I first hit Las Vegas as a teenager on Labor Day, 1971 in the back of a Dodge Islander Motorhome. Not my idea. At 11:00 PM, we found a place for my mother to get her hair done. (There is that generation of women that got their hair done once a week.) Had dinner and then I spent the next four hours babysitting my sister in the parking lot of a casino while my parents went in and lost a few hundred dollars. Between trade shows, work and semi-voluntary trips, I have been back way too many times. My opinion of Vegas hasn’t changed. It’s no Atlantic City.
I don’t drink. After 10 minutes or $20, casinos lose their allure. As Penn Jillette says, the whole town is built on bad math. And people smoke inside. Shows are interesting but expensive. The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop (Pawn Stars) is not all that interesting. Unless you get there when it opens, you wait in line to get in. In the sun. Rick’s Restorations (American Restoration) is better. Unfortunately, it is aimed more at the tourist than at a person interested in restoration. Hoover Dam? Been there, done that.
If I seem in a bit of a dour mood, it might be due to the fact I am writing this in the waiting room of the Hyundai dealer. Who knew you might have to replace upper support arms and drive belt after only 163,218 miles? Someone just put Nestlé’s Toll House® cookie dough into their Otis Spunkmeyer® cookie oven. Call the FTC. Truth in advertising!
The high-end casinos and related shopping areas are culturally interesting. No shortage of drunken bachelorette parties. I’m not picking on women. I’m sure there are drunken bachelor parties, just not in the public areas of the casinos and stores. One clothing store in one of the newest and trendiest casino linked malls has display windows with over 1000 vintage sewing machines. I estimated 950. An article said 1,100. Who am I to argue? They also claim to have looms and more. Maybe even clothing.
Of course there are antiques shops. Nothing spectacular but serviceable. No Duncan Phyfe or Chippendale, at least not in the shops advertised to the public. There is lots of money in this town and where there’s money, there are designers looking to spend their clients’ money.
I offer a set of 89 pictures. A few primitives, some turn of the century (19th to 20th) pieces. Look for the toasters. It’s Vegas. What do you expect?
PS: There was an error in the early release of yesterday’s blog on early keyboards Click HERE if you want to see my collection of keyboard photos from the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments.