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MAR 2014

BETTER. FASTER. STRONGER. Your Go-To Wellness Guide to Bring Home Corporate Challenge Gold

Ephemeral Life Cube Brings Community to Canvas



Descriptive: sequins for thought Rachel’s Celebrates Anniversary Fashion in the Park Get a Wedgie Lux Delux

Editor-in-Chief Loren Becker Managing Editors Michael Boley, Mandy Crispin Contributing Writers Brian Paco Alvarez, Michael Boley, Temple Brathwaite, Mandy Crispin, Matthew Dunsmoor, Angelina Fadool, Peter Gaunt, Karina Giraldo, Sunshine Jowell, Joanna Mueller, Shannon Sneade, Shawn Zahnow Serial Artist Evelyn Lee Calendar & Events Mikela Lee-Manaois Photography Matt Wong, Peter Gaunt, Karina Giraldo, Las Vegas News Bureau, Downtown ZEN Team Art Director Ryan Brekke (BullFish Media) Graphic Designer Crystal Torres (BullFish Media) Web Design Michael Boley Cover: Concept Michael Boley Production and Direction Matt Wong, Mandy Crispin, Michael Boley Front Cover Models Colin A., Betsy B. Typography Layout Nina Thomasian Logo Design Fernando Cabestany *Special thanks to Real Results Fitness* Printer: Jackpot Printing 702.873.1902 | Contact us: Email: Like:

Follow on Instagram: #dtzen Read online:

Letter From the Editor March brings technology heavy on the downtown scene. The premier of “Downtown Code,” our brand new tech corner column, features two companies: Wedgies, pioneering new frontiers on polling, and Lux Delux, a new downtown delivery service. Rachel Baker shows us how she’s revamping an entire industry using technology and a double dose of caring. Ian Hinden teaches us to see the Internet with awe despite the general inclination, for most of us, to acclimate to our quotidian web-based routines. His art is pushing boundaries in more ways than one. This month marches us headlong into art in many forms in fact. Take a picture with a broken camera. Tell a story that literally materializes in front of your audience. Paint a picture and burn it. Imagine something and write it. Hear something and let it impact your brainwaves forever to come. See a better way to do something and then do it. Let creativity reign. Bring something into being that has not existed before. Have a positive impact on a passerby. Dare to dream. Live big in small spaces (like your head). Share it all with everyone. Code that sh*t. We sincerely hope you enjoy this month’s issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. Warmest Regards, The Downtown ZEN Team Contact Us: Email: Like: Follow: #dtzen

table of



FEATURES 03 | Maidly 07 | CatalystCreativ 09 | Rachel’s Kitchen Anniversary 15 | Ian Hinden: Orphan


PHILOSOPHY ‘N’ PHLUFF 17 | Serial: The Letter 20 | Serendipitous Spotlight 21 | Tech Corner 24 | Recipe 25 | Fashion 27 | Education 28 | Photography 29 | Descriptive Essay 31 | History 33 | Health & Wellness 37 | Housing Guide 39 | Astrology EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT 41 | Restaurant Review 43 | Bar Review 45 | Arts & Ents 48 | Calendar

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BETTER. FASTER. STRONGER. Your Go-To Wellness Guide to Bring Home Corporate Challenge Gold

Ephemeral Life Cube Brings Community to Canvas




Descriptive: sequins for thought Rachel’s Celebrates Anniversary Fashion in the Park Get a Wedgie Lux Delux

About the Cover With Corporate Challenge looming on the horizon, it’s either shape up or ship out season, so we chose the former and banged out a few more reps inside Real Results Fitness located at 1201 S. Commerce St. This unorthodox group fitness, boutique-styled gym will have you circuit training on punching bags, sledgehammer swings, and battle ropes that will awake the beast from within.


Maidly • CatalystCreativ • Rachel's Kitchen • Ian Hinden: Orphan

Rachel Baker’s Customer Service Oriented Business Utilizes DTLV Tech Family and the Ultimate Touch of Class

Recent addition to Progression Labs of the Las Vegas Tech Fund family, Maidly Inc. is taking the cleaning business to new echelons. No longer will booking a maid take days or weeks. No longer will it take an “in-person assessment” to get a quote. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, and uniquely superior service is the company’s key.

A Twosome With Tech If the connection between the tech world and a maid service is at first inapparent, Maidly will make the match seem, in hindsight, obviously made in heaven. In it’s present iteration, navigating the downtown Las Vegas-based cleaning service’s website is just plain easy and distinct from other cleaning companies’ sites. Other services’ sites offer “free in-home quotes” as a selling point, but not Maidly. Booking a clean at, even for the first time, takes under a minute. That is just the beginning, though. Born from the desire to deliver top-drawer customer service, the tech aspect to Maidly will make the company rank higher than any other maid service in a million and one ways to come. Rachel said, “We’re going to use our own technology to make the booking process as simple and efficient as possible. This is just the start of it. There’s so much more that can be done. All

of it will make the experience of booking a maid fun because it’s enabled by technology.”


The Baker family relocated to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Tech Fund (Rachel’s husband, Andy, is working on a project called Bluefields). Upon arrival, Rachel tried to book a cleaning service, and the experience was subpar to say the least. Having a stuttering and discomfit experience over the three-day-long attempt, knowing she wanted to start her own business, and having had a background in professional, high-end cleaning as a teenager, she said a light bulb went off. She shared, “I’m one of those people who would find enjoyment in going round to a friend’s house and organizing her, tidying everything and just getting everything all nice and pretty. It’s something I enjoy. And I just thought, ‘Wow this is perfect. It just makes sense.’ This is a service business, I love service businesses.” Better technology than what existed at that time seemed to be the answer. Customer service is the core of Maidly, so at the same time as you can book a clean in under a minute via the website, you can also call or chat to a human 24 hours a day 7 days a week, any day of the year, and get your questions answered. Rachel said she understands that, “it doesn’t matter how good your technology is, sometimes you just want to speak to a human, so we’ve got the mix of both of those.”

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Sadly, we can not specify at this time (believe me we would love to), but there are innovative and exciting new features planned for the future involving technology that will further put Maidly at the fore of innovating an entire industry that is sorely in need of a remodel.

The Service Itself Maidly is simply a great service company purveyed and curated by Rachel Baker. The business is the embodiment of Rachel’s philosophy about external and internal customer service and attention to detail. What fuels it all, though, seems to be her penchant for empathy. The entire model is based on an unparalleled sensitivity to customer interactions, all the way down to the children and the pets, and caring for her employees. Once the clean is booked, Maidly customers can expect a team of two maids. Before the very first visit, Maidly sends an official email with a photo and bio of each maid so customers know who to expect at their doors. The same two maids will return on future bookings. They do not outsource work, a common bidding-system among other services. Rachel explained the thought process behind this unique feature as thus: “I try to think about what I would want if I was letting a stranger into my home. One of the key things is, definitely, even more so than someone showing me a badge which anyone could have made, there’s an official email from the people that I’ve booked from saying ‘these are the maids that will be sent to your home, and these are going to be your cleaners moving forward.’ For one thing, every customer has a unique way that they like their home cleaned. They might like their towels folded a certain way. Also with pets, as well, if you’re going into someone else’s home, it’s nice for the pets to recognize you so it doesn’t distress them. You know who is in your home. It’s not just ‘oh it’s Maidly.’ No, this is Maggie and Ronnie, and the dog’s not distressed, or the cat, or if they have children. The children are recognizing this person who is coming into their home and touching their things. It just makes for a nicer experience in multiple different ways, not just the end result. It’s just about feeling comfortable with the whole situation, which I think is important.”

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The maids’ treatment as employees at Maidly has made the company a sought after place to work. Maidly’s staff are paid the most in the entire nation. No kidding. The employees are wellrespected and cared for and enjoy many benefits such as weekly meetings for teambuilding activities and lunch. Rachel said, “We’ve actually had a really big influx of people applying now because they’ve heard that the company is fun and treats the maids with the respect that they deserve … because they’re the face of the company. They’re dealing with customers, they’re dealing with finances, they’re dealing with the actual service itself. They deserve a huge amount of respect, and they don’t get it [elsewhere], which baffles me. Maidly maids do.” There is a cycle of reciprocity in the relationships between Rachel, the maids and the customers. Apart from making her maids happy based on principle, happy and secure employees equal happy and secure customers. All of Maidly’s maids are hired and trained by Maidly. The hiring process is lengthy, but Rachel believes it’s worth the investment commenting that, “once you find that golden gem, you give them a great job.”


All of the maids have to have five years of professional cleaning experience with training and product training (having cleaned for a neighbor is not enough). All must speak English confidently. Rachel says this is “purely because communication is one of the top, key priorities in the company description.” If English is a second language, “that’s even better,” she says, but English is a must to keep up the great communication the technology sets the bar for. Potential employees have to have a completely clear lifetime FBI check for both criminal and financial backgrounds. Rachel elaborated on this point, “I would like to say I’m a really good judge of character, but I have to have some solid proof as well, so that’s why we do that. Then that renews every year that they work for us.” Employees must be likable, friendly, warm, and nice because “they could be the most experienced person, but if they’re hard or grumpy or not very nice, then they don’t fit into what we’re trying to provide to our customers.” And all of their maids must be animal lovers as well because they’ll be dealing with clients’ pets.

After filling all the necessary requirements, Rachel puts the final touch on the process. She said, “I would never hire anyone who I didn’t feel comfortable leaving in my own home with my own children. If I feel comfortable with them coming over to my home, then, I’ll hire them. They could check all the boxes, but if I meet them at the end and feel that something’s not right, then they won’t get hired.” As an added bonus, Maidly offers an ecofriendly line that’s completely free of charge. Customers only have to request it. “It’s much better for pets and children,” Rachel noted in her generally mindful and happy manner. Maidly is a service in an industry that could only be revolutionized at the right time in the right place by the right person. Rachel Baker is bringing that kind of energy to, not only the cleaning business in Las Vegas but also to, the tech world of downtown Las Vegas. The ZEN team wishes her well and can’t wait to see what happens next …



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CATALYSTCREATIV’S ROI Incubator Pervades DTLV, Tourists By Michael Boley

At the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street is a can’t-miss-billboard that proudly proclaims “Downtown makes you smarter (if you know where to look).” To a downtown denizen, this message is well received, but to a touring out-of-towner, it may take a few more strides down Fremont East for the concept to click. With the help of city visionary and Downtown Project mastermind Tony Hsieh, downtown Vegas has put a new spin on “street smarts” by curating a nontraditional adult learning environment pocketed throughout the 89101 grid, featuring Tech Cocktail Week, Stitch Factory’s “Behind the Seams,” Downtown Speaker Series, and many more. However, out of the several free monthly happenings offered to urban dwellers, to many, one of the most elaborate, thought provoking, and inspirational events of them all happens at the tail end of each month during Catalyst Week. Taking place inside the Learning Village (next to Downtown Container Park), Catalyst Week is a monthly four-day event produced and curated by CatalystCreativ, a small business community design firm founded by Amanda Slavin, which builds cities, brands, and movements through the ideation and promotion of educational and inspirational events and talks. Slavin has had a long-standing, innate curiosity towards learning, believing that the classroom isn’t the be-all and end-all of education. With a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, Slavin researched and wrote her thesis on the basis of measuring interpersonal engagement, determining the cause and effect of student discussion and participation by displacing the learning environment outside the physical classroom. Slavin then managed events for five years where she was the marketing director for restaurant and event venues within New York City’s ritzy Hamptons, but her passion for education never relinquished as she became enthralled with TED talks and Summit Series, and was essentially looking for a cross-connected career between those experiences, if such one existed. It wasn’t until she met Hsieh at a conference in 2011, and toured downtown Vegas the following January, when the conversation clicked and the stars aligned in her journey to land the ultimate dream job. Fast-forward to today, and you have Slavin’s small team of eight bringing in thought leaders from across the country with professions ranging from social and corporate brand management to entrepreneurship and philanthropy, to create what Slavin has coined “an ROI [ripple of impact] on community,” through workshops, community dinners, happy hours, and, of course, keynote speakers.

In your conversations with Tony Hsieh, how was Catalyst Week pitched? “We just got to talking and [Hsieh] had said, ‘what are you really looking to do, what do you want?’ And I was like ‘I always just bring people together, and I want to do it for good. I don’t know how to do that, but how can I create these conversations where I’m bringing people together, and not just for an open bar package, but to learn something, to be inspired?’ And so we kind of ideated this concept of this monthly event — Catalyst Week — but we didn’t call it Catalyst Week at the time. It was a ‘Hey Amanda, why don’t you just bring your friends out to Vegas, and we can do something together.’ Six months later I ended up reaching out to Tony and said ‘I really want to start something with you.’” And so it was at a barbeque in New Jersey, with a sharpie marker and a journal, telling


him what I wanted. I said, ‘I want this summer camp for adults where we bring people from all over, and we create these experiences where they become inspired and educated, but I also want them to give back. I don’t want it to be just all about them.’”

When did Catalyst Week begin, and has it been modified since? “Catalyst Week started last November. We had 40 people come in to Vegas, and they gave educational and inspirational talks to anyone who wanted to come. It’s completely free [to the public]. They had an immersive experience where they stayed downtown, lived at the Ogden, worked from the Gold Spike and other co-working spaces, and were just really inspired and educated by downtown. We did that every single month for the past year, and then through that process a lot of other brands, foundations, and individuals started to say ‘how can you help us design our community, how can you help create these experiences that are high engaging,’ which is what I learned from my thesis, ‘and also have a curriculum of learning where people leave feeling inspired and educated,’ so, we became a community design firm.” What takeaways have participants brought with them back home? “When you come to a Catalyst Week, people leave this experience, and they want to create more of their own communities, or they end up leaving jobs that they hated, or moving across the country, or whatever it may be. It’s also just different than the same monotonous experiences of networking because you’re being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself with the Downtown Project. You’re a part of something that’s in transition, and so you can see what’s happening here, learn about this social experiment, if you will, and also meet other like-minded individuals that are doing really cool stuff all across the country.” In what ways does Catalyst Week impact foot-traffic downtown? “This entry point of these experiences is kind of like a formula. We bring in inspired, passionate people, we put them into a space that has this transition going on, we have them speak, and have mentorships, and have experiences with those that are local. And I think if you can recreate that all over, again you’re formulating this new form of tourism, where it’s not just going into a city, spending thousands of dollars on a nice hotel, and leaving. It’s going into a city and feeling like you’re actually a part of it so that you’re more invested in supporting growth. It’s happening in Detroit, it’s starting to happen in Seattle, it’s happening in Newark. What are the chances other cities will adapt to the Catalyst Week model? “Tony has this quote about the four-minute mile; it says that no one was running the four-minute mile until someone did, and after that someone, everyone was running the four-minute mile. It’s like, if you can do it in Vegas, you can do it anywhere. But in that same intention he’s not looking to do it everywhere; he’s looking to do it in Vegas. He wants to inspire others, if you will, to be the catalyst in other people’s lives, so that they take on their own initiatives in their own communities, but the first step with that is seeing what’s happening here. And that’s why Catalyst Week becomes this extension of ‘yeah, you can read about it and talk about it all you want, and you can hate on it, because there’s a lot of haters out there when you’re doing something big, but before you talk about it, come and see what’s actually happening from this immersive experience […] and then have a take on it in a way that you’ve actually experienced it yourself.’”


Rachel’s Kitchen

Rachel’s Kitchen at the Ogden opened March 5, 2013. They are celebrating their first anniversary with a grand celebration at the restaurant all day Wednesday March 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Downtown ZEN

MARCH 2014


Kathy Wilson and Caron Richardson have been friends for over 15 years. Together they own and operate, with hands-on care, Rachel’s Kitchen at the Ogden. Their love for business and the rituals of food make this restaurant a special place. It is a delightful and lovingly curated experience. Kathy: I purchased a business over 20 years ago with a business partner working in the lighting industry here in Las Vegas and had always had a goal and dream to have a restaurant one day. Caron, as my new business partner, allowed me to achieve this. One of greatest passions and enjoyment in my life has been cooking and entertaining at my home, since I was very young, and the restaurant is an extension of my home. There is not greater feeling than seeing a guest enjoy their experience at Rachel’s Kitchen, beginning with our service and hospitality, and allowing our guests to feel like our restaurant is a second home for them.”

always have just a little crisp around the edges with a soft, not starchy or grainy, inside. The burgers are always cooked just right, and strangely, having a burger at Rachel’s Kitchen doesn’t seem like such a guilty pleasure as it sometimes does elsewhere. Goat cheese, eggplant, zucchini, roasted red peppers, yellow squash, red onions, roasted tomatoes, apples, grapes, and strawberries are common, but so are mayo, bacon, and cheese. Rachel’s is the kind of place that doesn’t make diners feel ashamed about the mayo, bacon or cheese, and to top it off, there are gluten-free options available — and they aren’t marketed as a “trend diet” but genuinely geared towards those who are truly intolerant of the ubiquitous and sometimes troublemaking protein. Perhaps it is the osmosis of healthy options that abound on the monstrous menu that makes that second decision, what to eat, so difficult.

I have what I call ‘Ladies Cooking Night,’ which I host at my home several times throughout the year. The evening includes eight ladies, and I create a full menu for the evening. I then send each lady a recipe that they are responsible for purchasing and preparing for our evening together: everything from appetizers all the way through dessert. As the hostess I provide all the specialty cocktails I make, wine and dessert wine, along with preparing the entrée for the meal. They have become so popular as we all look forward to cooking together regardless of the individuals’ cooking capabilities. We all do it together and sprinkle in a Lemon Drop Martini or two, and I am sure you can see how much fun it can be. -Kathy

I had been in business with my husband for about 15 years in architecture and land planning when Kathy and I started talking about a new venture. The idea began around juicing, a grab and go concept, and healthy choices, so that really set the path for choosing a concept that wasn't fast food. We both were familiar with Rachel's Kitchen — me with the District location (the first franchisee), Kathy with the Summerlin location (original franchisor's). We inquired and loved that it was a local franchise, developed by Debbie Roxarzade. Downtown as a location held our interest with each of us being residents for over 30 years with the Ogden building our first preference. We pursued it, were granted a lease, and then Kathy and I hired TRP, Inc., my design firm with my husband to provide the design documents for the tenant improvements in the space. There's something about starting a new business that is definitely invigorating while sometimes kicking your ass! With all that being said, we do love it! -Caron Rachel’s Kitchen at the Ogden offers both a serene and kinetic welcome upon every visit. The calming celadon green and clear-blue-sky mosaic tiles complement the staff’s eager to please, warm smiles. A range of spaces to yield the day while enjoying flavor-packed delights invite guests to make their first choices: a length of firm, rich wood barand-stool seatings looking out onto the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas Boulevard; a softly padded, energetically colored banquet; a common area of four tops; or a strip of quiet two tops along the cozy hallway where local artists’ works are featured. Beside including such a perfectly curated range of atmosphere, the menu is tolerant of cheat days, supportive on “I’m being healthy today” days, and satiates the need during comfort food days. Beyond that perk, the fare at Rachel’s Kitchen is consistent. The shoestring-type french fries are always salted to perfection and never greasy. The breakfast potatoes


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There are 15 smoothies and fresh juices available, and for the kale lovers there are several to choose from. Patrons are welcome to create their own too! The salads are fresh tasting with ingredients among the highest achievers in nutritional value. Among comfort foods like homemade granola (roasted and toasted in their own kitchen for a perfect crunch and served with yogurt or milk, with optional strawberries and bananas) and oatmeal with strawberries and banana, there are some signature dishes such as the signature salad (nut crusted goat cheese, mixed baby greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes tossed with our balsamic basil vinaigrette available with either chicken or tuna). The portions are a solid size, but I never feel guilty about cleaning my plate. The breakfast wrap (scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, cheddar

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cheese in a whole wheat tortilla) is fantastic and probably enough for two people to split. Breakfast is served all day at Rachel’s Kitchen, so late risers or breakfast-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, can’t-get-enough types can bask in breakfast glory all day long. If pasta fills the bill, the Bolognese is served with angel hair (a unique choice according to my Bolognese-loving compatriots), but neither does this dish go unfinished despite pasta being one of those kinds of foods that can be eaten and just never seem to disappear. My fellow diner asked for a slice of bread to scrape the plate clean because the sauce is just too tasty to waste. It was that or he would become uncivilized (and a public spectacle) by licking the bowl. An additional perk to Rachel’s Kitchen is that all the dishes served make things easy and versatile according to time of day and purpose. Diners can eat and run but won’t be sorry to sit and chillax. It’s simple and delicious: perfect for fast-paced patrons who like to get in and get out, but also relaxed enough to hang around and have a few glasses of wine, beer, or champagne and mimosas. The one thing that never varies is that there are always friends at Rachel’s Kitchen, no matter what time of day one chooses to stop in, and if live music is an appealing addition to yummy food and good friends in a comforting environment, the Thursday Night Jam is a rotating schedule of local musical guests. Last time I was there two players did White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes; this was as shocking as it was groovy and the perfect icing on the freshly baked Valentine’s Day sugar cookies


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we enjoyed. It’s the warm kind of feeling that permeates the place once a glass of wine and humorous conversation take over the mood. No matter breakfast, lunch or dinner, Rachel’s Kitchen at the Ogden offers a homey and friendly place to match your pace, and the community involvement of Kathy Wilson and Caron Richardson is evidence of their commitment to building a space the likes of which have been seen in such television sitcoms as Seinfeld and Friends. No longer only on TV, Monk’s Cafe and the Central Perk are right here under our noses, only it’s called lovingly by locals as just plainly “Rachel’s.” Rachel’s Kitchen at the Ogden 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd., 702.778.8800, Prices: $4.95 to $11.50 Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sundays. Reservations: Not required Delivery: via eco-friendly bikes outfitted with equipment to keep your food cold or hot as it should be. Busiest: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Epicurean Range: Breakfast, burgers, specialty salads, gourmet sandwiches, pasta, fresh juices, smoothies, wine, selected beer, champagne and mimosas!

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Ian wants to tell stories “that are meaningful for what the world is” Ian Hinden’s and where he sees the world going. At this time in technological evolution, with ubiquitous web access, the Internet can be taken for granted, but Ian doesn’t lose his fascination with it, which Latest Project, is what’s making his art break boundaries. His thoughts on that inform people’s identities, boundaries in art, Orphan, Breaks Boundaries boundaries and boundaries in the game he’s creating all tie together as the world in his mind spills over onto its medium.

Boundaries in identity:

By Mandy Crispin Ian Hinden has big plans for his latest webshow, Orphan. Having run alternate reality games before likened to online treasure hunts and “big puzzles people have to work together to solve,” he ran his last project for less than $100 out of his kitchen and ended up reaching 2 million people. In Ian’s view, the Internet is a new horizon for storytelling and worldly communal integration. He said, “The Internet is an opportunity for a world culture to unfold.” As part of the project Ian has put together an international team to execute telling this particular story in ways that will puzzle players into a world built just for them. One of the unique things about Orphan is that it’s designed specifically for the Internet. Ian said that what a lot of other people are doing is simply taking television shows and “putting” them on the Internet. The problem with this is that, “It’s just not designed for how people use the Internet and what kind of interaction they have.” He said that’s kind of as silly as trying to put a show formatted for radio on television. Ian’s main challenge is, “just an attempt to ask, ‘What’s a new way that we can tell stories?’” Each episode of the show will be a piece of the overall puzzle. If people solve the individual puzzle pieces, they find clues and more information about the world of the show and get closer to solving the big puzzle.


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“One of the things that I admire about the Internet is how it changed the world. It kind of makes the borders of the world obsolete. We can communicate with people everywhere now. You can jump on Skype and be talking to someone in Thailand. What’s interesting about that is what kind of impact that has on people’s identities. […] The question is ‘how are people going to identify themselves in the future when so much of identity [now] is where you come from?’”

Boundaries in art:

“Our approach is unconventional, but I hope that’s what makes it really special. As someone who is making art, you can’t compete with dudes making feature length films and putting them in theaters, so hopefully by changing the medium and doing my own thing people will be able to experience the story I created. That’s what the big thing is, for me, that when I show people art like this, ‘What idea can I express and how many different avenues of art do I have to do that?’ For example, if they’re more drawn to fashion they will be introduced to it from that, or if they’re drawn by the music they’re introduced to it by that. One of the big debates that inspired me to do a project like this is that you can go online and find pages and pages of people arguing about ‘Is a game art? Can a video game be art?’ I think when you carve experiences for people […] it’s art. I think one of the criticisms that was lobbed at video games is that the creator doesn’t control the whole experience. When

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you make games like this you control the experience more than people know. When we created Orphan, we created puzzles that we want you to solve and find out the next clues, we kind of know ahead of time what the people who watch it are going to go to Google and look for. And when we have that in mind then we know what they’re going to discover, and that’s what is cool about it. You give these folks that are playing the impression that they have discovered this whole thing themselves. It’s just this incredibly light touch, which I feel is the true art of it. It’s how you get them to discover this [manufactured world] and feel like they organically figured it out. That’s why I kind of think ‘what else can we do with storytelling that can make an experience for someone?’ I think the root of all art is that you want to get somebody to feel something. I want to create art that you can surround your life with.”

A boundless story:

“I wanted to make a show that functioned in the borderless fashion that I envision the world of the future does. I didn’t want a show that was stuck on the TV screen, and I didn’t even want a show that was stuck on a website. I wanted a show that was all over the place. For example, in the show, characters go onto YouTube and pull up a video, and the user [game player] can actually pause the screen and go to that YouTube account, and that will lead to a blog that another character is writing. I feel that helps immerse people in the story because for any material we present in the story, they have the option to seek it out and make discoveries about the show on their own. The plot of Orphan is that this guy Jason Diego inherits, from his father, this document called the Escapist Manifesto that he’s told is an account of Genesis written by Eve. Basically to solve the mystery of this document he discovers he has to go to this land that’s claimed by no country, and territories like that are called Orphan territories. I think that the idea that people have that they are all part of

these groups, and the groups get bigger and bigger and make families, and anybody who doesn’t have a family is orphaned. And then you have a group the size of a country and somebody who doesn’t have a country is orphaned in the same way. So can those lines … do they ever disappear? Is there ever a point where you’re not defined by one of these groups? And sometimes people feel like they want their group to be bigger, sometimes they feel like ‘our group needs to be smaller’ and there’s just so much strife over ‘how big exactly are these groups of people going to be?’” So far Orphan’s pitch video was filmed at Stitch Factory and weekly releases have been filmed at Fremont East Studios. Ian says he looks forward to continuing to work with our local businesses because “downtown, they’re the ones who I feel like are going to be most receptive towards some new and interesting ways of doing things […] so if I get the opportunity I would like to go back and work [with them] again.” Given his thoughts about the Internet, Ian believes that serendipity doesn’t have to be confined to a physical space, though he pointed out that “it does have to start with a community somewhere, and I feel like downtown is the place to plant this seed.” The Kickstarter campaign for Orphan has deliberate functions within the game as well. Ian revealed that, “We are asking for funding to make a pilot episode of our show, but the secret is that the Kickstarter is the pilot episode. People are going to start finding clues and putting the world together, so anyone who comes to our Kickstarter is going to get a taste of the show.” Visit their Facebook page at to find the most recent news about the Kickstarter campaign and the official launch party at Vanguard on April 3 at 8 p.m. Go to the website at for a sneak peak of the show!

Imagery courtesy of Orphan


Philosophy ‘N’ Phluff

The Letter • Serendipitous Spotlight • Tech Corner • Recipe • Fashion • Education • Photography • Descriptive Essay • History • Health & Wellness • Housing • Astrology


Letter Chapter 6

By Matthew Dunsmoor Illustrations by Evelyn Lee As I handed her my card, she asked the question that I was asking myself. "Do you know him? Do you know mister … Edson?" As I pulled out of the lot, I could feel the hollowness of my own eyes. My mind was too occupied to even think about anything but the mysterious man who had partially kidnapped me and claimed to know my father. Before I confronted Edson, I needed to talk to an old friend. Perhaps Jasper might be able to give me some insight into the mysterious man and whether or not he really knew my father. I can't honestly recall any of the drive between UNLV and Fremont, but I'll never forget what I saw when I reached my destination. I parked along Fourth Street in front of Syn Shop and made my way past the alley where Jasper's old blue bicycle was chained to the street lamp, as it always was when Jasper was at work. The setting sun provided just enough light to reveal the first of many oddities I'd see that evening — a sign that read "CLOSED" draped across the inside of the glass door. I say that this was odd because Jasper kept his store open until 9 p.m. (as a part-legit, partsketchy pawn store, you need to have some late hours for the good stuff), and it was only about 7:15. I cupped my hands around my eyes and pressed them to the glass to get a better view. The lights in the store were off, but I could see a sliver of light spilling out from the doorway to Jasper's office. I closed my hand and rapped it loudly against the door.


"Jasper!" I called out. "You in there? I need to talk to you!" I waited to hear something back, but all that returned was silence from the inside and the sound of a car starting somewhere on the outside. I peered back in and saw no movement. I stepped back from the glass and pulled out my cellphone. Perhaps he took one of his infamous snoozes in the office, and a nice close-by bell would wake him. I punched in the number, hit send and held the phone up to my ear. I heard the ringing of the phone in my ear, and then a delayed ring through the glass of the storefront. I then heard about five more before the store's automated message kicked on. Something was clearly wrong. I stepped back and looked down the sidewalk to see if Jasper's bike was still chained up. It was. Just as I looked back, I saw a flash of movement from back near the office. I pressed back against the glass to see what it was, and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be something dragging along the floor down the back hallway, past the office. I pounded on the glass again. "Jasper!" This time, I received a response. It was a pale orange light filling the back hallway — someone had opened the rear door. I stepped back and moved quickly toward the alley. "Help!" I heard Jasper's unmistakable voice cry out from somewhere down the alley. I darted down the alley and heard the low rumble of a car's engine. Suddenly two consecutive SLAM sounds filled the air, and the engine shifted into gear. As I approached the corner behind Jasper's store, a familiar grey sedan reversed into my path, pointed toward the other end of the alley. A woman peered over her shoulder from the driver's seat back at me through the rear window. My stomach sank as I realized that this was the very woman that was watching me from across the street just one night ago. She turned to her passenger, an unclear shadow of a person, said something to them and then took off down the alley, disappearing into the

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night. I turned to my left, looking at the ajar back entry to Jasper's shop, praying he was still inside and more importantly, still alive. "… Jasper?" I pushed the door cautiously, unsure if everyone who was here had actually left. I heard no response from him. After a quick walk through the darkened store, I walked into his office to see a surprisingly small mess, aside from the smashed computer on Jasper's desk. After looking over the whole place, two things appeared to be missing: 1 — that day's security tape (yes, Jasper was old school enough that he still used VHS tapes), and 2 — Jasper himself. I can only assume that one of the slams that I heard earlier was that of the trunk, sealing the fate of my friend. Furiously, I dialed the police and waited for their arrival. I may not have Edson's contact information, but after what I would be telling the police, I had a strong feeling he would be contacting me. … As fortune would have it, it only took three days for my prediction to come true. I was walking to the Shadow from our most recent worksite, when my "favorite" navy Crown Victoria pulled up. The passenger window lowered, and Van Horn's dry voice came through, "Get in." I smiled and obliged. My expectation of a silent ride was quickly thrown when I heard a sternsounding accent come from the back. "I had an interesting chat with some officers last night, Mr. Dean." I sarcastically chuckled, "Is that so? Huh. Now why would they want to talk to an upstanding, nonshady character such as yourself?" "It would seem that you and I need to get more acquainted. I'm not you're enemy, Hollace. There are some things that you need to know …" he trailed off. I folded my mirror down and stared back at him blankly. "Well … ?" "What do you know about Egyptian religions, Mr. Dean?" he began. "Clearly not as much as you." He chuckled, "I take it you've happened upon my book then?" I nodded. "How much of it have you actually read?"

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"Nothing past the cover. And from the dust on the copy I found, I'm guessing I'm in the majority there," I jabbed, bringing a grimacing smile to Edson's face. "Well, allow me give you some details that you might find interesting. You see, I'm a lover of the Egyptian culture — the history of the people, the political structure, the religion ... it all truly holds my heart. My book focuses on one particularly interesting group — the Khruat, which holds Egyptian religion to be true. You see, the Khruat are an underground Egyptian society who worship the goddess 'Nekhbet,' the protectress of Upper Egypt and one of the two patron deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified. Nekhbet was the patron of Nekheb, the original Necropolis — or city of the dead. How much do you know about early Egyptian history?" he quizzed. "Aside from what I've seen in 'The Mummy' series and what you've just told me, next to nothing," I joked. "Ah," a disappointed expression crossed his face. "Well, there's an ancient Egyptian relic known as The Bracelet of Ammut that was last seen on the wrist of Arsinoe IV in 42 B.C. The Khruat are in search of that bracelet, and have been ever since its disappearance. The bracelet is believed to be a key to the sacred entrance to the Neter-Khertet, which translates as 'a divine subterranean place.' A name for the land of the dead." "I'm sorry, but why are you telling me this?" I interjected. "Your father, to an extent, shared my passion. That's why he was here. Did you happen to even open the cover of the book?" I shook my head. He continued, "I didn't think so. If you had, you would've seen that your father was listed as my only contributor. We were out here researching the Khruat together, Hollace." I'm sure the feeling of confusion and shock was


apparent on my face. I turned to face Edson for the first time during our drive, "But why Vegas? This place has nothing to do with any of that." "Don't be so sure," Edson said with a confident grin. "You see, the Khruat believed that the desert was a place of praise. They believe it tested one's faith and resolve — 'a test of fire' they called it. The desert is holy because it was home to Nekhbet. A large faction of the Khruat actually believe that whoever stole the Bracelet of Ammut may have brought it here in search of the sacred entrance to the Neter-Khertet." "I may be a little late to this whole Egyptian Mythology party, but I'm pretty sure that Vegas wasn't a place yet when that bracelet was stolen," I pointed out, feeling a little lost. "You are certainly right about being late to the Egyptian Religion party," he corrected, not-sosubtly. "But in regards to Las Vegas, you are only partially right. The city of Las Vegas most certainly did not exist at that time, but that doesn't mean that the place it rests upon did not exist. Did you ever wonder why 'Death Valley' was named as such?" "Didn't a bunch of miners die there during the Gold Rush? Or is it something like it's so hot that nothing can live there?" I pitched. "There's actually only one historically recorded instance of a small group of pioneers entering Death Valley and not all emerging alive — hardly enough to justify a legacy of death, wouldn't you say? And it's true that it's one of the hottest places in the Western Hemisphere, but some flora and fauna have truly thrived there. Wouldn't a more appropriate name for this area be 'Heat Valley?'" he seemed to ask rhetorically. "I'm not sure what you're getting at here …"

by many scholars that long before the pioneers ventured across the country, members of the Khruat had already come to southern California in search of the bracelet and the entrance to the Neter-Khertet. They believed that the valley led to the gateway. That it truly was the Valley of Death. The name was merely popularized and bastardized by American pioneers. By the time they arrived, the area already had that nickname, but the people who gave it to the region had moved on to other potions of the Mojave Desert to seek out other possible locations for the entrance, and eventually Las Vegas was where they ended up." We had finally completed our giant square of a drive, and slowly rolled up to my car. "Well, this has certainly been fun. Completely useless, but really fun. Let's do it agai —" Edson grabbed my arm. From his pocket he withdrew a sketch of the vulture symbol I had seen too many times. "Have you seen this symbol?" he burst. I gritted my teeth and stared back at him without saying a word. "This is the symbol of the Khruat. Be wary of anyone you encounter who uses this symbol, or even knows of it. I fear that your father's death was not a mere mugging. I think that he uncovered something he shouldn't have, and paid the price for it. I have vowed to protect you as much as I can, but I'm afraid that I can't do that from an interrogation room at the police station. If you feel that you must keep digging into your father's affairs, then so be it; but I beg you, do it cautiously, and don't do it alone. My protection becomes exponentially less effective the more that you hide from me. Please, come by the house tomorrow and we'll talk further." He scribbled his address onto a piece of paper and presented it to me. I hesitantly retrieved it from his hand, slid it into my pocket, and got out of the car. I had a lot to think about before I would make a decision on whether or not to take him up on his offer.

"What I'm telling you is that there is a theory held

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Serendipitous Spotlight Q&A w/El Cortez Executive Vice President Alex Epstein Welcome to the ‘light! To begin, how did you begin in the hotel & casino biz? I’d have to say it was a little bit of luck, and a little bit of destiny. Of course, growing up as a casino kid, gaming was always an option. However, it wasn’t until I decided to not apply to medical school and started working at the El Cortez that it became a reality. The El Cortez has continuously been open since 1941. What significance does that carry in a city where change is rampant, casinos often collapse, and bought-out businesses are the norm? I think it really sets us apart. The El Cortez exemplifies the true vintage Vegas experience, and I’ve learned that everyone, whether an old-timer or newcomer, has an appreciation for that authentic experience. On every level — in our architecture, our employees, our customers, our ownership — the El Cortez has had a continuity and impact on the neighborhood, and for that I am very proud. Former owner and Las Vegas icon Jackie Gaughan recently passed away on March 12. What's the greatest advice he's given you? Jackie was a role model to all of us at the El Cortez, for many reasons. Perhaps his most significant (and true) words were “What’s good for downtown is good for the El Cortez.” This is a mantra we live by to this day, and a saying that has shaped how I think about success. The El Cortez has adapted well to the reinvigorated Fremont East district. In what ways has this shaped the hotel’s success? I’m most proud of the evolution of the El Cortez brand during the time I’ve been here. In six years, we have become known as one of the companies at the forefront of downtown revitalization, one that engages community, supports its neighbors, and provides a venue for fun. For those that may not know, outside the casino, creating a sense of community is near and dear to your heart. Similar to the idea of “What’s good for downtown is good for the El Cortez,” what’s good for a community is good for you. Just getting involved and working with neighbors is a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and to make the location where you live, work, and/or play a better place. Downtown Cares is your philanthropic baby. Tell us more. Downtown Cares, a series of downtown Las Vegas service days, was created as a way to help out some areas of our neighborhood that don’t receive the same spotlight as others. Since its inception, Downtown Cares has worked with community partners to infuse new life into a senior living facility, Las Vegas Academy, Veteran’s Village and the Arts District, and we can’t wait to do more! What’s next for you and the El Cortez? Between my upcoming wedding and graduation from business school, I have a lot to look forward to personally in the next year. As for the El Cortez, I expect that it will continue to evolve and thrive alongside our ever-changing neighborhood. You have a max of four words to end this interview. Go! Bring it on! ISSUE 24

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DOWNTOWN < CODE > GIVING WEDGIES WITH JIMMY JACOBSON BY SUNSHINE JOWELL I decided to meet Jimmy Jacobson, cofounder of the website, in one of the quiet upstairs landing areas of Inspire Theatre. It’s a very hip location on East Fremont Street. Maybe not a place you’d typically find someone who owns a website that sounds like a joke for 13-year-olds and their middle school bullies.

They own the domain name and the trademark. Anyone who tries to use the word ‘Wedgies’ as part of their business can expect to receive a cease and desist order. “We think it’d be funny to apply that to the school yard,” he said, “Let kids know that bullies must stick to social media — and polling — in order to give Wedgies.”

That’s Wedgies. A social media website that allows the user to create polls and get instant results. You can use it in meetings for fun, user-friendly feedback. The Weather Channel has used it to see if people were affected by the (dubbed by TWC) “Pax winter storm system.” And, new this month, “You’d expect to see just a whole bunch you’ll be able to integrate a Wedgies poll into your own Tumblr blog. “If you of underwear,” Jimmy explains about the post a link to a Wedgie in your Tumblr dashboard, instead of showing up name of his company. “But we’re really just in your blog view, you can vote on the Wedgie through your Tumblr trying to turn it into a word that’s safe dashboard.” for people to use on the Internet without Wedgies has made things even more interesting lately by introducing having to see abusive pictures.” animated gifs into their polling system. (Side note: A good Wedgie poll being Jimmy is a former Zappos developer, and whether “gif” is pronounced gif or gif. I say “gif.” Others insist on “gif.” Live he — along with his friend, Porter Haney and let live. Suit yourself, I say.) — came up with the idea for a social survey app after Jimmy experienced The idea originally started with giving users the option of showing pictures his first Zappos Hackathon and realized in their Wedgies’ polls. Such as, “Which dress should I buy?” Or, “Do you like that any idea could become a reality in these boots or these heels?” Then they moved into supporting animated a short amount of time. One of Wedgies’ gifs to give people even more polling options. “It really opened up this core values is to make complex things whole new world of voting on things,” Jimmy explains. “Because now you simple. “The idea was, ‘how do you get can upload a sports gif, like a play, and say, ‘Was this really a penalty?’ for people to take surveys over Twitter?’ example. Or, ‘Who’s the better quarterback?’” That’s what turned into Wedgies.”


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Jimmy is also branching out into other areas by working with groups and organizations that need his wicked coding skills. Recently, he worked with a group called TransHack out of Oakland, CA run by Kortney Ryan Ziegler. “The idea is to have Hackathons for the transgender community,” Jimmy says. “At this point, they are an underrepresented group of individuals who work in tech who have very specific issues that other people don’t necessarily have.” This was the group’s second Hackathon, and the event gathered together developers, designers and others in the community to talk about ways technology could help their community grow and educate each other. Jimmy spent his time writing code for their new website, “There were all kinds of issues I hadn’t really considered,” he said. “Like, which locker room does a transgender male use at the gym? How does a person come out to their parents? This community doesn’t really have anyone else they can ask these questions, other than their immediate acquaintances.” This website is designed to be a safe forum to ask and answer their questions. As Jimmy and I sat in the Inspire and caught up with each other, we talked about our old Zappos days together in Henderson. Although Jimmy is no longer with Zappos, he did make the move to downtown along with the company and many other businesses. In fact, he moved his whole family. Jimmy has an interesting theory that the Las Vegas area is really just one big pie, “You never need to leave your slice of the pie,” he said, explaining that all the things you need are located within the area you live — schools, grocery stores, community centers, etc. “Living downtown is nice because it gives you quick access to all those areas.” He’s excited for all of the new opportunities for his family coming to the downtown area. If you’d like to find our more, or be a part of any upcoming Hackathons, go to or to find out about the latest event. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter @jimmyjacobson.


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SUNSHINE JOWELL’S COLUMN-LAUNCH BONUS FEATURE LUX DELUX WITH ANDREW HSIEH Hold up. You’re telling me there’s an app that I can download to my phone that allows me to have a Slurpee, some batteries and some muchneeded cough medicine delivered to the office for 99 cents? Yes. Yes, there is. And, you didn’t tell me that. I’m telling you that. Well, Andrew Hsieh told me that. He’s Tony Hsieh’s brother, if you didn’t recognize the last name. He’s created a really cool iPhone app called Lux Delux — Downtown Dining Delivered. You can acquire this app by texting “LUX” to 702.800.6826 to download. It’s free. They’ll text you back right away. And, you’re off! Unlike other food delivery resources, there is no minimum for purchases. Order as much or as little as your appetite desires. The fee of 99 cents is flat, and I personally find that to be a bargain to have a turkey burger from Rachel’s Kitchen brought to me for lunch. Think of all the time I’ll save? For now, Andy has curated the experience to include all the major hubs in downtown, “All the places you enjoy,” he says. In the coming months, they’ll be expanding to even more sites, including grocery stores. I mean, I’ll have no excuse to avoid kale chips now! Oh, yes I will. I’ll find an excuse. Delivery sites include businesses, residences and hotels in the downtown area. You can request delivery or pick up Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. “We want to bring downtown to you,” said Andy. “What better way to explore downtown, from the comfort of your own home.” Or, desk. I’ll have the Pizza Rock Romana #III. And, no. I won’t be sharing it with four other people, thanks.


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BAKE: 40 min. 14 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar (coconut sugar works well too) 2 cups almond meal 3/4 cup fine cornmeal 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3 eggs 2 Meyer lemons zested and juiced

This cake is very rich and serves 16 Preheat oven to 350 F Line a round 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease with butter. Beat butter and sugar until pale and whipped. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add some to the butter and sugar mix and add 1 egg until well blended. Repeat until all dry ingredients and eggs are combined into a batter. Pour the batter into pre-greased parchment lined pan. Bake 40 minutes; then check center for doneness. Prick cake top with cake tester or toothpick and pour syrup over cake as it cools. Syrup 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar Meyer lemon juice Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat, stir and pour over cooling cake. Serve as is or with Honey Whipped Chevre and Blood Orange Gastrique Honey Whipped Chevre 1/2 cup chevre (fresh goat cheese) 1 tablespoon honey (raw preferred) 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint 1 pinch kosher salt Combine ingredients in a food processor, add a teaspoon of warm water if mixture is too thick. Place a dollop on the cake. Blood Orange Gastrique 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar Juice of 2 medium sized, fresh blood oranges Fresh mint In a small, nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar and orange juice and bring to a boil. Cook until



by Temple Brathwaite

In conjunction with the

MAGIC | Project | Platform tradeshow week, sponsored the first “Fashion in the Park” event held at Downtown Container Park. Six Zappos brands were featured for the silent auction that raised over $6,000 for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. Other brands like 7 for All Mankind, Mara Hoffman, Marc Ecko, StyleStalker and KAMALIKULTURE were highlighted on the runway to put on a stupendous night of fashion.


We love fringe! 25

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For the love of Mara Hoffman!


prints, prints, prints!


Bold … and Edgy!” ISSUE 24

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Wearers of Many Hats, LVA Students Design Headpieces for Miss Nevada Contestants By Shannon Sneade As the downtown area’s revitalization efforts have gained momentum, it has opened itself up to varying types of crowds and events. On Saturday, Feb. 15, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (LVA), Downtown Container Park, and Miss Nevada Organization came together with local performers to put on a spectacle of sorts: the 2014 Miss Mad Hatter Pageant. Admission to the pageant was free, and many members of the surrounding community came to watch the show. The 2014 Miss Nevada contestants kicked off the event at 4 p.m. by parading down Fremont Street before returning to the container park’s entrance for a lively, resounding drum circle. Along with the impressive hand beats, entertainment was provided throughout the evening by LVA prodigy Tommy Ward and his band, Swayd, along with Harrah’s headlining comedian Mac King, who dressed up as the event’s official Mad Hatter. Prior to the pageant, academy art and technical theatre students had one week to round up simple, inexpensive hats, and turn their plain-looking headpieces into creative masterworks of art. A total of 26 hats, one for each of the Miss Nevada contestants, were created to grace the top of each of their heads, with the only construction guidelines requiring students to follow vanguard styling. Metaphorically speaking, senior Siobahn Schuck had put on her thinking cap and decided to make a societal statement with her hat’s design by taking a fedora, bending its brim, and constructing scaffold-type wires that held shards of glass mirrors. "[My hat] was inspired by the obsession with physical beauty and how a reflection can be defining to an individual's self worth," said Schuck. Throughout the evening, Miss Nevada contestants donned and modeled the hats around the vicinity, selling raffle tickets to anyone who made a hat purchase. Mac King crowned the contestant who sold the most raffle tickets, with all proceeds benefitting the academy’s effort to renovating the school. Both the Downtown Container Park and Miss Nevada Organization sponsored the event, which was initiated by the parent organization, Friends of the Academy. Don’t worry if you missed out on this year’s inaugural event, because due to its overwhelming success it’ll be back in the years to come, said academy Marketing Advisor Anita Ward. “This is the first annual premiere, and we plan to do a Miss 27

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I have all of these old cameras that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take pictures on their own anymore, and I wanted to still use one of them as a way to capture an image, a moment in time. I figured that I could still use my old Argus Twin Lens Reflex camera to make a picture even if it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the originally intended way. One great thing about downtown Las Vegas is it lends itself to making pictures just about everywhere. There are great old signs, colors, and places that have certain uniqueness about them all. I love everything happening downtown right now; mixing the old with the new, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I chose to make this image the way that I did. Using a modern camera to capture the view through the old lens and make something fresh.

-Peter Gaunt

By Shawn Zahnow have listened to golden agers my entire life talk about how great times used to be, how I missed out because so many things have changed in the world. The communities that we live in aren’t as great, they say. I think about wonderful stories about Las Vegas in its prime days; the magnificent shows at the casinos that had live bands or orchestras with fabulous showgirls; the days when going down to the strip was an event. Women dressed up in their fancy formal gowns and gentlemen in their suites or tuxes, and I often say to myself, “I was definitely born in the wrong time period.” I was lucky enough to get to see one true showgirl performance when I was in high school, and I was left breathless by the elegance of these women as well as the highly intricate costumes that they wore. The talent these beautiful performers had and their ability to dance in such elaborate costumes was marvelous. They must have trained in all areas including ballet and ballroom dancing their entire lives to produce these perfected shows. The way they flow magically down flights of stairs with a grace that barely changes their positions yet moving together perfectly in sync throughout. After plenty of research I found out that there are quite a bit of requirements that go into being a Las Vegas showgirl.


For starters, the women have to be at least 5 feet 8 inches tall, but most of the women are well over that height. The industry embodies and celebrates exquisite feminine beauty, that which can only come from tremendous genetics passed down. These females are in a class of their own and should be celebrated for what Las Vegas is known for, an adult fantasyland. Last, but by far not least, THEIR LEGS!!! Those powerful yet feminine lengthy legs covered in fishnet stockings look as though they touch the stars each time they kick up in the air with absolutely amazing symmetry. Jaws drop at the sight of this alluring presentation. Now lets get to my favorite detail: the costumes. Where to begin? For such a teensyweensy costume it does not in any way look like a bikini and thong. Let’s break it down. Starting with the G-string, this tiny little piece of fabric is covered in heavy rhinestones and crystals often overlapping layers to add movement to the costume as the ladies dance, giving depth as well as glitter to each twist. Rhinestone encrusted bras where often used, but in most cases those sexy tops came off revealing the ever-so-beautiful female body. Although nudity is part of the show, the way it’s presented makes it elegant. It was common when I was a teenager for the women to leave their

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tops on during school dance events such as homecoming and prom so that local teens were able to attend. On to the most splendid: headdresses made from ostrich, turkey and chicken feathers. The headdresses alone were at least a quarter of the female’s body weight, if not more. The glittering rhinestones and crystals that were added had to make these brilliant pieces so heavy and incredibly hard to keep perfectly aligned during the performance. These oneof-a-kind handmade pieces of art are brilliant. Feathers were dyed using vibrant royal blues, gold, pink and pearly shimmering white all to match each costume. Along with the headdresses were massive tails, also made with feathers and rhinestones that wrapped around the tiny dancers’ waists extending to the floor like a long train that followed with each movement in the choreographed performance. It was also common for the ladies to wear spectacular jewelry around the neck draping down to the chest, as well as sleeves of jewels that cover the arms, adding luminous shimmer each time the stage lights hit


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the ladies. Imagine bands of color lighting from the rafters shining brightly at the girls as they move about the stage, taking in all of that beauty at once. It is truly magnificent to feel the performers look out at the room engaging all of us, giving off the feeling that you are right on stage with them, as if all of those sparkles of light embrace every one of us with warmth, each jewel putting a little glow of excitement into your eye. I can only imagine the love of the art to be able to endure the enormous amounts of pressure put on these Las Vegas angels performing each week. Constant training, keeping in superior body shape, making sure each move is in harmony with each other’s. The result of which is a phenomenal experience that is delivered to audiences each and every night. There are very few shows left in Las Vegas. Jubilee is one of them, so when I think that these shows may one day be extinct I worry that Las Vegas will lose another great part of what has made this such an amazing town.

As a teenager I remember when casinos decided to no longer have live bands and orchestras. Hundreds of talented people that brought true culture and art to our city were left looking for jobs in other states because they were replaced by recorded sound. It’s not just the music that is played for a show that brings a community to life but the actual human beings behind those instruments and performances. Those individuals who play or dance are not just doing a job, they are mentors for the young kids in the city who like myself played an instrument and danced. If young people see that there is no promise of a future to learn to play, that they would be replaced by digital sound, then what is there to look forward to? Anyone who has been to his or her favorite artist’s live concert will arguably agree that live is absolutely better than any CD or digital version.

we working so hard for?” Are we heading in a new direction? If we eliminate the love for these types of arts, we are essentially eliminating great occupations. Not every performer will become the next famous superstar, but that just may be OK for some. To be able to work passionately and be successful the rest of your life in a field that you love, knowing you are a leader and mentor to young people can be enough fulfillment in life! I am definitely more than a little concerned if our little ballerinas are growing up with no other choice but to use their talents to dance at less-than-mainstream venues in order to make a living because there are no longer amazing showgirl shows in Las Vegas. I have to wonder if it’s all about the bottom line, and if huge corporations have made the decision for us; using less people saves millions of dollars at the cost of running certain aspects of history and culture out of our city.

Are those days as a community getting more and more sparse for these performers? Are those little girls who attend ballet and dance classes going to ask their parents one day what their real purpose for going is: “What are

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A marble replica of Giambologna's “The Rape of the Sabine Women” arriving at Caesars Palace - May 12, 1966


Historians and art enthusiasts alike would be hard-pressed to equate Las Vegas with having any sort of above-average art collections or public sculptures. In fact, many believe the city has little to no art exposure because it has never marketed itself culturally, instead promoting its gaming accoutrements over any other attractions. Even to this day, travelers arriving at the new D gates at McCarran International Airport are greeted by Peter Lik’s photograph of the Grand Canyon rather than Nevada's beautiful Red Rock Canyon, located less than 30 miles from the airstrip. However, contrary to public belief, Las Vegas, in its own right, is quite rich in the arts.

In 1966, Caesars Palace developer Jay Sarno invested heavily in purchasing art for his new hotel. Most of the sculptures in the porte-cochère at Caesar's Palace, including the “Rape of the Sabines” and the “Winged Victory of Samothrace” in front of the hotel’s world-famous fountains, are actually real marble sculptures. Sarno went through great expense to have these marble sculptures created and imported from Italy. Fast forward 20 years later, and Caesars would step back into the public art foray with conceptual artist Jenny Holzer's series of works known as "Truisms" (1986) that would be displayed on the hotel’s Las Vegas Boulevard marquee.

Southern Nevada's foray into the realm of public art began in the 1930s during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The dam is one of the most significant Art Deco structures in the American Southwest and is widely considered a work of art due to the attention to detail in many of its design elements. What is most striking about the dam are its basreliefs and bronze sculptures, such as the “Winged Figures of the Republic” by Norwegian artist Oscar Hanson, which are known to be the first public art pieces in the valley.

Land artist Michael Heizer, in 1969, created an earthen artwork known as “Double Negative” near Moapa Valley, Nev., consisting of a large trench that was dug into the side of Mormon Mesa. Although the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles currently owns “Double Negative,” to this day wanderers can still venture out into the desert and see the remnants of this enormous earthwork.

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Photographers, Sculptors & Painters! Oh, My! Brian Paco Alvarez

From the right, Jay Sarno stands with a marble statue of Venus, Caesars Palace President Nate Jacobson and Ed Sullivan - August 1, 1966

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas embarked on an ambitious project in 1979 by commissioning world-famous artists Claus Oldenburg and his wife Crooje VonBruggen to create a site-specific sculpture for the campus’ new performing arts complex. Placed between the Judy Bailey Theater and the Artemis Ham Concert Hall, the 20-foot sculpture mimics a stylized flashlight made of steel and painted pitch black, paying homage to the flashlights used by theater ushers in the 1920s and ‘30s. This large sculpture represents one of the most important pieces of public art that had ever been commissioned in Southern Nevada. Years later during the construction of the Venetian Hotel, designers hired artists to create many of the sculptures in front of the hotel. Though the main difference between the sculptures at Caesars Palace and those at the Venetian are that the latter are actually made of foam with a hardcover coating, as it was decided real marble would offset the overall budget and time to sculpt the statues. Developers of City Center resort made the largest private investment in public art in Southern Nevada history at the ISSUE 24

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sum of over $40 million. The massive casino/resort complex has dozens of works by internationally notable artists such as Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin, Henry Moore and Nancy Rubins to name just a few. Today, Las Vegas continues its tradition of investing in public art, especially in downtown. Many public and private entities have commissioned important works, such as sculptures, murals, and even performances including “Paintbrushes” by Dennis Oppenheim in the Arts District, “Monument to the Simulacrum” by Stephen Hendee located at downtown’s Centennial Plaza, and “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Tim Bavington located at Symphony Park. In addition, several independent works such as the Life Cube project by Scott Cohen have taken their rightful place in the community’s milieu of art offerings. As the city of Las Vegas continues to grow its investment in public art, community leaders and long-time residents are hopeful the local arts scene will further develop, creating a sense of place and pride all great world cities strive to achieve. Downtown ZEN





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reak out the headbands, slather on the eye black, and tighten up those shoestrings because it’s that time of year again, baby! Yes, it’s time for the Las Vegas valley’s 29th annual Corporate Challenge event. What is Corporate Challenge? For nearly three decades, Corporate Challenge has been a catalyst for local companies to promote, enable, and support their employees with positive health and wellness initiatives through teamwork and company pride. Commencing in March, coworkers from dozens of companies will begin training, strategizing, and competing in head-to-head matchups such as singles and doubles tennis, tug-owar, fencing, baseball, and the all-time childhood favorite, kickball! But before you sign up and go jumping between the baselines, it’s important to get that body ready to perform at its best; therefore, we’ve listed out some of the most tried and true exercises to give you that extra surge and oomph in power, taking you from bronze medal material to glittering gold!


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Sledgehammer Swings 1. Sledgehammer swings are a great way to tone shoulders and arms in order to catapult a mighty serve clear across the badminton or tennis court. Posed roughly two feet away, face the tire with your dominant foot forward. Next, wrap a tight grip around the sledgehammer by choking the neck of the instrument with your right hand while your left hand sits near the base of the handle. As you bring the sledge up, your right hand slides toward the head. Next, pivot by turning your body square to the tire; swing downward with your right hand simultaneously sliding towards your left hand. Target the center of the tire with your swing. Control the involuntarily bounce back and repeat for one heck of a workout!

Power Push-Ups 2. One of my personal favorites, tug-o-war is a match of the mighty. The automated push and pull action creates a surge of energy that makes you feel like you could tow a Mack truck. Prep those biceps with push-ups! Butts down, shoulders over wrists, and elbows just barely brushing your sides as you lower yourself down from a plank position, you lay the building blocks for arms of steel that will pull your competitors into the pit.


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Box Jumps 3. Starting in a squatted position, soar off the floor onto a box height of your ability, landing with your feet planted flat atop the surface. Return to an upright position continuously squeezing the buttocks tight. Finish the rep by either jumping or stepping back down to floor-level; that’s one. Mind over matter a few more reps (jumping better, stronger, faster!) as you prep those legs and thighs for a minimal contact sport. Flag football’s fun and high-energy activity pairs perfectly with this exercise to ensure you make your way downfield with lighting-fast feet.

Toe Taps 4. Tap! Tap! Tap! While the feeling of raindrops is more soothing than that of your muscles burning, this rapid heart-racing move is the perfect warm-up to keeping you light on your feet as you maneuver the futbol past the defender for a GOAAAAAAL! To begin, stand hip-width apart with your arms slightly bent at your sides. Next, alternate each foot by toetapping the tips of your shoes to the top of the ball’s surface, going as quickly as possible. With a slight lean back, you provide support to your lower back as you hop from right to left. Now that’s an awesome leg workout!


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Glen Heather Estates


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Karina Giraldo Residential Specialist T: 702.566.7222 M: 702.480.9131 F: 702.853.4470

Following last month’s article on McNeil Estates, I’d like to introduce the sister neighbor to McNeil, Glen Heather. Glen Heather is located on the southeast corner of Rancho Drive and Oakey Avenue, just west of the I-15 Freeway. Offering a great selection of ranch style and desert modern homes dating as far back as the 1950s and1960s, Glen Heather is definitely an area worth checking out. At a glance, the neighborhood is dominated with a variety of billowing trees, including olive, mulberry, and a large selection of palms. Additionally, its large, spacious lots make this neighborhood a desirable location for families young and old that enjoy expansive outdoor play space along with social gatherings. As revitalization efforts continue to spread beyond downtown’s core, neighborhoods like Glen Heather have become more and more in demand for its affordable housing and its quirky yet old-school charm. Pouncing on affordable properties in the downtown zip codes has proven quite difficult as the area has shown to be one of the hottest neighborhoods in Las Vegas, but finding something easy on the pocketbook can be done, and Glen Heather is a great place to start. Here are the currently available properties priced at $279,000 and less: Address List Price Style Bedrooms Baths Sqft Garage Pool Spa Year Built Lot Size

1729 Loch Lomond Wy 135,000 1 story 4 2 1,762 2 y n 1963 7,841

1604 Kirkland Av 159,000 1 story 3 2 2,048 0 y n 1962 10,454

1813 Birch St 195,000 1 story 3 2 1,864 1 n n 1963 11,326

1709 Kiltie Wy 220,000 1 story 4 3 2,475 2 y y 1963 8,712

2113 W Oakey Bl 279,000 1 story 4 3 2,850 0 y y 1955 10,545

So what makes such a big difference in price between home listings? It may sound obvious, but the condition of the structure is the number one factor. Homes that show well and don’t have a ton of deferred maintenance are flying off of the market right now, usually with multiple offers. Those that need work are hanging on a little longer and are, unfortunately, not garnering quite the premium prices that sellers are hoping for. As for the rental market, the pricing in Glen Heather and proximity to the Fremont East District make it nearly impossible to find something good without it being snatched up in the first week. Rental prices vary from $1,100-$1,750 a month. So if you find something you like, you may not have time to sit back and think about it for too long. Currently, there is only one available property on the market: Address List Price Style Bedrooms Baths Sqft Garage Pool Spa Year Built Lot Size

1800 Ivanhoe Wy 1,125 1 story 4 2 1,762 2 n n 1963 8,276

In Glen Heather, you’ll find a variety of architecture styles and walkable streets with prices that are much more affordable to surrounding neighborhoods and high-rises. From the charming residents to the romantic tree lined streets and lush landscaping, Glen Heather is a beautiful community that you’ll be eager and proud to call home. ISSUE 24

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As the morning’s warming sun lifts above the horizon and flowering trees bud across the desert landscape, we are reminded of spring’s soft touch and nurturing appeal. With a quarter of the year now gone, it’s time that you live and let live without the black cloud repercussions of another’s wants and needs that follow overhead. Instead, like the mountain bluebird, fly through the parted clouds and enjoy unbound freedom, soaring and singing all season long. 39

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Bear Market

Pot ‘O’ Gold

Ham Fat

Stone’s Throw

Momma Longlegs

Help Me, I’m Poor

Criminally Creative Thinking


Day Mask

Cease and Desist

Minority Report

Earth day is right around the corner, and this year you plan to do your part by picking up trash and planting gardens. However, utilizing your efficient mindset and doing them in sequence will have adverse effects, as you’re essentially creating unnecessary landfills. Instead, maybe just walk to your mailbox instead of driving.

Financials have always interested you, and you take them to heart. However, each pay period you choose not to contribute the max to your 401(k), even though the daily analytics of the S&P 500, MarketWatch, and ponderings of Suze Orman tell you otherwise. You feel that an increase of wealth will decrease your life expectancy. Look at the omen of Biggie, for example: mo money, mo problems, yo.

Green is your go-to color and St. Patty’s Day tops Christmas as your preferred holiday. Not only will you get applauded for eating alcohol-soaked Lucky Charms for breakfast, but you’ll carry that momentum into the evening as you shoot Irish car bombs beside the cute ginger at the bar. And who knows. If you’re really lucky, she may even kiss your clover.

On a quest to become your company’s most decorated Corporate Challenge athlete, you start chugging protein milk and lifting mad weights rather than swigging IPAs and rummaging for the TV remote. Unfortunately, your body won’t adjust well as you’ll quickly pull a hammy in the second set of badminton.

You’ve been on doctor’s orders to be on bed rest agonizing through severe, traumatizing pain for days. Others have said it’s an experience of a lifetime and something you’ll never forget. However, your wife’s birthing afterglow is nothing compared to yours after passing an 8 mm kidney stone.

March Madness is your favorite month-long sporting event, and you’re super stoked about your chances of winning the office pool. This year, however, instead of picking teams based on rankings and uniform colors, you’ll focus your attention based on the cheerleader attractiveness. However, it’ll be game over when your wife catches you freeze framing the blonde bombshell doing the splits.

In an effort to get physically fit, you jump on the CrossFit, Pilates, yoga, and circuit training bandwagon. You look sexy! However, the overrun in monthly membership costs is making you financial unfit and sexually repulsive.

Gas prices are on the rise, and you’re trying to flex those creative muscles. However, siphoning gas from your unlikable coworker won’t prove cost-effective as it’ll only lead to an impending arrest and HR escorting your %*$ to the curb.

You’ve been in a slump lately, but that’s about to change as your animal instincts will kick into fullthrottle arousal. Whether looking at lingerie or yoga magazine models, you’ll be whipping it out and flashing it wherever you please because girl, it’s your credit card, and you do and get what you want.

This month brings to life the season of spring and all its natural beauty. Unfortunately, you’ll lose an hour of sleep beginning March 9, which will hamper any spring in your step as well the ability to cover up the beanbags under your eyes.

Your incessantly long Facebook posts have received limited “Like” notifications, and you’re left sitting there duck-faced wondering why. Because we live in a world of immediacy, nobody wants to click the feed’s “See More” link to read on about your rambling, pointless stories. Streamline your thoughts as it’s called a status update, not your life’s dissertation.

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Most of your life you’ve exuded superior confidence with your body image. Recently, however, that’s regressed since finding out you’re in the 10 percent minority who has an outie belly button. On a positive note, your navel doesn’t act like Kenmore dryer’s lint trap.

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Restaurant Review • Bar Review • Arts & Ents • Calendar



the commissary R E V I E W

By Joanna Mueller

My best gal pal and I headed to The Commissary for an afternoon lunch on a Wednesday in February. The Commissary is super close to the office, so it was a nice and easy walk. It was brisk outside, but when one spends most of her time in an office, it’s a nice treat to get a breath of fresh air.

the spicy side, but that was right in my wheelhouse. Huge chunks of avocado drifted in a creamy, spicy broth, and it was finished with a drizzle of fresh sour cream. The way to my heart is through avocado. I love it. I can eat it sliced with pepper and nothing else. The half and half was $12, and well worth it.

The restaurant was really mellow for the time of day. We got there at about 10 minutes after 1 p.m. Upon entrance, we were greeted by a helpful staff member who handed us menus and pointed us in the right direction to place our order. The Commissary is set up like an upscale food court, so there are different stations for whatever you choose. Despite having multiple stations, it looked like there was only one station available to place orders at. It advertises as a “Latin Kitchen” and offers a variety of Latininfused items. As a side note, there was also a coffee bar, which I will definitely be trying in the near future.

My dining partner got a combo of rotisserie chicken. There are three options, and she chose two pieces of rotisserie chicken and two sides for $8. Her chicken was spicy and moist. She had chips and Mexican-style corn on the cobb (commonly called street corn). I am a total sucker for this stuff. It’s a caloric dream come to life. This “street corn” at The Commissary was just a little on the sweet side for my liking, and it was only seasoned on one side, which I found odd.

I decided on the “Half and Half,” which is a half sandwich and a cup of soup. I chose the Mexican grilled cheese and chicken tortilla soup. First, the Mexican grilled cheese. This sandwich was outstanding. It was a blend of Oaxaca, goat, and Chihuahua cheeses. (For those of you who may not know what Chihuahua cheese is; it’s a soft, white cow’s milk cheese of Mexican origin.) The cheese is melted and grilled with tomato and avocado on toasted, flaky bread. The sammich was quite delicious, but a little on the bready side for me. I’m a more cheese, more cheese!!! person. :) The “cup” of tortilla soup was a full-on bowl of soup. This was hands down THE most delicious and best-tasting chicken tortilla soup I have ever had in the history of everdom. It was a tad on


Downtown ZEN

The Commissary was so good, that when I got back to work, I told my team that we all need to go there for our next team lunch. I highly recommend this place for lunch anytime! There are a multitude of other items that I want to try. They have a burger of the day that looks awesome and nacho fries that are just begging to be tried. The prices are good, the atmosphere and location both totally rule, and the food was outstanding. I will definitely be back! The Commissary is located at the north end of the Downtown3rd Complex 206 N. Third St. Las Vegas, NV 89101 702.719.5311 Monday through Sunday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

MARCH 2014






By Angelina Fadool Open from 5 p.m. to midnight daily, Banger Brewing is located in Neonopolis near the intersection of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. Price Point: Banger Brewing is a local craft brewery offering pints of their own creation for $5-$7, and a flight of four beer samples and gourmet popcorn from Popped is just $10. I was in the mood for a little variety the night I visited, so I ordered a flight that included the Simply Stout, DTB Ale, Kolsch Kall, and the Weisse So Serious. El Heffe, a jalapeno hefeweizen, intrigued me, but I chickened out when it came time to order. Ambiance: Banger Brewing is a modest sized taproom, and the bar and seating area offer a view of the brewing area in the back. Guests can sign up for a tour in person or on their website — tours happen each hour from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Décor here is simple, but the place is spotless, and both the prices and the low-key crowd put me at ease.


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Service: Service here is pretty close to perfect. Everyone — from the doorman to the bartender who picked the final beer for my flight and helped carry everything over to our table. Even though the place was close to packed on the night my friend and I visited, the staff was friendly and knowledgeable. Potential Pitfalls: It’s important to remember that Banger Brewing serves its own beers and some popcorn — that’s it: no food, no liquor, and no Coors Light. Since my companion couldn’t have gluten, she had to content herself with water until I was done. If you like craft beers, Banger Brewing is a welcome addition to downtown Las Vegas. Banger Brewing 450 Fremont St., Suite 135, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 702.456.2739

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“It sounds crazy, but I’m naïve enough to believe an art project like this can pull a bunch of people together who have different agendas and thoughts.”

Life Cube When: Fri., March 21, 4 p.m.-3 a.m. (blaze @ 8 p.m.) Where: "Llama lot" (9th/10th & Fremont streets) 45

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Building. Burning. Life Cube Founder Ignites Internal, External Flames By Michael Boley Cast aside my words for a moment and let your eyes glance around this page and onto the next few. What do you see? Perhaps the crisp, colorful photos catch your attention. Maybe it’s the transcendently designed header and creative layout that registers to your brain’s senses. Or maybe, to a select few of you, the paragraph-stacked typography littered across these sheets is what brings you in. Whatever the case may be, the fact of the matter is these pieces of paper were once blank, showcasing nothing more than a corner-to-corner abyss of boring, dull, muted, plain white hues — a blank canvas, if you will — absent of color, design, words, … art. The same could once be said about Life Cube, the square, three-story high, pigment-deficient turned flamboyant, mural-covered structure located on the empty “Llama” lot between Ninth and 10th abutting Fremont Street, that will erupt into a fiery blaze on March 21. The Life Cube Project, orchestrated by artist Scott Cohen, is a not-for-profit, donation-based collaborative art installation manifested between local businesses, community centers, volunteers, artists, families, participants, and performers with a two-fold mission of 1) interlocking the surrounding community with art, and 2) to encourage people to handwrite their life’s ambitions, dreams, or goals onto postcard-like “wish sticks,” only to have them joined together inside the cube, and burned and disintegrated to black ash. Like the cube itself, Cohen’s story is three-dimensional and has many defining angles. For three and a half decades, upstate New York native Cohen was the archetypal entrepreneurial-minded businessman, rising from challenging circumstances to positions in commercial and investment real estate and subsequently cofounding and growing very successful Internet and media companies. But with his high-level job titles came the territory of extensive road travel, stockpiled business meetings, and late nights that turned into early mornings. Five years ago in 2009, Cohen sold his last business and hasn’t looked back since.


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“It’s organic, ephemeral art. It’s meant to change constantly, and at some point there’s an end. The final moment here will arrive at the end of the month when we’ll burn it.” “I have so much joy in my life; I’m the happiest guy in the world,” said Cohen, followed by an authentic, boyish grin stretching ear to ear. “I had spent a lot of time on the road, working crazy hours, and I just decided ‘enough!’ I was going to take my creativity and energy and devote it to artistic endeavors.” Cohen’s expansive imagination has led him to create three previous Life Cube projects. The first took place three years ago at a Northern Nevada Burning Man festival, taking up a relatively small 8-by-8 feet plot of space. The following year in 2012, Cohen’s installation had increased to eight times the size at 16-by-16 feet with one defaced wall scribbled in happiness quotes and personal messages. Last year, again at Burning Man, the cube rose to 24 feet high, with more interactivity than ever. This year’s event, however, takes it to a whole new level, as it has evolved to suit and reflect its urban location in downtown Las Vegas. Since January, impassioned artists throughout the Vegas valley have been invited and encouraged to paint the bottom half of the sprawling 24-by-24 feet structure, by day or by night, as much or as little as they want, with the top half reserved for 20some professional muralists displaying their best large-scale Rembrandts. Additionally, Cohen has dedicated one side of the cube as a mosaic “tapestry wall,” where 500 smaller pieces of canvas have been cut and distributed to downtowners who want to contribute in some personally expressive, albeit smaller, capacity. The ultimate goal, says Cohen, is to create a mosaic that blends together Vegas’ diverse community through artistic expression. “In many ways, Las Vegas is a community that’s got a lot of different niches or segments, and many of them don’t often intersect, and — it sounds crazy — but I’m naïve enough to believe an art project like this can pull a bunch of people together who have different agendas and thoughts,” said Cohen. “There’s nothing here that I’m doing other than giving the community a giant blank canvas on which to express themselves.” This canvas, however, hasn’t stayed blank for long, as it has everevolved by day, night, and week. In fact, it has been painted and repainted several times over by birds, clouds, eyes, persons, phrases, sunrays, and so much more. So chances are, that oncein-a-lifetime, never-to-be-replicated fresco you saw painted last month is now buried layers deep and replaced by something just as intrinsically beautiful, thoughtful, and mesmerizing. It’s also worth mentioning stopping by for a post-dusk Life Cube visit, where its brilliant lighting and laser displays affect the swirls and colored murals in entirely new and entrancing ways. In addition to the behemoth that is the Life Cube, an active team of volunteers comprised of 15-20 carpenters and do-it-yourselfers has embraced the project by rallying around Cohen to construct almost 100 (4-by-4 feet) satellite cubes, which are being built and brought on-site to businesses and gifted to area schools, free of charge, to be painted and to spur conversations. Like the original Life Cube, the smaller versions also contain slots for the insertion of wish sticks. Since his stay in Vegas, Cohen has facilitated meetings with educators and has visited dozens of valley schools, speaking to thousands of students about goal setting, the Life Cube Project, and the societal impact visual arts can have on community. 47 Additionally, Cohen has provided schools with decimate art

programs with paints and brushes, allowing student imaginations to spill outside the classroom and run rampant onto the cubed canvases. “My goal is different than any monetary aspect. I really have this vision of merging art and community,” said Cohen. “I don’t want anybody to be adversely impacted by an inability to afford [supplies].” Leading up to the final days before the burn, Cohen will begin the process of collecting the thousands of wish sticks and satellite cubes across the valley, placing them inside the larger, stationary mother ship like some sort of matryoshka doll/3-D, 100-piece puzzle hybrid. And then with a lighting of a fuse, all that preplanning, drafting, fundraising, constructing, and painting will flare up and fade away. “It is the ultimate euphoric feeling of having a chance to burn down a piece of art you’ve envisioned,” said Cohen. “It’s wild, it’s crazy, it’s cathartic and spiritual, it’s amazing, and at the end it’s pure exhaustion.”


Store hours are Mon-Sun 10 - 5 and private viewing by appointment

We buy and sell Retro, Vintage, Antique and anything old and funky! 630 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 464-3299 Show your Zappos ID or Local ID and receive a discount MARCH 2014 Downtown ZEN 48


events calendar MARCH 1 Saturday Corporate Challenge Opening Ceremony | 3:30pm-8:30pm For 29 years, Corporate Challenge has been a healthy way for local companies and their
employees to stay active in the community while adding a social component for those that want to sit
on the sidelines and cheer on their colleagues. Opening Ceremonies will be held at the Container Park with an Executive Relay, Parade of Banners, Opening Ceremonies and fun for the family. location: Container Park more info:

Mardi Gras at Springs Preserve | 4:00pm-8:00pm Featuring live music from local Dixieland jazz band Mardi Gras Mambo, food from local Southern eateries, a beer garden for the adults and activities including kids' crafts, fortune tellers and palm readers, the family-friendly Mardi Gras Vegas will bring the tastes and sounds of the Louisiana bayou and the colors and fun of Mardi Gras to the heart of the Southern Nevada desert. location: Springs Preserve more info:

MARCH 2 Sunday Sunday Reset Project | 8:00am Dedicated to creating a healthier community in Las Vegas by resetting the mind, body and spirit. Join our signature event the Sunday Reset Project. location: Amanda Harris Gallery more info:

march 5 Wednesday Creativ Week | 5pm-9pm Creativ Week is produced and curated by CatalystCreativ, a small business funded by the Downtown Project the first week of every month. Creativ Week is a monthly celebration in Downtown Vegas that showcases the most exciting arts, culture and entertainment in Downtown. more info:

march 6 Thursday Creativ Week


march 7 Friday First Friday | 6:00pm-11:00pm First Friday is celebrated in the Arts District of downtown Las Vegas and celebrates young and established local artists. location: The Art’s District more info:

Creativ Week 3rd Street Farmers Market | 9:00am- 2:00pm The Downtown3rd Farmers Market has become an integral part of downtown Las Vegas. The biggest indoor farmers market showcases local Las Vegas farmers as well as including lots of fresh produce from California. location: 95 & Casino Center Drive more info:

march 8 Saturday Creativ Week Family Game Night | 3:00pm-6:00pm Come play board games with us! location: The Learning Village more info:

Introduction to Raspberry Pi | 12:00pm In this class you'll learn what the Raspberry Pi is, the components on the Model A/B, what you need to start using your Pi, and what the Raspberry Pi really is and how come YOU should care. Learn how to get up and running with your Pi and how to find the various ARM-based operating systems. This class will focus primarily on Raspbian. location: Syn Shop

march 11 Tuesday Trivia at the Beat | 7:00pm Come with a team or find one at The Beat. Every second Tuesday you can test your knowledge and flex your brain in a cerebral competition. There will be prizes and beer specials, and most likely a little more beer than brains. location: The Beat Coffeehouse

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Laser Cutting 101 | 6:45pm Laser cutters are great for both prototyping and production. This comprehensive class will cover the following: 1) Basic maintenance, troubleshooting, setup and use 2) Overview of 2D and 3D design software 3) Design theory 4) Basic joints and box design tools 5) Snap-fit theory 6) 'Hacks' and advanced design tips 7) Application - Personalize and cut a Raspberry Pi snap-fit enclosure. Based on an Adafruit design. location: Syn Shop

march 13 Thursday Mint 400 | 6:00am- 10:00pm The Mint 400 is an annual desert off road race. Registration and technical inspection of all race cars will happen downtown. Fremont East District more info:

march 14 Friday Mint 400 | 6:00am- 10:00pm 3rd Street Farmers Market | 9:00am-2:00pm march 15 Saturday Run Away with Cirque du Soleil | 7:00am-12:00pm Join dozens of artists from Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas shows and more than 1,000 community members for Run Away with Cirque du Soleil at the Springs Preserve. location: Springs Preserve more info:

Color Vibe 5K | 7:00am-12:00pm You can come and experience the fun of having colored chalk sprayed ALL over you during one of our 5k races! location: Downtown Las Vegas more info:

MARCH 2014


march Family LEGO Build Night | 3:00pm6:00pm Explore your imagination and build a masterpiece while building motor and spatial relation skills with LEGO and LEGO® DUPLO® bricks. location: The Learning Village more info:

march 18 Tuesday Karaoke at the Kitchen | 5:00pm7:00pm Every third Tuesday, Rachel’s Kitchen will be holding a Karaoke contest. The winner will receive a prize and entered to win a Grand Prize on Sept. 16. location: Rachel’s Kitchen in the Ogden

march 19 Wednesday Stitch Factory Fashion Speaker Series | 5:30pm Stitch Factory, in partnership with Downtown Project, presents Behind the Seams, a monthly speaker series designed to bring together passionate individuals to share ideas, network, and inspire. location: The Learning Village more info:

MARCH 19th AND 20TH Veterans Stand Down | 8:30am-4:30pm Show your support by donating to the U.S. Vets. location: Cashman Center more info:

march 20 Thursday Stitch Factory Fashion Speaker Series | 5:30pm Veterans Stand Down | 8:30am-4:30pm Syn Shop Open House | 7pm Interested in learning more about SYN Shop but not sure what it is exactly? Come to our open house and learn more about the Shop, the tools we have and how you can join our thriving community of makers.

SYN Shop is open to all and we run the gamut; whether you are a hardcore hardware hacker or love to needlecraft, we are here for you. location: Syn Shop

march 21 Friday Burning of Life Cube Installation | 7:30pm-10:30pm Impacting people's lives by helping people realize their goals, dreams, wishes, and ambitions. Change the world by helping one person at a time. more info:

3rd Street Farmers Market | 9 am-2 pm march 26th - 29th Catalyst Week Catalyst Week is produced and curated by CatalystCreativ, a small business funded by the Downtown Project the fourth week of every month. Catalyst Week profiles thoughtleaders from fields ranging from filmmaking to social entrepreneurship, and corporate brand management to nonprofits. location: The Learning Village more info:

march 27 Thursday Catalyst Week march 28 Friday Catalyst Week 3rd Street Farmers Market | 9 am-2 pm march 29 Saturday Catalyst Week 31 Monday | 7:00pm-9:00pm 3D Printing with Makerbot Replicator 2 3d printing Guru Andrew Morrow is teaching a class on the Makerbot Replicator 2! location: Syn Shop

april 4 Friday 3rd Street Farmers Market | 9 am-2 pm april 5 Saturday Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire | 10:00am-7:00pm Maker Faire is the World’s Largest Show (and Tell) festival—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. location: The Learning Village more info:


DOWNTOWN RESTAURANTS 100 The Beat Coffeehouse G5 520 Fremont St. 702.385.2328 101 Le Thai G5 523 Fremont St. 702.778.0888 102 Triple George Grill F4 201 N. Third St. 702.384.2761

103 Tacos El Gordo J8 1724 E. Charleston Blvd. 702.251.8226

104 Chicago Joe’s E7 820 S. Fourth St.


105 Bar+Bistro D8 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite #155 702.202.6060

106 Mundo – A Culinary Haute Spot C5 495 S. Grand Central Pkwy. 702.270-4400

107 Courthouse Bar & Grill E5 330 S. Third St. 702.388-8222

108 City Centre Café F6 375 Lewis Ave. 702.383.4055

109 El Gaucho Luca’s Café & Deli F5 231 S. Third St., Suite #110 702.384.3115 110 Viva Las Arepas D10 1616 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Suite #120 702.336.9696

111 Subway G5 600 Fremont St. 702.302.5020 113 Jason’s Deli D3 100 City Pkwy. 702.366.0130

114 The Verdicts Inn E7 801 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.837.3428

127 Rachel’s Kitchen G5 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd.

211 Backstage Bar & Billiards G5 601 Fremont St.

414 Hillary Salon C8 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite #250

128 Radio City Pizza G5 508 Fremont St.

212 H6

415 Inside Style C8 1119 S. Main St.

129 Park on Fremont G5 506 Fremont St.

213 G5

(Inside Retail Space at Ogden)



130 Anthony’s Pizza & Deli E5 321 S. Casino Center Blvd., Suite #125 702.896.0353

131 La Comida G5 100 Sixth St.


132 Doña Maria's Tamales D8 910 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 133 Mingo Kitchen and Lounge C8 1017 First St., Suite #180 134 F6

702.685.0328 City Center Quiznos 365 Lewis Ave. 702.380.0900

119 Du-Par’s F5 Restaurant & Bakery 1 Fremont St. (Inside Golden Gate) 702.385.1906

120 Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop E5 Regional Justice Center 200 Lewis Ave. 702.631.1112

121 El Sombrero Café D7 807 S. Main St. 702.382.9234

122 Kabob Corner G5 507 Fremont St. 702.384.7722

123 Uncle Joe’s Pizza G5 505 Fremont St. 702.385.2162

124 Big Ern’s BBQ G5 707 Fremont St. (Container Park) 702.834.7845

125 Pop Up Pizza E4 1 Main St. 126 F4

702.366.0049 Denny’s 450 Fremont St. (Inside Neonopolis) 702.471.0056

216 G5


135 Pura Vida B9 1236 Western Ave.

702.722.0108 136 Tiffany'sCafé C10 1700 S. Las Vegas Blvd 702.444.4459

137 Bronze Café inside The Center H7 401 S Maryland Pkwy 138 Wild G4 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd. Suite 120 702.527.7717

304 Carson Office G6 Parking Garage

304 E. Carson Ave. Enter via Fourth Street

RETAIL SHOPS, BOUTIQUES & SALONS 400 Coterie G5 515 Fremont St.

702.685.7741 Search “Coterie Downtown”

401 Globe Salon E7 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Suite #130

BARS, LOUNGES & NIGHTCLUBS 200 Downtown Cocktail Room (DCR) G5 111 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 201 E8 202 D8 105 D8 203 G5 204 D10 205 F4 206 G5 207 F4 208 G5 209 G5 210 G5

702.880.3696 Lady Silvia 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Artifice 1025 S. First St. 702.489.6339 Bar+Bistro 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite #155 702.202.6060 Beauty Bar 517 Fremont St., Suite #A 702.598.1965 Dino’s Lounge 1516 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.382.3894 Drink & Drag 450 Fremont St., Suite #250 702.522.8488 The Griffin 511 Fremont St. 702.382.0577 Hogs & Heifers Saloon 201 N. 3rd St., Suite #130 702.676.1457 Insert Coin(s) 512 Fremont St. 702.447.2525 Vanguard Lounge 516 Fremont St. 702.868.7800 Commonwealth 525 Fremont St. 702.798.7000

Zappos Stewart Campus Parking 260 N. Las Vegas Blvd. Located directly south of 400 Stewart Building Enter via Fourth Street.

6th Floor 702.943.7777 #8530

139 Nacho Daddy G5 113 N. 4th St.


Zappos Stewart Campus 400 Stewart Ave.

303 Zappos Carson Office G5 302 E. Carson Ave.



241 W. Charleston Blvd. #101 702.227.5652 117 Casa Don Juan Restaurant C8 1204 S. Main St. 702.384.8070 118 eat. 707 Carson Ave. G5 702.534.1515

215 C9


115 Luv It Frozen Custard D10 505 E. Oakey Blvd. 116 Lola’s: B8 A Louisiana Kitchen

214 H5

702.382.2223 Bunkhouse 124 S. 11th St. 702.384.4536 Don’t Tell Mama 517 Fremont St. 702.207.0788 Atomic Liquors 917 Fremont St. 702.349.2283 Velveteen Rabbit 1218 S. Main St. (702) 685-9645 Gold Spike 217 N. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.384.8444

502 D9 403 C9 404 C8 405 E7 406 D8

702.938.4247 Patina Décor 1211 S. Main St. 702.776.6222 Vintage Vegas Antiques 1411 S. Main St. 702.539.0799 Vexed By Design 1017 First St., Suite #185 702.275.7141 Sweet Spot Candy Shop 616 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.815.1277 Josephine Skaught Hairdressing 1025 S. First St. Suite 165 702.431.8071

407 Cowtown Guitars D7 1009 S. Main St.


702.399.1100 416 Nature’s Element D7 817 S. Main St. 702.521.0725

417 Photo Bang Bang C10 224 E. Imperial Ave.

702.518.7427 418 Skin City Body Painting C8 1209 S. Main St. 702.431.7546

419 Williams Costume Co. D9 1226 S. Third St. 702.384.1384

420 The Town Bike E6 353 East Bonneville Ave. Suite 179


409 Creative Space C10 1421 S. Commerce St. 702.439.3923






422 Rogue Toys E7 616 Las Vegas Blvd S.

702.330.3945 423 Don Vicente Cigars Intl. E7 624 Las Vegas Blvd S. 702.526.3922

424 Downtown Tattoo E7 1106 Fremont St.



1201 S. Commerce St. 702.331.3172

701 24hr Fitness E3

100 City Pkwy., Suite #160 702.824.9614 727 S. Main St. 702.685.5070

1 2







701 1301 1501






303 304



130 900


209 206



127 1000



208 100 213

210 131 211









108 132




600 Fremont St. 800.634.6703

1203 Art Square C7 1025 S. First St.


301 Fremont St. 702.388.2400

Las Vegas, NV 89101 1204 Gainsburg Studio, Inc. C7 1039 S. Main St. 702.249.3200

803 Golden Nugget F4

129 Fremont St. 702.385.7111

1205 Open Air Printers C7 1039 S. Main St., Suite #150




134 1100









104 407


500 1212 1216

7 103



700 117

501 418






504 505



509 510







514 417




HUMAN SERVICES 495 S. Main St. 702.229.6011 901 Veteran’s Village D5 1150 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.624.5792 www.vvlv.org1 D5



110 204



11 C



1214 Ryan Williams Art Gallery C8 1025 S. First St.


1003 Newport Lofts D7 200 Hoover Ave.

1215 Sin City Gallery C8 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite #100



1216 Trifecta C8 135 E. Charleston Blvd.

1100 Las Vegas Academy G6 315 S. 7th St.



1101 9th Bridge Early Development I5 310 S. Ninth St.



1300 First Friday Main Hub C9 Casino Center Boulevard

Between Colorado Street & California Street



1301 Downtown 3rd Farmers Market 300 Block of North Main Street F4

520 Fremont St. 702.385.2328

Directly Next To The Mob Museum

101 Work In Progress G6

6th Street Workspace 317 S. Sixth St. 702.534.3804


ENTERTAINMENT 1400 The Smith Center 361 Symphony Park Ave. C5

The Las Vegas HackerSpace 117 N. Fourth St.

103 Fremont East Studios G4

221 N. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.463.9029


300 N. Las Vegas Blvd. Suite 120 702.476.5552

ART STUDIOS 100 Emergency Arts

11 B

1213 RTZ Vegas C8 1017 S. First St., Suite #195


520 Fremont St. 702.385.328 1201 Arts Factory C7 107 E. Charleston Blvd. 702.383.3133




1002 Juhl Lofts E7 353 E. Bonneville Ave.






509 Glam Factory Vintage D9 211 E. Colorado Ave. 702.443.0131

1212 Pinup Pointe Art Gallery C8 4 E. Charleston Blvd.



506 One Man’s Trash C9 1300 S. Main St., Suite #140 702.7778.7988

1211 Downtown Contemporary Gallery C8 at artSquare

1025 First St., Suite #145 702.358.7022

1001 Soho Lofts E7 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

505 Desert Buddha C9 1300 S. Main St., Suite #120 702.383.1008

1210 Contemporary Art Center (CAC) C8 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite #120



ANTIQUE ALLEY 500 Retro Vegas C8 1131 S. Main St. 702.384.2700 501 Corner Store Furniture Company C8 1201 S. Main St. 702.331.6009 502 Patina Decor C8 1211 S. Main St. 702.776.6222 503 Armstrong’s Emporium C9 1228 S. Main St. 702.366.1995 504 Medusa’s Antiques C9 1300 S. Main St., Suite #110 702.331.4660

507 JJC Clocks & Antiques C9 1310 S. Main St. 702.384.8463 508 The Funk House D9 1228 S. Casino Center Blvd. 702.678.6278


1000 The Ogden G4 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd.

104 Stitch Factory



1209 City of the World C9 1229 S. Casino Center Blvd.

900 Las Vegas City Hall


403 411

1208 Brett Wesley Gallery C8 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd.



516 515





508 402

206 N. Third St. 855.384.7263

100 /usr/lib (Tech Library)







412 133 404

1206 Blackbird Studios C10 1551 S. Commerce St., Suite #A

805 Downtown Grand Las Vegas



415 1208




1204 1213 1205 1214 202 1211 1203 406 1210 414 12151401 1201105








1 S. Main St. 800.634.6575








602 101





126 205



128 424

104 104 138

301 302 103

803 802



139 207 102 805


413 Happy Panda Toys C8 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite #105A

1202 Amanda Harris Gallery 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Suite #150 E7

804 Plaza Hotel & Casino


412 Gaia Flowers C8 6 E. Charleston Blvd.

HOTEL & CASINOS 800 El Cortez

802 The D Las Vegas


410 Electric Lemonade D8 220 E. Charleston Blvd. 411 Freddie Ramon C10 1411 S. Main St.


J G5

702 FreeStyle CrossFit D6



FITNESS 700 Real Results Gym

H 1502


421 Let Me Nail You F7 514 Bonneville Ave.




408 Better Than New C8 1216 S. Main St.



510 Gypsy Den D9 213 E. Colorado Ave. 702.684.1628 511 Western Gypsy in the Kangaroo Court D9 1306 S. Third St. 702.868.3302 512 Gypsy Caravan D8 1214 S. Third St. 702.868.3302 513 Rick’s Restorations C8 1112 S. Commerce St. 702.366.7030 514 Sin City Pickers C10 10 W. Wyoming Ave. 702.366.9166 515 Vintage Vegas Antiques C9 1411 S. Main St. 702.539.0799 516 Alex Presley’s Unique Boutique D9 1304 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.300.2476 517 Lost Vegas Antiques F7 625 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.382-1882 518 Swag Antiques F7 630 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.464.3299 519 Not Just Antiques B9 1422 Western Ave. 702.384.4922


702.749.2000 1401 Art Square Theater 1025 S. First St. C8 702.308.8087

1600 Craig P. Kenny & Associates G7 501 S. Eight St.

1402 Theater 7 D9 1406 S. Third St.

1700 Dr. Azimi DDS E8 820 S. Seventh St.


HEALTH & WELLNESS 702.759.0005


MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS 1501 The Mob Museum 300 Stewart Ave. F4


1502 Old Las Vegas Fort H1 500 E. Washington Ave.


1503 Lied Discovery Children’s B7 Museum

833 N. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.382.3445

1504 Natural History Museum H2 900 N. Las Vegas Blvd.


1505 The Neon Museum H2 770 N. Las Vegas Blvd.


COFFEE SPOTS 100 The Beat Coffeehouse 520 Fremont St. G5 702.385.2328 500 Starbucks F5

300 S. Fourth St. #7 702.759.3426

GROCERY 600 Albertsons Grocery

1760 E. Charleston Blvd. 702.366.1550 601 Resnick’s Grocery 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 702.982.2999 602 Cake World Bakery 220 N. Maryland Pkwy. I5 702.471.7111 603 White Cross Market C10 1700 S. Las Vegas Blvd. (702) 382.3382 J8

Profile for DowntownZEN

Downtown ZEN - March 2014  

March brings technology heavy on the downtown scene. The premier of “Downtown Code,” our brand new tech corner column, features two compani...

Downtown ZEN - March 2014  

March brings technology heavy on the downtown scene. The premier of “Downtown Code,” our brand new tech corner column, features two compani...

Profile for lbecker