Days 15 & 16: Las Vegas is Spanish For “The Vegas”

Most of my reflections on Vegas will be saved for the book, but I will give these three brief notes before we get to the holiday snaps.

1. I’m fairly sure that there is a lost postscript to The Inferno in which Dante describes a 10th circle of hell coming to pass in the near future that sounds suspiciously like modern day Las Vegas.

2. The homelessness/joblessness crisis in Las Vegas is maybe the worst I’ve ever seen, and that’s including Detroit, Baltimore and Washington DC. The city’s current unemployment rate of 9.8%¹ and estimated 14.9% of the population living below the poverty line,² these numbers don’t take into account the homeless/transient community because those without permanent addresses are only in rare circumstances contacted by the US Census Bureau or the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

3. I cannot speak for anyone else specifically on this matter, but, it is now my experience after my first trip to Las Vegas that the town and recovering alcoholics/addicts are about as well suited as an asthmatic and a room full of burning asbestos. That is all.

Now, the pictures!

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The outside of the Circus Circus, because what says good times more than a terrifying 40 foot tall fluorescent clown?

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Inside a boutique shopping center attached to Caesar’s Palace…In here you can buy a pair of $3,000 Christian Louboutain shoes, some $1,500 Ferragamo sunglasses and a $5,000 Louis Vuitton handbag, provided you’re willing to step over a few homeless and down on their luck souls on your way in and out.

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I thought it would callous of me to take pictures of anyone asking for cash/smokes/work on the street, but this guy specifically asked me too, and with that sign, how could I not? He explained to me that he specifically put Karate down as the martial arts discipline instead of Kung Fu because ninjas are traditionally Japanese and not Chinese.

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Can you say classy? I knew you could

¹ 11.2% according to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates from 2007-2011

² The number climbs to 21.6% for just children, resulting in large part from even higher poverty rates among single mother households

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