Las Vegas, Holy Empire of Bling-Bling and Ka-Ching! Not my ka-ching, mind you… After losing $100 in no more than 5 minutes at a Black Jack table on the first night (What? I’m not entitled to warm up for free?), I had wisely decided with my usual brand of practical wisdom to abstain from putting more cash in the casino owners’ pockets – even for fun. I’m sure they must be lining up at the unemployment office by now. Pfff!
After two days spent observing other folk’s money go down the casino’s drain, all I longed for was a bit of peace, quiet, and beauty, away from the masses, away from the constant din of the slot machines. I courageously set the alarm for 6:30 am, the standard price to pay for silence on the Vegas Strip. French Boyfriend (who has no faith in my ability to rise with the sun) looked on dubiously as I wrestle with the hotel clock.
At 7 am, I was up and running, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…
No. I’m lying. When the alarm went off, I must have hit the snooze button because I emerged from bed like a flower at 11 am, and had to endure the ensuing mocking look on the Frenchman’s face all day (Y’all know how those French people are.)
But the next morning, mostly motivated by wounded pride, I really got up, somewhat eager to discover the city under a new light (or any natural light at all for that matter.) In all honesty, I attempted to circumvent the whole ordeal by photographing Vegas through the hotel room windows, but to my great dismay, they had not been cleaned for a while, so I had to bite the bullet and get on with it. (make mental note to address window cleaning with hotel’s customer service.)
I kid you not, in Vegas, at 7 am, gamblers are still at work. Now, no judgment on my part, but if a person is still at it at 7 am instead of lying comfortably in bed after having eaten the little chocolate mint on the pillow, dude, you’ve got problems. Okay, well, I guess that was a judgment on my part after all.
Walking in Vegas in the morning is very much like…
Walking on the Champs Elysees. If you have imagination. Like, a vivid one.
Vegas morning fashion is a far cry from the glitzy scene of the night. One thing in common: too damn short!
French Boyfriend kept on commenting about the numbers of hookers roaming the streets and I could never quite convince him that these minimalist skirt wearers were not looking to get paid for sex. They were giving it out for free. (That was mean. I apologize to all these misguided pure and virginal chicks with no ulterior motives whatsoever.)
Back to the morning expedition… While housekeeping figures in my dictionary right at the end with all the Z words, even I, the ultimate consumed slob, noticed the filth littering the strip. It seemed a few folks had forgotten to pick up after themselves last night.
I think the city hires a street sweeper just to deal with hooker ads. At night, along the strip, women and men alike get accosted by people clicking their tongues and shoving big-boobed woman ads in their hands. I find this practice mildly annoying since, for one, I am small-boobed and second, these guys are attempting to get my man to stray. Right in front of me! Dude! Where are your manners?
I wonder how many guys look at the ads all googly-eyed and tell their girlfriends not to worry, they’ll only be gone for a little while, and that there is this damn thing for work they totally forgot to do. Really! As if!
I must admit the $35 offer with no hidden fees, full service, and in your hotel room in 20 minutes, seems like a good deal to me. I bet you guys get a really nice French manicure.
To police the street sweepers, cops ride Segway machines! Except they are three wheelers! That’s like the SUVs of Segways! Personally, I would not be caught dead on a thing like that, but the cop seemed to feel very impressive riding that thing standing tall and proud… at ten miles an hour. I bet Vegas thieves are laughing their ass off!
The most entertaining thing on the strip in Vegas, besides cops on tricycles, is the insane juxtaposition of genres.
The Statue of Liberty meets Disney Land…
The sweet old Coca-Cola ad next to the raunchy promise of round bottoms…
The statues from the Monte-Carlo in the foreground of the modern Aria Hotel which is scheduled to open in December (4,004 rooms!)
But I would not be surprised if all this glitz and bling bling made you forget to look in the street at the real people.
As I opened my bag to give money to this poor guy, a female cop (not on a Segway – which is a blatant case of discrimination if you ask me) emphatically made the no-no sign with her head, and frowned in a very serious manner. I apologized to the man, told him I had no cash, and walked away. The cop told me he was diabetic and that the minute he had money in his pocket, he spent it on booze, and then they had to call an ambulance. I contemplated getting him McDonald burger and fries… but then I reconsidered, thinking that might send him to the hospital too.
And then of course, this walk would not be complete without the usual lost tourist, the poor soul who drank so much the night before that he got separated from his friends, could not find his hotel, and decided to sleep wherever his legs were still capable to take him… but not before having one last beer for good measure. And now… He’s got his face plastered on the internet too. Rough night!
So all in all, the Strip in the morning is as interesting as the Strip at night. It’s just less crowded. And you have to get up early… I’d totally stick with the night if I were you.