Some reflections on a very short stay in Las Vegas

I am not a Las Vegas guy, it seems both very expensive and more like an adult Disneyland than a Sin City. Even more than Disneyland, it seems like a giant version of the cruse ship written about by David Foster Wallaace in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. It is an entire city of distractions. I can safely state that after four hours of walking the Strip from one end to the other without even getting a drink (camera in hand and in full voyeur mode). I don’t mean to say that there isn’t real Sin – when I got back to my hotel at about 10:30, there was a old, gentlemanly looking, Chinese, guy checking in with a staggeringly good looking, improbably tall, black woman barely contained by a very short dress – but that somehow, the Sin doesn’t seem real, somehow it seems passionless.

That is not to infer that everybody is there for the Sin, most people are in Vegas for the shopping, and the dining, and the shows, and the gambling. And Vegas bends over backwards to make all that easy. There are elevated walkways that cross the streets and deposit the walker directly into buildings; the Strip is designed to be walked, it is as walker friendly as any place I have ever been. In the end, Vegas turned out to be a great place to take a walk.

3 thoughts on “Some reflections on a very short stay in Las Vegas

  1. Vegas is a little like Paris Hilton. From a distance, kind of exciting, but when examined a bit more closely its horrifying.

    And then consider that Vegas is sucking dry the southwest’s underground water supply.

    Your photographs capture the soulessness of the place.

  2. Malcolm, it didn’t seem horrifying to me as much as just banal. By the way, it is not just sucking the southwest dry, it is sucking the aquifer dry all the way north to the Ruby Basin. It is going to have to turn back into desert when they run out of water.

    Thanks for the comment on the photographs, it did feel soulless.

  3. There’s something haunting about that place; faceless glass tombstones reflecting each other in abstract distortions.
    Soulless? Yeah…but also a precursor of what’s to come. It’s going to make an amazing ruin, and a sad statement on our stubborn refusal to admit we’re blowing it. So…what the hell? Go party.

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