I was in Vegas again last week. Me, Wheelchair Cousin and her mother, and my cousin Aaron who went on the Louisiana road trip with me in 2013. A quick little jaunt, we left Wednesday morning and got back Friday afternoon. We went mostly so that Wheelchair Cousin could go. She’s had a rough year with the pressure sore, the subsequent surgery and recuperation. Since she’s going back to pharmacy school at the end of the month, we thought it would be nice to enjoy something.
Most of my problems with Vegas is that there is no queer representation on the Strip. Oh sure, there are the four Sephoras, the stupid water show at Bellagio, every waiter at the restaurants. But for anything queer, you have to travel off the Strip. Because there’s always been at least one heterosexual with me in these trips to Vegas, there has been no gay Vegas for me. Just walking, drinking and staring at what essentially amounts to high-priced malls.
On the Las Vegas Strip, there are four Sephoras all within walking distance of each other. There’s a replica of Paris, of Venice, of New York and inexplicably the Miracle Mile of Los Angeles. As you walk through these simulations (and note that I really had to resist using the word simulacra,) your mind goes into a blur. Didn’t we just go by a Gucci? Why is that midwest couple in overalls going into the Prada store?
It is also so loud that everything is silent. The noise, the lights, the sensory overload just causes my brain to shut down so that I’m not marveling at the spectacle. I’m not noticing where I am. I don’t know that I’m hungry. I don’t realize I’d rather be in a swimming pool. It’s all a blur.
What was really cool was the High Roller “observation wheel” over by the LINQ (nee Imperial Palace.) Rather than a normal ferris wheel, it’s a slow-ride in these big pods that take about 30 minutes to go around. Being sealed in one of the pods was a good way of escaping the noise, to get a moment to think while looking at the vista of the city.
As we left Vegas, we went to the Seven Magic Mountains installation. It was a nice way to end the trip, an explosion of color amid the austerity of the desert.