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11 January 2011

Where at Wednesday ~ Life in Las Vegas part 2

Las Vegas isn’t just about the strip, downtown, gambling, food and shows—all of which can be great depending upon what you’re in to ;). It just seems that sometimes there’s a misconception floating around about Las Vegas. People have said, “You live there? That’s so cool!” or they’re so focused on the tourist part they forget to see the bigger picture and they dislike the place. Granted, some of my friends who live here don’t like the big, brown, hot dust bowl due to it being a big, brown, hot dust bowl and they want to escape, or have already, and that’s understandable. There are times I, too, miss the green of the northeast and the rain and can do without the heavy traffic, but I still prefer the sun over the seemingly endless cloudy skies of other locations. Though lately, this winter has been cold and gray a lot...too much for my taste. I keep looking at the pool, wishing spring would get here so I can get back to writing outside and going for swims.
But I digress.
What I wanted to say is Las Vegas has communities just like anywhere else. There are schools, churches, businesses, etc. that are here as they are in any other town you visit. There are groups/leagues/organizations you can belong to. When first moving here, we became involved in the running/triathlon community, still are to a degree, and belonging to groups makes living here a lot less ‘touristy.’ As for another argument I’ve heard, yes, Las Vegas might not have the culture of the older cities like New York, Philadelphia or Washington DC, but it does have its own brand. I've seen more 'Broadway' plays here than I did when I lived close to NYC. [Truth be told, I never saw a play on Broadway. Went to Radio City Music Hall a couple of times but never to a show on the great white way.] Some of the casinos feature famous art work and other museum like attractions (ie: the Titanic exhibit). There's the aquarium/shark reef. There's a race track with a Shelby museum. There are parks and preserves. There's a ski resort just north of the city and lots of state parks near by for outdoor enthusiasts.
Las Vegas can be a pretty ordinary place. Well, as ordinary as it can be with an approximate 4 mile stretch of colorful eye candy.
It also has its issues. One of the things I find interesting about living here is that one block/neighborhood can be real nice to live in and just a street over can be a 'rotten apple.' Case in point, the neighborhood behind ours. Mention the intersection behind our house to the police and they say 'say no more, we know the area well.' Well yeah, I'd say they do. Four years ago... Hubby and I had just bought our place and were doing some painting before we moved in. I was in our new home, alone, taking a break from painting, when I looked out our kitchen window that overlooks our backyard and wall, and there across the street were a bunch of Metro cars and a SWAT truck. I, of course being a writer and curious, grabbed my camera and took pictures of the men in their flak jackets, surrounding and advancing in on one of the houses and then apprehending a guy and zip tying his hands behind his back. Nice, eh? Then the other night, like I tweeted about, I'm up dealing with my insomnia, doing a bit of writing, getting into a hot, steamy scene, when sirens wailed out back. My first thought was there was an accident on the highway they were responding to, but no. The siren blares grew louder, then the glow of flashing lights came through our windows. So, I put down my laptop and went to look. A handful of police vehicles were blocking off the streets while a helicopter swept the area with a search light. That's not the first time either the helicopter's made a visit to the area. Nothing of note happened, though, and the pictures I took didn't come out very good. Oh well, but maybe some day I'll be able to work in the activity across the way into a story. :D
Yep, Las Vegas is a great place for a writer's imagination. Lots of fodder to be had. ;)
Have a great day!

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