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A Desert Maritime Republic, Mirages of Las Vegas

Several times a year I get the pleasure of attending IBM conferences in the unique playground city of Las Vegas.   I remember the huge excitement that I along with Italian friends , Ernesto and Francesca, that hit us when we, all of a sudden, emerged from the pitch black skies just beyond Hoover Dam, and for the first  time saw the spectacular brilliance of  Vegas, the infamous sin city,  from a distance. She was all lights, somewhat fantastic. We could see the distinctive and so celebrated strip, dash away towards the West, like a flashing, parade float of lights. That trip was lots of fun, just like any other first time experience. And predictably, not much sinning went on, that first night, and day in Vegas.

These days,  I am no longer a big am not a big fan of rat pack heaven, but I do still get greatly amused by the big competition that is Vegas,  a concentration of megalomaniac inspired emulations of people, places and things like no other place on Earth.

Just imagine this . Vegas offers the visitor supersonic travel  from Paris to New York to Venice in less than a half hour walk.  Want to see Elvis  - I mean the  real one - duke it out with Jimmy Dean over who then decides on spending  a Saturday date with Norma Jean?  Go for a stroll down the strip, and you will probably see that fight happen.

And if cars are your thing, forget about the ultimate driving experience you get when cruising in your beer . Sign up for bachelorette party suite on wheels, built out on a stretch pink Ferrari Limo, filled with babes that would put the Swedish bikini team to shame. You see, once you teleport to Vegas, you will will enter a world of smoke, figurative and not, of mirages, and of imitation-anything that might make you wonder  whether a few of the continents had melded or you just had too much to drink.

Authenticity aside, Vegas' attention to detail does impress me . This last trip I got to spend a lot of conference time at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts. Concentrating many of the sights and scenes of real world Venice, with its canaletti, bridges, piazze,  frescoes, confused Commedia dell'arte (many of their  songs seemed anachronistic) street performers, I must give credit to the enormous attention to detail, perhaps something we might be tempted to call craftsmanship, that pervades these two adjoining casino resorts. The place is beautiful, and worth seeing when in town.

Venice In Vegas
All in all , the conference was good. Vegas was bearable, especially after daily trips to the Espressamente Illy Cafe' , what I consider my favorite coffee bar in all of Nevada.

What else could I say ? IT"S VEGAS BABY, VEGAS!







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