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MAY 2014

Alan O’ Mahoney from Rí Rá Irish Pub

A lettered life


Notes on glamp


be seen, watch the game,

catch a band, ENJOY THE AMBIANCE and connect

Good in tensions

UNLV BASEBALL’S MAD, MAD COACH Life after hot wings



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Glass half-full


t was in the jittery, tattered mental fog of New Year’s Day — visions of last night’s fizzing champagne cocktails and flowing wine still moshing before my frontal lobe, also sparkly novelty hats were involved and someone’s lost pants — that the proposition was put before me: Maybe, she said, between sips of seltzer water, we should go dry for January. I can’t remember what my exact response was — in fact, I think I momentarily entered a psychospiritual trauma-induced astral rift and left my catatonic body behind or something — but she said it involved unearthly bleating and howls. But but but but what about the therapeutic post-work glass of silky pinot? But but but but what about the second therapeutic post-work glass of silky pinot? What about the mind-erasing zen of a martini after deadline? The chummy beers as I shout-talk at friends over the unholy scourge of an overloud Internet jukebox? What would I nurse at cocktail socials, a sippy cup filled with Jolly Ranchers? (Such was my shrill consternation that, you know, water never occurred to me.) Who are you? Where do you come from, etc.? After breathing into a paper bag for a while, I came around and embraced the dry January challenge — a not insignificant one for a devotedly casual imbiber. Results? I won’t regale you with any epiphanic flotsam (chess rating improved from awful to promisingly bad; woke up Sunday mornings without scream-weeping), but I will say that takNext MOnth ing on a Dry January (apparently, it is a thing) in a city where the liquor cabinet Feast your eyes on our has no lock— where the liquor cabinet second is, in fact, twerking in the lap of your annual psyche 24/7 — nurtures an instructive photo issue philosophical distance. In a city where


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pleasure is baseline, where dessert is offered first, it pays to occasionally step back and reframe. After a month in the box, I made my triumphant return to the drinking class not with an epic splash, but appreciative sips. Which, in its own drunken-stumbling way, gets to the premise of this month’s service feature: a more broadband, purpose-driven version of tippling. Given the plethora of spirited spring and summer events — beer festivals, wine tastings, pairing dinners, all great places to do that community-building thing — we moved the feature to May, and shifted the focus to why we step out for a drink. Whether it’s a date night, a search-andschmooze mission, a birthday huddle or game day, we share our favorite 53 bars for the purpose on p. 57 — with a few lively bar stories thrown in for good measure (warning: may contain Evel Knievel and pigs). Of course, if you’re having a dry May (godspeed, srsly), there’s nonalcoholic fare, whether it’s our illuminating talk about building a more literary Las Vegas with outgoing Black Mountain Institute Executive Director Carol Harter (p. 30), our profile of UNLV baseball coach Tim Chambers (p. 36) or our fave camping, glamping and sleeping-in-afancy-bed-and-eating-artisanal-omelets-for-breakfast spots in the West (p. 72). Dry or wet, shaken or stirred, it’s all Andrew Kiraly buzzworthy stuff. editor

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Dateline: Flavortown! “This is hilarious,” Kristen Peterson wrote on Facebook of our recent blog post spoofing Guy Fieri. “And smart hilarious, which is better than just plain hilarious.” Welcome to the Desert Companion blog, Kristen, where the satire always passes the healthcode inspection. “Sneak peek: Guy Fieri Vegas Kitchen & Bar menu,” by Andrew Kiraly and Scott Dickensheets, purported to preview dishes at the bombastic chef’s new local outpost. Sample: Xtreme Buffalo Wing-a-dillas What makes these gooey slabs of blended chicken-cheese substrate so Xtreme? The side order of involuntary neck tattoo you get while eating them. It went on in that vein, from appetizers to entrees to cocktails, the whole enchilada crafted with love and heartburn. Wrote one Paul Sorvillo on a Facebook page where the satire was posted, “I am in pain I was laughing so hard!” Smart, hilarious and pain-giving — at the DC blog, we serve it your way.


Kiraly and Dickensheets teamed up again for “Long distance information.” This blog exchange began with a report that the View papers, published by Stephens Media, save money by filling some of their column inches with local — ahem, “local” — content reported from out of state and, possibly, off continent. Kiraly wondered, “(D)on’t you feel like there’s a whiff of treachery to this move — to the community the paper serves, to the practice of journalism?” Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Yes. “I think it’s weird that we call writers reporting from Mumbai on something that happened in downtown Las Vegas ‘hyperlocal,’” responded journalist Launce Rake on Facebook. Bryan McCormick, an artist


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who also works in finance, added context: “Financial services ‘media,’ for lack of a better term, were among the first to off-shore routine desk tasks …” First they come for the editorial assistants. But the austerity doesn’t stop there, he says. “Editors pretty much don’t exist; they were considered unnecessary in the new world of Internet stuff.” One reader emailed to finger a different perp: readers. “Sadly, most readers undoubtedly don’t care who reports the news in the Views,” he wrote (he wishes to remain anonymous). This consumer apathy is as destructive to journalism as runaway bean-counting. “Readers are getting exactly what most of them deserve.”

strewn Double Up Peak, Gable waited fretfully as the search party, with small horse and mule teams, ascended into the cold and snowy wilderness. … “Uncle Harry said the men scrambled up the mountain, picking their way up and through crevasses that broke into chasms with thousand-foot drops. On reaching the summit, they found a debacle of charred, twisted wreckage, with not one soul living. Finally, after collecting what scattered remains they could, the party made the dangerous descent down the craggy mountain. At first, some of the searchers slipped on ice, and one of the horse teams bearing the grisly burden stumbled, and the animals fell to their own deaths. After “Explosion “In the meantime, and HISTORY in the night,” an for many more hours, project account by Robert Gable waited at No the Faytoo small. Matzen of the 1942 plane le Hotel bar, drinking No collection too big. crash near Las Vegas and carving nervously T D that killed actress Carole into the wooden bar Lombard, appeared in top.  When searchers reF our April issue, local turned, Gable, of course, EXPLOSION IN THE NIGHT poet Lee Mallory filed an was traumatized and extended recollection. inconsolable with loss. “My uncle, Harry M. In seconds, a legendary Gadd, Goodsprings resistar, patriot and wife dent and historian, used had been lost, leaving to tell me his backstory of the crash. an iconic widower. … Gable and Lombard’s torrid relation“I also recall (my uncle) pointing out a ship, and the actress’s  trek East to sell living room shadow-box, which held small, war bonds, are well-documented. Less meticulously identified and labeled pieces so, as told to my uncle, and later related of wreckage: a fragment of aluminum trim, to me, were the facts surrounding the a control tab strut, a burned and rusty oil ill-fated and fruitless effort to rescue plug. Each piece of debris bore a small ‘survivors.’ brass plate, which shone as brightly as the “I learned that on hearing word of the wonder in my boyhood eyes ... crash, Gable rushed to remote Good“These are the recollections of a little boy, springs to await news from the accident now poet. These many, many years later, site. He checked in at the storied Fayle Ho- Mr. Matzen, with his expertise, can retell tel ... Located as it was not far from debris- or correct any mistakes of fact.”


Then the sound stopped. Not as if it had faded away. It just stopped. Angry engines one second, and nothing the next. The engine noise was replaced by the dead silence of Mount Potosi at night. Strange, thought Charlie.

Crash mountain: Searchers go through the wreckage of TWA Flight 3 after the tragic crash of Jan. 16, 1942

A fiery 1942 plane crash on Mount Potosi rattled the Las Vegas Valley — and sent shockwaves through Hollywood and beyond B Y R O B E RT M AT Z E N

Editor’s note: On the evening of January 16, 1942, TWA Flight 3 slammed into Mount Potosi just west of Las Vegas, bursting into a ball of flame. On the plane was film star Carole Lombard, returning to Los Angeles from Indiana, where she was performing to promote war bonds. But she wasn’t just returning home to L.A. — her flight home was also a desperate attempt to keep her husband, Clark Gable, from the arms of another woman. In this excerpt from Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3, author Robert Matzen reconstructs the night of the crash from multiple points of view based on several eyewitness accounts.


APRIL 2014


he Blue Diamond Mine sat atop a high bluff guarding the entrance to Red Rock Canyon, southwest of the growing city of Las Vegas. Almost 9,000 people now inhabited Las Vegas, and things were looking up further with the opening of a sprawling motor hotel and lodge called El Rancho Vegas, located on Highway 91 just south of town. The strip mining operation at the Blue Diamond produced gypsum for wallboard and had been in operation for 60 years. The mine’s workers and their families lived in a collection of company structures generously called the “town” of Blue Diamond, which sat low in the valley below the strip mine in Red Rock Canyon. Darkness had recently cloaked the diggings on the bluff. It had been a cold day and promised to be a colder night, a Friday night, with the sky clear and full of stars. Fifty-year-old watchman Danlo Yanich was on his rounds, which didn’t amount to much in a location this remote. There was a war on now, and facilities across the nation had been ordered on high alert due to the dangers of sabotage, but that figured to be on the coasts, where shipping proved to be vulnerable in the ports of Los Angeles and New York. Dan didn’t have any reason to figure that saboteurs would come stumbling up to the Blue Diamond Mine. If anything, they might be tempted to try for the Hoover Dam 15 miles to the southeast. It was with some security that Dan Yanich guarded the Blue Diamond mining operation, where

intruders usually took the shape of wild burros or rattlesnakes. Yanich had emigrated from Yugoslavia and, with no formal education, he counted himself lucky to find a job at the mine in 1916, half his life ago. Food poisoning had laid him low earlier in the year, and for the past five months he had worked guard duty. Now he was getting better, slowly but surely. Going on 7:20, Dan saw a plane flying over a bit to the south and west, not too far off and not too high, considering that the mine sat way up on the bluff. Dan couldn’t hear the engines of the plane for the incessant drone of the machinery behind his ears, but he remarked to himself that this big baby was flying lower than he was used to, even considering the bombers and fighters that zipped past on their way to the classified area off to the southwest where Army maneuvers took place almost daily.


May 2014

He knew motors, and he didn’t like the sound of that sputtering engine. By now the plane had flown over; Harper’s shift was about done, and his attention returned to getting out of there and warming up on this cold night. He vaguely heard the piston engines of the plane growling away into the darkness, working hard, their frenetic drone bouncing off the nearby cliffs and echoing through Red Rock Canyon behind him.

an Yanich looked over at the silhouette of the plane and its wingtip running lights, one red, one green, and thought it a majestic sight, a big twin-engine number that he figured to be a bomber or a DC-3. TWA and Western Airlines planes flew out of McCarran Field up at the northern edge of Las Vegas, but so did all manner of Army planes; whichever this was, it was flying south-southwest, maybe toward Los ar below the bluff and away from the Angeles. Because of the war and the new mining machinery, Calvin Harper, blackout rules, far fewer lights burned in the head loader in the loading dethe area at night, including signal beapartment, was able to hear the plane fly cons for air traffic. Dan could see the sigover. Harper was down by the cook house nal beacon due east over at Arden, and it at the gypsum plant below the mine and seemed as if the plane flew right over it. just moments from punching out for the But the beacons high up on 8,000-foot night when he heard the mystery plane, Potosi Mountain to the south no longer lower and louder than other planes. He flashed their comforting beams at night. gave the airship a glance over his shoulHe could see Potosi’s black mountaintops der and saw a streak of flaming exhaust jutting up high in the distance, standing from the right engine — the plane was so blacker than the velvety sky above. Very low in the sky that the fuselage blocked high, treacherous mountains they were, his view of the left engine — but the pewhere even the prospectors didn’t go beculiar thing to Calvin was the sound of cause of the cliffs and the loose footing the engines. One growled steadily while and the boulders. Snow blanketed those the other seemed to come and go. He mountains all winter and gave them a would hear it, then it would sputpicture-postcard appearance, ter to silence, then he would hear but make no mistake: One wrong it again. Harper had ridden planes step up on Potosi Mountain, or HEAR MORE a lot back when he lived in Los any of those mountains, and even Learn about Angeles, and he was a motor man the surest-footed man would be the secret who loved to fool around with his found only when buzzards pointhistory of the Air Force car engine and keep it humming. ed the way in the spring. on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at desertcom hearmore

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APRIL 2014



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Whether you want to celebrate, network, be seen, hear music or just turn your head and quaff, one of these 53 drinkeries will be your perfect tippling point.

See the best of the west from these overnight camping, glamping and B&B gems



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May 2014

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May 2014

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17 PoliticsMammoth

trouble for Tule Springs fossils 20 trendingSigns of

the homeless times 22 zeit bitesRalph Lamb, housecoat brawler 24 ProfileHome

brewess 26 STYLESwimsuits! 28 Open TopicKeep-

ing my daughter from assuming a pole position By Corey Levitan


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30 culture

49 Dining

89 The Guide

A talk with Carol Harter as she steps down from Black Mountain Institute By Scott Dickensheets

50 The DishBar food

Don't tell us there's nothing to do in Las Vegas

you'll want to belly up to 53 Eat this now!Hot

Alan O’ Mahoney from Rí Rá Irish Pub

Pockets go international!

96 End note

36 sports

54 First Bite

Anger management with UNLV baseball coach Tim Chambers By Rob Miech

Brooklyn Bowl does it with New York style

Finally! Some photos of cocktail-napkin doodles

42 technology Prepping the children of today to be the drone whizzes of tomorrow By Heidi Kyser

MAY 2014

A lettered life


Notes on glamp


be seen, watch the game,

catch a band, ENJOY THE AMBIANCE and connect

Good in tensions

UNLV BASEBALL’S MAD, MAD COACH Life after hot wings


55 on the plate

May's dining events

on the cover Rí Rá's Alan O' Mahoney pours a cold pint.

Photography Jakob McCarthy

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All Things to All People

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Mission Statement Desert Companion is the premier city magazine that celebrates the pursuits, passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. With awardwinning lifestyle journalism and design, Desert Companion does more than inform and entertain. We spark dialogue, engage people and define the spirit of the Las Vegas Valley.

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05 14

Ralph Lamb pulls no punches page 28

bad congressm an. t usk t usk!


Bad to the bones A Utah congressman’s changes to the Tule Springs fossil-park bill might've unleashed a mammoth problem B y H e i d i K ys e r


y the time Congressman Rob Bishop’s amendments to the Tule Springs Bill came to light, around noon on Feb. 26, the D.C. rumor mill had given a few days’ heads-up to Congressmen Steven Horsford and Mark Amodei, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and the bill’s many other proponents. They knew it wouldn’t be good news; they just didn’t know the extent to which Bishop, at the Feb. 27 meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee, would undermine their effort to create a national monument on 22,650 acres of fossil-rich land northwest of Las Vegas. But the most important person listening and planning how to react was Sen. Harry Reid — and not just because he sponsored a twin bill in the Senate. Reid’s swiftly released statement revealed that there was much more to the proposed amendments than an apparent party-line effort to keep the land out of National Park Service hands. They also contained a small but potentially lethal arrow aimed at the heart of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, one of Reid’s crowning achievements. As of this writing, the Las Vegas

I l lu s t r at i o n C h r i s m o r r i s

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ALL Things


Hear more Valley Public Land and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act hangs in limbo. At stake are not just sacred lands and dire-wolf bones, but also big ideas like compromise, conservation and state’s rights.

A bone to pick If there’s a perfect bill, the proposed Tule Springs National Monument could be it. It started when retired schoolteacher Jill DeStefano and some of her Aliante neighbors attended a community meeting where they learned what was going on in their back yard, the Upper Las Vegas Wash. A 2004 BLM report, prepared as part of a plan to open the area to development, had identified sensitive resources and recommended further study for possible protection. Besides the thousands of Pleistocene-era fossils, the wash encompasses habitat for threatened plant and animal species, such as the bearpoppy and desert tortoise. “I couldn’t believe there were all these Ice Age fossils popping out of the ground and anybody believed we should build on top of them rather than preserving them for future generations,” DeStefano says. “A group of five of us got together after the meeting and decided we should do something about it.” That was 2006. Since then, DeStefano and her posse have diligently marked one milestone after another on the road to legislation. They collected signatures for petitions, building support. They got the National Park Service on board. They persuaded North Las Vegas, the City of Las Vegas, Clark County and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribal Council to pass a resolution urging Congress to make Tule Springs part of the National Park System. Horsford and Reid introduced their bills in 2013. Thus, DeStefano was one of those anxiously awaiting Bishop’s amendments. And what she saw horrified her. The chair of the House Natural Resources Committee had scratched nearly 20 pages from the 57-page bill and added several of his own. The changes stripped out any language converting the land to National Park Service control and left it, instead, with the more development-friendly BLM. “What shocked me,” DeStefano says, “was that in the subcommittee hearing, it was so obvious this was a bipartisan bill that


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even Bishop noted the entire community seemed to be on board with it. Then he suddenly decided that it needed to remain BLM land?” (The congressman didn’t respond to our requests for an interview.) One change that puzzled observers was Bishop’s call for a “special resource study to evaluate the significance” of the area and its inclusion in the National Park System. UNLV geology professor Stephen Rowland, who for years has taken students to Tule Springs State Park for research digs, says both the BLM and Park Service have surveyed the area, which is why it’s already known to contain paleontological, environmental and cultural treasures. “It’s not clear to me why the congressman feels that needs to be done,” he says. “There’s no guarantee that once the studies he calls for are done it would become a protected area of any kind. That’s what makes it seem like a roadblock.”

Snip-a-what? Another way of looking at the Bishop amendments is as a smokescreen for a poison pill. Hidden among the pages of revisions concerning National Parks status is this sentence at the end of Section 2: The Monument shall no longer be subject to subsection(1) of Section 4 of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) of 1998. In essence, this would have meant that sales of land within the Monument couldn’t be used in Nevada to pay for interpretive trails and park benches, as well as conservation programs, at places just like the one envisioned for Tule Springs. Instead, committee members said, funds from any related land sales should go to the U.S. Treasury. You may never have heard of SNPLMA (pronounced “snip-la-ma” by insiders), but you’ve benefited from it if you’ve been to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, Clark County Wetlands Park, Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center or just about any other project developed on public land since the Act was passed. It allows the state to recoup some money from the sale of federal land in Clark County and use it to develop infrastructure and protect environmentally sensitive areas. No other state is known to have such a deal, which has

Who'll save Tule Springs? Hear a discussion on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at desert companion. com/hear more

made it a target for federal attack once before, during the Bush administration. Although then-Sen. Richard Bryan and –Rep. John Ensign introduced the bills related to the Act, Reid is credited with its passage. No sooner had Bishop’s amendments gone public than Reid’s press release denouncing the SNPLMA passage hit the wire. It contained the line, often repeated in news coverage, “A bad bill is worse than no bill at all.” In other words, saving SNPLMA is more important than passing the Tule Springs Monument bill. “The reality is, Republicans have a majority in the House,” explains Kristen Orthman, Reid’s national press secretary. “Because of that, the bill with the amendments was likely going to pass. Preventing that was crucial.” The Nevada contingent in D.C. — in particular Horsford, the Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee — got Reid’s message loud and clear. The bill was pulled from the committee without a vote. Then what? The bill’s proponents persuaded Bishop to visit Tule Springs, to see firsthand what was at stake. He made the trip on March 17 and ended it by telling the press, “This is cool. We’re going to have to work this out.” Still, it’s unclear what will happen next. “Basically, we will wait for it to be discussed,” says Lynn Davis, Nevada director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “It will be between members of Congress and, presumably, it will go back before committee — hard to say when.” Timing will be everything. Horsford is joining the Financial Services Committee, which means he’ll likely have to leave the Natural Resources Committee. And if the bill doesn’t hit the floor of both houses until after the 2014 elections, then the process will have to start all over again, with a new Congress. Proponents hope they can squeeze it through that window — that Bishop will save his attack on SNPLMA for another day, for the sake of the greater good. “I’m told it will come up again,” says an optimistic DeStefano. “He said it’s not dead. I hope he’s right.”




ALL Things

getting involved


Please help, God bless By turning homeless signs into art, Justin Lepper wants you to see the people we try not to see By Brian Weiss


olding a piece of stained cardboard, the disheveled man jumps up, smiles, points at Justin Lepper like he’s just won something on a game show, and rushes to retrieve the rest of his collected works. Lepper had previously offered the man a few dollars to gather more pieces from his colleagues, and the man is excited that he has returned to collect. After crossing the street and heading down into a small wash where he has been stashing the signs, the man returns to Lepper’s car, gasping and grinning. “I knew you were coming back, I just knew it,” he says. “Boy, I sure could use some water. Thank you, bless you!” Lepper is collecting homeless signs. Some are small and concise, while others have entire life histories on them. Some are crudely etched onto the backs of political signs or restaurant menus, while others are inscribed on both sides: “Just got out of jail/Anything helps.” Some of the messages are simple, “God Bless” or “Please Help.” The more memorable are rambling indictments of being failed by the system, or simple jokes (“Need money to cook meth,” or “When the zombie apocalypse comes, what’s in your closet?”) intended to lighten a bleak and humbling proposition: begging for assistance on a street corner. A former state champion high school wrestler from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lepper, 33, was an architecture student who left to play professional poker in Las Vegas nearly a decade ago after winning


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Everywhere a sign: Izaac Zevalking, left, and Justin Lepper use art to raise awareness about the homeless.

a bundle in a World Series of Poker circuit event. Among his careers, he spent six months assigned to Steve Wynn’s personal security, where he used idle hours to brush up on art history in Wynn’s enormous personal art library. Last summer, Lepper founded the Artistic Armory, a fast-growing artists’ collective in an industrial complex at Tropicana and Arville. The homeless-sign project began as a simple idea: Buy signs off of the homeless and integrate them into larger artworks, to speak to the problems of poverty in our country. At first, Lepper would offer the holders a few dollars for their placards, but he quickly realized that wasn’t enough. Expanding the scope of his engagement, he filled the back of his car with Sharpie markers, blank cardboard, water bottles and more. He had longer talks with the people he encountered, and says he has kept a journal of every exchange. Lepper now speaks passionately about those from whom we avert our eyes as we idle at a stoplight. “Most of the people I encountered were, surprisingly, stone-cold sober,” he says. “They were stranded travelers, war veterans and disabled folks, a few recently out of jail. Sure, there were some that even I was a little hesitant to engage, the addicts

and the clearly insane, but most of them were just hungry. Almost everyone I spoke to was just so happy to be acknowledged and treated with a little dignity. These people really aren’t bad, just down on their luck or victims of circumstance, and each one had a new story.” The result of Lepper endeavors will be an exhibit titled Disparity, scheduled to open May 16 in the Amanda Harris Gallery (900 Las Vegas Blvd. S. #150, 702-7696036). It will be a collaborative effort with fellow Artistic Armory artist Izaac Zevalking (whose Recycled Propaganda show will continue there through May 24). Disparity will feature works created from the signs Justin has collected, along with other works by both artists. This is only one of their projects. Recently returned from a show in Denver, Zevalking and Lepper plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign to take Armory works to London. For now, Lepper is focused on the subjects of Disparity. “I think my work helps to pinpoint where we are at as a society,” he says. “Now I’m creating relationships, and there is an exchange, and I am giving them a sense of self-worth. No one wants to be homeless.” Proceeds from the event will be donated to Help of Southern Nevada.

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ALL Things

zeit bites

a bulb goes on Lindsey Leavitt, noted YA author, on finding the center of her new novel, out this month

Gender on canvas


he audio guide describes Painting Women (through Oct. 26, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, as displaying work from a time “when talent was assigned to gender.” Changing “was” to “is” might better describe this show. While it often successfully highlights the struggle of women artists to gain equal recognition, aspects of it actually perpetuate the problem. Walking the exhibit clockwise, the first two works you encounter are by men. George Peter Alexander Healy portrays friend Anna Chadbourne posing, with easel and brushes, as the wife of art historian Charles Morey. Although she’s dressed for the part, no information affirms whether she was an artist. The work by Edwin White depicts an anonymous woman “lost in thought as she ponders her canvas.” It’s not just that these are men painting women, or that the women are unknown artistically — it’s the information not included on the placards that’s telling. There are no relationship specifics or revealing personal details about the male artists, which wouldn't be striking except that those details are provided about most female artists. For instance, the first thing you learn

about Adèle Romany’s opulent portrait of an 18th-century man is that she was the illegitimate daughter of the Marquis de Romance; that colors your viewing. Audio on Doris Lee says she married Russell Lee, then later studied with Arnold Blanche and married him. That implies an affair — how is that relevant to Lee’s work? Torrid details in the exhibit scholarship detract from these otherwise inspiring stories of women persevering in the arts. Nonetheless, Painting Women showcases many talented, underappreciated artists. “Scrutiny” by Maud Morgan brings attention to an abstract expressionist whom critics often chided for the lack of feminine qualities in her work. A cubist piece by Marie Laurencin, soft pastel tones and doll-like figures, responds to the “arrogant masculinity of cubism.” The assertive self-portrait of Ellen Day Hale nonchalantly dismisses timid female posturing. In the text by her large-scale portrait of two figures in riding garb, artist Cecilia Beaux says she looks “forward to a time when ‘the term Women in Art’ will be as strange sounding as … ‘Men in Art’ is now.” More than 100 years later, that remains a challenge. — Jenessa Kenway

I discovered the Neon Museum on the way to my daughter’s dance recital at Cashman. “Look at the pretty shoe, Mommy.” That’s when I first noticed the twirling Silver Slipper. And the retired neon signs. And the old La Concha. My first thought? Now that would be a great place to make out. I’d been struggling with my latest youngadult novel. I’d never set a book in my hometown, and I wanted to weave my childhood into the landscape — the non-adventures of a master-planned community kid among the landmarks I only saw as we drove to a buffet. I couldn’t figure out how to mesh it all together. This was Vegas, not the made-up towns of my other novels. So I toured the Boneyard on a Wednesday afternoon in January. The members of my group were elderly locals who became my temporary friends. Maybe every tour is that magical. Maybe every group has a lady who heard Elvis the first night he sang at The New Frontier. I don’t know. You should go there and see. It’s amazing, the stories rusting on that dusty lot. The Chapel Wars, about a 17-year-old girl who inherits a Vegas wedding chapel and falls for the boy at a rival chapel, got its, well, bones that day. I knew this was where my star-crossed lovers needed to connect. After witnessing a mesmerizing sunset, Holly, the native, could argue with transplant Dax about Vegas history, neighborhoods, reputation, and, yes, the dry heat. Toward the end of my tour, I had my characters challenge each other to all sorts of explorations across the city. Other scenes formed. I had to stop and write out dialogue on the back of my brochure. Finally, Vegas promised to become the character it deserved to be. Most poetic, the sign that reads, “Wedding Information.” Of course my characters took a picture there. And like the teen-romance writer that I am, Holly and Dax also shared a giddy first kiss.

TOMATOES OVER VEGAS! Viva Las Vegas came out 50 years ago this month. How did subsequent Las Vegas movies score on Lost in America (1985) Rain Man (1988) Diamonds Are Forever (1971)


Bugsy (1991)

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Casino (1995) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Viva Las Vegas scored a solid 88.

Pay It Forward (2000) Vegas Vacation (1997)


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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Leprechaun 3 (1995)


The Hangover (2009)

What Happens in Vegas (2008)

Last Vegas (2013)

50 25

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)


Out through the in door A conversation with Ralph Lamb

George Knapp Ralph Lamb

You were (here) when the mob started their rise. It’s described as a culture clash, cowboys and mobsters. Is that accurate?

In your TV series, the audience (saw) the sheriff knock bad guys on their butts, and they think, Oh that’s just Hollywood stuff. But it’s not, is it ?

two mob guys showed up at your house one time …?

I think so. We had a set of rules, and if a guy at the Desert Inn wanted to let somebody come to town, he had to come find out if it was okay. And we told him, How long is he going to be here? Well, Friday and Saturday and Sunday — but if he stayed longer he went to jail. So they knew they had to abide by the rules.

No. (laughs) If there was a show of force, I was always there. I wanted them to know I was always around, and something was gonna happen if they didn’t abide by the rules.

I was in the bathroom, my little boy was by me. And he said, Dad there is two men in the foyer at the front ofour house. I said, Did you let them in, and he said,No, mom let them in. I just had on a housecoat, and I eased up the hall. I peeked around the corner, and I recognized them for what they were. The door was still standing open, and I hit one of them and knocked him out through the door, and the other one, he ran off. I don’t know who was driving the car or what they had in mind, but it didn’t look very good.


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ALL Things



Karie Lawson Homebrewer


he calls it Planet of the Apricots — amber ale spiked with fruity flavor. “It’s technically a fruit beer, basically American amber ale with fresh apricots added to the boil,” Karie Lawson explains. “The only criticism I have is the clarity, but I think it’s pretty good for my first amber.” Pretty good? Tasting notes from a clueless but thirsty journalist: It’s crisp but complex, grounded but festive, the apricot hinting at backyard barbecues and picnics in the grass. Lawson, meanwhile, is still mulling over the process. “Some homebrewers say you’ll retain more flavor if you add the fruit after the boil, during fermentation, because you’re not heating up the fruit to the point where you’re pulling the pectin out. But by putting them in the boil, you’re ensuring that any yuckies on the apricots are gonna be killed off while they’re in the boil.” Lawson can wonk out about beer theory in one breath, and in the next invoke the laid-back mantra of the homebrew scene: “In my opinion, there’s no right way to make a good beer. Everyone’s got their process and style.”

Which isn’t to say that things don’t go wrong. The homebrewing world is rich with tales of exploding beer, sour kegs and promising brews that turn out to be undrinkable mopwater. Lawson, who’s been homebrewing for three years, went through her own rite of passage with a batch she was fermenting in the closet. “It was an imperial IPA (India Pale Ale), so it had a lot of hops, so there’s all this green stuff floating around in there. What happened was the yeast and sugars and the beers overreacted and blew the top of the fermenter clean off in the closet, and it looked like the creature from the Black Lagoon was crawling out of the closet. I came home to this green ooze coming out of the closet. It was pretty gross. It just smelled like hops, so that’s not a bad smell to come home to.” The real tragedy: “It was a waste of five gallons of beer!” Lawson represents an emerging


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demographic in the homebrewing scene: women. “When they meet me for the first time, people expect me to have a beard and Birkenstocks,” she says, laughing. “For now, craft beer is a definitely still a male-dominated industry, but it’s also very welcoming. I’ve never been made to feel uncomfortable anywhere.” Yeah, let’s dispense with that canard: that homebrewing is the exclusive preserve of scruffy, barrel-bellied Portlandia extras. Exhibit A: Barley’s Angels, a female homebrewer club with chapters across the country, including a new local chapter that meets monthly to talk, taste and share intel. Lawson’s advice for would-be homebrewers thinking about taking the plunge? “My two pieces of wisdom: It’s easier than you think, and start small. If you start small and it ends up being a terrible beer, then you’re not wasting unnecessary time, money and supplies.” As for the learning curve, Lawson benefitted from the mentorship of her avid-homebrewer grandfather, but learned just as much through trial and error, chatting up fellow homebrewers and consulting YouTube videos. “Oh, and keep it clean. If you don’t sanitize and keep everything clean and spic and span, you can have a brilliant recipe and process, and get some funky bacteria growing in your beer that will ruin everything. Basically, if your airlock smells like a skunk’s in there, you’re not cleaning your equipment as well as you should.” And who wants to drink Skunky Airlock Ale? — Andrew Kiraly

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Fa m i ly

The G-string theory of Vegas girlhood My daughter will not grow up to pour some sugar on you (I hope) B y C o r e y L e v i ta n


y 3-year-old daughter and I watch as a mom signs her son into daycare ahead of us. Her zero-percent body fat is stuffed into a short beige dress and towering black heels. The Glade PlugIns perfume cloud and giant, exhaustion-concealing


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sunglasses tell me she’s not a patent attorney. The father of a little girl has only one real job in life, the great philosopher Christopher Rock once orated, and that’s to keep her off the pole. Fellow dads of Vegas daughters: We have

picked the most difficult American city in which to do our only real job. According to the 2012 UNLV report “Sex Industry and Sex Workers in Nevada,” approximately 12,000 exotic dancers are registered with Metro, a third to a half of whom reside here with young children intent on befriending and influencing yours. (Okay, I lied. This report mentioned nothing about children. But how many strippers do you really think aren’t single moms?) Even if we manage to avoid sex workers during our daily routine, we still must walk our children past barely clad cocktail waitresses just to see a Disney movie, and explain hooker billboard trucks when we visit cousins staying in town. And fully half of all middle-class Las Vegas females under age 40, at least judging by my ongoing, nonscientific survey, sport a tramp stamp or some other visually stimulating tattoo. (The woman at my daycare wore a butterfly, encircled by barbed wire, on her ankle.) A more scientific study, by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2012, ranked Nevada the 46th most desirable state in which to raise a child. Stripping-likelihood wasn’t among this report’s indicators, but it did include economic well-being, health, safety, education, community engagement, social relationships and emotional well-being. And those things all sound pretty related to stripping-likelihood to me. As long as I provide strong, positive values — so I’m assured by fellow hostages of this predicament — they will neutralize any skeezeball influences seeping into my daughter’s impressionable gray matter. I believe there’s some truth to this. I’ve seen firsthand the important role played by bad fathering in stripper production. In my 20s, I dated an exotic dancer myself. (Don’t judge me. This was back when I still had closure to achieve for my high-school loser self.) Okay, so maybe I didn’t “date” Amber. We had one date and it ended in tears — first hers, then mine after she

PHOTo g r a p h y b r e n t h o l m e s

Confused about hearings aids? Overwhelmed by all the hearing aid ads? stormed out because I had the brilliant idea of calling her over to my bed using the phrase, “Come to daddy.” So I try, I really do. I love my daughter unconditionally. Even after carrot-juice poops. I read her children’s books about female doctors and astronauts. And I do as little meth as possible. But, crap, good-looking 18-year-old Las Vegas females can earn 10 times what I do in a year by grinding into male crotches to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” If I could, I might apply myself. I know it’s possible to raise a normal girl in this abnormal city. One of our babysitters is a beautiful Palo Verde High School senior whose childhood was not a long rehearsal for the sex industry. At 17, she’s not only an honor student with multiple college acceptances, but an actual virgin. (And no, she’s not a Mormon. She was brought up without religion, as we plan our daughter to be.) So I ask Lane — a pseudonym because I refused not to print that she was a virgin — exactly how she acquired this Vegas immunity of hers. It turns out, she hung with friends in parks, restaurants, ice-skating rinks and bowling alleys — like kids in normal cities. “And when you have to walk through a casino, that’s normal to you,” Lane says. “You don’t know any different. It didn’t have an impact on me.” Lane credits her single mom with instilling in her a set of core values that repelled her from the bad influences and kids. When she saw her first hooker billboard truck, for example, her mom told her, “There’s so much more you can be in life than that.” However, Lane also guesses that, for females born with more rebellious personalities — like her older sister, who grew up in California — parental values don’t hold as firmly, and there are probably better places than Las Vegas to raise them to not drop their panties onto a stage.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent it. Fortunately for me, my daughter skews nonrebellious. Even better, she favors the Dora the Explorer bracelets without glitter, and doesn’t go by any other names in daycare. (So far, so good.) Still, there is one more expert I need to consult before I feel good about my odds. I told my wife it was entirely Desert Companion’s idea for me to ask some strippers how to prevent our daughter from joining their ranks. And she bought it. “I’m sorry to break it to you, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent it,” says a woman who grinds into my crotch to Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. The 5-foot-7 brunette with a koi fish tattooed on her buttocks says her name is Melody, and that she’s 26 and resides in Huntington Beach, Calif., not far from where she grew up. “The more you try to prevent her,” Melody insists, “the more she will want to.” Note to self: Never show my daughter this article. Melody claims she did not want the conservative life her Laotian parents had in mind for her. I ask her what this life specifically entailed, but I only have $40 cash and our time is up. Melody made her point, however, and it’s a good one. I’m obsessing way too much over this. I should just mellow out and trust good parenting to do its thing. And even if my worst nightmare comes true, I waited until age 46 to become a father. That means there’s a real chance I’ll be dead by the time my daughter becomes a stripper, so what will I care?  And, if not, I’ll be dead right after finding out.

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culture A literary life: Carol Harter reflects on her tenure at BMI and the future of the organization.

Most readers casually understand BMI’s impact on Vegas in terms of the top writers, scholars and cultural figures it brings to town, often to wrestle with fraught topics — politics, ethics, religion. But it’s had a host of other effects, too. It funds a big-name keynote speaker each year at the Vegas Valley Book Festival; it sometimes hosts off-campus events; and it’s brought quality writers here on fellowships and as grad students, with a commensurate effect on the local literary scene. Harter leaves at an auspicious time for BMI: KVBC Channel 3 owner Jim Rogers recently donated $10 million, which will let the organization expand its programming, boost the stipends for its fellowship and grad students and even award a major literary prize. Not to mention the reopening of the dormant City of Asylum program, which shelters refugee writers. Big things happening! Weird time to step away, no? “You’re right,” she cracks, “I shouldn’t retire! I should stay here until I’m 80!” Indeed, it’s not like she’s leaving-leaving, though she won’t be back-back, either. There’s no successor in the wings yet — BMI’s vigorous selection effort hasn’t yet churned up a suitable replacement. Harter will return, temporarily, as a consultant.

Closing the book As Carol Harter steps down from Black Mountain Institute, we talk with her about good writers, big money and the dopes who govern Hunter S. Thompson’s estate B y S c o t t D i c k e n s h e e t s


arol Harter affects a little comic vanity about the empty bookshelves in her soonto-be-vacated office at the Black Mountain Institute. “Don’t get those in the picture,” she mock-urges a couple of times. Twenty-some boxes of her books are either on the floor or on their way elsewhere, and the reality of that final transition lends an elegiac quality to the smallish, windowed room on the UNLV campus. Effective June 30, Harter will retire as BMI’s executive director, a job she stepped into in 2006 after 11 years as UNLV’s president — she sat in the big chair longer than anyone else, and has been the only woman in that job.


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Why retire now? Seems like it would be an exciting time to lead BMI. In fact, I’m so jealous of my successor already because not only will he or she have the better part of $10 million to spend, but we’re also moving to the political science area, for about a year and a half, and then back here to 4,200 square feet, where we now have 1,400. With both money and space, my successor is going to be very well off. I guess it’s the moment for someone new to come in and take it to the next level. But also, I don’t want to talk about my age much, but I’m certainly there. I’ve worked 50 years, and it’s time. My husband’s just retired. We want to be able to do things like travel — you know, the kinds of things where you want to be healthy enough and your brain works enough to enjoy life. We don’t know how much time we’ll have left, and we want to live it well.

P h oto g r a p h y Christopher Smith

Looking back over your tenure, what would you say are the highlights? No matter how much you think a program’s going to be terrific because you have really good writers or speakers, sometimes programs fall flat. And something you’re not quite sure about is spectacular — like “Does It Matter if Jesus Was Married?” You know, biblical scholars talking about the translation into Greek, and from Greek to Hebrew, and from Hebrew to Coptic could be boring. But it was the most wonderful panel. And the house was packed. But you just don’t know. Jennifer Egan, I really enjoyed having her here. Derek Walcott. Jane Smiley, whom we’ve had several times. E.L. Doctorow, because I had already co-authored a book on him. The all-African panel — that was very good, with Chris Abani and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Wole Soyinka, who is our all-time favorite Nobel laureate. We’re doing a Sept. 11 program on human rights, and he’ll be here for that. Were there writers you wanted to bring but couldn’t get them across the finish line? We talked about Jonathan Franzen, but he wanted $30,000. It was right after Freedom came out — it may have been the timing, because when they hit, they know their market value is high. A couple of folks we just can’t afford — Tom Friedman and Fareed Zakaria, they’re $50,000 to $100,000. Even with new money we can’t afford that. I recall some talk about BMI organizing a Hunter S. Thompson conference, and then … It fell through. What’s sad is that we went a very long way toward planning that, between us, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and R&R Partners, all of whom were pursuing this, and we thought it would turn out beautifully. Here’s the problem. You know Douglas Brinkley, the famous presidential biographer? He also is Hunter Thompson’s literary executor. We had him here for a day and a half — he was very enthusiastic about this possibility. And then he told us he had

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CULTURE to go through the lawyers in Boston who actually oversee the entire estate. And they were aghast — is the exact word he used — at having anything high-toned here in Las Vegas. And we were aghast that they would think such a stupid thing. And it was very sad because it fell through — they weren’t going to give their permission for us to do the kinds of things we were going to do. We had a wonderful plan. We were going to fill a hole in the calendar when we have low occupancy here — we were really gonna go national with this. You know who owns 800 boxes of Hunter S. Thompson’s work? Johnny Depp. And we were hopeful that Johnny Depp would get involved. So we had really big plans, and we couldn’t get to second base. And for very bad reasons. How could anyone — the most famous and important book he wrote was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. How could Las Vegas not be

the obvious place to do it? It just made no sense whatsoever. What are some of the other challenges of running a literary organization like this? We’re very grateful that the university provides four salaries, and the facilities — that’s a great amount of gift. But: They’ve left it to the director to raise all the rest of the money — for the fellows, the Ph.D. students, the programs, everything else. That’s why we have to have a proven fundraiser. What’s interesting is that people claim they’ve raised X or Y, but it’s not always accurate. So we’ve been trying to find a person who has both an actual track record of fundraising and the capacity to do it here, in Las Vegas. The pool of donors here for literary adventures is narrow — it’s narrow and deep. A Diana Bennett, the Rogerses, the Saltmans, Tom and Mary Gallagher. But you can practically name them — the big-time

donors — on the fingers of less than two hands. We raise smaller money from lots of wonderful people, but the big dollars have to come from a fairly small number of people. There just aren’t that many folks attached to literary endeavors in the community. (Brightening) That’s part of what we’re trying to change! Increase that number! In judging the success of BMI, should the community look for signs of a local impact? Because in your mission statement there’s very much an aspiration to have a global influence … You’re very right to bring those two things up. I think our donor pool is going to remain largely local, because it’s the community folks who get to come to these events for free. We don’t see much opportunity among potential international donors, even though what we want to bring to the community has got an international scope. There’s a kind of dilemma there in that regard.


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So what you’ve got to hope for is people who have a sense that we’re focusing on high-quality literature, that we may be bringing in many international figures, but that that is the way people broaden their sense of our world, and that that’s worthy of having a local base of support. Just think about 10 years ago. There was no Desert Companion, there was no BMI, there was no … There was no chance I’d see T.C. Boyle here … True! That’s another person! Oh, I adore him. One reason to bring him up is, that was a packed house. I had to sit in the back. Yes. So, speaking of BMI as a local entity, there’s a strong sense among people that Vegas isn’t a very literary place, but on the other hand, there’s a packed house for T.C. Boyle. You know, what we’ve noticed is the different audiences we have. There was a jazz program, where we had the poet Ishmael Reed, we had Ellis Marsalis, we had Marlena Shaw and we had our student jazz band. We put this thing together and it was great. We had a completely different audience for that than when we did Irish literature and music. And “Medical Ethics” was a different audience than “Was Jesus Married?” So you’re really serving lots of different audiences. We have a core of people who come to everything, maybe 50. After that, it depends totally on the program. And when you add up all that stuff, you’re really covering a whole lot more territory. I think if they’re stimulated by that, and recognize their personal need and sense of satisfaction from listening to that, I think that’s a cultural education of the highest level. That’s our contribution, I hope, to the community. Have you heard about our literary prize? No. We’re going to give out the Black Mountain Prize in fiction, once every other year:

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CULTURE $50,000. You don’t think that will get some national attention? (Laughs) We’re going to pay the judges $15,000 apiece, three of them, to judge the fiction of that past year. Hopefully we’ll get the best judges, with that kind of stipend. We think that can go international, actually, because literary prizes don’t pay that much. The National Book Award pays $10,000. The National Book Award! We’ve talked about April 2015 to do the first one — we may not do that. We need to find a replacement for me, and we want that person to be on board and ready to go with this, because it will be a big deal. It’s another thing made possible by the Rogers donation. Another reason I shouldn’t retire! (Laughs) According to accounts, Mr. Rogers had a hand in your departure as UNLV president. Now, he’s not only made this monster donation, but he was pushing you to be interim president. How did that relationship mend? You know, I’m not entirely sure. (Laughs) I’m not entirely sure. I will tell you this. Several things happened. When I first came to BMI, and Jim was still chancellor, and then right after he stepped down, the need to promote the southern schools, in terms of equity of funding from the state, became a major cause for him. It had been a major


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cause for me for 11 years. So Jim, out of nowhere, called and asked if I would help him write some white papers on that issue. And it was one of those moments where you didn’t know whether to hang up, say something unprintable or do what he wanted, for the sake of the university. I saw the value of it for the university. So we produced a whole bunch of stuff. And I think during that period, whatever was there before went away somehow. It was always more him than me; I don’t know quite exactly what it was, to be honest with you. Okay, so that’s one set of things. The second set of things has to do with Beverly. Beverly Rogers became increasingly involved in our work and became increasingly supportive and helpful. You know, she’s a rare book collector, she’s a wonderful scholar of Victorian literature and now very interested in contemporary literature. And I think she talked to Jim a long time ago. I think Jim sees the capacity (of BMI) to be something really special, and that’s what Jim wants to do with his money. He wants to focus it where he thinks it can be best used. It has to be spent in 15 years. We have a whole plan how we’re going to spend it. Now that presents a real problem for the next director. Because once you’ve expanded it … the next person is going to have to

raise big money in order to make sure those things continue. And that’s a challenge. Change of pace here. How many books do you read a month? Depends on the month. Depends on the size of the books, too. I’m always reading. I never stop reading. A couple years ago I counted, and it came out to a book a week. Right now I can’t wait to start Peter Matthiessen’s new novel, and I have one by Aimee Bender. I always have a pile going. Are you writing a book of your own? Everyone’s trying to talk me into a memoir, and I may, I may do it. I have to wait for all kinds of people to die, though, and I’m old! I can’t wait for everyone to die, I’m gonna die first! (Laughs) I have three things going in various forms. I have a novel going. I have a book about women in leadership. And I have a memoir going. The one I think is the best, actually, is the novel. Can you give us a little preview of the subject? No! Actually, it’s quite autobiographical, but I hate autobiography so I’m trying to say it’s not that. But you couldn’t fail to see that it is. I don’t have much written, and the best stuff is the stuff I almost can’t use. I’d have to move. (Laughs)





The upside of anger With a tough love that breeds a deep loyalty, UNLV baseball coach Tim Chambers is bringing the program around the bases B  y Rob Miech


im Chambers demanded that someone open the cherrywood casket. He wanted one last look at his father. He asked the grieving widow, Mrs. Chambers, to open it. She refused. He asked the priest. In front of the mourners who’d gathered at the funeral home, Chambers threatened to fling it open himself. Finally, the place was cleared, the lid lifted. His father, Connie Chambers, lie in repose, a soft pack of Marlboro Lights and a square of chocolate cake on a napkin


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on his chest. Tim nodded. He sat next to his wife Kim, finally satisfied. Good riddance, Tim thought. Good riddance to the man Tim says he had once hit in the head with a cast-iron skillet after Tim found his pregnant mother Rena on the kitchen floor — after she’d been kicked into submission by Connie. Good riddance to the deadbeat dad who favored the bar stool over his family, the man who never saw his son play in one of his many athletic events. The man who used an extension cord

as a whip. The man who’d make Tim stand naked in the corner, hands on his ankles, for hours. Near the end of his life, the frail father cowered in the presence of his adult, athletic son; but Tim only ever struck in defense. The grating shrill of that voice would never again ring in Tim’s ears. Or so he thought. It is the epic paradox of the son’s life, then, that the old man still lingers in Chambers’ mind 16 years after his death. “I hope he’s up there, watching,” the 49-year-old UNLV baseball coach says with contempt. “I want him to be crying right now as he sees me. I don’t know if you go somewhere ‘after,’ but I hope so. I live my life to be everything he wasn’t.” That everything includes an unabashed love for his wife Kim, his daughters McKenzie and Chase, and scores of “sons” who’ve played baseball for him at Bishop Gorman High School, the College of Southern Nevada and UNLV. His success will result in Chambers becoming the

P h oto g r a p h y C h r i sto p h e r S m i t h

first active coach to be inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame at the end of the month. “There are a whole bunch of people who can’t f---in’ believe that I’m doing what I’m doing right now,” says Chambers.


The hat trick


simmering anger drives him, but Chambers is also animated by a host of desires and compulsions that keep the already-restless baseball coach relentlessly busy. An attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder has something to do with Chambers’s innate aggressiveness, and he’s open about treating his ADHD with Adderall because he wants others with the affliction to know that they can still lead rewarding lives. His intense phobias of mice, snakes, heights and airplanes (his players constantly soothe him in the last row) are legend. He only needs three hours of sleep, tops. He’s a clean freak of the highest order and can be found sweeping the aisles of his own stadium. While honored by the call from the Hall of Fame, Chambers is far from finished. He can’t name anyone who has coached high school, junior college and university baseball in one town, much less won at each stop. Call it the Chambers Hat Trick. That legacy will be crowned, he predicts, when he takes the Rebels to the College World Series in Omaha, the penultimate stage of the NCAA Tournament. The first weekend, the regionals, is followed by the super regionals, and then eight teams go to Omaha. UNLV has played in eight regionals, but never advanced. In his fourth season, Chambers says he won’t be surprised if UNLV gets to Omaha this season. It has become a program of such national significance that it could host its first regional in late May, too. Chambers isn’t the only one with high expectations. M Resort President Anthony Marnell III is so bullish about his former Bishop Gorman coach’s performance at UNLV that he’s overseen plans for the construction of a multi-million-dollar baseball facility to rival the complexes at the country’s premier colleges. Watching Chambers transform UNLV’s Wilson Stadium from a shoddy yard into a shiny jewel






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sports with $1 million in private donations and trade-outs over four years convinced Marnell that investing in Chambers would be a wise financial move for his family. Indeed, Before Chambers arrived, a right fielder could only view the batter from the knees up; dips and bumps littered the diamond, an atrocity in a game that demands an even playing field. A Bobcat excavator scraped it flat. Today, the Bermuda with rye overseed is full and manicured. It’s the finest diamond in the city. Central Michigan visited in mid-February and Chippewas coach Steve Jaska told his players, “This is the epitome of college baseball right here, boys.” “That’s why I do it,” Chambers says. “I don’t do it for me, I do it for the kids.”


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he new complex, with 4,000 total square feet on two levels, will feature separate plush clubhouses for coaches and players, 26 flat-screens, batting cages and a host of state-of-the-art luxuries just past the right-field foul line. As of this writing, a shovel could have already split the earth open over there, and Chambers also might have inked a new five-year contract extension. That would culminate a delicate three-way dance in which Marnell hasn’t been certain about UNLV’s commitment to Chambers, whose existing contract takes him through 2015, and UNLV hasn’t been certain about Chambers; at least one Big 12 Conference program has shown interest in him. Chambers isn’t entirely certain either. He doesn’t want to leave Las Vegas, but his priority is his family’s security. When Neal Smatresk was the president of UNLV, he and several associates met with Chambers, Rebels athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and Marnell to discuss his proposal for a new complex. The 40-year-old Marnell oversaw the proceedings inside his spacious, elegant presidential office of the M Resort. Marnell told everyone that he was only pursuing this for one person. “Because of that guy” — Marnell looked at Chambers — “and what he did for me.” His loyalty isn’t blind; he played for and matured under Chambers at Gorman. Marnell pressed Smatresk about Chambers.

Crazy diamond: Coach Chambers on the field, above, and signing autographs for younger fans, right.

According to multiple attendees, Smatresk glanced at Chambers and said, “It’s his job for as long as he wants it.” For her part, Kunzer-Murphy raves about Chambers. She says UNLV is committed to making a long-term investment in him and that a contract extension is imminent. Moreover, Kunzer-Murphy reacted just as strongly about the possibility of Las Vegas playing host to a regional. In mid-April, UNLV owned a stout Ratings Percentage Index of 16 and Baseball America, the bible of the college game, projected UNLV as one of 16 regional venues — although a five-game losing streak dropped the Rebels to 25-15 at press time. “We’ll do whatever we can to host a (baseball) regional,” Kunzer-Murphy says. “(Wilson Stadium) is such a great park. We want to showcase that. What other place has four hotels across the street? I’m not buying that the NCAA ‘has to look at it.’ There’s nothing on their record books saying that they can’t come here. The time is now. This nonsense has to stop.” Marnell believes it would be just as nonsensical to misconstrue his generous gift as leverage to get Chambers a sweet deal with UNLV. It’s a simple matter of Chambers, UNLV and Las Vegas deserving such an amenity, Marnell says. Marnell recalls being in an 0-for-30 slump at Gorman, certain he’d get benched. Instead, Chambers told him, You’re still my guy. You’ll get through this. You know what you’re doing. Have fun. That day Marnell collected three hits.

He went to the University of Arizona and played three seasons in the San Diego Padres’ system, and he wishes he never played for anyone but Chambers. “This isn’t just about baseball, it’s about life,” Marnell says. “Everything he says and does helps you. I’m a big believer in results. I’m happy he’s having success. He’s worked for it and he’s earned it. He has a phenomenal way of turning boys into men. Again, it’s not just about baseball. It’s life.” Wes Hunt discovered that truth. He had lived with his mother in Texas, where he abused drugs. He moved in with his father in Las Vegas, played baseball at Shadow Ridge High School, but still hung out with the wrong crowd and kept doing drugs. Chambers gave him a scholarship to play at CSN. He continued smoking marijuana. Chambers took him by the collar and shook him. “He isn’t afraid to get in your ass and tell you the truth. I thank the Lord for that every day,” says Hunt. Today, as Chambers’

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sports student manager, his various duties include tending to the diamond year-round. He also records the coach’s insights in a diary. Before an April game, Chambers turned to Hunt in the dugout and said, Wesley, this is a national powerhouse. “Yeah, it’s gonna be,” answered Hunt. “No, right now,” Chambers said. “This team has some swagger. It’s this close. Once we get the new clubhouse, it’ll go nowhere but up.” They’ll bleed for you


s a kid, Chambers wore his brown hair to his shoulders, stole bikes and got booted from school after school in Southern California. His mother moved him, his brother and sister to Utah. At Pleasant Grove High School, baseball coach Jon Hoover tamed the wild thing. Chambers figures he had been in 150 fights in his rudderless, largely fatherless youth. He has called Hoover “dad” for decades.

He was still combative when he took over the Gorman program; once, he spat a lip full of Copenhagen at the face of an umpire who dared to point a finger at his chest. “All young coaches want to change the world. He came out fired up. We laugh about (his ferocity) now,” says Kevin Higgins, a UNLV assistant coach who first met Chambers at Gorman in 1992 and went on to play one major-league season for San Diego. That summer, Chambers heard famed manager Sparky Anderson speak at a convention in Anaheim. Call your kids names if you need to, and belittle them as much as you want, Anderson said, and they’ll win for you. But if you love them, they’ll bleed for you. Those words still resonate with Chambers. Every day, the UNLV dugout looks as if a 30-year reunion of an Army platoon is taking place. Hugs are countless. Betray him and know eternal scorn, but Chambers

is buoyed by the legions of former players who return for advice or to just say hello. He left Gorman to start the program at what is now the College of Southern Nevada and vowed to make it a national player within five years. In his fourth season, in 2003, it won a Junior College World Series championship. In 2010, Chambers coached the precocious 17-year-old Bryce Harper, making a pit stop at CSN after his sophomore year at Las Vegas High School en route to the major league draft. The strategy worked to perfection, and Ron and Sheri Harper say it couldn’t have been accomplished without Chambers, who had known the Harpers for 10 years. Still, that season was laced with conflict. Harper was a tempest, tossing his helmet and kicking water coolers. In Carson City, Chambers nearly benched the irascible Harper, which could have led to irreparable damage between Ron




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Harper and Chambers. Sheri Harper mediated, calming both sides. The season that launched Bryce Harper to pro ball also springboarded Chambers to UNLV. He brought a dozen players from CSN, but that wasn’t a recipe for success. Many of them played above their station in Division-I ball, and the cliquish clubhouse became caustic. The Rebels were mediocre. Worse, a spinal disc issue threatened to sever Chambers’s sciatic nerve. A delicate surgery enabled him to get back on his feet last season, when UNLV went 37-20. This season, he is back to coaching third base full time as the de facto face of his team on his diamond during games. Effort will not be negotiated


hambers constantly fine-tunes the tension of his leash on the Rebels. He forbids facial hair, but slugger Pat Armstrong, a leader, grew a

mustache. Teammates followed the trend. Somebody slapped signs around the park over winter break: FEAR THE ’STACHE. Chambers relented; he even sported a salt-and-pepper goatee for a while. But he outlaws jeans on the road, and players get a face full of Chambers if they turn their caps around backward. It’s about perception, he says. He doesn’t want anyone to think he’s coaching a bunch of miscreants. Everyone knows what Chambers expects of his players by the words on the inside of the scarlet I-beam above the stadium entrance: ENERGY AND EFFORT WILL NOT BE NEGOTIATED PERIOD. The players resort to all sorts of rally tactics in the dugout. They wear their belts around their heads. They do a collective mime act in which ace pitcher Erick Fedde tosses an imaginary grenade

and everyone ducks in unison. They get every Rebel to gather on the far right side of the bleachers — known as the Right Side Rally. The shenanigans can irk assistant coaches, but Chambers quietly tells them to chill, to let the players develop their own vibes. Chambers earns their devotion. In the season opener, he whistled — upper front teeth hard on his lower lip — at right fielder Edgar Montes to scoot in five or six steps. A heartbeat later, a right-handed batter flailed a liner to Montes, who sprinted in to make a diving catch that he wouldn’t have made otherwise. “Gut feeling,” said Chambers. Montes and the rest of UNLV’s fielders glove-slapped Chambers on his backside as they stepped down into the dugout after the inning. “Just got to listen to him,” Montes said as he shook his head and smiled.

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tech Drone school confidential: Eric King (left) and Lynn Fenstermaker are educating kids about the potential of unmanned aircraft.

Generation drone Unmanned aircraft systems are here. Proponents like Lynn Fenstermaker are making sure Nevada and its kids are ready for a high-flying future B y H e i d i K ys e r


he cacophony of a school assembly follows the first- and second-graders out of the multipurpose room, back to their homerooms at Sandy Searles Miller Elementary School. A handful of older students stays behind; they sit cross-legged in a semi-circle facing Lynn Fenstermaker, a Desert Research Institute scientist seated on the stage where she’d just given a schoolwide presentation about unmanned aircraft systems, her preferred term for drones. These select fifth-graders


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earned special Q&A time with Fenstermaker by opting to do their capstone projects on subjects in which she has expertise. Only one student asks a question — “What are drones made of?” — that could qualify as basic. Others wonder whether an unmanned aircraft system, or UAS, can be powered by solar energy, how high-frequency radar affects its signal and what impact the technology is having on climate change research. Dominic Sanchez, who wants to be a

robotics inventor when he grows up, engages Fenstermaker in a conversation about the software that runs the cameras and video recorders mounted on DRI’s 5-foot-long, 15-pound radio-controlled helicopter, which sits nearby on the stage. An uneducated bystander might be shocked at the kids’ familiarity with a technology most Las Vegans have only recently begun to read about in the news. But Fenstermaker, a mild-mannered Pennsylvania native with short brown hair, takes it in stride. She’s done dozens of similar presentations as part of DRI’s community outreach, and she participated in a UNLV mentoring program for local girls until funding cuts put an end to it. So she knows how comfortable kids are with technology, especially kids like these, who attend a STEM-focused magnet school. “Typically, as technology advances, it goes from slow and expensive to fast and more affordable,” she says, answering a question about what developers have learned about drones over time. “Prototypes are an important part of this process. If you go on YouTube and look up the X-47B, you’ll see one of the Navy’s first models.” The kids can see thousands of videos about drones on the Internet, or even buy one there. Fenstermaker notes that Amazon sells quad-copters; that’s the small, four-rotor model often encircled by a bumper-band to prevent collisions. It’s the type Sandy Miller got for its students’ experimentation. With Nevada vying to be a major player in the drone industry, educational institutions are ramping up to prepare the future developers and technicians who will populate labs and factories; hence, Fenstermaker’s presentations. Although drones brought her and the kids together today, a gap separates where she is now and where they’ll be

P h oto g r a p h y Ja ko b M cC a r t h y

at her age. This gap will be filled by answers to the profuse questions the technology is raising: What should and shouldn’t people do with it? How should it be controlled, and by whom? Can the U.S. sort out the ethical, legal and privacy issues in a way that allows Dominic Sanchez and his classmates to thrive, yet still protects them? Up in the air


ithin view of Frenchman Flat, where the government detonated 14 atomic weapons from 1951 to 1962, UNLV Assistant Director of Research Infrastructure Eric Knight starts up DRI’s radio-controlled helicopter by pulling a cord, lawnmower-style. He steps back several yards, getting in position at Fenstermaker’s left, and slowly revs up the two-stroke engine, causing the rotors to whip into a rattling hum. For a moment it looks like the miniature aircraft is stuck to the gravel road, then suddenly, it’s in the air. Knight and Fenstermaker work like one two-headed, four-armed unit: he with both hands on the controls and eyes on the aircraft; she with one hand on the dashboard, the other on the camera’s shutter toggle switch and eyes darting around, watching for birds, insects, power lines — anything that might interfere with the flight. “Twenty feet, 40 feet, 60 feet,” she announces as the chopper rises. When it reaches the 160 feet above ground level, she hits the toggle switch to snap a picture. What she’s photographing strikes an ironic contrast with the surrounding area. On the grounds formerly used for testing weapons of mass destruction, about an hour north of Las Vegas, Fenstermaker and her team have for a decade been doing their part to save the world — studying the potential effects of climate change on the desert, and vice versa. Their work at the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO2 enrichment) Facility has uncovered new information about how ecosystems absorb or shed carbon dioxide as it increases in the atmosphere. Results of their work have recently made national headlines. Fenstermaker, the public face of DRI’s

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drone program, became a UAS expert by accident. As a plant physiologist, she has always used remote sensing to test environmental stressors on native flora. She’s worked with everything from cameras to satellites, but nothing other than a drone would work on this particular project. Its 100-plus plots, each 14 meters square, contain various experiments that had to be photographed with a multispectral camera from a (more-or-less) stationary bird’s-eye view, in high enough resolution to allow data analysis. Blimps cast shadows, bob around and require expensive gas. Fixed-wing aircraft fly over, rather than hover, making them better for surveying or shooting video. Knight had experience with radio-controlled (RC) hobby planes and the ability to build just about anything mechanical, Fenstermaker says, so she got him on her team and had him build their first copter. That was 2004, when flying a drone was relatively simple, she recalls. The pair followed the rules set for RC hobbyists: Keep the altitude below 400 feet; stay in designated open air space or posted areas; maintain a certain distance from airports; and follow the guidelines set by the Academy of Model Aircraft. Things changed in 2008, when the Federal Aviation Administration, responding


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Drone’s eye view: Left and top, Lynn Fenstermaker and Eric Knight used a radio-controlled helicopter to capture images of plots where they tested the effects of environmental stresses on desert plants. Show and tell: Above, Fenstermaker talks at Sandy Searles Miller Elementary School.

to pressure from pilots and airports, regulated unmanned aircraft being used for commercial, public or research purposes. They created three classes of aircraft, each with its own set of rules. Fenstermaker had to submit advance detailed flight plans, including safety measures, such as sense-and-avoid strategies and what her team would do in case of a lost data link. The process got even more onerous in 2013, when the FAA began requiring pilot

certificates of authorization, entailing costly ground school, flight tests and physical exams for both the pilot and observer, as well as a pilot’s license for the pilot. Not everyone complies as conscientiously as Fenstermaker and Knight, who have no choice, being from public institutions. Many private and commercial drone users flout the rules, are unaware of them or believe they’re still the same as for RC hobbyists. In 2011, the FAA fined self-proclaimed aerial anarchist Raphael Pirker $10,000 for flying a Styrofoam drone in what the administration deemed an unsafe manner. Pirker was shooting video for an ad at the University of Virginia. The case, which is still pending, will set an important precedent for commercial drone regulation. Fenstermaker hopes the rules will become less onerous, but, having seen

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Many private and commercial drone users flout the rules, are unaware of them or believe they’re still the same as for RC hobbyists. firsthand the power of an 800 RPM rotor, she also hopes that the FAA and FTC — which respectively regulate airspace and uses of media — can tame the increasingly Wild West of drones. In September, a New York man partially decapitated and killed himself while flying a remote-controlled helicopter with his father. “We need training,” Fenstermaker says, “but we need different training than what we’re getting. The best flight training for small UASs is simulator training on a computer. Knowledge training should include information on regulations and safety.” The six test sites that the FAA has designated for UAS research are meant to address the problems by integrating drones with the current National Airspace System. Nevada is one of the sites, and the only one that’s a state (others are organizations and universities). Announcing the win last December, Gov. Brian Sandoval noted our considerable advantage over the other sites: giant swaths of regulated airspace. Large-scale projects will be able to use Nevada’s seven designated airports and ranges without bumping up against competitors, making us a desirable location. And, Sandoval pointed out, pulling together in support of the development are both private and public entities — including schools. Both UNLV and UNR are starting UAS minors; Rancho High School and Leavitt Middle School provide training for small UAS. But the awareness starts in elementary school, at Sandy Miller.

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nmanned aircraft systems are but one of many technologies students are learning at Sandy Miller. This semester, drones figured into a school-wide

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tech Genghis Khan-themed project that drew on the work of U.C. San Diego researcher Albert Yu-Min Lin to teach civics, culture, geography and history, as well as science. Besides Fenstermaker and Lin, who deployed UASs in the search for Genghis Khan’s tomb in China, drone specialists from Creech Air Force Base also visited to school to talk about what they do. The experience educated more than just the students. “One thing we planned to do was fly our own UAS outside,” says Sharon Pearson, Sandy Miller’s magnet theme coordinator. “When Lynn told us we couldn’t because we were too close to the airport, the kids were disappointed.” Teachers turned the letdown into a teachable moment, bringing up the idea of privacy and government regulations. They talked to kids about having drones

buzzing over their backyards and asked if they’d want someone they didn’t know videotaping them from overhead. They definitely did not, Pearson says. Staff tried to cover all the technology’s uses without dwelling on or stigmatizing any particular aspect. With drones in the news, Pearson says, many students are aware of their controversial military uses, but they’re too young to engage in a discussion about the ethics of remote-controlled airstrikes. After observing their evolving thought process for more than two months, though, she’s confident they’ll be responsible users. She also believes drones will be commonplace; one boy wanted to bring his own from home. With drones creeping into the mainstream (drone selfies have popped up on Twitter lately) come the familiar fears of invasion and inescapability. We’re

already widely watched by security and traffic cameras, satellites and other people’s phones. And apps make it possible to instantly post images of all kinds online. It’s time, Fenstermaker says, to look at privacy across the spectrum of media — not just drones — figure out how to protect consumers and start enforcing the rules. Still, she brings a scientist’s perspective to the panic: “We’re in the phase that’s like a gold rush. People are saying, ‘Let’s do this, and this, and this.’ But UASs won’t be good for everything. Wildfire fighting? Yes. Telemedicine? Yes. But Amazon won’t be flying quad-copters around Vegas dropping packages on people’s porches. It’s just not practical or a safe use of the airspace. Eventually the rush will level off and decline, and it will be just another tool, among many.”











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The Dish 50

05 14

Eat this now 53 At FirST BITE 54 ON the plate 55

where to go, what to eat & drink

Flavor in flight: Naked City Pizza's chicken wing dip

P hoto g ra p h y Christopher Smith

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Dining out

Dippity do: Left, Double Helix's olive poppers. Above, Public House's Canadian poutine


Raising the bar When it comes to sipping and snacking, raise your glass to bar food that pleases the palate B  y D e bb i e L e e


o you ever agree to meet up with friends for a casual bite over drinks — only to leave disappointed and still hungry? You’ve got a case of the bar-food blues. If you’ve ever groaned at the sight of a nacho platter, complained of chicken finger fatigue or put up with an order of entirely forgettable hot wings, you probably suffer from this common affliction. Fortu-


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nately, we have the cure: entree-worthy bar bites that pair perfectly with your drink of choice.

Olive poppers

at Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge

When you’re not quite hungry for a meal but a bowl of pretzels isn’t going to cut it, the Olive Poppers are a nice way to kick off an evening of whiskey-sipping and cigar-smoking at this local’s lounge. Three briny varieties are stuffed with chorizo, breaded and fried, and served with a honey-and-goat-cheese sauce. Just be careful or you might actually start to pop them like pills. Town Square, 702-735-9463,

Buffalo Fried Oysters and Pot Pie Nuggets at Rx Boiler Room

Rick Moonen’s funky steampunk gastropub (named Desert Companion’s Best New

Restaurant of the Year 2013) has an eclectic menu that marries familiarity with creativity. Buffalo Fried Oysters with Frank’s Red Hot sauce and blue cheese is an unexpected match with champagne, but it works. If the shellfish substitute isn’t your thing, you can get your chicken fix in the form of Pot Pie Nuggets — fried tidbits of comfort that pair well with a pale ale. Mandalay Place, 702-632-7200,

Canadian poutine

at Public House

Disco fries, garbage fries, animal fries ... there are countless ways to name a pile of crispy potato batons topped with stuff. At my favorite gastropub on the Strip, it comes in the form of Canadian poutine. The traditional plate of fries with brown gravy and squeaky cheese curds is given an upgrade with the addition of tender duck confit and an optional (yet oh-so-mandatory) fried egg. For a perfect drink pairing, order a tall stout to

P h oto g r a p h y C HRISTOPHER SMITH

The morning after After all of these suggestions, you still drank on an empty stomach? For shame! While there’s no confirmed cure for hangovers, it doesn’t stop us from trying. When these three local chefs overdo it, they cook up some get-well grub whose curative powers they swear by. “For me, it’s simple stuff — runny egg yolks, crisp bacon, double shot cappuccino and lots and lots of water.” — Kim Canteenwalla, chef/owner of Honey Salt and Executive Chef of Buddy V’s Ristorante

tackle the salty beast — preferably whichever one they use to flavor the gravy. The Venetian, 702-407-5310,

Monte Cristo pops at Yard House

Don’t wait for sunrise to soak up all that booze. The Eat Late menu (10 p.m.) at this beer-centric chain is composed of four creative snacks to nosh on with your nightcap — my favorite being breakfast-for-dinner in bite-sized form. Monte Cristo pops are stuffed with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, and then finished with powdered sugar and jalapeño peach syrup. In other words, it hits every major food group: porky, sweet, spicy and fried. Multiple locations,

Fried chicken and haemul pajun at Soyo

A great night of imbibing doesn’t always have to include encyclopedic knowledge of Prohibition cocktails or the service of some handlebar-mustachioed mixologist. At this self-described “barstaurant,” Koreans keep it real with an all-night marathon of cheap beer and soju. To keep their stomachs anchored in place, a platter of fried chicken is the most popular choice.

“The best way to prevent a hangover is to hydrate as much as possible while drinking. If the damage is done, and you wake up the following day feeling a bit beat-up, then I like to make a shake in my favorite blender. Fresh berries for anti-oxidants, banana for the potassium, coconut water to rehydrate those brain nerves, local bee pollen (a superfood) for energy, yogurt for the dairy coating and probiotic and a good scoop of high-quality protein powder. If that doesn’t work, go back to bed and have a little hair of the dog later.” — Rick Moonen, chef/owner of rm seafood and Rx Boiler Room “I like to cook a roasted butternut squash hash with sautéed kale and caramelized onion. Serve with two over-easy eggs, seasoned with a touch of spicy sesame oil. I like to keep it tasty, simple and non-fatty. Your stomach has already been weakened by the peer pressure of your ‘best friends.’ Do keep in mind that all this is cooked with coconut oil. It is a very healthy fat and easy to digest.” — Daniel Ontiveros, chef de cuisine of Comme Ça

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Great flakes: Naked City Pizza's Philly Rolls

Extra crispy skin and a sweet-and-spicy garlic glaze set them apart from the kinds you’ve had elsewhere. Or, for a more traditional pairing, snack on slices of haemul pajun (green onion and seafood pancake) with a bottle of Makgurli (rice wine). In South Korea, it’s known as a food-anddrink pairing that brings comfort on a rainy day. 7555 S. Rainbow Blvd. #105, 702-897-7696

Philly rolls and Chicken Wing Dip at Naked City Pizza

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My love for this popular pizza shop is hindered only by my stomach capacity. The pie is the main draw, but don’t be surprised if you get sidetracked by the “dude food”-friendly dishes on the starter menu. Chicken wing dip, served with grilled flatbread, eliminates the more undesirable elements of eating wings: bones and saucestained fingers. Another tidied-up version

of a classic is the Philly Rolls. The wrappers are a little too thick, but maybe it’s meant to work as a sponge for an accompanying white garlic sauce. Do you suddenly find yourself too full for the pizza? That’s okay — perhaps, like me, you find a day-old slice to be a guilty pleasure. Moondoggie’s Bar, 3240 S. Arville St., 702-243-6277,

Pork rinds at Brooklyn Bowl

If you’ve booked a lane at Brooklyn Bowl, you had better keep a stash of napkins handy, because you’ll find yourself grabbing a bite of pork rinds between each and every roll. They’re like nachos for the low-carber: a plate of crispy (but not greasy) pig skin ribbons smothered with spicy jalapeños, fresh cilantro and crumbles of queso fresco. It’s a simple and fresh fix that brings life to a gas station snack. The Linq, 702-862-2695,


Eat this now! Bangers and mash pasty at Cornish Pasty Co.

953 E. Sahara Ave., 702-862-4538, Nearly every culture has a version of the savory stuffed pastry: Italy’s calzone, India’s samosa, Russia’s pirozhki and, of course, America’s Hot Pocket. In England’s county of Cornwall, it’s called the pasty (pass-tee). Originally favored by the region's tin miners, the pasty lives on because it’s so versatile. The Cornish Pasty Co. flaunts that versatility with a menu that spans countries and cuisines: Pasty options include lamb & mint, The Mexican, chicken Alfredo, The Italian, cheesesteak. I recommend their traditional British dish of bangers and mash wrapped in a buttery, flaky dough. The filling is made with house-made sage pork sausage and garlic mashed potatoes, with a side of rich red wine gravy. Complete the meal with British “bachelor chow” of mushy peas or curried potatoes and wash it all down with a creamy ale. Hope you don’t have any plans after that, because you’ll be too happily stuffed to do much else. — Chris Bitonti

B a n g e r s a n d m a s h p a s t y : C h r i s t o p h e r Sm i t h

Pernil arepa


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For more information about Touro University Nevada or if you are interested in a campus tour, please call 702.777.3100 or visit 874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson NV 89014

Touro University Nevada is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and licensed in Nevada by the Commission on Post-Secondary Education. Touro University Nevada is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Touro University Nevada does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities.


at Rika Arepa Express

702-762-6360, No matter how many times I try to master the deceptively simple art of making arepas, the finished product never lives up to my mother’s version. The Venezuelan corn cakes, made with water and corn flour, make for simple comfort fare when unadorned, but they’re also a brilliant (and gluten-free) vehicle when stuffed with meat and cheese. You can try it in six forms at this roving food truck, but my favorite is the Pernil. Crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, the arepa acts as a sponge for tender pulled pork, black beans, cheese and guacamole. It’s not the same as mom’s, but a more than serviceable substitute. Just don’t fall into the trap of eating it like a sandwich — the filling is so generous you’ll need a fork. — Debbie Lee

Alan O’ Mahoney from Rí Rá Irish Pub

A lettered life


Notes on glamp


be seen, watch the game,

catch a band, ENJOY THE AMBIANCE and connect

Good in tensions

UNLV BASEBALL’S MAD, MAD COACH Life after hot wings


Visit us at and check out our website. Between editions of our Maggie Award-winning magazine, you’ll get web-exclusive stories, breaking cultural news and fresh perspectives from our writers.

M AY 2 0 1 4


Dining out Brooklyn bound: From left, Brooklyn Bowl's fried chicken dinner; potato and onion knishes; French bread pizza; chocolate egg cream


Flavor to spare With New York confidence, Brooklyn Bowl mixes nostalgic fare with homegrown originals B y D e bb i e L e e


emoaning the absence of good (insert regional specialty here) is a familiar pastime for overly proud native New Yorkers like me. For instance, I’ve stopped paying mind to any sign that advertises “New York-style” pizza; the vicious emotional roller coaster of high hopes and big letdowns is a ride I can no longer endure. A fresh-baked bialy with my Sunday morning paper? Those dreams were


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shot to hell the first time I bit into those floury ring-shaped things that some locals mistakenly call bagels. And for all the food trucks to flood our city, who do I have to pay to open a halal street meat cart? I weep at the thought that a tin foil plate of lamb and day-glo orange rice — the fuel of countless New York City businessmen, college students, and late night drunks — is a pleasure that some of you may never know.

I know what you’re thinking, and why, yes, I could use some cheese with this whine. (Unfortunately, the fresh “moozah-rell” that I love from home is hard to find out here.) But with the arrival of Brooklyn Bowl, the mouthy New Yorker in me is momentarily silenced. The hybrid bowling alley/live music venue/ restaurant, located at The Linq, is the first big project on the Strip to capitalize on the concept of modern-day Brooklyn (which is essentially, and ironically, a throwback to old-timey Brooklyn). The design is inspired by Coney Island in its freakshow-friendly, pre-war heyday, and a menu designed by Blue Ribbon’s Bruce and Eric Bromberg is an equally nostalgic match. For starters, there’s a smoked fish spread with capers, dill and dainty triangles of rye toast. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing: precious on the plate, but a salty and smoky flavor bomb on the tongue. It also satisfies my homesickness for whitefish salad on pumpernickel. If you’ve never had a knish (a kind of giant mashed potato dumpling), the potato and onion version at Blue Ribbon might be a misleading introduction. One of the more common versions sold at Jewish delis and hot dog stands is square-shaped with a dense filling and leathery crust. These are far more refined, made with almost frothy potatoes and tissue-thin pastry. The requisite dollop of deli mustard

P h oto g r a p h y S A B I N ORR

on the plate

May's foodie events you don’t want to miss

wings don’t have the same crunch, but its thick lacquering of barbecue sauce was flavorful and complex. You can order food and drinks almost anywhere within the massive, 80,000-square foot space, but anyone looking to unleash his inner Dude at the lanes will have to choose wisely. Perhaps the most bowling-friendly item is the French bread pizza, cut neatly into hand-held rectangles. I applaud the Brombergs’ decision to stay neutral in the regional pizza wars. While others are busy arguing the merits of New York versus Neapolitan versus Chicago-style pies, these cheesy, sauce-drenched bread boats — particularly the sausage and pepper-loaded San Gennaro — do not pretend to be anything more than a fresh version of a supermarket freezer aisle favorite. If I had any regrets about my recent and sour cream are also included. Despite meal, it’s that I didn’t have a chance to sammy love for tradition, it’s a successful up- ple the sweets. That’s because a chocolate date on an iconic street food. The menu egg cream that I ordered at the start of the isn’t entirely old New York — there’s an meal was entered in the system as dessert. eclectic list of offerings to suit all bar-food Sacrilege! The classic drugstore drink, lovers. Pork rinds are given the Mexican made with milk, chocolate syrup, and selttreatment with a shower of queso fresco zer, is best described as a milkshake-flaand jalapeños, and pulled-pork sliders vored soda. At Blue Ribbon, it’s served with will sate the Southern contingent. an iced tea spoon so that guests can mix Like bacon, fried chicken is an infalli- the concoction to order (the only way to ble creation that’s perfect in every form. achieve a classic foamy head at the top of At Brooklyn Bowl, the common blue- the glass). It was good, but after a one-hour plate special is made outstanding with a wait, I was expecting liquid crack. breading of matzoh crumbs and a generAlso lamentable is the fact that one ous shower of Blue Ribbon’s secret crim- must brave swarms of tourists and conson-colored spice blend. A mix of light certgoers in order to gain access to this and dark meat, smoky rags food. However, it’s a sacof fork-tender collard greens, rifice I’m willing to make. Brook lyn and a side of mashed potatoes After all, it’s only fair that I B owl with gravy isn’t revolutionary, put up with New York-style 3545 Las Vegas but it’s delicious. An order of crowds for my beloved New Blvd. S. #22 (at The Linq), smoked and baked chicken York-style food.

vegas uncork'd May 8-11 This four-day feasting extravaganza starring the world’s most acclaimed chefs also brings many events focused around libations such as wine, sake and cool cocktails. Events are scheduled at various locations including The Venetian, Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and MGM Grand. Among the gastronomic festivities are wine events, after-parties, a night market featuring chefs Mario Batali and Thomas Keller, a sushi-making and sake tasting with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, an exploration of Sicilian wines, a number of master series dinners and more. May 8-11, various Strip hotel locations, 877-8848993, whiskey experience may 20 This educational afternoon crash course in whiskey appreciation will take you from whiskey fan to whiskey connoisseur. You'll learn how to identify your own tasting profile; enjoy a flight of at least five specialty whiskeys tailored to your palate; and get a personalized certificate of completion. At the Freakin' Frog, $75, 702-2176794, ice cream festival May 24 This festival geared toward ice cream-loving kids will feature huge, almost fearfully large, in fact, scoops of ice cream being served up in a merciless frenzy of frozen flavor-blasts. Along with admission to the festival, guests will also get half-off museum and gallery admission. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 4 and younger are admitted free. Springs Preserve members receive half-off admission. Springs Preserve, $5-$8,

702-862-2695, vegas.brooklyn M AY 2 0 1 4


Whether you’re toasting a milestone, sipping on a date night or sealing the deal, raise a glass to your new favorite drinking spots

Written by A ndrew Kiraly, Rob Miech, Molly O'Donnell, Pj Perez, Jennifer Prosser,

James P. Reza, Lissa Townsend Rodgers, Steve Sebelius, Sarah Jane Woodall

M AY 2 0 1 4



Fizz This glacial, future-luxe cathedral of shimmer and swank looks like a cocktail bar designed by C3PO, but its true origins are decidedly more terrestrial: Fizz is the brainchild of filmmaker David Furnish. Makes sense, given the cinematic verve of Fizz’s mansion ceilings and gleaming ovoid fixtures. If you want to mark a milestone with some theatrically posh bubbly among your closest friends, Fizz is the place for memory-making, with a menu that ranges from inspired variations on the champagne cocktail to drinkable desserts (the peanut butter-and-jelly Hercules) to one-percenter energy drinks (Fizz Deluxe, a $2,500 Dom Perignon-based brew topped with a

gold-dusted rose petal). Yes, it’s a hangover, but take solace in the fact that it’s a thousand-dollar hangover. AK Caesars Palace, 702-776-3200,

Aces & Ales

birthday, new job or the fact it’s finally Friday. Large rooms are available for private parties and special events. JH 3740 S. Nellis Blvd., 702-4367600; 2801 N. Tenaya Way, 702638-2337,


There’s no need to argue over a few pitchers of crappy beer when you party at Aces & Ales, home to more than 150 different types of bottled craft beer ranging from casual favorites like Sierra Nevada to higher-end brews (hello, Firestone Walker and Goose Island). That’s not to mention the 50 tap beers on constant rotation and a generous tequila and cocktail menu. Community seating is encouraged at long, high tables; feel free to mix and mingle, inviting others to celebrate your

There’s just something about being smack-dab in the middle of the Palms that makes party-times even party-timesier. You’ll feel like the center of the buzz in this gleaming bar that offers the best whiskey drinks this side of, well, anywhere. The staff is attentive; the seating, comfy and chic and full of little nooks, even though the bar’s presented as a centerpiece attraction. Dress to the nines and raise many a glass to that new promotion, birthday or engagement. JP Inside the Palms, 702-933-9900,


Atomic LiQuors

Atomic Liquors' Strawberry Fields

With free parking, an enormous bar, and indoor and outdoor seating, Atomic Liquors has few downtown competitors when it comes to throwing a party. But the joint’s spaciousness wouldn’t mean a thing if you couldn’t get a delicious cocktail or locally brewed beer when you want it. Atomic has that all sewn up, too. No matter the size of the crowd, friendly bartenders speedily serve up everything from Dark and Stormys to Tenaya Creeks at prices that all in tow can swing. Cheers: The Strawberry Fields ($10) is a mouth-watering concoction of gin, Campari, ginger, basil, and fresh strawberry that will have you channeling John Lennon all night. MO 917 Fremont St., 702-982-3000,


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Sometimes you want your celebration to involve something special, something a little fancier, pricier, more decorous than usual, where you wash the car and wear your good shoes. But sometimes you just want to have a bunch of drinks, shout over a band and do shots. Thus, the Double Down. Gatherings here tend to be casual and impromptu, but make up in execution what they may lack in planning. The people you invited are there, along with the guy from Portland you just met and the Dutch tourist you were talking to earlier, as well as a bunch of bikers who are celebrating a birthday and some clowns … no, really, a bunch of people in clown makeup. The next day, you’ll have a few strange stories, a handful of vaguely incriminating photographs and a slight headache. And isn’t that how the day after the party should be? LTR 4640 Paradise Road, 702-7915775,

s t r aw b e r r y f i e l d s p h ot o : c h r i s t o p h e r s m i t h

Double Down Saloon

Be seen

Gold Spike


The Barrymore

g o l d s p i k e p h ot o : c h r i s t o p h e r s m i t h

The swank feel of this classy — and classic — bar and restaurant recalls the days of the Rat Pack; Frank, Sammy and Dino would feel right at home amid the intimate environs decorated with golden movie reels and mirrors. We’re most at home, however, in the luxurious outdoor patio, The Barrymore’s conversation piece of conversation pieces; the stylish set come out in droves, so pick up a martini and a shrimp cocktail and be seen. JP 99 Convention Center Drive, 702-407-5303,

Petrossian It’s no accident that this elevated lounge is located adjacent to the hotel lobby — with its chic European feel and Steinway grand piano, Petrossian’s guests were meant to be showcased. Jet-setters come here for quick business meetings, caviar cocktails and tea service every afternoon from 1-4 p.m. There are a

few semi-private rooms here but, for maximum exposure, sit by the piano. In the evenings, nothing less than cocktail attire will do. JP Bellagio, 702-693-7111,


The Rum Runner Lounge With décor from the mid-’80s that’s not going anywhere anytime soon, the Rum Runner is hardly highbrow. That’s because there’s only one thing they care about: sports. Traditionally a Cheesehead bar, this time of year, you can catch basketball, baseball and even hockey. If you’re lucky, the regular bartender Garth might even take a shine to you and comp your already dirt-cheap drinks. Cheers: This isn’t the kind of place that puts a twist of ginger in your drink, so order up a satisfying $3 mug of beer or a well whiskey Coke. MO 1801 E. Tropicana Ave., 702-736-6366,

Despite what you might’ve heard, the Gold Spike is much more than a Zappos hangout. Yes, the young and fun crowd’s there on the regular playing life-sized Connect Four, but so are 30- and 40-somethings out for a night on the town. Endless seating options — from comfy indoor chairs to a kitschy-cool patio — and an open floor plan make it the perfect place to spot people you know or meet those you don’t. You could run into your next business partner while pool-sharking or spy the future love of your life perched on a barstool. Cheers: With a whole wall of self-serve hot sauce, you’d be a fool not to do a DIY michelada, so order your favorite lager with lime and go to town. MO 217 Las Vegas Blvd N., 702-476-1082,

Hofbrauhaus This keen replica of the legendary Munich brewhouse is a choice spot to take in a Deutschland World Cup match (especially on June 26, when the U.S. plays Germany). The huge beer garden will be cool compared to the outside swelter, and feature large-screen TVs. On May 25, only the Hotel de Paris will offer better viewing of the Monaco Grand Prix; here, however, you’ll preserve your eardrums and have the luxury of replays for the exotic Formula One race. Six varieties of kegs are shipped in from Germany and the steins are deep, so savor every sip. The sauerbraten and schnitzel are just as authentic. Bitte. RM 4510 Paradise Road, 702-853-2337,

The LVH Twenty-eight giant screens and a massive 15-by-20-foot job make the SuperBook, the largest sports book in the world, a superb destination M AY 2 0 1 4


So I'm at T his Bar ...


The most ADD-addled spot I’ve visited in ADD-everywhere Vegas is Tony Hsieh’s Gold Spike bar. It’s an odd place, a casual workspace by day and a watering hotel by night, where people are prone to distractions and having the creative “collisions” that Hsieh values so much. If Vegas celebrates the fact that you don’t have to care or commit about things, Gold Spike is where you can not care or commit while underdressed. I visited one night with magazine writer Michael Kaplan. Hsieh recognized me and asked if we wanted Fireball shots. Sure, I replied. Then I noticed a familiar face with a crazy story: Lenny Barshack was once declared dead after a heart attack, but was resuscitated. He was very much alive when I met him in New York, and he crushed the poker game I played in for weeks. He’s a fun guy who was in Vegas to see about maybe investing downtown, and seeing him was the kind of chance occurrence to celebrate. But after a quick conversation, I was over it. I saw other friends, we went to a different bar and I came back without anybody at Gold Spike even noticing. Barshack was telling Kaplan about some story idea. I hotel, after another happy night of not believing in fate. Oh, and minutes after Hsieh saw me, he got sidetracked and walked outside with somebody else. He never bought those shots. — Andy Wang

for any NFL Sunday. Drinks are still comped if you bet, an evaporating trend around town. The LVH increases its cachet with its 1,700-seat surround-sound theater, where they show up to 10 games. That’s Football Central. The usual beers and hot dogs are two bucks apiece. It’s just far enough from the Strip to avoid the amateur-hour antics of Joe Tourist. It’s easy in, easy out. And manager Jay Kornegay is without peer for the wagering opportunities his crew provides and for being approachable. Inquire about his Broncos at your own peril. RM 3000 Paradise Road, 702-7325111,

Yard House The parched need look no further than this glorious establishment


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and its 100-plus beer taps. That includes the elusive Longboard, which transports me to Waimea Bay and the Eddie big-wave contest in memory of Eddie Aikau. Three dozen TV screens offer views of sporting contests from every angle of the expansive room. There are three Yard Houses in the valley, but this is no cookie-cutter joint. My favorite location, in Town Square, boasts several ciders and even has two beers for the gluten-challenged. The menu features entrees such as miso-glazed sea bass and ginger-crusted Norwegian salmon. But the fried chicken breast, served over spinach-corn mashed potatoes and bourbon gravy, turns common fare into a delicacy. RM 6593 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-734-9273,

Born and Raised Owned by a cadre of native Las Vegans, BAR is the city’s best (if not only) sports bar and grill built for fans of Runnin’ Rebel basketball (and any other UNLV sport lucky enough to be televised). Rebel mem-

orabilia adorns most wall space not flashed-up by one of the dozens of flat-screens. During college hoops season, every one of those screens is showcasing the Rebels, for better or worse. In a city where almost everyone maintains an allegiance to a team “back home,” it’s nice to have a spot where locals can gather and scream at the TV. And when the game hurts, there’s plenty of quality grub for you to emotionally eat. Cheers: With 20 beers on tap and 18 more by the bottle, the choice is amber. JPR 7250 S. Cimarron Road, 702-685-0258,

C r ow n & A n c h o r a n d M o n e y P l ay s : c h r i s t o p h e r s m i t h ; B e e r Ta p s c o u r t e s y o f T h e ya r d h o u s e ; B o u l e va r d P o o l C o u r t e s y o f T h e c o s m o p o l i ta n o f L a s V e g a s

didn’t see anybody else I recognized, so I went back to my

Watch the game

Crown & Anchor British pub

Club flags and uniforms hang from the A-frame beams here, the only spot for major futbol matches, from a Manchester derby (United v. City, and it’s pronounced darby) to the Three Lions (the English national team) in the upcoming World Cup. Arrive early for a seat, especially if you hanker for a steak and kidney pie, bangers and mash, or the staple fish and chips. Fuller’s London Pride from the tap is a treat; the ale is rare enough by the bottle. The Scotch egg is delectable and can be enjoyed standing up in tight confines — when nothing should shock your ears. A Scottish kiss? Hear those words and run like hell. RM 1350 E. Tropicana Ave., 702-739-8676,

Clockwise from lower left: taps at the Yard House; sports fans at Crown & Anchor; live music at Money Plays; a concert at the Boulevard Pool


Boulevard Pool The Boulevard Pool provides a sort of full-surround sensory overkill that adds an extra dimension to shows and excuses less-fabulous aspects (imperfect sound; pricey drinks), whatever band is playing. The location above the Strip puts you on-level with the Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower, the top of the Bellagio fountains and The Cosmopolitan’s giant Blade Runner-like sign, with the dark blue desert sky stretching above. The bands that play there tend to lend themselves to the extravagance of the setting — the Queens of the Stone Age and their soaring, epic rock; New Order’s glorious post-modern multimedia dance party; the Flaming Lips and their upbeat, whimsical floor show — raining

beach balls and confetti down onto Las Vegas Boulevard traffic with no ill effects. LTR The Cosmopolitan, 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-698-7000,

Money Plays Humble stalwart Money Plays is as no-nonsense as watering holes come: It’s basically a functional envelope of strip-mall space containing a kingsize bar with a complement of 100 bottled beers — from Rolling Rock to Rogue Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale — and 20 taps. It’s a friendly weekday stop-and-sip magnet for regulars, but Thursdays and Fridays, Money Plays hosts an 8 p.m. open mic organized (and painstakingly recorded, filmed and produced) by

scenester superhero Mike Ziethlow of This is the place to catch serious music-scene talent, from strum-happy indie elves to blingdrenched crunk-rock crews. Second Saturdays feature artists hand-plucked from the open-mic scrum. Either way, it’s all music to your beers. AK 4755 W. Flamingo Road, 702-368-1828,

Hard Rock Live on the Strip The Dandy Warhols, Kid Meets Cougar, James … these are bands you could glimpse from the way-wayback of The Cosmo’s Boulevard Pool. If that’s wearing on you, check out the lineup at the Hard Rock Live (Black Flag’s coming, who knew?). This airy M AY 2 0 1 4



West Wing Bar Deep in the bowels of the MGM behemoth lurks a hidden gem, a quiet oasis of refinement and solitude, far away from the madding crowds of lions and strollers and vomiting party girls. The West Wing Bar is tucked away near the northwest corner of the hotel, a bastion of old-school class inexplicably languishing mere feet from the Strip, at the end of an alley behind M&Ms World. The vibe is low-key 1960s bachelor pad — plenty of comfy mid-mod-style sofas, and jazz playing at just the right volume to allow for the lost art of long, rambling conversations. Cheers: Make like a Mad Man with a good old-fashioned Old Fashioned ($12). SJW MGM Grand, 702-891-8521,


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Artifice We can’t put a finger on why this place feels so comfortable and lived-in just a few years after launch, but it does. The historic location — in a 1950s electrical supply warehouse also once used as a laundry for the Lady Luck Casino — can’t hurt. Neither does the rustic, artsy interior. And with its huge dance floor/stage/performance space set aside from the main bar, Artifice does a great job of being something to almost everyone. The bar hosts a variety of DJ events, theme nights, artsy classes, spoken word and, yes, live music. We’ve seen everything here from indie rock to experimental jazz, from Tippy Elvis to The Clydesdale. Cheers: Artifice appears a whiskey and beer kind of place, but there’s a small menu of tasty cocktails as well. JPR 1025 S. First St. #100, 702-489-6339,

the broken-hearted. Weekend evenings bring in karaoke and a rowdier crowd. But a loaded housewife doing a wandering-pitch rendition of “Strangers in the Night” might be just the thing to fill any awkward conversational pauses. LTR 3557 S. Maryland Parkway, 702-737-1699

Champagne’s Café

Huntridge Tavern

Champagne’s Café has always felt like the kind of place where two hoods get together to plan a hit in a Scorsese movie — velvet wallpaper, dim lighting, Dino giving way to Creedence on the jukebox. Even if your chat is of a less sinister nature (and let’s hope it is), Champagne’s still makes an excellent backdrop for swapping stories or consoling

We all try to come up with a classier favorite when asked by out-of-towners, but it’s hard to beat the Tavern. It’s a neighborhood bar that on any night of the week could be serving a mess of punk-rock cyclists, a theater group getting out of rehearsal, or a bunch of old-timers barely holding down barstools. More often than not, though, the place will have an empty booth

waiting and a cold round of the world’s cheapest Long Island iced teas ready to go. Cheers: Don’t make a rookie mistake by ordering anything but a $2 beer or $3 well drink. MO 122 E. Charleston Blvd., 702-384-7377

McMullan’s Irish Pub The home to the valley’s best trivia night (Tuesdays 8 p.m.) is a great gathering spot to get together and catch up over a great pint and a plate of Irish nachos. Hole up in a cozy nook and shoot the breeze, but rest assured, you won’t be forgotten — the attentive waitstaff always seem to know when you’re ready for the next round. JP 4650 W. Tropicana Ave. #110, 702-247-7000,

Artifice: Brent Holmes

venue books local and national bands and has a spacious balcony overlooking the Strip. The sound and lights are always spot-on, but the best part is that it’s almost never crowded. This means you can get up close and personal with your favorite bands and potentially even have room to dance. Remember dancing at shows? Cheers: The drinks will probably not rock your world as much as your wallet; go for their $12 strong-pour mojito to get your money’s worth. MO 3771 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-733-7625,

Friendly and intimate, this gathering spot is H ave a conversation perfect for meeting up after work and sampling cocktails — the drinks, such as Señor Pooh Bear, (a margarita with a honey-powder rim) are top-notch, and served by genuinely genial bartenders. Well-suited to conversation, the bar, tables and booths are set up to maximize connectivity. Whether you’ve come for a quick bite or plan to kvetch into the wee hours, this is the place to do it. JP Panorama Towers, 4515 Dean Martin Drive, 702-430-4444,

The Blind Pig

The Blind Pig: Jakob Mccarthy

Herbs & Rye This building bleeds old Vegas. We’re thankful, then, that Nectaly Mendoza rescued it from a series of ill-advised runs as a video poker joint, reclaiming what was once the Ruvo family’s old school Venetian Ristorante and turning it into this wonderful Italian steakhouse and classic cocktail bar. Even before several recent aesthetic tweaks, H&R’s lounge was a stellar spot to meet for a chat. Now that the TVs and the DJ booth have been permanently removed in favor of a listenable mix of period-correct swing and jazz, there might not be a better off-Strip spot for a second date or business meeting. Cheers: While we deeply dig the Hemingway (a hand-mixed daiquiri, natch) our fave libation is the sneakily potent Ford, a turn-of-the-20thcentury orange-tinged gin martini variant. JPR 3713 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-8036,

Above, The Blind Pig; right, Herbs & Rye


Tower Suite Bar Sneak a peek into the lives of the One Percent at this swanky, old-school lobby bar located at the base of the snooty Wynn Hotel’s even snootier VIP tower. Sip a cocktail surrounded by lush potted palms, gleaming brass fixtures and gorgeous mosaics, and watch the comings and goings of the Other Half — bluebloods and capitalist kingpins and high-class escorts, oh my. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a reality TV star or celebrity athlete — but the real fun is watching the wealthy crones of the Old Guard turn up their man-made noses at these nouveau riche poseurs. Cheers: Drown your ennui in a classic martini ($12). If you ask nicely,

the bartender might even add a dash of Botox. SJW Wynn Las Vegas, 702-770-7000,

The Saloon at Bonnie Springs Ranch When you’re all Vegased out, head to the western edge of town, past the last subdivision, and follow Blue Diamond Road through the canyon to Bonnie Springs Ranch — a weathered wooden relic from a bygone age, when men were men and their M AY 2 0 1 4


The Lady Silvia Walls of gilded book spines surround an array of brocade chairs set on a black and white checkerboard floor in this dimly lit lounge. A little hideaway inside SoHo Lofts, The Lady Silvia’s perfect for sipping a cocktail and soaking up the sparkling speakeasy atmosphere. Patrons are as likely to be treated to a live DJ spinning spacey dance music or Nina Simone softly singing in the background. That’s the surprise of this chicly re-imagined Korova Milk Bar aes-

thetic: You never know what you’ll find. Cheers: The Sidecar ($11) with its citrusy homage to cognac will make you want to move in for good. MO 900 Las Vegas Blvd. S. #140, 702-405-0816,

Rio Las Vegas Wine Cellar & Tasting Room Improbable but true: There’s a drafty, stone-brick Italianate wine cellar buried in the rum-drunk neon-feathered treehouse that is the Rio, which causes brain-hurt if you think about it too much. But going from clamor to calm is part of the pleasure of spiraling down the staircase into the couches, cubbies and bottle-stocked cloisters of this hideaway. Other pleasures: a flight menu in a range of prices and themes — try The Tango for a tour of lively South American reds, or plunge into the Shiraz/Syrah menu for four glasses of fruit-forward fun — and polite, efficient service from soft-spoken waiters who know to let the wine do the talking. AK Rio, 3700 W. Flamingo Road, 702-777-7962,

Below, Lady Silvia's sidecar; opposite page, the patio at Bar + Bistro

Enjoy the A mbiance

Gaudí Bar

Yes, it’s a casino bar. But at what other casino bar are you going to feel like you’re being bear-hugged by a psychedelic jellyfish from another dimension? Constructed in homage to Antoni Gaudí, the Spanish architect whose melted-waxwork buildings followed a strange music all their own, the Gaudí Bar commands the Sunset Station casino floor like an undulating, radioactive mushroom. Okay, so Gaudí considered his buildings to be avatars of his deep meditations on nature and God; the Gaudí Bar is anything but. But it is an avatar of delightfully frivolous, fruity and oversweet $5 happy-hour novelty martinis (the blue one tastes like puréed bananas, the pink one like tropical Lifesaver soup) — and with each successive sip, the ceiling breathes deeper. Of course. AK Sunset Station, 1301 W. Sunset Road, 888-786-7389,


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G au d í B a r : Ja ko b m cc a rt h y; S i d e c a r : c h r i sto p h e r s m i t h

showgirl wives retired to the boonies to open dude ranches. Aside from its petting zoo and Old West shtick, Bonnie Springs also offers a classic frontier-style saloon, complete with sawdust floors and dollar bills stapled to the ceiling, and a wood-burning stove in the corner for those frosty winter nights. After a few beers, you won’t even feel like you’re in this century, let alone Vegas. Cheers: It’s a saloon; what else but a shot of whiskey ($5) with a beer back ($4)? SJW 16395 Bonnie Springs Road, 702-875-4191,

So I'm at T his Bar ... LUCK

Seahorse Lounge at Caesars Palace

To protect the guilty, I will not speak of what is my most prominent Vegas bar moment: a now legendary morning where, without the benefit of last call, the line between early morning and late evening blurs when two abundantly attractive young ladies coerced themselves into unspeakable acts with one another to the surprise of the mostly sober onlookers. Instead, I’ll reminisce of how we won our daughter in pure Las Vegas fashion — gambling at a local’s bar.

One of the few venues at Caesars that hasn’t been revamped, the architecturally stunning Seahorse Lounge is a source for both wonderment and merriment. The wonderment comes in the form of a 1,700-gallon centerpiece aquarium filled with Australian potbelly seahorses; your visit alone could be spent watching these entrancing animals gracefully float through the water. The merriment comes in one of the best specialty cocktail lists in town. JP Caesars Palace, 702-731-7778,

Bar+Bistro: Brent Holmes

Bar + Bistro It’s hard to beat a place with a patio, and the Arts District’s Bar + Bistro boasts a big one, complete with a fire/ conversation pit and various chairs and tables (both sunny and under cover) where you can get cozy with your Stella and, hey, if you’re feeling it, grab some grub. Some lean toward the vegetarian paella, but we pre-

You see, NYE weekend 2006 we were supposed to bring home our baby bulldog; however, when the breeder wouldn’t accept our check, we battled ATM limits and limited holiday weekend bank access trying to scrounge up the cash. We eventually ended up at the gone-but-not-forgotten Winner’s Circle where, as a semi-regular, I thought they’d easily extend me a line. Alas, because of the holiday they were short-stacked, too. Sticking around for Jäger and beers, I took a foray into Caveman Keno, with the hopes of a jackpot. Losses accumulated until, toward the tail end of the run, when, with little money left to gamble, it happened: a 6-spot with two eggs. Not a life-altering win, but more than enough to bankroll the puppy pick-up. And while it’s the only time I’ve ever hit on Caveman, it certainly couldn’t have been more timely with the greatest win ever — our daughter Dixie. — Jim Begley

fer a plate of fresh roasted pig from the wood-burning spit, which when it’s spinning infuses the entire joint with a lazy luau vibe (not to mention a glorious wood aroma). Pair that with bluegrass by locals Out of the Desert, or perhaps a little accordion music, and you have a perfect Sunday spot to sort out what happened last night. Cheers: The Bloody Marys are magnificent; try yours with beer as a Michelada Preparada. JPR 107 E. Charleston Blvd. #155, 702-202-6060,

Peppermill We’ll admit we’re not fans of the TVs inexplicably hung everywhere (here’s hoping that those over the sunken conversation pit eventually disappear). But not much “Old Vegas” remains, on the Strip or anywhere, so it’s nice that this velvety make-out pad still swings like the 1970s never stopped. Gas up the Caddy, grab your honey, park in the back (being certain it’s the Peppermill lot!), and slide in the rear entrance like a made man. What’s this? Neon-lit mirrors and ferns? A water-filled fire pit? Servers in classy cocktail dresses? Yes, yes, yes! Cheers: The fishbowl-sized Scorpion is perfect for snuggling and sharing. JPR 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-735-4177,

Mandarin Bar Up, up and away from the bustle and Strip hustlers, this lobby bar is the choice spot for peering down at the crazies and thinking, “Ah, but for the grace of the Mandarin Oriental, there go I.” Located 23 stories up the eerily serene hotel (yes, that’s where the lobby is), the Mandarin Bar plants a previously unseen level of urbane sophistication on the M AY 2 0 1 4



Strip. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide the kind of glorious vantage normally reserved for boisterous nightclubs — without the lines or the shots of Fireball. You’ll want to spruce up a bit before coming here, but it’s well worth the effort. Luxurious, pricey, and upscale. JPR CityCenter, 3752 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-580-8888,


It’s hard to believe that a bar hosting daring DJs and live indie rock has emerged as a great networking spot, but it has. Perhaps it’s the Rabbit’s location, clearly downtown but away from manic Fremont East. Maybe it’s the bar’s “backyard” patio, or its wood shutters lifted to invite the sunlight inside. Or, the purposeful and deep beer menu. Whatever it is, this Arts District craft cocktail bar attracts all number of attorneys, media types and downtown suits almost every weeknight during happy hour, when well drinks are an easy five bucks. It seems like at least once a week, some downtown office or meet-up group has made Velveteen Rabbit the designated spot for an after-work social. Time to make it yours. JPR 1281 S. Main St., 702-685-9645,


Charlie Palmer Steak


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West Wing Cigar Lounge The city’s newest cigar bar has only been open for a few weeks, but already it’s become a gathering spot for people looking to relax as well as do business. Fashioned in a political theme, complete with a mini-Oval Office replica, the lounge boasts a growing cigar selection, a top-notch drink menu obviously curated by an expert, and a friendly, welcoming staff. Leather couches and chairs offer enough privacy for important conversations, but enough openness to enjoy the room. A small but delicious dinner menu

means you won’t have to leave to get a good meal, either. Cheers: First, try a Scotch (they’ve got plenty) and then chase it with a Turkish coffee. SS 4265 S. Durango Drive, 702-901-4222, westwingcigar

Gordon Biersch The Las Vegas outpost of this chain has been around for a long time, and it’s not hard to see why: The oldest Sin City outlet is conveniently located in the power-drenched Howard Hughes Center, a natural gathering place for lawyers and consultants with offices nearby. It’s also a cen-

V e lv e t e e n R a b b i t : J a k o b M c c a r t h y

It’s the ultimate steakhouse bar, complete with dark wood paneling, master craftsmen mixing the drinks and the smells of delicious meat wafting in from the restaurant. The bar at Charlie Palmer Steak is quick and convenient; you can use the Four Seasons valet for easy-in, easy-out access, but the convenience doesn’t come at the price of quality. There may be more people checking out the Four Seasons new indoor/outdoor venue Press, but skip that, head to the bar at Charlie Palmer’s and get yourself an old-school martini. SS 3960 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-632-5120,

Hangar 24 Beer Event

Total Wine & More, May 3 Having a passion for flying and good beer and conversation, master brewer Ben Cook was inspired to open Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redlands, Calif., during a friendly gathering of his flying buddies, where he broke out some of his homebrewed beer. At this tasting event led by a brewery expert, guests can experience a lineup of a dozen Hangar 24 beers: Orange Wheat, Amarillo, Alt-bier, Betty IPA, Double IPA, Chocolate Porter, Local Fields Palmero, Local Field Vinaceous, Local Fields Essence, Barrel Roll Immelmann, Barrel Roll Hammerhead and Barrel Roll Pugechev Cobra. May 3, 1 p.m., $20; 730 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-933-8740; search “hangar 24”

Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour

The Mirage, May 3 Meet and mingle with many winery owners and winemakers when more than 200 of the finest wineries in the world gather to pour their best wines. All wines are Wine Spectator Magazine’s top-scoring selections. A light buffet will be available to complement your evening of tasting, and a souvenir Riedel tasting glass is included. May 3, 7-10 p.m., $225; Mirage hotel-casino; grandtour.

Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit

Various venues, May 8-11 This four-day feasting extravaganza starring the world’s most acclaimed chefs also brings many events focused around libations such as wine, sake and cool cocktails. Events

Sip, swirl and savor Spirited events around the valley

are scheduled at various locations including The Venetian, Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and MGM Grand. Among the gastronomic festivities are wine events, after-parties, a night market featuring chefs Mario Batali and Thomas Keller, a sushi-making and sake tasting with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, an exploration of Sicilian wines, a number of master series dinners and more. May 8-11, various Strip hotel locations, 877-884-8993,

Lee’s 8th Annual Beer & Tequila Experience

LVH, May 10

This annual event offers guests the opportunity to taste more than 300 handcrafted beers and 70 of the finest tequilas. Also available will be an array of food items from several buffet stations, a silent auction and live music. All net proceeds go to Lee’s Helping Hand, nonprofit charity supporting local children’s charities, families and communities. May 10, 3-8 p.m., $50-$60; LVH hotel-casino, 3000 Paradise Road;

Champagne & Chefs The Capital Grille, May 16

Enjoy an afternoon of champagne and cuisine created by David Sacco, executive chef of The Capital Grille. Part of the 2014 Las Vegas Wine & Food Festival, which benefits the James Beard Foundation, this walk-around tasting

event hosted by Robin Leach will feature a sirloin carving station that includes balsamic caramelized onions and house-made horseradish sauce; tomato and mozzarella crostini; and tuna tartare on English cucumber. Also available will be beer, wine, champagne and spirits. May 16, noon-3 p.m.; Capital Grille in the Fashion Show Mall; search “champagne chefs”

Sin City Beer Festival

Ellis Island Brewery & Casino, May 17 Part of the Las Vegas Wine & Food Festival, this event held in support of local nonprofit charities including Three Square food bank takes place both inside the brewery and outdoors. During this tasting event, guests can enjoy more than 30 kinds of beers — ales, lagers and microbrews — and have the option of requesting a sample taste or a full cup of their favorite brews. May 17, 8 p.m.-11 p.m., $55-$85; Ellis Island Brewery & Casino, 4178 Koval Lane;

Wine Walk

Town Square, May 17 This event is hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits and Lee’s Discount Liquor in support of local charity New Vista, which assists and empowers the intellectually challenged. Guests can sample up to 20 different wines and enjoy live music during this threehour wine sampling that includes your own wine

glass. May 17, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., $25-$30; Town Square;

Tequila Dinner Cantina Laredo

Tivoli Village, May 21

Enjoy modern Mexican fare complemented by Milagro tequila when Cantina Laredo hosts the restaurant’s quarterly tequila dinner. Guests can enjoy a fourcourse meal crafted by Chef Damon Workman, paired with a smooth selection of Milagro tequila. Cantina Laredo and Milagro representatives guide guests through each pairing, providing insight on food and beverage, key ingredients and successful pairings. May 21, 7 p.m.; $49.99; Tivoli Village; 702-202-4511

Brews & Blues Festival

Springs Preserve, May 31

Now in its fifth year, the Brews & Blues Festival features numerous local, regional, domestic and international brewers serving up more than 60 craft beers, while guests wander through the national historic site listening to live blues. Performing this year are Chris Zemba & The Late Shift Band, John Earl’s Boogieman Band and Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues. May 31, 4 p.m.-8 p.m., $35-$75; Springs Preserve,

Wine Walk

The Village in Lake Las Vegas, May 31 Receive your own wine glass and enjoy sampling up to 20 different

wines at stations set up at shops and restaurants in The Village. The wines are provided by Southern Wine & Spirits and Lee’s Discount Liquor in support of New Vista charity organization, which helps the intellectually challenged. May 31, 7 p.m., $25-$30 at the door; 30 Strada di Villaggio, Henderson;

Big Dog’s Summer Beerfest

Big Dog’s Brewing Co., July 20

This fundraising beer fest and music party features 50-plus beers from around the region and world; barbecued St. Louis-style rib and Southern-style fried chicken platters by Chef Sergio; live reggae music throughout the evening by locals Coconut & The Clue and The Pulsar Reggae Band; prize raffles and more. A portion of the event’s proceeds support the Patrick Kelley Youth Foundation of Las Vegas. July 20, 6 p.m., free admission and pay as you go with 10 tokens for $10 valid inside and out; 4543 N. Rancho Drive,

Sweet Wines: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Total Wine & More, July 24

This wine tasting and seminar features eight varietiesthat have been crafted in different areas throughout the world. From the noble Riesling grapes that thrive in Germany, to Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley, to Moscato and Semillon, guests will have an opportunity to explore and learn about these delectable wines and may just discover a new favorite that will satisfy their urge for something sweet. July 24, 6:30 p.m., $20; 730 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas;

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trally located meeting spot for politicos coming from opposite ends of the valley. The eponymous beer is always a good choice, but there’s a fully stocked bar if you want something stronger, and a menu that ranges from artery-clogging death all the way to live-forever healthy. SS 3987 Paradise Road, 702-312-5247,

the Capital Grille Only in Las Vegas could a mall be a political meeting place, but then again, only in Las Vegas will you find one of the top steakhouse chains sitting comfortably over the Strip. The curving, narrow bar doesn’t boast the restaurant’s beautiful views of the Wynn, Encore or the Palazzo, but it has been a gathering spot for politicos for a long time. Regulars know to either use the

The Chaplin at Downtown Cocktail Room

valet, or to find a parking spot in the mall’s garage near one of the elevators that take patrons up the back way, closest to the bar, where one can enter and leave without striding through the restaurant. The bartenders here are attentive and good at their job, whether it’s a busy Friday night or a quiet Wednesday afternoon. SS 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-932-6631,

McCormick & Schmick’s It’s the bar where the infamous 2006 incident in which then-Congressman Jim Gibbons (a future one-term Nevada governor) was accused of trying to sexually assault cocktail waitress Chrissy

So I'm at T his Bar ... PRANK It was a Saturday night at the Double Down Saloon — busy, noisy, more tourists than locals. This was six or seven years ago — which is important, because the Commander’s Palace Las Vegas was still open. Which is important because the essential, animating prop for the prank came from the kitchen of this legendary restaurant: a pig’s head. Well, more like a pig’s face, but, regardless, it was an object out of a nightmare. One of the bartenders worked in the CP kitchen and had taken it with him at shift’s end, figuring he’d find some use for it. And so for an hour or two, several of us sat at the far end of the bar, and with each round the more imperative it became that we not leave the horrifying potential of this object unexploited. But what to do? Prop it up behind the bar? Too simple. Throw it at the band? Too unpredictable. Parade it through the bar like Lord of the Flies? Too referential and too removed. This thing needed something up close, with the element of surprise. And that’s how we decided to put it in the ladies’ room toilet. We cased the bathroom line for the right target — out-of-town twentysomething with a designer purse and “I’m so slumming” aura — and put our decoy (one of the roller derby girls) into the line behind her. We arranged for one

Mazzeo began. The popular seafood chain’s bar is actually kind of small compared to the rest of the restaurant, but it’s an excellent happy-hour meeting place for the Hughes Center crowd anyway. There are seats at the bar, tables and cozy booths. Although the décor suggests tradition (mahogany, brass, stained glass) the bar serves up trendy cocktails as well as oldschool stuff. SS 335 Hughes Center Drive, 702-836-9000,

Downtown Cocktail Room A bar that took a chance long before moved into City Hall or the Fremont East area even existed, DCR, as it’s known, is a great place to meet with lawyers, local government officials, or consultants after work. You may even catch a glimpse of downtown’s major domo, Zappos chief Tony Hsieh, whose love affair with downtown is said to have begun in this very bar. Specialty cocktails are a must when you drink here. Let your bartender be your guide. SS 111 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-880-3696,

in a T-shirt) at just the right time. I stood behind the pig-ee, waited for the woman to go in and … … A scream cut through the din of the hardcore band as the woman hurled herself out of the

Triple George

bathroom door! “It’s — my God! Ewwww!” I put on my best concerned face and soothing tone. “What is it? What’s wrong?” “A — pig! You’ve gotta — ” She waved me in and pointed toward the toilet, refusing to move closer or even look at it. Dear lord, it was horrible. The awful red snout, the sharp fangs sticking out one side of the mouth, the beady eyes staring up out of the white porcelain bowl. I made sure to wipe the smile off of my face before I looked back up at the woman, who was wringing her hands by the door. “You’d better go tell the bartender what you found in here …” — Lissa Townsend Rodgers


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The bar is the main feature of this downtown watering hole, a see-andbe-seen area that shares space with private dining booths for more sensitive meetings. It’s a great spot for the happy-hour crowd from downtown’s

The Chaplin: Brent Holmes

of the gentlemen in our party to pass by on his way to the men’s and hand off the head (wrapped


Hyde Bellagio

H y d e B e l l a g i o c o u r t e s y o f MGM r e s o r t s i n t e r n a t i o n AL

The name, of course, like any clever place worth checking out, is a pun. Hyde Bellagio is a patio bar hidden behind the Bellagio fountain, but the bar is also the Strip’s laidback alter-ego. The white canvas furniture and greenery make you feel like you’re in the Hamptons instead of the sleek house that Wynn built. Arrive before 10 p.m. and skip the cover charge, the scene and being seen. After a couple different water shows and a few drinks, your inner Hyde may be tempted to reveal itself, but that’s okay, no one can see you. Cheers: $17 might be steep for a Bellini, but it’s pretty cheap for the experience of being beamed to another place and time. MO 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-693-8700,

legal and government sectors, even as it’s seen a greater influx of tourists since the renovation and open of the adjacent Downtown Grand. The menu is unchanging, save for the specials, which are always excellent. (The “Downtown Wings” are the hidden secret: They’re among the best in the valley.) Wash them down with beer, or a glass of wine from the corner wine cabinet. SS 201 N. Third St., 702-384-2761,

Morton’s An expanded bar in this steakhouse at Flamingo and Paradise roads was a welcome addition for political types who like to see before they’re seen. (People just entering from out-

side, especially before sunset, haven’t had time to allow their eyes to adjust to the low light inside.) The bar is ridiculously well-stocked, the happy hour menu is top-notch, and there’s a wine tower in the corner to tempt you to drink more, or even stay for dinner. Parking requires either valet (in the front) or a short walk (in the back). They will make any drink you desire, but there’s just something about sipping a classic Scotch or a sparkling martini in a steakhouse. SS 400 E. Flamingo Road, 702-893-0703,

Hank’s The steakhouse inside the Green Valley Ranch was named for Las Vegas Sun founder and publisher Hank

Greenspun, back in the days when the Greenspun family had an interest in the casino company. All that’s left now is the name, but thankfully, the quality of the restaurant or its bar hasn’t changed. The bar is ultra-modern, with underlit tables, plenty of metal accents but an oldschool piano for live music. It’s very spacious, so there’s almost always a seat, and for Henderson-based business types, it’s extremely convenient. The martini is a specialty (they claim the finest in Las Vegas), but there are virtually no limits to what you can imbibe here. SS 2300 Paseo Verde Parkway, 702-617-7075,


Comme Ça The so-called deluxification of the Strip in recent years hasn’t changed the ground game much. In casinos, on sidewalks, at bars, the shambling masses still clutch well drinks, light beers and daiquiris in Eiffel Towers and Statues of Liberty. But there are small islands of civility and good taste on the Strip, such as at Comme Ça. Their 18A cocktail menu is a faithful throwback to Prohibition, when a nationwide federal crackdown, ironically, inspired a sort of cocktail rebellion-cum-renaissance that focused anew on craft. And craft is in full effect here — in the rich and complex Sazerac, in the bitey but smooth Gordon’s Cup, and in mischievous riffs such as the Mezcal Old Fashioned. AK The Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7910,

Press This non-gaming resort from the luxe Four Seasons brand has long been the place to get away from the ding and the bling of the Strip. Even better, the property recently accomplished M AY 2 0 1 4


a welcome freshening, and in adding the Press lounge to what was before a staid and quiet lobby, they reinvigorated their status as the place where in-the-know locals go for a quiet respite. Echoing the country club feel of the hotel’s Verandah, Press offers comfy indoor-outdoor seating replete with fire pits, couches and twinkly lights, and offers a selection of tasty small plates (including something very much like New York’s famous, trademarked Cronuts), and a menu of classic and tiki-style cocktails. Service is excellent, and happy hour prices make us even happier. JPR Four Seasons, 3960 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-632-5000,

cocktail menus, throngs of fancifully moustached hipsters or soul-crushing pop music. Enter The Hard Hat Lounge. We’re not certain if the mural-adorned, dim-and-smoky venue’s claim of being the oldest continuously operating tavern in Las Vegas is true, but we do know this: Drinks are cheap and strong (a Pabst and a shooter is always $4), charming early-evening bartender Nora remembers your libation of choice, and despite the preponderance of Fox News-tuned TVs, the atmosphere is relaxed, genial and best of all, free of the bullhonky from your workaday existence — or the outside world altogether. PJP 1675 Industrial Road, 702-384-8987,

Frankie’s Tiki Room The story of Frankie’s is well-documented: Respected bar proprietor enlists pedigreed tiki designer to remake old Vegas bar into a modern classic, tended by friendly faces who create a killer menu spotlighting both old- and new-wave rum bombs. What’s not as well known is that Frankie’s is an excellent place to disappear any time of the day or night. Maybe it’s Frankie’s stance, just-far-enough from downtown. Or perhaps the pitch-black-at-noon ambience. Or the uniquely memorable Vegas aura of perfume, tobacco and hair spray. Whatever it is, whenever we drop in, the place

Stage Door Casino The Strip does not lack for bars — every property is rife with mixology bars and piano lounges and margarita joints and Irish pubs and country saloons. But one thing you cannot find in the vast Caesars/ Harrah’s dominion is a decent dive bar. For that, you must go about 50 yards off the Strip, to the Stage Door, a classic dive. It sits in the shadow of the monorail with a mini-mart and Italian restaurant. They have Jäger shots and hot dogs and cheap beer, the game — several games — on the televisions overdubbed by a soundtrack of Journey, AC/DC and other classic FM radio rock. Hunkered down around the bar are teamsters, tourists, conventioneers, bachelor parties and bemused locals. Yes, locals, which should tell you how un-Strip the Stage Door is. LTR 4000 Audrie St., 702-733-0214


Rí Rá Hard Hat Lounge After a hard day of work — or in the middle of it, we’re not judging — sometimes you just want a drink, without dealing with inscrutable


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The Guinness (and other beers) never stop flowing, and around every corner, there’s a new adventure. But it’s the homey feel that makes this Irish standout feel like you’ve found your own neighborhood bar — right on the Strip. Rí Rá has multiple bars in multiple rooms, each painstakingly created with genuine artifacts from the Emerald Isle. JP Mandalay Place, 702-632-7771,

Rí Rá: Christopehr Smith


B a b y lo n S p i c e a n d f r a n k i e ' s t i k i r o o m : B r e n t H o l m e s

So I'm at T his Bar ... is perfectly busy and populated by exactly one person we know well: the barkeep. Cheers: Three Dots & A Dash is Frankie’s mod interpretation of the Navy Grog; one will get you just groggy enough to forget the day. JPR 1712 W. Charleston Blvd., 702-385-3110,

Embers Inasmuch as Vegas’ urban chi is devoted to a pure expression of the strip mall consumer-plex, Boca Park is close to a model entry, a muscular hybrid of midmarket and yupscale, utility and pleasure. But, damn, does it ever tire you out. Embers is a poshish video poker bistro that does oasis duty amid Boca Park’s asphalt lagoons and stucco cliffs, with its dark woods and dim lighting — even pa-

tio-noshing against the parking lot is classed up with a babbling fountain and rows of lighted trees. Cheers: Classic cocktails are as omnipresent as light beer these days, but these people get it right. The Aviation is perfectly proper, but The Vesper is potent, head-whirling therapy in a glass. AK 740 S. Rampart Blvd. #7, 702778-2160,


Evel Knievel was at the bar. It was the old Maxim Hotel. There was a rumor he lived there, and it may have been true, for his memorabilia was on a shelf — one shelf — in the gift shop. A comedian, I was working Comedy Max pretty regularly back in the ’90s, and he was the hotel’s Joe Louis. We didn’t know each other well; we nodded a lot. “What’s up?” he asked, as I came to the bar after the show. An Elton John cover band was setting up. “What a day. My girlfriend from Germany called. Eight hours we talked. It’s over.”

Paymon’s Mediterranean Café & Hookah Lounge

“Wait here,” he said. I noticed he limped. Of course he limped. When Knievel returned, he had a large, thin box, which he put on the bar and opened. “Huh?” he asked with a flourish. Before me was a line of skin-care products — lotions,

Slipping into Paymon’s is like embarking on a magic carpet ride, next stop Nirvana: Even in the searing depths of July, this sumptuously appointed chillspace is dark, cool and supremely peaceful. Settle back into mounds of plush, embroidered cushions, order a cocktail, and watch your worries go up in a cloud of fragrant flavored smoke. The gentle one-two punch of hookah and booze will have you comfortably numb in no time, and before you know it you’ll have forgotten all about your bad day/broken heart/bench warrants. Cheers: the mellow, rum-based Babylon Spice ($8) pairs perfectly with a bowl of stress-evaporating coconut-flavored hookah. SJW 8380 W. Sahara Ave., 702-804-0293,

creams, cologne — all with an EK logo. “Wow,” I said, because what else do you say? “It’s my entire line of skin-care products for men … going to be huge.” “Wow. Just … just wow.” Knievel opened up a jar of lotion, poured some on his hand, rubbed his palms together, and then applied it to … my face. “Feel better?” he asked. Within 90 minutes of hearing Es tut mir Leid, mein teurer Schatz. Ich liebe dich, a guy in a wig, doing a pretty good Elton, was singing, “I remember when rock was young/Me and Suzie had so much fun,” and Evel Knievel was massaging my cheeks. And all seemed right in Vegas. — Barry Friedman

Laguna Champagne Bar You’ve got that surge of adrenaline from a concert or a casino win, but it’s a school night — what to do? Why, head to this charming lounge where bartenders specialize in imaginative champagne cocktails. And you thought nightcaps were out of style! JP The Palazzo, 702-607-7777,

From opposite page, Rí Rá; the Babylon Spice from Paymon's, Frankie's Tiki Room M AY 2 0 1 4


Morning Glories From camping to glamping, we pick our favorite spots for seeing the sights of the West and beyond written by Heidi


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Kyser and Sarah Vernetti


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From tent to trail:


K a i b a b L a k e P h ot o s C o u r t e s y o f T h e U . S . F o r e s t S e r v i c e ; Pa h r a n ag at N at i o n a l W i l d l i f e R e f u g e C o u r t e s y o f T h e U . S . F i s h a n d W i l d l i f e S e r v i c e

campgrounds with perks Kaibab Lake Campground Arizona Nobody likes campgrounds so cramped that the neighbor’s snoring ruins a star-filled night’s sleep. One cool thing about Kaibab Lake Campground is the spaciousness of the grounds, allowing ample elbow (knee and ankle) room between you and the next tent over. Another plus is the proximity of Grand Canyon — about an hour’s drive north — minus the touristy crowds of Grand Canyon Village. And even if you don’t feel like trekking North America’s biggest crevice, Kaibab Lake has plenty to keep you busy for a couple days: boating, fishing, interpretive programs in the outdoor amphitheater, and a campground host with firewood, ice, bait and ice cream! — HK In Kaibab National Forest, off Route 64 a couple miles north of Williams, Arizona, 928-635-5600,


Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge Nevada Pahranagat is a slice of peace a short drive from the bustle of the city. About an hour and a half north of Las Vegas, these 5,000 acres of protected lakes, marshes and meadows are a haven for wildlife and the people who enjoy it — either for watching (birds), catching (fish) or hunting (again, birds). This wetland habitat is a key stop on the north-south Pacific migration flyway, so birds flock there in spring and fall. The campground is free, first-come-first-serve, and on the Upper


Pahranagat Lake. It’s fairly primitive, with no electrical, water or waste facilities, just pit toilets. A visitors center is under construction now. — HK Just off U.S. 93, the Great Basin Highway, 775-725-3417,

Mesa Verde National Park Colorado You’d think a national park built around the ruins of an ancient civilization would appeal to archaeology buffs only. And you’d be wrong — if you’re thinking about Mesa Verde, anyway. No one can resist the chance to climb a rickety ladder up into a cliff dwelling or down into a kiva, where expert guides bring to life the culture of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived there from A.D. 600 to 1300. Even after you’ve soaked up all the history


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you can stand, Mesa Verde has another few days’ worth of outdoor activities: mountain biking, hiking trails (including backcountry), twilight cliff tours and other evening programs. Morefield Campground has 267 sites, and primitive camping is allowed during two short periods in spring and fall. — HK In Southwestern Colorado, an hour east of Cortez, Colorado, off Highway 160, 970-529-4465,

bed & breakfasts

Casa Escondida New Mexico Nestled in the rural outskirts of Española, New Mexico, Chimayo is a sacred destination for Catholics and a fascinating cultural site for tourists. It’s home to the famous Santuario de Chimayo, where a miracle is supposed to have happened in the early 19th century; thousands of people make pilgrimages there each year to touch its “holy dirt.” The amenities of Casa Escondida — spacious rooms filled with rustic antiques, kiva fireplaces, an outdoor hot tub, home-cooked New



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Mexican meals served family-style on the patio — more than compensate for the mediocrity of the surrounding neighborhood. And Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument and many other Northern New Mexico treats are a stone’s throw away. — HK 64 County Road 100, Chimay, New Mexico (about an hour north of Santa Fe), 505-351-4805,

Canyons Bed & Breakfast Utah With its myriad slot canyons, sandstone arches, aspen forests and streams that spill into waterfalls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a paradise for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Those who like to climb, hike and scramble by day and luxuriate by


night will appreciate the gourmet meals and personalized innkeeper service of Canyons Bed & Breakfast in Escalante, Utah. Converted from a 1905 pioneer farmhouse, the grounds still boast lawns, gardens and orchards where guests can stroll, lounge or snooze in a hammock. If the gorgeous landscapes aren’t enough to keep you busy for a long weekend, take Highway 12 northeast to Boulder, Utah, where art galleries and the Anasazi State Park Museum await. — HK 120 E. Main St., Escalante, Utah (about an hour east of Bryce Canyon National Park off Highway 12), 435-826-4747,

M e s a V e r d e p h ot o c o u r t e s y o f U . S . N at i o n a l Pa r k S e r v i c e ; C a s A E s c o n d i d a P h o t o s c o u r t e s y o f J u mp i n g R o ck s m e d i a b a n k

Sleep in, hike later:




F u r n ac e C r e e k p h ot o s c o u r t e s y o f F u r n ac e c r e e k ; H e r m o s a i n P h ot o s c o u r t e s y o f H e r m o s a i n n

Stay and play:

boutique comforts and small luxuries Furnace Creek Ranch California Furnace Creek Ranch is an Old West-inspired oasis in Death Valley National Park. The hotel is ideal for families who want to explore the desert, but aren’t thrilled by the idea of sleeping in a tent. Guests can enjoy the


comfortable rooms, spring-fed pool and 18hole golf course (the world’s lowest in elevation). After a day exploring the nearby Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes or the Golden Canyon interpretive trail, try the ranch’s Corkscrew Saloon for a locally brewed Badwater Ale. If your idea of unwinding involves history instead of a cold beer, visit Furnace Creek’s small but fascinating Borax Museum. — SV 328 Greenland Blvd., Death Valley National Park, California, 800-236-7916,

Hotel California California Palm Springs may be best known for its old Hollywood glamour and mid-century design aesthetic, but the city also serves as a jumping-off point for outdoor adventures. Spend the day mountain-biking or rock-climbing at Joshua Tree National Park, or ride the aerial tram at Mount San Jacinto State Park. After you’ve explored the Coachella Valley, retreat to the quiet 14-room Hotel California, where guests can lounge by the pool amid lush landscaping. If you’re ready to splurge, book the hotel’s Spanish Mission-style casita, which has a private patio, full kitchen and ample space to spread out and relax. — SV 424 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California, 760-322-8855,


Hermosa Inn Arizona


For the right combination of nature and luxury, plan a weekend getaway to Phoenix. Stay at the Hermosa Inn, a boutique hotel in Scottsdale, where you can unwind with poolside yoga or a deep tissue massage at the on-site Blue Door Spa Suite. For fresh-air fun, climb one of the popular (and steep) trails that lead to the top of nearby Camelback Mountain for expansive views of the city. Recover from your climb by returning to the Hermosa Inn for dinner at Lon’s, where produce is harvested from the kitchen’s own organic garden. — SV 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, 602-955-8614,


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CELEBRATING ART IN ZION NATIONAL PARK The Zion National Park Foundation hosts the sixth annual Zion National Park Plein Air Art Invitational, Nov. 3-9. The event celebrates the role art has played in the creation and history of the park by hosting 24 of the country’s finest landscape artists for a week of painting and teaching in the park. The artists will paint plein air on location throughout the week in many of the same locations that iconic artists, such as Thomas Moran, painted when this landscape was first exposed to the American public. Park visitors during the week will have many unique opportunities to witness great artists at work, as well as attend daily painting demonstrations and lectures. On Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9, the Zion Nature Center will be transformed into an art gallery when more than 150 paintings produced during the week are hung for public exhibit and sale. Also on Saturday, an exciting “Paint Out” event will be held on the lawn in front of the Zion Lodge, beneath Zion Canyon’s towers of stone. During the Paint Out,

visitors can purchase the amazing paintings produced by the invitational artists while they are being painted. Event proceeds go to the Zion National Park Foundation to support important projects in the park, including the successful Zion Youth Education Initiative. The initiative makes it possible for children from as faraway as Las Vegas to visit the park and have a potentially life-changing educational experience. “Art has a very firm place in the history of Zion Canyon and in the story that led to it becoming a National Park,” says Lyman Hafen, executive director of the Zion National Park Foundation. “Today, artists, donors, sponsors and visitors continue that rich tradition, preserving the wonder that is Zion National Park for future generations and enhancing the experience of everyone who comes here.” For more information on this event please visit or call 800-635-3959


LOVE, DEATH, & Everything

In Between




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Shakespeare Festival CEDAR CIT Y

Take a Break at Red Mountain Resort In need of a break from the hustle-bustle of Las Vegas? Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah, provides the perfect escape. Rising up out of the vivid red rocks of gorgeous Southern Utah, the resort provides visitors an active or relaxed, social or private getaway experience. With 82 rooms and 24 villa suites located on 55 acres with stunning views, Red Mountain is known for its diverse offerings and features an array of retreat packages. Packages include the highly popular Red Mountain Essential Retreat with choice of accommodations, guided morning hikes, unlimited fitness classes, personal discovery activities and much more; a rejuvenating Girlfriends Fun & Fabulous highlighted by a massage and facial; the five-day Zion National Park Adventure; the rigorous Weekend Warrior with Boot Camp classes, Canyon View yoga and two personal training sessions; the seven-night Weight Loss & Well-Being Retreat that provides mental, emotional and nutritional guidance; and the renewing Body in Balance Detox that gives you the knowledge, products and support for 28 days of detoxification. In addition to its retreat packages, this world-class destination also features some new and seasonal events like the Giddy Up Yoga Retreat led by an expert horsewoman and an internationally certified yoga instructor; Nature Inspired Portraits, a two-hour outdoor photo session with an award-winning photographer; Mommy in Waiting massage, salon and lunch package; paddleboard yoga sessions; and an Emotional Fitness add-on retreat. This world-class destination provides numerous amenities, such as complimentary Wi-Fi, three healthy meals daily, outdoor adventures and an adventure concierge, guided hiking and biking outings, a spiral labyrinth and walking trails, a fullmenu spa and salon, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and three whirlpools, healthy life classes and events, more than 50 different fitness classes weekly, a cardiovascular center, cooking demonstrations, wellness testing and nutritional guidance and a pet-friendly policy. Red Mountain Resort is located near Snow Canyon State Park in Ivins, Utah, at 1275 E. Red Mountain Circle. For more information, visit the website at or call 877.246.4453.

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The world–class

You’re Invited to the Celebrated Utah Shakespeare Festival The relatively cooler temperatures of Cedar City, Utah, beckon each June to October, and the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival invites guests from all around the country to experience the best of live theater. Shakespeare plays are presented in one of the country’s closest replicas of Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre. The Randall L. Jones Theatre at Southern Utah University is the venue for musicals and other modern classic productions. The complimentary Greenshow entertainment each evening, literary seminars, backstage tours and a cadre of other activities complete a Utah Shakespeare Festival visit. Many of Southern Utah’s national parks are within a one to two hour drive from Cedar City, so a festival itinerary easily can accommodate a visit to some of the most breathtaking vistas in the world: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, to name a few. In 2014, Utah Shakespeare Festival presents a lineup of eight plays. The Shakespeare offerings include The Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, Henry IV Part One and Twelfth Night.  Steven Sondheim’s Into the Woods, the world premier of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, the rollicking comedy Boeing Boeing and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure round out the season. Study guides, scholarly articles, synopses and audio orientations can be found for each of these titles at  Tickets for the Utah Shakespeare Festival and more information can be obtained by calling 800-752-9849 or by logging on to 


Whether you’re a resort guest or not, you can still enjoy our best amenities. Discover Sagestone Spa & Salon with our Quick Escape package and enjoy the sweeping views and healthy offerings of Canyon Breeze restaurant. Or better yet, stay a night and indulge two days in a row. Serenity is just down the road at Red Mountain Resort.

S T. G E O R G E , U TA H 877-246-4453


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Downtown St. George Highlights City’s History and Culture

Featuring a rich and colorful history, a quaint art district and parklike Town Square complete with more than 20 historic public buildings and private homes, Downtown St. George in Southern Utah has an abundance of things that keep visitors and residents alike entertained. Museums

and galleries, award-winning restauranats, unique shops and boutiques, live music concerts, a carousel and 90-minute walking tours presented Memorial Day through Labor Day by pioneer settlers of the past are all part of the Downtown St. George experience. While Downtown St. George offers a plethora of arts and entertainment, dining, shopping and more than a dozen annual events options, the St. George area also features 13 beautifully designed and challenging golf courses; recreation spots with stunning views for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, ATV riding, rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing and guided tours; the Washington County Fair; the Tuacahn Am-

phitheatre; and a number of fun-filled scenic day trips like Anasazi Indian Village State Park, Capital Reef National Park. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Kolob Canyon, Lake Powell and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. With the hot months quickly approaching, soon Las Vegas’ searing temps will be upon us, so planning a trip to Southern Utah this season might just provide a bit of much-needed relief. To find out more about what Downtown St. George and the St. George area have going on this summer, contact the St. George Convention & Toursim office at 800.869.6635 or log on to the website at www.

November 3–9, 2014 • 24 Invited Artists • Free Daily Demonstrations • 5-Day Painting Workshop with P. A. Nisbet • Peak Fall Colors in Zion • Free Evening Lectures • Paint Out & Sale • Public Wet Paint Exhibit & Sale Zion National Park Foundation 1-800-635-3959


Become Inspired Visit Tuacahn Center for the Arts Located just an hour-and-a-half drive from Las Vegas and adjacent to Snow Canyon State Park, the Tuacahn Center for the Arts, a 42,000-square-foot professional nonprofit arts facility located in Ivins, Utah, features the 1,920-seat Tuacahn Amphitheatre. Surrounded by towering red cliffs, this beautiful outdoor theater provides visitors an unforgettable evening of world-class family entertainment under the scenic Southern Utah stars. Over the years, the venue has presented such megahit musical productions as Les Misérables, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, West Side Story, Cats and Hairspray. Again this summer season, Tuacahn Amphitheatre offers a great lineup of musicals that includes Disney’s The Little Mermaid (May 30–Oct. 18), The Wizard of Oz (June 5–Oct. 17) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Aug. 1– Oct. 16). Also appearing at the amphitheater through November are several music concerts, a dance production and bull riding: Three Dog Night (April 25), Journey Unauthorized tribute show (April 26), Professional Bull Riders (May 3), The Beach Boys (May 9-10), Thriller spooky spectacular (Oct. 24-31) and Air Supply (Nov. 15). And why not make a night of it and enjoy dinner and a show? Beginning two hours before theater performance times, Tuacahn serves up a feast of specialty dinners nightly in its outdoor plaza, from which guests can take in the breathtaking sights of the Padre Canyon. Reservations are required. Tuacahn Center for the Arts, which “inspires creativity and greatness in the human spirit by providing world-class family entertainment and education,” also houses the innovative Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts and Technology, which offers both college preparatory classes and an arts curriculum focusing on dance, music, theater and visual arts. The center also includes a 328-seat indoor theater, black box theater, dance studio, costume shop and scene shop. Tuacahn Center for the Arts is located at 1100 Tuacahn Drive. For more information about the center or Tuacahn Amphitheatre performances, visit the website at or call the box office at 800.746.9882 or 435.652.3300.

Mesquite is the perfect escape, no matter how you define it. If you’re looking to let loose, Seasons Lounge at Eureka showcases live music, dancing and some of the liveliest shows around. If you want to soothe your senses, The Spa & Salon at CasaBlanca is a world-class retreat, complete with therapeutic massages and a full menu of salon services. In your spare time, you can always strike up some fun at the Virgin River Bowling Lanes. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find it in Mesquite.

To plan your getaway, go to

Excitingly Laid-back

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Mesquite Is a Short Drive and a Great Getaway Close to home and yet a complete get-

away, Mesquite is just 80 miles north of Las Vegas and offers visitors an excitingly laid-back experience they won’t find anywhere else. Ready to relax? Mesquite has luxurious spas to help you soothe the senses. The spa and salon at CasaBlanca Resort feature elegance and comfort in a tranquil

garden environment. They offer full spa and salon services for men and women, as well as couples treatments. Guests also can enjoy massage treatments, such as hot stone, deep tissue, shiatsu and reflexology at Spa Eureka located inside the Eureka Casino Resort. Then, enjoy a rejuvenating round of golf on one of Mesquite’s seven scenic


MAY 30 – OCT 18

JUN 5 – OCT 17

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WE ARE JUST A SHORT 90 MINUTE DRIVE FROM LAS VEGAS IN SCENIC SOUTHERN UTAH ADJACENT TO SNOW CANYON STATE PARK. championship courses. Or get out and explore the astonishing scenery of nearby national and state parks. You always can take advantage of the sunshine and lounge by a sparkling pool. Prepare to indulge your palate with a fine dining experience offered at such restaurants as Katherine’s or Gregory’s Mesquite Grill, or keep it casual at Mason Street Courtyard or Casa Café. When the sun sets, you can dance the night away. Season’s Ultra Lounge at Eureka showcases live music, dancing and offers bottle service in a VIP area. The CasaBlanca features live bands in its showroom and fun poolside concerts under the stars. Mesquite is the perfect escape, no matter how you define it.

TUACAHN.ORG | (866) 321-4953

For information on shows, dining and entertainment, accommodations, attractions, activities and more to help you make the most of your getaway, go to

APRIL 2014


HOME SWEET HOME special advertising section

Sit Means Sit Teaches Canine Control


f you’ve been feeling like you and your pooch have been starring in your own Marley and Me, Turner & Hooch or Beethoven saga, or if you’re the proud owner of a newbie that’s still trying to learn the ropes, it’s time to call Sit

Means Sit Dog Training in Las Vegas. The company provides dog training services to dog owners, as well as unlimited dog training classes for your naive, naughty or unruly hound.

From all breeds of puppies through to adult dogs, Sit Means Sit incorporates teaching methods into its obedience courses that get dogs under control, keeping them happy and content in any environment. No matter what your training needs may be, Sit Means Sit will find the right training program for you and your dog. For your convenience, Sit Means Sit Dog Training offers six locations around the Valley, including

Anthem (702-518-4767), Las Vegas (702-877-4581), Northeast Las Vegas (702-518-5408), Southern Highlands (702-858-3647), Aliante and Summerlin (702-518-9444). For more information, contact any of the above locations for your free in-home demonstation with your dog, or visit our website at www. with up-to-date dog training, news tips & videos to help you with your dog.

First Response Helps Make Your New House a Home


irst Response Home Inspectors, a certified veteran-owned company serving the Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas areas, is made up of veterans and current or former first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement officers and paramedics. State licensed and insured, First Response is dedicated to providing high-quality service, competitive pricing and the best value in Nevada. It not only offers home inspection services to homebuyers, sellers and builders, it also handles commercial property inspections. Employing more than a dozen highly skilled

inspectors who combined bring more than 120 years of experience to the team, First Response is able to offer same-day appointments, great customer service, attention to detail and the fastest turnaround times in the Valley. Also, by implementing a streamlined application that the company developed in tandem with Apple developers, it can create a more detailed and accurate home inspection report in 60 percent less time than conventional inspectors. Exhibiting a professionalism that is unparalleled, all First Response inspectors arrive at properties fully uniformed and in a company vehicle. The company also offers several

discount promotions to fellow veterans, first responders and their families. Whether buying, selling or building, property inspections are a crucial step, so don’t take chances with your residential or commercial property investment. Call and speak to a First Response Home Inspectors account specialist, who will guide you step-by-step through your free estimate. For more information about First Response Home Inspectors, or to print out a discount coupon, log on to First Response is located at 500 N. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 300, in Las Vegas and can be reached by phone at 844-GET-FRHI.

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Blue Heron Design Build Develops New Ground Blue Heron Design Build is a family-owned and -operated Las Vegas custom homebuilder founded in 2004 to pursue a passion for outstanding architectural design, quality craftsmanship and unparalleled service. The fatherand-son team of Steve and Tyler Jones are involved personally with every facet of the homebuilding process, working tirelessly to achieve clients’ goals through original and unique design and construction methods. As Las Vegas natives, they know the landscape and vibe and are here to stay, understanding that honesty, integrity and homeowner satisfaction are cornerstones to long-term success. Blue Heron knows the definition of “luxury” is different for every homebuyer. Therefore, it goes above and beyond in all aspects of the design and homebuilding process. The custom homebuilder has created multiple luxury neighborhoods throughout the Las Vegas Valley that cater to those craving an exciting urban scene or a relaxing rural setting. Creating exciting new options for homebuyers, Blue Heron infuses fresh thinking and refined design into the homebuilding process. With its unique special advertising section

design philosophy, it reinvents personal living spaces, redefines indoor-outdoor living and incorporates sophisticated features that complement a contemporary lifestyle. Blue Heron homebuyers enjoy nontraditional open, integrated floor plans and progressive design elements for a sensible modern living space that is efficient, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. It aims to increase social interaction, enhance personal satisfaction and reflect each client’s unique style. Plus, Blue Heron homes are developed in an aesthetically, socially and environmentally responsible manner. Taking pride in being environmentally sensitive and ecologically smart, Blue Heron incorporates green-building practices into each home. Recipient of the two highest industry ratings — “Platinum” certification by Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and “Emerald” certification under the National Green Building Standard — for the New American Home at the 2013 National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Blue Heron is the only firm in the program’s 30-year history to be selected for all three categories: architect, interior designer and builder. For more information about Blue Heron Design Build log on to

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your Arts+Entertainment calendar for may

23 Richard Hooker


Sahara West Library “The potency of mythic ideas”: That’s what artist Hooker says the eight red-neon text pieces in Pregnant Neon: A Tale of Conspicuous Devotion are about. Culled from his readings in mythology, the phrases are “potent with meaning, but somewhat subjective.” Sounds about right for Las Vegas, itself potent with myth, meaning and neon. Through July 12, free, Reception, 7p, May 23

09 The Lyons Art Square The family patriarch is dying. His wife kills time in his hospital room. The kids arrive. And there’s nothing like Pop's final moments to unzip decades’ worth of nasty family business. Cockroach Theatre calls this Tony-nommed Nicky Silver play an “uplifting dark comedy.” 8p and 2p, May 9-25, $16-$20,

21 Beating the Odds

Music of Japan: Taiko and J-pop

The Smith Center

The Mob Museum

Clark County Library

Don’t you hate it when your romance with the village beefcake fizzles because he falls for a doll he thinks is alive? Before you think, dismissively, Not that old story, remember: It is an old story — that of Coppélia, one of the most beloved ballets in the repertoire. Great for the family, it closes Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 2013-2014 season. 7:30p May 9, 10, $29-$128,

There’s more to casino cheating than catching an MIT undergrad running a house-beating algorithm on a computer hidden in his shoe, then working him over in the basement. (Though that does sound like the fun part.) In this panel discussion, local writer Jack Sheehan leads three casino-security experts through a deeper discussion of the state of stealing. 6:30p, $25, 702-229-2734

Something old (traditional taiko drumming) and something new (J-pop) merge in this evening of Japanese music, honoring Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The Kaminari Taiko troupe brings the thunder, and band Ichigo Crush brings the pop. 2p, free,

09 CoppÉlia

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LEONARDO DA VINCI: MACHINES IN MOTION Through May 4. These full-scale machines were built after detailed study of da Vinci’s designs by a group of scientists and skilled craftsmen in Florence, Italy. Visitors may touch and set them in motion, creating a captivating hands-on experience with an exploration of the principles da Vinci utilized to create each machine. Free with general admission. Springs Preserve

NEVADA WATERCOLOR SOCIETY SPRING SHOW Through May 10. An exquisite array of watercolor paintings showcasing works by outstanding local watercolorists and exploring subjects as varied as still life, abstracts, portraits and landscapes. Free with general admission. Big Springs Gallery at Springs Preserve

HILLARY PRICE Through May 16. Price’s oil paintings extend off the wall and into the space of the viewer. Fragmented images are painted onto layers of stretched pantyhose nylon, suggesting a visual representation of memories within the space of the brain. Free. Winchester Gallery, 3130 S. McLeod Drive,


Through May 23; Mon-Fri 9a-5p interactive performance. A site-specific installation presented by artist and former U.S. Marine, Michael Barrett. Barrett crawls on his hands and knees, individually polishing his mosaic of nearly 7,000 pennies – one for every war casualty between 2001 & 2014. The project is scheduled for eight workweeks of five, eight-hour workdays, totaling 320 hours over 40 days. Free. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery,


Through June 6, Mon-Fri, 9a-4p; Sat, 10a-2p. A solo exhibit of fine art prints, drawings and installation artwork by CSN Professor of Printmaking and Drawing, Anne Hoff. Free. CSN Fine Arts Gallery,


Through June 7, Wed-Fri, 9a-6:30p. Sat, 9a-5:30p. Award-winning artist Brenda Dumas pres-


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ents glass transformed into jewelry, plates, bowls and other pieces of art. Carolyn Hurst is a master quilter. Gaile Ferguson is a student of photography and cinematography in the film department of College of Southern Nevada. The three combine for a holistic multimedia exhibit. Free. West Las Vegas Arts Center Community Gallery, 702-229-4800


Through June 21, Sat-Sun, 11a and 1p. Mad scientists roam the Preserve with interactive experiments that are different every week. Free with general admission. Springs Preserve

IMAGINATION IS EVERYTHING … BUT PIZZA IS A CLOSE SECOND May 1-31. Reception May 1, 6-10p. Local artist Dan45’s solo exhibition is a collection of his original characters doing the things he loves, like skateboarding, drinking Icees, consuming cupcakes, eating pizza and daydreaming about eating pizza. All works are multilayered wood pieces cut out, painted and displayed by themselves or arranged in shadow boxes. Free. Wasteland Gallery, 1800 Industrial Road,


May 1-Aug. 5. Reception May 1, 5-6:30p. Beyond the breaking news, away from the glare of television cameras, daily life continues in Egypt much as it has for eons – carefully, cautiously, steadily. In this photography exhibit, Thomas attempts to depict the duality of contemporary Egypt, a nation caught between stability and change, tradition and modernity, history and progress. Free. West Las Vegas Library Art Gallery


May 6-June 14. Reception May 6, 5-6:30p. A theater musician and circus roustabout with a large dose of wanderlust, photographer Bill Payne barnstormed the U.S. for many years in his truck and trailer with his wife, Danise, by his side. These two had great travel opportunities that provided many compelling picture-taking moments. These photographs reflect that adventure. Free. Sahara West Library Art Gallery,

CELEBRATING LIFE! 2014 May 23-July 12. A juried art exhibition for artists ages 50+. Open to residents of Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral and Nye counties of Nevada. Free to enter. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., 702-229-6383


SEVEN DEADLY SINS May 2, 7p; May 3, 2p. In a town where people falling from grace form the bedrock of the local economy, choreographer Kelly Roth chooses to bite the hand that feeds him as he examines the spiritually corrosive effects of moral relativism. Enjoy a night of dance with the Concert Dance Company and the CSN Dance Ensemble plus special guests. $10 adults, $8 students/seniors. Nicholas J.

Horn Theatre,

ETHNIC EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCING Every Wed, 6:30-8:45p. Have an evening of fun learning international dance styles, including Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Greek, Israeli, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian and Turkish folk dances. No need to bring a partner. $4. Ages 8+ only. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., ethnicex


RENÉE FLEMING: GUILTY PLEASURES May 1, 7:30p. One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Fleming is known for her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry and compelling stage presence. She will perform pieces ranging from opera favorites to Broadway standards. $39-$129. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

TOM DREESEN May 2-3, 7p. In this unforgettable performance, Dreesen will take you from his hearing Sinatra on the jukebox to one day touring the nation as his opening act. Dreesen mixes standup comedy with his keen insights and storytelling to bring to life the greatest career show business has ever known. $39-$69. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center


Channel 10

May 3, 7p; May 4, 2p. In their spring concert, the Sun City Musicmakers will perform selections from “Lion King,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Sound of Music” and more. $8. Starbright Theatre, theatre.htm

WARD 5 BLUEGRASS IN THE PARK May 4, 1-3 p. Councilman Barlow invites you to bring the entire family to enjoy the music of local bluegrass and acoustic bands playing traditional American music with banjos, fiddles, guitars and mandolins. Free. Lorenzi Park Lake Band Shell, 3333 W. Washington Ave., 702-229-5443.

CSN JAZZ COMBOS & JAZZ SINGERS May 4, 2p. The Department of Fine Arts’ Jazz Combos, led by Matt Taylor and Kevin Stout, present an afternoon of jazz standards, classics and contemporary works. $8 adults, $5 students/seniors. BackStage Theatre,

MUSIC OF CHINA: CONCERT OF MULTI-GENERATIONS May 4, 2p. In recognition of Asian American And Pacific Islander Heritage Month, enjoy a concert by the Li Lin Hong Chinese Music Ensemble showcasing different musical instruments familiar in both traditional Chinese folk culture and today’s contemporary Asian fusion styles. Free. Main Stage at the Clark County Library,

BACH AND MENDELSSOHN MASTERWORKS CONCERT May 4, 3p. Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society’s concert features the 60-voice Musical Arts Chorus and Orchestra in performances of Bach Cantata No. 78, “Jesus, by Thy Cross” and three major choral-orchestra works by Mendelssohn: “As the Hart Pants,” “Hear My Prayer,” and “Hymne, Op. 96.” Includes several amazing guest artists. $18 adults, $12 seniors/ disabled/military, $8 students. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall,

Coming Back with Wes Moore Tuesdays at 8 p.m., starting May 13


Bombing Hitler’s Dams Wednesday, May 21 at 9 p.m.

National Memorial Day Concert 2014 Sunday, May 25 at 8 p.m.

American Experience:

Death and the Civil War Monday, May 26 at 9 p.m.


D-Day’s Sunken Secrets Wednesday, May 28 at 9 p.m.

Visit to see the complete schedule today. 3050 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121

702.799.1010 M ay 2 0 1 4


THE GUIDE UNDER THE STREETLAMP WITH SPECIAL GUESTS GENTLEMAN’S RULE May 4, 7:30p. The popular vocal quartet (formerly Jersey Boys) will be back in town for a one-night performance of classics from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Their opening act, Gentleman’s Rule, is the next generation of a cappella entertainment. $24-$59. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

CSN CONCERT BAND & MARIACHI BAND May 6, 7:30p. The Department of Fine Arts’ Concert Band, directed by Dr. Richard McGee, features traditional favorites by well-known composers. CSN’s 13-member Mariachi Band, led by Albert Garcia, also performs. $8 adults, $5 students/seniors. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre,

CSN BIG BAND & STEEL DRUM BAND May 7, 7:30p. The Department of Fine Arts’ dynamic Wednesday Night Jazz Band, directed by Dr. Richard McGee, performs along with the Calypso Coyote Steel Drum Band, led by Robert Bonora. $8 adults, $5 students/seniors. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre,

CSN SPRING CHORAL CONCERT May 8, 7:30p. The Department of Fine Arts’ Music presents its choral ensembles in a lively semester-ending concert. Performances will be by students of the voice classes as well as the Chamber Chorale, College Singers and Jazz Singers. $8 adults, $5 students/seniors. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre,

MARIACHI SPRING MUSIC FESTIVAL May 9, 7p. Featuring the best and the brightest groups from CCSD’s Mariachi Music Program. Scheduled are Mariachi Luz de Orr from Orr Middle school, Rancho High School’s Mariachi Oro de Rancho, Mariachi Los Gavilanes and Mariachi Juvenil Gavilan from Monaco Middle School, Von Tobel Middle School’s Mariachi Los Tigres, Mariachi Diablo del Sol from Eldorado High School and the CCSD Mariachi Faculty. Free. Main Stage at the Clark County Library,


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MORGAN JAMES May 9, 7p. Straight from Broadway, James brings her smoky and soulful renditions to Vegas. She’s fast becoming one of the most sought-after multi-genre vocalists in the country. $30-$49. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center


Ann-Margret. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of this iconic film with a talk by Sean Clark, screenwriter, producer and UNLV film professor, followed by a screening of Viva Las Vegas. Free. Main Stage at the Clark County Library,


May 10, 7p. Former cast mates of Phantom join to create a hit-packed concert. The show is full of great music including Broadway, American standards, Las Vegas favorites and original songs, plus fun stories as the guys share their personal and career journeys. $11 residents, $18 non-residents Starbright Theatre, brighttheatre.htm

May 17, 7:30p. Renowned conductor, Sarah Hicks, will lead the orchestra in a program including French favorites such as Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” Bizet’s “Farandole” from “L’Arlesienne,” Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” as well as Colombo’s accordion-laced “Indifference and Passion” performed by special guest soloist, Patrick Harrison. $25-$94. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center



May 11, 2p and 6p. An elegant Mother’s Day piano concert featuring works from Wright’s double album, “A Mother’s Love,” celebrating mothers everywhere with songs like “You Raise Me Up” and “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The renowned pianist and composer will share the heartwarmingly beautiful real-life inspirations for his original pieces on the album, including “My Son’s Lullaby.” $30-$75. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

UNLV JAZZ COMBOS May 14, 7p. Highlighting the best musicians from the UNLV Jazz Studies Program. Free. Main Stage at the Clark County Library,

G’DAY LAS VEGAS WITH GREG BONHAM May 16-17, 7p. Backed by his 10-piece band, this Australian vocalist and trumpet player will perform hit songs from U2, Maynard Ferguson, Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé and more. $42-$48. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

50 YEARS OF VIVA LAS VEGAS May 17, 2p. On May 20, 1964, the quintessential Elvis Presley film, “Viva Las Vegas,” premiered. Hollywood directing legend George Sidney’s motion picture had it all – it was colorful, splashy, filled with pretty girls, fast cars and Elvis as he courted the lovely

May 17, 7:30p. Las Vegas’ premiere contemporary wind ensemble will perform its 2013-2014 season finale concert, “ELEMENTS: Air.” The performance will feature famed Brazilian pianist, Tânia Mara Lopes Cançado, performing her signature piece, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” with guest conductor Steven Trinkle. This local wind ensemble is led by artistic director Charles A. Maguire. $15. Community Lutheran Church, 3720 E. Tropicana Ave.,

ALEX CLEMENTS May 18, 1:30p. The concert will feature worldwide acclaimed pianist and composer Clements’ fiery Latin originals, as well as a kaleidoscope of styles including cha chas, mambos, sambas, bossa novas and festejos. Clements will be accompanied by Eric Tewalt on flute, Laraine Kaiser-Viazotsev on violin, Jeff Davis on bass, Kurt Rasmussen on percussion and Pepe Jiminez on drums. $12 residents, $15 non-residents. Starbright Theatre, suncity-sum

JANE MONHEIT May 23-24, 7p. One of New York’s most dynamic vocalists, Monheit is accompanied by pianist Michael Kanan in a special duo performance. Audiences will be delighted by this traditional jazz piano program with some lovely cabaret moments. $39-$69. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

STEVE TYRELL “IT’S MAGIC” - THE SONGS OF SAMMY CAHN May 30-31, 7p. The performance will feature Cahn’s beloved classics including “It’s Magic,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Call Me Irresponsible,” “Teach Me Tonight,” “The Tender Trap,” “Ain’t that a Kick in the Head” and “All the Way.” $39$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

JOHNNY MATHIS IN CONCERT May 30, 7:30p. Legendary singer Mathis celebrates his 58th year as a recording artist by returning to Las Vegas to perform his greatest hits and personal favorites, including “Wonderful! Wonderful!” “It’s Not for Me To Say,” “Chances Are,” “The Twelfth of Never,” “Misty” and “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.” $29-$175. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC – A MODERN TRIBUTE TO ABBA May 31, 7p. Powerful harmonies, high energy dance and the unforgettable hits of ABBA are re-created in “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Fernando,” “The Winner Takes It All” and “Mamma Mia.” Thoroughly entertaining for adults and kids alike; guaranteed to have you fall in love with ABBA all over again! $15 residents, $18 non-residents. Starbright Theatre,

wisecracking chicken, the wacky Wheelers, and the wonderfully wise Ozma. $5. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.,

her audience on a hilarious trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters, from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann. $29-$79. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center



May 11, 3p. An unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter as this unique comic artist takes

May 13, 7:30p. The classic coming of age story brought to life in the original one-man show. Written


IT’S AN EASY FIX Inadequate nutrition in children has been shown to stunt growth, debilitate cognitive function, and lead to other health and behavioral problems down the road. But they won’t just be their problems, they’ll be all of our problems. And they can be



May 1-3 and 8-10, 8p; May 4 and 11, 2p. Justin Ross’s mother uses his “little black book” to invite people to his funeral service. It turns out that most of Justin’s sexual partners were men, much to the confusion of his unaware best friend, Robert. Hilarity ensues when Robert tries to keep Mrs. Ross from finding out about her son’s sexual shenanigans. $10-$15. Las Vegas Little Theatre,

avoided with just a little giving from you. Be a part of the solution.

Together, we can feed everyone.

GIVE • VOLUNTEER • ADVOCATE Learn more at 702-644-FOOD (3663)

OZMA OF OZ May 2-3, 7p; May 3-4, 2p. This modern fantasy explores the relationship between a now teenaged Dorothy and her elderly Uncle Henry. After they are swept off a boat, they find themselves in the Land of Oz, where time does not exist, but lots of thrilling adventures do! Don’t miss Bill, the giant

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THE GUIDE and performed by Palminteri, the show tells the story of Calogero Anello, a young boy from a working class family who gets involved in the world of organized crime. $24-$99. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

LAS VEGAS IMPROVISATIONAL PLAYERS May 17, 7p. If you’ve never experienced live improv, now is your chance. Some of the best entertainment off-Strip, and for such a small price! Interactive fun that is safe for the whole family. $10 at the door, kids free. American Heritage Academy, 6126 S. Sandhill Road,

JEWISH REPERTORY THEATRE OF NEVADA PRESENTS “WHO IS FLOYD STEARN?” May 17, 8p; May 18, 3p. This is a story about growing up and the problems faced by adults trying to decipher childhood memories. It also reminds us that a story can be told 100 ways and that the truth can often take years to find. $38-$42. Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center

ONCE May 20-25, 7:30p; May 24-25, 2p. The enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. $26-$129. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

MARY POPPINS, PRESENTED BY GREEN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS May 29, 7p. Enjoy a show that’s supercalifragicexpialidocious! Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, “Mary Poppins” includes a score filled with timeless classics. $20. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center


RICHARD NEUTRA: WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THOUGHT WAS WRONG May 6, 7p. Neutra’s unique brand of modernism facilitated


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human health and mental well-being. He used mass-produced materials to create buildings sited in ideal locations. Ken McCown will look past architecture form and appearance to relate the building performance inside the context of the city. Free, RSVP encouraged. UNLV’s Downtown Design Center at the Fifth Street School,

MCM INTERIORS: A NOD TO MID MOD May 15, 7p. Speaker Ken Wolfson discusses the Bauhaus influence on American interior design and how this school brought about some of the most innovative and exciting Mid Mod furniture pieces. Free, RSVP encouraged. The Morelli House, 861 Bridger St.,

VISUAL ACOUSTICS: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF JULIUS SHULMAN May 22, 7p. Heather Protz, Professor of Photography at the College of Southern Nevada, will discuss and then screen the film featuring Julius Shulman, a pioneer in architectural photography whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Free, RSVP encouraged. UNLV’s Downtown Design Center at the Fifth Street School,

BRUTUALISM: THE MISUNDERSTOOD BULK May 28, 7p. Jeff Wagner of [N]Site Studios and the College of Southern Nevada will present a talk on one of the most misunderstood forms of mid-century architecture. Free, RSVP encouraged. UNLV’s Downtown Design Center at the Fifth Street School,

NISEI LEGACY: A HISTORY OF A JAPANESE AMERICAN FAMILY THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY 1902 - PRESENT May 31, 2p. Japanese American author Richard Imon leads this cultural journey of a Japanese family that immigrated to America and how they assimilated through major historical events, including internment during WWII. Mini photo art gallery and copies of his book, Nisei Legacy, will be available for purchase and signing after the presentation. Free. Jewel Box Theater at the Clark County Library,


OHANA FESTIVAL May 10, 10a-4p. A family-friendly celebration of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander culture commemorating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and highlighting the importance of ohana (family) in Pacific Island cultures. Featuring great food, performances by local hula halau, crafts, games for the kids and a gallery featuring island-themed works by local artists. $6, adults, $4 children. Springs Preserve

REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT: A FIELD GUIDE Multiple dates and times. In this hour-long presentation, Josh Parker, Ph.D., will discuss the surprising amount of diversity in the Mojave while sharing some of his stunning reptile and amphibian images. Free. May 10, 11a, Valley of Fire Visitor Center; 2p, Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center; May 11, 2p, Furnace Creek Visitor Center; May 12, 7p, REI Henderson; May 13, 6p, UNCE, 8050 Paradise Road, #100,

FIREWORKS NIGHT WITH THE LAS VEGAS 51s May 23, 7p. Ticketholders will enjoy a night at the ball park complete with a special post-game fireworks display and the chance to win fabulous prizes during the nonprofit’s tennis ball toss fundraiser. $10, $3 goes to HELP of Southern Nevada’s various programs. Cashman Field,

BREWS & BLUES FESTIVAL May 31, 4-8p. Red-hot blues and ice-cold brews are on tap for the fifth annual festival which offers up beers from numerous local, regional, domestic and international brewers and performances including Chris Zemba & The Late Shift Band, John Earl & The Boogieman Band and Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues. $36 General Admission, $75 VIP. Ages 21 and older. Springs Preserve

KYA’S SMILES FAMILY ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL Jun. 7, 3-7p. The festival will include performances, interactive artistic and happiness-based experiences, local culinary delights and an auction and

raffle filled with products and services. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and childhood cancer awareness programs. Free, funds and in-kind donations needed. Container Park,


PAY IT FORWARD May 7-14. The United Way of Southern Nevada partners with local retailers to help southern Nevada families. Enjoy a week of shopping and dining with a portion of proceeds going toward this great cause. For an updated list of participating vendors visit




May 11, 2p. The event will include performances by CSN’s Middle Eastern Dance Theatre, Latin Jazz Band, the Acting II Class and the Calypso Coyote Steel Drum Band. View pieces from Art 298 students and enjoy a performance by the Solaris Dance Theatre. Proceeds benefit the CSN Music Scholarship Fund. $8 adults, $5 students/seniors. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre,

HEROES WITH HEART GALA May 29, 6p. The annual fundraiser for the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Southern Nevada where local emergency responders will be honored for their commitment to helping others in the community. Proceeds benefit TIP in its efforts to assist those affected by traumatic events. $75, table sponsors $1,000-$10,000. The Orleans Hotel & Casino Mardi Gras Ballroom,

DUCKS UNLIMITED ANNUAL DINNER/ FUNDRAISER June 7, 5:30-10p. Come out to support a great cause for wetlands and waterfowl conservation. There will be wonderful food as well as many things to purchase and win in live and silent auctions along with many cool raffle prizes, including the Great Gun Giveaway. Purchase tickets early, as this event will sell out. $80 single, $125 couple, $800 table. Boulder Station, ducks. org/nevada/events/34357/henderson/ boulder-dinner




Join us as we honor the 2014 Best Doctors of Southern Nevada More information at M ay 2 0 1 4



Drink ’n’ draw By Chris Bitonti, Sc ott Dickensheets, Brent Holmes, Andrew Kiraly and Christopher SmitH


e didn’t know what to do for End Note this month. So we went to a bar up the street to brainstorm ideas. We still didn’t come up with anything, but we did have a few beers and engage in the time-honored art of doodling on cocktail napkins, menus and anything else at hand.


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P h oto g r a p h y b r e n t h o l m e s

20 YEARS OF COMPASSIONATE TEAMWORK Join us for an emotionally moving evening to honor special members of the emergency response community who go above and beyond in providing compassion to citizens of Clark County on scenes of traumatic events.

THE HONOREES. Five honorees have been specially selected from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department, Henderson Police Department, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, and the Clark County Coroner’s Office.


THE ORGANIZATION. Since 1994, the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Southern Nevada, Inc. has been dedicated to ensuring that those who are emotionally traumatized in emergency situations receive the assistance they need. To accomplish this goal, TIP works closely with local police, fire, and medical agencies. Emergency personnel request highly and specially trained citizen volunteers to respond to scenes to provide support to family, friends, and witnesses during investigations.

Heroes with Heart Gala

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6:00pm The Orleans Hotel & Casino - Mardi Gras Ballroom $75/per person or $1,000/per table To secure your seat, please RSVP online by May 16 ...........................................................................................................................................


This ad is generously sponsored by:

Desert Companion - May 2014  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada

Desert Companion - May 2014  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada