The Lawrence-Topeka rivalry can span business, high school sports and many facets between the two cities about 25 miles apart.
Most agree Lawrence is the university town that emphasizes culture, and Topeka hangs its hat as the state capital home to many government services and jobs.
"At least before it was definitely just a friendly rivalry. We were Lawrence's cousin that they didn't want to the west," said Lana Kennedy, a member of the Topeka City Council.
"They think everyone here's a hippy. People here think everyone there is a redneck," said Joshua Anderson, of Lawrence. "It's obviously not true, but it's sort of a joke."
Reaction to recent comments from Mike Elwell, owner of Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St. in Lawrence, has put some fire into that rivalry recently.
In a Feb. 7 Journal-World article, Elwell outlined a Friday night policy for his bar that requires customers to have two forms of identification, one to show their age and the other to prove enrollment at Kansas University or Haskell Indian Nations University. He also said in the article that he thought many problems that come to Lawrence drinking establishments "center on Topeka."
The comments came two days after the fatal shooting outside the Granada in downtown Lawrence. Robert Earl Williams, who had lived in Topeka and planned to move to Lawrence, was killed in the incident.
Elwell said Saturday he believed his comments were misconstrued and that he spoke in the context of Lawrence nightlife - not about everyone in Topeka.
But several media reports have focused on the comments and have put the relationship between the two cities in the limelight.
"I don't care what town it's addressed to, I think it's an inappropriate comment. I don't think anyone in Lawrence has any interest in keeping the people of Topeka from coming to Lawrence," said Lawrence City Commissioner David Schauner.
Lawrence commissioners agreed Tuesday to draft a letter with the message that all Topekans are welcome in Lawrence. It will be sent this week.
"A disgruntled bar owner doesn't like Topekans, doesn't like our young people," said John Nave, a Topeka City Council member. "He's picking on one particular community, really."
Kennedy said she had heard from some in Topeka who had now boycotted spending their time and money in Lawrence. She has decided to pass on tickets for comedian Lewis Black, who will perform Thursday at Liberty Hall.
Lawrence Mayor Boog Highberger commutes to Topeka during the week for his job at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. He said he had received some joking comments from colleagues about the media attention to the issue.
"If there's any ill will toward Lawrence from people in Topeka, I'd like to do away with that if we can," he said.
On Saturday, a few Lawrence residents said the general political differences between the two cities might cause some friction. But a few people cannot speak for everyone, they said.
"I feel that some people feel that Topeka is less cultured than we are," said Wendy Cornell, of Lawrence. "I don't know what they (Topeka) think about us. There's lots of things there that we could benefit from."
"I think there's just a lack of respectful behavior. People need to start getting over themselves," said M.L. Helm, who has lived in Lawrence for 20 years.
And Highberger hopes the Lawrence and Topeka stereotypes will die.
"I don't think a rivalry is good for either of us. We have a lot of things in common, and working together is what's best for us," he said.