Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Tale of Two Cities and a Dyslexic Artist

This week's blog is up a little late, courtesy of my son – read on to find out why. For the same reason the post differs from the usual historical fare and is about Las Vegas (and Los Angeles)
Los Angeles and Las Vegas - hey ho! 
But first, to understand the background to this post. My son is studying fine art and won a travel prize, with a proposal to visit Nevada to draw and paint the rocks (small scale rocks, rather than large scale landscape…but that’s another story). The plan was for him and a friend to fly to Las Vegas and drive out into the desert in an RV.

He's been excited about visiting Las Vegas for weeks, and yesterday, with one more sleep to go he was double-checking arrangements. But…oh no…disaster!
Las Vegas
It turns out he'd booked to pick up and drop off the RV from Los Angeles – NOT Las Vegas! The problem is that he's dyslexic and spotting the "L" he felt confident he'd got the right place and went ahead and booked. Aged 21, and no longer living at home, we trusted him to make the arrangements.  Oh dear.

Long story short we had a hell of a 24 hours but fingers crossed, with parental intervention things are back to Plan A. I took him and his friend to Heathrow this morning – so it's now out of my hands. Anyhow, I decided to use this as an excuse to find some Las Vegas trivia. I'd love to hear any experiences you have of Vegas, so do chip in and comment.
Los Angeles

Las Vegas Trivia

Las Vegas means "The Meadows" in Spanish (ironically named I presume, given the desert setting.)

Vegas Vic – the huge neon cowboy standing over Fremont Street, is the world's largest mechanical neon sign. But in a town with 15,000 miles of neon tubing, what do you expect?

Vegas has 30 million (plus 2) visitors a year, and the native population is around 1.7 million.
An example of my son's artwork.
You can see now, why he wants to paint the desert!
The extravagant fountains and water features are supplied with "grey water". This is water reclaimed from bath tubs, showers, and washing machines. The water if filtered, cleaned and chlorinated before use. Thank goodness they don't use "black water", which is that which goes through the toilets and the sewers.

The average length of stay in Vegas is 3.7 days (or around 90 minutes if you are my son, who has to catch a bus from the airport to Los Angeles).

Ben "Bugsy" Siegal
What Do Las Vegas and Los Angeles have in Common?

They both begin with the letter "L".

Also, gangster Ben "Bugsy" Siegal founded the Flamingo hotel, Vegas in 1946 using mob moneny. He named the Flamingo Hotel (where my son stays on his final night) after the long legs of his showgirl girlfriend. However, Bugsy died in Los Angeles, shot dead whilst reading a newspaper in Los Angeles – probably because he skimmed mob money.

So there we have it. A tale of two cities and a dyslexic artist. Ho hum. 


  1. Bummer!

    I had the misfortune to live in Las Vegas for four months. Well, apologies to any who love it, but I was raising kids. There was nothing for children to do but go out to eat. There were a few playgrounds, but it was swings and a slide with chain link fencing. Not a tree, not a fountain, nada. And of course it was too hot (115 F) to swing or slide.

    LV was named as it was because it was a green area in the past--until the Hoover Dam was built and the water dried up. It has areas there called Paradise, Green Valley, etc. which baffled us when we arrived till we learned about the development.

    I have never lived where there was so much rude behavior. I was trying to mail something at the post office once and the man treated me like I was an idiot because I did not know all the shipping details. Anywhere else, he'd have been fired. Well, anywhere I'd ever lived.

    I was never so glad to leave a town. Fun to visit, though, I'm sure!

    1. Oh dear, doesn't sound an ideal places for kids :-(
      However, 2 young men I suspect may find it a whole lot more interesting (which is what worries me!!) Sounds a lot less dangerous than LA though.
      G x

  2. Actually, Grace, the name Las Vegas in Spanish means The Meadows, but according to the various Native American tribes that used to this valley it meant The Springs. There is a large aquafirm below the valley that used to keep to keep it green and a type of oasis during the rain seasons. Which is why the Mormons settled here and cattle drives went through to water their cattle on long drives to the market. Then Busy decided that if he started to build the adult play ground... they would come. They did and we totally changed our climate and in year 17 of a major drought.

    Any other questions, let me know. :)
    Melissa - live from Las Vegas, home of the Vampire by necessity. Lol

    1. Ooooh I see! Just shows you. So a total turn around from lush oasis to arid desert?
      Where do you get the water from now? Do you have to perpetually worry about water use and not wasting it?
      G xxx


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