Vegas, Baby! Strips and Neon Piss

Hey! I just got back from Las Vegas.


Las Vegas is an interesting place if you know what to do. Most of us have been there for one reason or another and it's a goddamn playground. The beauty of the strip is magical and it is very shiny. Like, super shiny!

Anyway, my family and I haven't had a trip in a long time and decided it was due. The last time we went out as a family was years ago before the current recession had screwed us all over. We decided it was time to visit Vegas again and see what's up with this place. Planning has never really been a big thing with my family so we decided to wing it once we got there to really experience things. How can we, as humans, experience the reality of the world with a schedule? Alright but it's more fun when you don't know what's ahead.

So we met a friend of mine who had moved to Las Vegas recently as an IT Guy.

 Channel 4

Channel 4

So Moss there and I hung out for the first and third day there. Floating through the first day like any tourist in this oasis of Nevada, I do what any American tourist would do: I gamble a bit and lost it. Now, I'm with my sister and Lindsay, who I am dating, and we're just putting it in them slots, man. Lindsay makes a killing and I lost about forty bucks on the fruits and Batman. Good ol' Adam-Man is taking my money and I'm getting pretty peeved and tired. With that money gone I'm just all:

So I did everything I could do with money that's gone. Go to a nice Vegas show: Ka! Man, was that some beautiful, beautiful work there. The last 1/4 was a bit anti-climactic, though.

Next day it was time for something different. I won my money back! Well, minus some expenses.  Take that, Batman!

It was nighttime and there was a place I really wanted to go. DOWNTOWN! Let's experience the Vegas that was! Where is that Circus Circus charm? Why don't these casinos smell like alcohol and tobacco like they used to? Now its all spritz spritz, trying to hide the grime and ugliness we all know is there. I see you, Luxor, with you cologne sprayed lobby like some giant douchebag turned into a hotel by a bruja with a vengeful heart in some Grimm fairy tale. I. See. You.

Anyway, this was what I really wanted to see and Moss there also wanted to, as he puts it: "There's nothing like the smell and disgusting trash of Downtown where everything is chill and people are real." So we met up in Downtown before my we were supposed to go to LAX night club as a "Why not? We're in Vegas and these clubs are supposed to be alright" thing. 

We spent about an hour in Downtown with a very generic reggae band playing, and a man with a saxophone who was mot my thing but I can see how other people would like him, see old mid-Americans. This wasn't some great Jazz, it was just... something. Here we met my buddy's roommate who was certainly something as well. She was a very "I hate everyone" type of person who judged everyone for wearing "uniforms" and being inside a bubble, you know the kind. She was immediately irritating to all of us who had just met her. She listened to some banjo folk music which she called "folk punk" but I couldn't hear any punk influence in it. Strange.

Anyway, we sped over to the club that was supposed to be nice with our guest list, and the music was popping from outside. This was some great millenium hits here! Some great club stuff, but once we got in, man was this some bull. It was just... boring. Nothing cool was going on and it was just a parade of douche instead with the music being the only positive about it. There were no dancers or burlesque as we were promised! We walked in... and we wanted out. So out we went back to Downtown.

 This is what we were promised! /lasvegasweekly.com

This is what we were promised! /lasvegasweekly.com

We hit up this joint that had a pianist playing in the downtown strip. Just block away from the Fremont. The piano man played his song, he's the piano man. So we grabbed some Irish coffees and adioses and watched as people sang with the piano man. Everyone who went up was an amazing singer and this included my friend, Ed's, roommate who was a operatic singer. She went up there and sang Summertime by Gershwin. More and more people went up singing and the bartender went up as well to sing Creep by Radiohead (their most hated song*).

 Don't Tell Mama/Yelp/Minh P.

Don't Tell Mama/Yelp/Minh P.

The magic of the Downtown Strip came a-singing. There was an older gentleman around the ages of 45-50 who went up and started gargling something, which I could not understand. No one really did, we all looked at each other and wondered what was happening. Then he started sing/yelling: knockknockknocknocknockin on. heaven's. dooooor!!!!" and there was a "OH!" look on the whole crowd. But it wasn't really singing. It was more like a frantic yelling of someone who had some mental issue which we as a crowd could not pin down. The only audible part was that "knocking" which he yelled with his hands behind his back and fingers twisting. The crowd had no idea whether they should laugh at this performance or if it was actually a mentally ill man trying his hand at singing for this crowd.

A woman made the mistake of coming back from the bathroom and immediately got a death stare from this man and a slew of curses from her. He did not let up his staring of her as she walked back to her seat at the bar. He kept going with the song, and kept cursing at everyone. Some parts sounded like slam poetry and Ed treated it as so. He believed the man was a performance artist in the strip, and I had no idea what to think so I stood silent. When the song ended... he just left.

We all clapped and hollered, but were still profoundly confused.

He came back to pick up his beer and left again.

Last call and a boot after we left down the town to look at other bars that were open. The loud trap club in this area was closed to our distress as was the arcade bar. So we walked down the street to this abandoned gas station that was reclaimed by some artists and became this beautiful neon and black light paradise.

 This place but with black light. My camera was dead. I'M SORRY! /Google Maps

This place but with black light. My camera was dead. I'M SORRY! /Google Maps

We stayed here from three in the morning until four just chilling, talking, and loving all the black light magic it gave us. There was piss on the side and it glowed questionably. Some kind of chemical spill, could it be? Nothing was more magical in this Vegas to me than this night at the gas station with my best friend the neon piss on the floor, my friends, family, and the girl who grew on us after this night. The magic of Vegas is in this gas station, you guys. Even as the cops rolled by us and looked at us suspiciously, they drove by and they were probably thinking the same thing: "The magic of Vegas is right there, you guys." Or "It's just a bunch of kids. I'm too tired."

The night ended in beauty. In trash. Like Vegas should be.

 Goobye, Vegas.

Goobye, Vegas.

 

 

*fans love it. Thom York does not.

Any dialogue is paraphrased or in the spirit of the dialogue.