When I chose Las Vegas as a place to call home nearly 25 years ago, I had no idea that it would evolve from a just a vacation destination into an amazing community.
Locals know this already, but most folks don’t. The Las Vegas layout is confusing to EVERYBODY, at least at first, and it takes a little time to figure it out. For instance, the world-famous Strip is not in the city of Las Vegas. Technically, it’s actually just south of the city limits and straddles the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester. But who would come and spend beaucoup bucks at the World-Famous Strip in Winchester?
Not sexy at all.
Las Vegas – including the Strip – is actually a very small town despite the large number of people now living here. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody else. This is why the recent shooting has affected nearly everyone, every resident, on a personal level. If we don’t personally know someone who was killed, injured, or wounded, we know someone who knows someone. Yours truly included.
The outpouring of offers of help, the volunteerism, and the “pulling together” of the town as a whole has confirmed what I’ve always known – that Vegas has a heart.
Not only that, but America loves Vegas, and it’s not just for the gambling. Sorry. *gaming*. While many other places have tried to emulate Vegas – Atlantic City, Riverboats, Reservation Casinos – they all seem to fall short. Even the casinos in the rest of Nevada don’t have quite the panache or je ne sais quoi of Vegas. Yes, they all offer the opportunity to try one’s hand at poker, play a little blackjack, hit the slot machines, or yell at the crap tables. They even have pretty nice hotels. But they lack the soul of Vegas. They lack the glitter, the dazzle, the history. And, yes, the romance. Of all of these, the history is the most important, and the history – along with the now faded presence of The Mob – is what people want when they save their pennies for a blowout vacation in Sin City. And Vegas rarely disappoints.
Despite my own ongoing rants about some of the issues, errors in judgment, and problems that are often self-inflicted, I still love it here and don’t mind letting people know that I LIVE here. For instance, I will take photos while driving down the Strip, say, in the twilight near the Bellagio while the fountains are going and posting them while complaining about the traffic and making no mention of the spectacle. I’ve been called evil, along with other names!
This place that I call home has an amazing heart. And the people are showing what they’re made of. The news stories below will tell you what’s going on here in the wake of the terrorist attack (yes, terrorist.)
And we will move on, and not a speckle of glitter will be lost.
Las Vegas Review-Journal – too many stories and videos to link here!
I hope that the stories show you the kind of heart that Vegas (and friends) have. The community is healing and we will be back, even though this will always remain with us.
America loves Vegas and Vegas loves America. Vegas IS as American as you can get.
Thanks for being a friend of Vegas.
#VegasStrong or my personal favorite, #VegasPissed.
All photos courtesy of Creative Commons, because Lord knows I can’t take pictures like this!