I love Las Vegas. Perhaps a bit too much. I can’t even count how many times I’ve visited – both for work and personal. All I know for certain is that it is well, well past 50 times.
Vegas epitomizes the achievement and potential of capitalism – the creativity and inventiveness of the profit motive. But it also blazenly bares the ugly underbelly of humanity, hence the nickname, “Sin City”. But that’s not why I love it and hate it at the same time.
In many ways Vegas represents everything wrong with people and capitalism: everything is driven by the almighty dollar. Everything.
Despite all that, of all the hundreds of small, medium, large, and mega cities of the world that I have traveled to, Las Vegas is still my favorite. It is built purely for adult entertainment and celebration of of life. It is what you make of it. And, no, you don’t need to be sinful to have fun in Vegas – unless you consider consuming alcohol sinning, sometimes copious amounts.
But it’s a lot more than that. Vegas is world class dining at its finest, has the widest variety of the best creative entertainment, shows and concerts, seemingly more money than the US government, as well as exquisite mega man-made structures that defy our imagination. And of course, the night life is incredible and internationally diverse. Every kind of person, from all over the world, can be found chatting in their local language walking down the Strip.
People come to Vegas to have fun. Sometimes a bit too much fun, often transforming themselves into an alter-ego; a less than flattering superficial alter-ego. That’s the part I hate about it – the vanity of it all; the facade of so many people for a fleeting weekend. The idea that anything goes when in Vegas is still disturbing – yes, even for me. Our character shouldn’t change for a weekend because nobody would find out. And if it does, then that wasn’t your true character to begin with. I don’t do anything in Vegas I don’t feel comfortable doing at home or any other city, as hard as that may be to believe.
I’ve been here a couple weeks now, so I decided I would do something I haven’t done – take some amateurish artistic photos of the city and publish them here. Bear in mind, all I have is an old Samsung p.o.s. phone camera.
Below is my hotel I stayed in, the Wynn. The photo was taken near sunset. The view from near the top of the skyrise building, my 53rd floor suite, was stunning; a great view of The Palazzo/Venetian and Trump Tower. The interior of the Wynn is immaculate, including the calming water fall cafe and flower walkways; it’s a top 5 star resort hotel, except the pool is directly behind the huge skyrise tower, so don’t bother going late in the afternoon. Who designs it like that? Other than that, its nearly flawless. And the rooms are equipped with top of the line everything, because that’s the style of Steve Wynn.
Across the Wynn is the Trump Tower and Fashion Mall, which reminds me of an alien spaceship. Apparently Trump tower is busier than ever! Perhaps a leading indicator, a precursor, of the pending election??
The Venetian is gorgeous inside, especially the canals and beautifully colored simulated afternoon-sky ceiling. The Grand Canal mall inside, with its blue-cloud sky colored bright arched ceiling – which always make you think it’s daytime whenever you’re strolling the mall – has to be the most gorgeous mall anywhere. Perfectly clean indoor canals, gondolas, and, sometimes, opera singing operators – slowly transporting leisurely customers for no purpose whatsoever, other than a few selfies and warm romantic memories – meets designer brands and fine dining, in an atmosphere as international as you will find anywhere on Earth, all under a beautiful calming summer afternoon sky in Venice. It’s classic Vegas fiction, yet somehow you almost forget it’s not real.
The first canal photo, as well as the night-time canal building photo, is actually from outside the Venetian. The rest are from indoors, although you wouldn’t think it due to the fake sky. The water is so clear the photo of the gondola looks fake and appears as if the boat is floating in air! The night view is spectacular.
The Bellagio water fountain and show is a must see for everyone. With the massive relatively new MGM Aria City Center complex in the background, the views are even more incredible now.
Where in the world can you go see the Eifel Tower, Empire State building, Egyptian pyramid, medieval European style castle, the Roman Coloseum, and virtually every other world wonder in a matter of hours in the same day?!! Only Las Vegas! Viva Las Vegas!
The Luxor pyramid hotel and casino is bizarre. The light beam shoots up into the night sky for miles. The elevators are designed to go at an angle, since the shape of the hotel is triangular. I once stayed at the Luxor many years ago, and the elevator shakes tremendously due to the angular physical stress. Gravity goes up and down and doesn’t always agree with the rapid angled elevator motion. In the photo you can see the yellow colored Mandalay Bay, which has an amazing top floor bar and restaurant with must see vistas of the Vegas strip. Actually, it’s in the neighboring Delano tower, which is also part of Mandalay Bay.
The relatively new Farris Wheel, located behind the new Lynq Hotel on the Strip, is marketed as the largest anywhere in the world. And it is huge! The tickets are only $37! Not bad. I was obsessed with the photo artistry of the structure, so I snapped a number of pics.
The last one I find to be geometrically beautiful. Symmetry is an amazing art form. It defines our most basic form and basis for attraction.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I literally haven’t slept for 72 hours ( in about 4 more hours)!! Absolutely true. This is no exaggeration. I did take 3 quick naps of 20 minutes yesterday, but I was slightly conscious and constantly interrupted and not in my bed – not real sleep. After the first 24 hours of zero sleep, you feel really tired. I didn’t even get a nap. But after this period fades, the last 48 hours haven’t been bad at all! I wasn’t sleepy at all this morning, despite not having any red bulls (10 hours earlier was the last one). This morning I felt so good and had so much energy that I decided to exercise! I just drink a few red bulls a day and all is good! That’s why I wrote this and yesterday’s blogs! to try to hit my 72 hours experiment and keep mentally sharp!
Here’s a little trick I learned many years ago from my own sleep deprivation over my career of travel and enduring jet lag, and generally not sleeping much. The main reason you feel exhausted and need to sleep is because your eyes begin to feel heavy and dry/itchy. The trick is to just close your eyes for a few minutes, more if you can, and while staying conscious and awake (focus on listening to everything or your body will automatically go into unconscious sleep mode immediately if you’re exhausted and sleep deprived), just let your body naturally moisturize your eyes. When you open your eyes, you will feel less sleepy and tired suddenly, and feel more energy. It’s a way to trick your body and mind. Trust me, this works.
Truth is, people don’t really need 8 hours a day of sleep, but that’s for another time. Two or three really good quality hours of sleep is more than sufficient if you wanted. You just have to train your body to become conditioned to this environment. I’ve heard Einstein only slept for 5 minutes every hour. Seems reasonable, if I had something important to discover like Einstein. Like Las Vegas! Again!! And again!