I spent the day yesterday walking the wonder that is the Las Vegas Strip. There is this debauchery that just sort of hangs in the air here. It was 111 degrees, and still people were walking from casino to casino, drink in hand totally oblivious to the heat. Elvis was on the strip trying to make a few bucks by offering himself up for pictures, and there’s always the opportunity to see ladies and men in various stages of undress, anywhere you look. It gives me a little glimpse into the world of fashion that I’d never even dream of wearing!
Inside the casinos offers you another glimpse into this debauchery of which I speak. The craps tables were filled and the dice were being kissed and thrown, the blackjack players were throwing their chips on the pile, the Roulette wheel was spinning while chips were being placed on red and black numbers, and those slot machines were singing everything from The Theme from The Addams Family to Wheel of Fortune. Inside some of these casinos your sensory level is simply on overload from the moment you walk in the door.
Then there is the whole food thing… If you can’t find it on the Las Vegas Strip, it simply doesn’t exist on the culinary scale of food that matters. From the very expensive to the very cheap, it’s all here. The French pastries in the little shops at the Paris Hotel and Casino are my personal favorites, but that’s just me. I get a pastry, a nice cup of French coffee, and I sit in the little café and watch the world go by – literally.
Please don’t take what I’m saying as some sort of judgment on Las Vegas. I am one of those people who happen to love Las Vegas. I love the debauchery; it fascinates the hell out of me. In some sort of sick way, I fit in here. Absolutely no one cares that I’m gay or overweight or a liberal. Those things are not even on the scale of things that matter in Las Vegas. I like that, I feel at home here.
I know the image of Las Vegas is drinking and gambling of which I do very little of either. I usually have one drink while I’m throwing maybe $40.00 at the slot machines, so I certainly don’t love to come here for either of those things.
I love to come here because there are things to see here that one can’t see anywhere else in the country. I mean really, where else can you climb the Eiffel Tower, see original Picasso’s, visit a Botanical Gardens that is more beautiful that you could ever imagine, take a ride in a gondola, see a water show, watch a volcano erupt, ride a rollercoaster on the outside of a skyscraper, go to a mid-evil jousting match, and visit the statue of liberty – all in a 4 mile radius? Come-on, what could be more American?
I don’t think I could live here, it is way too hot in the summer, and my senses need a rest from all the debauchery! I also believe if I saw it all the time, the wonder of it all would rub off. Kind of like seeing the man behind the curtain! (From the Wizard of Oz for those of you who might not know…)
I’ll be back in November though, for my 60th Birthday. I’m going zip-lining over Fremont Street in old Las Vegas!