I don’t know if I can say this proudly, but I’ve been to Las Vegas a fair amount of times. The first when I was 12 with my family, feeling weird about people on the street passing out business cards with naked women. But also in awe of how there were outdoor escalators, like rain didn’t exist in this unnatural city. Then I went back for one week with one of my hometown besties for her 21st birthday party. I also went back to just plain party for a weekend with models I met in NY and had one of my first dates there with my now boyfriend (he plays professional poker, so vegas is home sweet home…almost).
Last week I went to Vegas to spend time with my boyfriend before he started in the World Series of Poker he plays every summer. We did a couples trip and visited a lot of really cool places that tell the story of how Vegas came to be. I had never seen the city like this before, but now I have a new perspective. Plus we checked out something new that looks far out of this world.
Fremont Street: Bites at Park on Fremont
Fremont Street is historic for being the old Las Vegas where the Rat Pack hung out in the fifties and sixties. It was “the spot” for Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra. Today, Fremont has grunge with a tacky sparkle to it. Ok, don’t get me wrong, but there is a lot of character when you walk into the restaurants and casinos. We checked out Binion’s where the first World Series of Poker was held.
Also had a quick bite at Park on Fremont. This place definitely had its quirks. Like an Alice in a Very Dodgy Wonderland. The art in here is super eclectic with golden antlers and rifles, wallpaper that will make you dizzy, dead bird decor, and mismatched beer taps. There is also art from Mark Ryden showing a girl wearing a dress of meat. Is this what inspired Lady Gaga for her meat outfit?
For bites, we tried the Samurai Teeter Tots, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, and Mac + Cheese Balls. The food at Park on Fremont was good, but the vibe is definitely worth checking out if you’re into something off the beaten path. You’ll feel like you’re living in a Die Antwoord music video real time.
Neon Museum: Tour of All of the Lights
Next stop was the Neon Museum, where we took a guided tour and saw the old neon signs from casinos and loacal businesses. It was interesting to see how lights were the first form of advertising back in the day. I will never look at Las Vegas the same when I see it lit up at night.
In With the New: Seven Magic Mountains
Out with the old, and in with the new. We took a 30 min drive to see the Seven Magic Mountains, an exhibit by Ugo Rondinone. This is a public exhibit of stacked boulders painted with bright neon colors. It reminded me of being in an art supplies store looking at chunks of clay or pastels. These tall figures represent human life in the desert, the coming together of the artificial and natural worlds. The site is a great place to take pictures, but I recommend going to the Seven Magic Mountains early before a crowd comes and the sun is directly above. It was hard to get a shot without people in the background the way the structures are lined up.
What are your favorite memories from going to Las Vegas? Let me know in the comments section below… And check out my staycation at Four Seasons Westlake.