Not your pre-pandemic Las Vegas

Next to it, Vegas’ ghost town shops for adults, shutters with shutters and various buildings also show increasingly elaborate murals: a blood-spattering horned lizard that stretches over half a metropolitan block; a dog with an impressively drooling tongue piloting an open cockpit airplane; A colorful phoenix and a dragon rise like fireworks from an empty parking zone – all of them collectively produce stunned “Wows!” From our minivan.

It appears Las Vegas is rising from the Covid disaster as a place of spectacle and creativity, especially outside of the Strip’s air-conditioned gaming ghettos.

In the following 4 days we strolled, crawled, flown and even rode the train a lot, all away from the casinos. We explored the Arts District, a place that has gotten into Hyper-Drive – a lot so we waited half an hour to get to my “secret” Colombian breakfast place Makers & Finders – and walked down Spring Mountain Road. the center of the city of Chinatown, growing rapidly to the west. In the mid-century Mecca of East Fremont Street, $ 350 million funding from tech titan Tony Hsieh, who died last year, has created a boulevard of fantastic art installations, restored buildings, and a sculptural playground surrounded by stacked shipping containers that have been converted into boutiques and cafes, all guarded by a large, fire-breathing metal praying mantis.

“Vegas is experiencing a cultural renaissance,” a former member of the city’s art commission, Brian “Paco” Alvarez, informed me in a recent telephone interview. “Much of the local culture, coming from a city of two million unusually creative people, hasn’t stopped during the pandemic.”

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