"S.A.S. (Sprawling Antiseptic Suburbia)" Top 5 Page for this destination Overland Park by yooperprof

Overland Park Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 160 photos

The American Dream?

Office buildings, shopping centers, condo developments, tract housing estates: ah, American suburbia. It's all about consumerism. I grew up here - actually lived in "Prairie Village" one suburb over, but when to high school in O.P. (Shawnee Mission West) I escaped from S.A.S., but return regularly to visit relatives who are still living the suburban dream.

For many years now, Overland Park has been an engine of economic growth that is pulling much of the rest of the state of Kansas behind it. O.P. has become a business and retail hub for the entire region - symbolized by the new world headquarters of Sprint. (Okay, so Sprint's not doing too well these day - and the Sprint HQ is one of the ugliest office complexes in the world. Nonetheless. . . ) Overland Park now has a population of 160,000, making it the second largest city in Kansas, and the second largest city in the K.C. Metropolitan area.

There _is_ an older park of Overland Park - "Downtown O.P., along Santa Fe Drive between 79th and 82nd Streets, just to the west of Metcalf. This part of the city was developed in the early years of the 1900s, when Overland Park was one of the original "streetcar suburbs" in the area, and the "Strang Line" made frequent roundtrips between this "far-out" community and downtown Kansas City Mo. The streetcars are long since gone, but some of the original old buildings remain, and there is a sense of history in this section of Overland Park that you won't find anywhere else.

It's also where the city has established a number of successful traditions, such as a flourishing farmer's market and a number of summertime street festivals. There are a number of bars, restaurants, and interesting locally owned shops in the area. Occasionally, it even feels as if you might be in a _real_ city!

  • Last visit to Overland Park: Dec 2002
  • Intro Updated Jul 6, 2004
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Reviews (13)

Comments (4)

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2009 at 4:32 AM

    Great culinary tour of Overland Park!

  • basstbn's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2004 at 11:13 AM

    Hi Prof! Enjoyed your comments on some familiar places - especially the coffeehouse revue. Two thumbs up and an "amen" to that one!

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2004 at 1:00 PM

    KC barbecue is pretty darn good--I prefer Arthur Bryant's myself.

  • Jul 10, 2004 at 2:54 AM

    um, what IS a 'wet' capuccino?? For that matter, what's a 'dry' one? ;) You'll get a good cuppa joe in Lawrence, looking forward to hearing more, have a great trip!


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