Theme Vegas

Vegas is not Vegas without that sense of spectacle. If nothing, to remain with your mouth, as my  father used to say. Two hotels did that for me, three were runners up and will be mentioned here. One, the Bellagio, is a class by itself.

Temple of Luxor, Luxor, Egypt (top). Lobby of the Luxor, Las Vegas (below).


In 2009, I had the privilege of visiting Egypt. Luxor was 104, the sun unremmiting. It has a state of the art museum, which had a little guidance from the University of Chicago. We stayed at the lovely, old Winter Pavillion.

Quoted from Wikipedia “The hotel is named after the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Egypt. Luxor is the second largest hotel in Las Vegas (the largest being the MGM Grand Las Vegas) and the third largest in the world.As of 2010, the Luxor has a 4 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, which evaluates “sustainable” hotel operations.”

The funny thing about Luxor, as I remember is that there are no pyramids! All the graves are underground in the Valley of Kings or Queens. And this is where Vegas parts with the likes of Epcot. Take for example the lovely Temple of Happiness in Orlando, it is an exact, though smaller replica of the one in Beijing. Vegas will have none of this!!! Why should it?

Like the designated sober driver, I have often been called upon to “photograph” many couples at the likes of the Pyramids at Cairo, Machu Picchu in Peru, and a few in Vegas. I feel a little like Andy Rooney, when I say that I find this curious, that it is not simply enough to have walked upon the same soil of kings and other gods, but one must be “photographed” in front of some famous site in order to “be there!”. It is both ridiculous and curious, and one day I will ask someone why it is so important to do? What the hell do I need to show somebody where I have been, chit, I have been there.

Temple of Luxor (left), Luxor hotel (right)

There is something to be said for all the detail and embellishment that went into detail at this hotel. Caesar’s for all it’s copying, really lacks the sense of historical embellishment. The pharaoh head (above), rendered as half buried in sand, is actually an allusion to why many of the monuments still exist today for us. It is sad this is an architectural aside for bingers at the Buffet exit. When I got off the tram and saw the blue ray thing, my first reaction was ridiculous. Then I thought about the coloration of the beautiful frescoes (unfortunately one of those NO photos, please, situations) underground in the tombs in the real Luxor. And you have to hand the architects, interior designers and the art directors their due. I only wish I had more time to walk around and photograph there.

It was disappointing that the King Tut room had been moved to the historical museum up the road. That will be covered in another blog. It must have been something to see housed here.


The Eiffel Tower, Vegas (left), Le Tour Eiffel, Paris (right).

Paris is a sentimental city, and one that I have great affection for. If I had the money I would split my days between Greece and Paris. Paris, is as grandiose as New York, on the scale of London, with every corner another surprise. So, fact that I wanted to see what that had done to make Paris (Vegas) more Paris, I was more than interested, but a little disappointed. I came to see the real beauty of Paris, from across the street from the Bellagio, where the water gives a certain allusion to the Seine.

Nice detail in the structure, but the scale is quite odd. Like the whole thing at 1/2. The beauty of Paris, like any city is the things that go on alongside. The smells, the small streets. In particular, the people.

Garnier monument, Vegas (left), Paris (right).

Who’d have thought I would have seen Paris twice in one year?

New York, New York

Pastel skyline via the Strip (left), Downtown skyline via the BQE (right).

The first thing I thought about was were there people who lived in the buildings? There are tons of nice detail, both in and out of the casino, including the Pepsi sign and the door pulls.

Brooklyn Bridge via the Strip (left), Brooklyn Bridge via BQE (right).

It is interesting to see these smaller scaled replicas. As I have walked that bridge a few times, it was funny to do a four minute stroll. And the closest body of water to be found is at the Bellagio.

Lady Liberty promoting–what else?–gambling!

You have to get a good laugh out of all this stuff, and just like a movie set, the time it took to put all this together. Will it last? Or will it eventually go in passing just as the old casinos once did?


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3 Responses to “Theme Vegas”

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