I talked to Bobby Sayed first. He's a youthful college guy about my age, who grew up on Troost and then slowly saw it go. He moved away around high school and after moving back to Kansas City, he said he came back first because of nostalgia, but more recently finds himself on a new agenda. He doesn't live in the city anymore; He makes a 45 min trek to (from Holt) for Troost Folks every week. He was of particular interest to me because of said dedication, as well as his public aspirations for the future. From the first day I met him, he's talked about opening a coffee shop, to create some new business in the neighborhood. But after talking about it a little more, it's not really a coffee shop at all he wants to open; Rather, he's hoping to create an inviting space for people in the community to come in and have a conversation about things happening on Troost. Automatically made me think of PieLab (someone get this man on DIC).
The other Troost Folk I talked to was Christy Hentzen, a mom-of-3 and landlord living in the neighborhood—and she's fed-up! She had some fire to add to the conversation. She's a vetran who, despite the hardships, has a lot of hope. She said for the first time in her life she felt like she was at home, and went into detail all the b.s. she'd seen (efforts, failures, and the rarities make positive change happen).
All great stories that will need some careful splicing into a cohesive and well-told narrative. Welcome back to the grindstone [insert "kicking & screaming" emoticon].