Ok, you guys. I thought I was prepared for Vegas. Turns out, there is no way one can be prepared for it. No way at all. I feel like I was dipped in some sort of weird fever dream for the past four days. Four days? Could it have been four days? I feel like I have been in Vegas for weeks. But that makes sense, because the thing that Vegas wants to do to you, is disorient you. That’s its whole plan, man. Here are my thoughts about it.
1. Outside, it is brighter than the surface of the sun during the day, and on fire with artificial light all night. Inside, it is perpetual night, with no natural light anywhere to be found. UP IS DOWN, DOWN IS UP, says Vegas. FEEL WEIRD, VISITORS. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS. SHUT UP AND GAMBLE.
2. The casinos are full of people that smoke, but there are gigantic air filtering systems in place so all of the casinos smell like faint stale cigarettes, air freshener of a sort of baby powder/flowery/chemical scent, and fried food. It was nauseating at times. FEEL WEIRD, VISITORS.
3. I had to get up early to head to the airport on the way back, and if there is something that looks depressing, it is seeing the gambling people that have obviously been at it all night and are just feeding that habit into the morning hours. I felt weird looking at them, but it was hard not to look at them. FEEL WEIRD, VISITORS.
4. Speaking of feeding the habit, there were a few people on my plane that got right off the plane and went straight to the airport slot machines. I worried for those people.
5. I went downtown and there is this open air boulevard to walk up and down with touristy establishments and stuff. I am sure there is a name for this place but I don’t know what it is. It is many blocks long. Anyway, as I was walking down it, all I felt was a very cold breeze wafting over me. That’s when I realized that this open air boulevard was totally air conditioned. This is something I do not think I will ever get over. WE WERE OUTSIDE. THEY WERE AIR CONDITIONING THE OUTSIDE. IN A HOT DESERT-LIKE DESERT. AAAAAHHHHHHHH.
6. Listen, I know we are a country of over-consumption and I am not claiming that my city or the way I live my life is by any means perfect or even sustainable, but Las Vegas is BANANAS, you guys. It’s not just all the lights and air conditioning of the in-of-doors and out-of-doors. You sit outside in the heat and there are awnings everywhere that just spray light mist at you ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT LONG. There are large swaths of GREEN GRASS IN THE DESERT. I mean, I always knew that the area has serious environmental issues, but Las Vegas does not give any fucks about that. Like they do not even give half a fuck, clearly. I mean, CLEARLY.
7. I stayed at the Luxor, which is the hotel that looks like a big pyramid. The elevators go up and down diagonally, so you are always almost falling down everytime you are in one because of the lean. FEEL WEIRD, VISITORS.
8. I saw two people puke right in front of me, like at separate times. I also heard several post-puke conversations. FEEL PUKE FEAR, VISITORS.
9. Las Vegas likes chandeliers.
10. There is a Trump building there and it is by far not the gaudiest thing there, if that tells you anything.
11. Transportation sucks donkey balls. First of all, all of the hotels/casinos hide signs to exits and transportation because they want you to never leave. It took me an average of 1 hour to get from one meeting to the next, and none of my meetings were more than a mile from each other. You know that feeling like they have in Disneyland, where they want you to have to take windy walks everywhere so that you are always walking past lots of buying opportunities? Times that by 10. FEEL HOTEL CALIFORNIA-ISH, VISITORS.
12. Las Vegas is the CAPITAL OF Bro-Merica. There are hordes of dudes that think they are in Entourage, everywhere. My friends and I have decided that the correct term for a horde of bro-hams is ” a burger of bros.” Anyway. One of them asked me if I was from “Cute-istan.” Maybe this is why people there are always barfing? From lines like that?
13. There were a few things I liked about it though. The very, very best thing I saw was a little old lady, in her 70s at least, with a tall black beehive, full cat eye makeup, and a head-to-toe turquoise suit on. She was eating lunch with what I assumed to be her fella, a man about 80 in a polo shirt and khakis. I was so on board with those two.
14. When I was at the airport, the gate agent who was giving me my seat assignment recognized me. She was a dance colleague of mine from when I was a teen! She had moved to Vegas to perform some time ago and had quit the business and was now working for an airline there. It was so, so cool to run into her. That has nothing to do with the town, really, other than there is a high number of performers who live there, but still. It was great.
15. BRITNEY WASN’T EVEN THERE WHEN I WAS THERE YOU GUYS. Humph.
16. Vegas has a lot of jobs for performers, and a lot of audience for them. I have to like that, and I do.
17. I didn’t find anything good to eat there. One night some friends and I were like BUMP THIS NOIZE and one of them talked to a cab driver from Ethiopia and from that found a tiny little Ethiopian restaurant outside of town in a strip mall, and that was tasty. Other than that, bad luck with the vittles.
So, I had a strong feeling that I was going to love it there before I got there. This was a feeling that didn’t pan out. But it did make me feel really weird, which I still contend is really the point of the whole place. So, success?