~Meniscus Archives~

Premier Issue No. 1
August 14, 2003 - November 14, 2004

Link to Issue #1 Home


The Star Said...
Emlyn Lewis

Dear Mr. Tax Man

Invigorating Shake
Photo Essay on Peace
Bicentennial Aries
Jon Heinrich
Stranger in Alaska
Ryan Collins

The End of Main Street
Wesley Ratko

The Fur Trapper
Evan Bynum
Travels with Dad
Sarah Edrich
Long's Peak Winter Solo
Aron Ralston
Las Vegas
Jon Heinrich
Film Review: Secretary
Josh Seifert
Your Basic Mindf***: A Review of Wayne Krantz' Latest, Your Basic Live
Brian Gagne
Interview with Silent Treatment
Chrystie Hopkins
Independence of Common Humanity
Daniel Stevens
September in Chicago
Derek Meier
Father Time was a Bastard
Dan Boudreau
Wispers of the Mind
Dan Boudreau
2 Haikus
Laura R. Prince
Sarah Edrich
Pete Pidgeon
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003
Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003
State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Vegas: An Empirical Guide
Jon Heinrich
Published 8/01/03

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From what I remember of Vegas—and that’s always the hard part—it is a whimsical playground of hotels lined up to provide access to anything you can dream of. On the surface, the elegant masterpiece is one of sophisticated architectural accomplishment. Each new hotel when first erected, represented the pinnacle of what money could buy in terms of a few thousand rooms, and a pool.

The buildings are immense. When we checked into the Tropicana, the maître’d joked with us about the relative minisculity of only 1,900 rooms. But standing across Tropicana Blvd. from the MGM Grand—“City of Entertainment”, with over 5,000 rooms—it cowers in obscurity.

The unique thing about Vegas, is there’s really nothing besides the hotels to see. For a road running down the middle of a desert, there is nothing to see except what’s been created.

What goes on is the real attraction. The first major factor is the activity level one is expected to adhere to when there. (Make sure you go with a group who will expect you to keep up.) The first thing you’ll want to do is get a cocktail or beer at the bar and go outside and walk down the street with it. There’s something extremely liberating about walking out in the sun in public with a quencher. The awkward look you get from touristy families and their kids, is worth more than the quarter slots. Plus, you don’t want to waste any time getting that buzz on—after all, you’re on vacation.

The next thing you’ll notice, in the lobby of the next hotel—besides the familiar glassware—is the pleasant blast of environment. The obvious change is the AC. Coming from the home of the world’s largest thermometer, this is a much needed relief. On top of that, a carefully chosen fragrance overlays the oxygenated air. The invigorating nature of the aroma exudes affluence. So much, the extra money people spend gambling, justifies the exorbitant cost.

Ching, chink, chink—the sound of coins dropping into the payout trays of the slots lure in just about any one. Don’t doubt it for a second—Vegas is a mind trap, and the casino designers have pulled out all the stops to get you to pull out all your money.

For those souls that have a real appetite for exotic forms of debauchery, drinks are just the beginning. Next, there’s porn proliferation on the streets. Six or seven Hispanics on each corner slap full color cards against the stack to make people look when they walk by. Prostitution is legal there, and these bacchanalian bandits are serving a sexual buffet to please any appetite. Strip clubs, topless dancers and video erotica await.

That really leaves only chemical recreation, as the last major vice of the human condition. Even though that is still firmly illegal, you could probably get anything you want. As I stood next to the craps table awaiting my free drink—going big with odds on 6—the guy next to me asked if I knew where he could get an 8-ball. Apparently the fact that it was 6 a.m. marked me as a candidate for someone who would know.

Luckily, post-dawn walks allow plenty of time to check out the strip. Generally, the south end of Las Vegas Blvd. touts more of the newer hotels like the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. The north end houses some of the originals like The Sands, Frontier, Sahara and Circus Circus. Right in the middle, at the light bend, you’ll find not only the highest density, but also the newest hotels to date, replacing those recently torn down. Aside from The Palms just off the strip, Aladdin Desert Palace, Paris and The Venetian are the newest to date and therefore are the most elaborate and expensive to stay at. Across the street, Caesar’s Palace and The Bellagio are two of the most renowned.

Each casino has its own special feature that makes it an entertaining attraction for everyone—even those perfect families, just stopping through on the way to the Grand Canyon: Acrobatics at Circus Circus, a pirate show at Treasure Island, a flaming fountain show at the Mirage, dancing water beams at the Bellagio; and roller coasters at the Stratosphere, The Sahara and New York, New York. The Tropicana has an enormous courtyard, with wrap-around pool, fountains and multiple hot tubs. (Which incidentally, are amazing to visit at 8 a.m. before retiring to bed after a night of exploratory partying and wild dancing.)


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Meniscus Magazine © 2003. All material is property of respective artists.