Search: Advanced | Preference

Traveling Boy means the travel adventures of the Traveiling Boitanos
Travel adventures of Eric Anderson Boitano
Travel adventures of John Clayton
Travel adventures of Deb Roskamp
Travel adventures of Fyllis Hockman
Travel adventures of Brom Wikstrom
Travel adventures of Jim Friend
Travel adventures of Timothy Mattox
Travel adventures of Corinna Lothar
Travel adventures of Roger Fallihee
Travel adventures of Tamara Lelie
Travel adventures of Beverly Cohn
Travel adventures of Raoul Pascual
Travel adventures of Ringo Boitano
Travel adventures of Herb Chase
Travel adventures of Terry Cassel
Travel adventures of Dette Pascual
Travel adventures of Gary Singh
Travel adventures of John Blanchette
Travel adventures of Tom Weber
Travel adventures of James Thomas
Travel adventures of Richard Carroll
Travel adventures of Richard Frisbie
Travel adventures of Masada Siegel
Travel adventures of Greg Aragon
Travel adventures of Skip Kaltenheuser
Travel adventures of Ruth J. Katz
Travel adventures of Traveling Boy's guest contributors

Ketchikan Bed and Breakfast Service

Panguitch Utah, your destination for outdoor discovery

Alaska Sea Adventures - Alaska Yacht Charter and Cruises

Colorado ad

Sorrel ad

Polar Cruises ad


About Ed   write me    Feeds provide updated website content        

Ed Boitano: Las Vegas
Las Vegas street night scene

What's New and Old in Las Vegas
Story by Ed Boitano
Photographs by Deb Roskamp

t had been 14 long years since I’d last been to Las Vegas. Much had changed. Of course, Vegas has always been changing. From a dusty Nevada desert town built by the Mormons to a world-famous gambling destination jump-started by the mob, this adult Disneyland never fails to re-define itself. Whenever I travel, I’ve found it insightful to chat with cab drivers who have a keen take on their city. And this was never truer than in Vegas. The consensus seems to be that Vegas today is as much about shopping, dining and shows as it is about gambling. Many point to Vegas entrepreneur Steve Wynn who helped spearhead this transition. He is known to give taxi drivers comps to new shows and attractions, making the cab driver one’s personal ambassador to the city.

DINING

waiter at Italian-American restaurant Piero's
The cuisine at Piero's was world-class; the service even better, with waiters never too busy to pose for photographs.

PIERO’S - Located across the street from the Vegas Convention Center, this 30-year-old iconic Italian-American restaurant has been the destination of choice from the early days of the Rat Pack to contemporaries like Mick Jagger and Justin Timberlake. Deeply rooted in Vegas culture and history, one doesn’t have to look too closely to see multiple areas in the restaurant used in the Martin Scorsese film, "Casino.' When I mentioned to cab drivers that I dined at Piero's, I was often asked if I had the Miami Stone Crab appetizer, followed by their signature osso bucco. Yes, I did - and I wasn't disappointed.

Oscar's at the Plaza Hotel

OSCAR’S - The theme of Oscar’s is “Beef, Booze & Broads,” mirroring owner and former Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman’s - his wife is now mayor - philosophy on life. Located in the Plaza Hotel’s second story, the venue is situated in a glass dome with 360-panoramic views of the exploding downtown Vegas Art District. There’s a swagger at Oscar’s, and the experience is all about fun. And, yes, I did spot a location used in ‘Casino.’

JEAN GEORGES STEAKHOUSE - Was that The Clash playing on the sound system? Indeed it was. Award-winning chef and owner, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, personally selects only the music he likes. Located in the Aria Hotel’s food court - there are six other restaurants - this is indicative to his approach, putting his spin on the traditional American steakhouse by adding a strong dose of energy, along with innovative gastronomic creations.


Don’t tell my vegetarian friends that I ordered the Angus 300 dry aged NY steak. Of course, what happens in Vegas, stays... Photo Courtesy Aria

Mob Museum, Las Vegas

MOB MUSEUM

"Don’t worry, we only kill each other."
- Bugsy Siegel to a nervous potential non-mob investor in his new Flamingo Hotel.

Bugsy’s words were self-fulfilling, for he took a bullet in the eye by his own gang when his dream project went hopelessly over-budget. This and more is on-display in the new Mob Museum, housed in the former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office in the new Art District. Built in 1933, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mob was also responsible for bringing in entertainers like Frank and company, but kept their underworld presence low-key due to patrons' fear of gambling in what could be a dangerous venue. Of course, Vegas has always been a wide-open town. When prohibition ended, many citizens expressed surprise that there ever had been a prohibition. One of the museum’s iconic artifacts is the brick wall where members of the Bugs Moran gang were lined up and shot and killed by members of Al Capone’s gang.

MOB ATTRACTION LAS VEGAS - Due to time constraints, I was unable to make it to Mob Attraction Las Vegas, but was informed that it’s worth a trip. Attractions feature an extensive collection of authentic, never before seen mob artifacts, photos and videos which give guests a look inside the personal lives of Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky and some of the Mob’s most notorious figures.

Cirque du Soleil's LOVE at the Mirage

the crowd at Cirque du Soleil's LOVE

CIRQUE du SOLEIL'S LOVE - I was one of those kids whose life changed when I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan TV Show. Many friends were surprised that I hadn’t seen "Cirque du Soleil's LOVE." Ok, I had the CD by Sir George Martin, the Beatles’ long time producer, but hadn’t actually seen the show. It’s a psychedelic journey through the '60s, told through 30 of the Beatles’ original recordings, re-mixed by Martin and his son. The show is a seamless blend of Beatle songs and Cirque du Soleil's acrobatics, dancing and visual effects where performers are dressed in Beatle costumes and characters from their songs. It’s the closest thing to attending a Beatles’ concert.

writer going through a foot/gait analysis at the Canyon Ranch Healthy Feet Center
I scored almost a perfect foot/gait analysis at Canyon Ranch Healthy Feet Center.

Claude Monet art show at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

FOOT RESCUE at CANYON RANCH - Let’s face it: Much of the Vegas experience is strolling down the strip, basking in the almost Felliniesque excess of architecture and attractions. Your feet do get tired. Located at The Venetian, Canyon Ranch Healthy Feet Center is devoted to advanced foot health and comfort. I opted for a foot/gait analysis, which monitors how one moves, assessing the biomechanics of your gait. TravelingBoy readers should feel relieved that I have almost a perfect gait. This was followed by my first foot massage, then a health food lunch at the Canyon Ranch Spa Club where I ordered “The Healthy Elvis” – a banana, peanut butter on whole wheat grain bread sans the deep frying.

CLAUDE MONET: IMPRESSIONS of LIGHT at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art - The last thing I expected to do in Vegas was to attend a genuine art show. "Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” showcases 20 paintings by the master Impressionist painter. Canvases by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Camille Pissarro, and Eugene Louis Boudin are also on display. The exhibition offers a gentle reprieve from the hustle bustle of the city.

WHERE TO STAY

Aria Resort and Casino

ARIA was my top pick for accommodations and I was lucky to score a top floor corner room with sweeping views of the Vegas skyline.

view of the Las Vegas Skyline from a top floor room at the Aria

the fountain at the Aria

Later I realized that all the rooms at Aria have been designed so that everyone feels as if they have a corner room.

Unlike the carnival-like ambience of many properties, Aria, with its contemporary architecture, muted colors and natural light seemingly stands alone as a relaxing haven, yet still with the attractions of a casino, designer shops, shows and cutting-edge restaurants, spa and pool at your fingertips. If I weren’t for the fact that I wanted to see more of the city, I could have spent my entire time in Vegas at the property. But I will return, and see once again how Las Vegas has changed.

Related Articles:
Las Vegas: Still the Only Game in Town; What's New in Las Vegas; Devil's Hole Pupfish; Flagstaff, Arizona; La Quinta


Name: Required
E-mail: Required
City: Required
Feedback:
 

Let Ed know what you think about his traveling adventure.

* * * * *

Feedback for "Spokane, Pullman and the Palouse"

Loved the Spokane article – my mom was born there and my grandparents are interred there. Haven't been back in decades.

--- Nancy, Hawaii

* * * *

Feedback for "Norway's Fjords"

Hi Ed. I was just reading your great story about traveling through the Norwegian countryside and the voyage along the coast - sounds amazing. I’ve been to Oslo, but definitely would like to return to Norway one day to explore exactly what you wrote about.

Cheers,

--- Sasha H.

* * * *

Feedback for "In Search of Movie Locations In the Land of Aloha"

Mahalo for your article on Hawaii film locations. You should check out our new "The Hawaii Movie and Television Book" at: http://hawaiimtvbook.weebly.com/

--- Ed Rampell (Co-Author), Los Angeles, CA

* * * *

Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

--- Christian Louboutin, U.K.

* * * *

Cool site.

--- Donna Namaste', San Francisco, CA

* * * *

Great work as always.

--- S. Wyatt, Seattle, WA

* * * *

Hr. (Danish for sir) Ed,

Thanks so much for your article on Copenhagen, DK...loved it! Very well done actually I used to live in Christianshavn (just next to Christania) and Danish is my second language.

You really did a quite grand job and pulled me ALL of the way into your analogy and experience from my other home.

Just one detail that I thought might have been included.....the bakeries & cheese shops in the mornings in nearly every 5 or so blocks as they waft the incredible hypnotizing aromas of those amazing Danish specialties.

I most especially and absolutely love the fact that you included the "hyggeligt" element...wonderful!!

Another aspect of the Danish language that I have found interesting is that we only cuss to devil rather than the more typically religious icons and that love (elsker) is only very rarely used.

All-in-all you have me totally on your team and I will always look forward to your future writing.

Med venlig hilsen...(with kind regards).

--- Breeze

* * * *

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your article on the Cherokee Nation. I really appreciate the historical perspective and recognition of their contribution to American culture.

--- Nora Weber, British Columbia

* * * *

Another cool issue. You da' man. One question: Is that Mark Lindsay on the front page?

--- Brent, Seattle, WA

* * * *

This would be a fascinating place to visit. There is so much history within our reach that we don't often acknowledge in more than a token way. I am wondering if any individual or group has ever gone on a vision quest, or perhaps a memorial march, by retracing the path of the Trail of Tears? This would be a painful journey, for most, I imagine.

--- Sandra, Seattle, WA

Osiyo! From Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism: What a great description of Kauai! The pictures are awesome and I loved reading your travel report! Keep pushin' on!

--- Lisa Long, Tulsa, OK

* * * *

I'm getting hungry again just reading your article! It's hot today and I could really use a shave ice right now.

Hope you're having a great day!

--- Melissa, Honolulu, HI

* * * *

Thanks so much for sharing! Wow. The beauty even from the few pictures here and your descriptions is breathtaking... I can't even imagine being there for real! The food looks and sounds exquisite, I'm not sure my kind of exquisite, but I do like to be adventurous on occasion :).Quite the story there.

--- Emily, Boise, ID

Great pictures!

--- Anna Harrison, Palmdale, CA

* * * *

Tough job, Ed! Thanks for sharing.

--- Brenda Hughes, Richland, WA

Ed, Tim from the team of Jack and Tim - Star Clipper. Great trip. Always enjoy your postings.

--- Tim & Jack, Washington DC

* * * *

Hi Ed,

I really enjoyed your story on the Empress of the North. I was an Assistant Cruise Director aboard her in 2004, and you gave me a treasured walk down memory lane with her.You might know this, but if not .... you can cruise the Columbia again late this summer and early fall. The Empress' sister boat, the Queen of the West, was purchased by American Cruise lines and will offer a Columbia River itinerary which almost mirrors the one my Empress used to travel. Just thought you'd like to know.

--- Paul Penta, 2004 Assistant Cruise Director, Empress of the North, Copperas Cove, TX

Ed, you are by far the most interesting of all the Boitanos. Your coverage is extensive and captivating. It's a real treat to read your blogs. Your article on the Baltic Sea Nations is no exception. But don't get me wrong, the other Boitanos have their own charm and perspective. Thanks for all your articles. I can see it's a work of art. I just now noticed your Dog Quotes --- what a great collection! Keep up the good work. Keep on sharing your travels! This is better than the more popular travelogues.

--- Peter Paul, South Pasadena, CA

Hi Ed,

How's life? Hope all's well in sunny Cal.

Having just received the latest issue of the Traveling Boy newsletter I popped back over to your site to take a look around and came across this article which I had not previously read: www.travelingboy.com/archive-travel-ed-baltic.html

Loved it! First of all, this is a part of the world that I absolutely adore so reading about it is always a pleasure. Secondly, I'm happy to see you crossing things off your Buck with such gusto! Myself, I have already been to Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen, and Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Moscow are all on my Buck. After reading through the article I reminded once again why!

One of my favourite lines in the piece is:

"Granted, eight to twenty-fours in world-class cities like Helsinki and Tallinn hardly does them justice, but a sketch is always better than a blank canvas."

So very true. I'll take a sketch over a blank canvas any day! Besides, sketches often lead to full-blown paintings anyway.

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this story. Hope there are many more fun adventures awaiting you soon!

Cheers,

--- Ashley, Toronto

Thanks for a great trip, Ed - such a comfortable way to travel, particularly to several cities i knew very little about. I've had only one sea voyage - crossed to G.B. on the United States in the early 60s - no balconies, etc. on that ship, as she was prepared to be stripped down to carry troops in event of WWIII, but still luxurious in her own way.

Bumped into a documentary recently on PBS re the old lady who is now docked in Philadelphia, I believe with peeling paint on her sides and funnels and of course the interior stripped and auctioned off of everything...periodic moves to rehabilitate her, but so costly people back off. She was the largest and fastest - still is. Her record was 3 days crossing - we did it in a little over 5 (cruise speed I guess!). They showed regular passengers like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor who happened to be on board when I was, as well as gazillions of stars who traveled on her. Charles Boyer was the only one on my crossing - we were alone in the library one time, but I didn't say anything. He looked immersed in his pursuit of a book. The Windsors were tiny little people, as was M. Boyer (and this comment from a 5'2" observer!). How's that for an ancient history lesson? Anyhow seeing the ship like she is now made me almost teary - surprised myself somehow.

--- Brenda Hughes, Richland, WA

* * * *

I loved this article!! Kept me in rapt attention, felt like I explored part of the world myself ;) nice way to start my day, sounds altogether amazing and unforgettable!

--- Emily, Boise, ID

* * * *

Great writing!! Reading, education and fabulous locations! All around WOWS!

--- E Dava, Burbank, CA

What a wonderful assortment of travel destinations. I have always been drawn to islands, and as a Pacific Northwesterner, dream from time to time about settling in the San Juans someday (like a lot of us here visualize for ourselves). Hopefully, travel will occur before this particular dream comes to pass. I enjoy reading about the connections you have with the places you write about. I will visit that fishing village in Norway, someday, just because of the photograph. Who wouldn't, after seeing it. Thanks, Ed

--- Sandee, Seattle, WA

* * * *

Another great edition!

--- CG, Central California Coast

* * * *

Hi Ed,

I sailed into Sooke on my way to port Ludlow from Portland, Oregon in my sailboat few years back. It was interesting port. The entry is snake like channel with local fisherman's local markers only to guide you into the port.

--- Larry, Portland, OR

Wow. I want to go to Vietnam! It's beautiful! Those are amazing pictures!

--- Archie, Pasadena, CA

* * * *

Kudos to Mark Twain. He knows how to honor a dog, and kudos to Cedric for all he was and still is and kudos to you for another edition of www.traveling boy.com. Peace and Love,

--- Joel, Pasadena, CA

* * * *

Ed, I really enjoy your traveling adventures. Your stories are so well written and the photographs are amazing. Thank you for letting us in on your adventures. You bring the adventure to those of us who aren't able to go. Thank you.

--- Cheryl, Pismo Beach, CA

Amazing story and pictures. To think that 40 years ago we were all terrified at the prospect of going there... what a difference a few decades makes. Fantastic article!

--- Roger, Puyallup, WA

Thanks for your expert insight, Jeremy. Have you ever lived in New York? Don't tell me you are one of those tourists or former transplants. It's a very different experience when one lives here. Unlike Los Angeles, there really is a sense of community. New Yorkers love and care about their city... and, yes, their neighbors too.

--- Lisa - New York, NY

* * * *

NY sucks. It's now nothing more than a Disneyland version of its former glory. It city filled with tourists and transplants, and no longer the center of the universe. The WEST is the best. Everyone is moivng to the Coast. Even NY fashion designers check out the LA street scene before launching their new designs. Plus no one in NY knows real pizza. Take a trip to Naples sometime and try the real thing.

--- Jeremy - Los Angeles, CA

* * * *

The economic boom is what drove all the changes in New York. The mayors were in the right place at the right time, and to their credit, handled things well. It's easier to clean up the city and cut crime when you have more money to spend. The economic outlook for New York is bleak now with unemployment going up. Bloomberg already is short money and will be cutting services across the board. If things don't turn around, people may not be as friendly in a few years.The idea that New Yorkers are not nice is just a myth; people in L.A. are much more distant and shut-off.

--- Michael, Native New Yorker

* * * *

I think that overall, Manhattan has become friendlier in the last few years, not sure why but don't think Giuliani or Dinkins can take credit. There was definitely a surge of NYC solidarity following 9/11, and Giuliani was extremely popular during that period. When he supported Bush so strongly in the election that followed, his popularity plummeted, though. Bloomberg has definitely done a good job with making a lot of bike lanes, blocking off large areas of what was previously street and putting tables and chairs for pedestrian use. Not sure how this economic downturn will affect local attitudes, though....

--- Sue, New York

* * * *

This is the best. Keep them coming.--- Paul Ash

* * * *

Ed, thanks for putting the Holland button on your site.

By the way, your images really work! I opened the newsletter and was immediately tempted to click on an article. Love it. And also love the fact I can click on images in the articles to enlarge them. The short headline on the image makes me curious. Well done.

--- Bianca Helderman

* * * *

Thanks Ed, for this delightful view of this wondrous city! The first time I traveled with a husband to NYC years ago, it was for an Orchestral Conductor's conference. We lived in Newfoundland at that time, so you can imagine my shock of coming from isolation to the big apple!My heart began beating as I looked out of my hotel window at the figures of humans below, scurrying like ants, I was up so high. It wasn't the height, rather, the invisible buzz, that urgently beckoned me to go outside! But when I reached the sidewalk, the rush of pedestrians made me wonder "where's the party?" Friendly? Yes! I lived in NYC for 5 years with a later husband and loved every minute! Being an artist, I could not relax enough to paint, so I took up acting and worked with "Children In Need" a charity, instead and partook of everything NY had to offer from opera and Off Broadway plays and such to ballet and wholistic healings....a city full of everything one could imagine! I truly love NYC and years later am grateful to live in a quieter area of California so I may relax and paint and do my healing work...going back only to visit my delightful haunts. There is nothing like NYC!.

--- Yoka, Westlake Village, CA

Ed,

Great issue. Well done. They keep getting better! --- Grace Conlee Micetich, San Diego, CA

* * * *

I loved all of the traveling news! It’s good to know you are still out there in the world. --- Judy Vincent

Ed,

Thanks for getting me back on the Traveling Boy newsletter mailing list- I have missed it!

I do believe we need contributions of the ‘road less traveled’ in the US for those of us whose feet never leave the ground… Ahhhh… the Badlands... Two Medicine in Glacier… the Lava tubes in central Oregon… my next destination wish: Monument Valley.

--- Lorrie Sjoquist

* * * *

The photos and descriptions of this trip are wonderful. I love the idea of the slowed down pace of the train. Kind of a throwback to the "good old days." --- Larry Lombard, Puyallup, WA

I think you outdid yourself with the "Two Cities" article. I'm ashamed to admit that I knew so little about these two cities. I learned so much. Your article was jampacked with very interesting trivia. Surprised the Jazz greats and Walt Disney came from practically the same area. And those pictures --- especially the WWI museum --- what an incredible shot --- almost like out of somebody's Satyricon dream. Bravo!

--- Rod, Glendale, CA

What a great article! --- Michelle, Torrance, California

Ed,

The photos are spectacular. I can envision many a romantic novel inspired by these majestic sceneries. Makes me want to do a little more research on Norway. John Lenon must have been one of the converts when he wrote "Norwegian Woods."
--- Peter Paul, South Pasadena CA

* * * *

Peter,

Thanks for the kind words and taking the time to write. Indeed, Norway was paradise on earth, and I dream of returning again and again. You had a funny line about John Lennon being so inspired by the beauty of Norway that he composed the song, "Norwegian Wood." If I'm not mistaken, his reference to "Norwegian Wood" is just that: an inexpensive pine wood from Norway that was becoming popular in the UK. I did read somewhere, though, that "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was inspired by Norwegian fjord trek.

Thanks again… and please keep writing.

Ed

Ed,

Reading Peter's implication that "Norwegian Wood" was based on a trip that John Lennon took to Norway led me to do some research.

According to Paul McCartney at a press conference in Los Angeles: 'Peter Asher [brother of McCartney's then-girlfriend Jane Asher] had just done his room out in wood, and a lot of people were decorating their places in wood. Norwegian wood. It was pine, really, just cheap pine. But it's not as good a title, is it, "Cheap Pine"? It was a little parody, really, on those kind of girls who, when you'd get back to their flat, there would be a lot of Norwegian wood. It was completely imaginary from my point of view, but not from John's. It was based on an affair he had. She made him sleep in the bath and then, finally, in the last verse, I had this idea to set the Norwegian wood on fire as a revenge. She led him on and said, "You'd better sleep in the bath." And in our world, that meant the guy having some sort of revenge, so it meant burning the place down....'

Of course, just cause it's on the 'net doesn't mean it's true.

--- Jeff M, Tacoma, WA

Weird piece on Copenhagen (Cosy in Copenhaggen). Do you think now that Keefer’s in the slammer in Glendale for DWI he’s experiencing any hygge? I bet some of those jailbirds would like to see how touch he is.

--- Adam S., Glendale CA

I loved your intro and the way you set up the article. It immediately set the tone of an action-paced adventure. I imagined Annette as a spy in a trenchcoat feeding you top secret information. I'm surprised you didn't get lost. Do they speak English over there? Are the street signs in English? Does a GPS work over there?

I never heard of "hygge" but, like you, I think I've felt that sensation everytime the cold wind blows here in South Pasadena, CA. When I sit beside a warm fire, sipping my hot chocolate, I will remember this article. Thanks!

--- Peter Paul, South Pasadena, CA


Stay tuned.


© TravelingBoy.com. All Rights Reserved. 2015.
This site is designed and maintained by WYNK Marketing. Send all technical issues to: support@wynkmarketing.com
Friendly Planet Travel

Lovin Life After 50

Big Sur ad

Herzerl Tours ad

Tara Tours ad

Alaska Cruises & Vacations ad

Dude Ranchers' Assoc. ad

Cuna Law Yacht ad

Cruise One ad

Global Exchange Reality Tours ad

Global Exchange Reality Tours ad

Global Exchange Reality Tours ad

Park City ad

Visit Norway ad

MySwitzerland.com

Sitka, Alaska ad

Montreal tourism site

Visit Berlin ad

official website of the Netherlands

Cruise Copenhagen ad

Sun Valley ad

Philippine Department of Tourism portal

Quebec City tourism ad

AlaskaFerry ad

Zurich official website

Zuiderzee Museum ad

Like-a-Local.com