Friday, May 19, 2006

Sin City madness

As I write this, I am going slightly mad, sitting in the Las Vegas airport, listening to the sound of slot machines. If I see another flashing light, I think I will have a seizure.

Three days, many headaches, and a bit of lost cash later, I can safely say that I am not a gambler. Nor am I someone who would ever go back to Vegas. I'm glad I went. I'm glad I saw it. But it is not me - no part of the Vegas experience is really reflective of my scene.

I'm not sure what I expected. I think I thought it would be a bit more kitsch, more like Niagara Falls, kind of old school Americana (or Canadiana, as the case may be). Instead, it's grandiose tackiness, expensive, lavish and utterly tasteless.

It's sad to say that Niagara Falls is more "my scene" than Vegas, but it is. Heart-shaped hot tubs, cheesy little wax museums, and colored lights on waterfalls are more me than Vegas.

Vegas gives me a headache. It's really really really big. The hotels and casinos are the size of small cities. Everyone is out to get your money. After spending three days here, I'm ready to sleep for weeks. I'm exhausted, overwhelmed by the shininess of it all.

The nice thing about Vegas is that it's close to Arizona. I love Arizona, and it was wonderful to make it out to the Grand Canyon, and drive down Route 66 at 95 mph with no one around. But Vegas was almost too much for me. If you're not into big money, gambling, fat midwesterners, drunken obnoxious young adults, people pretending to be something they're not and lots of flashing lights, Vegas isn't for you.

Give me a quiet corner of the desert any time. I realized as people slept in the car while I drove towards Vegas that the desert is a place for epiphanies. Next time, I'm doing a solo road-trip around Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and equally deserted desert places. Maybe I'll see Jesus, or perhaps Hunter S. Thompson. Depends on what I ingest on my trip...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

some day i'll tell you a hilarious yet disgusting story about lv, involving sincerely friendly drug dealers and passive-aggressive whores. it's straight out of anthony burgess it's so wierd; but it cannot be told without the audience thinking less of me, because it is also a classic simpleton comedy.
my impression of the city itself was that it was a better stephen king nightmare as it was than stephen king ever wrote. all the places i like are cold and have hills, forests and either lakes or oceans nearby. lv is oppressively, pointlessly, dryly hot and as flat and square as the wildest dream of an economist at rand who doesn't get jazz; or a latin teacher.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous db said...

You nailed Vegas perfectly.

It's a terrible place.

Good call on the grand canyon.

11:35 AM  

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