I love Vegas. It is a city unlike any other. It is bizarre and surreal and gawdy and beautiful.
Of course, the Las Vegas that I am talking about is a very small fraction of the actual city. I’m talking about the part of Vegas that immediately enters us outsider’s brains – the Strip. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience other parts of this great city, but the Vegas that I’m talking about in this particular article is that (in)famous stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Yes, the casinos are smoky. Yes, if you get too drunk or too stupid you can lose a lot of money. Yes, the drinks are too expensive and the clubs are pretentious.
But holy crap it’s all so much fun!
It’s a city best experienced with friends, with pre-determined hotel reservations, with a plan of attack, and for two to three days tops. Amazing hotel rooms can always be found for great rates if you take the time to look, because there are about a million of them. Maybe more.
Opportunities for enjoyment are around literally every corner – world class restaurants, Broadway shows, one-of-a-kind experiences, gambling, some of the best shopping in the country, nightclubs, bars, gambling, burlesque shows, lounges, parties, gambling, comedians. And, of course, more gambling.
In terms of taste-level, Vegas runs the gambit from the Belagio to Circus Circus. Even the fancier places all feel a bit fake, but that’s part of the glory of Vegas. To really fall in love with it, you just have to accept it for what it is – essentially an alternate reality. I mean, where else can you find New York City, the Eifel Tower, a pyramid, and a pirate ship within a mile of each other?
Just be sure to always keep in the back of your mind that the choices you make in Vegas will follow you home. The last time I was in a club in Vegas, I ended up meeting a guy and talking with him until after 7:00 the next morning. At the end of the night (or morning I suppose) he forgot to ask for my phone number, but I didn’t mind because it was just a Vegas fling.
He ended up searching me out and he and I spent our next year and a half together.
Vegas is a major setting in my current screenplay. I chose it to represent a fantasy world, a world of dreams, and I think it’s the perfect choice. Vegas is in every way a place of dreams. Sometimes the dreams become more than a little odd or even stray into the realm of nightmares for a moment or two. But when it’s all done and you’re ready to go home, you wake up from the Las Vegas dream rejuvenated and hopeful. That’s the magic of Vegas.
And that’s why I will always love it.
Image: Courtesy www.thetravelpeach.com