I just spent a week in Vegas. No gambling. No shows. No shopping. No girls. No late nights. Barely any drinking (only with meals). Though I did eat a lot of red meat.

Because of the timing of my conference (6AM to 7PM), I wasn’t expecting to take many photos either. However, I couldn’t help going out for a wander before the conference started each day. There are not many people out and about between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning and Vegas looks a lot different when it’s all empty and half of the neon is inactive.
Until last week, my Vegas experience was limited to a couple layovers at McCarran. While I’ll admit to a certain curiosity about the place, it’s never been a destination whose appeal I ever really understood. When I travel, I use the hotel as a place to sleep and, otherwise, try to stay out of it as much as possible. I just don’t understand the concept of a mega-resort where I’m actively discouraged from leaving the hotel.

So in some ways, it’s probably a good thing I was staying at the Treasure Island with the rest of the employees working the show rather than at the Wynn where the show actually was.

wynntreasure island

At the Wynn, the in-resort mall features a Cartier outlet. The Treasure Island has a store called Bling—Cubic Zirconia. This comparison exemplifies the difference between the two venues. It also pretty much covers what’s wrong with Vegas. You can either spend a ton of money on truly nice items or you can waste your time with gaudy knockoffs of the real thing.

clean waterVenice with clean water.

"mansard"Paris with buildings taller than 20 meters

DSC_0032New York + rollercoasters

And these are just the fake cities. There also are fake castles, pyramids, volcanos, and pirate ships—gimmickry which just doesn’t rub me the right way. Being at the Treasure Island with its silly pirate show and dingy grounds* forced me to go out and wander. At one of the classy/nice resorts like the Wynn, I would indeed be tempted to spend the entire time in the hotel.

*The hallways smell of stale margarita mix and cigarettes. And abandoned martini or high-ball glasses stay out on tables all night long.

Besides my early morning excursions, I did also go out at night. Fewer photos though since it’s more crowded and I was only carrying the kit lens.
golden arch

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

2 thoughts on “Vegas”

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