Even though I serve as the director of a Cincinnati video production company, I often get to travel for projects. After a full day of production most people might rest, but I long for adventure and love finding what’s just around the corner in America’s popular and not so populated spots. So here’s what I found in Wichita.
When people think of Kansas typically Dorothy and the gang come to mind. I anticipated a vast flat wasteland of wheat and corn. I was prepared to encounter a tornado everyday and I assumed that finding a storm cellar would be difficult.
Stereotypes aside, I discovered a charming college town that seems to have rebounded from previous economic disparity and continues to transform into a hipster haven. With echoes of Austin and Louisville, Wichita made a great first impression. It features a gorgeous river walk district full of modern bridges and sculptures. The food scene seems to be booming with new restaurants popping up everywhere.
Upon arrival I met up with my crew and grabbed a bite at The Anchor. It claims to be a “drinking establishment” with its infinite number of taps, but the food was just as established. I ordered the “Haystack,” an open-faced beef burger topped with hand cut fries and then smothered in queso. Let's just say that I had to ask the Wizard for courage just to finish it (in a good way).
After a good nights rest at the newly developed Fairfield Inn by Marriott, I decided to pick up donuts for clients and crew. Since I’m a donut enthusiast, I already knew about The Donut Whole. I didn’t know how to get there, but I knew to look for the giant rooster on top of the roof! This quaint little establishment featured arcade style video games along with a 24-hour drive-up window. The donuts are all cake, but it was definitely one of the better cake donuts I’ve ever had.
Lastly, the people we’re great! After a long shoot I retired to the hotel bar for some pre-dinner ale. While sipping, a Kansas thunderstorm rolled through (aka end of the world) and the near tornado winds kept us from venturing out. Instead I ordered Chinese and ate dinner with a bar full of Wichita’s finest and various other passers by. Although the bartender was chasing the outdoor furniture being lifted and slammed into the courtyard windows, she managed to pretend we were safe and kept pouring the suds.
All in all I think that if your favorite band or college hoops team was playing in Wichita and you wanted to take a spontaneous weekend get-a-way, you would find yourself surprised by how cool this little bale of wheat is.