Sunday, December 10, 2006
I'm back, back in the New York groove
Most of what happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas...but a few general thoughts on my recent trip to Sin City are allowed, I think.
First: loved it! Going back next month. Well, ok, maybe I exaggerate - but going back soon.
Believe it or not, even with my clearly decadent lifestyle, my recent sojourn to Las Vegas was my first time out there. It was just never high on my list of places to visit. Of course, I've also never really been to me - but that's a whole other story.
I used to laugh at a friend I previously worked with, (cough: Jan Brady) who it seemed would go out to Vegas about every three weeks or so. She sat behind me in the office, and, I swear, I would turn around and she would be away again, off on another jaunt to LV. I just figured she had a gambling problem, but now I know why she was going out there all the time. So much fun.
Anyway, I couldn't resist the great deal from one of the Internet travel sites, so off I went last week.
First, however, a parenthetical note on flying. Such a pain in the ass. On the way out there, in an aisle seat (I always make sure I reserve those in the on-line seat-selection thing, because, let's face it, nobody wants the middle seat, and even a window would make me feel claustrophobic), there was, unfortunately, a really fat guy sitting next to me. And his blubber was spilling over to my area. Ugh. Five hours with this guy brushing against me. I was nauseous.
We couldn't even put the armrest down he was so big. Personally, I think the airlines should make the tubbies buy two seats. And, yes, yes, I know this all sounds cruel, and I have friends who are, er, husky – holla, Frankie boy - but come on, we all have to deal with this limited space, you know. (I lucked out on my way home, though, and got a row to myself. I was able to take a little nap across all three seats - beautiful.)
I stayed at the fabulous Venetian. Gorgeous. Gaudy. Glittery. Just what you want in Vegas. I had a suite with a view of the strip and a 150-square-foot bathroom (bigger than my damn bathroom at home). Such pleasure.
Germaphobe that I am, of course, I always freak out about potential contamination. I never let my luggage go anywhere near a hotel bed, for example, after seeing a report on one of those TV newsmagazines about bed bugs and how they jump in your luggage and come home with you. I also made the mistake of reading an article somewhere about the dirtiest place in a hotel room. It's not a surface in the bathroom, as you would think, it's the TV remote control. It never gets cleaned and is constantly used (probably by pervs watching Spankovision, no less – yech). So whenever I turned on one of the three (yes, three - heh) TVs in my suite, I had a Kleenex wrapped around the remote. Ok, I have issues, but why take chances?
I hit several of the hot clubs, natch, and ate some really good meals – and strangely enough, Wolfgang Puck's in the MGM Grand served up one of the best steaks I have ever had, even though he's famous for his pizza. Go figure.
Prices were surprisingly high at the nice places. When you live in Manhattan, you're usually pleasantly pleased at how cheap everything seems when you travel. Not in Vegas - oy. Although, at New York New York, one of the bars had three dollar Jacks. Can I just say bliss.
Speaking of New York, it's amazing how many NYC names are out there now. In addition to Delmonico's and Tao, both of which are at the Venetian, there's a Smith & Wollensky, a Studio 54, and, of course, in the New York New York casino, there's a Gallagher's Steak House, a Coyote Ugly, a Nathan's, etc. The homogenization of America continues. It's like seeing the tourists who visit us here going to one of the few (maybe the only?) Olive Garden in Manhattan - and unfortunately it's right in Times Square. Why would anyone do that?
And, even worse, when you're talking to a local in Vegas and they find out it's your first time out there, they insist you just HAVE to see a show. Well, sorry, not to be NY-centric, although I will be, I really have no interest in seeing what is basically the road show of Phantom of the Opera, for example, when I saw the original on Broadway six years ago. And I really really have no interest in seeing something like Howie Mandel's act or Blue Man Group or the comedy stylings of Larry the Cable Guy.
Once Vegas was home to Sinatra and Elvis, now it welcomes the host of “Deal or No Deal.” Sigh. (A little digression on Blue Man Group, by the way: about five years ago, one of my exes, one of my many exes, called to tell me she had just got engaged and her fiance, who was a bigwig in the Broadway world, had somehow got Blue Man to make the proposal on stage during their show - you know, one of those nauseating public proposals, like when some nudnik does it over the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium. Now, why she felt compelled to call to tell me this, I still don't know. We hadn't talked in about two years by this point; it wasn't the greatest break-up. I don't know if she was trying to rub it in that she had got engaged (trust me, really not a concern) or was having cold feet and was hoping I would somehow try to talk her out of it. But whenever I see something about BMG, I always laugh, thinking of that weird moment.)
And by the way, to the very nosy among you Too Saucy-ites who asked who I was going to LV with (regular commenter Not a Hipster in a previous post, and Corky brazenly asking me in an e-mail), I traveled solo. See, you all forget, I really don't like people that much. Hah.
Actually, the first few days, I had a very relaxing time, treating myself (as I do every winter) to a little get-away-from-everyone trip. I lay poolside during the day, and read two Nelson DeMille books. And then a friend from several jobs ago who works in L.A. (we originally, er, merged, on one of her business trips to NY back then, totally illegally I'm sure, as I was technically above her in the company hierarchy – oh well) took a few days off from work and came winging in on Wednesday. It's only a couple hours flight for Angelinos, lucky biotches.
Anyway, it's basically nice to be home, although when I left LV it was 72 degrees, and when I landed at Newark it seemed to be about minus 18. Yikes.
But the next time I go out there, I'm getting a suite with a hot tub - not that I will ever use it because of the germs, of course, but I would still like to have it.
Posted by J at 2:36 AM
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Awww..come on, Howie Mandel is much more than the host of Deal or No Deal. He's had one of the most successful shows in Vegas for years, long before DOND, along with tons of other accomplishments. You missed a great time, seriously. I check out his show any time I hit Vegas.
It sounds like you had a blast! And I can't believe you had never been there before - it seems like it would be your kind of town:)
You forgot the big question...how much did you win - or LOSE!?? lol
I'd like to hear more about the Blue Man Group girl!! hehe
Did you go to the Palms? The bar there has the most amazing view of the Strip!!
Ohh now I want to go back there thinking of all that fun stuff. I haven't been to Vegas in about 3 years and now I want to go back again! :)
I guess you didnt get married to a showgirl named Candy!! heehe
One of my best friends had her bachelorette weekend in Vegas last year. It was amazing. (What was deleted before in the comments???)
I love going to Las Vegas even just for a long weekend. It always feels so unreal. When you were there did you go anywhere outside the Strip or did you stay in that area? I think most people stay there but there's probably a lot of things to do outside it too.
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