The Promise of Gangster Glamour - new paper up at UNLV

The Promise of Gangster Glamour: Sinatra, Vegas, and Alluring, Ethnicized, Excess
Laura Cook Kenna

Love the mystery and history of Las Vegas?  Check out this white paper:

Las Vegas has been linked with Frank Sinatra since the 1950s. The highly‐publicized
performances of the Rat Pack (consisting of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, and
Peter Lawford) at the Sands crystallized the image of Las Vegas as a place that mingled economic
mobility with excess. This excess was often associated with ethnicity and frequently linked to
crime. It was, however, the excess that made Las Vegas and Sinatra glamorous to many audiences.
Keywords: Las Vegas, Rat Pack, Gangsters, American Ethnicity - Read more on the original White Paper site.

For the Vegas foodie: a story on Brett Ottolenghi

LETTER FROM LAS VEGAS about Brett Ottolenghi.

Ottolenghi is the proprietor of Artisanal Foods, which supplies top Las Vegas chefs with foie gras, truffles, caviar, saffron, vinegars, cinnamon, oils, salts, and ham. He often says that he is on a first-name basis with three-hundred and seventy chefs in Las Vegas. To the chefs, he is “the truffle kid”—for his first product—or Hamleg, owing to his tendency to walk through casino lobbies carrying the hairy, hoof-on hindquarters of a pig. He specializes in the small run, the vaguely regulated, the hard to come by, and the near-banned.

Read more at the New Yorker

It's a great story about the chefs of Vegas and their demands to top each other, and how one man serves them in a city where everything is on sale for the right price.

Vegas on Facebook: the Golden Nugget takes big leap forward

Reading Wired always pays off, but seldom does it fulfill my Vegas fix for the day.  But here's an article about the Golden Nugget's use of Facebook (way far ahead of what the other casinos are doing...and maybe the look of the future?)

If you thought your addiction to FrontierVille was a problem, just wait until you get hooked by the lure of a jackpot.
Golden Nugget Vegas Casino is playable now on Facebook, although the game’s publisher will officially launch it on Tuesday. This new distraction was created by Last Legion Games, the folks behind Watchmen: Justice is Coming, and is the first social game branded to a real-world Las Vegas gambling house.
Seth Gerson, CEO of Last Legion’s parent company AltEgo, said in an email to that addiction is part of a winning social game strategy — and that he frequently finds himself sucked into Facebook games.
“I constantly tell my wife that I am just doing research,” Gerson admits. “But when you get past level five or six, you’re clearly crossing the line.”

Golden Nugget Vegas Casino hopes to foster that kind of obsessive play by rewarding players for building and maintaining their own casinos and playing games of chance like Blackjack, Video Poker and Roulette at the parlors their friends trick out.

No hula-hoops on Fremont Street

One of the funniest, and best, Vegas writers, Steve Friess wrote this article for AOL about a possible ban of Hula-Hoops on the five blocks that are the Fremont Street Experience. 

The article covers both the goofy and the serious nature of a bill being considered by the Las Vegas City Council but of course, Friess being the writer that he is, also gives devoted fans a chance to see behind the curtain, so to speak, on his blog, Vegas Happens Here

(BTW, there's a comment from an Amy there - which is not me.  I would have explained that I am that little old lady who would probably have her hip broken by some wild, rampaging hula-hooper...anyway, that's just so y' know that, by gawd, there's another Amy out there who reads all things Vegas)

Friess points out the legal issues with banning the activity in a public area, and says,
While I've not witnessed these Hula Hooping hooligans myself, I'm finding it hard to imagine that you're just standing around minding your own bees wax, perhaps wholesomely watching the Mermaids video chick drooling Twinkee filling, when all of a sudden somebody spontaneously smacks you down with a hoop. Most Hula Hoopers try hard to avoid having the hoop hit anybody or thing because the point of the activity is to get the hoop to continually circle you for as long as possible, not to rob the aged of their mobility. You won't be a very good Hula Hooper if your radius is populated by hip-replacement candidates, right?

Friess gives you everything you want to know including a good laugh and a few points to ponder about whether or not you consider hula hoops to be a menace to Vegas tourism. Check it out.

Rumor Boutique Hotel opens in Vegas

With a barely-there web site, Rumor Hotel, a "boutique chic" hotel across from the Hard Rock Casino has  opened on the site of the former St. Tropez hotel. 

Here's the Las Vegas Sun article about it, which briefly describes the concept and sounds pretty appealing.  There are a lot of folks who long for some sanity and a tranquil spot away from the Strip. 

I had hoped the web site would be more informative, but alas, I think they forgot about the web site until a day before opening and then said, "oh, hey, grab some photos from somewhere and hang out a shingle that says we're open."  The web site links to Anthony Curtis' Las Vegas Advisor as press, but I can't find mention of the hotel on the page they link to.  And the photo of the rooms on the site is just gawd-awful ugly.  All in all, right now the web site makes it seem like a down-scale Motel 8.

Even the special offer advertised on the site is a measly stay a night, get a night free.  Maybe it's still in shake-down mode?  Or, uh, shake-out?  Whatever.   Anyway, good luck.  Hopefully they'll get it together and thrive.  You gotta love a Vegas hotel where the maids use purple Radio Flyer wagons.

45 days of over 100 degrees in Vegas - streak ended today

Having just posted about the personal air conditioner a few days ago,  I was interested in today's article in the Las Vegas Sun informing us that today, Sat August 7, the 45 day streak of three-digit temperature days finally broke. 

Sure, to most of the country, 99 degrees seems like a miserable day  but when it's been over 100, and the "cool" down temperatures haven't been below 80, well, if you haven't already seen my post on the little gadget that you carry with you as air conditioning, take a look. 

Personal air conditioning looks like perfect product for those hot Vegas months


Personal air conditioning looks like perfect product for those hot Vegas months

Here's a pitch that I recently saw from a PR person, which struck me as the perfect product to take to Vegas.  I haven't tried it - but if you have, add your comments. 

Temperatures are soaring; and although you want to be as active as possible and enjoy the outdoors, it’s hard to exert energy for very long in this heat!  Now there’s no need to go into hiding after 10am to avoid the hottest parts of the’s a great solution:

HANDY COOLER™ is honestly a masterpiece of personal fan engineering.  It’s the first ever handheld evaporative air cooler that literally cools the air around you and gives hours of relief from heat. It’s designed to be used on-the-go, so it’s very portable and lightweight.  It can fit into a bag easily and used anywhere to cool you down significantly and instantly. 

Simply add water to the cooling filter (included) before you leave the house and turn the power on when you need it; Handy Cooler™ will emit a comfortable refreshing breeze and cool you down.

Website is: