Photo by thecobrasnake
We don’t care how JADED you might be, it’s impossible to come to Las Vegas and not be a teensy bit impressed, if anything just by the sheer fucked-up-ness of the city. It’s a crazy mixed-up town where simple things like checking into your hotel turn into a sensorial skull fuck at the drop of a “Wha?” From when it first became the capital of unrestricted gambling, booze, and pussy in the 1930s, to the late 50s when casinos would host rooftop “bomb parties” where perfect nuclear families could watch A-bombs going off in the desert and be showered with “completely safe” pretty pink dust (radioactive fallout), Vegas was always been about doing it big and fast, consequences be damned. Now as one of the fastest-growing cities in North America, shit’s about to bust. Tens of thousand of jobs are created each year, 60 new streets are named each month, and more than 1,000 new residents move to town each week. Of course the question is, why the fuck would anyone want to live in a living, breathing acid trip? Even since the 90s, when Steve Wynn began blowing up the old Vegas hotels and rebuilding the town Disney-style, it’s never truly become the desert paradise it pretends to be. Las Vegas is near the top of American cities in rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, personal bankruptcy, teen pregnancy, and suicide—a side most visitors won’t see in any insipid animatronic display next to the Dior boutique in the Caesars Palace mall.
Photo by Bryce Franich
In fact the first thing you will probably notice when you fly into Las Vegas is the Skybeam on top of the Luxor Hotel/Casino. From afar it looks pretty neat (it’s visible up to 250 miles away), and once you get closer, it kinda looks all sparkly where it shoots out the top of the pyramid. Well, guess what? It’s not sparkling. Those twinkly things you see near the top are hundreds of fucking bats feeding off the millions of insects attracted to the most powerful light in the world. Of course the average visitor never realizes that this kind of creepy shit is going on right above their heads, mostly because they’re walking around drunk on all the free booze they can get, but it’s a perfect example of what Las Vegas was, is, and always will be. On the surface blindingly colorful, all flashy lights, and phony volcanoes, but underneath—literally just around the corner—there’s always some dark, seedy shit going on. So step lightly and quickly, because, that’s where all the fun is (doye). Cover photo by and everything in the hunt-and-go-find by Mark from thecobrasnake.com. Special thanks to Scott, Mark, Dave, Austin, Max, and Tyree for their help in preparing this guide. Edited by Rafael Katigbak.