Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

I was going through a box of things in the garage in late July, the 30th of July to be exact, and I found a postcard sent to my mum and dad 45 years ago - postmarked 30th July 1969. 

The stamp cost 13 cents(!) and has John F. Kennedy on it. The card is from Wendy and Allan Peterson, good friends of my parents who were on a world trip by the looks. They talk in the card about looking forward to seeing a 'baby daughter', who of course, was me. This was even before my parents built and moved into our existing family home. The card depicts Fremont Street in Las Vegas, which today bears little resemblance to what it did back then. Vegas Vic the neon cowboy is now in the middle of the Fremont St Experience

Vegas Vic in Fremont St, July 2012
The Fremont St Experience, July 2012
Las Vegas is ever changing, always under construction and reinventing itself but seeming to come up time and again the same over made-up tramp in need of a little more sleep and TLC.

At the southern end of The Strip, May 2005
Puddles on The Strip, May 2005
Somewhere in the Desert Passage under the Aladdin Casino, May 2005
I have a love/hate relationship with Las Vegas. I love the 24/7 entertainment, food, drinking, gambling (well, watching my friend’s gamble) and the non-stop parade of humanity that will always be a photographer’s delight. 

Inside the Venetian, July 2012
Selfie on Fremont Street, May 2005
And it did
Shooting from the hip, May 2005
But after a few days I can’t get the smell of cigarettes out of my hair and I’ve got snow blindness and a tic from the constant neon assault and I’m done. Las Vegas is a rich man’s slum, and I have to tell you it doesn’t take much to dig down below the glitz to find her distinctly darker side.

The grotty side of Vegas, May 2005
Spotted in shops under Caesar's Palace, May 2005
Elvis Lives - I saw him at F.A.O. Schwartz toy store in Caesar's Palace, May 2005
 Every street corner hosts a porn hustler pressing his wares on you, so don’t look too closely at those playing cards dropped all over the street. Every pawn shop boasts a glitterama of sad stories telling of high hopes shattered in the pit at 3am. For every winner there goes before them a million losers. 

More grotty Vegas, May 2005
Showgirls in Fremont Street, July 2012
Somewhere in the Desert Passage under the Aladdin Casino, May 2005
Nothing seems quite real here, like the double-take sky ceilings and canals under the Venetian or the voluptuous Tupperware bodies of the showgirls swishing through the Roulette tables. But it only takes a few drinks to become a believer, even if it is just for a night or two. 

MGM Grand Casino, July2012
Caesar's Palace, July 2012
Somewhere in the Desert Passage under the Aladdin Casino, May 2005
Ceiling of the Bellagio, July 2012
We all need to suspend our own lives every now and then, and Las Vegas is the best place on the planet to meet any want or need you can imagine. And as someone once said, two out of three ain’t bad.

Lights of The Strip, July 2012
Tourists take home the Fremont Street Experience, July 2012
Reprising our 2005 selfie with a ring-in, July 2012

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