kottke.org posts about Las Vegas
Reporting for Design Observer, Mark Lamster visits the new CityCenter complex in Las Vegas.
There's something dystopic about the place generally, and CityCenter is starting to feel like the world of Blade Runner come to life. I head back to my room, shut the black-out curtains and lie in bed. More people commit suicide in Las Vegas than in any other city in the United States.
But then, upon his return to NYC:
Drinks at Prime Meats, in Brooklyn, with my wife. Realistically, this place is as much an artifice as anything on the Strip, a re-imagining of a 19th-century saloon, complete with polished bar, antique typography, Edison bulbs. Why, then, does it feel so much more honest? Because its aesthetic is filtered through a contemporary sensibility? Because it seems a natural part of a vibrant neighborhood? Is this all bullshit I invent to make myself feel more comfortable?
A Las Vegas Weekly article about the realities of the fantasy job search for a model/bartender in Sin City highlights the hurt felt by those other sectors of the American Dream. For one, choosing what to wear to a job interview can be especially challenging when the uniform is a bikini.
After much deliberation, I chose a minimalist (cloth-wise) brown dress that matched my brown bikini and stilettos. To bring the look together, I chose a business jacket. Unfortunately, I only had non-matching black business jackets. My second choice, a leather jacket, made the outfit look oddly slutty. So I went with my jean jacket, which gave the ensemble a wholesome all-American look, but didn't do much to make me look like a businesswoman.
Nomi Malone wouldn't have survived an instant in this economy.
Stamen delivers another lovely project: Trulia Hindsight. It's an animated map of the US which shows new home construction over a period of years "with an eye towards exposing patterns of expansion and development". As you might expect, the growth of a city like Las Vegas is interesting to watch. More on the project from Stamen and on the Trulia Hindsight blog.
Interesting story from Steven Levitt: stuck in a Vegas poker tournament with a $3000 first prize but needing to go to the airport to catch the last flight of the night, he starts playing very aggressively in order to win big or lose everything so that he can leave. (via gulfstream)
Las Vegas is testing out some high-tech gadgets, including fully-automated gaming tables with no chips, cards, or dealer. Doesn't sound like much fun...
R.W. Apple on the Las Vegas dining scene and has great things to say about Joel Robuchon's return to haute cuisine. "During the tryouts preceding its official debut, the restaurant served the best food in Las Vegas, by a decisive margin, and some of the very best French food I have ever eaten on this continent."
Las Vegas is in for some water troubles. Surprisingly, it's residential use that's the problem, not the showy water displays by the casinos.
Mock-up photos of the "East Village" retail complex planned for Las Vegas. There's even a displaced meatpacking district and Washington Square arch.