Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Las Vegas - Capital of the Dada Anti-life

Well… Here I sit waiting for my first seminar of my first Interbike. This, btw, is related to a new entrepreneurial venture that I’m trying to kick off for 2010 – not frame-building. Stay tuned here to be among those who first find out about it.

A rain delay in Dallas meant I got to my room at 2:30AM (my time). In Vegas, the dispatcher for the ground-transport company was convinced thought that being contrary and contradictory was really funny for weary travelers. Then, the registration desk at the hotel was very backed up – after all time of day hasn’t much meaning in Vegas. Finally I made the mistake of thinking that Vegas was only 1 hour ahead of Chicago – meaning I got up earlier than necessary.

The hotel is the Imperial Palace. The best aspect of these digs is that they reinforce my sense of entrepreneurial spirit (in other words its cheap). It’s rated 3 stars, the middle of the Vegas range. I’d hate to see the lower rated venues. Seriously, I’ve been in Motel 6s that seemed nicer. But, at the rates I got – it’s probably a fair value.

Having criticized the hotel, I should point to the objectionable elements. While my floor appears to be no-smoking, the ventilation system recycles the smells of tobacco smoke and air freshener. Not cool for anyone with sinus/allergy issue. Also, the room is old. How old? The shower still uses separate hot and cold faucets – one of which fits loosely enough that water sprays behind it and the fiberglass surround. Also, the shower and sink drains don’t – at least not beyond a trickle. The balconette faces a roof and two walls of windows – it’s almost impossible to see sky (fair enough that this is due to pricing). The cost of food is astronomical. I understand that the whole $2 buffet thing is long gone from Vegas, but $10 for a cafeteria croissant and small cupa is just a bit high. Especially in a place where one has traverse a floor of crazy, smoking gamblers to get in and out. Not my idea of the place for a vacation.

Being a newbie to Vegas, I am amazed that it exceeds any image I had of this town. In fact, I assumed that much of its reputation was a caricature – but that simply isn’t so. You’re welcome to laugh at me for being so naive, but there it is.

Yep, the characters in the hotel are pure Vegas. There are lots of bored looking people playing penny slots without really paying attention to their machine, or the people around them. It’s almost as if they’re catatonic. There were a few obvious prostitutes in the mix, some looking for action while others appear to be on their way home. I don’t know if they’re legal of not – but it feels strange to see them in a regular hotel.

On the other hand, the sun was shining (naturally) and it was 90 degrees this morning. I didn’t head to the Outdoor Demo Days: this morning was dedicated to journalists – and I wanted to attend seminars in the afternoon.

Instead it was time to get some fresh air (really important after the casino/hotel) and enjoy the dry heat. Walking past the Venetian (walking is probably a lower class thing to do in Vegas), the neighborhood looks nice and upper class. But I was hailed by a hooker, who wouldn’t give up after just one try. At 8:30AM Vega time. It was weird.

Coming back in the afternoon, there was a fellow selling "new Sony & Apple laptops" out of his shopping bags on the sidewalk in front of the Pallatzo and across the street from Dior. Down near Harrah's, someone was hawking CDs from a bag. Further down, there was a little gauntlet of people doing a rhythmic thing of slapping tickets on there wrist (making a slapping sound) and then thrusting them out in front of the pedestrians. At the last moment, they'd retract their arms if the walker wasn't a taker - starting the slapping cycle over. Based on their t-shirts, it looks like they were marketing a strip show. Again, weird.

1 comment:

AutoSpector Inspections said...

Very cool venture. I am a do-it-yourself-kind-of-person, but I have to admit, I never thought of building a bike frame. The best of luck!