Vegas

A city that’s as commercialized as you can ever get. Everyone is trying to sell you something — show tickets, grand canyon tour packages, half-price dinners, photo shoots with mascots, souvenirs, sunglasses… You name it, you get it. Money-making runs through the blood of this city; every waking moment you’re bombarded with sights and sounds of something that involves a trade of cash forsome form of entertainment or pleasure. The Strip is flooded with casinos at every corner, and surprisingly enough every casino you see has people, even during the day, so you can imagine how congested this place must be.

For a city that is extensively dramatized by shows like CSI for being a heartland for all things bad — crimes, murder, drugs, gambling, and everything you could possibly associate with the dark side of the rich and famous — it’s actually a very safe place. So if you had this picture in your head of Vegas with loitering drug traffickers and mafias all along the street, then that’s pretty inaccurate because you don’t get any of that. At least along The Strip. Perhaps that exists in other shady parts of Vegas, I don’t know (and I don’t really want to know or witness either).

One thing that I don’t really understand is the surprisingly large number of kids/children you see around. Vegas is a pretty place that does have some bit of attractions that are catered for the young ones, but to me it isn’t exactly a kid-friendly kinda city with all that adult-rated activities and media plastered all over the streets. 

I thought that New York City’s materialistic, but Vegas is probably several times more in comparison. Just walking down Las Vegas Blvd is enough to realize how showy this place is. It’s incredible how much they managed to compact into just this one street. Buildings alone are pretty spectacular — you’ve got your Eiffel Tower from Paris, Statue of Liberty from New York, in-house theme parks, and shopping malls with very, very elaborate decorations. If you like architecture and design, you’re in for some really gorgeous masterpieces. Everything is so well-packaged, and so eye candy-ish. People dress fashionably, and carry themselves well. You see people from all walks of life and culture. Just put on a pair of shades and you’ll fit right in.

Everything feels somewhat pretentious here. When people smile at you, you don’t really know if they mean it, or if it was just merely for show. Every individual on the street seems to carry his or her own agenda; nothing feels very genuine.

I didn’t expect myself to like Vegas very much, but nevertheless still wanted to stop by to see for myself what it’s really like, and if there’s really more to this place than just money, entertainment and pleasure. Perhaps because I didn’t carry much expectations in the first place, I’m actually liking this place quite a bit.

It’s different, of course. Culturally, Vegas is probably on the other end of the spectrum if you were to compare with a spot like Point Loma in San Diego. I like zen kinda places, but Vegas has its fair share of USPs too. There’s always so much going on everywhere you look, and you probably can’t find one spot that’s close to being quiet. I love it when I walk into a hotel or mall and they’re playing a familiar tune; you’d feel welcomed already. Even along the streets you’ll hear good music. Genuine or not, people seem to be having fun and enjoying themselves. And that kinda rubs into you.

On a side note: my room came with an iPod charger/player = Stereo Hearts on eternal replay, heh.

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