of restaurants have carpeting? I’m mentally scrolling through all the restaurants I like trying to remember if any do, and I don’t think so. It just seems wrong.

    I agree with CD, the lady is a nut. It’s not like you were peeking in windows and taking photos of their furniture. You were way more polite than I would have been. That looks like a really lovely neighborhood.

  • Hallie:

    It’s not unusual for people to confront photographers taking photos of private homes. If you tell them that you have a serious interest in architecture history, they may walk away flattered they live in such a special neighborhood. If they continue to bug you, you can explain how that’s such an unusual roof line, or what an odd dormer, or this is such a splendid and rare example of a Dutch Colonial, or a French Second Empire. Talk about the architecture and they will go away. Oh, and stay on the sidewalk or in the street.

    KC is a beauty!

  • Kristin:

    Wow, we’ve lived in KC for 10 years & have found the people here to be nicer than anywhere else we’ve lived. Glad you have lived here & know that not everyone is like that strange lady. Did you check her plates? Maybe she was from somewhere else.

    I have the same guilt issues as you after someone criticizes me. What’s up with that? I OBSESS over it. What a waste of time.

    I have to meet people at that other breakfast restaurant once a month for a business lunch. Wonder if I could convince them to move it to Westport even though most of us work up North.

    Your openness makes your blog a joy to read.

  • Not that you asked, but I think your husband is right. I’m SO glad you kept taking pictures. The only weird thing about it is that lady that stopped and confronted you. That is my unsolicited opinion. I’m biased, though because I take pictures all the time! I take pictures of homes and gardens and even (gasp!) random people. I don’t sell the photos or anything, and I don’t even post them on my blog, I just like to try to capture human emotion in my photographs, generally with a telephoto lens(!). Now having spouted off my opinions, I’m going to check out the links provided by Mrs. Mama in your first comment! :-)

    Good for you for enjoying your day!

  • Oh Rechelle! I think I have the same hyper morality compulsive disorder. Reading about what that woman in the car said was like a punch to the gut. Old houses and barns are some of my favorite things to photograph, but I get so nervous just thinking about how someone might get angry.

    It didn’t help my anxiety any when I saw a complaint on a homeschool message board about someone taking photos on the poster’s street. That person was actually a little frightened by having some stranger out there with a camera. So, I posted a new thread asking for advice on how to go about obtaining permission to photograph houses. I wondered how people would react if I introduced myself and asked first. That thread got very few helpful responses and a lot of emotional and even slightly rude and angry reactions. Some people couldn’t believe that anyone would even think of invading someone’s privacy. They advised me that it is trespassing to even walk up to someone’s door and knock for such a reason. (I don’t think that is correct.) It really freaked me out.

    Then last year when Danny and I went to Ohio, our friend Cinda took me driving around in the country while Danny was in a meeting. She’s very outgoing and helped me just get out and ask people. Everyone we asked was so nice. They were happy that I took an interest in their home and thought it was worth photographing.

    I think that’s the way most people would be. Even if they don’t want you taking pictures, most people would tell you so nicely if you are polite about it. The most helpful response I got from that homeschool message board thread was a link to photographers’ rights. (http://krages.com/bpkphoto.htm) Basically it says that if you are photographing something that can be seen by the public from public property, you have the right to take photos. Taking pics from the road or sidewalk is okay, but walking around their yard to get pics would require permission.

    I am still extremely nervous about taking photos of someone else’s property, even if it’s an abandoned and falling down building that I’m photographing from the road. I don’t doing anything someone else might think is wrong and I don’t like making people angry. Even if the person is over reacting, rude, or just a total jerk, I will feel guilty about it forever. (Okay, guilt alternated with anger and fantasizing about everything I should have said if I would have thought of it during the moment of confrontation. It would just eat me up.) I’m trying to become more confident about it though.

    I’m glad you were able to take these photos and go on having a great day. The houses are all beautiful, and I enjoyed looking at each of them.

  • Okay . I live in a National Historic Neighborhood in Oxnard CA. It is not unusual at all to see someone snapping pics of the houses in the neighborhood and we just wave and smile and know that they are admiring them, not stalking us. I went outside to go to work a few weeks ago and there was a strrange car parked at the curb and this kinda kooky guy jumped out o the car and said WOW you have the Most Bit**iness house in the whole neighborhood ma’am. I LOVE your house.
    That put a smile on my face! I love thinking that someone has a picture of my house on their wall at home.

  • And I am so glad you did! The houses are wonderful.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Oh Rechelle! First of all, the photo of the yellow mums in the urn took my breath away when I first saw it. Wow!
    Never heard of First Watch, but Corner Cafe sounds like my type of place. Do they have hashbrowns?
    A quick response to nosey people when you’re snapping pics is, “I’m learning photography – just practicing.” A concerned or curious citizen stopping you quickly and politely is one thing, a persistant one gets another quick response, in my mind anyway – “Bi*ch.”
    Personally, I would love to be outside to visit with someone who’s going around photographing (houses, trees, whatever.) Small town thing I guess. It’s neat to see what catches someone else’s eye in your ordinary, usual surroundings.

  • becky up a hill:

    Oh you sweetie. I know how you feel. I too am a house taker picture quilty person. I wish I could send you the house/cabin/old miner’s shack I took last week on a hot Fall day in the isolated high country of the Eastern Sierra’s. My husband, the retired cop…kept telling me how I was trespassing..something about a few tattered signs posted on old wood..but I kept going and prayed I would not fall down a mine shaft or an out house for my sins..I didn’t and got some wonder pictures.

  • Teresa:

    As I started reading your post, I thought First Watch is a great place to eat breakfast but after I read your threat I thought I won’t mention that. My son and family live in Overland Park, KS so we are in the area every so often.
    I love your pictures of the beautiful homes. I live in a big old Victorian house right in the middle of town. I try to keep the front yard and flowers looking good because we live on a busy street in the biggest house on the block so lots of people go by and notice the house. I wouldn’t care if someone took pictures of my house. I take pictures of it myself. Glad your boys got themselves up and on the bus by themselves. Good omen for more trips with CD.

  • MichelleG:

    I had an episode with a nosy, controlling woman also. I was running with my dog and as she was driving by us she stopped to tell me that it was too hot for my dog to be running and I needed to give my dog a drink, at which point she handed me her half-drunk bottle of water. We had run maybe 1/2 mile at that point. Being the hyper moral person that I am (see, you’re not the only one) I took the bottle and dutifully tried to pour it down my dog’s throat. Satisfied, the crazy controller drove off and left me to figure out how I was going to finish my run while carrying the stupid bottle. I should have just told her to mind her own business! Next time, I think I will!

  • Oh my word, I would love to have a day to wander around taking pictures of houses! Curses on that lady(I like the post that called her Gladys Kravitz!)to tell you not to take pictures! If is wasn’t her neighborhood, she should butt out! Hey, if she wasn’t a cop, there’s no need to worry! But I totally understand.
    Great pics by the way.
    I’ve never heard of First Watch….does that make me a hick?!

  • Now see you should have just pointed her camera at her and said “No, HUN, you see I’m out looking for a crazy person and they to me to look at the picture of her in this camera.” Then I would have acted like I was looking at a picture and said “OH MY GAWD ITS YOU! Stay right there HUN they will be here in just a moment” Then I would have grabbed my cell phone and pretended I was calling the looney bin.

    I too am a shy photographer. I took pictures of Bungelow Courts in Pasadena and felt as if I were doing something wrong.

  • I am like you. A comment like that would totally ruin my day, and then I’d replay it in my head (along with snide comments I SHOULD have said) for years. Sigh. Plus, I attract women like that! They sense my disorder, zero in on me, and say things like, “Your child is going to get sick if you don’t make him button his coat” or “You’re lucky the tram inspector didn’t check your ticket earlier since you were in the wrong zone” (which I wasn’t…and why was she so interested in my ticket?)
    But as others have said, you weren’t doing anything wrong. My husband’s a photographer. If someone is in their yard, then it’s polite to ask, but otherwise you are totally within your rights to wander the neighbourhood and snap photos and enjoy yourself. Don’t let her intimidate you! And good luck not replaying the conversation at odd moments for the next 10 years ;)

  • JJ:

    Beautiful shots! Maybe she should of known that it doesn’t look good for a car to pull up slowly next to someone – we are more on the lookout here for strangers in cars then for people taking pictures!

  • Connie:

    Thanks for taking me back—I lived near the KUMC when I was in residency, too. State Line Road, on the KCK side (Loved the WY on my license plate). Great memories of those days and of KC. Next time check out the Loose Park neighborhood—I always coveted the houses there and dreamed about living in one of them. I have always been a sucker for stone houses and there are plenty in Kansas.

  • Stalking poodles? Sounds like a good title for your book!

    And I promise to eat at the Corner Cafe.. should I ever find myself over there. And hungry. At breakfast time.

  • siltedrepose:

    It would probably be the wrong thing to do, but I’m wondering what that the lady would have done if you’d just snapped a photo of her. Oh, and if it wasn’t her neighborhood, how does she know it’s not your house? Or you could be a professional photographer hired to photograph that person’s house.

    I had cream cheese filled crepes covered with jelly at a Bob Evans this summer. They sound wonderful, but after trying them I’d rather have something else. It was way to heavy and sugary for me, and you couldn’t even taste the cream cheese. On the other hand, I prefer my carpeting without stains, and I prefer my server to remember they’re working for a tip. I don’t mind talking and sympathizing, but you have to let me eat my meal at some point.

  • Hmmm…does Corner Cafe serve corned beef hash? Because that’s my gauge of a great breakfast place. None of that froofy crepe type stuff.

    I happened to hit the garden page before this post, and my thought was “I wonder if Rechelle feels as funny as I do when I take pictures of strangers houses.” : ) I love to take pics of architecture I find interesting. I feel better if I’m in an historic or otherwise “noted” area – I figure I am definitely not the only nut who’s been there snapping away. Only once have I “met” someone and she was a fabulous little old lady who invited me into her garden, gave me lemonade, and told me the whole story of the house. It was awesome.

    So snap away and nosy non-residents be damned.

  • I’ve been reading your blog(s) for about 2 and a half years, but just recently moved to the KC area from Michigan. I’m excited to try the Corner Cafe. Have you been to Succotash at City Market? We like that one too. Any other suggestions for things to see and do, and places to go?

    • Kristin – It has been a long time since we lived in KC. Some of my favorite restaraunts are long gone – but everything on 39th street by the med center is great – especially D’Bronx, Fric and Frac (super cheap) and the Jerusalem Cafe. Of course I love walking around Westport (have you been to Prydes yet? Amazing kitchen store just down the road from the Corner Cafe) I love walking around the Plaza, the lawn outside the Nelson Museum, The summer Shakespeare Festival… I am highly entertained by just going for a drive around KC through all the great old neighborhoods. Kansas City is a very liveable city.

  • I’m glad you took the pictures because I loved looking at them. What beautiful homes! (And, by the way, isn’t admiration and enjoyment the purpose of having a beautiful home? I think so.)

    I think you should have snapped a photo of that woman just for fun and posted it for us…although she sounds a bit like the litigious type.

  • Kellye:

    I think I would have felt like you did, but I have a friend who reminds me to not let other people steal our joy. Thank you for sharing your photos with us. It was refreshing. So next time you can tell her, “I am a photographer for a community health group.”

  • Tish:

    Thank you for performing such a vital and death (or irate homeowner) defying task by taking photos of houses that are too far for me to drive to. I appreciate your sacrifice. And the lady in the red car was probably on a 24hr pass from the local mental hospital. You should have told her that the homeowners hired you to take the photos of rinsurance purposes or that you were a photographer from Home and Garden Magazine. Farmhouse Home and Garden that is. :)

  • Barbara H.:

    Well, I’ve been on both sides of this fence. I took pictures one afternoon walking around a nice neighborhood. I even stood in a church parking lot looking at someone’s back yard. A little later a police car drove by with someone in it – my guess was that they were checking me out in case I was scoping out the neighborhood for a burglary. Maybe that woman had had a bad experience herself. It’s hard when someone else deflates us!
    Then years later I was working in my front yard when I noticed someone in a parked car taking pictures of my house. I confronted them, telling them not to take pictures. They drove off and I was upset. A few years later I realized that they might have been taking pictures for real estate comps. Oh well.
    I’m happy to agree with everyone else that you were perfectly legit, though. Glad you were able to recover.

  • Three years ago a friend and I attended a benefit Kitchen Tour of several homes. My husband and I were in the process of building our home and I was doing research to see the latest & greatest in kitchen ideas. As we entered each home I would ask the “ticket taker” if it was ok to take photos. Each time I was told yes. (Many other “tourists” were using cameras too.) So I’m clicking happily away inside one of the homes and an inside attendent came up to me and said in a very loud voice – PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT ALLOWED!!!!! I was totally mortified and somehow managed to mumble an apology and that I would be happy to delete the pictures I’d already taken. She glared some more at me and said no, it was not necessary but to NOT TAKE ANY MORE!

    At the next home on the tour I couldn’t bring myself to ask permission, I just kept my tiny camera in my purse, still reeling from my experience. Then the home after that had the kitchen of my dreams. The home owner happened to be there and I overheard him talking to other tourists about his outdoor kitchen (which was magnificient). Telling him why I wanted to take a few photos he was so very, very kind and told me to snap away to my hearts content. His kind words restored my soul.

  • Lisa:

    I went to KUMC years and years ago and lived just a couple of blocks away in an apartment complex near Rainbow Blvd. Does that sound right? Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I forgot about all that beauty around there. i still miss Da Bronx and that great Cajun restaurant by the school. Yum.

    • Lisa – D’Bronx ! One of my all time favorites.

  • Robin in New Jersey:

    Oh My goodness. I love these photos, Rechelle. The houses are lovely. I have never been to Kansas, so this is a real treat for me.