Viva Las Vegas - Page 2
And then there are the buffets. That is all I have to say about that.
Can you imagine what it must be like for a foreigner to visit Las Vegas? You step off the plane, hop on a shuttle, and within minutes are face to face with a confirmation of all the worst things you believe about Americans: excess of hedonism and brash behavior.
Then, you order dinner.
While in the hotel elevator, I overhead a middle-aged Irish couple ask a younger woman, also from Ireland, about the to-go salad and yogurt parfait she was carrying. They said it looked good and the young woman commented yes, but that she didn’t know how she was going to eat it all. She then added that the servings here are so big.
While wandering around the Venetian, a casino with a gondola canal inside, I watched Italian couples and families wondering around, simultaneously at ease and perplexed. What would you think about the familiar being made so uncanny?
I wonder if it is the same feeling I got when I saw the New York New York casino. I marveled at the exterior architecture turning all the grandness of the New York cityscape into a unified mosaic of design. But, the exterior was slightly marred by the interior attractions (restaurants, bars, shows), which were a stereotyped idea of New York clearly flavored with a Las Vegas twist.
What do you make of a town like Las Vegas? I loved the lights, glitz, glamour, and self-parody. I loved the people-watching: seeing housewives deconstructed and reassembled as sex icons, businessmen mussed with cheap drinks and over-excitement, and 20-somethings escaping their new found responsibility by reliving the bliss of college frat parties. I loved figuring out the girl in the group most likely to end the night vomiting. If you are wondering, my money is on the one who at a 6:00 Happy Hour is presented with her second round of 2 for 1 martinis and says, "I thought I would be more drunk by now."
Las Vegas has to be one of the cleverest marketing ploys in destination history. It taps into what our culture yearns for and acts as an oasis to ourselves. As Tammy Bloemzaken said, “Vegas is a vacation from being overinhibited, in the highly overinhabited yet uninhabitable city of complete uninhibition--.” Truly a contradiction in terms, just like Vegas itself.