Posted by: nastypen | November 6, 2006

Sin in the City

Just arrived from Las Vegas. Very tiring trip. Very memorable trip.

Perhaps it was not a good sign that we were staying at the Las Vegas Hilton. It is not the hotel. It is just that it is the home of Barry Manilow. He has a shop there just in case you want to buy a bag with face on it, bangs and all. And it was geek central because it has a Star Trek themed restaurant. I saw a poster of a Klingon serving drinks. I saw a fat gut with Vulcan ears walk past me. So, despite being the Hilton, it may well be tacky central or the hotel that taste forgot. I was told that Elvis Presley was based here at one point. That was the only cool thing about that hotel.
But, oh well, I’m in Las Vegas, not really a locale for good taste now.

Go forth and waste your money!

It’s all about having fun; if your definition of fun is siphoning money away from your wallet for a game of chance. It’s not my cup of tea but then again it is one of those things to do in my lifetime: witness debauchery in Vegas.

It is amazing that this place’s tourist revenues vastly surpasses that of the entire Philippines’ tourism dollars. And this little city can be very visible from outer space thanks to the orgy of lights from the buildings. Of course,everything here is cosmetic or fake. I mean it was just a desert less than a hundred years ago. Now, you havea skyline with bastardized designs from humanity’s different eras; from Ancient Egpyptian inspired Luxor hotel just beside a medieval castle and right around the corner is a copy of New York’s trademark buildings and just a few blocks away are Roman Ceasar’s Palace and Paris’ Eiffel Tower shimmers with the rest of the lights. It’s like all the world’s great monuments are brought to America. It is crazy.
Ok, Pictogasm roll call:

The Orleans Casino
We went to the Orleans Casino. I found the dangling head of the King disturbing. The Orleans is not really a high-rollers casino. I went to some casinos whose minimum bets are in the hundreds of dollars. Here at the Orleans it was much smaller, ergo, the place was packed and there were a lot of filipinos. I just don’t get gambling. I don’t want to try because I don’t like the prospect of losing my hard-earned money in minutes. I would buy books, yes, but that is not a gamble, that is a passionate investment.

blurred beauty

Ladies and gentlemen, above is exhibit A as to why I do not like other people taking my photos and why I do not have many photos of myself. I just used my trusty camera phone. I was tired of lugging the digital camera that made my jacket heavy. Hahahaha. I know I’m lazy. Anyway, this is not the real Blue Man Group, just statues of them. I would have wanted to molest the statues but I think that would be too hard core, even in America’s so-called “sin city.” Remember Janet Jackson‘s wardrobe malfunction and the brouhaha? Well, American’s won’t take lightly of a hairy guy groping male statues. Yes, I’m wearing that colorful shirt reminiscent of a special character of Sesame Street. Such playful innocence in such a place for “sin.”

The Venetian

This is indoor, by the way. the ceiling was painted with a realistic sky it is making me sick at the thought of the cosmetic premise of the entire existence of Las Vegas. They even have gondola rides. So experience Europe, egypt and other exotic lands in the middle of the desert!

Fake. Fake. Another proof of fake:

Ghastly and contrived

This is a statue of Simon Cowell greeting us with a scowl at the entrance of Madame Taussaud’s Wax Museum. No, I will not part with my five dollars just to look at wax figures. But there was the Filipino diva Lani Misalucha show and she is apparently a big deal in the Las Vegas entertainment sector. But I am guessing that my companions would either gamble or watch a strip show. They asked me what I wanted to see. I just bit my lip and thought of wanting to see some hot meat at the Thunder from Down Under or the elegant Cirque du soleil shows which cost an arm. So I settled for free shows like:

There were a lot of great free stuff to see in Las Vegas. Above is the fountain at one of the swank hotels at the strip. There were talking statues in this mall complete with lightshow. And then there are the pirates show in this hotel. It is said you never get bored in Las Vegas. I was the exception to the rule, well then something happened, but I’ll get to that later.  Oh no, wait, I won’t.  I won’t blog about that part.  Kids might be reading this.

specatular spectacular? uhm....

The spiral steps on the left side of the photo above? That’s an escalator. This is the interior of the one of the wings of Caesar’s Palace. My feet were sore from walking around. I had to laugh out loud when I saw this fresco of Romans in a seeming orgy with the simple caption “Revel without a cause.” Wahahaha. Yup, mindless revelling in the name of the game in Las Vegas alright.

I went to the Wynn hotel where Pacquiao will have a fight versus Morales. I was told that despite the name “Wynn,” you tend to lose money at gambling at that hotel. I was just wondering which suite will the Philippines’ first gentleman stay in and which politician will show his ugly mug to ride on Pacquiao’s popularity in time for next year’s elections.

Anyway, the other thing I really like in Las Vegas is that there is literally a cheap flow of drinks. When you are at the gambling halls, these waitresses in skimpy outfits would ask what you want to drink and all you have to shell out is a dollar tip. So, I drank several long siland iced teas or gin and tonics for just 49 pesos. Not bad.

But this one stopped me in my tracks:


It’s a vending machine that sells ipods and its accessories. I was looking for a vending machine for non-alcoholic drinks in the hotel because I was thirsty. I only saw this! This town is CRAZY!

To add to the sin city’s insanity, I see this:

rage against this machine, dude.

Got to have the Jesus freak in the streets where revelry is the name of the game. Hey, this guy is a tourist attraction on his own. He was being photographed by people to show the “virtually ignored thorn on the side of Las Vegas” at the family vacation’s slide show. I told him good luck and he said “God bless you, son.” He gave me a flyer on how I can still save my soul. I placed it in my pocket alongside cards I got for sex shows. Nope, there were no men sex shows, at least not advertised in the open. God should have smitten me down in that spot. It was interesting to meet a true-blue fire and brimstone American.

It was the one thing that stood out for me in this glittering desert city.


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