Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Well aren't I clever thinking I would be so unique in my going to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. I mean, who in their right mind drags their family to Vegas for Thanksgiving, right? Apparently the answer is all of Los Angeles, part of Phoenix and about 2 million other people.

Paris, Las Vegas
My friend Donnie, also known as the Godfather of the Strip, put HEU Tara and I up at Paris. Not only that but he upgraded us to the super suite on the 20th floor overlooking the Bellagio fountains. Bonus!

Paris, Las Vegas

I liked Paris, particularly that it could be easily accessed by a side street and not Las Vegas Blvd. Also the Crepe place just outside of the registration area is a quick, inexpensive and wonderful place to snack.

As per my usual MO, I tried all new in LV.

O @ Bellagio
My favorite experience was seeing O at Bellagio. If you haven't seen any Cirques before, I'd recommend seeing another like Ka or Mystere before you see O. O is undescribable. It's similar to any other Cirque but the giant pool built into the stage, the acrobatics many stories above the water followed by the dizzying diving into the water are amazing. Its slightly less than 2 hours with no intermissions, but you will be thoroughly exhausted by the end. Sit close so you can see the intricate logisitics of raising and lowering the many platforms in the water to get the outrageous effects. Also, don't go into sticker shock over the $165 tickets, its actually well-worth the cost.

Hoover Dam
I finally saw Hoover Dam, incredibly interesting, particularly when you think that this structure was built in the 20's with 20's technology. Its weird to think that the concrete they poured over 80 years ago is still curing in spots. Its just that massive. Also interesting is the new freeway they are building over the dam area. If you are at all interested in massive and complicated construction projects, this would be the sight to visit. If you venture out to Hoover from LV, leave early. HEU Tara and I spent 2 hours in bump-2-bump getting there, and its less than 30 miles. No regrets that we did but next time I will get out before the masses.

Hoover Dam

Liberace Museum
There are many sights to see in LV but the one you shouldn't miss is the Liberace Museum. I know what you're thinking but c'mon, he was SO Las Vegas. And I have to think he was in on the whole joke. While I was not a fan of his music, I totally respected his self-made-ness and the fact that he never let anyone else manage his money. The museum itself is in a very subtle, run-down strip mall, diagonally across from what could only be called bad student housing. Don't let that stop you.

Some of these costumes weighed over 200 pounds. Liberace had to be fitted with a special truss just to be able to wear these puppies while seated. Fashion is hell people; pure rhinstone-covered, pink ostrich glitterati hell.

Mix @ Mandalay
Good grief, there is so much to eat in LV its ridiculous. While I wouldnt be caught dead at even a good buffet, I did manage to eat well just the same. I think my favorite was Mix at the Manadaly Hotel. Mix is part nightclub, part restaurant. Nightclub is the very ordinary psuedo VIP crap complete with the over-and-out bottle service which died a few years back. Restaurant is extraordinary. Not only is the 360-view from the 64th floor amazing, the decor is starck white, post-modern 60's and the food is 5-star.

Glass Spheres hanging from ceiling @ Mix

While I am not a gambler, couldnt care less about partying all night or sleezy, forgettable affairs, I love Las Vegas for what it is; a replica of many other cities all jam packed in to one thriving neon-lit playground devoid of day-to-day troubles or adult responsibilities.


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Blogger suzy said...

Looking forward to seeing what you think of "O". I saw it with sister a few years back.

12:08 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Loved it Suzy! I really liked Equus in NYC but I would go back to LV and see O again long before I would go back to NYC to see Equus again.

11:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was never much interested in visiting LV. Now I want to go.

BTW, on the death of bottle service:


12:57 PM

Blogger john said...

Las Vegas is fun for any occasion!

2:57 PM

Blogger Jim said...

J- Las Vegas really is a great city, particularly if you accept it for what it is. Re: Bottle Service - It still boggles my mind that there were people mindless enough to spend $400 on a $20 bottle of vodka. But then again, there are people that feel Paris Hilton is making a valuable contribution to society.

Who am I to judge? (heavy smirk)

7:55 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Agreed John! Viva!

7:56 PM


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