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02 FEBRUARY

15

s e t B

ANNUAL

C y 127 things we just love about Las Vegas

e h t f o


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Indulge your senses and unwrap the secrets of this sumptuous sweet that we crave! Exclusively at the Springs Preserve Feb. 8-May 3 Free for members or with general admission

Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago. This exhibition is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and locally sponsored by Ethel M Chocolates. ethelm.com


SEASONS CHANGE.

YOUR ENERGY

BILL DOESN’T HAVE TO.

Unlike the weather, your energy bill can be perfectly predictable with our Equal Payment Program, available through MyAccount. Rain or shine, you’ll pay the same amount each month, based on your average consumption. Visit nvenergy.com/paymyway for all of your options. We’re putting all of our energy into your energy.


Somebody’s making money off your car loan. Shouldn’t it be you?

How would you use your share of a $2.7 million bonus dividend? CCCU is owned by its account holders. That means all of our extra earnings are really yours. In January, CCCU member-owners shared almost $2.7 million dollars in direct cash back payments. And since 2001, it’s been nearly $50 million. That’s cash to help with loan payments, household bills, vacation money, or savings for college.

Your deposits are insured up to $250,000

American Share Insurance insures each account up to $250,000. This institution is not federally insured, and if the institution fails, the Federal Government does not guarantee that depositors will get back their money.

You’re already banking somewhere. Why not get paid for it?

Whatever you do with your bank, you can do right here at your credit union. Then, when the next bonus dividend comes around, you’ll get a piece of it. For information and to open an account, Call (702) 228-2228, or online at OPENCCCU.com.


EDiTOR’S Note

Best of all worlds

S

o, there’s this weird thing I do where I sometimes momentarily seize up whenever visiting friends or relatives ask me, “So, where are the cool places to go?” My mind fills with soft white noise and all I see is a glittering chiffon of television snow and I start inexplicably flapping my hands. (Okay, that’s sort of a dramatic re-enactment.) At first I thought it was some species of stage fright, like I was maybe subconsciously sketchy on being thrust into the role of some bespoke culture-and-entertainment envoy to an entire city — like, Okay, Andrew, the world is watching: Do your hometown proud! Do the magazine proud! DON’T MESS THIS UP! — but I’ve come to realize it’s because my circuits overload with a case of too much good stuff. It’s because there’s so much I want to show my visitors and there’s typically not enough time, since they also want to squeeze in a trip to some large canyon of great depth and apparent renown in Arizona I keep hearing about. But make no mistake. After my systems thaw, I show them a good time, whether it’s scrambling over boulders in Icebox Canyon (common reaction: “I can’t believe this is in Vegas!”) or sipping sazeracs at an off-Strip mixology bar (common reaction: “My own eyes are dancing six inches in front of my face!”). Heck, if I can keep them from gazing babylike into the glowing bosom of their smartphones for reviews and recommendations and things to do (an act that increasingly strikes me as the most crushingly, infinitely sad thing ever), I congratulate myNext MOnth self on a job well done. But enough of that. A better method Heed the call of the has been right in front of me all along. wild — I think instead I’m just going to keep a with our handful of the latest Best of the City isoutdoors issue sues around and say, “Here. Do this.”

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Better than any dubious collectivized enthusiasm and better than any one person’s experience of the city, no matter how deeply lived, it’s a guide that comes from the heart. Or hearts, rather — those of our hand-picked experts and contributors who live Las Vegas every day. And while it’s highly likely you’re not a tourist, I’m confident that you, too, will stumble upon many new discoveries herein, whether it’s a new spot for upkeeping your ’do, a new coffeehouse to catch a buzz at, a fresh cocktail bar or exciting cultural highlight. But we’re not the only ones chiming in. Our fifth annual Best of the City package (p. 57) also features our third annual Best of the City Readers’ Survey, where you share your besties and faves, from pizza to pants to posies. In a world of experts and know-it-alls, there’s nothing like a little concierge crowdsourcing to guide the way through our everchanging city. My personal best of the best of the Best of the City Readers’ Survey (!) are the diverse and startling responses to “Best Thing Ever?”, whose answers we mine and whose resonances we consider on p. 80. Sharing intel on shops and restaurants is great, but any Best of the City package worth its breathless superlatives should be more than a mere consumerist trawl through the city. You’ll be reminded that some of the best things about Las Vegas simply can’t be bought: the good people, the strong families, the generous sunshine — and pancakes any time you want. Andrew Kiraly editor

Follow Desert Companion www.facebook.com/DesertCompanion www.twitter.com/DesertCompanion


4 color process

® The will to do wonders®

® The will to do wonders®

MAKING COLLEGE DREAMS

COME TRUE Caesars Foundation proudly supports organizations dedicated to providing educational opportunities, including the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) – investing in better futures for students and all of us by supporting minority education. Since 2012 Caesars Foundation has provided funding to UNCF to help scholarship students in need, including the most recent gift of $350,000 for the Campaign for Emergency Student Aid program, which will assist more than 420 students.

facebook.com/CaesarsFoundation

@CaesarsFdn


1

Heidi Kyser’s December story about the mental and emotional fallout that cops deal with continued to garner interest and comment. Reader Raquel Johnson writes: “‘High Alert’ is the best article I have read on the topic of the effects of police work on the men and women who serve their communities ... My husband has been in law enforcement for over 20 years. While he sometimes shares some of the things he has witnessed or experienced, there are many stories he never brings into our home. He puts it into a special place in his mind, where it will torment only him; he hopes. We personally know others who were greatly affected by their line of work, causing some to give up their career to pursue less demanding environments, hoping they changed jobs in time to save their sanity. For most, they bear a silent, internal suffering. Oddly, coworkers don’t necessarily offer a network of support. There is a persona of bravado that no one seems to want to break through. It’s hard to trust, even if cops only associate with other cops. It has to go beyond sharing stories only other cops can understand. My question is, what are police departments doing out there to stop that cycle? While a few departments are starting to acknowledge the issue, employee assistance programs, chaplains, etc. are not enough. It starts with an attitude.” For spouses of cops, she recommends the book Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: A Guide for Officers and Their Families by Kevin M. Gilmartin.

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letters@desertcompanion.com

Vo lU m e 1 3 I s s u e 2

“With a little knowledge under the belt, I’ve been able to be more understanding,” she writes. “So, while we sit facing a door in a restaurant, discuss what to do in a possible shootout at the grocery store, endure a myriad of complaints from folks upset about their unjust traffic ticket or how ‘innocent’ Johnny was sent to jail, and politely smile at cop-vs.-firemen jokes, we wait for that shift in culture that law enforcement desperately needs.”

2

Beautiful day, isn’t it? How about a nice hike in Red Rock? I said HOW ABOUT A NICE HIKE IN RED ROCK?! Sorry you couldn’t hear me over that annoying helicopter buzzing Icebox Canyon. It was a concern brought to light by our January story, “Bring the noise,” about the surprising absence of regulations protecting Red Rock’s least visible but no less valuable asset: peace and quiet. The article inspired reader Jim Boone to write a letter to the BLM concerning a recent incident he experienced, which he copied us on: “I was hiking at Red Rock Canyon NCA ... and noticed a single engine airplane flying north above Highway 159. To my surprise, the pilot started doing acrobatic stunts between about Old Oak Creek Campground and the exit from the Scenic Loop Road. The pilot flew straight up until the plane stalled, then tumbled backwards several times before the pilot recovered and did it again.”

Uh, yeah. Not the best companion for soaking in the restorative vibes of the great outdoors. “I realized that the BLM does not have jurisdiction over aircraft, but I was offended by the noise and reckless behavior of the pilot and was particularly insulted when the pilot buzzed peaks in the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area, undoubtedly scaring rock climbers and bighorn sheep alike,” Boone writes. “I ask that the BLM do whatever they can to protect the qualities of wilderness, including silence, that we hold so dear.” AMEN! I mean, uh, amen.

3

It’s match game time! Here are four recent Facebook comments on Desert Companion articles and blog posts. Can you match them to the articles they’re responding to? 1. “ Garnished with a rabbit’s foot? Are you kidding me?” — Robert Ryder 2.“I’ll believe it when I see the whites of his eyes.” — F. Andrew Taylor 3. “Subjective and a colossal waste of time.” — Ana Maria Rydell 4. “Pure magic!” — Lyndsey Sponder

Now, match them up with the correct articles! A. A Wednesday Poem by Gregory Crosby on the Desert Companion blog B. A  dining review of Due & Proper and Whist by Debbie Lee C. A blog post by Andrew Kiraly about abstaining from alcohol for January D. Our Best of the City online readers’ survey We hope you enjoyed this subjective and colossal waste of time. Thanks for playing!

Answer: 1:B, 2:C, 3:D, 4:A

FEBRUARY 2015


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FEBRUARY 2015

Vo lU m e 1 3 I s s u e 0 2

www.desertcompanion.com

57 Best of the city

Food! Drink! Condiments! Singers! Bowling! Hiking routes! Spas! Clothing! Butchery lessons! Haberdasher? Yes, of course a haberdasher — the very dasherest. Indeed, if it can be sorted, ranked and threshed down to a best, it’s probably among the 127 items we’ve compiled for your use and entertainment in our 2015 Best of the City.

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R e d R o c k L a n e s c o u r t e s y o f S tat i o n C a s i n o s

Features


MOMIX ALCHEMIA

February 24 – March 1

PHOTO BY JEREMY DANIEL PHOTO BY MAX PUCCIARIELLO

March 10 – 7:30pm

“People shouted out, gasped and applauded furiously. MOMIX is ideal for turning audiences onto dance.” – L.A. Herald Examiner

TI CKETS MAKE TH E PER FECT VALENTI N E’ S DAY GI F T!

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS March 12 – 6:00pm

March 30 – 7:30pm

One of the world’s great orchestras makes its Las Vegas debut, featuring Yuja Wang, the 27-year-old pianist whose technique has been described as “superhuman” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

TICKETS STARTING AT $12.95 | VISIT THESMITHCENTER.COM TO SEE THE FULL LINEUP 702.749.2000 | TTY: 800.326.6868 or dial 711 | For group inquiries call 702.749.2348 361 Symphony Park Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106


FEBRUARY 2015

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Vo lU m e 1 3 I s s u e 0 2

34

73

22

52

departments 34 health

47 Dining

73 The Guide

Researchers find asbestos in Boulder City’s soil — and run into a bureaucratic wall By Heidi Kyser

48 The DishThe sweet

Are we suspended in yogurt? Because we’re surrounded by culture!

hold for our lifeblood industry? 22 familyThe Walshes do it all, and then some

science of 346 Patisserie 51 Eat this now

Can you handle the 5-Way Cincy?!

24 zeit bites

40 profile

52 First Bite

Art + science + kids

As the debate over immigration reform again heats up, Las Vegan Astrid Silva has become the face of the DREAM Act By Tovin Lapan

The simple joy of unfussiness at David Clawson Restaurant

26 ProfileA fine friend of feathers 28 ShopIdeas for

St. Giftentine’s Day 30 Open topic

LV’s civil-rights push mirrored the national movement

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80 End note Your online votes for Best! Thing! Ever! in Las Vegas — parsed! By Andrew Kiraly

02 FEBRUARY

15

Best City ANNUAL

127 things we just love abou Las Vegas t

of the

on the cover

Typography Christopher Smith

G u t t e r C R EDIT L e f t

All Things 19 gamingWhat’s 2015


Branch Out, Hire an Arborist

p u b l i s h e D B y n e va d a p u b l i c r a d i o

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.

Publisher  Melanie Cannon Associate Publisher  Christine Kiely Editor  Andrew Kiraly Art Director  Christopher Smith deputy editor  Scott Dickensheets staff writer  Heidi Kyser Graphic Designer  Brent Holmes

O

Account executives  Sharon Clifton, Parker McCoy, Favian Perez, Markus Van’t Hul

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Web administrator  Danielle Branton traffic coordinator  Karen Wong ADVERTISING COPY EDITOR  Carla J. Zvosec Contributing writers  Chris Bitonti, Cybele, Sarah Feldberg, Michael Green, JoAnna Haugen, Mélanie Hope,, Tovin Lapan, Debbie Lee, Sage Leehey, Christie Moeller, Greg Thilmont, Richard N. Velotta, Mitchell Wilburn

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Contributing artists   Bill Hughes, Aaron Mayes, Chris Morris, Sabin Orr, Krystal Ramirez Editorial: Andrew Kiraly, (702) 259-7856; andrew@desertcompanion.com

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T H R U

2 0 1 4

Design | Installation | Renovation | Consultation | Maintenance | Tree Care Hardscapes | Small Jobs | Irrigation | Lighting

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Advertising: Christine Kiely, (702) 259-7813; christine@desertcompanion.com

#WE8589-A #WE9147-A

Subscriptions: Chris Bitonti, (702) 259-7810; subscriptions@desertcompanion.com

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Call (702) 452-5272 to schedule a tree care visit

Fax: (702) 258-5646

Website: www.desertcompanion.com Desert Companion is published 12 times a year by Nevada Public Radio, 1289 S. Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89146. It is available by subscription at desertcompanion. com, or as part of Nevada Public Radio membership. It is also distributed free at select locations in the Las Vegas Valley. All photos, artwork and ad designs printed are the sole property of Desert Companion and may not be duplicated or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The views of Desert Companion contributing writers are not necessarily the views of Desert Companion or Nevada Public Radio. Contact Chris Bitonti for back issues, which are available for purchase for $7.95.

ISSN 2157-8389 (print) ISSN 2157-8397 (online)


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Join one of the largest Alzheimer’s clinical trials programs in the country, right here in Las Vegas.

Board of Directors Officers cynthia alexander, ESQ. chair Snell & Wilmer Jerry Nadal vice chair Cirque du Soleil TIM WONG  treasurer Arcata Associates Florence M.E. Rogers  secretary Nevada Public Radio

With more than 30 trials in memory loss, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, one may be just right for someone you know. Clinical trials are the only pathway leading to new drug treatments. Won’t you help? At Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, clinical trials complement our patientsfirst clinical care and no-cost social services for individuals and their families. Both clinical trials and social services are available to families regardless of where they receive their neurological care.

Directors kevin m. buckley First Real Estate Companies Dave Cabral emeritus  Business Finance Corp. Louis Castle  emeritus Patrick N. Chapin, Esq. emeritus Richard I. dreitzer, Esq. Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP Elizabeth FRETWELL emeritus City of Las Vegas bOB GLASER BNY Mellon gavin isaacs  Scientific Games Jan Jones Blackhurst Caesars Entertainment Corporation John R. Klai II Klai Juba Wald Architects Lamar Marchese  president emeritus William mason Taylor International Corporation Chris Murray  emeritus Avissa Corporation William J. “Bill” Noonan  emeritus Boyd Gaming Corporation kathe nylen  

Contact us at 855.LOU.RUVO (855.568.7886) brainhealth@ccf.org A complete list of trials is online at clevelandclinic.org/brainhealthtrials

Anthony j. pearl, esq. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas MARK RICCiARDI, Esq.  emeritus Fisher & Phillips, LLP Mickey Roemer emeritus Roemer Gaming

Follow Desert Companion www.facebook.com/DesertCompanion www.twitter.com/DesertCompanion

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A love affair with French cuisine. Now open.

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02

15 The art of science — or is it the science of art? page 24

The fi scal reorganiz ation of the roman emp ire

economy

Game changer 2015 may be the year of gaming’s fall from grace. But if gaming isn’t as resilient as we thought, Las Vegas certainly is B  y R i c h a r d N. V e l o t ta

I

t’s hard to say which blockbuster gaming story has been least surprising: Caesars Entertainment’s lengthy attempt to defy gravity while being anchored by 22.8 billion tons, er, dollars, of debt weight or Macau’s astonishing freefall from industry darling to investment also-ran. They’re both stories that will continue to unfold well into 2015. What do they have in common? They’re episodes in what you might call the Year of Gaming’s Stumble from Grace — grace, in this instance, meaning the widespread perception of (perhaps fervent belief in) gaming as the magically resilient industry that somehow always manages to bounce back. Sure, gaming is seemingly ubiquitous these days. But in an age when industry juggernauts lurch and would-be saviors stagger (remember that other Second Coming known as legal nationwide online gaming,

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

February 2015

DesertCompanion.com

19


ALL Things

economy

Hear more with Nevada as the bustling IT brain?), it pays to keep some healthy skepticism handy. Anybody care to wager which story reaches it climax first, Caesars’ or Macau’s? In the end, it doesn’t matter. Analysts weren’t even surprised when the Caesars bankruptcy filing paperwork hit their inboxes. Well before its mid-January filing, company officials announced what they were going to do — draft a pre-packaged case to turn $10 billion in debt into confetti. The only question was where and when. Critics will ask, “Will CEO Gary Loveman survive the carnage?” Loveman has been the Caesars punching bag from the day he said the company’s investments in product updates would pay dividends as the economy improved. Only problem: It never improved, at least not to the level Loveman envisioned. Instead of having 40 casinos in 14 states and Canada, including 10 on or near the Strip, the company has those properties, a mountain of debt and an army of Chicago lawyers racking up billable hours. Caesars has prided itself on being the most geographically diverse casino company in the world. Unfortunately for the company, had it been diverse enough to include a foothold in Macau, it might have avoided all the new Loveman belly-flop jokes. (It’s not as though Caesars didn’t try. It had a golf course, but not a single baccarat table in Macau, where it was never able to find a pathway to a gaming concession.) As for Macau, analysts like Chris Jones of Las Vegas-based Union Gaming Advisors say many factors plunged Macau into recession. In December, Macau’s gaming revenue fell 30.4 percent to $2.9 billion, the seventh straight month of year-over-year declines. The fall has been blamed on regulatory crackdowns by China’s central government, tighter credit rules, even a casino smoking ban. Jones puts most of the blame on China’s new visa restrictions that impose limits on visitation. Analysts are forecasting hard times for Macau through at least

Online poker hasn’t been the killer app so many players hoped it would be.

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Does online

the first half of 2015. But by later in gaming have Las Vegas is looking like a the year, the city is hoping a surge possibility that could bring a future? Hear a in infrastructure will jump-start the yet another entertainment discussion economy. Just as Treasure Island, option that could draw vision “KNPR’s Luxor and the MGM Grand opened tors to the city. It’s been well State of within two months of each other and established that non-gaming Nevada” at desert boosted the fortunes of the Las Vegas attractions are paying more companion. Strip in 1993, Macau is expected to of the bills as gaming spreads com/hear see a similar burst at the end of 2015 across the U.S. The state more and in early 2016 with Sheldon AdelGaming Control Board’s 2014 son’s Parisian resort, a new MGM gaming abstract published Resorts International property and Steve earlier this year showed that food and Wynn’s Wynn Palace, all on Macau’s beverage, hotel rooms and entertainCotai Strip. High-speed rail lines and a ment made a larger revenue contribution $10.7 billion bridge are expected to open to Clark County resorts than the casino. doors to more gamblers. But it’s too early And the percentage is expanding. In to predict whether fresh bodies will 2000, casino revenue represented 51.7 compensate for constricted demand. percent of the revenue collected. By Caesars may not have been able 2014, the percentage had shrunk to 43.1 to find itself in Macau, but at least it percent. What does that mean to the made its way to the head of the virtual average consumer? It means that they’ll poker table — for whatever that’s worth. see properties trying more non-casino Online poker hasn’t been the killer app activities and devoting more space to so many players thought it would be, and provide experiences that don’t involve the prospects of it growing to anything trying to beat the house odds. substantial seem as unlikely as back-toIn 2015, that means visitors and back royal flushes. With Republicans locals will see more festivals and special in control of the Senate, online poker events. MGM Resorts will host Rock in devotees’ dim hopes for getting national Rio at Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara legislation approved have vaporized. To Avenue. Expect the Electric Daisy many, it seems more likely that Adelson’s Carnival to be bigger than ever at the campaign influence may buy him enough Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Both are loyalty to see online poker banned. luring a younger, hipper audience to the Have you noticed there’s no more talk city. Conventions and trade shows will of state-to-state compacts to broaden grow. January’s International CES broke the market? Station Casinos’ Ultimate all-time attendance records with 170,000 Poker shutdown 19 months after dealing participants. its first cards sent the message poker So Union Gaming’s Jones asks why players didn’t want to hear: The market not hockey? MGM will have a home for isn’t lucrative enough to survive. it when its new 20,000-seat indoor arena A more compelling showdown may near New York-New York and the Monte be ahead as early as this year on sports Carlo is complete. If those attractions book wagering beyond Nevada’s borders. explode, it should tide the Las Vegas Gov. Chris Christie has led New Jersey’s casino market over until the next battle to take sports bets, a move that the megaresort, Genting Group’s $4 billion, NCAA and professional sports leagues 3,000-room Resorts World Las Vegas, blocked in court. Some sports leagues, comes on line in 2016. most notably the National Basketball And they may also make consumers Association and the National Hockey forget all about the Caesars bankruptcy League, have taken a somewhat softer and the downfall in Macau. But it may be stance on sports betting and may be wiser to remember. receptive to at least considering an Richard N. Velotta covers tourism expansion to other states. and transportation for the Las Vegas And speaking of hockey expansion, Review-Journal. the prospect of the NHL coming to


ALL Things

family All together: The Walshes merge big careers and a big family.

balance

Meet the Walshes Rare diseases to cure, kids with cancer to be helped … who has time for a personal life? B y H e i d i K ys e r

R

yan Walsh is already home, shoes off and tie loosened, when his wife, Lexa Walsh, arrives carrying a paper bag full of goodies from their daughter Eva’s preschool holiday party earlier in the day. Eva and her baby brother, Colin, run to Lexa squealing, “Mama!” and dive into the paper bag, spreading dreidels and crowns and foil-wrapped chocolate coins across the tile floor. Their older brother, Liam, eyes them from the bottom step of the stairs leading to the second floor, where he’s nestled into Ryan’s left side, playing Minecraft on his tablet. For a half-hour or so, the parents hang out on the floor with the kids, then, they make their way to the kitchen for a beer and glass of wine, inquiring about each other’s days and pulling fish sticks out of the freezer for dinner.

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So far, so common. Apart from signs of material comfort (the nanny, for instance, who left when Lexa got home), there isn’t much about the Walshes to indicate that they’re exceptional. Within these walls, they’re loving parents and devoted spouses confronting the usual challenges of family life. Outside, though, they’re heroes of a different sort: While Ryan Walsh, a neurologist, spends his days at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health battling Parkinson’s disease, Lexa, a pediatric oncologist, tends to kids with cancer at the Children’s Specialty Center. As if this weren’t enough, they’ve each recently launched groundbreaking projects in their respective fields. For his part, Ryan Walsh has started a global task force to study Multiple System Atrophy, or MSA, an aggressive and ultimately fatal form of Parkinsonism. Walsh’s patient, celebrity chef and restaurateur Kerry Simon, publicly announced he had the disease last year. Once the initial shock had passed, Simon enlisted his close friend and business partner Elizabeth Blau to help him do something proactive. They banded together with luxury lifestyle reporter Robin Leach and formed the nonprofit Fight MSA. “They asked me what the money they’d raised would be helpful with,” Walsh says. “The challenges of the disease are its

rarity, which makes it hard to raise awareness, the lack of definitive treatments and the fact that the people working on it are very spread out. So, we decided to do a global research roadmap.” For two days in November, Walsh chaired a meeting at the Ruvo Center that brought together MSA researchers from four continents, 12 countries, 30 academic institutions and the National Institutes of Health. They plotted a course of action for the next four years, including both the logistics and infrastructure for collaborating across the globe, as well as a plan for tackling the scientific work at hand. Meanwhile, Lexa Walsh has opened Nevada’s first long-term followup clinic for cancer survivors at Children’s Specialty Center, a facility for treating and studying catastrophic diseases in children. Walsh joined the center when Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada spun off its pediatric division and merged it with the Specialty Center last year. She saw in the change an opportunity to fill a gap she knew about from previous work in long-term care. “When you’re taking care of a patient, you’re focused on curing their disease,” she says. “You’re not dealing with the long-term side-effects.” Kids in remission from their cancer and their parents also tend to move on, Walsh says. They may not realize they’re vulnerable to a wide range of problems, from learning deficits to hearing loss. The good news is, there is abundant data on what is likely to happen when, based on what treatments patients have received. So they can be screened for specific issues at certain times, giving doctors the upper hand in prevention. “It’s really an opportunity for them to have a healthier life 20, 30 years from now,” Walsh says. Needless to say, the shop-talk around the Walsh home is over most people’s heads. But they make sure it doesn’t take over their relationship. “Our work can be really intense,” Lexa Walsh says. “I think for both of us, time at home — family — helps to balance that out.”

P h oto g r a p h y B REN T HO L MES


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ALL Things

zeit bites perspective

teachable moments

‘I'm showing them how art and science must coexist’

L

inda Alterwitz’s While I Am Still, at the Sahara West Library beginning Feb. 13, is more than a midcareer retrospective from one of the city’s most necessary artists — though it’s plenty exciting on that score. It will also be a singular learning experience for some 700 local kids. During the four-month show, Alterwitz will lead students in grades 5-12 through her work, describing its STEAMy intersections of art, science and technology. Some of her pieces utilize medical-imaging machines or other offbeat picture-taking tech. Science, as a subject or mode of understanding the world, is ever-present. “I am showing them how art and science are intricately connected, and how they must coexist,” she says. Additionally, she worked with the school district to develop a curriculum for the young visitors — they’ll talk about the work beforehand; some will engage in projects related to the show's concepts. “The exhibit will allow our students to look at science, technology and art together rather than as separate,” says Cheryl Wagner, coordinator of the district’s School-Community Partnership Program. “They will be able to ask questions such as: What science, technology and engineering skills are needed to create art? How art is used in the development of new and innovative ideas? How are art and science inseparable?” Vital questions as we all burrow deeper into the 21st century. Through May 9, 9600 W. Sahara Blvd., lvccld.org; opening reception 7 p.m., Feb. 13

Help me see what I can’t

F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 5

We asked comedian Barry Friedman, a regular contributor to Desert Companion, about satire in a post-Charlie Hebdo world: Following 9/11, Gilbert Gottfried said, “I have to leave early tonight, I have to fly out to L.A. I couldn’t get a direct flight, I have to make a stop at the Empire State Building.” Comedians can be tone-deaf, callow, astonishingly ill-timed in their material. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. “Is nothing sacred?” Christopher Hitchens once asked. “No,” he answered. Si seulement. If only. In the days after the Jan. 7 attack, it was heartening to see millions take to the Paris streets to support writers, artists, comedians and cartoonists. Culture, civility, expression, life, the protesters seemed to say, are more important than a fanatical adherence to faith. Which leads me to a joke about a concentration camp. An elderly couple decides to pay their respects at Auschwitz, so they fly to Poland to take a tour of the infamous camp. That morning, though, they have a terrible argument. Throughout the day — the barracks, town, railroad depot, the gas chambers themselves — they don’t speak. On the way back to the hotel, the woman, moved by her experience, says, “Honey, about our fight this morning, I’m sorry.” “NOW you’re sorry,” he says “You ruined Auschwitz for me!” This is not a joke about the Holocaust, not really, but about resiliency, survival. When I tell it — in Vegas, at parties, Passover Seders — it is always the Jews who laugh first and loudest. “What’s the secret to comedy?” “Timing!” There will be jokes about Charlie Hebdo someday. And that will be good.

Afterward, the audience will offer feedback — it’s a

norms and constructs clear? Are the characters’

chance for theater-goers to perhaps help shape a

motivations and actions justified by their backstory

play’s final version. We asked Seidelman what she

and their relationship to one another? Essentially,

hoped to gain from the process:

I’m asking the audience and the artists to help me

For this reading specifically, I’m especially inter-

see what I can’t — to help me be objective and

ested in responses to the world of the play and to

make discoveries that I wouldn’t be able to make on

On Feb. 8, Asylum The-

the characters. Reckoning is set in a community

my own. The world and the conflict are well-defined

atre will host a staged

of travellers (Irish gypsies) living in England. As

in my own mind. Whether that’s true on the page

reading of Reckoning,

outsiders looking in, I’d love to know if audiences

and stage is what I hope to learn. 7p.m., Art Square

find the world accessible enough. Are the cultural

Theatre, 1025 S. First St., $12, asylumtheatre.org

a drama by Chicago playwright Jenny Seidelman.

24

What is funny now?

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ALL Things

people

profile

Jim Favazzo Feather guru

D

yeing and selling feathers wasn’t exactly the career path Jim Favazzo envisioned, particularly given his employment history. Before he got into the feather business, he was in a decidedly more stereotypically masculine business — construction. But love makes you do crazy things: He took the helm of the family business because it was deeply important to his wife, Jodi. Beside, he’s certainly not complaining about going from heaving bundles of two-by-fours to flicking around feathers. “To come up here and be doing this, it’s completely different,” he says. “It’s kind of humorous because I never dreamed I’d be doing this at this age.”

This family-owned feather business has some wings. Rainbow Feather Dyeing Co. was started by Favazzo’s father-in-law, Bill Girard, in 1964 in California. He moved the business to Las Vegas — where things like flamingly bright, fuchsia-hued boas are just part of your everyday scenery on the Strip — in 1995. Like Favazzo, Girard’s decision to launch the business started as a favor to his wife, who wanted to make flower-style arrangements with bright, bold feathers. Girard went to the drawing board — well, actually, the kitchen — and tried his hand at dyeing them on the stovetop. It worked, and then some: Today, Rainbow Feather Dyeing Company (rainbowfeatherco.com) is one of the few feather dyers and sellers in the U.S. These days, the process is largely the same, just on a larger scale, using commercial tanks and dryers. (Unless you’re talking about pheasant feathers, which are too big for the dryers and have to be air-dried.) Jim and Jodi moved to Las Vegas to help out, taking on the business in 2007 after Girard died. Jodi passed away about two and a half years ago,

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after which Jim put up his hard hat for good and stepped behind the counter full-time. His two sons, Jeff and Justin, also help out. “It’s been a family business ever since day one, and it probably always will be,” Favazzo says. But any pressure on his sons to carry on a legacy is feather-light. “I always told them, ‘Don’t do anything you don’t like to do because you won’t do it right. If you enjoy doing it, you’re going to do a good job at it.’” Odd requests? He gets a few. He recalls an order from Victoria’s Secret about five years ago, asking for feathers about four or five feet long. “They don’t grow that big, so we basically joined them together to make two to four feathers look like one, which was pretty cool. It was a lot of fun, and they were happy with it.” Not surprisingly, Cirque du Soleil brings in a lot of work for the company, and Rainbow Feather also fills orders for the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii, Disneyland, Disneyworld, and many of the shows throughout Las Vegas, big and small. “I’ll sell you one feather,” says Favazzo, “or I’ll sell you 100 pounds of feathers.” — Sage Leehey

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F ebr u ar y 2 0 1 5

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ALL Things

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Through his stomach, remember?

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Words from the heart If you’ve ever gotten writer’s block penning a love note, the Couples Letter Book Set has the cure. This package of more than 40 cards and envelopes features prompts for holidays, special occasions and landmark moments. $40, uncommongoods.com

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ALL Things

open topic

The right thing: The historic 1960 meeting at the Moulin Rouge that ended segregation on the Strip.

Our Talented Tenth The civil rights movement in Las Vegas benefitted from major figures on the national stage — but we also produced some inspiring leaders of our own B y M i c h a e l G r e e n

I

n the civil rights movement, major figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. — who delivered two speeches in Las Vegas in April 1964 — made history on the national stage. That national movement inspired what happened in the Las Vegas Valley, but it wasn’t a one-way street. It’s fascinating to consider the striking parallels between what happened at home and what was happening across the nation. The first stirrings of a civil rights movement in Las Vegas appear to have come in 1926 with the formation of its first chapter of the NAACP, starting on the heels of the Ku Klux Klan starting a Klavern in town. The first NAACP chapter leader, A.B. “Pops” Mitchell, had had a ranch near the present-day Mob Museum. But by 1930, fewer than 150 African Americans lived in Las Vegas, population 5,000. One of the first battles wasn’t far off. When the builders of the Hoover Dam refused to hire African Americans, residents formed the Colored Citizens Labor and Protective Association of Las Vegas in 1932. Their pressure and a change in administrations in Washington, D.C., prompted the hiring of a few African Americans, but not many. They found it little better in Las Vegas: racism and red-lining forced African Americans west of the railroad tracks, in West Las Vegas or the Westside. The next leap came during World War II. Basic Magnesium recruited black workers from two mill towns, Fordyce, Arkansas, and Tallulah, Louisiana. Others found work in casinos and lived in West Las Vegas, where the clubs of Jackson Street rivaled the small casinos on Fremont Street. But the growing black population needed more than casinos. By the mid-1950s, though, Las Vegas’s population had grown to 40,000, and that’s when another national leader came in: W.E.B. DuBois, sociologist, historian, and co-founder of the NAACP. One of his ideas was that of developing the Talented Tenth or, as he wrote, “developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst.” Civil rights activists in Las Vegas embraced the idea of a Talented Tenth. Lubertha Johnson

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had become the area’s first black nurse and promoted job opportunities for African Americans in education and hospitals. Basic Magnesium employee Woodrow Wilson began Westside Federal Credit Union for African Americans. Ministers like Donald Clark preached at black churches, and provided another important group of leaders. A group of arrivals in the 1950s signaled another period of growth of the black community. Charles West became the first African American doctor in Southern Nevada. James McMillan became the first African American dentist. West and McMillan helped start black newspaper The Voice, and Alice Key wrote for it. A few years later, attorney Charles Kellar moved to Las Vegas and became active in the NAACP. In 1955, the Moulin Rouge opened, energizing the civil rights movement. The most prominent leader to emerge from the Moulin Rouge was Bob Bailey, a showbiz veteran who served as emcee and hosted TV shows. Las Vegas’ own Talented Tenth did something that hadn’t been possible before in West Las Vegas on such a scale: They organized. When local dairies wouldn’t hire black deliverymen, they organized boycotts. They boycotted West Las Vegas casinos until they employed African American dealers. They began placing candidates on the ballot and campaigning for officeseekers willing to take stands for civil rights — and they became involved in both major political parties. It’s no coincidence that the 1960s marked a turning point in race relations in Southern Nevada. The national movement had an impact: the sit-ins starting in February 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, prompted the national NAACP to ask locals to act. McMillan, the Las Vegas chapter’s president, asked the mayor for action against segregation in Las Vegas within 30 days — or else the black community would demonstrate. Accounts differ on details, but a majority of hotel-casino owners agreed to desegregate and allow African Americans to patronize their resorts. The Moulin Rouge Agreement of

ci v i l r i g h t s p h o t o c o u r t e s y u n lv s p e ci a l c o l l e c t i o n s

h i sto ry


March 25, 1960, wasn’t on paper, but it was a signal moment in the local movement. Three years later, the lack of better jobs for African Americans prompted local civil rights leaders to plan a demonstration that would have coincided with a world heavyweight championship fight being held in Las Vegas. The casino owners gave in, but it wasn’t until a 1971 lawsuit that made them give it more than lip service. That same year, Nevada followed the federal government in approving a fair housing law. This came after the state passed its own civil rights act in 1965, and after reapportioning the Legislature to reflect the population growth in Southern Nevada. Consequently, Wilson became the first African American legislator, the first of many from the ’70s onward. That growth also attracted new white residents who sympathized with

civil rights. Hank Greenspun moved to Las Vegas in 1946 and took over what became the Las Vegas Sun in 1950. James McMillan said, without it, “we wouldn’t have had a chance to get anything in front of the public.” Lloyd Katz moved to town to run movie theaters, which he desegregated. Attorneys like George Rudiak, Dean Breeze and Ralph Denton worked for civil rights. Democrat Grant Sawyer made clear to the black community when he ran for governor in 1958 that he would support civil rights statewide and did. Mayors C.D. Baker (1951-1959) and Oran Gragson (1959-1975) promoted economic growth in West Las Vegas. Just before he died, King started organizing a “poor people’s campaign.” That welfare movement became an important part of the civil rights battles in Southern Nevada. Former Strip housekeeper Ruby Duncan and other welfare mothers

organized marches and demonstrations, including bringing their children to the Stardust Hotel for an eat-in (literally, and the management refused to accept checks for the meals), and the mothers briefly went to jail. Duncan started Operation Life to promote welfare reform and provide aid and training to West Las Vegans. These efforts brought a medical clinic, a library, nutrition programs, and senior housing to the area. What the civil rights leaders of the 1950s and 1960s and the welfare rights leaders of the 1960s and 1970s sought were both similar and different. But they both knew how to work both sides of the aisle, and to organize, and to stick with it. They learned from the likes of King and Johnson — and so can we. Michael Green is an associate professor of history at UNLV.

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HEalth

Breathe uneasy: Researchers Rodney Metcalf, left, and Brenda Buck

Waiting to Inhale After two UNLV researchers discovered asbestos in Southern Nevada soil, they wanted to study it further. Why did state health authorities stand in their way? B y H e i d i K ys e r

S

itting in her small, cluttered office on the fourth floor of UNLV’s Science and Engineering Building, geology professor Brenda Buck pauses to ponder my question: Has her recent discovery of naturally occurring asbestos in the Boulder City area had any personal — emotional, maybe — impact on her? The sun shines through a north-facing window, lighting up her strawberry-blond hair and blue eyes. “Yes,” she finally says. “I used to board

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my horse, Jimmy, at a stable in Boulder City. Sometimes, when my grandkids were little, I’d take them for rides out there. I can’t remember specifically where we’d go or whether it was windy, which would have increased their chance of exposure (to any asbestos in the air), but I do think about that now.” A few weeks later, from his Carson City office at the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Ihsan Azzam says almost exactly the opposite, without the slightest

hesitation: “I would move to Boulder City in a heartbeat,” he says. “I would be happy to live there with my kids and grandkids. I would not be worried about the risk at all.” As the state epidemiologist, Azzam says, it’s his responsibility to make sure Nevadans are safe. Sounding every bit as sincere over the phone as Buck appeared in person, he repeats several times that he is convinced her discovery is no cause for alarm, that the existence of asbestos in the environment alone does not equal an impending public health crisis. How are we to know who’s right? Buck has recently been on a public speaking tour of sorts, appearing in community forums and academic gatherings to present the findings she and fellow UNLV geology professor Rodney Metcalf have gleaned from nearly five years of collecting and testing soil samples in Southern Nevada — findings that were published in an academic paper in January. At

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a December luncheon hosted How highly by fundraising nonprofit Nevadoes our da Biotechnology & Health Sciair quality ence, I witnessed the impact of rate? Hear a her presentation firsthand. discussion “This is blowing me away,” on “KNPR’s State of a middle-aged woman in the Nevada” audience said. “Let’s say you at desert were able to do all this further companion. com/hear study and you find that there is more a high concentration of asbestos in the air. You’re going to be fighting a lot of different people to get anything done about it. It’s very difficult to change the (political) environment.” The “further study” that the shaken spectator was alluding to is the crux of the real question at hand: Does Buck and Metcalf’s work merit continued examination — and funding — and if so, then why did the state health department bar them two years ago from accessing patient data critical to their work? Or are they, as Azzam’s stance suggests, barking up the wrong tree, looking for a danger that simply isn’t there? It’s not just a philosophical problem. If citizens are, indeed, inhaling a harmful amount of asbestos fibers and the state knowingly ignores it, then there could be long-term health implications that add up to expensive lawsuits — not to mention ruined lives. If, on the other hand, there’s nothing in the air around Boulder City worth worrying about, the spotlight on asbestos could create an unnecessary stigma, stunting economic development projects such as the I-11 freeway. In Buck’s view, her preliminary findings are compelling and deserve a public airing; to the state — which controls the health data — her team has violated good-faith research protocols. What’s in a fiber?

T

he phrase “naturally occurring asbestos” is redundant, says National Institutes of Health toxicologist Christopher Weis, who worked on the high-profile environmental disaster in Libby, Montana, site of a vermiculite mine that sickened many of the townspeople. In fact, all asbestos is naturally occurring, because “asbestos” is the generic term for a variety of mineral particles

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HEalth

Digging in: Metcalf and Buck hope to determine how prevalent asbestos is in local soil. Right: a magnified image of the fibrous mineral.

that are elongated. (Under a microscope, they look like hairs.) Because “asbestos” came to be associated with its industrial applications — in home insulation, for instance — scientists took to distinguishing its natural and processed forms. Apart from “naturally occurring asbestos,” they will use terms such as “fibrous minerals” and “asbestos-like minerals” to be clear that they’re talking about the stuff that’s coming out of the Earth, not out of a factory. The distinction also has political undertones. Asbestos, both in nature and in manufacturing, has been the subject of intense controversy. There are approximately 400 types of fibrous minerals, but only six of them are regulated. The small number is probably due to their broad in-

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dustrial application; these tiny particles have a handy ability to resist both heat and chemical degradation. They also have the ability to wreak havoc on the human body. “When they’re breathed in, they can find their way down deep into the lung, to the place where oxygen is exchanged with carbon dioxide, the alveoli,” Weis says. “Because of that, and their being made out of rock, the lung has a difficult time removing them. They’re too big to be efficiently removed by the alveoli, so they cause scarring. That part of the lung is extremely fragile, so that scar tissue no longer participates in gas exchange. It reduces the person’s ability to breathe. A couple particles is not a problem. A few, not a problem. But if you’re exposed to

these materials every day, you can load your lung with enough of those particles to create a serious breathing problem. And once that scarring process starts, it progresses, even if you remove the exposure. Ultimately, it can lead to death.” The inflammatory respiratory diseases resulting from this process are often lumped under the diagnosis “asbestosis,” which triggers an inflammatory chain reaction in the lung that can lead to debilitating disease whose symptoms are indistinguishable from COPD. Diagnosing asbestosis is tricky. People move around, maybe living near an asbestos mine at one point in their lives and working in a factory that uses asbestos at another. Their health history may include both asbestos exposure and smoking, as


well as other causes of respiratory diseases. Weeding out the exact cause of their ailment requires lengthy interviews and precise tools. Buck says she went to one of Las Vegas’ best pulmonologists for tests to determine whether she had asbestos in her lungs, and he lacked the scanning technology and interpretive expertise to tell her for sure. So, if you’re a geologist who has stumbled on fibrous minerals in the soil, and you’re worried that they may be finding their way into people’s bodies, what do you do? You consult the public health record. A difference over data

“T

he way you worry about fibrous minerals is, you first need to look at mesothelioma,” Buck says, near the beginning of her presentation, “because it can only be caused by exposure to fibrous minerals. It doesn’t matter if you smoke or not; it won’t make any difference to this particular disease, so this is a great disease to use to figure out if people are being exposed to fibrous minerals. Unfortunately, it’s fatal. Fortunately, it’s preventable; you just need to not be exposed to fibrous minerals.” Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of lung cancer. It’s primarily an occupational disease, and it takes a long time after exposure to get sick, often 30 years or more. So, if you’re exposed at a typical working age of 30-50, you may not get sick until your 60s or later. The median age for diagnosis is 74. One other thing: It’s extremely rare. Only a couple Americans out of every 100,000 get it, according to the National Cancer Institute. This, Buck says, means that mesothelioma caused by environmental exposure to asbestos sticks out. It occurs in the young, who haven’t lived long enough to be exposed at work and then have the disease take hold. It also occurs evenly among men and women, in contrast to occupational mesothelioma, which is more common in men. So, she examined U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s mesothelioma figures for Nevada, looking for the tell-tale signs of incidence among the

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HEalth young and women. What she saw, she thought, called for a second opinion. Despite being a medical geologist, who specializes in minerals’ impact on human health, Buck lacked mesothelioma expertise. For that, she turned to Francine Baumann, an epidemiologist at the University of Hawaii’s Cancer Center whose specialties include identifying environmental clusters of malignant mesothelioma. Baumann requested data from the Nevada health department’s cancer registry. Her analysis fell in line with Buck’s: a small number of cases of mesothelioma among young people (as young as 15 to 24) and a relatively low male-to-female ratio of incidence in Southern Nevada. She, Buck and Metcalf compiled their findings for a presentation at the 2012 conference of the Geological Society of America. The abstract’s title, “Potential Link Between Young Malignant Mesothelioma Cases and Environmental Exposure to Fibrous Carcinogenic Minerals Near Urban Areas of Southern Nevada,” backs up Buck and Metcalf ’s description of it as preliminary, meant to be hashed out with their scientific peers. The GSA published the abstract on its conference website, and it caught the eye of journalist Leslie Harris O’Hanlon. Reporting on a story for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, O’Hanlon interviewed not only Baumann, Buck and Metcalf, but also the health department’s Azzam. He was not pleased. Looking back today, Azzam says, he was taken by surprise. Why would this researcher, who’d gotten data from his office, not bring a possibly serious public health issue to his attention, but instead offer it up for public discussion? He went to state biostatistician Jay Kvam, who’d provided the data to Baumann, and they did their own internal review. A disagreement over the meaning of the numbers is shown playing out in a series of ensuing emails between Azzam and O’Hanlon, and Baumann and O’Hanlon, with the reporter playing intermediary, conveying to each epidemiologist the other’s divergent point of view. Baumann stuck to her argument that

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Azzam was taken by surprise. Why would this researcher not bring a possibly serious health issue to his attention, but instead offer it up for public discussion? the numbers, while low, included sufficient incidence among the young and females to suggest non-industrial exposure. “We disagree,” Kvam says. “We found the Nevada data to be on par with that of other states, or below it.” Kvam, who readily fulfilled all of Desert Companion’s requests for statistics, insists that the problem with Baumann’s interpretation is the small sample size. “As you see,” he says, walking me through a customized search on the health department’s cancer data portal, “most years the number of cases of mesothelioma is zero. For example, in 2008, there were no deaths from mesothelioma. Does that mean it was eliminated in 2008? No, it’s just so uncommon that it didn’t occur that year. In 2009, someone died of mesothelioma. Does that mean that the rate of mesothelioma doubled? No. Any rate related to such a small number would be subject to variation. Really, that’s the takeaway: Very few people, an incredibly small number, are dying from this disease.” Buck doesn’t dispute this. But she also doesn’t believe averaging the number of cases statewide and comparing that with other states’ averages is a useful measure of environmental exposure to asbestos as distinguished from industrial exposure. In Libby, Montana, she notes, there have only been a couple dozen cases of mesothelioma, yet it’s widely considered to be among the United States’ worst public-health catastrophes (and hundreds of other Libby residents were afflicted with asbestos-related diseases). “We wouldn’t be stupid enough to say it was a 100 percent increase (from a year with 0 cases to a year with 1),” she says. “What we’re saying is, if there’s one 20-year-old person who has it, then why is that? If as many women as men have it, why? That suggests environmental exposure. It needs further exploration. And

the fact that we did find asbestos in the environment intersects with that.” Anyway, it became a moot point. On October 30, 2012, Nevada State Health Officer Tracey Green sent Baumann a cease and desist letter regarding the GSA conference abstract. It requested that Baumann not only retract the abstract, but also cease presenting or publishing her work based on the statistics the state gave her in any other forum. Although Green questions Baumann’s scientific conclusions, the basis she gives for the cease-and-desist is more straightforward: The researcher, in being granted access to the data, had signed an agreement including a clause that gives the state health department the right to examine and approve any resulting material proposed for publication, prior to publication. “Despite having acknowledged this legal obligation, you chose to proceed with publishing your abstract to the GSA website without having first provided a copy to me or, to my knowledge, any other staff member at NSHD,” Green writes. In the letter’s conclusion, she says, “I’d like to take this opportunity to also inform you that your request for NCCR data of mesothelioma cases is disapproved and that no further data requests from you shall be considered.” Going underground

“T

o be honest, I was scared,” Metcalf says, looking back today at the moment he got a copy of the ceaseand-desist from Baumann. He, Baumann and Buck scrambled to get the abstract removed from GSA’s website and retool their presentation to omit any of the forbidden data. They say they called and wrote to Green asking for further explanation, for a second chance, but got no answer. Baumann stopped working on the project. (She has since gone on to


Better hearing. Better living. study the distribution of fibrous erionite, an asbestos mineral, in the U.S. and its implications for human health, funded by a U.S. Geological Society grant.) Buck and Metcalf regrouped. Then, they went underground, focusing on the geology so as not to attract the attention of, or further upset, the health department. Using Metcalf’s expertise in predicting which types of minerals will be found where, they sketched a map of possible asbestos sites in the valley. “We’ve sampled 43 sites so far — doing bedrock, soil, dust and clothing at each one. Every sample has had asbestos in it,” Buck says. “Pretty much, the model is holding up.” Once, she says, she even went straight to her lab after riding Jimmy for a couple hours and took samples from her clothing and shoes. They tested positive too. In her presentation, she shows slides of gravel and rock in an area that tested positive. The gravel lines Adams Boulevard in Boulder City, passing in front of Martha King Elementary School. Yet, as Azzam is quick to remind, the presence of asbestos alone doesn’t equal human exposure. “Tell me where the air is clean,” he says. “Our air is full of biological and chemical agents. So, having these fibers, it’s fact. I can’t say that it’s not. What I can say is, not all hazardous materials in our air have to translate into negative health outcomes. For hundreds of years, people have lived here. … The only thing that has changed is, they discovered asbestos.” Buck agrees that the key is the exposure, since risk is determined by exposure. And the route for asbestos exposure is the air. During construction of the Boulder City Bypass for U.S. route 93, she says, contractors collected ambient air samples at four stations for three months. “The average of those three months is nearly an order of magnitude higher than the EPA’s reference concentration for non-cancer diseases, and those months were unseasonably wet," says Buck. "That’s really disconcerting, based on what I know is in the soil, and it being open to the wind more.” She believes it’s cause to look closer — measure how much asbestos people may

be breathing, if any, in a variety of places and circumstances (dry, wet, windy, calm) and doing a variety of activities (walking, driving an ATV). She wants to give mesothelioma patients the kinds of lengthy questionnaires developed post-Libby that help pin down their exposure and help train local doctors to identify signs of asbestos-related illnesses. She wants the ability to access health records unfettered, so that she can publish papers establishing the validity of her work, a prerequisite to grant applications that could keep her lab open, staff paid and experiments running. Azzam says he’s not stopping her. “To be honest, it’s public data,” he says, of the cancer registry numbers that have been accessible online since the Nevada Health Statistics Portal went live in early 2014. “The portal is open to everybody. Anybody can jump in.” When Buck hears this, she’s surprised and encouraged, but also skeptical. The statistics one can glean using the portal are not the same as raw data. On the portal, incidence of a disease that numbers between zero and 5 cases per 100,000 are suppressed as statistically insignificant, and it could be a patient privacy violation to identify particular cases in particular areas. Only someone going through research protocols could see such data. The health department does show signs of softening its stance. Azzam says, “We are way ahead of other states in identifying the naturally occurring asbestos in our environment, thanks to the work of Dr. Buck and her colleagues. Now that we know about it, we can keep an eye on it.” With or without their help, Buck is plowing ahead. She and Metcalf are working with the Bureau of Land Management on a study of asbestos on its lands in Southern Nevada, and the EPA is analyzing some of their soil samples for asbestos in both the Boulder City area and on BLM land. “There’s so much other work I could be doing,” she says, “but I’m pretty much 100-percent focused on this now. I truly believe it’s an emerging health issue.”

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Profile

‘I think he’s talking about me’ From shy local student to national face of immigration reform, Astrid Silva’s journey hasn’t always been a DREAM B  y T o v i n L a pa n

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ermandad Mexicana was buzzing. The parking lot of the nonprofit immigration legal-aid organization was jammed. There wasn’t enough space in the conference room for everyone to watch President Barack Obama’s speech, so some people stood outside, staring anxiously at their smartphones. Inside, Astrid Silva stood against the wall next to her father, who has a deportation order against him, and strained to hear the details of the president’s new executive action on immigration. Her phone chimed every few seconds as other immigrants in Southern Nevada, accustomed to using the 26-year-old Silva as a point of contact, texted to ask if they qualified for temporary work permits. It was hard for her to focus on Obama’s words. Then, everyone in the room turned and stared at her. A flood of text messages and incoming calls overwhelmed her outdated Blackberry, which shut down. A friend grabbed her arm, teary-eyed: “Astrid, he’s talking about you.” Without any advance notice from the White House, the president was sharing Silva’s story with the nation, holding her up as an example of the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Silva’s

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DREAM weaver: Astrid Silva has evolved from student to activist.

father, beginning to cry, embraced his daughter as Obama described the family’s sorrow when his mother, Silva’s grandmother, died in Mexico and the family was unable to attend the funeral. The next day, when Obama gave a speech from Del Sol High School in Las Vegas expanding on the reasons for his immigration program, Silva was asked to take the stage and introduce the president. “My advocacy and organizing made me realize that I, like other DREAMers, deserved an opportunity to contribute fully to the only country we call home,” she told the crowd. Backstage, when she briefly met Obama for a photo, she thanked him and reminded the president that his action was only a temporary solution. Both agreed to keep fighting. Silva followed up that turn in the national spotlight with a trip to Capitol Hill in December, where she testified at a Senate hearing on immigration reform, the lone person called to speak on behalf

of the 11 million immigrants illegally residing in the country. For years Silva had been afraid to tell her friends she was one of those immigrants. But her grandmother’s death changed that. It was the moment that transformed Silva from a shy, studious teenager ashamed of her status into an activist willing to put herself at risk for a greater cause. It was also the occasion for her first letter to Sen. Harry Reid, which would lead to dozens more and a unique relationship as the (now former) majority leader’s “partner” on immigration reform. COMING TO AMERICA

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strid Silva’s father came to work in the United States in 1989. An irrigation technician, he found a good job traveling the country on a crew that built golf courses. Silva and her mother lived in the Mexican state of Durango, and in 1992 he sent for them. He shipped them

P h oto g r a p h y AA r o n m ay e s


American-style T-shirts and blue jeans so they would fit in, and arranged for them to be smuggled across the border. On June 22, 1992, Silva boarded a bus with her mother, carrying only a cross and her Ken doll. Her mother wore a mustard-yellow skirt and black blouse, and Silva wore a frilly white dress with purple flowers, the one made for her fourth birthday just two months earlier. Silva’s mother was not about to see her husband for the first time in three years while wearing a T-shirt and jeans. They rode a bus to the U.S./Mexico border in Texas. Smugglers loaded them onto an inner tube with a wooden plank for a seat, then pulled them across the Rio Grande. Silva got mud on her shiny patent leather shoes, and worried about getting in trouble. On the other side, her father met them at a gas station, and they boarded a plane to Los Angeles, where they went to stay with family. Her aunt gave her hot chocolate and deposited her in front of the television to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “It was the first time I’d had chocolate milk,” Silva recalled, adding that she still drinks it whenever she’s nervous. “And, still to this day, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the movie I watch when I’m scared of something. It’s weird. I love Gene Wilder.” Now that his family was in the U.S., Silva’s father did not want to travel so much. He took a job at a Las Vegas golf course, and the family moved in the summer of 1993. They came well before Las Vegas’ Hispanic population boomed, and Silva felt ostracized as the only Spanish-speaking kid in her kindergarten class. Within three months she was speaking English. In 1996 Silva’s father hired an immigration legal agency that advertised it could obtain work permits and legal residency for immigrants. Unbeknownst to him, the agency fraudulently submitted an application in his name for an asylum program exclusive to Nicaraguans. Following procedure, the government issued him a work permit and Social Security number, pending the review of his application. He took it is as a positive sign. The firm billed him more than $8,000 as they strung him

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PROFILE along for more than a decade, referencing the notoriously long waits for visas. But once the government realized the application was invalid, all he had to show for it was an order of deportation. Meanwhile, Astrid had developed into a stellar student. She won awards, joined clubs and dreamed of being an architect. It was also becoming more and more clear that not every door was open to her. Anything she wanted to do that involved filling out paperwork — candy-striping, Girl Scouts, cheerleading, theater, space camp, softball, National Honor Society — her parents rejected. It was too dangerous. If someone realized she did not have a Social Security number, they could be discovered. Silva’s little brother, on the other hand, born in Los Angeles and therefore a U.S. citizen, got to join and quit as many teams and clubs as he wanted. When she was 16, Silva couldn’t get her driver's license, and with no identification she was shut out from even R-rated movies. When she turned 18, she couldn’t celebrate the way all her girlfriends did — by seeing Chippendales. “I didn’t want to turn 18. I told my parents not to throw me a party, but they did anyway,” Silva says. “When you’re 18 in Vegas, everybody goes to Chippendales, that’s the big thing to do. I think my friends went to Chippendales 12 times that year. They bought me tickets to Chippendales and gave them to somebody else and went without me. I had to say it was because my mom didn’t want me to go.” Being denied washboard abs and glee-inducing gyrations was one thing, but it was the academic roadblocks that stung the most. Silva could have gone to her zone high school, Bonanza, but instead she went behind her parents’ backs and applied to Advanced Technologies Academy, getting up at 4:30 every morning to make the 5:15 a.m. bus to the magnet school. She loved A-Tech and excelled. Her senior year, her father drove her to UNLV campus and wrote her a $60 check to apply. At the counter a student worker noticed she left the Social Security number blank. Incorrectly, he told her she needed one to apply. Silva said she would have

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to go ask her dad, and ran back to the car crying. The Mexican consul in Las Vegas at the time advised Silva to apply to Mexican colleges, but when she did, they said her Spanish wasn’t strong enough. Several teachers had taken an interest in Astrid, and eventually she was put in touch with a counselor who helped her enroll at College of Southern Nevada. Silva, though, didn’t see a promising future anymore. She was earning money as a babysitter, and she still couldn’t drive. She couldn’t go to a four-year college, and even if she did, what would she do when she graduated? It was 2006, illegal immigration had come to the forefront of public consciousness, and she felt more anxiety than ever about being caught, deported and separated from her family. She closed ranks, cutting off all but her closest friends. One day while she was in class at CSN she was called to the main office over the public-address system. “I just start crying because I’m thinking: ‘Oh my God, they found me,’” she recalled. “I was terrified. Before I got to the front desk I went to the bathroom, got sick and started throwing up.” She arrived at the counter distraught, ready for the worst. But it wasn’t ICE waiting for her, just her wallet, which a student had turned in to lost-and-found. THE IMMIGRANT AND THE SENATOR

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ilva eventually joined the Hispanic Student Union at CSN and started to settle in. One day the adviser, who had figured out she was undocumented because of her meandering answers to simple questions about her future, recommended she attend a rally Sen. Harry Reid was having about the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act was proposed in 2001; it would grant legal residency to immigrants who entered the country illegally as children and meet certain educational and public safety criteria. It has come up a handful of times in both the House and Senate, but never passed. In 2012, the Obama administration said it would stop deporting youths who met certain DREAM Act criteria.

Silva showed up to Reid’s rally and, when a woman asked her to sign in at the rally, she fled, following ingrained instincts to put her name to as few pieces of paper as possible. But she called the Democratic Party worker who organized the rally, and she convinced Silva to come back. She stood in the back as Reid stumped for the DREAM Act, a row of kids lined up behind him. Silva turned to the party organizer. “I think he’s talking about me,” she said. “I think I’m a DREAMer.” Silva began volunteering regularly for the local Democratic Party in the summer of 2009 as Reid was gearing up for what would be a tough fight against Tea Party darling Sharron Angle. In June, word came from family that Silva’s grandmother had suddenly fallen ill and died. Unable to leave the country without risking the lives they had built in the United States over 25 years, the family was devastated. Silva kept a journal as a kid, and had always communicated with family in Mexico through letters. When her grandmother died she wrote a letter, a catharsis addressed to no one in particular. “I wrote an angry letter,” she says. “I said, I understand that I can’t have my license because I’m undocumented. I understand I can’t go to school because I’m undocumented. But I don’t understand why I can’t see my grandma. She died. That’s a real thing. It’s not a piece of plastic.” That day she got a call asking her to volunteer at a Reid event on the date her grandmother was supposed to fly in for her annual visit. Silva took it as a “sign,” and decided she would give the letter to Reid. “Please read this,” she told him as he headed into a meeting to discuss immigration with community leaders. Reid read it immediately, and had a staffer call Silva into the conference room. “This isn’t political, this is personal,” Reid declared. “Astrid, tell them about your grandmother.” After that Silva and the senator became close, and now, almost every time they see each other, Silva hands him a note, folded into a square with “Sen. Reid” scrawled on the front like “the notes high school kids pass.” Reid estimates he has


at least 40 of them in his office. “People give me notes all the time, but Astrid became persistent,” Reid says. “Every time she’d see me it would be, ‘Here’s another letter.’ But she was always very discreet in how she went about it. She didn’t do it for show. … Her notes really opened my eyes to the lives of the DREAMers.” Silva read Reid’s autobiography, and identified with the story of a kid from Searchlight whom no one expected would amount to much. “He told me to never be ashamed of where you came from. It doesn’t matter where you came from, it’s where you’re going. And not necessarily where you end up, but how you get there,” Silva says. “After meeting him I had the courage to take advantage of all the opportunities I had been too scared to take. At that point I had nothing to lose.”

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THE ACTIVIST

T

o be an immigration-reform activist is to be a yo-yo tied to the fickle finger of Congress. Depending on the politician speaking, immigrants who came to the country illegally are either part of the “backbone of America” or drug-smuggling criminals with “calves the size of cantaloupes,” intent on stealing jobs, government benefits or both. Bills pass the Senate only to fail in the House, or vice versa. For every step forward comes another bill trying to walk it back. Half-measures passed by executive fiat, while temporary placeholders, are challenged with vitriol and distract from the final goal of real, sweeping reform. “The great thing about Astrid is she is very level-headed, and none of this attention has gotten to her,” says fellow DREAMer and activist Blanca Gamez. “She is very humble about it. She tries to help everyone, and so many people in the community turn to her for help or advice on their cases.” It was on the Reid campaign that Silva met Gamez, who went to UNLV after receiving better advice. The two decided that they could do some good by sharing information and organizing DREAMers. In September 2011, Silva’s father was arrested early in the morning as he was leaving his house for work. Fifteen years after he applied for residency and was

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duped by the unscrupulous legal agency, the government decided to execute its deportation order. Politicians like Reid and former state assemblywoman Lucy Flores, a lawyer, intervened, and he was granted prosecutorial discretion (a temporary stay of deportation) after a week spent in detention. The incident shook Silva, who was reminded of everything at stake for her family and the immigrant community. She raised her profile, no longer afraid to put her name and face to news articles about illegal immigration. Silva was one of the first undocumented immigrants living in Southern Nevada to share her story publicly. From the beginning, she has encouraged others to come forward as well, to give the decision-makers faces to conjure when casting their votes. “Astrid showed me I didn’t have to be afraid,” Gamez, 25, says. “I started reading her story in the papers, and she showed me that sharing my story released the fear I had and helped empower me.” MS. SILVA GOES TO WASHINGTON

OVER

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amez sat right behind Silva when she testified before the Senate judiciary committee hearing on immigration reform on Dec. 10. They were joined by their mothers, who now qualify for temporary work permits under Obama’s latest action. The other four members of the panel were three legal experts and a representative of the AFLCIO, all there, ostensibly, to offer impartial, educated analysis. Silva alone had the duty of representing the personal side of the issue, and Reid met her beforehand to wish her luck. “I think the world of Astrid,” he said later. “She has done a lot for her country, a lot for Hispanic people and a lot for her family.” Silva, her thick black hair pulled back, wore a red blazer with a pin on the lapel honoring Tomasa Macias, a Las Vegas mother and undocumented immigrant who died this year after she delayed medical attention for a stroke because she was afraid of exposing her status. “When people attack the president for this action or challenge his legal authority, they are attacking me,” she said, choking


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up throughout her testimony. “... They are not attacking a stranger, they are attacking the girl who sits next to your grandson in chemistry class; they are attacking the man who spends his days making sure your roses are beautiful every spring; and they are attacking everything that has made our country strong.” Some senators exhibited the attention spans of toddlers. They came and went, shuffled papers and waited for their turn to talk. “It was frustrating,” Silva says. “They aren’t even looking at you when you’re telling them your story. I didn’t expect that at all. I thought generally as senators, whether they agree or disagree with the issue, they would give their full attention to it and hear out the different arguments.” Still, Silva is undeterred. She finds joy in seeing how many immigrants without legal residency are coming forward to tell their stories; the watch-parties for immigration votes and announcements have gone from a handful of people to packed rooms. “It could’ve been anybody, and still can be anybody,” she says about her sudden national notoriety. “You can only be in this position so long before you have to let people do for themselves. Right now it’s me, but it will be someone else.” Silva, Gamez, their parents — all have been lucky enough to qualify for temporary deportation relief under Obama’s two executive orders, such as deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), but millions do not qualify. “To me, I’m still undocumented, even with DACA,” Silva says. “Someone could take that away. It’s not permanent. I don’t have a path to become a resident. I don’t have a path to be a citizen. So, until that happens, I’m still undocumented.” Today, Silva works as an organizer for Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and helps lead the local DREAMer organization, Dream Big Vegas. She’s enrolled at Nevada State College and working toward her bachelor’s degree, squeezing in finals as she prepped for her Senate testimony. She is considering law school, but whatever she does, it will involve immigration and activism. “If you aren’t helping other people, then what are you doing?” she asks. “Just helping yourself?”

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The Dish 48

02

15

eat this now 51 at first bite 52

Our c i ty's be st sp ots to eat & drink

Freeze that: Prepping the raspberries at 346 Patisserie

P hoto g ra p h y Sabin Orr

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Dining out

The dish

The molecular chef next door At 346 Patisserie, pastry chef Arthur Haynes aims to fuse scientific sweets with the neighborhood bakery B  y D e bb i e L e e

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his is not the convenient story of recipe — and for a first-time effort, the a pastry chef whose calling came results were a surprising hit. at birth. Las Vegas native Arthur “I would call it my a-ha moment,” says Haynes never pictured himself Haynes. “However,” he quips, “I think of wielding a whisk until he was in this career as more of an arranged marhis early twenties and working a retail riage than a story of love at first sight.” gig at a Joann’s fabric store in NashNo matter, as it’s a relationship that’s ville, Tennessee. Coworkers extended a still going strong. After graduating from fortuitous invitation to a Thanksgiving New York City’s French Culinary Inpotluck, but securing a seat required an stitute and working around the counedible contribution. try, from hip Brooklyn establishments Uh-oh. Haynes’ only prior kitchen (Seersucker, Nightingale 9) to the Belexperience was a busboy gig lagio, Haynes is bringing a during his freshman year of six-year dream to life at 346 346 high school. With the help of Patisserie in Henderson. Patisserie Google and Martha Stewart, Haynes, 31, is kind but 90 South he tackled a sweet potato pie quiet, speaking with a slight Stephanie St.

stammer. He prefers to let his creations speak for him. “The reason I went into this is because I have to work with my hands,” he says. “I like being the kitchen workhorse. There’s also science and a sense of order behind pastry that you don’t get from savory cooking.”

The mad, Quiet scientist

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t 346 (named after the freezing point of liquid nitrogen), he’ll showcase classic pastries rooted in French technique, honed during stints at New York’s Daniel and Bouchon Bakery. But what he hopes will set him apart from local competitors are his avant-garde touches in both form and flavor. Crediting

#150, Henderson, NV 89012, 346patisserie.com

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Ph otograph y Sabin Orr


Chills and thrills: Opposite, raspberry macaroon ice cream sandwich; right, chef Arthur Haynes preps his shattered chocolate mousse; below, chocolate and caramel macaroons

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one of his favorite chefs — Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago — as a major influence, he’ll be playing with liquid nitrogen to create spheres and powders for frozen dessert toppings. It wasn’t easy mastering the art of molecular gastronomy. Haynes underwent a period of trial and error through selftaught experiments. “The first recipe I tried was a Coca-Cola

caviar,” he says. “I bought sodium alginate online and made it in my home kitchen. It didn’t work out too well, but I guess there’s no better to way to learn something than to get it completely wrong.” Despite his laconic nature, there are occasional glimpses of the mad scientist within. For example, a question about his ice cream recipes provokes a carefully considered reply.

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Dining out Sweet studies “I think the one aspect of our shop that sets us apart is how we formulate our recipes,” says Haynes. “We play off the specific ingredient or flavor that we’re creating, and because of that we don’t use a base mix. Certain ingredients already bring enough, say, fat or sugar to the recipe, so we have to reformulate the rest of the recipe to fit that specific ingredient to allow the flavor to really shine. In the end, ice cream is a balancing act, and in order to get a perfectly textured ice cream with an ideal melting point, that balance has to be precise.”

The mom-and-pop molecule

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hen asked why he chose Henderson for his debut project, Haynes points to his 8-month-old daughter Violet. After enduring the hectic pace

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and cramped quarters of New York City living, he and his partner of 12 years, Amber Pappageorge (also a Las Vegas native), were ready to come home. Amber, a hospitality vet who will oversee the front of the house, is confident in Haynes’ ability to please local palates. “He is so focused on his work and he has a love of learning that really comes through in what he does,” she says. “We wanted to bring that level of talent to a neighborhood, family-friendly place.” 346 Patisserie is a mom-and-pop in the truest sense of the word. Haynes is opening without a support team, executing all production by himself. It’s a daunting task, but one by which he barely seems fazed. “I don’t mind working 12 to 15 hours a day,” he says. “But if I’m going to do it at this point in my career, I at least want to do it for myself.”

Fancy chefs — they’re just like us! Even after working for prestigious chef-restaurateurs like Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, Haynes isn’t ashamed to look at cookbooks for inspiration. These are his two favorites: Alinea by Grant Achatz “This book was waiting for me at home after one of those horrible days at work and so I picked it up and it changed everything,” says Haynes. He cites it as a must-own for any aspiring chef with an interest in molecular gastronomy. The Science of Ice Cream by Chris Clarke More technical manual than cookbook, Haynes provides this as proof that pastry is more than a housewife’s hobby. “It’s published by The Royal Society of Chemistry,” he says, “so if you’re into the scientific aspects of ice cream, this is the book to read.”


THE 2014-2015 SEASON CONTINUES

Photo by Kyle Cordova

DISTINCTION IS EXTRAORDINARY

Eat this now! Hana wings at Yonaka

4983 W. Flamingo Rd., 702-685-8358, yonakajapaneserestaurant.com Once considered scraps, chicken wings are now an American culinary staple, and even great chefs — such as Yonaka’s chef/owner Ramir De Castro — use it as a stage to showcase their cuisine. Taking a page from the Thai street food playbook, Chef Ramir marinates the wings until the salt has nearly cured the meat, permeating it with savory goodness. Then he tosses the wings in sweet, garlicky sauce and fries them until crispy. Offbeat? Maybe. A new triumph for the humble chicken wing? Definitely. — Mitchell Wilburn

The 5-Way Cincy

hana wings: Christopher smith

at Egg Works

Various locations, 702-445-7330, theeggworks.com First things first: This delectable hot mess has little in common with more familiar Texas-style chili con carne dishes. Egg Work’s 5-Way Cincy is a heaping mound of spaghetti slathered with Cincinnati, Ohio’s variety of chili — a fragrant, dark stew of ground beef and tomatoes with notes of cocoa, allspice and cinnamon. The unexpected spice mix comes from the Greek immigrants who developed the Queen City recipe in the 1920s. With the pasta and chili making two layers, strata of kidney beans, chopped onions and shredded cheddar cheese take the count up to five. Add obligatory oyster crackers (here from Westminster Bakers Co., the best on the market). Note: You probably won’t need to eat for the rest of the day after powering through this Midwestern specialty. — Greg Thilmont

Photo by Virginia Trudeau

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Dining out

at FIRST Bite

Quiet storm The unassuming David Clawson Restaurant in Henderson hides many pleasant surprises — and celebrates a return to unfussy, well-crafted cuisine B  y M i t c h e ll W i lb u r n

S

ince October, there’ve been whispers about an unassuming little spot in the deepest part of Anthem. With no splashy PR events or phoned-in celebrity chef interviews, the buzz about David Clawson Restaurant has truly spread via word of mouth. That’s good, because it’s unlikely you’re going to stumble upon the place yourself. Surrounded by the big-name behemoths of modern consumer society — Subway, Alb- any of the 28 menu items that bear mini- And yet for all its astounding richness, it ertsons, Starbucks, Bank of America — the malist names like “Lamb” and “Rice” and highlights the oysters wonderfully. The restaurant wedges itself in a nondescript “Soup.” Yet, behind those simple names are same goes for the crab cake. It’s made strip mall with some curious branding. some surprisingly complex flavors. For in- with as much lump crab and as little The big blue sign shouts, simply, “DAVID stance, there’s nothing as sophisticated in binder as they can manage — and a bit of CLAWSON.” No doubt passersby have the suburbs as Clawson’s lamb T-Bone. A Old Bay seasoning and basil — and there shrugged off the new development in their fist-sized, grilled porterhouse with a Syr- you go. It’s a classic, unfussy dish whose neighborhood as an artist’s gallery or may- ian red pepper paste, it’s an inventive dish secret ingredient is the careful attention be a real estate agent with an especially enhanced by the menu’s suggested pairing they apply to it. large ego. Hopefully, though, at least some with a Ramey Syrah from Sonoma. And sometimes Clawson’s deceptively of them will be curious enough to walk Their “Rice” dish is an interesting simple names hide some dishes that may through the door. They’ll be rewarded for concept as well: Niigata koshihikari rice turn you into a drooling, unrepentant their curiosity with terrific dishes from a (prized in Japan), sea urchin, salmon junkie. I have in mind the dessert titled classy, modern — but thoroughly unpreten- roe, and a Parmesan Reggiano cream “Fruit,” a sticky toffee pudding with rum, tious — dining establishment. — something more along the vanilla cream and a highly addictive subWhich isn’t to say it’s without lines of what you’d expect stance called “sticky apricot love.” Yes, David frills or novelties. For instance, from a big-name Strip restau- I know Gordon Ramsay Steak’s sticky Clawson the otherwise intimate restaurant. Like other dishes, Claw- toffee pudding is an object of worship of Restaurant rant has an interesting kind of son’s plainly named “Soup” among local foodies (including us: We 2840 Bicenten“stage” where the chef puts his hardly does justice to what honored it with a Restaurant Award in nial Parkway 702-466-2190 finishing touches via tweezers you get: a bold, robust clam 2012), but this blows Ramsay’s version david-clawson. and plating spoon on the dishes chowder that must have a met- away by a country mile. Make sure you’re com coming out of the kitchen. The ric ton of butter in it. (Trust close to full when you order this, because stage is where they finalize me, I’m not complaining.) you’re liable to eat five. HOURS Tue-Sat, 5-10p

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P h oto g r a p h y S ABIN O RR


GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS H INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS H INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS H INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS H INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING In this competitive global business environment, success requires GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS a strategic perspective, the ability to integrate decisions and OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING solutions across disciplines and an understanding of the global TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS dynamics of business. H INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OFlearning EXCELLENCE The program provides a diverse environmentCONTINUOUS OVATIONDecadent INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL I had a strangely fathrough the undergraduate degrees students hold,LEARNING delicacies: TURE OF EXCELLENCE miliar CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKINGthey work ENGAGING feeling while I the careers in, and PARTNERSHIPS the countries and SUCCESS Left, rice with ate atLEARNING David Clawson H INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING uni; above, cultures that they represent. Restaurant. It was the lamb T-bone GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS same feeling I had when With WITH courses offered in theEXPERIENTIAL evening, OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS INTEGRITY LEARNING I dined at Bay Area instudents complete their degrees at a pace TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS stitution Restaurant Gary Danko onINNOVATION my that INNOVATION fits their schedule. Our students have MAKING H INTEGRITYhoneymoon EXPERIENTIAL LEARNINGThat CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INFORMED DECISION in San Francisco. familiar feeling was aSUCCESS comfortingWITH sense of an average of 5 OF years of work experience GAGING PARTNERSHIPS INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS decades of culinary experience quietly andWITH remain employed while pursuing their OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING at work in the background, bestowing on MBA. TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS the dishes an unerring confidence. FoodH INTEGRITYie fans EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING more into the trend of the moment MBA – Master of Business Administration GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS may consider a place like Clawson dated, Concentrations in: but I prefer toDECISION call it timeless. OVATION INFORMED MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Finance | Management | Marketing It makes sense when you considTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS er Chef Clawson’s C.V. With 38 years H INTEGRITYspread EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING Dual Degrees over luxury hotels (including the GAGING PARTNERSHIPS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING MBA/DMD CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS Ritz-Carlton), fineSUCCESS dining restaurants Doctor of Dental Medicine and culinaryDECISION consulting, MAKING from GeorgiaENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS OVATION INFORMED SUCCESSMBA/MS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL HOA Hotel Administration LEARNING to Colorado, Clawson seems less inTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING SUCCESS MBA/JD ENGAGING Juris DoctorPARTNERSHIPS in jumping on the latest bandH INTEGRITYterested EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING MBA/MS MIS Management Information wagon than putting to work his deep GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS Systems experience in menu-building. David OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Clawson Restaurant has done an interNow accepting applications from qualified candidates. esting service to Henderson. It’s almost TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS thing to go soLEARNING far afield of where H INTEGRITYa brave EXPERIENTIAL CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING the crowds are and where the buzz is, GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS and then open something so much more OVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING high-concept that what your typical 702.895.3655 TURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS diner might expect. This may be aINNOVATION big UNLV.EDU/MBA test for Vegas LEARNING culinary cultureCULTURE as H INTEGRITYlitmus EXPERIENTIAL OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS INNOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING a whole, but with food like this, David GAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUOUS Clawson Restaurant may be the preceOVATION INFORMED DECISION MAKING ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS SUCCESS WITH INTEGRITY EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Cultivating leaders who transform business.

dent we’ve been waiting for.

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BIG,TALL &

FREE FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK FEBRUARY 22 - 28

February 22 - 28, 2015 the view from the Stratosphere Tower is FREE for LOCALS. That’s a $48 value for a family of four! Just show your Nevada ID at our Ticket Center and settle in for the one-of-a-kind view that intrigues visitors from all over the world. Stratosphere Las Vegas

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I hold water to a higher standard. The All-Star Standard. My name is Corey, and my job at the Southern Nevada Water Authority is to make sure water delivered to your home meets or surpasses all state and federal drinking-water standards. At home, my job is to make sure my family drinks plenty of clean, healthy water. At the SNWA, we keep a very close eye on water quality, conducting hundreds of thousands of analyses every year to verify the quality of our drinking water. And that makes both of my jobs a lot easier. We know that some customers use additional home water treatment devices and want to help you make informed decisions. If you have questions or would like objective information about supplemental water treatment systems, visit snwa.com or call 702-258-3930.

The SNWA is a not-for-profit water utility.


Your help

will help change lives. Like you, Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada Cares.

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Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada has been honored to be part of your community. And with your support and generosity, we can continue to

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need your support as we support Southern Nevada.

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Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada


s t e B of127the

ANNUAL

y Cit things we just love about Las Vegas

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stands for aged cheddar and sharp housemade mostrada. It’s not called The Goodwich for nothing. 1516 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-910-8681, the-goodwich.com JB

EAT & DRINK

BEG TO DIFFER! The

meatball sub at Marc Sgrizzi’s Parma is the gem of the lunch menu. No bells and whistles here, just a handheld flavor-grenade: homemade meatballs, Sunday sauce and mozzarella on a toasted roll.

7591 W. Washington Ave. #110, 702-233-6272, parmabychefmarc.com

Tovin Lapan

BEST BURGER

Kalbi burger at Bachi Burger This glorious creation clinches the title for its forward flavors. All the elements of typical Korean barbecue — soy-marinated beef, red pepper paste and two kinds of housemade kimchi — are condensed into a hand-held, all-American classic. Seoul food lovers should brace themselves for burger nirvana. 9410 W. Sahara Ave. #150, 702255-3055; 470 E. Windmill Lane, 702-242-2244, bachiburger.com

Debbie Lee

BEST PIZZA Five50

Strip-goers have no excuse to settle for foodcourt pizza when Shawn McClain’s joint is within easy reach. The signature Truffle pie is a gut-buster fit for gourmands, but it’s the simpler pleasures that make Five50 a standout: a slice of the Gotham (pepperoni, sausage, salami) from the to-go counter is easily among my Top 10 fourth meals. Aria, 877230-2742, aria.com DL BEG TO DIFFER! Made of delightfully balanced ingredients sourced mostly from Italy, and wood-fired in less than 60 seconds, the paper-thin pies crafted at

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Settebello, a certified Vera Pizza Napoletana, arrive unsliced and ready to be torn into. Our fave? The spicy Diavola. 140 Green Valley Parkway, 702-2223556; 9350 W. Sahara Ave. #170, 702-901-4877,  settebello.net  Jams P. Reza

BEST CHICKEN WINGS Sporting Life Bar

Anyone can fry a chicken wing, but Sporting Life Bar executive chef Daniel Dalton takes his one step further. He confits them first. (That is, cooks them in their own luxurious fat). The butcher-cut wings, essentially twice the size of standard wings, would fall off the bone if not for the paper-thin yet inexplicably crispy skin barely holding the limb together. You almost don’t need the housemade sauces. 7778

#1200, 702-734-6342, originindiarestaurant.com

Corey Levitan

Mountain Road, 702-367-3511, raku-grill.com DL

BEST JAPANESE

BEST CHINESE

This Chinatown gem has been a unanimous favorite of chefs and discerning

This classic, where nothing really changes, remains the valley’s best Chinese restaurant. Sure, if you’re not a regular, service may border on contemptuous. But don’t take it personally — besides, you’re not there for 5-star service. You’re there for flaky and buttery scallion pancakes, savory beef rolls and the ever-popular xiao long bao (soup dumplings), literally erupting with flavor. China MaMa’s kung pao chicken will turn you from all other inferior “Americanized” versions. 3420 S. Jones Blvd., 702-873-1977 JB

Raku

EAT GLOBALLY, DRIVE LOCALLY

BEST INDIAN FOOD Origin India

Everyone knows where the best Indian food in the world, outside India, can be found. And London is where restaurateur Raja Majid made a name for himself by spinning traditional Indian with modern touches, such as French-creamy sauces, huge square plates and whole-wheat naan. The only reason Majid opened

diners since its 2008 debut, and that’s because chef Mitsuo Endo has the (Kurobuta pork) chops to back up the hype. The aesthetic is minimal but the flavors are not — one taste of the silky foie gras egg custard or fresh tofu and you’ll immediately join the chorus in singing Endo’s praises. 5030 Spring

BEST CAFÉ

The Beat

More than just a place for spoken-word performers, indie artists and startup kids, this coffeehouse really is a great coffeehouse, letting us get our fix of sugar-free black cherry and coconut lattes at daybreak or well after the sun has gone down. 520

China MaMa

E. Fremont St. 702-3852328, thebeatlv.com

Jennifer Prosser

S. Jones Blvd., 702-331-4647, sportinglifebar.com

Jim Begley

BEST SANDWICH Anything at Goodwich

You’ll be hard-pressed to choose between the PBB&J — the extra B is for bacon — and the smoked-cream-cheeseoozing Patty. Or the satisfyingly savory Ham&, in which the “&”

T H E B E AT P H OT O B Y K R Y S TA L R A M I R E Z

THE CLASSICS

a similar eatery in Las Vegas is because his wife has family here, and we all benefit from that fluke. Chef Vinod Ahuja creates works of culinary art (especially the Saag Paneer and Lhassoni Jhinga) that rival the joint’s contemporary décor. 4480 Paradise Road


BEST THAI

Chada Thai

Lotus of Siam may be the most awarded Thai in town, but Chada Thai is where you go if you want more esoteric regional specialties, more unique original dishes and a wine list that is on speed-dial for every master somm in town. 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #11A, 702-641-1345 chadavegas. com Mitchell Wilburn

BEST ITALIAN

B&B Ristorante In a city where restaurant trends come and go, B&B earns points for being a timeless white-tablecloth refuge. It also delivers an exquisite menu of rustic Italian fare using pristine seasonal ingredients: fresh burrata with grilled bread instead of mozzarella sticks; ravioli filled with tender beef cheeks in place of bland ricotta. An Italian-heavy wine list, impeccable service and life-changing olive-oil gelato make the meal an unforgettable experience. Venetian, 702-266-9977, bandbristorante.com DL

BEST MEXICAN Bonito Michoacan

One of the Valley’s OG Mexican restaurants, Bonito remains firmly entrenched among the best. All the standards are there, but the specialties are where it excels. Seek out the sarandeado — a slightly spicy, creamy sauce — or the garlicky mojo al ajo. Under no circumstances should you pass on the tableside guacamole. 3715 S. Decatur

M A D E LV : C H R I S T O P H E R S M I T H

Blvd., 702-257-6810, bonitomichoacanlasvegas.com JB

WAKEY, WAKEY!

BEST BREAKFAST

Della’s Kitchen

Skip the warmed-over bacon and stale waffles at the buffet and bring civility back to breakfast. This daylight hours-only

diner at the Delano provides impeccable comfort food and respite from noisy casinos. The blue crab Benedict is a statin’s worst nightmare, but worth the risk — you can chase it with a glass of the Mojave Burn (carrot, orange, ginger, cayenne) to negate any guilt. The Delano, 702-632-9444, delanolasvegas.com DL

BEG TO DIFFER! Along-

side more traditional breakfast fare, Bagel Café is a bastion of Yiddish delights, from an assortment of fresh daily bagels to crispy potato pancakes or fried matzo. And with breakfast served all day, you’ll never miss your favorites. 301 N. Buffalo Drive, 702-255-3444, thebagelcafelv.com JB

BEST PANCAKES Griddle Café

I’m sure the plain old buttermilk pancakes at the SLS’ breakfast, lunch and late-night spot are good. But who wants plain pancakes when you can get them stuffed with anything from brown sugar-baked bananas, walnuts and streusel (The Golden Ticket) to Godiva chocolate liqueur and crushed Butterfinger bars? There are 19 varieties in all. Meet the new breakfast of champions. SLS, 702-761-7613, slshotels.com Al Mancini

BEST BRUNCH Veranda Weekend Brunch

It’s an extravagant, allyou-can-nosh country club affair replete with faves like applewood sausage, eggs Benedict and French toast, complemented by fresh fruit, baked yummies, bagels and lox, a cooked-to-order omelette station and fresh mini-donuts. There are more formal, pricier weekend brunches, but this one strikes a stylish, relaxed balance. Four Seasons, 702-632-5000, fourseasons.com JPR

Best Comfort Food Made L.V.

Made L.V. American Tavern has a big snuggly appetizer hug waiting for you — whether it’s in the form of nachos layered with smoked ham hock or mac ’n’ cheese pillowed with burnt pork ends. Sharing comes easy at the Tivoli Village spot, from smoked onion dip and black truffle cheese fondue to garlic Parmesan fries served in a brown paper bag. 450 S. Rampart Blvd., #120, 702-722-2000, made-lv.com Greg Thilmont

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

BEST CONDIMENT

BEST APPETIZER

BEST BAR SNACK

What does the savory combination of vegetable consommé, whole butter and soy sauce get you? Only the most addictive condiment in town: the Zip Sauce at Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. It’s creamy, with a hint of salinity, and it’s practically healthy, thanks to the vegetable consommé. It comes with the grilled portobello mushrooms but use it with everything. The D,

Salty and spicy, these addictive appetizers might get overlooked by the unsuspecting diner. But the best part of the chicken is admirably showcased alongside a lightly smoked honey dip. Rarely seen outside the South, so we can thank chef Kerry Simon for putting us back in touch with this savory snack. 124 S. Sixth St., 702-

Need an excuse to while away the hours sipping cocktails at the Container Park? Look no further than these tasty morsels at the park’s most sophisticated dining spot, which also offers a great balcony view of the performance stage. The sweet pecans, the bite of piquin chili peppers and the freshness of rosemary blend seamlessly to create the most addictive bar snack in town. Container Park,

Andiamo’s Zip Sauce

702-388-2220, thed.com/dining/andiamo-steakhouse JB

Chicken Skins at Carson Kitchen

473-9523, carsonkitchen. com JB

Spicy pecans at Perch

707 E. Fremont Street, 702854-1418, perchlvb.com AM

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BEST PLACE FOR NO-EXPENSESPARED MEAL Sage

With someone else picking up the check, you can easily spin into a whirlwind of flavor and decadence at Sage. Start with chestnut soup and the famous foie gras custard brûlée, and soon you’re ordering bacon-wrapped Iberico loin and a Snake River Farms New York Strip before delving into a flight of artisanal absinthes. Aria, 877-230-2742, www.arialasvegas.com MW

BEST TASTING MENU

Best Meat ’n’ Cheese Board Scullery

This is no dainty appetizer. It’s a glorious smorgasbord of meats and cheeses, breads and spreads, fruit and nuts, maybe even something pickled. Dive headfirst into the array of textures and flavors till you find the combo that blows your mind, then repeat until, sigh, it’s all gone. Ogden, 150 Las Vegas Blvd. N. #190, 702-910-2396, frglv.com Sarah Feldberg

BFFs!

Pierre Gagnaire’s only restaurant in the Western Hemisphere has a terrific tasting menu. Every dish comes with two or three “sub-dishes”; it's very high-concept and laboriously perfect, with delicacies like sea-urchin foam and foie gras, and all finished with the famous five-course “Grand Dessert.” When Michelin comes back to

BEST VOLUNTEER

Mel Zeldin

G

RETIRED NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE

et a good look at this picture. It’s a rare sighting of Mel Zeldin, whose usual habitat is his home office, crunching numbers and poring over spreadsheets. He’s a much-sought-after volunteer whose work isn’t glamorous, but it’s indispensable. Zeldin helps local nonprofits keep their books in order, making sure they’re square with the IRS and on the up-and-up with grant-making institutions. “The people who run these small nonprofits are really passionate about what they do. I take on the administrative and finance aspects to keep them out of trouble spots, so the principals can focus on what they really want to do,” says Zeldin, who most recently was executive director of the nonprofit California Air Pollution Control Officers Association before retir-

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ing in 2011. He moved to Las Vegas two years ago, and has since put on his volunteer resume organizations such as Green Chips and GREEN Alliance. He’s got a soft spot for lean and mean nonprofits focused on sustainability. “He did our IRS forms, our polices and procedures, our board orientation manual — he knows all this stuff like the back of his hand,” says Greenview Global Principal Rick Van Diepen, who used Zeldin’s services when Van Diepen was executive director of Green Chips. “When I learned everything he could do, I was like, ‘Are you for real?’” While the forms and spreadsheets may get complicated, the reason Zeldin does it is simple. “There’s no greater personal reward than to feel like you’re giving something back.” — Andrew Kiraly

Vegas, Twist ought to be collecting stars like nobody’s business. Mandarin Oriental, 702-590-8888, mandarinoriental.com MW

TREAT YOURSELF

BEST DESSERT

Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

Rose.Rabbit.Lie’s oldschool-meets-new-school cuisine always comes with a grand finale of desserts. Some, like the Caviar Bon Bons, typify the originality and decadence R.R.L. is known for. What doesn’t sound like a good idea — salted fish eggs and sweets together? — ends up being a balanced galaxy of flavor. Naturally, one of the last tableside Cherries Jubilee, they turn into a dazzling feast for the eyes and the palate. The Cosmopolitan, 877-667-0585, roserabbitlie.com

MW

BEST CANDY SHOP Sweet Spot

A toy store for your tongue! A playground for your parietal lobe! Apothecary-style jars filled with colorful chocolates, gummies and hard candies against a background

SCULLERY AND MEL ZELDIN: CHRISTOPHER SMITH

INDULGE YOURSELF


of stark white furnishings make this candy shop look exactly like what it is: a druggist for your sweet, sweet addiction. Container Park, 707 Fremont St. #1290, 702-324-2777, sweetspotcandylasvegas.com

Heidi Kyser

BEST CHOCOLATE Jinju Chocolates

Jin Caldwell, trained by famed French pastry chefs Jean-Philippe Maury and Frederic Robert, crafts knee-bucklingly smooth chocolates with precision. Jinju has exclusive rights in Vegas to use Fortunato No. 4, a rare chocolate from Peru promoted by Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain. Container Park, 707 E. Fremont St. #2280, 702-3489407, jinjuchocolates.com TL

2 IN THE MORNING

BEST FOURTH MEAL

Y U S H O A F T E R D A R K C O U R T E S Y O F M G M R E S O R T S I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Chada Thai & Wine

If your late-night grub tends toward the greasy and regrettable, it’s time to do better. Chada is open nightly until 3 a.m., which means you can keep your hangover at bay with charbroiled pork in chili mint sauce, crab curry or stunningly good stir-fried mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. Wash it down with a glass of Riesling, or hot tea if you must. 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #11A, 702-641-1345, chadavegas.com SF

BEST 24-HOUR CAFÉ

Planet Dailies

This eatery is a deli in its own right — it makes one of the best pastrami sandwiches in town. But equally as delicious are the fluffy pancakes, juicy burgers and overloaded salads that will sate any fix. Planet Hollywood Resort, 702-731-7778, planethollywoodresort.com JP

BEST LATE NIGHT FOOD EVENT

Yusho After Dark

A wild combination of art and cuisine — with some drinking and music thrown in — Yusho After Dark gives you yet another excuse to check out the exciting fare being served from this hidden corner of Monte Carlo. Executive chef Brian Lhee showcases his abilities alongside an ever-changing rotation of guest chefs in this first-Tuesday-ofthe-month event. Who says nothing good happens after dark? Monte Carlo, 702-730-7777, yusholv.com JB

you can fill up on oceanic critters without hitting any of the other buffet stations. Bonus: The martinis don’t stint on the olives. Caesars Palace, caesarspalace.com

David McKee

BEST DESSERT BUFFET

Wicked Spoon

This has one of the most varied selections on the Strip or off. Each serving comes in friendly, bitesized portions, so you can run the gamut without bloating yourself. It’s the perfect, light finish to one of the Strip’s more underrated buffets. The Cosmopolitan, cosmopolitanlasvegas.com DM

BEST OFF-STRIP BUFFET M Resort

EAT IT UP!

BEST SEAFOOD BUFFET Bacchanal Buffet

If it’s high-protein goodness you crave, go no farther than the seafood station at this Caesars Palace fixture. You can gorge yourself on some of the tastiest oysters and biggest shrimp in town, along with delicious ceviche. It’s so scrumptious

It’s a bit of a haul to reach the M, and the buffet lines are long, but it’s worth the wait for one of the most well-rounded buffets in town. All the stations are strong and the quality of the ingredients is a cut above — sometimes several cuts above — what most locals casinos and numerous Strip ones offer. The seafood station is a tower of strength, but if beef or vegetarianism are your thing, M won’t disappoint you, either. You

practically have to drive to Jean, but you’ll be glad you did. M Resort, themresort.com

DM

RESPECT YOURSELF

BEST HEALTHY LUNCH

Lyfe Kitchen

This chain from a former McDonald’s exec and chef Art Smith is the next generation fast-casual, thanks to a bright, airy design and a menu full of healthy fare you actually want to eat. From grilled mahi tacos to grass-fed burgers, everything is made fresh and under 600 calories, so you can have luxurious “unfried” chicken for lunch instead of kale salad (although the kale salad is really good). 140 S. Green Valley Parkway #142, 702-558-0131, lyfekitchen.com SF

BEST HEALTHY SNACK

strawberries, coconut, honey and any other fruit you request. It adds up to a deliciously satisfying snack loaded with antioxidants. 1735 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702242-5842, juice-n-go.com TL

BEST VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN FOOD Bronze Café

In the lobby of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is Bronze Café, a primarily vegetarian/vegan venue with the ultimate badge of success: letting carnivores step out of character for a delicious moment. The Good Earth Pita is hearty enough to quell any meat-eater’s appetite, while the Thai Peanut Noodle Salad is hauntingly good without an animal in sight. 401 S. Maryland Parkway, 702-202-3100, facebook. com/bronzecafelv JB

DISRESPECT YOURSELF

BEST GUT BOMB

POP’S Philly Açai Bowl from Cheesesteak It’s true that I usually clear Juice N Go my afternoons if a trip to Some foods make you feel better as you eat them (thanks, placebo effect!), and just the sight of an açai bowl may lower your cholesterol. The healthful Brazilian berries, in a frozen puree mixed with soy milk or apple juice, form the base of the bowl. Next come granola, bananas,

the Pride of Philly Steaks is on the agenda, but it’s always worth it. The greasy staple of my guilty pleasures must include Whiz and provolone, peppers, onions, mushrooms — oh, and Maalox followed by a nap. 501 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-8786444, popscheesesteaks.com

Chris Bitonti

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Best Ethnic Market Rani’s World Foods

Sure, there are markets with a wider or stranger selection, but few are as charming as this West Sahara staple. With rows of exotic chutneys, stacks of colorful saris and the heavy scent of cumin and curry powder in the air, Rani’s is a welcome world to explore. However, the real star is the vegetarian café in the back. Grab an order of tasty samosas or dig into the daily thali hot plate, served with your choice of veggie mains, dal, rice, chutney, flatbread and as much free chai as you can drink. Scooping up lentils while cheesy Indian music videos play overhead, you’ll feel miles from Las Vegas, yet totally content. 4505 W. Sahara Ave., 702-522-7744, ranisworldfoods.com SF

Real Donuts

There are certainly fancier donut places, but none exceed the old-school excellence of Real Donuts. You can get all the classics here: maple logs, long johns, bear claws and a truly ridiculous fritter. You don’t venture into Real Donuts for anything bacon-infused; you come for the damnedest deep-fried deliciousness. 1811 W. Charleston Blvd.,702388-9958 JB

CATCH A BUZZ

BEST COCKTAIL THEATER 365 Tokyo

Booze is the entertainment at this cozy members-only bar (look for the glass box on the front of the Inspire building), where master bartender Seong Ha Lee makes cocktail magic using siphons, smokers and hand-chipped ice. Watching him construct your libation is entrancing, but drinking it might be even better. 107 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-489-9110, inspirelasvegas. com SF

BEST BEER CRAWL Henderson Booze District

Love good beer? Support

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local businesses? Enjoy walking around warehouses? If so, head to the new Henderson Booze District. One industrial building hosts Bad Beat Brewing, which features IPAs and a delectable basil-infused “Ace in the Hole.” Another holds CraftHaus, where deliciously sour saisons fill tulip glasses under the glare of colorful cuckoo clocks. A third brewery is opening this month. Finally, Southern Nevada is getting the brewpub love it so justly deserves. 7330 Eastgate Rd., 844-7870700, boozedistrict.com GT

BEST COCKTAILS Herbs & Rye

Herbs & Rye owns this category for good reason. Here’s one sign of how seriously they take their boozecraft: The era-arranged cocktail menu features multiple tempting choices crafted of proper booze (rye, gin, rum), and just one made from vodka. Not that there’s anything wrong with vodka. ... But we urge you to forgo the Moscow Mule and move up to more potent concoctions. Our pick is the gin martini variation, the Ford. 3713 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-8036,  herbsandrye.com JPR

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Brooklyn Bowl

We love one-stop shops — great food, drinks, concerts and, yes, bowling. Somehow, we just manage to end up here at happy hour, to get our favorites at half price: Egg Shooters, BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders and Rock ’n’ Roll Fries among them. The Blue Ribbon cuisine by chefs Eric and Bruce Bromberg is aptly named. 5-7 p.m. daily; reverse happy hour: midnight-close. The Linq, 702-862-2695, vegas.brooklynbowl.com JP

BEST BOOZE MILKSHAKES Holstein’s

Flavors like pumpkin pie, maple bacon, birthday cake and red velvet come with designer garnishes like chocolate-covered bacon and donut holes. On the menu, the more than a dozen booze-infused milkshakes all sound overwhelming, but in your mouth they are smooth, creamy and tinged with just the right amount of alcohol. The Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7940, holsteinslv.com TL

OUT & ABOUT

BEST DJ FOR BEST MUSIC VENUE PEOPLE WHO Brooklyn Bowl HATE DJS PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC

Anyone who’s visited their local bowling alley has probably thought, “This place deserves world-class entertainment and a gourmet restaurant.” No? Well, luckily, someone did. The venue’s 2,000-person capacity allows it to attract top-tier talent at an affordable ticket price and still maintain a feeling of intimacy, all with the best sonics in the city. And bowling. The Linq, 702-862-2695, vegas. brooklynbowl.com CB

Professor Rex Dart, Bargain DJ Collective

Tired of the fist-pumping-oonse-jockeys of the megaclub scene? Spend an evening with Professor Rex Dart as he spins nontraditional grooves. With sets that pull from punk, funk, soul and beyond, Rex has the beats to cure DJ burnout. Check out weekly gigs at The Double Down Saloon and Artifice. CB

RANI'S WORLD FOODS: BRENT HOLMES

BEST DONUTS


BEST LOCAL BAND THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY MAKE IT

O L I V I A N E W T O N - J O H N C O U R T E S Y O F C A E S A R S E N T E R TA I N M E N T; J E R R Y M E T E L LU S : J E R R Y M E T E L LU S

Rusty Maples

It will be tough for local indie-rock outfit Rusty Maples to top the success they experienced in 2014 — highlights included releasing a full-length album, landing an opening spot on tour with Chuck Ragan and having a song featured on NBC’s Nashville. But if they do, we just might have to nix the “local” part. CB LET’S SEE A SHOW

BEST COMEDY SHOW

Matt and Mattingly’s Bucket Show

Matt Donnelly types a screenplay on a laptop at a Starbucks in ancient Egypt. Paul Mattingly has a look. “Hmm,” he says. “River, boat, wavy line, bird. I’d like to talk to you about a contract!” Ever wonder what Wayne Brady would be like if he were two pudgy white guys and much, much funnier? Matt (co-host of the Penn’s Sunday School podcast) and Mattingly (late of Second City Las Vegas) improv the crap

out of audience suggestions every Wednesday night. The Scullery, 150

Harrah’s Las Vegas, 702853-5950, harrahslasvegas.com JP

Las Vegas Blvd. N., mattandmattingly.com CL

CULTURE — HIGH, MIDDLE AND LOW

BEST PERFORMER Randal Keith

He’s starring in Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers, but it’s Keith himself who’s the showstopper — he made an unforgettable run as Jean Valjean in Lés Miserables, on Broadway and in the national tour, was part of the Las Vegas run of Spamalot and is one of only a handful of singers who has played all three major roles in Phantom of the Opera. The Wynn, 702-770-9966, wynnlasvegas.com/showstoppers JP

BEST ADAPTED BROADWAY MUSICAL

Million Dollar Quartet

We love it all: the story that lets us in on the history of music’s biggest legends, the camaraderie (and good-natured ribbing) of said stars trying to outshine each other, the super set, the glamorous costumes and the music that makes us want to get up and dance all night long. Perfect from start to finish.

BFFs!

BEST BON VIVANT

BEST INTELLIGENTSIA HANGOUT The Writer’s Block

Books! Other books! Completely different but equally compelling books! Also, quirky décor, cool gifts and a literacy-project space in the rear. You can see why the intelligentsia digs this new Downtown book shop. It’s also obviously a good place to find the literati, and, what the hell, even the cognoscenti can come, those jerks. Anyone who values intelligence is welcome. 1020 Fremont St., 702-550-6399, thewritersblock.org

Scott Dickensheets

BEST ART SPACE

P3 at The Cosmopolitan

Here, you don’t just gaze subserviently at the art — you help make it, supplying the resident artist with some bit of material or action that accrues, visitor by visitor, toward his or her finished piece. Thus, visitors to Justin Favela’s exhibit drew

Best Old-School Vegas Show Olivia Newton-John

With due respect to Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers (which is old-school with a vengeance), we bow to showbiz survivor Newton-John, performing at the Flamingo. Sure, 30 years ago it was fashionable to sneer at her and the single-entendre lyrics of “Physical.” But Newton-John’s a gutsy, charming performer not just living on memories. And when the whole audience sings along to “Summer Nights,” she’s having the last laugh. DM

Jerry Metellus PHOTOGRAPHER

K

nown for his high-wattage smile and jokey charisma, photographer Jerry Metellus seems as hyperreal as a model in one of his signature shots. But not in a way that’s plastic or suspect. Rather, there’s a natural, earthy, congenial, attractive gravity to Metellus’ personality that — surprise — makes him the guy at the party who kicks up the smiles-andlaughter quotient. Metellus’ secret? A bit of pretend. “It’s simple. I treat people as if I’ve known them for five years. I go deep immediately.” That sounds deceptively glib, networky; but make no mistake, it’s an approach to socializing and building meaningful relationships born of a long learning curve. Growing up, Metellus says, he was cripplingly insecure — chalk it up to strict parenting and the drizzle of psychodynamics that goes with it. He overcompensated. “I called it the reverse turtle,” he says. “Instead of being introverted and choosing to hide, I was extremely extroverted, and it was a complete mask. I was pretending to be a giant until I became one. I came across as cocky, but on the inside I was freaked out by everybody and empty. It’s like I was borrowing someone else’s personality to make it through the day.” It took some growing up to successfully merge the extrovert and the introvert, the bon vivant and boon companion. No masks here: When you see Jerry Metellus at a party, that’s Jerry Metellus. “When you’re being yourself, you give people permission to be themselves, and it leads to authentic moments people wish for,” he says. And those moments are what counts, whether it’s with someone you’ve known for 20 years or 20 minutes. He compares those moments to beads on a necklace. “The bigger the bead, the richer the moment,” he says. “Why be tentative and make tiny beads? I go for the big beads.” — Andrew Kiraly

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READER S' POL L

FLORIST

14%

TIGER LILY FLORAL

YOU VOTED, WE STATISTICALIZED* AND THEN WE DOODLED % 10 GAIA

* using quantum voodoo to determine top (and bottom!) vote-getters in each category

FLOWERS

7%

CONCERT VENUE

FLORA COUTURE BY FLORAL 2000

7%

BUNKHOUSE SALOON

BROOKLYN BOWL

11

22%

%

THE SMITH CENTER

BROOKLYN BOWEL (SIC) .02%

8%

ENCHANTED FLORIST

HARD ROCK/ THE JOINT

9%

COCKTAIL BAR VICTORIA'S SECRET .03%

.03% ALBERTSON'S on Maryland

ZAPPOS .03%

FRANCESCA'S

3%

DOWNTOWN COCKTAIL ROOM

8%

OAK & IVY

4%

BUFFALO EXCHANGE

LEATHER COUTURE BY JESSICA GALINDO

VELVETEEN RABBIT

20%

3%

11%

CLOTHING STORE

HERBS & RYE

7%

PIZZA UNCLE JOE'S .01% SETTEBELLO "THERE'S NO GOOD PIZZA IN LAS VEGAS" .01%

METRO

11%

SECRET PIZZA (COSMO)

​G RIMALDI'S

9%

3%

DUE FORNI

4%

PATTY'S CLOSET

6%

AMBER UNICORN

7%

DEAD POET

3%

3%

68%

MOUNT CHARLESTON "WHAT IS A BOOK?" .02%

18%

10%

DOWNTOWN .01%

BARNES & NOBLE

41%

ARIA INDOOR ART HIKE

.09% *BORDERS HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE 2011

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9%

RED ROCK CANYON

THE WRITER'S BLOCK

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PIZZA ROCK

HIKES

BORDERS*

BOOK STORE

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11%

THE STRIP .03%

VALLEY OF FIRE

4%


Best Meditative Space Shark Reef Aquarium

There is something not only mystical but calming about the languid movements of sea creatures. And Shark Reef takes you deeper and deeper not only into the world of the sea, but into yourself. (Okay, the humping hermit crabs are a tad indiscreet.) Pay particular attention to the slow, serene arabesques of the giant sea turtles. Their undistracted tranquility will put you in a Zen calm that will last all the way home. Mandalay Bay, sharkreef.com DM

their impressions of Mexico, from which he then fashioned piñatas. Going beyond simple interactivity, this collaborative space brings you inside the creative process. Makes for a great place to see our most venturesome local artists. The Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7000, cosmopolitanlasvegas.com SD

S H A R K R E E F C O U R T E S Y O F M G M R E S O R T S I N T E R N AT I O N A L

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Regal Cinemas Village Square Stadium 18

Hollywood refugees pining for movie houses like the New Beverly, Nuart and Regent are out of luck in Las Vegas. We do, however, have Village Square, where interesting, independent films may not be playing on every screen all the time, but do, at least, regularly occupy a healthy percentage of the screens. 9400 W. Sahara Ave., 702-8380490, govillagesquare.com/ regal-stadium-18 HK

BEG TO DIFFER! At the Gal-

axy Luxury-Plus, pillowy

recliners offer an oasis of comfort and personal space unheard of in the American multiplex — you needn’t unrecline to let people pass. You can take your beer and wine in, too. Note: You must reserve seats ahead of time. 4500 E. Sunset Road, Henderson, 702-442-0244, galaxytheatres.com SD

BEST BOWLING ALLEY Red Rock Lanes

Spacious, clean and bright, Red Rock Lanes is a perfect hangout for families. Stop by for cosmic bowling on Friday and Saturday nights, when you can perfect your skills amid glow-inthe-dark lanes and flashing lights. After you roll a game or two, stop by the snack bar and the arcade. 11011 W. Charleston Blvd., 702797-7467, redrocklanes.com

Sarah Vernetti

BEG TO DIFFER! Roll for

the pins at Brooklyn Bowl, perhaps the best attraction for locals along the Strip. The supercool spot holds 32 Brunswick lanes of

10-pin fun. In addition, it is a killer music venue, has plenty of drink specials and serves amazing fried chicken. It’s a total turkey. The Linq, 702-862-2695, vegas.brooklynbowl.com GT

WHEN CALGON’S NOT ENOUGH TO TAKE YOU AWAY

BEST PLACE IN VEGAS TO PRETEND YOU’RE NOT IN VEGAS

Clark County Wetlands Park

When the pressure gets too much, drive to the far eastern end of Tropicana Avenue and lose yourself amidst the greenery of the county’s Wetlands Park. You can easily pretend you’re a world away from Sin City in this oasis, which is home to scores of bird species, dragonflies, even beaver and coyotes. Whether you walk the trails or stand on a platform, watching soft-shelled turtles sun themselves, it’s a therapeutic experience. 7050 E. Wetlands Park Lane, clarkcountynv.gov DM

BEST PLACE TO FEEL THE COMPLEX WEIGHT OF HISTORY Warsaw Ghetto Remembrance Garden, Temple Beth Shalom

This small, enclosed garden contains some 250 cobblestones from Warsaw, Poland’s Chlonda Street, part of the Warsaw Ghetto established by the Nazis in 1940. Three years later, a handful of defiant Jewish residents stood up against the Germans; this garden commemorates their bravery. Most of the stones are arrayed in solemn rows on the walls, mute witnesses to historical atrocity, awaiting your attention. Who bled on them, you wonder, and why would people do this to one another? By design, the smallness of the space evokes the entrapment the ghetto’s Jewish population must’ve

felt — until you look up and are offered the release of the open sky. Quite moving, whatever your heritage. 10700 Havenwood Lane, arrange tours at 702-804-1333 ext. 100, bethsholomlv.org SD

HERE BUT NOT HERE

BEST STRIP STAYCATION

The Delano

You’d never know you’re a stone’s throw from a casino. MGM Resorts International has crafted a resort with an expansive, upper-echelon feel. Honest, hearty American fare characterizes Della’s Kitchen, and the Franklin lounge is conducive to relaxation in a hyped-up city. The rooms are expansive, and the beds are so comfortable that we spent more time in our suite than out of it. The Delano, delanolasvegas.com DM

BEST OFF-STRIP STAYCATION Element

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BEST HAT SHOP Goorin Bros.

BEST PLACE FOR A FAMILY STAYCATION

JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa

The lush landscaping and winding pathways will make you feel like you’ve traveled a long way from Las Vegas. Lounge by the resort-style pool, where you can order lunch and drinks from Waterside Grille as the kids splash in the pool’s large waterfall. 221 N. Rampart Blvd., 702869-7777, marriott.com SV

MOM! DAD! WHEN DID YOU GET HERE?!

If you have one shot to impress guests, head to the new SLS and let culinary superstar José Andrés razzle-dazzle them with his playful take on fine dining. Unique presentations, tableside theatrics and a something-for-everyone menu provide fun and flavor in equal measure. 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-761-7610, slslasvegas. com/bazaarmeat DL

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BEST DRY CLEANERS

Main Street

For those seeking alternative options for effortless entertaining, it’s easy to pull together a full day enjoying the Arts District. Start with brewed-toorder coffee and bites at Makers and Finders, then swap your old wardrobe for fresh threads at the recently relocated Buffalo Exchange, or feed your picker urges on antique alley — stops at Patina Decor, Retro Vegas, Amber Joy’s and Desert Buddha are a must. Break to refuel at Rock’N’oodles or Casa Don Juan before capping the day with drinks at Velveteen Rabbit. CB

BEST PLACE TO SHOCK VISITING RELATIVES The Erotic

BEST PLACE Heritage TO WOW Museum Strip seems pretty OUT-OF-TOWNERS The tame once you’ve gone a Bazaar Meat

SHOPS & SERVICES

couple of blocks west to the Erotic Heritage Museum, where dildos, bondage gear and graphic sexual art are just the beginning. It has a wedding chapel lined with giant phalluses, to say nothing of a gift shop in which you can buy a souvenir to embarrass the folks back home. 3275 Industrial Road, eroticheritagemuseumlasvegas.com

DM

Village East NICE THREADS

BEST NEW CLOTHING STORE Nordstrom Rack, Downtown Summerlin

The Rack in Downtown Summerlin is like a fashion supernova. I’ve found great deals on Adidas gear, Munsingwear threads and Lacôste cologne in the men’s section. The majority of the store is for the ladies — including an astonishing constellation of shoes — and always seems thronged with shoppers. Park Centre Drive, 702-915-2000, shop.nordstrom.com GT

BEST NEW MEN’S STORE Suit Supply

Sophistication isn’t dead, it’s merely been hiding out at this genteel boutique that has its own seamstress on site. (It’s mesmerizing merely to watch for a few minutes at the front window). Only the finest Italian fabrics are used, but the suits are so absolutely stunning, you’ll walk out looking like Robert Downey Jr. — well worth the price, indeed. The Palazzo, 702-359-6100, suitsupply.com JP

BEST NEW WOMEN’S STORE M Missoni

Known for its dizzying flurry of geometric, striped and abstract patterns, this brand, sought after by many celebs, is now in Vegas. While we’re overjoyed to layer on the kaleidoscope of colors that’s made M Missoni a success, we covet the more laid-back pieces as well, such as stunning winter whites and new neutrals made another trend by the brand. The Forum Shops at Caesars, missoni.com JP

BEST OUTLET STORE

Le Sportsac Factory Store

Las Vegas has lots of great outlet shopping, but none so great as this store that sells sporty nylon bags, from the most current styles to collections by Jonathan Adler, Tokidoki and Gwen Stefani. While you’ll still pay a little more if you can snag one of these coveted styles, most pieces are steals, particularly messenger bags and wallets. The inventory turns over quickly, so if it’s a must-have, buy it today — or you’ll be left not holding the bag. Premium Outlets North Downtown, 785 Grand Central Parkway, 702-366-9268, lesportsac.com

JP

Your fancy gowns, threepiece suits and embellished accessories are in the best of hands at this Green Valley super cleaner known for the care it takes with haute couture and specialty items. You’ll never want to go anywhere else. Before you go, check the website for the monthly coupon. 1760 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, 702-897-0098, villageeastcleaners.com JP

BEST HABERDASHER

Habib’s Tailoring & Leather Repairs

If it’s true that clothes make the man, then Habib Chamie is the man who makes sure the clothes fit the man. His one-man operation can get your everyday work shirts model-snug, save your pant hems from dragging and make your suit look like it just stepped off the runway in Milan, not the clearance rack at Dillard’s. 3345 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-364-9696 Pj Perez

YOU WANT US IN THAT MALL! YOU NEED US IN THAT MALL!

BEST GREEN SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

Downtown Container Park Here’s a shopping center that does our heart

M A I N ST R E E T: B R E N T H O L M E S ; DA R CY S P E A R S : C H R I STO P H E R S M I T H

to recommend it. Throw in spectacular views of the Red Rock escarpment, in-room DVD players and kitchens, al fresco grilling stations and exceptionally prompt service, and it’s the perfect home away from home. 10555 Discovery Drive, 702-589-2000 DM

BEST PLACE TO SHOW VISITORS A SIDE OF VEGAS THAT NO ONE ELSE WILL SHOW THEM

Everyone is a hat person at this fourth-generation, family-owned shop, where the staff can help point you toward the straw fedora, wool cloche or flat cap you didn’t know was missing from your wardrobe. Stick a feather in it and walk out feeling cooler than when you walked in. The Linq, 702-732-4287, goorin.com SF


proud: The Container Park is made of repurposed shipping containers and Xtreme cubes that house a variety of crafts from local artisans, and restaurants helmed by locals. Don’t miss shops and restaurants such as Art Box, which offers handcrafted jewelry, Blumarble, which makes unique gifts from liquor and wine bottles (more recycling!) and Big Ern’s BBQ. 707 E. Fremont St., 702-359-9982, downtowncontainerpark.com JP

BEST SHOPPING MALL Downtown Summerlin

For years, locals have been looking for a shopping center to call their own. Yes, the Fashion Show is a towering jewel, but who wants to deal with the Strip? So when Downtown

BFFs!

Summerlin opened late last year, our shopping dreams were realized. This bright, open-air center has plenty of parking, tree-lined streets and a wealth of our favorite retailers. Its Macy’s carries the best handbags from the best brands. The Toy Box offers the largest selection of Funko Pop! figurines we’ve ever seen. Take your golf skills to the next level at Golfsmith. There’s a great new discovery beyond every avenue. 1980 Festival Plaza Drive, at the 215 Beltway and Sahara Avenue. 702-8321000, downtownsummerlin. com JP

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS

BEST PLACE FOR A KID’S BIRTHDAY PARTY Pump It Up

Birthday parties at Pump It Up are a real workout. Climb to the

top of the towering inflatable slides, master the obstacle course and jump around in a basketball-themed bounce house. And Pump It Up makes life easier for parents — setup and cleanup are taken care of by the helpful staff. 3200 W. Sunset Road, 702-228-8017, pumpitupparty.com SV

BEST ONLY IN VEGAS DAYCARE

Kids Quest at Red Rock, Boulder, Santa Fe, Sunset and Texas Stations

For all the cultural advantages L.A. has over us, we’ve got daycare for movies and they don’t, ha ha. And Kids Quest is the sweetest daycare you or your whiny one has ever seen. All locations feature a three-level slide, basketball court and snack bar, plus iPads, Wiis, PlayStations and Xboxes. It’s $9.50 per

hour, but you can so win that back at blackjack because you were never going to see a movie anyway. kidsquest.com CL

BEST EDUCATIONAL PLAYDATE The Springs Preserve

For harried parents looking for a safe, fun and instructional place to set their little people loose for a few hours, Springs Preserve is a must. From the daily Crack a Geode hands-on geology session to rotating shows like Extreme Parrot Meet & Greet, this civic treasure is perfect for growing minds and bodies alike. 333 S. Valley View Blvd., 702-822-7754, springspreserve.org GT

BEST TOY STORE The Toy Box

Kids will love the Frozen-themed stuffed animals, Ty Beanie Babies and Minecraft accoutrements. For parents,

the store is a treasure trove of collectibles and movie-themed action figures, many of which hark back to the good old days of Ghostbusters and Terminator. Along the back wall, you’ll find a vast array of Funko Pop! vinyl figures, which are based on popular movies and TV shows. Allow plenty of time to explore this section of the store; these strangely cute figurines manage to make even Walter White look loveable. In Downtown Summerlin, 1980 Festival Plaza Drive #175, 702-776-8690, toyboxlasvegas.com SV

PAMPER YOURSELF

BEST CAVIAR SERVICE Mansions at MGM

For connoisseurs of caviar, few places can source the absolute, noexpense-spared best for their guests better than the Mansions at MGM.

BEST CONSUMER REPORTER

Darcy Spears KTNV CHANNEL 13

B

utterflies tamped down and cameraperson ready, boom, she’s into a Filipino fast-food joint that got 40 demerits on a recent inspection — just short of closure. People ought to know this, right? Video now rolling, Darcy Spears calmly asks the startled, befuddled woman behind the counter about the kitchen’s rampant issues. You can only see the back of her head, but Spears is cool and insistent, clearly an advocate of the eating public, but her demeanor is not without a tinge of restraint — there’s no showbizzy, gotcha bombast on this tape. She exhibits a morsel of sympathy — and perspective. “I try not to take myself too seriously,” she tells us later, of the station’s weekly “Dirty Dining” segments. She’ll zazz it up with a little sarcasm now and then. “It’s not the end of the world,” she says, “it’s cockroaches in the kitchen.” It’s also consistent with her approach to consumer reporting. No investigation is too big — or too minor. So if you’re a mom having problems with an online retailer, Spears and her Contact 13 volunteers just

might work the phones to get your money refunded — in time to save Christmas. (Real story!) Car dealer treating you badly? Homeowners association hassling you with nonsensical micromanaging? Folks like that get the same attention that, as the station’s chief investigative reporter, she pays to, say, some creep wasting taxpayer dough. “Our goal,” she says, “is making Las Vegas a better place to live.”

She’s been in Vegas for 20 years, digging up stories for Channel 13 for close to eight. Along with the kick of being on TV — “As early as childhood I was interested in being in front of people” — Spears appears to genuinely enjoy helping consumers. “I have the power to shed light on things, to force accountability, to get results,” she says. “The big payoff is to be able to help.” — Scott Dickensheets

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BFFs!

BEST PUBLIC ARTIST

Jesse Carson Smigel ARTIST

BEST AMPLIFIER REPAIR

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Thermal Relief Design

There’s no point in eating the world’s finest caviar out of a dixie cup, so guests enjoy their expensive eggs out of even more expensive eggs, a set of gold and crystal eggs from the Fabergé Design House. 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 877-225-2121, mgmgrand. com MW

BEST PAMPER SESSION

Nagomi Ritual at Qua Baths & Spa Created in conjunction with Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, this 90-minute experience is a full-body sampler of spa indulgences, literally from head to toe. Or rather, toe to head. The “ritual” begins with a floral foot bath and exfoliation using crystallized honey, then moves into a full-body massage before ending with a “carboxitherapy” facial to leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and even a little Zen. $425. Caesars Palace, 866-7820655, caesars.com SF

BEST USE OF FOIE GRAS

FG&J at Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar

Executive chef Brian Massie has hidden a maniacal masterpiece among

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the expansive American fare at Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar — the FG&J. Foie gras mousse topped with bits of peanuts and served with a housemade jam is unctuous without being overpowering; the peanut shards convey a variety of textures without obscuring the smooth goose liver. PB&J never tasted so good! Red Rock Resort, 702-693-8300, hearthstonelv.com JB

MEMORY LANE

BEST THRIFT STORE

While the team at Thermal Relief are brilliant restorers, rehabbers and rebuilders of any breed of electronic audio equipment, their pedigree is earned from servicing vintage tube amps. My mere rewiring and retubing requests may fall far below their full tinkering potential, but the pros always treat my clunker like a Plexi. 730 W. Cheyenne Ave. # 120, 702-395-7005, thermalrelief.com CB

Epic Thrift

A thrift store is value-driven already, but at Epic Thrift, you can walk out with an item that looks brand-spankin’ new for as little as 50 cents on sale days — and most days are sale days. Plus, it has 50 percent off sales every other Saturday, as well as a new incentive program that gives you even greater savings, such as 10 percent off of already discounted merchandise and more. Multiple locations, epicthriftstores.com JP

BEST DESIGNER THRIFT STORE Déja Blue Boutique

This haute couture wonder proudly displays finds from the hottest designers

around: Diane von Furstenberg, Valentino, Badgley Mischka and more. You’re all but guaranteed to find some Gucci, Juicy Couture and Betsey Johnson on every trip, and selections range from day- and eveningwear to barely-worn footwear, furs and other glamour-puss pieces. 10300 W. Charleston Blvd., 702-586-1100, goodwill.vegas JP

BEST VINTAGE STORE Roxtrot Vintage

Remember that time you walked into a shop, picked up something adorable like a vintage trivet in the shape of an owl, and then immediately saw two

JESSE SMIGEL AND ARTISANAL FOODS: BRENT HOLMES; THERMAL RELIEF DESIGN: CHRISTOPHER SMITH

ello, kitty! Part of a City of Las Vegas initiative to art up First Street, Jesse Carson Smigel's sculpture "Snowball in Vegas" — a giant cat head, its tongue curling out in ready-to-groom mode — commands the corner of First and Coolidge with the insouciant charisma, natural entitlement and sheer adorability of a real cat. The point here is, you stand under the tongue as if Snowball's bathing you; a friend snaps your picture, uploads it, hashtag something cool and non-gambley in Vegas, and, borne along by a thousand lulz and the Internet's insatiable love of cat-oriented novelty, a bit of Smigel's hometown pride circulates through the collective human consciousness that is social media. Even dog people are tickled. "Their gut feeling should be enjoyment," Smigel says of viewers. He hasn't forgotten the lessons of his favorite public art when he was a kid: the giant water-squirting turtles at Jaycee Park. Pure fun! So any questions you have about highbrow vs. lowbrow public art — brainy, conceptual stuff (see Stephen Hendee's "Monument to the Simulacrum" at the Fifth Street School) vs. the crowd-pleasing populism of giant cats — well, pose 'em to a professor of Turtleneck Studies. Smigel's content to zap your pleasure receptors with work that's pop-drenched (recall his oversize gnomes at City Hall a few years ago), inventively funny, shareable and, whenever possible, rah-rah about Vegas. (A discarded concept for this site: the giant head of local TV personality Count Cool Rider.) Pure fun, indeed. "However you might enjoy it," Smigel says, "please do." Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. — Scott Dickensheets


other items absolutely essential to your existence? Right, because that didn’t happen yet — because you haven’t been to Roxtrot Vintage. This oversight can be easily corrected by checking out its awesome collection of locally made and vintage items. 9272 Tamarus St., 702-260-1190, roxtrotvintage.com MO

BEG TO DIFFER! At the Vintage Glam Factory, the emphasis is on pieces from the ’40s to the ’60s — and you’ll want to spend hours in this time warp, looking through every dress, pantsuit, hat, glove and bracelet. 211 E. Colorado St. 702-443-0131, etsy.com/shop/glamfactoryvintage

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TO THINE OWN SELF BE GROOMED

BEST OLD-SCHOOL BARBER SHOP Downtown Vintage Barbershop

Fitting in perfectly with the “land that time forgot” vibe of downtown Henderson’s Water Street District, this throwback spot doesn’t take appointments or credit cards, but it does offer what a good barber shop should: tight clipper cuts, hot towel shaves and a killer selection of pomade. 37 S. Water St., 702-564-2343 PP

BEST PLACE FOR MANSCAPING Box Human Landscapers

We know hair is natural and beautiful and all that. But if you can’t wear a tank top without looking like Teen Wolf, then a visit to Box might be in order. From simple back-hair removal to its infamous “sac and crack” treatment, these “human landscapers” have you covered. Er, uncovered. 420 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-893-9993, bikiniwaxing.com PP

BEST BEST PET-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS PATIO DINING FOR PAMPERED Annie’s PETS Gourmet GONE TO THE DOGS

Italian

This family-run, Green Valley strip-mall gem doesn’t just tolerate furry diners — it welcomes them with open paws. On Ookie’s Garden Pet-Friendly Patio, pet owners can order special meals made specifically for their four-legged friends. 75 S. Valle Verde Drive, 702-254-3663, anniesgourmet.org PP

BEST PLACE TO SPOIL YOUR DOG Flea Bag’s Barkery & Bow-tique

Las Vegas Dog Resort

A 600-square-foot suite pimped out with a queen-sized bed, 46-inch flat-screen TV and a sofa would be pretty swank for any one person, but for a dog? Hey, nothing’s too good for your princess, so if your little angel needs boarding, this upscale pet hotel offers the royal treatment. Wonder if we can book a stay there? 6810 W. Sahara Ave., 702-560-7387, lvdoghotel.com PP

BEST VETERINARIAN

Mountain Vista Animal Hospital

The good people here understand the special bond we have with our pets. “What are your babies’ names,” they’ll ask when you call for an appointment. Animal-lovers themselves, they bring a gentle, compassionate touch to your pets’ treatment and, when one of your loved ones must be euthanized, they grieve with you. When my cat Fasolt, a beloved, longtime patient, finally crossed the Rainbow Bridge, it was as though a

member of the Mountain Vista family had died. I wouldn’t take my cats anywhere else. 4675 E. Flamingo Road, 702-4588808, mvahvetlv.com

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BEST RUNNING STORE Red Rock Running Company

When it’s time to buy running shoes, you want a store staffed by actual runners. At this shop, owned by Adidas ultrateam member Josh Brimhall, you can hop on the treadmill, have your stride analyzed, then stroll out in the perfect

You wouldn’t throw a birthday party for your kid without a cake, so why stiff your pet? This longtime denizen of The District not only offers fresh-baked treats for Fido, but also luxury collars, toys and accessories. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but you don’t want Fifi looking like a plebeian at the dog park, do you? 2225 Village Walk Drive, 702-9148805, fleabagsonline.com PP

BEST SPOT TO DO SHOTS WITH MAN’S BEST FRIEND Yappy Hour at Rumor

If you’ve ever dragged your pooches to a dog park and thought, “What this really needs is liquor,” you’re in luck: Just about every third Thursday, from 6-9 p.m., pet-friendly boutique hotel Rumor hosts an outdoor mixer for canines and their owners, featuring drink specials, a DJ and free goodies for fur-covered guests. 455 E. Harmon Ave., 702-369-5400, rumorvegas. com/yappyhour PP

Best Place for Artisanal Ingredients Artisanal Foods

Need a big bag of foie gras? This boutique retailer has you covered. Get molecular in the kitchen with “pearls” of rosemary and olive oil and emulsification kits from Spain. Snag a wasabi grater for your weekend sushi experiments. Stock up on truffles and caviar. You can even score “cat poop coffee” — gourmet beans fermented in the guts of Indonesian civets. Meow! 2275 E. Sunset Road, 702-436-4252, artisanalfoods.com GT FEBRUARY 2015

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pair to help you be the best marathoner/fun-runner/mall-walker you can be. 7350 W. Cheyenne Ave.

and science jammed in between. Marjorie Barrick Museum Auditorium, UNLV, 702-895-3381, liberalarts. unlv.edu/forum HK

#106, 702-870-4786; 120 S. Green Valley Parkway #144, 702-998-9054, redrockrunningcompany.com SF

BEST BIKE SHOP

Peloton Sports

This Trek-focused momand-pop can’t match the vast inventory or wide variety of its bigger competitors, but it has something they don’t: a personal touch. Loyal fans say they go there because owners Deya and Phil Hawk remember not only their customers' names, but also the last part they bought and century they rode in. 911 N. Buffalo Drive #101, 702-363-1991, pelotonsports.com HK

BEST CRAFTER’S HEAVEN Paper Source

Does “crafting” mean something more to you than pipe cleaners and Elmer’s glue? Do you know what washi tape is? Is everything made cuter with a bird on it? If you answered yes, a pilgrimage to this fantasyland at Tivoli Village is mandatory. Unleash your inner Martha Stewart with DIY workshops, scrapbooking supplies and reams of specialty papers. 410 S. Rampart Blvd. #165, 702-2338740, paper-source.com DL

BEST BEAUTY PRODUCTS STORE Guerlain

A piece of luxury can be yours at this exquisite boutique, where you’ll find luxury lipsticks, haute couture fragrances and Guerlain’s signature Meteorites pearls, which contain light-creating polymers and corrective colors to even out skin tone and leave a long-lasting glow on the skin. Never has the adage “you get what you pay for” been so right. The Palazzo, 702-7327008, guerlain.com JP

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BEST LIBRARY

MIND & BODY

Sahara West

This library has it all: helpful staff, rotating exhibits in the art gallery, plenty of children’s programs and many quiet spots to relax with a good book. Plus, Sahara West is home to the International Languages Collection, which includes books, newspapers and other resources in 37 languages. Fantastico! 9600 W. Sahara Ave., 702-507-3630, lvccld.org SV

FEEL THE LEARN

BEST COMMUNITY CLASSES REI classes, outings and events

From map-and-compass navigation and rock climbing basics to bike maintenance and tips for brewing the perfect cup of camp coffee, REI’s interactive classes are taught by people who have been there and hiked/cycled/ climbed that. Many are free to the public; others are fee-based with discounts for members. Boca Park, 710 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-951-4488; The District, 2220 Village Walk Drive, #150, Henderson, 702-896-7111, rei. com JoAnna Haugen

BEST PLACE TO LEARN ABOUT BUTCHERY Echo & Rig

Not only can you dine on fine viands at Echo & Rig, you can learn how critters are transformed into cuts of meat. Monthly demonstrations by the eatery’s expert butchers explain the nuances of preparing cow, pig, lamb and chicken for the plate. It’s an enticing and mind-expanding show. 440 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-489-3525, echoandrig. com GT

HOW CAN I TURBOBOOST MY FREE TIME?

BEST LECTURE SERIES UNLV University Forum

This 18-installment free series kicks off with sex and porn in suburbia, and swings by Americanism and pluralism in TV’s horror genre before ending on some good, old-fashioned gender inequality (“Why Women Earn Less and What You Can Do About It”) — with a whole lot more art, history, literature, politics

BEG TO DIFFER! From its eye-catching five story building to its superabundant resources, UNLV’s Lied Library is a great place to brain up. library.unlv.edu SD OOOHHH … AAHHH — NOW, SQUAT!

BEST SPA ON THE STRIP

Spa Bellagio

This haven tops our list of on-Strip spas thanks to two stunning features: its aqua treatments and its gym. Hit the Zen zone in the Watsu massage treatment, an aquatic session combining shiatsu and stretching in your own private pool. And for classes you can’t find

anywhere else, a visit to Spa Bellagio’s fitness center will take you to the next level, literally — in TRX suspension training, you use gravity and your body’s weight to master different exercises. Bellagio, 702-6937472, bellagio.com JP

BEST OFF-STRIP SPA WELL Spa

This boutique does what we go to spas for better than any other spa in town — it delivers a purely indulgent, relaxing experience. We love that the massages not only make us fall asleep, but drool; in the relaxation room, the staff waits on you hand and foot while you lie beneath a warm blanket in dimly-lit nirvana. The Platinum, 211 E. Flamingo Road, 702-365-5000, theplatinumhotel.com JP

BEST COUPLES SPA COSTA DEL SUR Never have we found a spa environment where we’re more in tune with our significant other than at this southwest gem. Not only are there separate couples rooms, but a couples relaxation room and aquatic area, where we can nosh on snacks before warming up in the hot tub. In the couples treatment rooms, it’s easy to get romantic in a private bath before

Best Historic Exhibit Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

Oh, what poignant poetry is the ramshackle adobe house at the center of this historic park. Touted as the first permanent structure erected in Southern Nevada by non-natives, it harbored Mormon missionaries who diverted water from Las Vegas Creek to farm the area. See what they started? 500 E. Washington Ave., 702-486-3511, parks.nv.gov HK


BFFs!

BEST COACH

Bob Kryszczuk

COACH, MOUNTAIN RIDGE LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM

A

ny parent will attest that it’s hard to get 12- and 13-year olds to focus on anything, but the 14 kids on the Mountain Ridge Little League AllStar team were certainly focused: They wanted to take the Little League World Series title. It was a big dream. No team from Nevada had ever been to the Series — that is, until August, when the Mountain Ridge team made it all the way to the championship game. Bob Kryszczuk was one of the three coaches who helped make that happen. “It was unbelievable. So many millions of kids play ball and there are only 268 that go to the Little League World Series every year? And to be a team with 14 kids when 28 get to go to the U.S. Championship — it’s a feeling that will last a lifetime.” Coaching is about more than crafting a practice regimen, analyzing game videos and making game plans — though the

holding hands during side-by-side massages. The South Point, 702-797-8030, spacostadelsur.com JP

O L D L AS V E G AS M O R M O N FO RT: B R E N T H O L M E S ; B O B K RY S ZC Z U K : C H R I STO P H E R S M I T H

BEST THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE Integrative Massage Therapy of Nevada

You say you want a firm touch? With your permission, owner Logan Hung will apply “deep pressure” that feels like a Bruce Lee workover. Once the bruises heal, you’ll thank him. The technique, acquired through advanced manual therapy training, has earned him a spot as masseur to Cirque du Soleil performers. 6268 S. Rainbow Blvd. #105, 702-220-9360 HK

BEST GYM

Orangetheory Fitness

At the start of my first Orangetheory Fitness session, things are going swimmingly on a rowing machine. Thirty minutes

coaches did plenty of that. It’s also about managing the collective psychology and morale of a group of teens and pre-teens during the requisite road trips — totaling 38 days for the team. Good-natured pranks and joking? Lots. Homesickness? A little — for which Coach Kryszczuk always had a listening ear and encouraging hug. He believes a balance of strong playing and a healthy team mentality is what took them so far — and softened the disappointment of defeat. Even after their championship loss, the boys were playing and laughing within 45 minutes. “If you get a team that doesn’t get along, that doesn’t gel, the friction will end up eating away at what people are able to do

later, sweat is flying and my muscles are screaming as I do sumo squat reps to the sound of thumping music and an instructor’s uplifting admonitions. A player in the cross-training fitness trend, Orangetheory outfits its clientele with biometric monitors. You watch your stats on large monitors as you work out, from calories expended to breaths per minute. It’s hardcore stuff, and it gives results. Note: Orangetheory locations are small and lack the amenities of big gyms, such as pools, saunas and indoor tracks. 9326 W. Sahara Ave., 702-910-4445, orangetheoryfitness.com GT

300 DAYS OF SUN

BEST GROUP HIKE Anniversary Narrows

Grab your friends for this hike at Lake Mead off North Shore Road. The hike follows an old dirt road for a few miles, then drops into a dramatic wash. These durable surfaces are perfect for groups. The trail ends at a narrow slot canyon about a quar-

ter-mile mile long. Note: Technically the canyon is in the Muddy Mountains Wilderness Area, so group size should be limited to 12. AG BEG TO DIFFER! Bristlecone Trail at Mount Charleston. Also following an old dirt road, it begins along Lee Canyon Road about a mile below the ski resort. Added bonus: This excellent loop hike ends at the ski resort — where some of the group can park in advance and drive the gang back to the trailhead. AG

BEST SOLITARY HIKE

Lake Las Vegas Overlook

It starts at Terrazza Park, which hooks up with the Clark County Wetlands Park trail system. In short order, the trail crosses Las Vegas Wash and climbs to the surrounding hilltops. The trails are well built and grossly underutilized. This hike culminates at a peak with views of Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the Vegas Valley. AG

and then people start blaming each other,” says Kryszczuk. “If somebody dropped the ball, another one came in and said, ‘Hey, that’s all right. We’ll just move on from here.’ They didn’t hold it against anybody.” That’s the kind of teamwork few coaches can inspire. — Sage Leehey

BEST WALKING TRAIL Pittman Wash Trail

The sand of the Channel Trail crunches up around your hiking boots, the smell of creosote hangs in the air and the slight gurgle of a natural spring oscillates in and out of earshot as you wind your way between Green Valley Parkway and Valley Verde Drive, the section of the Pittman Wash most painstakingly preserved/ restored by Project GREEN: Friends of Pittman Wash. Running between two residential developments, the wash has been the subject of much controversy — to pave or not to pave? — exactly because it is so beautiful and beloved. The interpretive plaques the Friends have placed there to educate wanderers on the area’s natural wonders make crossing Valley Verde toward Arroyo Grande and heading into the section where the city has begun installing concrete ero-

BONUS Want to get the most out of our bests? Go to desertcompanion.com for more of our picks — and more from our readers, too.

sion-prevention channels all the more hideous and sad. Trailhead at 298 North Arroyo Grande Blvd., outsidelasvegas.org/trail/195 HK

BEST SHORTDISTANCE SUMMER CITY ESCAPE

Stand-up Paddleboarding at Lake Las Vegas After a five-minute primer, we were off to explore Lake Las Vegas on a blistering summer day. On the stand-up paddleboard we explored the shoreline between cooling dives into the water. The balance-blessed floated past, doing yoga and other acrobatic maneuvers on their boards. Still, cruising Lake Las Vegas on a stand-up board, the city swelter was far, far away. 101 Montelago Blvd., 702-567-2187, suplv.com FEBRUARY 2015

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your Arts+Entertainment calendar for February

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Dam Short Film Festival Boulder Theatre Launched in 2005, this has become one of our mainstay film festivals. Bushels of short films — from drama to comedy, documentary to sci-fi, animation to underground — will be shown during the four-day festival, along with filmmaker meet-and-greets and an awards event. $9 per program, $30 for one-day pass, $100 for four-day pass, Boulder Theatre, Boulder City, damshortfilm.org

Ongoing

Joe Lano and friends

19 Manuel Gonzales Greenspun Hall, UNLV “We have been circling the city now at an altitude of between seven thousand and ten thousand feet for, according to our best estimates, around twenty years.” Go on. “I once asked the Pilot — this was early in the hijacking, maybe a week …” So begins Gonzales’ story “Pilot, Copilot, Writer.” Sample more of his sensibility at this Black Mountain Institute reading. 7 p.m., free, blackmountaininstitute.org

Winchester Cultural Center Jazz great Lano — a Las Vegan who’s locked in for a spot when they finally carve that Mount Rushmore of jazz guitarists — is joined by a swinging nine-piece band. Go. 2 p.m., $12 advance, $15 door, 702-455-7340

Reflecting & Projecting Barrick Museum

28 Tuskegee Love Letters

Subtitled “Twenty Years of Design Excellence,” this exhibit showcases award-winning architecture designs as selected by the Nevada chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It’s a nice window into our city’s built environment. Free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum, unlv.edu

West Charleston Library This play dramatizes the African American experience through the experiences of a World War II pilot and his wife as they “battle the loneliness of war, wrestle with racial segregation and triumph to pursue their dreams.” 7 p.m., W. Charleston Library, lvccld.org

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THE GUIDE ART

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE ART EXHIBIT

THROUGH FEB. 5, MON-THU 7A-5:30P This exhibit includes art in a variety of media by several city, county and state employees who also practice fine art. Curated by Marty Walsh, owner of Trifecta Gallery in the Arts Factory. Free. Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 495 S. Main St., second floor, 702-229-1012

THE MID-CENTURY LAS VEGAS STAGE: THE ACTS THAT BUILT THE ENTERTAINMENT CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

THROUGH FEB. 14, WED-FRI 12:309P; SAT 9A-6P Photographs from the News Bureau archives showing lounge acts from the mid20th century in Las Vegas entertainment history, as well as photographs of signs and marquees highlighting the same entertainers. The Nevada State Museum is loaning a costume from the period. Free. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., 702229-6383

IN HONOR OF CHINESE NEW YEAR: YEAR OF THE GOAT

THROUGH FEB. 21, BY APPOINTMENT The upcoming New Year symbol can also be shown as the sheep and is the eighth sign of the Chinese Zodiac. The number 8 in Chinese is an auspicious one, symbolizing peace and prosperity. Multiple artists contribute to this annual celebration. Free. Mayor’s Gallery, Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St., 702-229-1012

PREFAB

THROUGH MARCH 6 Italian artist Giorgio Guidi’s new sculpture is a design similar to Roman basilicas, the first public buildings with no religious affiliation located near the main square of a town. The structure’s interior will be decorated with graffiti, provided by volunteers from local schools and other institutions. The goal of the sculpture is to make the viewer rethink accepted assumptions and open a discussion about the future of the community. Free. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, clarkcountynv.gov

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DK SOLE

THROUGH MARCH 13 Sole creates small sculptures from discarded items she finds along the streets. More than one hundred of her assemblages will be displayed along the walls in clusters or “islands,” linked by threads. The artist hopes to mirror the interplay of human connections in the community and to prompt viewers to pay attention to these broken street-scraps as they might pay attention to a crowd of faces. Free. Clark County Government Center Winchester Gallery, clarkcountynv.gov

ROCK STARS: STONE SCULPTURE

THROUGH MAY 5, MON-THU 7A-5P This exhibit includes various genres of stone sculpture created by artists who have studied stone-carving techniques at Gainsburg Studio, taught by owner and artist Sharon Gainsburg. Free. Las Vegas City Hall Grand Gallery, 495 S. Main St., first floor, 702229-1012

FABERGÉ REVEALED

THROUGH MAY 25, 8A-10P Showcasing 238 rare Fabergé artifacts, as part of the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia. Unique to this exhibition is a small collection of “Fauxbergé” objects – look-alikes once believed to be originals. $17, $14 for Nevada residents, $12 students/seniors/military, children 12 and under free. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, bellagio.com/attractions/ gallery-of-fine-art.aspx

FIRST FRIDAY

FEB. 6, 6P Love is in the air; and if you love art, this is the place to be. Varied exhibits, open galleries, live music and DJs, food trucks, vendor booths and special activities for the kids. Free. Arts District; hub at Casino Center Blvd. between Colorado St. and California St., firstfridaylasvegas.com

CHOCOLATE: THE EXHIBITION

FEB. 8-MAY 3 Interactive exhibits reveal the plant, products and mystique of chocolate throughout the ages in science, history and popular culture. Enter a tropical rainforest to learn how cacao is grown and how it is processed to fulfill today’s global demand. Examine chocolate’s role throughout history and how the mass production of chocolate bars fueled the Industrial Revolution. Free with general admission. Springs Preserve

IN HONOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE 2015 EXHIBIT

FEB. 12-MAY 14, MON-THU 7A-5:30P Artwork in various media to celebrate African American Month. Free. Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 702-229-1012

DANCE

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. Ages 8+ only. $4. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., ethnicexpresslasvegas.org

LAS VEGAS CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATER 7TH ANNUAL CONCERT SERIES

FEB. 6, 7P; FEB. 7, 1P Choreographic works include: Past Present Future “Solstice” by Bernard H. Gaddis and “Crashing Through” by Hope Boykin, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company member and choreographer, along with new works by LVCDT Founding Director Bernard H. Gaddis, “Take 5” and “Free” world premieres. Free. W. Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org

THE ROLLE PROJECT

FEB. 8, 1P; FEB. 12, 10:30A Experience a dance arts performance designed to ignite active arts involvement within our communities, with a special emphasis highlighting Autism Awareness. Co-sponsored by Dance Connection Las Vegas. Free. W. Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org

A GALA PERFORMANCE

FEB. 21, 7:30P One night, one collection of unforgettable performances. Join Nevada Ballet Theatre for a jubilant celebration of dance, featuring a dazzling variety of works and special guest artists. As a courtesy to ticketholders, no children under 5 are admitted to the performances. $29-$159. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center


MUSIC

THE STRIP KINGS

FEB. 6, 7P Blues, zydeco, roots rock and rockabilly by guitar and harmonica wizard Al Ek; piano, guitar and accordion man Billy Truitt; standup bassist Rob Edwards; and drummer Jim Lovgren. $10 advance, $12 concert day. Winchester Cultural Center, clarkcountynv.gov

THEIR IMAGINATION BECAME REALITY. AND THEN IT BECAME OUR HISTORY. TAKE A WALK THROUGH THAT HISTORY. RIGHT HERE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD.

CLINT HOLMES “ROMANCE BY REQUEST”

FEB. 6-8, FRI-SAT 8:30P; SUN 2P Get in the Valentine’s Day mood early with Las Vegas’ very own Clint Holmes. The acclaimed performer will croon songs of romance, from vintage Frank Sinatra and classic Beatles to Michael Bublé. $37-$46. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

THE NITEKINGS

FEB. 8, 2P This popular classic R&B vocal group has been a Vegas staple for decades and has appeared with many legendary artists. Hear classic hits from the Motown era and beyond. $18. Starbright Theater at Sun City Summerlin, suncity-summerlin.com/ starbrighttheatre.htm

MUSIC WITH THE CLASSIC TOUCH: FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC, A SPECIAL CHILDREN’S CONCERT FEATURING MUSIC and MAGIC FEB. 8, 3P This special program introduces young people to the orchestra, its musicians and how they work together to make beautiful music. From the classics to favorite movie themes, this concert highlights musical illustrations, entertaining anecdotes about the composers and interactive participation. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

UNLV JAZZ CONCERT SERIES: JAZZ ENSEMBLES FEB. 11, 7P The best student musicians from the Jazz Studies Program will regale you with a mixture of jazz stylings. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

TIZER

FEB. 13-14, 7P This multi-cultural group is led by keyboardist and composer Lao Tizer, who will be

Paul Miller’s original architectural drawing of the iconic 188-foot high Stardust sign, dismantled in 2006.

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THE GUIDE joined by an all-star cast of musicians including Grammy-winning Cuban drum phenom Raul Pineda, bass legend Ric Fierabracci, multi-instrumentalist Steve Nieves and Cuban master percussionist Jesus Diaz. $35$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION WITH CREOLE STOMP

timeless talent of one of the greatest American songwriters. This all-Gershwin program will feature classics such as “Summertime,” “‘S Wonderful” and “Man I Love,” making this the perfect night out for sweethearts, lovers and simple romantics. $26-$94. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

LANO GUITAR ENSEMBLE

FEB. 14, 7P Celebrate Mardi Gras dancing to rocking, bluesy Louisiana tunes. This band is legendary on the Blues and Roots circuit for its marathon performances that feature a mix of Swamp Pop and traditional dance tunes, led by French-speaking Creole accordionist and fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt. Purchase tickets early to receive complimentary Mardi Gras mask and beads. $10 advance; $15 at the door. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., artslasvegas.org

POPS III: A GERSHWIN VALENTINE

FEB. 14, 7:30P Join two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair for a romantic evening showcasing the

FEB. 15, 2P Brilliant Las Vegas guitarist Lano writes all the music for the group, which includes guitarists David Lawrence, Kevin Stout, Jarret Myers, Sean Carbone, Justus Morales, Tom Domschot and Louis Rovi; bassist Chris Davis and drummer Manny Gamaz. Presented with the Las Vegas Jazz Society. $10 Jazz Society members; $12 advance; $15 concert day. Winchester Cultural Center, clarkcountynv.gov

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK

FEB. 15, 7:30P Humperdinck has been a legend in the international music industry for the last forty plus years, with more than 150 million records sold. His hits include “Release Me,” “Spanish Eyes” and “After the Lovin’.” $29$150. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? Why do our hearts race, our knees shake, and our bodies sweat when we are scared? Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear explores this universal emotion. Through fun, interactive challenges, visitors can experience and learn about fear in a safe environment.

January 31 - May 3

DiscoveryKidsLV.org 702.382.3445 Media Sponsor:

This project was supported, in part, by the Informal Science Education program of the National Science Foundation under grant ESI-0515470.

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ANA GASTEYER

FEB. 20-21, 7P When Gasteyer steps up to the mic, she evokes the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for good time. The patter is real, the themes adult; the lyrics are timeless, and the music swings like crazy! $39$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

LAS VEGAS YOUTH CAMERATA

FEB. 21, 2P The 16-piece string ensemble, conducted by Oscar Carrescia, performs Bach’s Concerto #1 in A minor, Pujol’s Suite Buenos Aires and more. The concert will feature the brilliant young classical guitarist Marcelino Chavez and cellist Elena Kapustina. $10 advance, $12 concert day. Winchester Cultural Center, clarkcountynv.gov

TOMMY WARD

FEB. 21, 7P Soulful jazz influence meets a contemporary pop sound anchored by a voice that evokes an era of a time gone by. Ward’s big band of musicians delivers a perfect mix of music, lyrics, showmanship and variety. $18. Starbright Theater at Sun City Summerlin, suncity-summerlin.com/starbrighttheatre

JIMMY MULIDORE “JAZZ FOR THE AGES”

FEB. 26, 7P A generous compilation of time-honored compositions and originals that span a wide interpretive range of the jazz music genre. Featuring trumpet virtuoso Gilbert Castellanos, pianist Ron Feuer, bassist Frank Fabio, drummer Santo Savino, and vocalists Sandy Kastel, Mike Leonetti and Paris Redd. $35$45. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

BRASS ROOTS QUINTET CONCERT

FEB. 28, 2P A wide-ranging repertoire that embraces all styles of music, from classical to contemporary. Free. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., artslasvegas.org

“THE GREAT AMERICAN SOUL BOOK” THE LON BRONSON BAND WITH SPECIAL GUEST STAR LARRY BRAGGS

FEB. 28, 8P The all-star band joins forces with former Tower of Power lead vocalist Braggs for an


evening of classic ’60s and ’70s soul, including the music of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and Wilson Pickett. $15-$30. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

THEATER

FOUR DOGS AND A BONE

THROUGH FEB. 8, FRI-SAT 7:30P; SUN, 2P In this vicious comedy by John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck, Doubt), a major Hollywood film spirals out of control, sending the producer, writer and two stars into a hilarious series of backbiting confrontations as they each try to seize the “bone.” Rated PG-13 for adult language. $20. Onyx Theatre, onyxtheatre.com

THE HONEYMOON IS OVER

THROUGH FEB. 15, SHOW 7:30P; BUFFET 6:45P; ROMANTIC DINNER 6:15P A romantic comedy about a recently eloped couple learning the dynamics of living together for the first time. Tickets may be upgraded to include the buffet or dinner for two. $25- $120. The Colombo Showroom inside Toscano Italian Steakhouse, 3900 Paradise Road, srolv.com

IMPROV KINGDOM

EVERY MON, 8P The Las Vegas comedy show featuring both short- and long-form improv, from some of the valley’s most experienced improv actors. Wine and concessions available. Come at 6p for drop-in class with Paul Mattingly. $10 show, $15 for both drop-in and show. Baobab Stage Theatre, 6587 Las Vegas Blvd. S., baobabstage.com

THE BUCKET SHOW

EVERY WED, 10P Paul Mattingly (Second City) and Matt Donnelly (former writer for Penn & Teller) offer up improv at its finest. You call the shots from Same Scene, Different Genre to Sing it, B*tch. Free — donations go in the buckets at the end of the show. Scullery Theater, 150 Las Vegas Blvd. N., mattandmattingly.com

A True Musical Celebration of the 1960s

The Midtown Men

Four Stars from the Original Cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys*

Saturday, February 14, 2015 • 8 p.m. $75 - $55 - $40 - $25

*Not a performance of, not affiliated with the show, Jersey Boys

(702) 895-ARTS (2787) pac.unlv.edu

pure. powerful.arts.

THE GET

EVERY FRI, 9:30P Featuring Las Vegas’ improv community players, this 90-minute show is one-of-a-kind every night. See some of Las Vegas’ funniest

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THE GUIDE stand-up comedians, all-original sketches and long-form improvisational comedy. $10. Onyx Theatre, onyxtheatre.com

DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY

FEB. 5-15, THU-SAT 7P; SAT-SUN 3P Join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, free giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. May not be suitable for children under 16. $33-$39. Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center

KODO ONE EARTH TOUR:MYSTERY

FEB. 12, 7:30 This show transcends the real world to enter one where sacred beasts appear. This mysterious experience will transport the audience into darkness, a place with a nostalgic air that conjures the spirit of Japanese indigenous people and nature. $29$99. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

THE LADY IN QUESTION

LAS VEGAS IMPROVISATIONAL PLAYERS

FEB. 21, 7P Ever had to make up a song on the spot? LVIP does it every show! Clean-burning, interactive fun for the whole family. $10 at the door, kids free. American Heritage Academy, 6126 S. Sandhill Road, lvimprov.com

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT

FEB. 24-MARCH 1, TUE-SUN 7:30P; SAT-SUN 2P Girls! Glamour! Gershwin! The champagne flows and the gin fizzes in this hilarious comedy about the Roaring Twenties. Featuring a cast of outrageous characters who gather in New York to celebrate the wedding of a wealthy playboy, this madcap tale combines laughter, romance and high-stepping Broadway magic. $39-$139. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center

FEB. 13-MARCH 1, THU-SAT 8P; SUN AND 2ND SAT 2P It’s Germany on the verge of World War II and Prof. Erik Maxwell is on a mission to free his mother from Hitler’s dungeons. But in order to do so, he must ingratiate himself with the cruel Baron von Elsner. Into this intrigue wanders vain and politically oblivious concert pianist Gertrude Garnet. A loving sendup of World War II thrillers by the author of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. $21-$24. Las Vegas Little Theatre, lvlt.org

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

ED WOOD’S GLEN OR GLENDA

FEB. 27-MARCH 1, 7P This Spanish-language version of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues has been presented by V-Day LV En Espanol for the last eight years as a statement for women’s liberation. Directed by Stacy Mendoza. $12 advance, $15 at the door. Winchester Cultural Center, clarkcountynv.gov

FEB. 13-MARCH 7, FRI-SAT 11P From the Twisted Mind of John Tomasello in association with Off Strip Productions, The Midnight Fomato Society presents the thrills of “Bad Head” and the chills of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” combined in this gender-bending comedy based on the classic film of the same name. Featuring Glenn Heath as both “Glen” and “Glenda!” $20. Onyx Theatre, onyxtheatre.com

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MUSES?

FEB. 14-15, SAT 7P; SUN 2P Journey across the United States with nine muses sent directly from Mount Olympus to help folks discover their hidden talents.

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There will be music, art, dancing, acting, fun and laughter! Starbright Theatre at Sun City Summerlin, suncity-summerlin.com/ starbrighttheatre

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FEB. 25 AND 27, 10A Set in the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, this one-act musical story is about a peasant girl on a tropical island who uses the power of love to bring people of different social classes together. Free. Feb. 25, W. Las Vegas Library Theatre; Feb. 27, Main Theatre at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

MONOLOGOS DE LA VAGINA

STAGE KISS

FEB. 27-MARCH 15, FRI-SAT 8P; SUN 2P What really happens when two actors kiss onstage? The newest missive from awardwinning playwright Sarah Ruhl explores the chemistry, construction and sometimes ridiculous consequences of a staged kiss. Reality and artifice meld, linear time collapses and theatre happens. $16-$20. Cockroach Theatre, cockroachtheatre.com

LECTURES, SPEAKERS AND PANELS

THE PRIDE AND PERSEVERANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN WEST LAS VEGAS

FEB. 5, 7P Author and filmmaker Trish Geran will discuss the untold story of African Americans who arrived in the early 20th century. Free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

POP-UP! POETRY

FEB. 6, 5-11P The Vegas Valley’s best poets from the most honored and newest local venues will take the stage and set streets ablaze with the excitement and relevance of the word. In collaboration with First Friday. Free. 18b Las Vegas Arts District, lasvegaspoets.org

BLACK AMERICA: MY EXPERIENCE

FEB. 7, 2P Community members of various ethnicities tell personal stories relating to their experiences with African Americans or being an African American. The stories will be performed through monologues in a TED Talk-style format, plus poetry, dance and music. $10. Winchester Cultural Center, clarkcountynv.gov

CLIMATE CHANGE, NATURAL DISASTERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

FEB. 25, 5:30P A talk by Economic Studies fellow Elizabeth Ferris, examining trends in natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and their impact on human rights, including: economic costs, the displacement/migration of people, and the likelihood that the poor and marginalized are most likely to be affected by natural disasters and climate change. Free. UNLV Greenspun Hall Auditorium, unlv.edu

BLACK WEEKEND GUEST LECTURE FEATURING PROFESSOR JAMES SMALL

FEB. 27, 7P Small, a noted pan-African activist, scholar and speaker, shares his four decades of insights in making African spirituality relevant and useful today. Co-sponsored by Truth Seekers Productions and the City of Las Vegas. Free.


FAMILY & FESTIVALS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: INSPIRATIONAL SHOWCASE AND LUNCHEON

FEB. 10, 11A Join the library district for song, dance and oratory followed by a light brunch. Co-sponsored by the City of Las Vegas. Free. W. Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org; call 702-229-6125 by Feb. 3 to RSVP for the brunch.

THIRD ANNUAL LOVE FOR LITERACY FESTIVAL

FEB. 21, 10A Learn how literacy and creativity are vital to learning and having fun at this festival featuring interactive booths, workshops, readings, games and, of course, lots and lots of books for the whole family. Co-sponsored by festival co-creators Dana Satterwhite and Joseph Watson, Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada and the City of Las Vegas. Free. W. Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org

BOOK TALK FEATURING BRENDA WILLIAMS

FEB. 28, 1P Author Williams, co-author Tisha Harris and several contributing storytellers will talk about Westside School Alumni Stories: Our School, Our Community, Our Time (19231967), a collage of first-hand experiences and photographs from former students, teachers and employees who attended and worked at the oldest standing school in Las Vegas. Book sales and signing are available after the talk. Free. W. Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org

FUNDRAISERS

FASHION FORWARD: PASSPORT TO FASHION

MARCH 14, 2P Get ready for a whirlwind tour of global fashion designs as the Junior League of Las Vegas presents its signature fundraising event. Described as “Project Runway for high school students,” the program aims to enhance the education of local design and fashion students and give aspiring designers in Clark County high schools the chance to showcase their talents in a public setting. $40-$100. Fashion Show Mall, jllv.org

Visit VegasPBS.org today to see the complete schedule. 3050 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121 • 702-799-1010

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END NOTE

W

hew! This marks the fifth annual Best of the City issue, and the third time we’ve run an online readers’ poll to put our finger on your vox populi as you turn your head and cough. You flooded us with your faves in food, shopping, arts and entertainment. And pizza. Especially pizza. Boy, do you guys have some strong opinions about pizza. Reading the survey responses is nothing short of exhilarating. You know what it’s like? It’s like being in one of those game-show cash-grab booths, except instead of $100 bills, it’s filled with categorically representative survey tropes like slices of pizza, Blue Man performers, hot coffee, gym equipment and hunks of sandstone from Red Rock, all whirling around in a violent, pummeling cyclone of punishing enthusiasm. I’ll tell you, if that’s as close as I ever come to experiencing as a manifest physical incarnation the collective hive-mind of the Desert Companion readership, uh, yeah, I’d be totally fine with that. But my favorite part — my personal Best of the Best of the City, as it were — is the final bonus question, “The BEST! THING! EVER! in Las Vegas is ... ?” It’s the question where you tell us what you truly love in Las Vegas above all — what makes it home, what gets you up in the morning, what makes Vegas VEGAS! for you. It also serves as a reminder of what a motley bunch of Las Vegans you are. As I read the survey, one minute I think you’re largely a bunch of outdoorsy granola-munchers, the next I think the city comprises all-night club kids who live on pancakes and Red Bull, the next I’m introduced to a natural poet who rhapsodizes about “driving the 215 at night with the sea of lights from the valley.” You are not to be pigeonholed! However, if I had

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BEST! THING! EVER! B y A n d r e w K i r a ly

to come up with an overarching observation about you from reading the survey, there’s one thing I can say with complete confidence: You enjoy taking surveys. Let’s look at the results! Some of you took the occasion to give shouts-out to your favorite bands, foods, landmarks, lifestyle perks. Some of you gave some extra love to The Linq. One of you really likes the band Jeff Mix and The Songhearts. Also, props to Grouchy John’s! (And its misconstrued bizarro-world twin, Grumpy John’s!) Love to The Bunkhouse! The Pinball Hall of Fame! Channel 8’s Paula Francis! Due Forni! Blue Man Group! Made LV! The praying mantis at Container Park! The Smith Center! Cleveland Clinic! A mysterious entity named Squeezebox Hero! Discovery

Children’s Museum! Bellagio Fountains! Desert Companion! Bronze Cafe! Patina Decor! First Friday! And in your own words: The great variety of food. It’s a 24hour city. Anything at anytime! That you can find parking anywhere you go! The wide open space. The Amazing Places to Eat! LIVING IN SUMMERLIN! Many of you took the opportunity to extol Southern Nevada’s natural treasures: Red Rock Canyon. View of the mountains on a clear day. Stunning. The weather. Outdoor trails. Our sunshine. Joël Robuchon’s 16-course menu at the MGM Grand. The sunsets. The desert. Being close to this much public land. The magnificent cloud formations. River Mountain Loop Trail. Some of you took the question personally, choosing to throw some limelight on a loved one: Your mom! (Like, my your mom or your your mom?) My girl. ME. Me. Me! My life! My life. Gabriel Skerlich. My fiancée Kristin Kubala. Britney Spears overdosing in the future. It’s my home. My son. My dad. My husband!! (That’s with two exclamation points.) The beggars on every corner. Scott Dickensheets, obviously. My wife Lynn. My family. But the most resonant answers touched upon the ineffable things that make Las Vegas such a great place to live. As I read them, they almost took on the inspiring force of an anthem, a crowdsourced populist poem. Sing: The people. The real people. The natives. Living here. Your mom! Ziplining. Late-night pancakes. The people. Family. Nature! No income tax. Anything is possible vibe. Being around the world in 1 city. The people! Waking up here every day! Year-round hiking. 24/7 convenience. Freedom. THE SUNSHINE. Me! You. The beautiful mountains that surround it. Just living here is wonderful! Possibilities! My life! Your mom.

I l lu st r at i o n C h r i sto p h e r S m i t h


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March 20, 2015 A one-night only unique production with world renowned performers alongside artists from Cirque du Soleil to raise funds and awareness for critical water issues

TICKETS ON SALE NOW 1.844.33.WATER • ONEDROP.ORG/ONENIGHT PRESENTED BY

At The Beatles™ LOVE™ Theatre at The Mirage Hotel & Casino


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Desert Companion - February 2015  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada

Desert Companion - February 2015  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada

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