As you read yesterday, I just returned from my first venture to Las Vegas: Sin City, the Entertainment Capital, City of Lights, Glitter Gulch, the ADD Capital of the World. What were my impression, you may ask? Well...first, I think a long weekend was more than enough for me. I'm not a gambler, I'm more of a rocker than a clubber, I could care less about the Donny and Marie show or tigers. But I do think it's one of those places you have to experience at least once in your life.
Years ago, I wrote the poem Desert Floor, which I posted on here a while back. It was written based on the stereotype I held about the city, before seeing its "charms" first hand. Re-reading the poem now, it pretty much sums up the place. The city itself is so artificial. First, yeah, it's on the desert floor, surrounded by gorgeous mountains. It's become an oasis of sorts, but I don't think necessarily the good kind. Themed hotels that are supposed to look like other places like Venice, Paris or New York are kind of cool in their kitsch, but it's still kitsch. Even beautiful places like the Mandalay Bay, where we stayed, are lovely, but there's something really weird and kind of wrong to see a mother pushing a baby carriage through the rows of slot machine and smoky air, or an obviously-destitute person shoving dollars into a machine that could probably be better spent on food or rent. Then there are those who look like they came straight from the plastic surgeons, tanning salons or steroid-suppliers.
It's not all bad. Again - the desert was beautiful. I drove out to Red Rock Canyon with two of my oldest friends to watch the sunrise, which in itself was beautiful, but what was most astounding was that, for a brief moment, there was pure silence. Coming from noisy Northern New Jersey with the aural congestion of planes, trains, and especially automobiles, to hear nothing - not even insects or birds - was wild. Back into Sin City, the awe continued in seeing celebrities (yes, it's true, Paris Hilton and friends were at LAX with us), visual stimulation around every corner and the freedom to do anything you wanted at anytime. I suppose, too, the company helped.
Would I go again? Maybe. Is it my scene? Definitely not. I found myself trying to have the "Vegas experience" which contradicted my everday life. But, I suppose, that's the point, and no one has to be the wiser.