GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

2017-04-20 - Las Vegas Weekly

Las Vegas Weekly

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B Y C . M O O N R E E D See the explorers—out tted in khakis and pith helmets—braving the unknown wilds. Every so often, an intrepid band descends upon our city to nd the "authentic" Vegas. A courageous few might even venture beyond the Strip. Still, most follow the Hunter S. Thompson template: Blaze into town amid a urry of imaginary bats and search for the American Dream. Locals read along with chuckles or derision, amazed at the hilarity of observations that are always slightly skewed. My favorite is this gem by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist J.R. Moehringer: "Vegas isn't a real city. It's a Sodom and Gomorrah theme park surrounded by hideous exurban sprawl and wasteland so barren it makes the moon look like an English rose garden. (Smithsonian, October 2010.)" The LVCVA couldn't have come up with a better description. All those biblical references to debauchery are great for business. Vox Media's Curbed is the most recent publica- tion to enter the fray. Last week, the real-estate blog released an ambitious package about Las Vegas. The series of in-depth articles addresses transportation, homelessness, sustainability and architecture. Despite—or perhaps, because of—Curbed's seri- ous intentions, its package grated locals more than the most absurd tourist confessional. Excluding a nice interactive map of public art by Las Vegas artist/blogger Ed Fuentes, the writing reeked of colonial-style condescension. A piece titled "Starchitects in Sin City: Can high-pro le architec- ture survive in Las Vegas" begins with the line: "Las Vegas is where architecture goes to die." Ouch. Adding injury to insult, the authors critique Strip architecture based on the incorrect assumption that there are "no height restrictions" and "basically no planning rules at all." Did nobody notice the giant airport (with restrictive ight paths) right next to the Strip? As for solving Strip gridlock, the authors suggest restricting one lane of Las Vegas Boulevard to bikes, Segways and electric go-karts. Okay, that's one idea crazy enough for me to support … as long as the Segway lane steers me directly to the Sodom and Gomorrah casino of my dreams. A tradition of outsiders writing about Vegas continues to delight—and perplex Nearly 10 years ago, Station Casinos Chairman and CEO Frank Fertitta purchased a Mark Rothko painting for $7.2 million. When it turned out to be created by Pei-Shen Qian, a Chinese immigrant based in Queens, New York, Fertitta sued. Last week, The Art Newspaper reported that he settled out of court with the art historian who vouched for the "master- piece." No word on terms, but chatter in the Las Vegas art community produced a brilliant idea: create a museum of fakes. Vegas is all about im- proving on reality, so this museum could be the perfect Strip attraction. First artist-in-residence: Pei-Shen Qian. –C. Moon Reed EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING? + BEMUSED TO DEATH intersection A N D L I F E M E E T The Mob Museum is gearing up for its next phase. L A S V E G A S W E E K LY 0 4 . 2 0 . 1 7

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