Suffered my first real pang of homesickness recently.
While New York offers plenty, or Nevada lacks a lot, I knew what I was leaving behind and venturing into three years ago.
In the 30-plus years before resettling West, I’d frequently visited the Southwest. And while visiting is never the same as living, these stays informed me. I wasn’t that tenderfoot or greenhorn who showed up in February who so beguiled by the gorgeous weather believed the Mojave Desert paradise only to discover it hell June through August.
Nor was I that New Yorker who bemoaned the region’s paucity of good pizzerias.
A woman tugged the old home heartstrings. One who wasn’t even from Metropolitan New York. She hailed from Boston. And unlike some longtime New York transplants who continue playing up their old neighborhood roots decades into living here, hers wasn’t some vocal caricature that should’ve been misheard as some kind of distaff Vaughn Meader. Continue reading Graceless Nevada
Who thought it a wonderful idea that ours becomes a “cashless society”? So much can go wrong without the fungible stuff on hand. Greenbacks in pocket are reliable.
The myriad of ways we can buy items, make payments, and settle debts is astounding. Twenty years ago, the methods and devices we today take for granted to purchase and relieve would’ve smacked of science fiction.
At the rate we’re going, how soon until credit cards join currency in targeted obsolescence? If and when we become so advanced won’t we be opening ourselves to even more insidious financial mischief? Continue reading Modern Money Malady
Through eloquence the couple riding in the taxi’s darkened backseat elevates their smut into an elegance unusual to Las Vegas.
Most of what the driver Lewy hears during his night-into-day shift is worse than repetitive. It’s boring, demonstrating a lack of inventiveness as well as class.
Lewy considers himself doubly fortunate. Not only is the fare lengthy, but the pair seated behind him mark early morning miles with intricate rather than mundane or raunchy conversation. To put a cherry atop all this they also converse in Italian.
Before the ride commences, Lewy gauges his passengers. Under hotel valet lights he appraised them, then once they climbed inside from the rearview mirror. Somewhere in their 50s, he intuits that while together they aren’t an established couple. His workweeks consist of seeing many pairs who’ve used the “anything goes!” behind Las Vegas to temporarily sidestep propriety and fidelity.
Fortunately, he never put much stock in morality. Especially others’ morality. Continue reading Just Listen/The Jane and Her Whore
Inside the lounge of a swank Las Vegas hotel sits a couple. Pier Paolo and Virna, both are on first glance unremarkable. Not invisible or undeserving of attention, but so absolutely placid neither grabs the eye instantly.
How unlike so many visitors to Vice City. And these are visitors.
The place, time of evening, marks them as out-of-towners. Rendering them conspicuous is their comportment. Neither revels. In fact ennui almost squeezes their compact table.
Night has deepened. Clubbing glad rags nor any increasingly acceptable casual into slovenly styles mar them. Although casually attired, their garment labels are high-end. These they wear with elegance equal to their bearing.
Observers could assume Pier Paolo and Virna a married couple. Around each other they exhibit almost a certain lassitude, an indifference, towards one another. Isn’t that common of long-settled pairs? Besides, wedding rings encircle the proper fingers.
It’s hard to determine who looks the most bored. Perhaps they are distracted or seek distraction. Continue reading Annual Discretion
Not only does Las Vegas facilitate transience, the city also encourages wading into life’s wild sides. Some visitors plunge in yet escape unscathed. A few who get in over their heads drown.
The adventurous, the curious, those thwarted elsewhere visit Vice City to conduct themselves in manners frowned upon at home. Here, they escape prying eyes and those judgmental acquaintances who squint through them. Since the city caters to inhibitions like few others, visitors can indulge among the similarly-minded and not fret about earning much, if any, opprobrium.
After all, everybody being immersed in some hip-deep misbehavior by choice should limit hypocrisy. Continue reading Black Tail
Stumbled upon the most cynically affirming tableau just before Christmas. Coming home from work, about a block from my address, four Scripture screamers had clogged a corner of a major Las Vegas intersection. Continue reading Neither Merry nor Bright
What sort of pleasure does one derive from sex with a seven-month pregnant prostitute? Until moving to Las Vegas that thought never would’ve obsessed me.
No need to enter the gooey particulars. Let it suffice that both parties fulfilled their ends of the contract. A pact which has been extended up until her due date.
Kink aside, a matter of decorum needed maintaining. The client hosts these exchanges.
He resides in one of the many money parts of Transient City. His is an address where one should wonder whether the high walls surrounding the properties are meant to exclude intruders or contain acts outsiders may judge as unsavory. Continue reading Vegas Arrhythmia
What am I thankful for? Two years residing here in Transient City and some personal circumstances have improved.
When I settled in Las Vegas the housing market had bottomed out. The city sat poised for a rebound. Fortunately, I bought just before the spring sprung.
My address sits on the fringe of downtown. Unlike the Strip’s clamor, bustle, and crowds, to a lesser extent Downtown as well, this neighborhood, much of Vegas is quiet. Regard these environs as an expanded Mayberry.
I slipped the Mayberry reference onto a young woman with whom I’d been chatting and it zoomed over her pretty, vacant head. Doesn’t it just spoil the shorthand reference when relevance must be explained? Like who Mel Tormé was and his meaning to this city and the American songbook? That’s always somewhat disheartening. Younger audiences only know of Tony Bennett from his duets with Lady Gaga.
As my conversant blithely answered, “It must be a generational thing.” Continue reading The Flotsam Society
Know a discriminating cabdriver in Las Vegas. He prefers avoiding collecting passengers on the Strip. Let me qualify that. He prefers not collecting certain kinds of Strip passengers.
Daytime fares are fine. It’s who emerges at night which dissuades him. Continue reading Drunken Mistress
The first two weekends of September were prime times to observe a Las Vegas peculiarity.
During workweeks the city hosts conventions which attract the expense account crowd. There will be other visitors as well, of course, however business people predominate.
Weekends, though, the focus shifts away from serious travelers. Las Vegas becomes the purview and playground of “Vegas for Vegas!” types. Young coastal Californians account for the greatest portion of these hordes.
No doubt the overwhelming majority of these youthful adults comport themselves inconspicuously. But this isn’t about them. This is about the oblivious boobs and braying cheapskates jamming Las Vegas Boulevard when they’re not cutting the fool inside the thoroughfare’s establishments.
I don’t know what service personnel and hoteliers call them, but I see them as chumps and busters. Continue reading Chumps & Busters