Las Vegas

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Las Vegas' iconic sign
The Las Vegas Strip at night
The Las Vegas Strip by day

Las Vegas (Spanish for The Meadows) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and entertainment. Las Vegas, billed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment.


  • The reason you should go to Las Vegas is because, for only the second time, the second time, ever, they have rebuilt Sodom and Gomorrah. It's back!! And you have the opportunity to see it before it turns to salt. And you wanna get out there before the Christian Right finds out what we're up to and shits all over it.
  • Las Vegas is Everyman’s cut-rate Babylon. Not far away there is, or was, a roadside lunch counter and over it a sign proclaiming in three words that a Roman emperor’s orgy is now a democratic institution…. “Topless Pizza Lunch.”
  • Las Vegas is in front of them and then all around them and everything is lit up like they’re inside a pinball game. All of the trees look fake. Like someone read too much Dr. Seuss and got ideas. People are walking up and down the sidewalks. Some of them look normal. Others look like they just escaped from a fancy-dress ball at a lunatic asylum. Jeremy hopes they’ve just won lots of money and that’s why they look so startled, so strange. Or made they’re all vampires.
    • Kelly Link, Magic for Beginners (2005), reprinted in Paula Guran (ed.), Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries & Lore (pp. 202-203)
  • The kinda city I could run with, Las Vegas na-vi-dad, I love it!
    • Sir Mix-a-Lot, "Jump on It" (1996), Return of the Bumpasaurus, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Regent Music Corporation
  • Saturday midnight...Memories of this night are extremely hazy. All I have, for guide-pegs, is a pocketful of keno cards and cocktail napkins, all covered with scribbled notes. Here is one: "Get the Ford man, demand a Bronco for race-observation not a helicopter?...Get on the phone, lean on the fuckers...heaving yelling." Another says: "Sign on Paradise Boulevard-'Stopless and Topless'...bush-league sex compared to L.A.; pasties here-total naked public humping in L.A....Las Vegas is a society of armed masturbator/gambling is the kicker here/sex is extra/weird trip for high for winners, hand jobs for the bad luck crowd"
  • Sympathy?
    Not for me. No mercy for a criminal freak in Las Vegas. This place is like the army: the shark ethic prevails-eat the wounded. In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
  • Each city is an archetype rather than a prototype, an exaggerated example from which to derive lessons for the typical. Each city vividly superimposes elements of a supranational scale on the local fabric: churches in the religious capital, casinos in the entertainment capital. These cause violent juxtapositions of use and scale in both cities. Rome’s churches, off streets and piazzas, are open to the public; the pilgrim, religious or architectural, can walk from church to church. The gambler or architect in Las Vegas can similarly take in a variety of casinos along the Strip. The casinos and lobbies of Las Vegas are ornamental and monumental and open to the promenading public.
    • Robert Venturi, “From Rome to Las Vegas,” Learning from Las Vegas, rev. edition, MIT Press (1977).
  • Las Vegas is more like Hollywood than Hollywood, because the money is changing hands right out front. Committed to veneer as an art form, over-thirty and relentlessly white in essence, if not always in packaging, Vegas is the antithesis of the cultural revolution.
    • Ellen Willis Elvis in Las Vegas August 1969 in Beginning to See the Light: Pieces of a Decade (1981)
  • Las Vegas has become, just as Bugsy Siegel dreamed, the American Monte Carlo—without any of the inevitable upper-class baggage of the Riviera casinos. At Monte Carlo there is still the plush mustiness of the nineteenth century noble lions.... There are still Wrong Forks, Deficient Accents, Poor Tailoring, Gauche Displays, Nouveau Richness, Cultural Aridity—concepts unknown in Las Vegas. For the grand debut of Monte Carlo as a resort in 1879 the architect Charles Garnier designed an opera house for the Place du Casino; and Sarah Bernhardt read a symbolic poem. For the debut of Las Vegas as a resort in 1946 Bugsy Siegel hired Abbot and Costello, and there, in a way, you have it all.
  • Just think, I had seen the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas before the real one! We Americans have the myth of Bellagio. The reality then far exceeds the replica. It's magic.
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