Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
Living Las Vegas
There are many, many guidebooks out there about LV that do a better job than I can of describing Vegas' attractions and hotels. Suffice it to say that I won't - here are some blurb/impressions of my wonderful birthday/long weekend with Jon.
The Las Vegas Airport has slot machines, display screens promoting all sorts of attractions available in Vegas, from shows to the canals of Venice (sort of) at the Venetian, and billboards larger than those on the roads near my house.
On the hotels
Vegas hosts four of the worlds five largest hotels. Some are three city blocks, and even our hotel (which looked small next to the Luxor and New York NY) was thirty stories high at its highest points - the two towers on either edge of a fantasy courtyard. Our room
was comfortable without being outstanding, with a nice view of the MGM Grand, the San Remo, and the airport.
In the few days we spent in Vegas, Jon and I never left the strip. We trekked on foot, by taxi, by tram and trolley up and down the four-miles of hotels, motels, resorts, stores, shops, and gambling halls, on which advertisements of every sort are plastered. They have ads on buildings, billboards, on taxis and buses, reams of paper turned flyers distributed by Latin American boys with backpacks and baseball caps, or postcards stuck in every conceivable free space, including in plastic holders attached to the back of taxi's bucket seats. We even rode in one futuristic taxi van with a touch-screen imbedded in the back of its passenger seat.
Vegas is about selling. It is, in a sense, ultimately American - that unique mix of greed and excess wrapped up in advertising. From the dinging of many slot machines to the layout of the hallways, it's all designed to take your money. It works, obviously. But it's also annoying.
Take the casino. Any casino. Dark carpeting with darker runners lead you into and through the casino; stray from the runner and become lost in the maze of rattling slots and table games. Witness Jon and my attempt to find the Camel Derby game at the Luxor; we found it near the Sports Book on the way in, but an hour later spent ten minutes wandering through the Wheel of Fortune and Double and Triple Diamond slots without finding it again, although now that I think back on it, we may found it at the Luxor and looked for it later at Mandalay Bay.