enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Las Vegas Mod: First Meeting, Aruba Hotel Tour

What started out as the first meeting of the Las Vegas Modern Committee (LV ModCom) in a Henderson Barnes and Noble ended with drinks, cigarettes, swing dancers, and a tour of the Aruba Hotel & Spa (formerly the Thunderbird Hotel) on the Vegas Strip.

Last week, the Friday night meeting went well, with new people trying to feel out their common interest. Lawyers, city employees, writers, and other like-minded folks were there. Hosts for the evening were group founders Jonathon Foerstal and Mary-Margaret Stratton, both who post on Lotta Living.

After the meeting ended, a lot of the group met up at the Aruba. There was a swing dancing night which made for a nice background and an added bonus was getting an impromptu tour of the place by the manager of the hotel. Very nice guy, loads of stories. In addition to LV Mod attendees, Jarret Keene and Joshua Ellis were on hand. Articles on the meeting should be appearing in Las Vegas Life and Las Vegas City Life.

Additional Links:

Las Vegas SUN: Playing the Mods: Mid-century modernism reflected in LV homes
Beauty Bar, new retro-themed bar, opening in May

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New Vegas, Old Vegas: Wynn Las Vegas and the new "Post Modern"

Wynn Las Vegas opened to a packed house, with people reportedly waiting up to three hours to enter the new mega-casino. However, the art gallery has yet to open, which may explain why there is no link for it on the resort's site.

In contrast to the spectacle of the new, Vegas' newest museum will be opening its doors on May 6th. The old post office now new "Post Modern" will be hosting its first exhibition. Here's the press release for your enjoyment...

(Vegas Viewed in Postcards)
The Story of Downtown
A Curated Exhibition by Brian Paco Alvarez at the Historic 1933 Downtown Las Vegas Post Office and Federal Court House in Celebration of the Las Vegas Centennial

City of Las Vegas Cultural Affairs Division
749 Veterans Memorial Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
(702) 229-6130

On Friday, May 6, as part of the First Friday events, the city will host a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. for “Vegas VIP (Vegas Viewed in Postcards),” an exhibition of vintage postcards, historic photographs and artifacts that will remain on display through May.

Exhibition Background

Las Vegas was founded in 1905 during the golden age of postcards, an era full of optimism and innovation that was marked by the industrial revolution and the last vestiges of the gold rush in Nevada. This exhibition traces the history of Las Vegas through the images that were made into postcards and sent all over the world.

The collection consists of vintage postcards, historic photographs and artifacts from local individuals and institutions. Postcards from the famed Robert Stoldal Collection and items such as blast goggles from the Atomic Testing Museum, signage letters from the Neon Museum and antiques from the Barrick Museum at UNLV will also be on display.

The exhibition will be housed on the second floor of the historic 1933 Post Office and Federal Court House in Downtown Las Vegas. The exhibition spaces have been divided into eras that are significant in the development of Las Vegas and the history of postcards.

For more information please contact Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator (702) 229-6130

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Monday, April 25, 2005

In Lieu of A Real Article: Read The New York Times

There will be future articles about local Vegas happenings, including a report on the rather enjoyable first meeting of the Las Vegas Modern Committee.

Until then, you can read the just published New York Times article on the Liberace Museum.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Mod Las Vegas: Good Things at Week's End, Pt. 1

Vegas is known for its architecture, but with its tendency to destroy buildings more than a week old, historic preservation is not the city's biggest priority. On the national stage it has a charismatic reputation, but Vegas is no Palm Springs or LA. Without the Vegas Strip and its signature casino glam and glitz, Vegas does not compare to many cities large and small when it comes to neighborhoods of distinctive architecture. Most of the city's early residential buildings never were much more than functional homes, and the signature styles of the 30s, 40s and 50s never took firm root in Vegas on the scale that they did in other cities.

In an attempt to bring attention and recognition to the modern architecture that the city does have, the Las Vegas Modern Committee will be having its first get together. Who is it for? . . .

"For Afficionados of
Classic Las Vegas Landmarks, Things To Do and See,
Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Rat Pack History,
New and Historic Neon Signs, and Vintage Vacation Kitsch"

The group was started by Paliau, a Henderson-based attorney, ". . . interested in pop culture from the 30s to the 60s including modernism, tiki culture, googie architecture, lounge music (Esquivel, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman)." His goal, to give the worthwhile example of Vegas Mod its due. The inaugural event will be on April 22 at 7:00 PM at this Barnes & Noble in Henderson. Discussions will revolve around Vegas architecture, the books "Book of Tiki" and "Tiki Road Trip" and Vegas documentary producer Lynn Zook will talk about her movies, The Story of Classic Las Vegas and "The Women Who Built Las Vegas: a four part series. Check out the movie's trailer for a sneek peak at these great documentaries.

Locally public radio has touched upon residential areas of note. KNPR's State of Nevada dedicated the October 22, 2004 show to historic neighborhoods. The station's archived shows are now available in downloadable form (mp3) so those with the bandwidth can grab a show and listen whenever they care to.

But Las Vegas Modern Committee is not the only group in Vegas or Nevada with preservation in mind. Preserve Nevada and Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission make continuing efforts in the uphill battle to save and salvage city and state landmarks.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Thank You, Jon Stewart

Thanks to the Daily Show, it has been brought to this website's attention that Newt Gingrich will be speaking at the Silverton Hotel and Casino.

The former Speaker of the House will be at the Hideaway Theater on April 14th, before Twisted Sister and after John Kay and Steppenwolf. If you feel like posing some questions to Newt, PBS's Frontline website The Long March of Newt Gingrich is a good starting point. Visit the Chronology Page for great tidbits, such as:

June 19, 1962 - Newt marries Jackie Battley (the geometry teacher he met attending high school).

1966-1970 - At Tulane, he indulges in mild counter-culture behavior, including a protest against the administration for banning "obscene" photos in the school paper. He becomes a fan of Alvin and Heidi Toffler and experiments with marijuana. Gets draft deferment because of school and children (flat feet and near-sightedness also probably would have kept him out).

August 1981 - Newt marries Marianne Ginther, a personnel clerk with the Secret Service.

Unfortunately, the chronology ends at 1998. Otherwise it might have covered his 1999 affair with Callista Bisek, a 33-year-old Congressional aide. Typifying the conservative ideology of fidelity and family (he was a major proponent of Bill Clinton's impeachment), he announced to his second wife his intention to divorce her while she was celebrating her mother's 84th birthday in July.

So, when you see Newt, give him a wink and a nod. Because he's in Vegas and he likes the ladies.

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