There’s a park up the street. It used to be accessible to everyone, from anywhere — just as parks should be.
Now, the park has a giant fence around it. That’s right — a fence.
But this is no typical fence. It’s constructed of thick iron bars. It has sharp spikes on top, the type that would puncture someone were they foolish enough to try and climb over. It’s intimidating, the kind one expects to see around a prison. It’s designed strictly for one purpose, which is to keep people out.
My question is — why?
Why build a massive fence around a city park, presumably a gathering place for people of all ages to come and enjoy the outdoors?
For the past ten years since I’ve lived in The Lakes section of Las Vegas, Desert Breeze Park — which is right up the street — had no fence around it. There were no problems. Ever. No vagrancy. No crime. Nothing that would instigate a call for making any changes. I ran though this park on many occasions. Most of the time, the grassy fields were empty except for a few kids kicking a ball, or perhaps a family with a dog fetching a frisbee. On weekends, the lawn became filled with children, playing soccer and football. Day or night, the park is a joyous sight and a happy place to be.
During the holidays, we came out and sat in the park on lawn chairs. We sometimes watched the fireworks. We met with our friends and neighbors. The park was a social and recreational center, an oasis of green in an otherwise brown desert city.
Drive 41 miles southwest of Vegas on the only highway headed in that direction, and you’ll reach Primm — a virtual dot on the map which straddles the barren Nevada-California border.
Primm, Nevada has no residents. It’s not even a town, really. The closest full-time inhabitants reside about seven miles up Hwy 95 back towards Las Vegas, in an even smaller place called Jean, Nevada. Never mind these good citizens just so happen to live in a state prison.
All Primm is known for are a few second-rate casinos all desperately in need of renovation, a giant outlet mall which seems empty most of the time, a convenience store that sells nothing but lottery tickets (just across the state border on the California side), and the famous roller coaster shooting out from the ceiling at Buffalo Bills.
It must seem pretty strange for someone from Las Vegas to make this 82-mile round trip drive, to a dusty place in the middle of the desert just to shop and gamble. Hello? Doesn’t Las Vegas have shopping and gambling? Talk about an act of madness. It’s like living in San Francisco and driving to Fresno for fresh seafood. The only appropriate response here is “what the fuck?’
How fucking difficult is it to make a crepe?
Well, it might as well be rocket science if you’re dining at the newest cafe-restaurant which just opened up at Tivolli Village, in Summerlin. Wanna’ guess what the name of this new place is? Try this: The Crepe.
The most outrageous thing about our lunchtime visit today was — WE NEVER GOT ANY CREPES!
Can you fucking believe it?
Maybe they should rename this place The Air. Or, The Wait. That was the full extent of our lunch. I’ll say this, it’s one helluva good place to go on a diet and lose weight. Everything on the menu is low fat. Er, make that no fat.
Here’s what happened.
At about 10:30 last night, the monotony of another mostly chatterless WSOP Main Event final table was broken by a giant panda rushing onto the stage and subsequently crashing at the feet of six stunned poker players, playing for millions of dollars.
That was undoubtedly one of the highlights of a November Nine final table atmosphere which has become the equivalent of poker’s giant one-ring circus held the Rio’s big top – an excuse for anyone and everyone who can spell POKER to dress up, drink up, chant, celebrate, and party like there’s no tomorow, all interspersed with a mind-boggling marathon of down time during which nothing much happens.
This is televised poker. This is the World Series of Poker championship. This is the culmination of the profound wisdom pontificated by recent Poker Hall of Fame inductee Tom McEvoy when he said, “Poker is hours and hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.”
Here are some of my most memorable moments from last night:
Art reflects who we are.
Art can be anywhere and made of anything — created by anyone.
Art inspires and unites us.
Art is the universal language of human expression.