I’ve never been one to miss a place. When in Rome has been my motto. When I first moved to Las Vegas I thought I landed on another planet. It was too isolating for my taste and I missed the social life I had lead in Pasadena. In part because of work and because of my husband’s classical singing. As a journalist covering the Arts and in Public Relations, I enjoyed the combination of writing by day and being social at night. I had the opportunity to chat with people once their guard was down and evaluate things intuitively, which gave me writing material, if I chose to use it.
Some family members thought I’d love returning to LA. The relationships I had with people prior to leaving just aren’t there anymore. Out of sight, out of mind. I’m fine with that since I know energy shifts and changes. It’s a universal law. On my return, there were no sounding bugles, no welcome mat.
The last two years in Las Vegas were happy ones. As I expanded my base, I volunteered for the Obama campaign, formed a book club, made connections by volunteering at PBS, spoke at schools, and formed a circle of comrades at the doggie park, so that we could watch each others’ pets. And there was Madhu and Baba, my wonderful friends who held Satsang. I was their welcomed guest speaker. When you know that what you have to offer is wanted, it gives satisfaction and fulfillment. And fulfillment is often times what a writer/artist/creative doesn’t get for stretches (months, and even years) at a time.
I know by the number of people who read this blog, although they don’t comment, that live in Las Vegas, this post if for you. I can’t count on Facebook since most who use it don’t understand “reciprocity.”
This is what makes Las Vegas a city worth appreciating.
Distances are relatively close. Driving is a breeze and the roads are smooth, not filled with pot holes. Traffic warning systems are everywhere and have digital meters that gauge in minutes various exits.
Beauty. There are no ugly unsightly cables or telephone poles from the last century with dragging cables infested with bird remains. Instead everything is underground to make you appreciate the swaying palm trees.
Weather. Sure there’s a long summer with quiet AC’s. In CA many homes don’t even have an A/C! There is a winter minus the snow. I loved wearing sweaters and coats.
Cleanliness. There is no graffiti, everything works, and is well-maintained. I recall seeing sidewalks hosed down and freeway walls scrubbed. I am amazed at how dirty (in need of paint, dilapidated, and bug ridden) everything in CA is. It’s plain filthy!
Space, quiet, privacy. If you want a home office, say the word. It’s the way people live, with space. And noise; you won’t find it in a residential area. Let your creativity soar in your private girl/man cave!
Customer service. Once you are known you get all kinds of perks. I had an on-going discount at Barnes & Noble. I could ask for a discount at the register at Macy’s and presto, 20% off. In CA, I ask for this and am looked at with disgust. Bottom line; no one wants to give you anything—given the fact that I’ve been a card-holder for aeons of time, employees won’t go the extra mile.
You get invited to “free days,” some of these include, IHOP, Golden Spoon (frozen yogurt), Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone, Chipolte, Mimi’s, Ceci’s Pizza, Einstein Bagels, and the list goes on.
Quality fine dining from renowned chefs. You’ll have to fly to New York or Paris to get that anywhere else.
Beautiful parks with lots of family activities. Currently the only park I have been to is Lacey Park in San Marino where there is an admittance fee.
Gyms are plentiful in Las Vegas, with top of the line equipment and staff cleaning all day, every day. In So CA I went to my Gym’s pool and nearly curled over from nausea when I saw a sign that read; if you have diarrhea, don’t use the pool. I stayed away and could swear the water now looks brown.
Homes present comfort. My kitchen was big and had a island, a must for buffets, wrapping presents, unloading groceries, cutting out a pattern, doing arts and crafts. Granite counter-tops, two linen closets, closet space, a private WC, a pantry, broom closet, a separate laundry room, guest bathroom are the norm for most homes.
Educational facilities. Schools are rich with with current books, manuals, computer equipment, etc. No ghetto chain link fences like I see now.
Small-town feeling. Once you get around and get to know people the isolation sheds, you see the same faces at events and you become someone special.
Aveda Institute. No one need have bad hair in Sin City. The School offers their wonderful natural products with quality service that includes a head massage, with $15.00 cuts and 20.00 dye jobs. In CA it’s 110.00 for both.
Cable. Cox Communications was not cheap but I could call and renegotiate my price for current specials. In almost 10 years, I had Internet problems twice. In CA, I have connectivity problems twice a week.
PBS. Shows and the International selection were outstanding. In So Cal, the selection is awful with local shows from the early 2000’s and one staid commercial.
Parking is free everywhere. Valet is available and is based on your generosity. Whenever it was too hot, I’d use it and was treated like a Queen. Hospitality is key. During my CA absence parking meters went from 6 to 8PM, got a parking ticket in WLA for 65.00. Good-bye birthday money.
The Arts. The Smith Center which I swooned over, offers free parking and is a world class performing arts center . They offer deals on ticket prices. LA use to do that. No longer. Arts are for the privileged few in LA.
Pet Control. No loose dogs on the street. You cannot adopt a pet without a chip-it’s mandatory. You also will get a bag of food, a temporary leash and have to sign a form that states you will never let your pet go w/o food or water. LV breeds responsible pet owners. You also cannot allow your pet into a dog park until they’ve been fixed. In CA there is not this level of respect or awareness.
So the next time you complain about life in Las Vegas, dear reader, hold your tongue, go through my list and be grateful. Your comparison city may or may not have some of my features, but my point is this- you won’t appreciate it until it’s not there anymore and things are better than you think.