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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-05-02 06:30
Subject: [travel] Las Vegas loud
Security: Public
Tags:las vegas, travel
I realize that coming to Las Vegas, the Strip specifically, and complaining about the noise is like going to Disneyland and complaining about all the kids everywhere. But this place...

My image of Vegas and the Strip has always been one of lights, money and girlsgirlsgirls. What I never realized was the degree to which those lights, money and girlsgirlsgirls have a cacophonous soundtrack. The only quiet place in this part of the city is my hotel room, and some large project involving thundering metal and cranes was going on outside my (41st floor) window last night, so even my room wasn't that quiet.

And not just the noise, the volume. I suppose the whole point is to keep people overstimulated and slightly disoriented so they keep opening their wallets all unthinking. And hooray for the diversity of experience.

In the past 18 hours since I arrived, I've had someone try to sell me mescaline and PCP, I've run into innumerable prostitution touts, I've had a drunk stagger into me then slap my arm for being in his way, I've seen a homeless guy (or at least a very grubby fellow with that outdoor tan) in full pirate drag including a noisy parrot, I've marveled at ceremonial architecture that will drive hundreds of doctoral degrees a thousand years from now, and I've discovered this place is never, ever quiet, not even at 4:30 am.

I'm glad Vegas is here for the people who want it. And I appreciate a well-designed money sieve, purely from a cultural engineering perspective. But this place...

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User: barbhendee
Date: 2011-05-02 13:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, Jay, I've never been to Vegas even though the whole Star Trek Experience sounds like way too much fun (smiles). But people who know me well know that I have an unusually difficult time around crowds and noise and they all say, "Sweetie, don't go. You'll hate it there."

I haven't done a World Con for the same reason.
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User: adelheid_p
Date: 2011-05-02 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think they closed the Star Trek Experience a couple of years ago. I like the Cirque du Soleil shows and that every casino has some gimmick to get you interested in walking in the door but the slot machine floors are just a cacophony of noise and it's the same in every casino. So if you are really curious, find a casino closer to you and walk in. It's no different that being in one in Las Vegas.
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mlerules: ANTS
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-05-02 14:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have a real Love/Hate r-ship w/Vegas. I find it overwhelming, even as it fascinates me tremendously. Another place for quiet: at the bottom of your hotel pool (but only as long as you can hold your breath ;-)

Ear plugs are my friend in Vegas. Enjoy the lights and whatever you can. Then return home to the Greenergy of the PacNW (and thence to more quiet mellow island-ish shortly thereafter).
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User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-05-02 15:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My sympathies. You're in my idea of Hell. Yeah, I've been there, kind of a couple of times - neither time for "pleasure." Have fun at the Con, or (I can't remember) a productive meeting for the day job? Whichever. Enjoy!
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information throughput device: winston bloody churchill
User: oletheros
Date: 2011-05-02 15:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:winston bloody churchill
I've heard Vegas referred to as the kind of atmosphere that a magician tries to create before undertaking a working - a sense that things have been oriented in certain direction for specific effect. I like Las Vegas because it is so blatantly NOT reality and doesn't care; in fact, it revels in having achieved this state.
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User: ramblin_phyl
Date: 2011-05-02 15:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Agreed. The poorly , tinny canned music pouring out of every edifice large and small is disorienting, disturbing, annoying....

The entire town is a con on steroids.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-05-03 03:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Con on steroids." Very apt description!

However, staying off of the Strip really makes a difference. That said, driving around Vegas is nuts. My favorite way to visit is to hop into the rental car at McCarran and head out to the Grand Canyon.
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User: ramblin_phyl
Date: 2011-05-03 15:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Valley of Fire north of town isn't a bad place either.
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User: barbarienne
Date: 2011-05-02 17:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for taking the hit so we don't have to. I've considered visiting, purely from an anthropological impulse, but the prospect of unending noise has just put the kibosh on that.
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User: fledgist
Date: 2011-05-02 17:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've never been there, only changed planes at the airport once (my goodness, 23 years ago). It sounds tremendously scary.
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User: msconduct
Date: 2011-05-02 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, poor beleagured Vegas! I feel I have to put in a good word for it. I dislike noise and gambling, yet Vegas is always one of my stopovers in the US. It might be different if you're forced to be at certain venues for work or a convention, but if you're able to pick where you go it's a very different matter. Most of those noisy casinos harbour multiple fantastic (and quiet!) restaurants, for example. And if you have a car, you can see some amazing stuff just a short distance from the Strip, like the beautiful Red Rock Canyon and the fascinating Neon Museum. Also, maybe it helps that I'm not in the target market for prostitutes, but as a counterbalance to Jay's experience in four or five trips I've never been offered drugs or anything shady.
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User: willyumtx
Date: 2011-05-03 00:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If your room is noisy, ask for a change. They might even upgrade you. They are hurting for business and should respect your wish for a quieter room.

I've been to Vegas so many times that I can tune out most of the background noises. If you want to try poker, go to Caesar's because their room is very quiet - it's separated from the rest of the casino by a door and hallway.

The Cirque shows are most excellent. Go to LOVE.

The restaurants are great. And there is cheap food there as well. Try the Filipino place that's in the Hawaiian Village. Try the macarons at the Bouchon booth at Venetian. The cinnamon one (if available) is most excellent. Lotus of Siam (north of the Strip) is so very good.

There is a garden at the Mirage. Dolphin pool at Mandalay Bay. Art museum at Bellagio.
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User: theresamather
Date: 2011-05-03 00:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Vegas is the closest large city to me. I mostly go there for out-of-Utah shopping and lower cost flights out of the airport. A lot of foreign tourists roll a trip to Zion, the Grand Canyon and/or Bryce with Vegas these days, I think that kind of balances out the intensity.
If you really need a quick escape go to Red Rock Canyon, it's got natural springs and canyons and even big pine trees on one of the walks, and petroglyphs and ancient camp and cooking pit sites (they found giant sloth bones in one). It's out just past the Summerlin area of Vegas. http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/
I also like Valley of Fire State Park, but that's farther outside of town.
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