Tuesday, 5 March 2013

What happens in Vegas: the neon boneyard

OK people, keep up now. I went to Vegas. I still don't entirely understand Vegas. I did some work. I marvelled at the magical powers of David Copperfield. I did some more work. I marvelled at people's capacity to consume enormous frozen beverages.

And then I found myself with a little window between finishing work and heading to the airport. So I decided to pay a little visit to pretty much the only Vegas tourist attraction I've ever been interested in: the Neon Museum.

A few things you should probably know before you set off:

:: It's actually pretty far away from the strip. Which is no big deal if you're driving, but it's not the world's cheapest taxi fare

:: The website says it recommends booking. It does not explain that each tour (there's one every half an hour) only holds 20 people.

So after my day of work, I hopped in a not inexpensive taxi, arrived at the boneyard, and was politely told that all that day's tours were full and the next tour was 10am on Monday morning. I pouted. I looked dejected. I felt dejected. I took some pictures of the Neon Boneyard sign. Then I decided, without much hope, to hang around for the next tour and see if anyone failed to show.

To the party of four who didn't make it in time for their reservation (and thus wasted over $70), thanks muchly. Your loss. My gain.

Because this place is cool. It's just a big old outdoor space housing more than 150 old signs dating back as far as the 1930s: some are from  famous casinos, others from tatty motels that were demolished long ago to make way for more giant-ass casinos.

Our guide was great, super knowledgeable about neon, gangsters and fonts - and as it's Women's History Month, he included a bunch of facts about the women that have been helping Las Vegas flourish for the last century.

So yay! Something about Vegas I really actually enjoyed and would genuinely recommend. Hurrah!

The less said about return cab ride, where I somehow managed to shut a car door onto my nose, bled copiously all over the streets of Vegas and found myself crying in a toilet while simultaneously mopping up blood and rejecting the sales attempts of a palm reader, the better.


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