Writing about a city where I’ve never traveled to before and know virtually nothing about seems inherently foolish and naively arrogant — two qualities that I’ve undoubtedly mastered far beyond reparation.
Until now, Dublin was just an ink spot on a map, an brief episode on Rick Steves Europe, and we all know of course — the home of Guinness, which I’ve been told is a popular brand of beer. I also knew Dublin to be the substantive and spiritual muse for many great writers — including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw, to name but a few. It’s also the home of my own musical lion, Van Morrison. Oh, and U-2 also. Other than those Irish peculiarities, and a few castles, there isn’t much else here to see.
I’ve been granted both a gift and an opportunity to change that ridiculous previous statement and broaden my horizons. My dear friend Padraig Parkinson asked me to fly over the Atlantic and attend the 2015 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open, and celebrate the 36th-year anniversary of the Irish poker scene’s beginnings, which I’ll be writing about a bit more. The PPPO will be played here in Dublin over the next week. [READ MORE ABOUT PADRAIG PARKINSON HERE].
[Writer’s Note: See more photos of “The Lakes, Nevada” below]
When people ask me where I live — I answer “Las Vegas.”
However, when asked this same question by someone local, that calls for a more specific answer. My reply is that I live in a section of Las Vegas called “The Lakes.”
The Lakes seems like an odd name for a residential community anchored in the middle of the desert. I can’t blame people when they get confused, hearing about “lakes.” Some misunderstand the reference and think I live way out near Lake Mead. Others associate the name with “Lake Las Vegas” — a ritzy golf course development with million-dollar homes located on the eastern edge of the city.
Actually, The Lakes is located right smack in the middle of town on the west side. It’s about seven miles away from the Las Vegas Strip (a.k.a. Las Vegas Blvd.). It’s bordered by Durango to the east, and Hualapai to the west — then Sahara to the north, and Desert Inn to the south. If you keep on heading west from where I live, the next development towards the mountains is called Summerlin, which most people have at least heard of. Not so, with The Lakes.
The Lakes has an interesting history. In today’s column, I’m going to tell you more about The Lakes and convey its uniqueness as a desert paradise, and a really nice place to live.
Of all impersonations, Frank Sinatra’s might be the toughest to pull off convincingly.
The baritone voice, the tuxedoed savoir faire, the quirky and often comical mannerisms, the working-class New York accent — all these classic Sinatra trademarks are relatively straightforward to copycat with some practice combined with the proper flair.
What isn’t so easy to incorporate is the epochal stage presence and the personal charisma. More like impossible. Like all of our most celebrated musical icons — Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles — the tribute shows might look and sound like the real deal, but they never quite spark the same electrifying voltage of atmospheric energy. We’re never quite able to shake the awareness that we’re consuming Spam from a can instead of real meat.
Driving down La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles at about 1 am tonight and while waiting at a red light, I pulled up alongside this veritable lighthouse of crime. And that’s when it suddenly hit me.
Look what’s open for business 24-hours a day, seven days a week. A self-professed “psychic.”
How in the fuck are these businesses even legal? And more important to the current discussion facing so many of us in what’s become a time of crisis, how is there an active movement and well-oiled machine to outlaw playing poker on your home computer here in the United States of America, but there’s no such even remotely comparable righteous indication targeted towards the swindlers and liars and con artists and menaces to society that make up those who run these cathedrals of exploitation? Where are the Sheldon Adelson’s of the world on this subject?
It was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of the world’s first “standing airline.”
Instead of fetal-positioning ourselves onto tiny cramped cushions the size of a chessboard for hours at a time, passengers flying economy class might soon be standing upright during an entire flight. You think flying’s an exhausting experience now? Wait until you’ve been tethered vertically and chained into a speeding air dungeon. Imagine your legs starting to tingle and then the pilot announcing, “we apologize, but takeoff will be delayed another 45 minutes.” Flying on what amounts to a crowded city bus is going to make a ticket on Spirit seem like first-class on Singapore Airlines.