It's so nice to read nice things about Wichita

09/26/2011 12:00 AM

09/26/2011 12:08 AM

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Well, except when it comes to the subject of Wichita. Then, if you're opinion is disparaging, keep it to yourself.

I try to be a pleasant person, but if someone bad-mouths my town, there's no hope.

I get ugly. Fast.

That's why I was happy when I looked at the latest issue of Dwell magazine.

It has a feature article on the loft living going on in the downtown area, especially the Finn Lofts on Commerce Street.

"With a clean-lined new loft building designed by El Dorado Inc., a fleet of hip galleries, and a burgeoning creative class, Wichita is anything but plains," wrote Georgina Gustin.

It's a good article that shows off the lofts owned by Jamil Malone, Robert Vanselow and Melissa and Keith Bishop.

I looked at the magazine online and liked it so much that I'm going to find an issue. It was refreshing to read about Wichita without getting mad.

Speaking of good press _ You may remember reading in this column in July about Wichita stylist Patrick Lomantini preparing to embark on a 50-state adventure. He sought out to do 50 haircuts in 50 salons to collect donations to benefit 50 humane societies and animal shelters.

Two thousand haircuts later, he's back. Many people kept track of his quest on Facebook, but in case you didn't, he's happy to tell you that he raised nearly $47,000 and made a lot of friends.

"I was so impressed with people offering hotels and letting me stay in their homes. Sometimes I slept in the car, but I was so tired it didn't matter. I could have slept on a rock," he said.

One state each day — no wonder he was tired. But he's already talking about next year, when he'll leave on July 29 and return Sept. 19.

"I'm going to have a little help next time. But it will be easier because all the salon owners are anxious for me to come back, and now they get it. They understand what I'm doing," he said.

He said he flew to Honolulu, was picked up at the airport at 5:30 a.m., took time to jump in the ocean, took a shower, and was cutting hair by 8:30 a.m.

"All the people I was able to meet, the food and the culture, it's amazing what we have right here in the U.S.," he said.

And the part I liked best:

"I am so happy I was able to talk about Wichita across the country," Patrick said. "And I'm glad to be back."

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