Sunday, December 2, 2007

Las Vegas

I just arrived into Dallas tonight. Sitting here in bed, catching up on all things web-wise.

Since my last entry, I flew from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, where I had 9 hours to re-pack, re-charge and make it back to the airport. Here are some pictures from the flight.

Paintings to come soon ;) This had to be one of the most beautiful flights I have been on, this is only 6 of the 105 shots I took, yeah, I know.

Once I was back to the airport, I was on my way to Vegas aboard Virgin Airlines, it was my first time. Nothing but good things to say. Granted there were only 17 of us on this huge jet,

we had the best service, everything from the interior of the cabin to the way that they do the safety instruction video is just so modern and ...hmmm, fun. The best part is that everyone has an entertainment system to themselves; video games, tv, movies, music videos (you better believe I watched my hunny Common the whole 1 hour flight;),

and my favorite can instant message other seats. That there has a lot of potential.

Vegas was a whole lot of things. Day one was a little rough; trying to overcome this flu I've managed to get, overcome my jet lag from Pittsburgh, and settle into the Luxor, which is a beautiful hotel, but one I will never stay in, again. Trying to work with no internet+outlets that don't hold plugs+windows that barely let light in because they are covered in ads, and worse yet don't open+bad lighting (applying makeup in bad lighting...I must of looked like a $2 whore the whole time I was in Vegas)= hell.

The above were the only negatives, the rest was awesome. We accomplished 27 shoots, all of which I am very proud of. I learned a lot about Las Vegas that I had not previously acknowledged on my many drunken, hazy, sleepless trips there before. Old town Las Vegas is full of interesting, glamorous stories and history from it's brighter days past. Who knew that back in the day, Las Vegas was not one of shiny shirts, ultra nightclubs, coke heads and fake boobs, but one of a different type of glamor, the kind with class.

Stories of old time celebrities, the mafia, good restaurants and classy parties poured from the mouths of longtime restaurant owners, locals and taxi drivers. It gave me an appreciation for the surface, soul-less, sickningly expensive, excessive circus that I had once thought Las Vegas to be.

Some of the best stories came from Even Glusmon, Managing partner and son of Freddie Glusmon, the man behing Piero's. Back in the day, Piero's was where you could find locals, politicians, celebrities and mafia hanging out in their now famous "A" room. I guess the same is true today, he told me of how recently, the S.W.A.T team bust into the restaurant (guns drawn, shields, the whole bit) to capture two of the Gambino brothers that were dining there. That would have been quite the dining experience. They also filmed the movie Casino in Piero's "A" room. Like I said tons of stories and history here.

After the shoot, Even insisted that we come back to eat later in the evening in between shoots. I almost canceled our reservation there because at 8p, after being up since 7a and shooting and talking all day, an hour of sleep instead in between shoots sounded just so much better. I'm glad I didn't. We got there, and I could not believe how they took care of us. The "A" room is impossible to be seated in. They had a table waiting in the "A" room for us. They treated us like royalty, the food was unbelievable, and the ambiance was just how I expected it to be. An older sophisticated crowd, everyone was a bit dressed up, there was a long table in the middle of the room with about 20 Italian men having dinner, couples in the booths, a live band was in the front "Monkey Bar" room playing "Frank Sinatra"-like tunes, and servers everywhere waiting on you left and right. I felt so at home, so happy and cozy. No, it wasn't the wine.

Payon's Mediterranian Cafe is another spot that I will definitely go back to. Not only is this place a wonderful restaurant, but it is also a hookah lounge. The lounge has been used as a set in movies and tv shows, it's absolutely beautiful. You can easily forget that you are in Vegas; the hookah, the ambiance, the delicious food, oh, try the rice pudding, it's his mom's recipe, to die for.

Ok, there was so much more; the brief encounters with Nikki Hilton, Nick Lachey, Criss Angel, the topless hula hooper and bacon martinis, but I am beat, 1.32a, hell no. Check back, Ill write more later.

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