Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Las Vegas

Jack Klugman reading.

Observations for future stories-yours or mine.

People seem to arrive and depart Las Vegas at all hours of the night. There are rooms for $25 for people only needing one briefly and not for the usual short-lease reasons.

People greet you with good luck rather than good morning.

There is no seating in the hotel lobbies. If you want to sit down, you must play a game. The slots actually tell you they are not for sitting. You can also go into the restaurants and shows, of course. But no public seating.

Just like there is a fake Paris, a fake Venice, a fake New York-most of the shows seem about fakery-people pretending to be other people, people doing magic, that sort of thing. I wonder when this became Las Vegas.

Everyone smokes. It was hard to get away from it although they seem to spray perfume all over you too. My clothes smelled of both.

There are people in the casinos every hour of the day. Few of them look like they're having fun. Most of them have a drink, a cigarette, oxygen with them.

The food was surprisingly good. I didn't do a buffet but the regular restaurants were as good as anywhere--maybe a little more pricey though.

Why does the Jersey Boys Las Vegas cost more than the Jersey Boys on Broadway. All the shows were really expensive.

I attended three conference panels. In one, a guy older than me read two hundred haikus, mostly about his dead wife's sexuality. I don't think she would have approved. Another panel considered MAD MEN but only through the lens of Foucalt and the other post-modern theorists. (Academics can ruin any subject). The third panel had a good paper on in-house Las Vegas bands in the sixties and seventies. If anyone ever can use detail from this, I have her card.

In the Liberace Museum, they did not have much of any films/videos that showed him. Why? I imagine a lot of people have never seen him perform. They also refused to discuss his sexuality. Why?

Las Vegas is ugly. There is no profit in greenery. Nature keeps you outside. They want you inside.

I found Las Vegas endlessly fascinating. I'm going to read about, watch movies, but never return.

Okay. Las Vegas is officially over. Thanks.


Paul D Brazill said...

Sounds great! I really enjoyed One From The Heart.Mainly for the songs but also for the fake-ness.

Dana King said...

I've never been to Vegas, but feel I should go some day, like a crime fiction pilgrimage. I doubt I'll like it, for many of the reasons you cited. I think it'll be like, go, check it off the list, don;t go back. I keep hoping my job will send me there for a conference so I don't have to pay for it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Exactly how we came to go to Vegas. Although three days was not enough to understand it. I need to read a book if I want that. Still I'd be able to describe it a little.
ONE FROM THE HEART. You know, I don't think I've ever seen that, Paul.

Charles Gramlich said...

I find Las Vegas kind of scary. Thanks for taking the hit for the chickens among us. ;)

Cormac Brown said...

There are too many things in this post that I find funny for the wrong reasons. I'd cite them, but the last time I did that on somebody's blog, they basically never came back to mine.

Ian McShane was talking about his new NBC series and Jon Stewart meant New York, but Vegas is the truest definition of that "parallel reality" that they were talking about.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It was scary. And it was funny. Parallel reality sums it up. I felt like I might walk into a mirror at any moment. Into or through.

Lisa said...

OK I have to say it. I wasn't going to because for some reason there actually are a lot of people who love Vegas. I absolutely loathe Las Vegas. It is fascinating, don't get me wrong, but I feel like it's an encapsulated example of everything that's deplorable in our culture. Whew. OK, thanks. I had to get that off my chest. I'm fine now. :)

the walking man said...

Never been, probably will never go, I can lose quarters just as easily at home eh?

George said...

Vegas is surreal. Everything is phony. But the food is good, the flights and hotel rooms are subsidized, and the temperature in Vegas is always warmer than the temperature in Buffalo. Those are my reasons for vacationing there. Did you notice how loud and jovial the flight to Vegas was--and how quiet the return flight was?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Absolutely true, George. Everyone slept on the way home. Except me.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Patti,

I've never been to Vegas, never even been curious. You really draw an interesting picture.


Karen Olson said...

I have an odd fascination with Vegas, and I don't find it ugly at all. It's no uglier than anywhere USA with strip malls and hotels. Get away from the Strip, head to the mountains and the desert and there's an amazing beauty with the banana yuccas, the Joshua trees, little bits of green among the brown, not to mention the spectacular red rocks and a blue sky that goes on forever.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wish I had had the time to get out of the city. We just really had two full days there and one of them at the conference. I think the rest of it is probably a lot like Sedona, which is beautiful. And our hotel Palace Station was in an area filled with little manufacturing unit which made it less desirable than the strip. I wish they would give more area to greenery or at least desert life though. But that doesn't translate to cash. Terrie-are you back?

Terrie Farley Moran said...


I am back!!!! I am celebrating my return to NYC on my MTM post next Monday!


Anonymous said...

Hi Patti

Great list. I just got back from Vegas a couple of weeks ago, after making a third and final trip to jot down some last minute notes for The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas. And I'm still not sure if I like the place. Day 1 of the trip, I thought maybe I wanted to live there. By day 3, I was ready to get out. By day 6, I really wasn't sure if I'd ever return.

Curious place. But great for crime fiction

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hey, Chris. I am not sure I really even began to understand it. Like why was nobody every playing King Pao Poker (was that the name?) And why are so many dealers Asian. I have a lot more questions than answers about Vegas. But it's certainly a place like no other. let me know when the book comes out, maybe you can explain some of these things to a neophyte.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Interesting observations, Patti. Las Vegas is all about fakery and always has been. It's not a typical American city, not by a longshot. As for greenery, don't forget it's in the middle of the desert; there's not enough water in the area to keep the city green. I don't know why the shows are so expensive. It didn't used to be that way. Glad you found it fascinating even though I can tell it's not your kind of town. ;)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I see what you're saying, Linda. But it seems like they've done nothing to incorporate the desert feel into the city. Just covered it with concrete.
It's my daughter's kind of town. Maybe it would have been mine 25 years ago. Certain places appeal at certain ages, I think.

Bryon Quertermous said...

I'm going with my dad to Vegas next week and I'm very excited. I've never been but I already love Vegas. Like Karen I have an odd fascination with it. But I also like prepackaged junk, cons, scams, and seedy places. I also LOVE to play blackjack.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You're gonna love it then. I wish I had had the nerve to play poker. I'm told the best odds of winning are there.