For the past few years, I’ve been going to this town so often that I have developed this small yet nagging fear that I’ll run out of
things to discover in Las Vegas and the resulting boredom will creep in, making my attention span numb. The sad result is that I
WILL end up as one of the billions wondering zombies dragging their feet up and down the Strip and Downtown….only minus the
drunken stooper. I don’t drink, but the fear is still there….I have been drunk with numbing boredom before and the “hangover” is
not something I want to get into here.
This trip was coming up so soon and suddenly after my brief stopover in March, so I was embracing the mashed potato effect
this trip will have on my brain.
However, there a couple of little things that would make this one interesting; 1) this would be my first Vegas trip on a 4th of July
weekend and 2) a friend gave me his old digital video camera! Now instead of boring photos of whatnot falling off on the sides of
this city, I’ll be making videos of such “excitement”.
The excuse for this go-around was that there was another set of birthdays coming in our family; my mom, her sister, my brother’s
wife and a niece. My mom got lucky with our rooms at the Jockey Club and the round trip flights. The original plan was to drive to
and from, but after a very cautious conversation with a friend who has relatives in this city, mom was scared off and booked the
Unfortunately, this trip got off on a rocky start as our flight to Las Vegas was delayed by a good three hours. Thanks, Allegiant
Airlines….we got in so late (10:30 pm instead of 6:30) that I missed First Friday…damnit!
Still we made it in one piece and made it to our awaiting room. Feeling giddy with my first video camera, I decided to go out and
record the onslaught on the Strip. I then realized why I never been here for the 4th….the weather. I don’t need to go any further about
this issue with this town. Just to say that the low temputure was 85 degrees!....at midnight! Any wonder that money and A/C are
competing to be the city’s official religion?
Taking an inspiring note from Ray Glasser and his old Vegas videos on his YouTube page (sample), I made these shots simple
and let the action around me do the sweating for me….and there was a lot of it; the sidewalks were packed and whenever someone
saw my camera, many would scream cuss words into the built-in microphone or jump in front of it.
I have been here once for New Year’s Eve in the late 80’s, so I have
experienced the party demolition derby this town can create and this
trip would be no different….only updated, more packed and stinking
I had to take care of some small business from the last trip and I
finally found it at the Flamingo Shop, it was the 2-CD set of Olivia
Newton-John’s Vegas show! After many months available on her
web site, it showed up on Flamingo’s pink shelf! It was the first
purchase of the trip….outside of the many bottled waters consumed
After aimlessly roaming around the south Strip area, I made it back to
the room and went to a comfortable cold bed by 2 a.m.
Saturday was be the free day of this trip as on Sunday morning would be the birthday brunch for the birthday gals at the Paris
Buffet. That morning was to check out an update on the failed Harmon Tower Deconstruction Project with MGM slowly and
carefully tearing down one of their City Park towers….and it looked about 10 stories shirt of being erased from the Strip.
I had to help my brother and his wife to downtown on the express bus and after dropping them off, I went my way down
Fremont East and the surrounding neighborhoods with a plan to make a video version of my Unglamorous Las Vegas YT
With all the 4 o’ July noise that was all over the town, it was quite nice to visit the more quitter sections of this town, which made
shooting sections. I then discovered a record store on Fremont and if it weren’t for the hot weather, I would have gotten an album.
Hot weather and vinyl have yet to be best of friends.
As I was traveling back up to Downtown, I saw something that stopped me dead on my tracks and smacked upside the head
HARD!!! Luckily, the video also served as a standard photo camera (though in widescreen) and I managed to capture it in seconds!
It was a man lounging on his electronic wheelchair holding up traffic on Fremont.
….I must say….this might just be the greatest picture I even had taken in this town……EVER!
After recovering from that moment, it was back to the room to rest up from the heat and for tonight’s fireworks! The only issue with
those was…where were they going off! There were reports of many going off the surrounding neighborhoods and a couple at
Caesars Palace and Stratosphere and a large fake one down the Fremont Experience (sorry but just not the same!) There was
printed announcement that The Linq will have their own.
However, The Linq never happened for the south strip area and Caesars Palace took over the firework chores. Obviously, this
called for the video camera, though the problem was that the fireworks were on one side of one of its many towers and we,
especially in the dwarfed Jockey Club towers were on the other side of tough shit mountain. Still, we made it this far for this show
and view whatever it was from our A/C stands so why the hell not. With all the lights turned off in my room, I show away!