Posted in Travel

My Trip to Vegas: Part 3

First, a tamale alert for fellow Angelenos: Adela is selling her fabulous homemade tamales on Tuesday, June 2 and Wednesday, June 3. Place your order by calling 323-691-0073.

Back to Vegas: Somehow I want to respect the ‘achievements’ of Las Vegas (big, bigger, biggest), but I’m so bugged by the architecture that I can’t.

To wit:

Las Vegas 2009 Caesar's P

Took this out of the car window, car moving. Something about that building strikes me as foreboding. It’s so tall, so not proportional, so contemporary federalist on acid. Did you read about Supreme Court Justice John Roberts in the May 25, 2009, issue of The New Yorker? This building is a visual representation of that guy (at least, as described in that article by Jeffrey Toobin).

Las Vegas 2009 NY NY

This is simply a visual nightmare. Let’s take an iconic structure, miniaturize it, and cram it upside a bunch of other buildings. I guess it’s the billboards on the “Brooklyn Bridge” that push me over the edge. How did that fence post in the bottom left of the shot get bent? Blackjack anger. Brute force from losing $500 after doubling down on an 11.

LV 2009 Bellagio 15

Whhaaa…? (at the Bellagio)

Time for a bit of visual relief—another Las Vegas structure, close up (though again from the moving car):

LV 2009 Oranges

I love the colors, the vaguely Euro-Bauhaus-ish style.

I’m flummoxed by Las Vegas, and so I must end with what is either a complete non sequitur or what is perhaps the diametrical opposite of the spirit of Las Vegas. Kind of a Lady Luck vs Triumph of the Will:

‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Can we women include ourselves here? I don’t see why not.


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

9 thoughts on “My Trip to Vegas: Part 3

  1. Kipling!

    “I started o’ canteen porter, I finished o’ canteen beer,
    But a dose o’ gin that a mate slipped in, it was that that brought me here.”

  2. Las Vegas certainly is flummoxing for the sensitive souls among us. When I am there, I am constantly assaulted by 7 different types of music playing at once, my personal space being invaded every other second, flashing, buzzing, strobing things…It is enough to make me crawl into my shell like a mollusc.

  3. AH: “desperate silliness” – Well said. Thank you.

    CO: Not Vegas people…The Scout was working there. Though I would like to go to the Liberace Museum.

    dbs: Nice one. Cheers.

    homG: It just screams “decrepit urban” to me – exactly what LV doesn’t want.

    SW: Yes, I thought about rewriting the whole thing from a woman’s POV, but didn’t take the time (yet, anyway).

    Petrea: Most of my thoughts in Vegas veer toward the apocalyptic.

    Suebob: Indeed, the sound assault in Vegas is severe. Path to happiness is hotel with no casino…but to get to most buffets one must endure many ringings and dingings.

    PA: They do still have penny slots—I think the Luxor was advertising such.

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