Las Vegas – Monday Listicles

Today’s Monday Listicles focus on our hometowns.  Before I moved to Vegas over six years ago, I used to vacation here once a year.  I always stayed on the Strip and never really thought about Las Vegas being a real city with real people trying to make a living.  When we first moved here, jobs were plenty, even in my field of Information Technology.  Sadly, that’s not the case anymore.  I like living in Vegas in spite of the unemployment, the traffic and the summer heat.  For me, it beats Ohio’s humidity and mosquitoes in the summer and snow and ice in the winter.  More than 5,000 people move into the Las Vegas valley on a monthly basis.  This place is getting crowded, let me tell ya.

So here’s my list of ten things about this city I call my hometown that you may not know:

  1.  Las Vegas is 106 years old, having celebrated its 100th birthday on May 15, 2005.  That was just four months before I moved here, so once again, I missed the Party!
  2. In 1957, topless showgirls debuted on the Las Vegas Strip in “Minsky’s Follies” at the Dunes.  I would have only been 4 years old, so this piece of information wouldn’t have interested me near as much as it does now.  Ahem.
  3. The Stratosphere Hotel and Tower, at more than 1,100 feet, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi and the fifth tallest building in the United States.
  4. Approximately 15,000 homeless people live in Las Vegas, and this was just the statistic from 2010.  There are probably many more by now, with the recession hitting us so hard.  Many of the homeless live in tunnels under Las Vegas, according to a news report on CBS last year.  I did not know that.  It sure makes you think.
  5. Las Vegas hosts an annual Race for the Cure, AIDS Walk, and many other charity walks and races to include the ‘Rock n Roll Marathon’ and the Santa Run.
  6. In the six years I’ve been here, I saw 6 inches of snow…..on one day.  That was it.  Other than that, we might get a dusting of snow once a year.  The winters are very mild.  My kind of winter!
  7. The heat in the summer can reach upwards of 120 degrees but usually averages around 110 degrees in July and August.  June and September are in the lower 100s.  By the time October rolls around, we locals are more than ready for our air-conditioning bills to decrease.   OUCH.
  8. There is so much to do here, not just for the tourists, but us locals, too.  We actually have our own casinos.  Well, they are not exclusively ours.  No one will kick you out if you’re not a local.  We just prefer these casinos because, unless we work on the Strip, most of us would rather stick toothpicks in our eyes than fight the traffic and craziness down there.  We only go to the Strip when we have guests in town and need to play tour guide.   The local casinos cater to us in that they are conveniently located all around the city and we get free gifts and sometimes free play on the machines just for coming in.   I like that.  That’s how I get my free wine!  Woot!
  9.  Las Vegas also has its cultural side and getting more so all the time.  We have ballet, symphony, and theater all year round, and many visiting venues come through as well.  We’re Not just all about Wayne Newton and Carrot Top, ya know.  Again, that’s for you tourists.
  10. For me, the most interesting aspect of this city is the mixture of people, a melting pot if you will, from all over the world.  And I’m talking about the locals this time.  Most of us are not from Vegas, but rather transplants (like all the trees and greenery LOL).   It is rare to meet a true Las Vegas native, but they do exist.   The people here are, for the most part, friendly.  People are careful though, because the crime rate here is high, and don’t want to let their defenses down and trust too much.  That may sound a bit sad, but it’s the way it is.  You just watch your back here and if you’re very lucky (as I have been) you’ll meet some awesome locals that are much like you.  For example, I go to one grocery store all the time, so I know most of the staff there.  The other day, my battery died in the parking lot.  I went into the grocery store, and right away, two of the male cashiers went out and jumped my car so I could get to the place that replaces batteries.  They didn’t have to do that.  I could have called AAA, but they insisted.

***Just a little holla out to the nice folks at Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.  You guys rock!

 So that’s my list.  A bit long and my apologies for that.  I just wanted you to know a little about the local side of Las Vegas, my home.   So next time you’re in town, smile at that porter or that waitress when you can.  They’re just trying to make a living in their hometown.

(Click on Images to Enlarge)

Las Vegas Boulevard Wayyyy South. Lots of weeds, rock and dust down that way.

Green Valley Ranch. My favorite local casino. Just 5 minutes from my house

Mandalay Bay and the Luxor on the south Strip

Harrah's. Display above the doors. Love it!

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