Wednesday, January 13, 2010


You can focus on the depressing stuff about Las Vegas—the ancient stains, chips, cracks, missing sequins, bulbs that aren’t flashing, or you can see the glamour, the shine, the excitement, and, maybe, even the beauty, too. There are roses blooming among the thorns.

So, here they are...the things I enjoyed in Las Vegas, my favorite desert roses:

1. The Gallery of Fine Art at the Bellagio. Yes, Virginia, there is fine art in Vegas. The current exhibit reveals the brilliant architects and artists responsible for the stunning new CityCenter, including works by Claes Oldenburg (his piece Typewriter Eraser, is below at the CityCenter), Peter Wegner, and Maya Lin (who designed, at age 21, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.—one of the most moving works of art ever created.) Seeing the exhibit gave me a greater appreciation for the CityCenter, which is changing the skyline of the city from a graphic one to an architectural one, and bringing style and class back to a city losing its luster.

2. Serendipity 3. I hate to shun America's beloved buffets, but...not really. Serendipidy 3, a New York institution, was a fun choice for Friday night sustenance, and its cotton candy-pink lights happened upon us right as we were about to wave a white flag to Las Vegas Blvd. and find a casino food court. The atmosphere was whimsical, darling even, and the famous “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate” was delicious.

3. The Bellagio fountains. There’s something absurdly and frivolously magical about dancing water in the middle of the desert. Choreographed to music and illuminated by golden lights submerged underwater, the streams burst into the night air like powerful geysers, fall like wet spaghetti noodles, and sway gracefully like languid ballerinas. It’s a mesmerizing show to watch...and I will admit, brings me to tears almost every time.

4. The Forum Shops at Caesar’s, Bellagio boutiques, and Crystals, the retail section of CityCenter. Why? All of these places have a Tiffany & Co. I don't know anywhere else in the world where you can find three Tiffany's on one street. And no, I didn’t buy anything. I just love the legacy, the history, and the institution that is Tiffany’s, and that calm robin’s egg blue color and those pretty window displays invited me in to pretend I was Audrey, just for a few moments.

5. Assouline. Quick—what’s the least Vegasy thing you can think of? A luxury bookshop? Jackpot! Unseen forces reeled me into the comforting embrace of Assouline with a taut line, and I couldn’t handle what a beautiful store it was—from the alphabet carpet to the floor-to-ceiling displays of lifestyle, art, and fashion books, this store gave my soul a hug.

6. Dinner at Mesa Grill in Caesar’s Palace. Bobby Flay’s restaurant didn’t disappoint. My dinner was definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in my life. I got the sixteen spice crusted chicken with roasted garlic mango sauce and buttermilk-chive mashed potatoes. My mom got the New Mexican spice rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho chile sauce and a sweet potato tamale with crushed pecan butter. It was all a-MESA-ing!!

My cute mom with her Bette Midler ticket and white peach margarita.

Goat cheese queso fundito with blue corn chips.

Churros with chocolate sauce for dessert. YUM.

Las Vegas, I'll be back....

1 comment:

Julie Hibbard said...

Wow! I have not been to Vegas since 1996...didn't think there was a reason! YOU have given me MANY reasons to go!!! Book stores and galleries and fountains...and frozen hot chocolate and churros!!!!!!!
I think it's time for a trip to Vegas baby!!
PS LOVE the LV bag!!!