Well, no one guessed, but I think it’s time to reveal that my first stop on this travel journey is indeed Las Vegas. It was a little ironic to begin Holy Week in Sin City, but as a screenwriter I’ve always had an eye for irony (that and alliteration are the secret sauce of screenwriting).
Ah, Vegas. What could be more American than this desert oasis willed into reality with a combination of crime and carnality? And yet, like so many other American inventions, it all kinda works. After all, how can you not love a country that produced both Sharknado… and Sharknado slots?
But the pandemic has imperiled this particular paradise. In spring, when the casinos closed, Nevada’s unemployment rate soared to almost 30%, a record for any state in any month. But now the crowds are back…with a vengeance. And I’ve never seen such public health defiance and so little mask wearing in a place that supposedly mandates it. I used to worry that Florida’s spring break would fuel a new COVID surge. But Vegas says, Hold my beer…or bong. The clouds of cannabis are everywhere.
If I weren’t vaccinated, I’d be terrified by these crowds. Since I am, I’m merely saddened. But there’s still beauty on the margins. The Neon Museum is an absolute must see.
The Strip sparkles at sunrise, where the only folks out are runners and those unwilling to call it a night…even at dawn.
And there is also great natural beauty nearby, which will be the subject of my next post.