Yael T. Abouhalkah

The top 10 ‘top 10’ lists about lovable Kansas City

Updated: 2013-12-25T23:35:32Z

By YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH

The Kansas City Star

Getting ranked on a top 10 list these days is pretty easy, given all the categories of food, travel and sports that lend themselves to this exercise.

And it’s easy to make light of these rankings. Still, they often make sense.

Consider some of the top 10 lists Kansas City and this region have appeared on in the last year or so.

• Travel book publisher Lonely Planet ranked Kansas City sixth on its list of the top 10 travel destinations in 2014. An excerpt: “Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum. As 2014 marks the war’s centennial, major celebrations and events will ensue, and the museum’s adjacent Liberty Memorial is getting a $5 million renovation for the festivities.”

• Travel & Leisure magazine last month named Kansas City the 10th best city for hipsters, noting, “At The Local Pig..., barbecue gets some hipster cred thanks to locally sourced meats and unconventional offerings like burnt-end bratwursts and Thai peanut sausage.”

• Travel & Leisure magazine also compiled a comprehensive list that ranked Kansas City barbecue as the best in the nation. Hmm, someone likes to use food as a barometer of good living. That’s smart.

• In a less-celebrated list, a California real estate brokerage firm named Kansas City as the second most redneck city in the United States, right behind Atlanta. Some of the criteria: lots of gun and ammunition stores, Wal-Mart locations and NASCAR tracks (and we’re glad to have one, thank you, in Kansas City, Kan.).

• BleacherReport.com ranked Arrowhead seventh this year on its list of the best National Football League stadiums. Unfortunately, the authors had to point out the Chiefs’ futility over the last 40 years, noting they “haven’t won a league title since capturing Super Bowl IV.”

• Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue was named one of the 10 best barbecue restaurants in America. But never fear: Oklahoma Joe’s is on another best-of list.

• Be careful driving in Kansas City, because Missouri has the seventh worst motorists in the United States, according to a new report from CarInsuranceComparison.com.

• And maybe this list is linked to the previous one: Time magazine just ranked Missouri as the best place for drinking in America, writing, “There’s no place better in the country to get your drink on than the Show-Me State.”

• A Huffington Post article last month named Kansas City as one of the “20 awesome U.S. cities you need to visit in your 20s.” An excerpt: “Check out the Crossroads Arts District for eclectic boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Kansas City is also one of the few cities to boast Google Fiber wireless — meaning the Internet connection is insanely good.” But not yet everywhere, like at my home. (Hint.)

• And Business Week put Kansas City in the 15th slot among “America’s 50 best cities,” saying, “For a unique blend of technology, arts, and history, residents can always stop by the city’s old transportation hub, Union Station.”

Sometimes, however, it pays not to be on these kinds of lists.

Even though Kansas City has a very high rate of violent crime, it did not rank among the most dangerous cities, as recently compiled by Forbes.

And neither Missouri nor Kansas wound up in the bottom 10 of the states with the worst animal protection laws.

Plus, some lists make no sense: St. Louis as the second best place to retire in the nation? Please.

Kansas City will wind up on a few more top 10 rankings in 2014. Pay attention to them if they put a positive spin on our lovable burg.

But ignore those so-called experts who say something nasty about Kansas City. What do they know?

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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