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 30, 2010

A little bit of Pride, a little bit of prejudice and a whole lot of fun...

Dorothy Wright, Ginger Bruner,
Lamar & Pat Marchese, Jan Craddock
Last night at the 5th Street School I had the pleasure to attend the opening of Pride (and Prejudice) a photographic exhibition by founder of Nevada Public Radio Lamar Marchese. The exhibition featured 30 images that were taken by Lamar during the Gay Pride parade in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2009. The collection included a stunningly colorful assortment of imagery depicting the characters of the parade; couples in happy in-brace, men and women in various costumes and of course no pride parade would be complete without the stereotypical protesters informing everyone to repent.

James Healey, Sister Lucy
Miss Kitty Litter

The event last night reminded me of how far we have come as a society in breaking down the barriers of bigotry and intolerance that has plagued our nation for generations. Whether it was the struggles of Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Italians, Irish, Polish, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Latins and or members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender community, it is heartwarming to know that we have come a long way in building a better nation because of those who struggled before us.

It is through education and understanding that we will progress forward to a day when we will stand as one race, the Human race and celebrate what makes us Human. In the end we all live in one giant sphere in the universe, being held by gravity created by the mass of our planet. The Earth does not discriminate she holds us tightly together like a mother and child. Sometimes we all have to be reminded that the universe is a pretty lonely and cold place when you think about it, so it is best to set aside our prejudices and celebrate the diversity of our humanity.

Tonight the Gay Pride festivities continue with the parade in Downtown. The parade begins at 8pm along 4th Street and continues down to Fremont Street. So come down and celebrate the diversity of our humanity.


"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any." 

Mohandas K. Gandhi



Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Un Tango Argentino...

There is nothing more fabulous then the music of my parents homeland of Argentina. TONIGHT El Tango will be celebrated with a new event in Las Vegas. El Tango Gato takes place at the Broadway Hall located at 3375 South Decatur Boulevard. The event begins at 8:30 PM.

Vamos a la Milonga!!!



Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pride (and Prejudice...)

Well I do have to say that I am quite excited about this week. There are many planned events happening in the Radiant City to partake in since we are well into the Gay Pride season. This evening the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs will be presenting Pride (and Prejudice) at the historic 5th Street School in Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas. The exhibition will feature a photographic essay by Lamar Marchese, founder and first General Manager of Nevada Public Radio. This should be a wonderful and thought provoking exhibition that celebrates diversity in all its forms.


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Heart of a Volunteer...

Over the last several months a group of dedicated volunteers came together to plan an event that no one was sure would be a success. We came together with a common goal to make a change to a yearly tradition which has marked the official beginning of the Gay Pride season in Las Vegas. For seven years the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) has hosted an art show that would bring together the artistic talents of the community in celebration of Pride. From its humble beginnings to what we accomplished this year, is a remarkable demonstration when the community, gay and straight, can come together for a common goal. The yearly art show which normally took place at The Center would be transformed into ARTrageous Vegas, an event that would combine all aspects of art, from paintings to performance from sculpture to the culinary arts.

ARTrageous Vegas
(photo by Veronica Sweet)
On Friday, April 23 at exactly 10am the art show volunteers descended upon the Aruba Hotel and Spa in Downtown Las Vegas to transform a modest theater and lounge into an art gallery and cabaret. For almost 16 hours straight we worked to make the ARTrageous Vegas into an art extravaganza. I will tell you this that I have never worked with such a dedicated group of volunteers as I did last Friday. Even though we had a few hiccups in planning along the way our task was simple, to put on a great event no matter if people came or not. When the doors opened at 6pm dozens of guests were waiting on the red carpet to enter. By the time the cabaret began at 8pm the small art gallery we created was packed with close to 100 people that were ready to party throughout the night in celebration of art in all its forms. Friday night was magical and one that demonstrated that when a group of people come together they can change the world. As Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said "Never doubt a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
ARTrageous Vegas
(photo by Veronica Sweet)

I will admit that I have volunteered thousands of hours for great causes around my community and state. Whether it has been to feed the homeless or to sit on non-profit boards, the time that I have spent giving has been one of the most fulfilling activities I have ever done in my life. Volunteering is never easy and one that takes time and dedication. Interestingly enough volunteering in Las Vegas takes a back seat when compared to other American cities. According to the website Volunteering for America, Las Vegas ranks 49th out of 51 cities surveyed http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/NV/Las-Vegas . Nevada, as is tradition among many polls ranks towards the bottom whether it is in education or volunteering. This is nothing to be proud of and we as citizens of this state should be called to action and change this horrible trend. It is time that we get off our backsides, get away from the television and start making a difference in our community.

Get involved and make a difference!

"There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer."
General James "Jimmy" Doolittle


Thank you to all of the Volunteers, Art Show Committee Members, Artists, Performers, The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, The Aruba Hotel and Spa and the dozens of sponsors who assisted in putting on a huge event!


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Some great events happening this week and beyond!

Here are a few colorful fliers that have been sent to me with several great events that are happening this coming week. As is tradition in Southern Nevada this time of the year marks the beginning of the Cultural season with tons of events to keep us busy. Gay Pride kicks it all off and it continues with lots of events planned well into May and culminating with the Helldorado Parade which takes place on May 15th. 

This year also marks the 105 Anniversary of the City of Las Vegas so the celebrations should be a great excuse to go out and have a blast in the Radiant City...

For more information on upcoming events please visit these following sites - 

Helldorado Parade and Festivities - http://www.elkshelldorado.com/
Nevada State Museum -  http://museums.nevadaculture.org/






Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  

Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Friday, April 23, 2010

ARTrageous Vegas! Art Extravaganza - TONIGHT

After months of planning and hard work the time has arrived for what is anticipated to be the party of the year as the Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual and Straight Community come together to celebrate Art, Music, Dance, Theater and the Spoken Word. ARTrageous Vegas is the latest incarnation of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada's art show that has kicked off Gay Pride for 7 years. This yearly tradition brings together the richness of the Gay and Straight communities talents and puts them on display for all to enjoy.

I have been a proud participant in the planning of this event for many years and I will tell you that never before have I see a more dedicated group of individuals coming together for a common goal as I have seen this year. The planning committee and volunteers have worked hard to bring an events that we hope will be a yearly celebration that all of Las Vegas can enjoy. Tonights festivities include an Art Show, Cabaret, Dancing, Drumming, Performance Art, Socializing, Laughing and everything that makes life worth living!

The event takes place this evening at the Aruba Hotel & Spa located at 1215 Las Vegas Boulevard South. For more information please visit these sites -

The Aruba Hotel & Spa - http://www.arubalasvegas.com/
The Gay & Lesbian Center of So. Nevada - http://www.thecenterlv.com/events.htm





Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  


Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The rainbow rises again...

The first Las Vegas Gay Pride Festivities took place in 1983 when a small band of locals gathered at UNLV to celebrate what would become one of the most important cultural movements since the 1960's. Today the tradition continues with with a week long series of events that will celebrate Las Vegas's great LGBTQ community. 


For more information about all the activities taking place please visit the Las Vegas Pride site at http://lasvegaspride.org/























Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  

Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Death Valley and little known facts...

I will be the first to admit that I am a Death Valley junky. There is something serene about one of the most inhospitable places on earth where temperatures at night can fall well below zero and daytime temperatures rise well over 125 degrees. As a native of the desert, better known as a desert rat and proud of it, I will admit that there is a beauty in the desolate plains that make up the American Southwest. I have visited Death Valley National Park on multiple occasions and the place never ceases to amaze me as I discover new and exciting things about the environment. I sometimes wonder to myself what life could have been like for the Timbisha Native Americans or the first pioneers to settle the area. But even in this harsh environment life seems to thrive quite beautifully whether you are flora or fauna.

This past Sunday I visited the park yet again with a couple of old friends who actually texted me the night before asking me if I wanted to go. The flowers were going to be in full bloom thanks to the heavy rains that blessed the desert this past winter, so Death Valley would be in shades of color for a few weeks before the temperatures seared the plants. I had been toying with the idea for sometime and my schedule just would not permit it but luckily all I needed was a bit of encouragement to light my fire and make me go. I woke up early as I always do, packed up a few gallons of water, put some fuel in the car, air in the tires and off we were. Despite being a little tired from attending a fabulous party the evening before I was giddy to be on the road. The way I always drive into the park is through the small hamlet of Beatty which is roughly 100 miles North of Las Vegas on the 95. After you hit the middle of town you make a left at the Sourdough Saloon onto the 374 and drive about five miles west until you hit the Nevada entrance to the park. As is tradition prior to hitting the entrance to the park we made a small pit stop at the Goldwell Open Air Museum and Rhyolite Ghost Town. Two great little historic attractions well worth the drive even if you are not going into the park.

I always drive the 374 out of Beatty because it is by far the most beautiful way into the park. The 374 is famous for being one of the routes that goes into infinity and disappears in the mountains. In addition the road has the most dramatic drop in elevation from several thousand feet to well below sea level. This is definetly not the road you want to take if your breaks fail but in either case it would be the trip of a lifetime to say the least. Once you are in the park and over the mountain pass you want to make sure to pull over at the ticket station to get your ticket into the park. Though this week all National Parks are free pull over anyway just to take in the dramatic view of the valley itself which is breathtaking.

As we continued on our journey we began seeing the dramatic bloom of flowers that have over taken the park due to heavy rains. All the colors were represented but it was yellow that ruled the Valley this year with dramatic carpets in all directions interspersed with purples and oranges and even many of the cacti were in full bloom. Once we got to the valley floor I went South on the 190 to Furnace Creek one of the few hamlets located in the park, the others being Stovepipe Wells, Emigrant and Panamint Springs. One thing you will notice about Death Valley is that everything tends to be named according to their environment; Devil's Golf Course, Dante's Peak, Badwater Basin and Artists Palette to name a few.

Borax Museum
The small village of Furnace Creek which is located in the middle of the park has several interesting attractions that educate the public about the history of the area. The Furnace Creek Visitors Center is the main location to get information about the park and is run by the National Park Service. Another interesting attraction is the Borax Museum located at the Furnace Creek Ranch which also houses a hotel, restaurants, a saloon, gift shop and bike rental facilities. As a major fan of small rural museums this one is definitely  worth visiting.

Interior of the Borax Museum
The Borax Museum is located in the oldest structure in Death Valley which was built in 1883. Due to the structures importance to history it was preserved in 1953 and moved to its current location to serve as a museum. The museum educates the public about the importance and history of Borax Mining that took place in the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is chuck full of artifacts and photos about the mining operations. Yes I know you are probably thinking what is exciting about "Borax?" Well borax is an important mineral that is used from everything from laundry detergent to room deodorizers, agriculture and even preservation of lumber (Rio Tinto Borax). As a matter of fact the largest Borax Mine in the world is located just outside Death Valley near Boron, California and I am sure we have all seen the 20 Mule Team Borax at the store? Its not so much that borax is exciting and we know it is not as sexy as gold and sliver mining, but rather the fact that it took place in such a harsh environment.

Imagine being a top a wagon train with three fellows and 20 mules pulling 9 metric tons of borax in the middle of Death Valley during the summer. That alone is what makes this museum one of the most interesting museums I have ever visited. It is the humanity that makes you wonder what makes us go through this torture just to bring things to market. Now growing up in Nevada we are constantly reminded about mining and its contribution to the history of our state but when you think of mining you tend to think of going into a hole in the ground and digging up Eldorado and having Mark Twain write about it. Borax mining on the other hand was not as important as gold mining but was an important part of the economy at the turn of the century in the Southwest. Interestingly enough what caught me by surprise as you walk through the museum were the multiple references to Las Vegas and the Spring Mountains that surround our valley. Much of the timber that was used in borax mining operations in Death Valley came as far away as Las Vegas. Again we ask ourselves how did they do it?

In the back of the museum there are dozens of rusting artifacts reminiscent of the industrial age such as steam engines, anvils, crucibles, wagons, a locomotive and even an old fire proof safe that belonged to the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad which was owned by Senator William Andrews Clark the father of Las Vegas. All in all this museum really made me smile and the fact that my home town played a significant role in the development of the area made me even more proud to say I am from Las Vegas.

If you get a chance to go to Death Valley make sure you visit the Borax Museum it is well worth it. But I would suggest avoiding the area from June through September. Bring lots of water and make sure your car is running well, this environment will be the harshest yet most beautiful one you will ever visit, I guarantee it!




For more information about Death Valley please visit this site -

Death Valley National Park
http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Too Much Happening This Weekend & its Fabulous!

Artist KD Matheson @ PLACE Gallery
Third Friday's in 18b was absolutely wonderful with the evening starting off at Bar + Bistro, the Arts Factory's newest and most exciting food establishment and ending at the Gypsy Den. Most of my evening was spent in Gina Quaranto's PLACE Gallery on Main which was full of Hipsters, Mods, Hippies and an assortment of artists painting, performing, playing drums, sculpting and doing other activities that kept the night rocking. So in the end last night was magical and sets the tone for everything that is happening today and tomorrow.

Here is a very brief list of some great activities, so you have no excuse not to get out in front of the television and get enculturated!

Henderson Heritage Parade and Festival begins TODAY at 8am. for more information please visit their site at http://hendersonlive.com/special-events/heritage-parade/

The Boulder City Fine Arts Festival begins today at 10am and continues through tomorrow. For more information please visit their site at http://www.bcfineartsfestival.com/



The Nevada Ballet Theater in partnership with Cirque Du Soleil will be presenting
"A Choreographers' Showcase." 



















Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  


Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm



Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Third Friday Returns... April 2010...

Well she is back for the fourth consecutive month and it looks like she may be here to stay. Third Friday returns with lots of great happenings in 18b (arts district). Come down and take a look, have a cocktail or two, buy some art, hang out with some friends.  


The Box Office
1129 S Casino Center Blvd - South of Charleston

The Funkhouse
1228 S Casino Center Blvd and Colorado

City of the World Gallery
1229 Casino Center Blvd and Colorado

Place Gallery
1054 S Main Street North of Charleston

Contemporary Arts Center at the Arts Factory
Poetry and Fiction Readings By UNLV MFA Students and Guests CAC At the Arts Factory 7:00 PM

Gypsy Den
213 E. Colorado

Damned Ink Studios at the Arts Factory
107 East Charleston



Electronic Music Cafe
1308 South Main Street will be bringing you some flavorful House beats throughout the evening.

Studio 810
810 Las Vegas Boulevard South at Gass

Downtown Cocktail Room
111 Las Vegas Boulevard South at Fremont
Friday Night Social beginning at 10pm
Featuring guest DJ Douglas Gibbs & resident Carlos Sanchez




Viernes Sociales: Come Party with us...

The Hispanic Museum of 
Nevada is sponsoring an after work social on Friday, April 16, 2010 from 6pm-8pm. 330 South Valley View Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89107 - $5.00 Donation Suggested


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  


Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm



Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chamber Music Series TONIGHT @ Brett Wesley Gallery...

This evening Brett Wesley Gallery in Downtown will be presenting their monthly Chamber Music Series with the Cello sounds of Zoe Kohen Ley. If you have not had an opportunity to attend one of these wonderful and intimate events I would highly suggest you come down to 18b (Las Vegas's Arts District). Come and enjoy an evening of fabulous music and wonderful contemporary art in a spectacular setting. For more information please visit there website at http://www.brettwesleygallery.com/

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  


Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Poetry @ the Contemporary Arts Center on Third Friday...

The Contemporary Arts Center will host their monthly poetry reading this Friday at the gallery featuring the students from UNLV and their friends. 

Friday, April 16th 2010  At 7:00pm
Enjoy the work of the amazing and talented MFA students from the University of Nevada's English Department. Food and Beverages will be available.
Join us at the CAC!

Support downtown's newest eatery and grab a bite to eat before the readings.  The Arts Factory's 
Bar & Bistro is introducing  "Bistro Friday Arts" on Fridays from 4:00pm - 8:00pm, featuring art, delicious bites and happy-hour drinks.  Regular dinner service is available that night from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  Visit the Arts Factory's website for hours and more information.   http://www.theartsfactory.com/



MEET THE WRITERS:
Laura Breitenbeck lived in Michigan before she came to UNLV as a graduate student.  She enjoys casseroles, enormous Victorian novels, and comic books.

James Joseph Brown is an MFA candidate at UNLV and works as a Casino Dealer at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Previously, he has lived and worked as an ESL teacher in Spain, Russia, LithuaniaThailand, and Korea.  He has poetry forthcoming in Red Rock Review and fiction forthcoming in The Whistling Fire.  Please check out his website:  jamesjosephbrown.com


Maile Chapman is the author of Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto, forthcoming from Graywolf press in April 2010.  She received her MFA from Syracuse University, and is currently a Schaeffer Fellow in Fiction and PhD candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as well as a local facilitator for Literature and MedicineHumanities at the Heart of Healthcare, a national hospital-based reading and discussion program for health care professionals.  More about her novel can be found at the Graywolf website: http://www.graywolfpress.org

Michael Kroesche was born in Salt Lake City, much to his chagrin, but has recently moved to sunny Las Vegas and is in the 2nd year of his Master''s in Fine Arts in poetry at UNLV.  He is currently simultaneously loving and pulling his hair out over Stephane Mallarme, Paul Blackburn, and his critical essay .


Kathryn Kruse is currently a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing candidate at UNLV. Of late, besides organizing the Neon Lit Readings, she enjoys hiking in the desert and gaudy moments in Vegas. Previously she has enjoyed traveling around the world and looking at system change through public health models.

Juan Martinez is a doctoral candidate in literature at UNLV. His work has appeared in Glimmer Train, McSweeney'sRedivider, West Branch, River Teeth, The Morning NewsThe Santa Monica Review, Sudden Fiction Latino, and elsewhere. Visit and say hi at http://fulmerford.com

Alissa Nutting is currently a Schaeffer Fellow in fiction at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her work has or will appear in journals such asTin House, Fence, BOMB, and others. Literary author Ben Marcus chose her short-story collection, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls for publication through Starcherone Books’ Prize for Innovative Fiction (forthcoming Fall 2010).

Jordan Reynolds  Originally from Sacramento, California, Jordan Reynolds' poetry and reviews has appeared in Pedestal Magazine, Interim, Prairie Margins, Connecticut River Review, zero ducats, Sacramento News & Review  and many other publications.  He is the author of the broadside "Wind Physics," (Rattlesnake Press) and is Assistant Poetry Editor for Narrative Magazine.

Shannon Salter is originally from Irvine, California and graduated from the University of San Francisco. Before coming to UNLV to work on her MFA in poetry, she spent a year teaching English in Japan. She loves the things of this world, especially food and nature and even people.

Christopher Seelie is a part-time sophist and writer of truths, lies, and misrepresentations. When asked what's your sign he replies "Pierrot."

Andrew Wessels has lived in HoustonLos Angeles, and Cambridge.  He currently splits his time between Istanbul and Las Vegas, where he is pursuing an MFA in poetry at UNLV.  He is the editor-in-chief of the literary journal The Offending Adam (http://www.theoffendingadam.com). Recently, he co-edited with Mark Irwin the anthology 13 Younger Contemporary American Poets (Proem Press).  He also writes the literary blog A Compulsive Reader (http://acompulsivereader.wordpress.com).  He is unsure how many books he has read in his lifetime.

Monica Zarazua born 1979 in Oscoda Michigan. She is an Aquarian and enjoys music from the Lowrider Oldies collection. She is soon to be published.


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm  


Have You donated to KNPR? Donate Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm



Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An evening of music and antipastini...

Usually I am not the one to attend late evening parties on weeknights since I do have to be up early, but last Wednesday was an exception as my friends asked me to come out to Ferraro's Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar for the Food & Music event at their exciting new location. What enticed me of course was the fact that I was famished and that an old friend Matt Tuttle better known as DJ Shoe would be spinning on the decks well into the evening.

I am not a food critic I leave that up to the man himself John Curtas http://www.eatinglv.com/ but I do have a bit of a discerning palate thanks to my Argentinian roots. Argentina where my parents are from has an interesting culinary past thanks to the huge Italian, Spanish, German, Jewish, French and to a lesser extant British immigrants that make up the nations population. Even my ancestry is deep rooted in Spanish, French and Italian, the latter being the most prominent so I am definitely no stranger to Italian food. As a matter of fact a lot of the Italian food that is served in Las Vegas is just terrible glop covered in so much sauce that in many instances you forget what type of pasta you ordered. Heck I even remember my parents complaining when we went out for dinner at so called "Italian" restaurants at how terrible the sauce was and how much they would serve on the pasta. So when I finally sat down at Ferraro's for a bit of "antipastini," which is basically smaller servings of their normal fair I was pleasantly surprised.

As my friends ordered all different types of Italian "tapas" I ordered the Gnocchi. Gnocchi is a type of dumpling that is made with potato and other ingredients. The dumplings are also one of my favorite Italian dishes and one that I am highly critical of because my mother used to make it religiously. Though when the server brought it over to me I was a little disappointed that it did not look like my mothers, who always rolled the Gnocchi on a small wooden board to give it the little ridges that are traditional, it was the taste that ultimately blew me away and of course the most important part. I almost asked Gino Ferraro himself if he had hired my mother to make them! Now granted the Gnocchi would never stand alone without the sauce which was also very tasty and not over powering. In addition they were conservative with the amount of sauce that they served which just covered the dumplings enough without completely making them disappear. In the end I was very happy with what I dined on and I will definitely be back to try again.

This evening Food and Music returns to Ferraro's where the young and hip Las Vegas intelligentsia will gather to listen to the sultry sounds of Dj Shoe and dine on some fabulous "antipastini." The event begins at 9pm please dress with class, tip well and have a great night! Ciao!!!

Ferraro's is located 4480 Paradise Road across from the Hard Rock Cafe www.ferraroslasvegas.com

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at | 0 Comments