Andy Marso’s Stuff I Like: Chinese art, ‘The Office,’ Rick Bragg, Negro Leagues museum

Even if you don’t know anything about art, you know the Guanyin of the Southern Sea is cool.
Even if you don’t know anything about art, you know the Guanyin of the Southern Sea is cool.

Here’s what health reporter Andy Marso is into right now:

Nelson-Atkins’ Chinese collection

I like telling out-of-town friends that Kansas City has one of the best collections of Chinese art in the Western hemisphere and then watching their reactions. Yes, Kansas City is cool. But what I enjoy even more is walking through the Chinese Temple Gallery, especially when the museum isn’t crowded. It’s like being in another time and place.

‘The Office’

My fiancee and I have been binge-watching old episodes on Netflix to unwind after work. We just finished the wedding episodes, which gave us a pretty good idea of what we don’t want at our wedding. Luckily, my grandma is much sweeter than Pam’s, and my brothers aren’t quite as obnoxious as Jim’s. And I don’t think any of our friends will want to dance down the aisle, unless we’re going to be drinking before the ceremony, too.

Rick Bragg

The title is what Bragg’s dad said when he was on his deathbed. I’d never heard it before, but its certain clear-eyed resignation is oddly comforting.

I picked up a copy of Bragg’s memoir, “All Over But the Shoutin’,” at a used bookstore a few months ago and just cracked it open recently. His descriptions of growing up poor in the South are lively enough to draw in a middle-class Yankee like me. I just finished a chapter on his mom’s complex relationship with TV evangelists, and I’m fascinated by any discussion that tries to balance the pros and cons of organized religion.


Grünauer’s spätzle is more fancy than Aldi’s. File photo

Spätzle is like macaroni and cheese, except the pasta is thicker and the cheese is richer. I know, right? It’s delicious. I’ve been eating the premade, frozen variety from Aldi (the dish, like the discount grocery chain, is from Germany). But Grünauer in the Crossroads Arts District has a spätzle with Swiss cheese and onions I’d like to try.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

negro leagues
At the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s Field of Legends, you can stand back-to-back with Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson and see how you measure up. File photo by Rich Sugg

I interviewed Buck O’Neil once as a cub reporter. If I’m blessed enough to be in this profession for 50 years, that will still be one of the highlights of my career. I went to Arthur Bryant’s for lunch on a recent Saturday and then walked down to the museum and spent a couple hours there, imagining watching Satchel Paige pitch to Josh Gibson. That’s a pretty good afternoon.

Andy Marso: 816-234-4055, @andymarso