Nomadland: A Review
A Movie for a Quarantine Evening
Vegas Like a Local: Terms and Phrases
Now that I’ve lived in Las Vegas a couple of decades, it’s easy for me to forget the words and phrases I was slightly baffled by when I first arrived. I’ve already posted a list of local nicknames for places around the valley. Here are a few other terms that might come in handy if you want to sound like a local.
Comp: Maybe this word has found its way into the national vernacular, but it’s been a local term in Las Vegas since casinos first decided to reward their high rollers. Short for “complimentary,” (more…)
Vegas Like a Local: Places and Points of Interest
A Glossary of Local Names for Las Vegas Places
Maps provide names for places and landmarks, but they don’t let visitors in on local secrets, like what those names might mean or the alternative monikers favored by residents. Here is an incomplete list of some of the names locals use in Las Vegas for neighborhoods, streets, and points of interest. If you’d like to add to this list, please leave a comment!
D.I.: Desert Inn Road. The hotel Howard Hughes owned and once called home no longer exists, but the memory lives on in the street name.
Glitter Gulch: Now known as “The Fremont Street Experience” or, more casually, just “Fremont Street,” You’ll still hear long-time Las Vegans refer to these casino-lined blocks as “Glitter Gulch.” In the same breath (more…)
This Little Piggy
The piggy bank pictured above is not large, not beautiful, and not even serviceable. The slot on its back intended to accept coins is too narrow. It wasn’t too narrow when I bought the pig many years ago in the central market in San José, Costa Rica. I was grocery shopping with my mother, which sounds like a mundane task, but in that huge and bustling market, it was anything but. In addition to heaps of bananas, piles of papayas, baskets of green coconuts, women making tortillas, and men whacking up sides of freshly slaughtered beef, there were parrots and monkeys and fish. (more…)
Writing Las Vegas
Another Gift of the Magi
Every Christmas, I like to read O. Henry’s timeless story about two people who each want to give the other the best Christmas gift ever. They fail in the sweetest way possible, and the story always brings a tear to my eye, even though I’ve read it dozens of times. (more…)
My Life as a Three-Legged Dog
A while back, I was working on a story about an animal shelter in Las Vegas. While talking to the director, he mentioned that an abandoned three-legged dog had just been brought to the shelter.
“Oh, how sad,” I said. “What are his chances?” I was thinking that a dog with such a disability might not be very attractive to potential owners. (more…)
Blimp Cruise Over Vegas
It was difficult for me to contain my delight when I received an invitation to take a ride in a blimp. A blimp! Really? I have been entranced with lighter-than-air flying machines since I saw one flying over the Rose Parade when I was a kid. Yes! I wrote back immediately. I would love to take a ride in a blimp! I restrained myself from adding extra exclamation marks, but seriously… a blimp!!!
This blimp is Carnival Cruise Line’s #ChooseFunAirShip, commissioned to celebrate the arrival of the new Carnival Panorama cruise ship in Long Beach, California. A picture of the Panorama covers the sides of the 128-foot-long blimp, making it the perfect ambassador (more…)