Bugsy's dream city in the Mojave
I've been holed up here in Las Vegas since Sunday and will be departing Saturday. This trip is mostly about shopping, relaxing and doing research for a local travel book I'm working on. To tell you the truth I am becoming quite fond of this burg.
People here don't know very much about the larger whole of their city. When I call stores and ask them what part of town they are located in many frankly don't know. The best answer came from a lady who answered the phone at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Eastern Ave. who told me that she lived across the street and had no idea where in Las Vegas they were located. She said she didn't drive and everything she needed was located in the shopping center where she worked. Many people are new to the area and may not know much about the greater mass of metropolitan sprawl beyond their small quadrant of daily existence. Others could simply care less.
I am located at the southern end of the valley at the very end of Las Vegas Blvd. which then turns into old U.S. 91 and roughly parallels I-15 and the Union Pacific tracks to the California state line. A mere 12 miles south on this road and you suddenly are in the most exquisitely beautiful and empty Mojave desert country you could possibly imagine. I took a side road to a quarry and ended up in a wide empty playa sink ringed by the McCullough Mountain wilderness area. The only sounds were from Southwest Airline jets high above making their final approaches to McCarran Airport, a mere 5 minutes away by 737. This is a city of striking contrasts from urban to wilderness in seconds flat.
Capitalism and customer service are king in this town and I like the way people do business openly and freely in a state dedicated to the exchange of goods and services unfettered by government interference. Nevada is one of the last great bastions of laissez faire economics in the USA. I've personally bought FIVE pairs of shoes!
There are lots of people who live and work here who feel no compulsion whatsoever to speak English. I say "good on ya mates". Who needs that stifling language of imperialism with all of its confusing idioms? Que pasa amigo?
Every store, whether it be Korean, Hispanic, Armenian or thrift has the most corny and oppressively cheesy Christmas music that only a place like Las Vegas could pipe into every store simultaneously. To be honest I absolutely love every freaking chord! Let's hear it for Steve and Edie singing "it's the mooost wonderful time of the year!"