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Artisans get their hands dirty to craft beautiful things

What to watch for when the 2017 Legislature kicks off

An unlikely duo studies addiction among native tribes across Nevada




At CES, stupid uses for smart tech


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Most excellent!



he people! The food! Our vast public lands! The Las Vegas Philharmonic! My wife! The fact we are a pretty tolerant, creative, colorful place to live and grow! The Bellagio Conservatory! The mountains and snow, vibrant nightlife, and food is cheap! My husband! McCarran Airport direct flights to nearly everywhere! Legalized pot! Nevada Public Radio! The Writer’s Block! The Mob Museum! Springs Preserve! Opportunity for everyone! The smell of creosote when it rains! There is so much to do! Coming home and knowing everything is still open! Those are a random fistful of answers (verbatim, minus the bangers added for effect) to our Best of the City Readers’ Poll finale question, “The BEST! THING! EVER! in Las Vegas is ...” My favorite part of reading the survey results every year is scrolling through the answers to that curtain-closer, answers that never fail to compose a sort of Rorschach inkblot radiating Vegas pride and civic contentment. (An inkblot with its shadows here and there: One cynic’s answer to best Vegas thing ever was “leaving.” Burrrn!) Sure, our annual Best of the City issue is largely a consumer proposition (nothing wrong with that; I eat, drink and merch like a beast), but I perhaps naively like to think that underneath that proposition is this sort of glowing and decidedly nonmaterialistic spiritual substrate partaking of community-mindedness and optimism that manifests this annual printed gratitude prayer giving thanks for our abundant sources of pizza and cocktails. Okay, done overthinking it: The readerpolled and expert-curated bestness starts on p. 55. The themes of excellence and expertise continue elsewhere in the magazine, particularly in “A maker’s mark” (p. 71). Backstory: At Desert Companion, we’ve been closely covering the Next fine arts scene and profiling local artMOnth ists for years. We thought: But what Get out and about the trades, crafts and artisabout with our

tic pursuits that literally require you to get your hands dirty? In this feature story, we profile six makers, from an avant-garde dressmaker to a stone sculptor, who reflect upon the fascinating processes behind their literal handiwork. On p. 40, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Coach Cynthia Gregory and dancer Alissa Dale discuss footwork — both the physical and the mental kind — in advance of NBT’s production of classic ballet Swan Lake. It’s a fascinating conversation for many reasons, but what strikes me is how it reminds us that ballet, at once both physical and abstract in its rigorous, stylized expression, also has an intensely intellectual component. There are ideas at work — and at play. And there’s even excellence for dessert: On p. 48, enjoy a taste of master chocolatier Jin Caldwell’s work that blurs the line between food and fine art. Finally, heads up. Our annual “Focus on Nevada” photo contest is open and ready for your submissions at desertcompanion.vegas. Now in its fifth year, “Focus on Nevada” has become more than just a contest and a pillar feature in our June issue. There are a host of X factors — the diverse contest judges recruited from across the valley, the exhibition party that overdrives into a pop-up feelgood photo salon, the celebration of our readers’ photographic talents — that have happily turned it into something much more. It all goes to prove that excellence is the fruit of a Andrew Kiraly editor community effort.

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February 2017

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Ten years of Desert Companion, seven years of Best of the City


esert Companion has been compiling its annual Best of the City issue since February 2011, which makes us latecomers in a way: “Best of the (specific geographically defined area)” packages are a time-honored tradition in the biz, having been around at least since ancient man dabbed the pictographic equivalent of “Best Mammoth Hunter: Og!” on cave walls. The formula doesn’t vary much: You devise a bunch of categories — Best Pizza, Best Shoe Store, Best Wine Selection — pick some winners, throw a party, hooray! Las Vegas is a particularly fertile place for this, says Desert Companion editor Andrew Kiraly, who, the record shows, green-lighted an award in the category Best Restaurant Closest to John Curtas’ House in that first Best of. “What better place to celebrate bestiness than the city of superlatives?” he says. “Particularly for our tasteful and discerning Desert Companion readers, all of whom I’ve met personally. But seriously, in such a bustling, protean city, it’s truly useful to offer an annual snapshot of the best in food, culture and services.” It’s a madly changing city, as you know. Look at that February 2011 issue. Best Non-Ethnic Vegetarian: Red Velvet Café — now closed. Best Bookstore: Plaza Books — closed. Best Theater: Insurgo Theatre Movement — who knows? This comes as no surprise in churn-happy Vegas, but it does have an upside: New discoveries await Best of the City readers every year as the city morphs, diversifies, turns over. Which makes an authoritative rundown of the city’s best even more, as Andrew says, useful — and challenging. “To keep up,” Andrew says, “we tap our star chamber of enthusiastic experts — the dining critics, art-lovers and life-


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style writers who contribute to DC every month — to share their favorites.” Indeed, beginning with that first Best of, Desert Companion — unlike similar efforts in some other publications — has based its picks on opinions by trusted experts, not by polling readers. Or, to put it in more topically appropriate terms, we skipped the popular vote and went straight to the Electoral College. (Though we do poll readers online and sidebar some of their selections in print.) Did we go that route because we believed there’s a limited value in reflecting readers’ own opinions back at them? Because although individual Las Vegans are exemplars of good taste, collectively you vote Olive Garden as Best Italian? Because tallying hundreds of votes required too much *shudder* math? Who knows? That decision is lost in the mists of time. What we do know is, in 2011 we gave an award for Best Place to Take Your Kids and Maintain Your Hipster Dad Cred, and it’s hard to imagine readers offering a coherent group vote on that (other than Olive Garden, of course). At the same time, the editors recognize that there are many routes to expertise, and we’ve tried to vector in on it from multiple, sometimes surprising directions. That first Best of the City package featured breakouts pitting “natives vs. newbies” — our way of acknowledging two equally legit methods of finding the city’s good stuff: by spending a lifetime sifting your way to it, or by pouncing on it with the fired passion of a newcomer. A subsequent Best of the City featured “urbs vs ’burbs,” and another engaged a slate of neighborhood experts to show readers around their patches. As long as there are different ways to size up this place, future iterations of this idea will surely continue — cat people vs. dog people, perhaps, or the speed-frenzied commuters of I-15 vs. the tail-gating crazies on U.S. 95. Could be anything! That’s the big takeaway here, we suppose: It takes all kinds to make a great city, and a great Best of the City. Oh, and if you want to take your kids somewhere and maintain your hipster dad cred, La Joya Auto Sales (?) is still open.










= POINTS FOR dining

= POINTS FOR entertainment

= POINTS FOR bars/lounges

= POINTS FOR spa / Salon


= POINTS FOR staying







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55 Best of the city From food and leisure to shopping and culture, we’ve rounded up dozens of the valley’s peak experiences. Time to get bestin’!


71 A maker’s Mark

Meet Las Vegas artisans and craftspeople who take a hands-on approach to their work

b r o o k ly n b o w l : e r i k k a b i k

February 2017




February 2017


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departments All Things

32 society

47 Dining

81 The Guide

19 politicsWhat the

A surprising duo looks at the toll taken by gambling on Native Americans ByDoug Puppel

48 the dishThe sweet

February — the name derives from a Latin word meaning purification, because we knew you were wondering — might be a short month, but there’s no shortage of culture to show you!

2017 Legislature will have to deal with 22 historyThe story

of pay toilets in Nevada 24 zeit bitesWhat is

36 travel

“moral injury”? books at Black Mountain Institute

With hip eateries and cool culture, Downtown Phoenix is on the rise By Greg Thilmont

28 streetwiseA

40 culture

26 profileThe biz of

colorful stretch of Rainbow Boulevard 30 open topicSmart

tech, dumb uses


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Two dancers from different eras discuss Swan Lake By Heidi Kyser

success of LV’s Jinju Chocolates 51 eat this nowThis

Garden of Eden dessert would tempt anyone 51 cocktail of the monthThe Monte

Carlo at Classic Jewel 52 at first bite What’s hot at the new Lucky Dragon

i l l u s t r at i o n : b r e n t h o l m e s ; t r av e l : g r e g t h i l m o n t ; b a l l e t : c o u r t e s y n e va d a b a l l e t t h e at r e ; d i n i n g : s a b i n o r r






APRIL 11–16

Taj Express





Don Rickles February APRIL14–19 21

Garrison Keillor APRIL 8





David Sedaris MAY 4

MAY 31 – JUNE 11

702.749.2000 | TTY: 800.326.6868 or dial 711 | Group Inquiries: 702.749.2348 | 361 Symphony Park Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106 |

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Mission Statement

Desert Companion is the premier city magazine that celebrates the pursuits, passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. With awardwinning lifestyle journalism and design, Desert Companion does more than inform and entertain. We spark dialogue, engage people and define the spirit of the Las Vegas Valley. Publisher  Flo Rogers corporate support manager  Favian Perez Editor  Andrew Kiraly Art Director  Christopher Smith deputy editor  Scott Dickensheets senior designer  Scott Lien staff writer  Heidi Kyser Graphic Designer  Brent Holmes Account executives  Sharon Clifton, Susan Henry, Kim Trevino, Markus Van’t Hul sales assistant  Ashley Smith NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE  Couture Marketing 145 E 17th Street, Suite B4 New York, NY 10003 (917) 821-4429 advertising@couturemarketing Marketing manager  Donovan Resh print traffic manager  Karen Wong Subscription manager  Tammy Willis Web administrator  Danielle Branton Contributing writers  Paul Atreides, Jim Begley, Chris Bitonti, Cybele, Ed Fuentes, Alan Gegax, Jennifer Henry, Melanie Hope, Matt Jacob, Jarret Keene, Christie Moeller, Molly O'Donnell, Pj Perez, Kristen Peterson, Doug Puppel, James P. Reza, Jason Scavone, Steve Sebelius, John L. Smith, Greg Thilmont, Kristy Totten, Mitchell Wilburn, Todd Witcher, Misti Yang Contributing artists   Aaron Mayes, Ryan Olbrysh, Sabin Orr, Lucky Wenzel Editorial: Andrew Kiraly, (702) 259-7856; andrew@desertcompanion.vegas Fax: (702) 258-5646 Advertising: Favian Perez (702) 259-7813; favian@desertcompanion.vegas Subscriptions: (702) 258-9895; subscriptions@desertcompanion.vegas Website: www.desertcompanion.vegas 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.vegas, 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 Tammy Willis for back issues, which are available for purchase for $7.95.

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This is what’s (sort of) at the end of Rainbow page 28

orange i s the new barac k

The long reach E of Donald Trump politics

Many local issues — school vouchers, property taxes — confront the Legislature beginning this month. But one of the session’s key players will be 2,300 miles away. By Steve Sebelius

i l lu s tr at i o n rya n o l b rys h

very session of the Nevada Legislature eventually becomes known for something. A big debate over taxes, as in 2003 and 2015. A huge fight between special interests, such as Uber versus taxicab companies (2015) or NV Energy and solar-power advocates (also 2015). There’s sometimes bitter partisan wrangling, usually pointed out by the party currently out of power. In 2017, a number of key issues threaten to dominate the 120 days that kicks off February 6. Democrats are back in control after losing power in 2014. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval is looking to cement his legacy as an education-and-jobs governor. And those special-interest battles won’t cool down soon. But one of the most important factors affecting the

February 2017



ALL Things


Legislature isn’t in Carson City, or even Nevada. In Washington, D.C., new President Donald J. Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress will deal with issues that could have a larger-than-usual impact on Nevada, from healthcare to drugs to public lands. And those actions will be largely out of the control of anybody in Nevada’s capital. For example, Trump’s repeated campaign-trail pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even as debate still continues about its replacement. Sandoval elected to expand Nevada’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act in 2012 because of a federal promise to bear most of the cost for the expansion. If those funds disappear, Nevada could face a significant — and totally unanticipated — budget deficit, one that could throw money debates into chaos. That’s why Sandoval recently wrote to House leaders to say “... going forward, we must ensure that any new reforms do not mandate additional costs, and second, leverage the advancements already made and paid for under the ACA. Moreover, you must ensure that individuals, families, children, aged, blind, disabled and mentally ill are not suddenly left without care they need to live healthy, productive lives.” It’s no understatement to say Sandoval and all legislative leaders are extremely concerned about the effects repeal will have on Nevada. The state will also be faced with implementing the Question 2 ballot initiative, which legalized recreational marijuana. Sandoval announced a new excise tax on the drug that will go toward funding education, and lawmakers are also faced with solving problems such as DUI standards and workplace rules about using the drug. But in Washington, Trump’s Justice Department may soon be headed by Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who is unsympathetic to marijuana users. If Sessions, unlike his predecessors Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, is unwilling to look the other way, marijuana users may soon get a reminder that the drug remains illegal under federal law, and will for the foreseeable future. That could send the nascent marijuana


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industry in Nevada into turmoil. 2005, as property values skyrocketed, so An accident of timing may also play out did property taxes. The Legislature put a on the stage of federal-state relations when cap on the annual increases. But the Great it comes to public lands: Last session, Recession erased those high values, sendmajority Republicans passed a resolution ing tax receipts tumbling. Now they can asking the federal government to transfer only increase slowly under the cap. Local more than 7 million acres of public land to governments and school boards want a state control. That resolution landed in a fix that would allow tax receipts to grow receptive Republican Congress, but faced a more quickly. But Senate Majority Leader reluctant President Barack Obama. Michael Roberson has already declared Now, just two years later, enthusiasm flatly that no reform that increases propfor the idea may have increased in erty taxes will make it through the session, Washington as Trump takes over, but and he has the numbers to back him up: it has certainly cooled in Carson City, Any increase would require a two-thirds where Democrats believe the costs vote for approval, and Democrats don’t associated with state oversight of those have that in either house. Plus, the specter lands are either unmanageable or would of 2015’s “largest tax increase in state force Nevada to sell the land into private history” still looms over the legislative hands, permanently cutting off public building in Carson City. access. And there are more than a few As well, we may see lobbying titans people talking about reversing Obama’s clash once more over transportation. 11th-hour designation of the Gold Butte Taxi companies have seen their busiNational Monument. Where Trump and ness and revenues fall as ride-sharing his new Interior secretary fall on that issue companies Uber and Lyft have taken hold remains to be seen (Trump has said at in the valley, often working in far-flung times he wants to keep the lands in federal neighborhoods that aren’t profitable for hands, to ensure they remain great). the regulated taxi industry. But Trump won’t affect every decision Instead of changing fees or regulations, in Carson City this year. the Taxicab Authority elected to wait For example, the most contentious fight for the session, a sign that taxi company in the capital is likely to be over the Educaowners may plan to make a legislative tion Savings Account program. Passed on a stab at their more fleet-footed rivals. party-line vote in 2015, ESAs allow parents And if past is prologue, it could become to control a portion of the per-pupil a bitter fight, one that lawmakers didn’t spending and use it for private expenses, anticipate in 2015, but that ended up including tutoring, books, home schooling dominating much of the session. expenses or private school tuition. The specter of partisanship doesn’t The state Supreme Court struck down touch every issue in Carson City, but one the program on technical grounds: It canthat might be affected is private-party not use money that has been designated gun background checks, narrowly apfor public schools. But Sandoval found proved by voters last year but held up by $60 million elsewhere in the budget — the FBI’s refusal to conduct the checks. not enough to cover the more than 8,000 (The state already has a system to check applications that have already come in, both federal and state databases, but the but enough to get the program going. initiative specified an FBI check only to Democrats are unchanged in their avoid state fees.) charticle/graph/secondary opposition, but ESAs may become part photo Democratic lawmakers could try a of the legislative endgame negotiations, legislative fix to resurrect the checks, something to be traded away in exchange but that could prove dicey, since most for other concessions. (The program may Republicans opposed the measure. Fights also be modified, say, to include a means over that, or perhaps a vetoed attempt test so only middle- and low-income to repeal an education reform that’s families benefit, or to say that only kids sustained by the Legislature, could poison from poorly rated schools get priority.) the well in Carson City. Another area of contention: taxes. In This is, after all, still politics.

Edgar Degas, At the Races in the Countryside, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 1931 Purchase Fund, 26.790. Photograph Š Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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ALL Things


potty on

Should I pay or should I (not) go? The history and politics of pay toilets in Nevada By John L. Smith


he 1975 session of the Nevada Legislature would be known for many headlines and intrigues, including the stalling of the Equal Rights Amendment. But it would be remembered for one issue above the rest. Call it the public’s right to go. That was the year the Legislature, arguably stretched to its progressive limits, saw fit to end the practice of allowing pay toilets in publicly owned buildings. It was a tougher struggle than you might first imagine. These days, the notion of pay toilets in public places seems laughable. But it was once an American standard. By one credible account, their use began in the early 1900s, with increased train travel through rural areas bereft of indoor plumbing. Train stations became popular places to go, the “in” place for the local outhouse crowd. Soon, locks were needed to keep them out, which required a train agent with a key to be on hand. American ingenuity being what it is, a solution was found in the form of a coin-operated lock. Over time, pay toilets became a profit center. By 1970, there were more than 50,000 in the United States. Although business owners and some government entities argued that the practice was a constitutional right, the fact that urinals didn’t require payment also made it a question of fairness: Women


F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7


had to pay a dime for the privilege men enjoyed for free. Movements sprang up from Illinois to California with the goal of ending the practice. In Nevada, the political push came from a diminutive Democratic assemblywoman named Eileen Brookman, “Queenie” to her many friends. Fond of bright orange pantsuits, she was a diehard progressive. She saw the pay toilet issue not only as an attention-grabber, but as an example of sexism masquerading as sanitation. She authored a bill to abolish the practice, reminding her Assembly colleagues, “When you have to go, you have to go. And when you have to pay a dime, it’s a crime.” Not surprisingly in Nevada, some of Brookman’s conservative counterparts criticized her effort. They argued that the nominal charge was a necessary part of doing business. Representatives of the nation’s two largest toilet door lock companies, Nik-O-Lok and American Coin Lock, argued that the pay function helped deter “drug addicts, homosexuals, muggers and just plain hippies from haunting public restrooms.” Brookman found an ally in the Senate: Joe Neal. “Queenie, as we

called her, Eileen Brookman, was such a decent person,” Neal would recall many years after her 2004 death. “She was a feisty kind of character who would pick up this issue and take it seriously. And she did.” When Brookman died, the Las Vegas Sun reported an outpouring of affection. Former Assembly Speaker Joe Dini said, “She fought for the oppressed and the poor,” and former Assemblyman John Marvel recounted her unending support for Native-Americans, adding, “Everything she did, she did in orange.” “She may have been only five feet tall, but she could wrestle with the best of them,” Clark County Commissioner and former legislator Chris Giunchigliani recalled in a recent interview. “She was just a pistol with a passion for people and education and kids.” And the pay toilet bill is a big part of Brookman’s political legacy. “Why would you take a public facility and put women at risk for no good reason?,” Giunchigliani asked. “It was an example of discrimination in the law. She saw the problem and got it fixed.” There was considerable opposition to her bill, but few critics appeared


comfortable discussing it. Conservative Senator Carl Dodge of Fallon, in the middle of a 23-year lawmaking career, argued that making toilets free would reduce sanitation. Like others, he was squeamish about change and didn’t see this as an issue of fairness. Neal disagreed. “While I may agree that, psychologically, people may feel there is a need for pay toilets, biologically, I feel that we should have what this amendment proposes — that 50 percent of the toilets be open,” he argued on the Senate floor. “Because we are speaking of a biological situation here, and sometimes the psychological cannot control you whenever you have to go.” “When she came with that toilet bill, a lot of people laughed, but I thought it was a good thing,” Neal recalled in 2015. “The argument I attempted to make was one of fairness. It was the fact that they did not put a cap on the urinal, but the women had to go in and use the commode.” It was a tourism issue, too. Pay toilets were in use at McCarran International Airport — none of the Carson City brain trust thought twice about the message that might send to millions of tourists who had traveled to Las Vegas only to be greeted by one-armed bandits and a lock on the stall. “You’d better use the toilet while you’re on the plane,” Neal recalled years later. Brookman was dedicated, but Neal was tough. When one attempt to ban public pay toilets failed, Brookman declined to name the lawmakers who worked for its defeat. Not Neal. Incensed, he issued a press release outing them. In 1975, the vote wasn’t close. Thanks to efforts in many states, by 1980 most pay toilets had been removed from public buildings. On May 21, 1975, Governor Mike O’Callaghan signed the pay toilet prohibition into law, and a sigh of relief was heard from Winnemucca to Searchlight. Newspapers around the country carried the story, and Brookman became known as Nevada’s pay toilet princess. Neal was proud to be her prince.

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February 2017



ALL Things

zeit bites


High noon in Hsiehtown A new book examines the highs and lows of The Downtown Project


t seems so long ago now, doesn’t it? Remember when Tony Hsieh’s $350 million Downtown Project launched with a fireworks burst of techno-optimism and visionary squad goals — when East Fremont buzzed with talk of rebooting Downtown through “return on community” and “social collisions”? What times those were! Tech projects incubating! Entrepreneurs everywhere! The levitating mojo of start-up thinking, free-flowing cash and rave culture warm fuzzies would transform the city’s urban dead zone into a thriving creative/ tech ecosystem ... and perhaps offer a redevelopment model for other cities. And now? After investment failures, PR hits, layoffs, a mission revamp — no more talk of community! — some successes and a lot of land bought, Downtown Project has turned out to be a real-estate operation wrapped in a social experiment accompanied by a rolling, years-long party. In January, the website Quartz ran a story headlined, “Five years in, Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project is hardly any closer to being a real city.” No duh. For those wanting a more granular take on a story we all kinda know, the author of that piece, Aimee

Groth, is out this month with her gossipy take, The Kingdom of Happiness: Inside Tony Hsieh’s Zapponian Utopia (Touchstone, $27). She’s not kidding about that Inside, either: Groth embedded for a long stretch in the asteroid belt of true believers orbiting the charismatic Hsieh. (“He’s like a God,” one employee told her in a passage cut from the final version.) Her experience is the stem around which she winds the larger tale of DTP’s good times, enormous energy, hubris, naïveté and wasted resources, financial and human. It’s not an account you imagine the controlling, happiness-obsessed Hsieh fully enjoying. He comes off as a brilliant, mesmerizing leader — but one loath to actually lead. Distant, conflict-averse, he’s the sort of tech-brain who regards most people as knots of abstract concepts — their possibly monetizable passions, their social capital — rather than as humans with complex concerns. (“Some employees complain of an empathy gap,” Groth reports; others wonder if their salaries are an experiment to “see how low he can pay them and still have them be happy.”) In her telling, numerous acolytes plunged into Hsieh’s spin cycle, in which he la-

dled money onto their start-ups, though many had zero relevant experience, then neglected them into failure. Everything is a venture-capital calculation, and his philosophy is Beckett on steroids: “fail faster.” Many projects do. Disenchanted techies bail. Products turn out to be mostly apps or conveniences — not exactly the stuff of city-building. Local culture is ignored. As the operation stumbles, its culture palls for some. (Also, you wonder if Groth’s mentions of Zappos failing to meet the numbers demanded by owner Amazon explain more about the situation than Hsieh lets on.) She talks to people on all points of the Hsieh-affection continuum. Plenty credit him with changing their lives. But others don’t hold back. If you’re a DTP skeptic you’ll find a lot of your feelings confirmed in these pages (though it can be a choppy read in places). Still, beneath DTP’s grandiose hokum, one senses an earnest intent to churn fresh paradigms into being, dynamic new modes of social interaction. Hsieh clearly wanted to change — sorry, disrupt — the narrative of city-building and had the money and audacity to try. Alas, as this book makes clear, it’s not so easy to level-up a city. Scott Dickensheets

Chase your tale Can storytelling close social divisions?

StorySlam is a new Moth-like storytelling program from the city cultural affairs department. Ten Las Vegans will be selected to get up and tell their true stories to a (hopefully!) packed house.

The theme of the first event is “Close Calls.” “You could get happy and funny stories, or tragic and sad stories,” says organizer Corey Goble, cultural specialist. He’s put the word out to local poets and storytellers — but there’s room for you, too.

Goble says storytelling can serve a vital social function, especially in this polarized moment: “It’s really important that you tell your own story — and hear the stories of others.” When you know someone’s story, it’s harder to write them off as The Other. “It’s how we grow and connect, and I hope the community will respond.” 2p, February 25 Charleston Heights Arts Center 800 S. Brush St., 702-229-6383


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18 signs you’re in an alternate universe las vegas The Strip is at Lamb and Nellis School system is only fourth worst in nation Frenchman’s Mountain made of actual Frenchmen Parking pays you Brandon Flowers occurs as both wave and particle Downtown imposes martial law on beard lengths Las Vegas Monorail routinely makes Kessel run in 11.9 parsecs Famous welcome sign reads, “Ahoy, sexy!” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Dave Courvosier Mayor replaced by GIF of ribbon-cuttings “Adelson whisperer” now state’s fastest-growing job category The Mobb Deep Museum “Giunchigliani” pronounced “Smith” Legislature replaced by “political residencies” Robin Leach is least-popular candle scent Orange cones fix roads Harry Reid is the wiliest, most powerful bellhop on the Strip Common Millennial catchphrase is, “Whatever, Trevor Sweatherweather!”

Dark realities

How to deal with PTSD & moral injury?


avid J. Morris is a Marine veteran who wrote the book on PTSD: The Evil Hours: A Biography of PTSD. A fellow at the Black Mountain Institute, he’ll be part of an urgent panel this month, “The Grief of War: PTSD and Moral Injury in Today’s Veterans,” sponsored by BMI. (Disclosure: It will be moderated by Desert Companion’s Heidi Kyser.) We asked him a few relevant questions. Scott Dickensheets

PTSD has been in the news; moral injury less so. What is it?

Moral injury is a newer idea related to PTSD that was developed by Jonathan Shay, a retired psychiatrist at the VA Boston. Moral injury speaks to the idea that soldiers may, over the course of their service, end up violating deeply held personal ideas of right and wrong. As Garett Reppenhagen, an army sniper in Iraq, explained in a recent article for Salon, “... I felt guilt and shame over committing atrocities against an occupied country. We went over there and brutalized and oppressed, and that is part of my psychological and moral injuries. If I can’t talk about it at the VA, then the VA can’t help me.” Interestingly, the concept of moral injury, while technically new, harkens back to PTSD’s roots in the Vietnam War. One of the original ideas behind what became PTSD was the idea of what was termed moral pollution by some Vietnam vets. Sadly, when PTSD was recognized by psychiatry in 1980, clinicians immediately began to de-emphasize (its) moral and political aspects, focusing instead on the biological and behavioral aspects of the disorder.  Why has it received so much less attention than PTSD?

Because the VA and psychiatry have done everything in their power to de-emphasize both politics and morality. Psychiatrists don’t know how to talk about moral issues, and so they pretend they don’t exist. For example, moral injury isn’t even mentioned in the DSM, the bible of psychiatry. Researchers today are all laboring under this giant fantasy that a miracle drug is on the horizon that will “cure” PTSD once and for all. What do you see as the consequences of society failing to address these issues?

The worst-case scenario is a repeat of the dark realities of the Vietnam era — a lost generation. Certainly we’re seeing aspects of this with the current suicide epidemic, which a 2016 VA study pegged at 20 a day. At UNLV, we just lost a vet by suicide over the holiday break. 7p, February 15, free, Rogers Literature & Law building, UNLV

February 2017



ALL Things



Kellen Braddock Deputy Director, Black Mountain Institute


ellen Braddock is a new face in the local literary scene, but not one you’re likely to see behind the mic at a poetry reading. She’s an administrator — a special kind of administrator. Braddock humbly describes her role as overseeing “back of house” functions at UNLV’s literary think tank, the Black Mountain Institute, but it’s much more vital than that. “Artists don’t have time for paperwork, and as a result, the arts sector needs passionate people with business chops,” says Braddock, who has an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. Braddock is just such a hybrid, an award-winning poet with a sharp mind for business. “My background in writing allows me to bring a greater level of understanding, patience and gratitude when working with writers. Artists have a very difficult job to do and must ride on hope with very little security.”

(Wait. There’s such a thing as an MFA in arts leadership? Yes. Braddock describes it as “essentially an artsy business management degree.” Before moving to Las Vegas to join BMI, she plied her skills as the business and operations director for Hugo House, Seattle’s acclaimed literary arts center.) Though Braddock doesn’t pen verse as often as when she was a college undergraduate majoring in creative writing, her experience as an author still informs her arts-administration work. And such behind-the-scenes work can be fulfilling in its own right. “My focus in the last few years has shifted toward arts administration and business,” she says — a choice both career-minded and mission-minded. “While pursuing my undergraduate degree in writing, I wanted to build ‘hard skills’ that would buoy my writing career.” (Third-year creative writing MFAs considering the


F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7


job market that awaits, take note.) Braddock’s thoughts so far on Las Vegas? Like many newcomers to the cultural scene, she’s amazed at what’s been built, but she’s just as excited about the possibilities. “Las Vegas has a handful of incredible cultural institutions, like the Smith Center and Mob Museum. The establishment of a city art museum will be a huge boon for all of us. The Writer’s Block, Las Vegas’ independent bookstore, has been an essential anchor to my wife Leighan and me. The diversity of Las Vegas residents is extremely refreshing to us as well. I want more exposure to the grassroots or underground arts, culture and social-justice scenes in town.” And as far as her excitement about possibilities, she’s already talking big like a Vegas dreamer: “BMI will help turn Las Vegas into one of the most literary cities in the U.S.” Jarret Keene

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

Roy Horn Way

ALL Things


7 7


Colorful Rainbow


Enough of your lowered expectations — this once unpromising stretch of road is filled with surprises B y G r e g T h i l m o n t


et’s get urban-planning honest here: South Rainbow Boule-

array of banchan dishes — complimentary sides

vard will never make the National

like kimchee and fresh

Scenic Byway list. But between

greens — is eye-poppingly

the 215 Beltway and Wigwam Av-

gorgeous and adds to the

enue, there’s a surprisingly diverse

grill-it-yourself experience.

mix of places to check out in what

7729 S. Rainbow Blvd.,

10 years ago — and sometimes



10 months — was desert caliche. Let’s look at some new surprises and old familiars along the route.



Italian-style ice cream

finds its apotheosis at

The Noodle Man


this locals’ fave. Flavors

A worthy contender to Chi-

range from classic lemon

natown’s culinary hegemony.

and chocolate to adven-

Watching handcrafted, knife-carved

turous combinations like

noodles fly into roiling vats is just a

pear-gorgonzola. Even foie

prelude to the chop-sticking deli-

gras makes the mix now

cious savory bowls served. 6870 S.

and then. 7910 S. Rainbow

Rainbow Blvd., 702-823-3333

Blvd. #110, gelatologylv.



PigTails & Pompadours


Ladies and gents alike can get

The Butcher Block

cool boutique. Va-va-voom pinup


décor sets the tone. 6965 S. Rain-

viands and exotic foodstuffs has

for the Southwest Valley. 7060 W.

bow Blvd., pigsnpomps.com

a brand-new space. If you need

Windmill Lane, 702-507-6030

their hair done stylishly in this

One of the city’s best purveyors of high-quality

dry-aged Wagyu prime rib, whole

Green Valley Shoe Repair


pheasant, rattlesnake tidbits and

this boarding resort that includes

The Sparklings

In a disposable consumer

beyond, head here. Chop-chop!

culture, it’s somehow reassur-

7965 S. Rainbow Blvd.,



under the radar of local gastro-

ing that you can give your fine leather pumps, boots and wingtips extra years of life. Peek into the as-

areas. 8370 S. Rainbow Blvd.,

eatery that somehow operates


is Italianish, with forays into gas-


brary branch is an environmen-

tropubby fare. 8310 S. Rainbow

culti frankfurters of soy extraction


tally friendly building that earned

Blvd., greenvalleyshoerepair.com

a LEED Gold certification. It hosts

Goong Korean BBQ

there are music appreciation clubs

innovative programs for kids, and

pretty, not Vegasy at all. The menu

Blvd., sparklingslv.com

Adventure Pet Resort

and improv comedy nights for


its suburban setting. The wide

adults. It’s a cultural watershed

humans — but what about our

F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7


Go veggie, dawg, at this L.A.

outpost. Stop in for multi-

in flavors like chimichurri and teriyaki. The roasted corn side with

The interior is extraordinary for


Dirt Dog

Large and window-lined, this li-

al factory manned by professional


private suites and fun indoor play

A relatively upscale casual

nauts. The interior is eclectic and

Windmill Library

shoemakers. 7835 S. Rainbow

tounding back room — it’s an actu-

four-legged friends? Fluffy and

1 Fido can enjoy deluxe vacations at

Sure, Las Vegas is the number

one hotel destination for

cotija, cilantro and chili powder is a spicy must. Meat links available, too. 8390 S. Rainbow Blvd. #100, dirtdogla.com

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ALL Things

open topic

the future

A pain in the tech Last month’s CES show revealed a lot of “smart” tech — but where’d the cool factor go? B y Ja s o n S c av o n e


ou couldn’t get near it. In a convention made for thronging hordes, they made the usual amount of thronging look like a Sunday walk. It was an order of magnitude of throng, is what I’m trying to say here. To see a smart hairbrush. Not “smart” in the British “stylish” sense, either. I could have bought into that. “Smart,” here, meaning it was a hairbrush with a sensor in it and a companion app from noted tech firm L’Oreal to, among other things, teach you how to brush your hair the right way. It wasn’t far on the floor from the smart toothbrush, the smart dog collar, the smart shoes, the smart locks, the smart beds and the smart pill dispenser. Betty White was hawking that one through a video. At least she was smart enough to take Philips’ money for whatever bullshit they were dishing out.


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Some of them, like the sneakers from Under Armour, plugged into corporate ecosystems, designed like Amazon and Google and Apple’s death-struggle of competing networks to lock you into their services. Most of them just had their own apps, so you could clutter your phone with vital information like how many steps your Doberman took that day. I would rather wait for my dog to evolve into walking upright than spend 20 minutes a day drilling down menus and syncing apps and trackers to find out how active an animal that’s fooled by palming a tennis ball and pretending you throw it is on any given afternoon. Yes, this was CES 2017: The year we got thoroughly overwhelmed by crap. Cheap satire would demand a Seinfeldian hypothetical about a smart toaster — except Griffin Technology was pimping a smart toaster. I’ve had toast pretty well figured out since I was 4, and unless I’m living in the black-and-white part of every infomercial ever, I can probably make do without a more convenient way to get pumpernickel crispy. Even the tech blogs started sounding like Andy Rooney. TechCrunch, one of the most relentlessly gadget-positive sites on the internet, had to concede some ground. “Sure, a smart toaster is the epitome of connected appliance ridiculousness,” wrote Brian Heater, with what I desperately hope is a pseudonym reserved strictly for toast-based stories. If all of this sounds like a collective, exhausted sigh from the tech industry, well, you’re probably not wrong. Inventing problems for unnecessary products to solve is a time-honored tradition (James C. Boyle’s automatic hat tipper U.S. Patent 556248, March 10, 1896, represent!), and there’s no shame in reimagining a classic scam for the 21st century. But the collective shrug from those of us unwilling to add 45 minutes of work to

ILLUS T R AT ION b r e n t h o l m e s

What we’re seeing the first signs of, if CES 2017 was any indication, is a move away from minimalist plastic rectangles and toward well-designed pieces with heft, where aesthetics matter as much as the tech. our day futzing with pages of apps to find out how the sole tread on our shoes are holding up can’t come as a surprise. The end of ideas (or at least the stall of ideas) this year was a question of function. But form? Form didn’t have a bad CES at all. Apple, for better or worse, has dominated tech’s design vernacular since the late ’90s, with its ever-increasingly minimalist and sterile lines. Johnny Ive is definitely the kind of guy who comes to your party and rearranges your bookshelves by width and height when you’re not looking. But it’s crushingly dull after almost 20 years. What we’re seeing the first signs of, if CES 2017 was any indication, is a move away from minimalist plastic rectangles and toward well-designed pieces with heft, where aesthetics matter as much as the tech inside. You combine that with iterative improvements, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for all but the most ardent Apple fanboys staying home instead of lining up for the iPhone 10s-Plus Director’s Cut outside the Apple Store like Grand Funk Railroad tickets just went on sale in ’74. There were a few entries that were ambitious, if not quite there. German outfit Elgato demonstrated its app-controlled, indoor/outdoor mood lighting system Avea, and French shop Deconnect was pushing the Gloo, a decanter-shaped mood lighting unit that doubles as a charging station, aimed at giving bars and hotels a classy way to let customers top off and continue to spend every waking moment in public staring at their phones. App-controlled, color-changing lighting is undeniably cool, but the frosted plastic both products use still looks mediocre. Samsung, though, swung for the fences with its forthcoming Lifestyle TV, a paper-thin screen that mounts flush enough to the wall that Sammy will be selling custom frames that snap on. That’s because when the TV is off, it turns into

always-on artwork drawn from an online repository curated by the company. Pair that with Panasonic’s induction cooktop built into an artificial marble countertop and complementary glass that displays a touchscreen when engaged — the idea of making utilitarian tech invisible when not in use is the ultimate minimalism, really, freeing up living rooms and kitchens to start looking nice again. There’s also something charmingly throwback about it. Remember those bulky sets your grandparents had? That was built as furniture first, tech second. And they had roller doors so you didn’t have to look at a dark screen staring back at you. Audio company Klipsch had the prettiest products on the floor, with lines of speakers and amps and headphones all in real wood, leather, rich dark hues and knurled copper knobs. It’s weep-for-joy gorgeous, and Matt Sommers, creative director for the Indianapolis-based company, knows it. “One of the things you see in the market is the loss of aesthetic quality,” he said. “Technology can integrate in your environment. It doesn’t have to be this one thing, a black plastic box on the wall. Let’s not make a space that’s clinical. What I think people are starting to realize is you don’t have to live surrounded by boring objects. People were interested in that very futuristic, ultrasmooth look. All of that is very functional, and it’s very nicely designed, but at some point, quality matters and the design of something matters. You can go all the way back to Charles and Ray Eames’ designs for furniture. That’s the ultimate form and function, high design and high functionality. That’s where we’re trying to get.” Now, if we can combine that aesthetic with something better than a smart chair that details how many pounds per square inch of pressure your left butt cheek puts on the seat, we’ll be getting somewhere.

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‘You can’t hear your heart’ Gambling addiction isn’t just a Las Vegas problem. Members of Nevada’s 27 native tribes struggle with it, too. An unlikely research duo is learning just how much. B y D o u g P u pp e l


ambling is a spirit that talks in your ear so that you can’t hear your heart.” Those words came from a member of one of the 27 Native American tribes that live in Nevada. It was a poignant written response to an anonymous survey taken as part of an ongoing study that aims to understand how big a toll is taken by problem gambling among the nearly 60,000 Native Americans in the state. Seeking that answer is an unlikely duo: an archaeologist who is a recovering problem gambler, and a behavioral researcher and psychotherapist who has seen many of her fellow Cherokee Nation members fall victim to problem gambling. “Gambling addiction is a public health issue, affecting not only the individuals who suffer from it directly, but also their families, friends, coworkers, and businesses,” says one of the researchers, Desert Research Institute archaeologist Ted Hartwell. He cites one Nevada study that says we have one of the coun-


F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7


Chance encounters: DRI archaeologist Ted Hartwell is studying gambling addiction in the state’s native tribes.

try’s highest rates of problem gambling, about 6.5 percent. “Identifying populations that may suffer disproportionately from this illness can help with the future allocation of resources to identify and successfully treat those affected.” Hartwell talks like an academic, but his connection to the research is personal on several levels. For one, Hartwell has long had an appreciation of indigenous culture, dating back to his anthropology studies in college. That appreciation was sparked anew while

conducting field research in Nevada in the early 1990s. “My first friendships with individuals from several Native American tribes came about while we were working together on archaeological data recovery projects on the old Nevada Test Site for the Yucca Mountain project,” he says. Hartwell was joined in the federally funded project by tribal members who shared stories of their lives, heritage, and the challenges their cultures faced. Those memories came back to him years

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

Hear more Listen to Ted Hartwell and Sydney Smith discuss their research Feb. 6 on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at knpr.org

later when he embraced community volunteerism as part of his own recovery from problem gambling, an addiction that nearly ruined his life. Given his earnest, niceguy-next-door demeanor, it’s hard to believe that, in the years before he began his recovery, feeding video poker machines and keeping his gambling hidden consumed much of Hartwell’s life. “It didn’t seem to matter that intellectually I knew I was never going to beat a computer chip,” he says. “I became obsessed with the desire to gamble to try to win back the money I lost.” Hartwell’s descent into addiction included opening credit card accounts without his wife’s knowledge, and timing his gambling sessions so he could pick up his young daughter just as daycare closed. “On a couple occasions, at the last minute, I hit a jackpot that required me to wait until I got paid off by a floor person,” he says, “and I would have to call the daycare and pretend to have a flat tire or be stuck in traffic.” Hartwell stopped gambling about a decade ago, and started speaking out about gambling addiction in a state built on the allure of beating the odds. “I happened to have a conversation with a Native American colleague during which I shared details of my previous struggles with gambling addiction. In turn, he shared how his life had been impacted by a family member’s gambling addiction, and from that conversation was born the idea of carrying the message of available state resources to Nevada’s tribal communities.”

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A sensitive approach


olleagues supported the idea, but also cautioned on the need to be culturally sensitive. “I didn’t want to be the white scientist who comes to study the Indians,” he says. Hartwell also knew that it would build trust and increase involvement among the tribes to “have someone who was Native American participate in a direct way in the research.” In 2013, Dr. Robert Hunter, a psy-

February 2017



society Smith had seen the woe unleashed on many of her fellow Cherokee members with the rise of tribal gaming in her native Oklahoma, home to more than 100 casinos.

chologist who is founder and head of the Problem Gambling Center in Las Vegas, introduced Hartwell to Sydney Smith. At the time, she was a Southern Nevada newcomer who was setting up a therapy practice primarily focusing on problem gambling. Her connection to the issue had a personal dimension as well. Smith had seen the woe unleashed on many of her fellow Cherokee members with the rise of tribal casinos in her native Oklahoma, home to more than 100 casinos. She shared Hartwell’s enthusiasm and concern about native peoples. “It was exciting to hear Ted sketch out his idea to look at how a stigmatized addiction affects frequently marginalized groups,” Smith says. “My hope then and now was to be part of research that will offer insight that’s valid across tribal communities.” But the process would be just as

important as the goal; talking to native tribes called for a careful approach. For instance, Smith says the reliance on revenue from Oklahoma’s tribal casinos made the Cherokee there suspicious of anyone asking tough questions about compulsive gambling. “This is a problem that touched my family, my friends, and other people I grew up with,” says Smith, whose practice, Rise Center for Recovery, has offices in Oklahoma as well as Las Vegas. “Back home, the tribes are wary of giving ammunition to their political opponents, who fought them on gaming every step of the way.” Such wariness is less of an issue in Nevada, where gambling has been part of the fabric of the state for 85 years, and only four of the state’s 27 tribes are in the casino business. Still, Hartwell and Smith met countless times over the course of a year on how best to approach

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F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7


the tribes, and consulted behavioral and gaming experts to develop research questions that were evocative without being intimidating. “Sydney suggested hitting the road, showing up and meeting with the tribes,” Hartwell says. “I was really pleasantly surprised we were immediately welcome in almost all cases after we started our field work in early 2015.” That meant day trips to tribal entities in Southern Nevada, long car rides and overnight trips to the central part of the state, and several flights to Reno to work with tribes there. “I thought Oklahoma had wide-open spaces, but it doesn’t come close to the vastness of Nevada,” Smith says. “Traveling the state, feeling the wind, seeing the mustangs and the raw land, and knowing we were trying to help our native peoples all energized me.” ‘Huge issue in Nevada’


he typical research session begins by bringing together tribal members for a “community health presentation” — with no mention of gambling, which could influence who attends. While there, attendees are asked to fill out a confidential survey, learn how compulsive gamas we do with drug abuse prevention and blers hurt the people around them, and suicide prevention.” address the issue through storytelling The issue is certainly on the radar of and discussion. DRI, which sees gambling addiction as “It’s more of a problem than most well within its research purview. To people want to acknowledge,” says Jason Hill, prevention outreach co- be sure, its studies are typically more about, well, the desert; recent work inordinator at the Reno-Sparks Indian cludes looking for ways to harness aeColony-Tribal Health Center, where Hartwell and Smith visited in mid- rial drones to fight wildfires and seed clouds. However, its mission statement 2016. “It’s a huge issue in Nevada. It’s is broad, seeking to “excel in basic and a main source of revenue and a main applied research and the application of source of problems.” During Hartwell and Smith’s presen- technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada.” tation at the health center, which treats “We’re just expanding with a focus those from the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony as well as members of other tribes, on community independence, community preparedness, and community reabout 50 people turned out, and they peppered the researchers with ques- silience,” explains Beverly A. Ramsey, executive director of the institute’s Ditions. “They liked it and wanted more infor- vision of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, under which the gambling research falls. mation,” says Hill, who later provided books, CDs, and other information by the “We’re not looking at hard versus soft science; it’s about what we can bring to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling table to assist our communities in Neto pass around the tribal community. vada,” says Ramsey, who is an Eastern “There need to be more resources put into Cherokee herself. the prevention of problem gambling, just

Native insight: Researcher Sydney Smith’s Cherokee heritage gives her interest in tribal gambling’s effects a personal dimension.

Ted Hartwell and Sydney Smith have visited nine tribal entities in the state and plan more excursions before concluding the research and publishing their work. While the research remains ongoing, their work has already been noticed. The two have been asked to present at conferences in the United States and Canada, and the National Indian Gaming Commission has invited Smith to Washington to brief tribal leaders. “It’s too early to discuss findings,” Hartwell says, “but in general we can say the data show that gambling addiction is certainly impacting some individuals in tribal communities. Also, the prevalence rates appear to be higher in tribal communities than the overall rate for Nevada’s citizens as a whole, but we’re not able to make statements about how much higher that may be.” When the findings are in, Native American communities troubled by how gambling can disrupt “hearing their hearts” will no doubt be listening with interest.

February 2017




On the rise: Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix has become a hub for hip eateries, fine art galleries and cocktail bars.

Don’t nix Phoenix


hen was the last time the words downtown Phoenix crossed your vacation-planning mind? There’s a good reason for this, as the skyscraper-filled city core has a reputation as a business district that turns into Snoozeville at the end of the workday. That’s pretty much the mental picture I had until late October, when I took a last-minute weekend road trip to the Arizona State Fair. When I arrived, I took a quick sightseeing loop through the high-rises and went up Central Avenue to Uptown, another zone of towers to the north. All about, I saw vibrant urban-art installations, gleaming condo towers, sleek light-rail trains coursing along the street, and — most important — plenty of nonchain eateries and drinkeries. Phoenix hasn’t been widely noted as an


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epicenter of avant-garde local dining, so it was a tantalizing surprise. What’s going on here, Phoenix? I wondered as I left town the next morning. So I beelined back for another weekend to learn more about what’s developing in the heart of the Southwest’s largest metropolis. Rolling into downtown on a bright, 70-degree afternoon, my first stop was an eating emporium I’d heard about: DeSoto Central Market (facebook. com/DeSotoCentralMKT). It’s a foodie’s dream — an old automotive dealership building that’s been rehabbed to accommodate multiple independent restaurants under one roof, with original brick walls and décor straight out of Seattle. At the front, wooden tables soak up the sunshine through a wide, windowed façade. The lengthy and beery DMC Bar occupies one

side of the lobby, and the smaller Tea & Toast Co. has espresso and baked goods. A stairway leads to a mezzanine above an open food court. Further inside, there’s Larder + The Delta, with Southernish eats; Walrus & The Pearl, with fresh seafood; Adobo Dragon, with Latin-Asian fare; plus a burger joint and a veggie-centric wrap shop. Outside is a large, shaded patio complete with cornhole for drinking gamery. There’s nothing akin to this place in Las Vegas. Sitting down with a refreshing pint of local pilsner and a bowl of crispy fried pig ears liberally coated with Cheetos dust, I talked to Derek Streeter, a Phoenix resident who was dining at DeSoto with his wife, Ginger. Turns out downtown is a widely unknown backyard vista for many locals, too. “They’ve taken an old building and restored it, instead of mowing it

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SAVE THE DATE down,” Streeter said. “Phoenix has always mowed. ... We’re really exploring our own home. We want to see it, it’s cool.” Duly impressed with the DeSoto — I’d end up returning twice, for fresh raw oysters, “paella” ramen and avocado toast — I headed across the street to FOUND:RE (foundrehotels.com), a new, eight-story art hotel that opened in late October. My home base for two nights, it’s surely one of the most striking and singular boutique lodgings in the Southwest. In the lobby, the panoramic Burt Reynolds-Britney Spears mashup painting, titled “Burtney,” is a brazen introduction to the aesthetic playfulness and adventurousness of the lodgings. I was given a tour of the art installations throughout FOUND:RE by the on-staff curator. Themes vary by medium, from surreal horse paintings to thought-provoking human body-issue photorealism that’s far, far removed from stereotypical, neutrally pleasant “hotel art.” “All the art’s for sale,” says Cultural Curator Michael Oleskow, “from the giclée prints in your room to the originals in the lobby. It is one big gallery.” My king room was outfitted in industrial chic united with comfortable furnishings. Quality personal sundries — shampoo, mouthwash — are from C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries. The south-facing patio was extraordinary. Wide open with a lounger, it provided a full-air view of downtown’s skyline, punctuated by jets descending to Sky Harbor International Airport nearby and the serrated outline of South Mountain Park in the far distance. Refreshed after settling in, I went to a chef’s table tasting at the in-house restaurant, MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails (matchphx.com). The small-plate revue still plays in my mind. It began with an umami-rich lobster bisque with mascarpone gnocchi and fire-roasted mushrooms. A fantastic poké bowl not only featured salmon belly from the Faroe Islands and wild-caught yellowfin tuna, but also sea beans, fronds of saltwater-loving seaside plants that taste of crunchy ocean goodness. Wood-roasted lamb meatballs brought North African aromatics to the table. A saucy, Mexican-style shrimp cocktail was made according to an irresistible recipe from a sous chef’s grandmother, complete with


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traditional saltines on the side. There was also an avocado-topped South American pupusa and a Korean beef short rib atop Thai-style green papaya salad. The mixology was advanced, too. One concoction in particular bears verbatim quotation from the menu: Cà phê sua dá - An Examination of French Imperialism and its Influence on the Globe chicory | armagnac | chartreuse | local cold brew | sweetened condensed milk | pandan | mint Sure, it reads like a Portlandia-style parody of cocktailery gone amok, with its geographic, historical and supply-chain oversharing. But it was a delicious apotheosis of the classic Grasshopper, almost glowing in its greenness. And its double fists of Gallic potables punched hard behind the chocolatey sweetness. A boozy dessert, almost. Altogether, an extraordinary culinary jaunt. Saturday afternoon was for roaming on foot through northern downtown. One surprising fact: These neighborhoods are surprisingly green. This is not sere saguaro-ocotillo territory, as it’s actually an irrigated river plain. It’s why the Hohokam civilization thrived here more than a millennium ago, and post-pioneers built lovely Tudor-themed mini-manses and, later, mid-century mod houses everywhere. Leafy parks


February 2017


and greenbelts abound. And two of Phoenix’s oldest cultural treasures and their grassy grounds wait to be explored: the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art. Founded in 1959, the Phoenix Art Museum (phxart.org) is immense and has a stunning collection that encompasses medieval and European Renaissance paintings, Asian antiquities, contemporary works and more in a cool modernist facility. The Heard (heard. org), which dates back to 1929, is a few blocks up Central Avenue in a handsome Spanish mission-revival hacienda compound. It specializes in the history and art of Native-American cultures of the Southwest and is frequently beautiful but often jarringly informative throughout. Both are must-do visits. And the impressive Burton Barr Central Library (phoenixpubliclibrary.org), which towers to the south of the two institutions, contains the compact @Central Gallery for quick perusing. After the arty goings-on at Central, I was back onto side streets and strolling beneath stately palms. For lunch, I loved the pooch-friendly Short Leash Hotdogs (shortleashhotdogs.com), where upscale frankfurters are wrapped in naan flatbread for a bun. My choice was a chicken link with grilled pear, prosciutto, arugula and goat cheese. Roll over, gourmet dog! Hours later on my safari, I rounded a quiet residential corner to find

the bustling, colorful Cibo Urban Pizzeria (cibophoenix.com) behind a lush hedge. It was one of my favorite random finds. At a small, dark wood bar housed in a 1913 bungalow, I enjoyed a glass of Tuscan red in surroundings that meld a Dean Martin vibe with Pop Art exuberance. Next door, things went patio-style during cocktail hour at the Vig Fillmore (thevig.us), with its open-air roundabout bar and cornhole lane. Phoenix, which even Las Vegans often regard as too hot, is all about the outdoor dining and drinking life. The evening ended shaken and stirred with nocturnal craft creations at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, Valley Bar and the Rose Mofford Lounge, an extremely popular trio of boozy establishments in downtown proper. Sunday morning, before I made my way to Highway 93 — the future Interstate 11 — I stopped by for breakfast at Fàme Caffe (famephx.com), a comfortable breakfast-lunch nook. With rich coffee and scratch chilaquiles before me, I thought about how fine art, tall buildings and good food go together so perfectly. I knew I’d be back soon.


Raising Arizona: left, FOUND:RE hotel; top right, Phoenix Art Museum; center, Central Avenue; bottom, MATCH restaurant in FOUND:RE

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Dance of ideas: Nevada Ballet Theatre Artistic Coach Cynthia Gregory, in white, talks with dancer Alissa Dale.

One ballerina to another Fifty years after Cynthia Gregory’s first performance of Swan Lake in San Francisco, she coaches Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Alissa Dale in the role H  e i d i K ys e r


ynthia Gregory remembers when she first performed the dual role of Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, because her aunt gave her a circular pendant with the date engraved on it: April 23, 1967. Only 20 at the time, Gregory was on tour with the American Ballet Theatre in San Francisco, and the


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company’s ticket sales were sluggish, as she recalls. What’s a surefire way to goose ballet ticket sales? Stage Swan Lake. “For some reason, when people think of ballet, they think of Nutcracker and Swan Lake,” she says. “You know, those are the main classics. And they go, ‘Oh, I want to see that!’”

Before leaving ABT in 1991, Gregory would dance the lead role in many ballets around the world, but Odette-Odile remained the part for which she was best known, and in which she was most at ease. Fifty years after that debut, this February 25 and 26, Nevada Ballet Theatre presents Swan Lake at the Smith Center with a live orchestra. Playing OdetteOdile in the full production for her first time will be 35-year-old Utah native Alissa Dale. Her artistic coach: Cynthia Gregory. After their second day of rehearsal, the two sat down to talk about what the role means to them, and to ballet in general. Bridging five decades with their shared experience, they found that some things have changed, but much remains the same.

P h oto g r a p h y Lu c ky W e n z e l


A Swan Lake is the story of star-crossed lovers Odette and Siegfried. She is a princess cursed by the sorcerer von Rothbart to live by day as a swan; he, a prince under pressure to get married. The two meet by chance at a lake and fall in love, but von Rothbart thwarts their romance by conjuring up Odette’s doppelganger, Odile, a black swan who seduces Siegfried. Here, Gregory and Dale talk about the challenges of the role. Alissa: This will be my first time doing the full production. Cynthia: Yeah, Odette and Odile. It’s a wonderful feeling to do the whole thing. Alissa: I just remember, after doing the second act only (in Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 2013 production), feeling — done. And then we did the third act of Sleeping Beauty along with it. I did one of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty, and I was dying. Cynthia: It is demanding. I found Swan Lake easier, though. Besides the white swan act (II) and the black swan act (III), you have the fourth act, but the fourth act is more emoting and not as difficult. When you do Sleeping Beauty, if you do all three acts, it’s a lot of technical dancing in that third act. I remember thinking, “Oh, I have to hold myself until the last minute!” But for Swan Lake, you can just let go and have fun with it in the fourth act. Alissa: I’m really excited. Cynthia: To me, the difficulty of Swan Lake is really differentiating between the two characters. You have to go from one to the other and then back. … What do you think is going to be difficult about it? Alissa: What I’m going to have to accomplish with the black swan. I feel like Odette is more who I am on the inside, so finding that character was kind of easy. Developing the swan characteristic was the hardest part (of Act II). But I feel like with the black swan, I have to find a different character … to find the line between a more seductive black swan, Odile, and the really loving, open, more naïve Odette, and being able to pull from that, but also portray someone very different. Cynthia: It’s interesting. The prince





February 2017



Culture end of the second act, when she turns back into a swan, that all that feeling (of woman) was gone, and you’re just an animal. But other than that, I think it kind of develops. For me, I kind of felt more swan at the beginning, and then as he opens her up, I felt more woman. Cynthia: A lot of people just stay the swan, you know. ... I always felt the same as you: that you had to find the woman in you to show that they’re falling in love, so it makes the audience kind of identify with the love that you feel, that this awakening is true love, and their destinies together — somehow they were just meant to be. Although Swan Lake was first staged in Moscow in 1877, most contemporary presentations are based on Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s 1895 version. Over the years, many choreographers have adapted and tweaked the ballet, set to the music of Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. But it has enjoyed continual popularity,

Rare birds: Photos from Swan Lake then and now, with Cynthia Gregory in an American Ballet Theatre production in the late 1960s (black and white), and Alissa Dale in a 2013 Nevada Ballet Theatre production.


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represented by its inf luence on Darren Aronof ky’s 2010 film, Black Swan. Cynthia: Did you see that movie? Alissa: I did. Cynthia: I didn’t like it. Alissa: I didn’t like it at all. Cynthia: It didn’t show ballet in a good light. Alissa: No, it didn’t. And it twisted it into a psycho-thriller. There are definite stresses in the ballet world, but not like that. That was crazy. Cynthia: They took all the things that people think about ballet — the bleeding toes and the mean director and all that — and just blew it out of proportion. But people kind of loved it, and so now they all want to see the real Swan Lake, I guess. Alissa: Hopefully, they’re not disappointed with the real story, which doesn’t involve all that. … I actually think that it was one of the first performances I saw. I grew up in Kanab, Utah, which is a little bitty town, and my mom took me somewhere more artistic and bigger, Cedar City, I think. I think it was Ballet West that came on tour there and did Swan Lake. I remember they were in white. I was little, probably 7 or 8, and I was just enamored of it. The stage had steps leading up to it, and one of the dancers came down those steps, and I got to talk to her and actually meet a real dancer. That was before I started dancing or even knew what ballet was, because in Kanab, we didn’t have ballet. … That first experience with ballet was written in my brain. Cynthia: It’s definitely a role you aspire to, like Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. Those three are the epitome of the classical ballerina roles that make you feel like you’ve become a ballerina when you’ve done them. Alissa: A lot of people, when I tell them that I do ballet, they say, “Oh, you’re a ballerina.” Cynthia: People think anybody who dances, even the little Suzy who goes to her ballet class, is a ballerina, you know. And it’s not true.

s w a n l a k e p h o t o s c o u r t e s y n e v a d a b a ll e t t h e a t r e a n d c y n t h i a g r e g o r y

is fooled, but he’s fooled because of the way you’re acting. He would really be a fool if you were mean and completely different. Then why is he falling for you? So, you have to have the glimpses of the white swan. I think it’s a matter of how you approach the dancing. The arms are maybe a little bit sharper, there’s an edge to it, whereas the white swan is softer. People used to say, “Odette is like a pearl, and Odile is like a diamond.” How did you play Odette: More swan than woman, or more woman than swan? Alissa: I remember, especially at the

Alissa: So, I would always be like, “No, no, no. I’m going to correct you there. I’m not a ballerina. I do ballet. I hope to someday be at that level.” And somewhere along the line, I had the understanding that you have to have danced certain roles in order to be called a ballerina. Like the production of Swan Lake, the art of ballet has evolved. Athletic performers have pushed technical boundaries, while companies have responded to the corresponding demands on dancers’ bodies with improved support and training. Cynthia: When I was working with Margot Fonteyn in a couple of tours, she would say, “I could never do what you’re doing now when I was doing those lead roles. You’ve come so far.” She was almost 60 then. It’s the same thing from

“So, I would always be like, ‘No, no, no. I’m going to correct you there. I’m not a ballerina. I do ballet. I hope to someday be at that level.’ And somewhere along the line, I had the understanding that you have to have danced certain roles in order to be called a ballerina.” me to you, you know. I think so many dancers now, like you, your bodies are better, the lines are more refined, and the legs are higher than when we were dancing. Alissa: I’ve been studying the video of you dancing (Odette-Odile) with Fernando Bujones (in 1985). I’ve also watched videos of current ballerinas doing it and, apart from a six o’clock penché (one-foot balance, with the opposite leg lifted behind), which I think is sometimes unnecessary, there’s not a big

difference. Technique has come so far these days that people are doing double and triple fouettés (whipping turns with one leg raised) and triple attitude turns and so much, but sometimes, the story gets lost. Cynthia: I feel the same thing you do. I think some of the heart and soul has been lost because of the athleticism. … You have to make the technique work for you as a tool to tell the story. But dancers are athletes. When sports medicine started coming out, that related

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February 2017



Culture to ballet. When I was dancing, toward the end, we had a masseur or physical therapist kind of person on our tours, but the first 20 years I was with ABT, you got injured, you’d be out, or you got injured, and you still danced and tried to make it through. We didn’t do Pilates and all those other things. It was just, very primitive in its way. Alissa: I think we have better tools. Like, we have the Pilates studio, and it’s easy to visit multiple times a week. And we have physical therapists who come two to three times a week. It’s hard to get in with them. We only have 15-minute slots, but it helps. I do think the notion of knowing when to stop is hard to find. We (dancers) talk about it all the time with each other. … Like, do I push really hard on day one, or do just enough and then push a little harder on day two? I think everyone of us is a little different. On the lay-off, I went and visited my

parents. My mom is a yoga teacher. She got certified at 67. She and I did yoga every day. I didn’t do any ballet. Cynthia: I think that’s important too. I kind of like the idea of not doing ballet for a little while. You need that rest. Alissa: People have asked me numerous times how I’m still here, after 13 years at NBT. And I think for me, part of it is taking breaks. That way, I come back reenergized and excited about the work. Cynthia: When I danced, I felt the audience. Do you feel the audience? Alissa: Definitely. Cynthia: Yeah, they could make me dance better. Alissa: They can change your performance. Cynthia: Your energy. That’s a really cool thing. I think it’s one of the nicest things about dancing, that connection that you somehow have with the audience, that can make you — as one of my part-

ners used to say — 20 pounds lighter. … I think audiences today expect more fireworks, more athletics. They do expect that, but they’re human beings, and if you can touch them, and I think you can, not only with the fireworks, but also with the beauty and the story and the pathos of the whole thing. ... We’re still trying to bring people out of their lives into what we have to say. Alissa: I think that’s definitely it. When you talk about being a ballet dancer, there’s the technique, and a lot of times, it’s considered an athletic pursuit, but we are artists. If you think about where art comes from and the purpose of it — in addition to just ballet — I think my goal is to affect people’s lives a little bit. Cynthia: To raise their consciousness. Alissa: Yeah, to what could be going on in their own world.

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ted al, hos i c o S tine d , Liber 6 1 ies an 0 s’ d 2 o r o o F f n. s Vega ar o a e e L Y h t e c a h n Lu st th t of t wards righte A b tauran 2016! s t d e r n n a o R a f r t u s w s r a e e t inne Res he b 12, N ard w ated t anion r p ember w b c a m e e l e o e D h yc ll t rt C On l Dese munit ns to a a o m i u o t n c a l n e u the A grat in th r. Con s with e e f u f g o a s to colle ene ha c s y r culina

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February 2017



Dining out




4 The Dish

The dark arts Chocolate isn’t just for dessert anymore. At JinJu, it’s food, art and a soulful ritual b  y M i s t i Ya n g


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hen I ask Jin Caldwell, founder of JinJu Chocolates, “What is a master chocolatier?” she demurs. “I honestly couldn’t tell you that I am a master chocolatier. I still learn every day.” But one bite of a raspberry truffle — the tart, fruity pop gives way to velvety richness — dispels such modesty: Each of the dozens of bite-sized creations at her chocolate café is a testament to Caldwell’s skill. It’s a skill that sometimes seems on the verge of being a lost art. Chocolate suffers from undisputed adoration. Mug-worthy platitudes such as, “There is no such thing as too much chocolate,” reflect the mindless consumption that has in ways cursed the dark treat. Because of blind demand, the beans used to make chocolate, cacao beans, have become a mass-produced commodity. They’re alkalized to produce a neutral-tasting chocolate capable of appealing to everyone, but delighting no one. “It’s

P h oto g r a p h y S a b i n O r r


Chocolate bar When you visit JinJu, be prepared for one simple question: “What do you like to eat for dessert?” It’s the question that guides their recommendations. For this box of chocolates, the selection was guided by my penchant for tea, wine, and anything sour.


1 Raspberry truffle While the fresh raspberries replete with their pucker-inducing and delectable tartness make a grand entrance, what’s most impressive about this truffle is its lush creaminess. For the ganache, raspberries are blended with white chocolate, which is the source of the velvety richness that also contributes to a smooth mouth feel. 2 Chai tea truffle This is definitely more of a chai latte, but with a strong finish. The spiced black tea is blended with organic cream and milk chocolate, which softens the spice notes, but the dark chocolate coating lingers with the taste of roasted coffee.

like jug wine,” says Caldwell. According to Caldwell, 70 to 80 percent of cacao beans come from Africa, but she unleashes her flavor notes with beans 3 Figs & red wine bonbon mostly from Central and South America, Hawaii, and SouthThis square chocolate is JinJu’s signature east Asia. “That is something piece. Black figs are soaked in Primitivo red wine for 48 hours and then blended I am really passionate about, with local honey, milk and dark chocolates. blending different types of The figs create a ripe jamminess that is beans for different types of recbalanced with the earthiness of the wine ipes,” she says. For example, in and maltiness of the dark chocolate. her pumpkin pie bonbon, she takes care not to undermine 4 Earl Grey tea bonbon the spice of the pie with bitterness from the chocolate. From the Akoya collection, which features The chocolate derived from hand-airbrushed and molded chocolates, one bean in particular, Pure this heart-shaped chocolate enhances the sweet, citrus of the bergamot flavor promiNacional, is only entrusted to nent in Earl Grey tea with a bit of grassiselect chocolatiers. Caldwell is ness and an astringent finish fitting for a one of them. The Pure Nacional black tea. The balance is struck through cacao tree was considered vira blend of milk and dark chocolate. MY tually extinct until 2011 when Dan Pearson, an American mining businessman, came across one on a farm in Peru. He founded Marañón Chocolate to proThe chocolate, Fortunato No. 4, is duce chocolate with beans from the tree named after the farmer who cultivated the tree Pearson encountered. As and started seeking acclaimed chocolatfor the “4,” the fourth sample tested iers to work with the product. “We only award our exclusive chocoby the USDA confirmed that the tree latier status in a city to the best of best. In was indeed the rare Pure Nacional. It our opinion, in Las Vegas, Jin is the best is coveted because, unlike other cacao, approximately 40 percent of the beans it of the best,” says Pearson.

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Dining out produces are white. That doesn’t mean they’re used in white chocolate. Rather, white cacao creates a chocolate that is less bitter, and in turn, more acclaimed for its taste. Culinary legend has it that celebrated chef Eric Ripert called up Anthony Bourdain after sampling Fortunato No. 4 and announced he had tasted “the best chocolate in the world.” The result: Bourdain ventured to the source in an episode of Parts Unknown and collaborated with Ripert on an $18 chocolate bar. (A bar at JinJu is only $9.50.) Caldwell has been recognized as one of the top 10 chocolatiers in North America and earned a silver medal in the 2007 National Pastry Team Championship. After leaving casino kitchens, she worked for MARS Chocolate for six years, traveling the world to develop ideas for product innovation. The need to balance intense attention to detail (a one-degree differ-

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ence during tempering can ruin chococomplexity of fine-crafted chocolate is late) with a spirit of creativity made the a daily habit. life of a chocolatier perfect for her. “In Europe they have a box of choc“There are so many flavors and ideas olate in their kitchen, and after a meal, that you can do, from making a perfect eating one or two truff les is a part of truffle to a six-foot or seven-foot chocotheir culture. That is why there are so late sculpture, so to me the creativity was many chocolate shops in Europe. It’s kind of endless,” she says. like buying a loaf of bread,” JinJu Chocolates started she says. JinJu C ho c ol ates as a wholesale operation A nd, a lt houg h Ji n Ju 7345 S. Rainbow providing specialty chocomeans pearl in Korean, don’t Blvd. #130 lates and garnishes to casibe ashamed to admit your de702-778-6676 nos. Now, there is a store at votion to nougat. Caldwell Downtown Container Park explains, “I am not a snob 707 Fremont St. and a café just south of the who only creates the high#2280 (Container Park) 215 on Rainbow. At the est cacao products. I have 702-348-9407 café, you can order a cup of g ummy worms covered in coffee, select your piece of chocolate, so a 3-year old kid HOURS 8a-9p handcrafted chocolate and can walk in and say, ‘MomMon to Thu; enjoy. Caldwell thinks we my, I want that one.’” And, 8a-10p Fri; 9a-10p Sat; 9a-8p Sun should take a cue from Euof course, adults can enjoy rope, where relishing the them, too.

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Garden of Eden

at Yonaka Modern Japanese

4983 W. Flamingo Road, 702-685-8358, yonakajapaneserestaurant.com Yonaka is renowned for its dessert program. Its signature sweet, Chocolate Ten Ways, is something you’d expect from the kitchen of Sage or Le Cirque. Now, Yonaka’s new pastry chef Meg Oliver has created a new contender for the title of signature dessert: the wildly complex and playful Garden of Eden. It’s a cube of Oliver’s family-recipe spice cake, covered in a brandy-apple chocolate glaze, with a pretzel stem and matcha green tea “leaf” cookie. It also features whipped ricotta with cranberry curd, nestled in a delicate box of sesame brittle. The plate is dotted with Cointreau gelée cubes, chocolate balsamic Grenache, powdered ricotta and spiced streusel, and a cranberry caramel. Finally, there’s a cube of streusel gelato, with a matcha green tea-dusted Greek pastry called kataifi. At once delicate and rich, the Garden of Eden is a plate of heavenly delights. Mitchell Wilburn

Cocktail of the month

Monte Carlo at Classic Jewel In its oak and velvet simplicity, the Monte Carlo stands for the philosophy behind Classic Jewel’s cocktail menu. Containing just three ingredients — Old Overholt, the lounge’s well rye whiskey, Bénédictine and Angostura bitters — the Monte Carlo’s flavor relies on keen attention to balance rather than lychee-peeling or egg-frothing skills. Dating back to 1948, the drink represents post-World War II America in a cocktail menu that starts in the late 1800s and ends where the bar finds its inspiration: mid-century Vegas. And it’s the only rye-based item on the menu, which looks to offer something off the beaten path for every spirit fan. Like the plush, warm vibe co-owners Ryan Brown and Jerome Harry have created in their year-old Downtown haunt, the Monte Carlo tastes like luxury, but goes down easy. Heidi Kyser 353 E. Bonneville Ave. 702-722-6750 classicjewellv.com

February 2017



Dining out

Soup opera: Clockwise from left, rainbow soup dumplings from Pearl Ocean; deer tendon soup from Phoenix, tea from Cha Garden

at First Bite

Our slice of Macau The Lucky Dragon’s many restaurants offer a dizzying tour of fine Chinese cuisine B  y Mitchell Wilburn


fter what seems like an eternity of anticipation (okay, about two years), the Lucky Dragon hotel-casino on Sahara Avenue has finally opened. For food-lovers, the exciting news is that the property features five restaurants, all of them under a unifying vision and aesthetic. But don’t call it a theme. The Lucky Dragon isn’t an Asian-themed resort. Rather, it’s simply an Asian resort, geared for tourists fresh off the nonstop Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing. Every sign in the Lucky Dragon is subtitled in Mandarin, and many of the TVs in the center bar are tuned to China Central Television’s international services. The decor mirrors this as well, with the octagonal main room dominated by a massive chandelier featuring a spiraling golden dragon. It’s


F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7


authentic, you could say, or as authentic as anything in Vegas can be, anyway. That center bar itself is worth a mention, as it boasts one of the largest collections of a very special Chinese alcohol, baijiu. Baijiu is a high-proof clear alcohol distilled from bricks of buried fermented wet sorghum and then aged in amphoras. It’s one of the most popular drinks on Earth, but it’s something a Western palate might consider an acquired taste. Its high price (a half-liter of iconic brand Kweichow Moutai retails for $300) might surprise you once you taste it (my initial impression: as if someone put an entire horse in a blender and distilled it), but baijiu is an integral part of celebrations and luxury lifestyle in Chinese culture. No wedding, birthday, or lucky streak at the baccarat table is complete without a little shot glass

of baijiu. And its tonic, bold flavor actually pairs well with Chinese cuisine. The most casual of Lucky Dragon’s dining options is a 24/7 to-go counter called Bao Now. It offers a simple menu of rice bowls, noodle soups, dim sum, boba tea and, of course, bao — serious bao. These bao are picture-perfect and fresh as they come, and the long-cooked beef stew is a dream, though both are a touch pricey at nearly $6 and $14 each. Bao Now’s kitchen is exposed to the gaming floor through big windows showing all the prep areas, and it’s shared with Lucky Dragon’s “night market” called Dragon’s Alley. Dragon’s Alley, open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., might look like a buffet at first glance, but it’s actually an á la carte selection of a wide range of Asian street food, inspired by the shop stalls of Hong Kong or Beijing’s famous Ghost Street: soya sauce chicken, fish ball skewers, char sui pork, and many more bites are available for $2 to $10. For less than twenty bucks, you could quite easily fill up on fresh wok-cooked noodles, congee, roast duck, and pork buns.

P h oto g r a p h y S a b i n O r r

Upstairs is where the traditional service restaurants are. Phoenix, Lucky Dragon’s fine dining destination, might be one of the most luxurious Chinese restaurants in Las Vegas. Phoenix features floor-to-ceiling views of the north Strip, ritzy, refined service (the waitstaff is trained to serve customers from any background or origin) and a menu tailored to the whales Lucky Dragon is looking to attract; you’ll see everything from exotic seafood soups to dishes of abalone, lobster with black truffle, sea cucumber, and more modern Chinese dishes such as “fried organic mango milk,” a creamy block of custard in a fried skin, dotted with honey walnut shrimp. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can also dive into items such as fish maw, shark fin soup and peach gum. Phoenix’s desserts are made to end the meal on a healthy note. Try the herbal jelly, a bowl of firm black gelatin that balances sweetness and a tea-like bitterness. Next door to Phoenix is Pearl Ocean, the answer to the burning question of who serves the best dim sum in Las Vegas. The menu swells with delicacies (some of which you can select from live seafood tanks) that approach culinary perfection. Pearl Ocean’s signature dish, the rainbow soup dumplings, is the menu’s must-eat. The rainbow is a sampler of dumplings, each with a different colored wrapping and filling: black truffle, green spinach, red beet, yellow crab roe, and traditional — each distinctly savory and rich. In the evening, Pearl Ocean offers even more entrée dishes, drawing from regional specialties of Xianjiang, Szechuan and Yunan. Pearl Ocean even has the dim sum brunch market covered, helped by the property’s signature drink, their take on a Bloody Mary called the Flaming Buddha. The house mix has sriracha and sesame seed oil, Chinese spices, and the drink is garnished with a fried chicken foot. Lucky Dragon is a delicious little slice of Macau. There are many places in town to get fine Chinese cuisine, but Lucky Dragon has an irresistible concentration of them begging for exploration — a fact that will make adventurous eaters feel very lucky indeed.

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best of the


City Our superlative annual list with the mostest of the bestest! By Paul Atreides, Jim Begley, Chris Bitonti, Scott Dickensheets, Ed Fuentes, Alan Gegax, Jennifer Henry, Matt Jacob, Andrew Kiraly, Heidi Kyser, Christie Moeller,

a m A

iz ng

Molly O’Donnell, Pj Perez, Kristen Peterson, James P. Reza, Jason Scavone, Greg Thilmont, Kristy Totten, Mitchell Wilburn, Todd Witcher, Misti Yang

best of the City

Food & drink Best burger

Happy Hour Burger at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House

We know that dining at this chain of expense-account steakhouses isn’t as hip as hollering your fusion-flavored burger order through a food truck window and then scarfing it standing up, but Del Frisco’s classic vibe is just as Instagram-worthy. And the burger? This superior version is as traditional as they come, ground in-house from aged USDA Prime beef and crafted into exactly what every burger should be: rich, flavorful, juicy and satisfying. Garnished with your choice of cheese and paired with a side of either fries or house-made chips, it’s only $7 at happy hour. It’s no surprise the barstools fill fast. 3925 Paradise Road, delfriscos.com JPR

Best pizza

Naked City Pizza

We love pizza. Round, square, thin, deep. New York, Detroit, Naples, 7-11. Given the varieties — and their vociferous defenders — we know we’re stepping into a minefield here. That’s okay, because we’re fueled by the fantastic foodstuff cranked from the ovens of Naked City. There’s something special about how perfectly balanced this rectangular, Buffalo-style pie truly is. The crust, at once chewy and firm, is neither thin nor thick. The ingredients are top-shelf (you’ll taste it in the Italian sausage and pepperoni), and the sauce leans more spicy than sweet, just how it should be. Naked City elevates mere pizza to something that’s a joy to eat from beginning to end, and even before that: The joy starts when you open the box and inhale deeply. Four locations, nakedcitylv.com JPR

Best Italian food

Portofino Ristorante

Chef Michael LaPlaca is a dark wizard. How else can you explain the transformation of the standard red-sauce spot Onda into the valley’s best Italian restaurant? The magic is everywhere on the menu. LaPlaca’s riff on chicken Alfredo incorporates foie gras and chicken cracklings, the grilled onion gnocchi is accompanied by crispy frog legs, and he’s


even got a pasta of his own making, in the jagged-edge ripatelli. Score one for sorcery. The Mirage, mirage.com JB

Best Japanese Raku

This once tiny, under-the-radar grill now delivers its widely celebrated wood-fired Japanese delights in a much larger space. Raku hits all the hipster high points: Off-Strip, late hours, chef-driven, small plates, authentic cuisine, a daily specials board that is simply beyond and menu items that have achieved cult status, like “potato corn” (just order it) and a take on caprese that replaces mozzarella with house-made tofu. With multiple James Beard nominations and more than a few mentions right here in Desert Companion, Raku keeps generating buzz for a reason. 5030 W. Spring Mountain Road #2, raku-grill.com JPR

Best Chinese food Chengdu Taste

Known for its spice factor, Szechuan cuisine isn’t for everyone. But subtlety is a virtue at Chengdu Taste, where dishes are spiced for flavor and scent rather than as a test of strength. Ranging from sweat-inducing toothpick lamb with cumin to the literally mouth-tingling “numb taste” wontons, the menu is rich with peppers of all varieties, with a heavy emphasis on Szechuan peppercorns. Chengdu brings a flavorful heat with each and every dish. 3950 Schiff Drive, 702-437-7888 JB

Best Mexican

El Fresco’s Cocina Mexicana

El Fresco’s isn’t much to look at — assuming you can even find it. Tucked away near the airport in a motel-turned-office building surrounded by rental-car parking, this postage

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best of the city









Best thai David Wong’s Pan Asian There might be as many Thai restaurants in town as there are all-you-can-eat sushi joints. Most are indistinguishable from one another when it comes to staples such as rad nah and pad see yew. But David Wong allows his noodles to loiter in the wok just a bit longer than others do, letting them develop a sweet balance of caramelization and smoke. It makes all the difference. David knows that perfect flavor is in the details. 2980 Durango Drive #101, davidwongspanasian. com JB

Lotus of Siam Why is timeless only ever thrown around for steakhouses? With waves of excellent Asian cuisine opening faster than you can cram noodles down your gullet, perennial classic Lotus of Siam endures as a testament to Thai. Plus, you know you’re in good hands when you order your dish level-10 spicy and the waiters laug. Personal favorite: the house special nua nam tok (beef with green and red onion, cilantro, chiles, lime and rice powder). Super-hearty and crazy-hot, but the lime and cilantro kick it this fresh, acidic vibe. 953 E. Sahara Ave., lotusofsiamlv.com JS

stamp-sized place is anything but picturesque. But their shrimp tacos are outrageously addictive, as is the hearty cochinita pibil and housemade salsa verde, while the Super Fresco Max Burrito can feed a small family. There are no avant-garde dishes at El Fresco’s, only simple Mexican classics, done superbly. 5030 Paradise Road #B110, elfrescos.com JB

Best chicken wings Carmine’s

Surely Carmine’s, the bastion of Italian fare served in enormous portions, can’t have the valley’s best chicken wings? They do: Carmine’s spicy scarpariello wings really are that good, marinated for more than a day, dipped in the fryer and served swimming in a butter-laden, white wine sauce tinged with Tabasco. These labor-intensive wings are made with love. In the Forum Shops at Caesars, carminesnyc.com JB

Best appetizers R A K U : s a b i n o rr ; Atc h arawa n : CH R ISTO P H E R S M ITH

Mezza platter at Khoury’s Multitudinous small plates unite and become mighty with the mezza platter at Khoury’s, the fine Lebanese-inspired eatery on the west side. Once arrayed on your table, it’s more than a dozen samplings ranging from haloumi cheese and dolmades to baba ganoush

Chada Thai and Wine Bank Atcharawan’s Chada Thai and Wine is still one of the only places in town to get some of the regional deep cuts of Thai cuisine so many overlook. The standards such as tom kha gai and pad Thai are here, sure, but the adventurous will dive into authentic dishes such as kang tai pla (spicy fermented fish curry), lo-ba (braised and fried pig ear, heart and tongue), or one of Chada’s rare curries that blurs the borders between Thai, Indian, and Szechuan Chinese cuisines. 3400 S. Jones Blvd., chadavegas.com MW

Best noodle dish

Spicy clams with green tea ramen at Fish N Bowl

Green tea is all the rage these days. And now it’s in your noodles, too. At this compact but innovative Japanese eatery in the southwest, one of the menu highlights is ramen soup with emerald green matcha noodles. They’re accompanied by chunks of clam meat in a fiery red broth; little rice puff floaties and shreds of scallion make for visual accents. 7225 S. Durango Drive, facebook.com/fishnbowlvegas GT

Best Tacos

Taco Tijuana

Get the best tacos in town at either Taco Tijuana location: on east Tropicana or at the Broadacres Swap Meet in North Las Vegas.

and falafel. The loubieh

where you could easily make

(green beans in a garlicky

a night of simply starters.

tomato sauce) elevate the

Begin with Desert

humble legume. And then

Companion’s Signature Dish

there’s the fresh, puffy pitas

of 2016, the silky, rich Modern

served hot and inflated

Fried Egg, and wander from

straight from the oven.

there between savory

Tearing them apart is a joy. 9340 W. Sahara Ave.

Parmesan churros, fresh tuna

#106, khouryslv.com GT

olives. Don’t overlook

cones and playful Scotch tequila-kissed raw oysters,

Libertine Social

the hearty oxtail crostini or

Chef Shawn McClain’s

the pretzel with cheddar and

Libertine Social is a drinking

raclette fondue. Mandalay

and dining extravaganza

Bay, mandalaybay.com JB


The adobada, sliced directly from the spit while you wait, is equally as flavorful and crisp at either, while the accompanying piña is just as sweetly acidic. But there’s a certain allure to eating tacos al fresco while browsing luchador masks and (allegedly) counterfeit Coach bags. And you can’t do that on east Tropicana. 2554 E. Tropicana Ave. and Broadacres Swap Meet, 702-547-9163.com JB

Best bar food Owl

When even something so pedestrian as garlic fries makes you sit up and take notice, you know a joint’s bar food is running good. Unassuming Russell Road watering hole Owl brings the thunder with entries like bulgogimarinated Korean sliders and vegan deviled “eggs.” Plus those fries, with shockingly tender steak and full cloves of garlic. 3990 W. Russell Road #100, owllasvegas.com JS

Best late-night diner The Lakes Lounge

A Vegas diner should have a good story. The Lakes? It’s in the family genes. Owner Jamie Holcombe’s dad owned and operated Pogo’s, a Vegas institution celebrated for its jazz night back in the day. Although it’s technically a 24/7 video poker bar, The Lakes has a bustling kitchen that serves everything from Texas chili to fish & chips to an $8.99 turkey dinner on Sundays. (A separate dining room ensures smoke-free meals.) The menu has helped make The Lakes an institution itself; it celebrates 30 years in 2017. 2920 Lake E. Drive, thelakeslounge.com MY

>>> B e s t H air S t y lis t K e lly C a r d e n a s S a l o n D esert C ompan i o n



best of the city




n 365 PUB




Best tasting menu

In a city where brunch is an industrial science of competitive decadence, this is a hotly contested category. Bardot’s tack is decidedly simple: Provide the rich, satisfying brunch classics with the same refined aplomb and sophistication as they do with the dinner menu. Besides waffles with duck confit, the best croque madame this

Bacchanal Buffet

Find a veritable calendar year of suds in this inviting beerstravaganza in the Tuscany. The liquid menu is a compendium of craft classics such as Deschutes Black Butte Porter and esoteric hop-head fetishes like Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA. The handcrafted, wooden “Unicorn” books list rare brews in stock. Plenty of beer shows up as ingredients, too, in the gastropubby food offerings. 255 E. Flamingo Road, tuscanylv.com/restaurantpub-365 GT

Bardot Brasserie

crepes with crab, and possibly

Best buffet

365 Pub at Tuscany Suites and Casino


Best brunch

Other Mama

Since opening Other Mama in 2015, local dining circuit darling Dan Krohmer has delighted guests with innovative Asian fare and a ridiculous oyster happy hour. Not content to rest on his laurels, he recently unveiled a tasting menu focused on the ingredients du jour, with each course prepared by Krohmer himself. A recent trip treated me to soy-marinated eggplant topped with creamy monkfish liver, king crab salad with sweet potato croquettes, and duck drizzled in port sauce and sprinkled with kabocha squash fritters. 3655 S. Durango Drive #6, othermamalv.com JB

Best beer selection


side of the Arc de Triomphe,

Reinventing the iconic Las Vegas culinary hallmark in 2012, Caesars Palace turned a moribund casino buffet into a dining destination with Bacchanal. Like the infamous Bacchanal Room it’s named after, the buffet is completely over the top, offering everything from Jonah crab claws and made-to-order pastas to peach wood-smoked brisket and Cuban fried rice. With the endless bubbly option, you may never want to leave. Caesars Palace, caesars.com JB

all-you-can-drink rosé sweetens this heavenly weekend morning recuperation. Wear a tie, if your hangover permits. In Aria, aria.com MY Echo & Rig Since opening in 2013, Echo & Rig has established itself as a top-tier steakhouse and


upscale butcher shop, but the brunch offerings deserve accolades too. The spinach and goat cheese quiche is the perfect balance of fluffy and gooey with a nice, flaky crust,

Best daily specials

and meat lovers will love the

Flock & Fowl

short rib hash or steak frites.

Flock & Fowl is best known for introducing Las Vegans to poached Hainan chicken rice. But a wellkept secret is that chefs Sheridan Su and Travis Silva are regularly creating daily specials that are just as incredible, from hearty Indonesian fried rice to an amazing katsu sandwich. And if you see duck on the daily special board? Don’t think, just order. 380 W. Sahara Ave., flockandfowl.com JB

Best coffee Vesta Las Vegas loves its chains, but after decades of being palate-smacked into submission by the bitter, burnt roasts of FourBucks, Downtown’s newish Vesta is a refreshing reprieve. Housed in a bright Arts District renovation with

With outdoor seating, affordable prices, and bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, this is a spot for classic brunchists. (9a-3p Saturday & Sunday) Tivoli Village, 440 S. Rampart Blvd., echoandrig.com MY

concrete floors, roll-up


coffee house makes

doors and a working bean


relishing caffeinated

roaster as a centerpiece,

Whether it’s a nutty blend

pleasures easy (or, if you’re

Vesta’s full-bodied roasts

from Peru or something

indecisive, hard). It’s got its

remain surprisingly

with a floral finish from

stateside pop culture cred,

mellow. Rather than

Burundi, every coffee bean

too: The Breaking

gulping down a triple-shot

is roasted in-house at

Bad-inspired espresso

like medicine, it’s an

Desert Wind. With more

menu features a

invitation to savor. 1114 S. Casino Center Blvd. #1, vestacoffee. com JPR

than 15 bean-producing

proprietary grind and a

countries to choose from

side of blue rock candy

for a personalized

stick. 7772 W. Sahara Ave., desertwindcoffee.com MY

pour-over, the west side

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best of the city



best of the City


& Services Best clothing store


When famed Brit high-street retailer TOPSHOP/TOPMAN opened its doors in Las Vegas in 2012, it shook up the shopping scene with a fusion of style, affordability, service and sheer scale. The scale: a 20,000 square-foot floor packed with fashion, a dramatic 180-footlong storefront that invites and excites. The stellar service includes personal shopping suites and a valet with a private entrance. The style: For the men, everything from three-piece suits to hip jeans and tees, all oozing British cool. For women, everything from slinky nighton-the-town dresses to athleisurewear. Fashion Show Mall, topshop.com CM

Best beauty products Sephora

With locations dotting the valley from Summerlin to the Strip to the south valley, Sephora is truly the go-to expert on all things beauty. And when we say “all things,” we mean it. Sephora carries just about every product in the beauty alphabet, from AERIN to Yves Saint Laurent, with a staff of trained experts ready to help navigate you to the perfect shade or scent. They even schedule makeup appointments for special events such as proms, weddings and parties. Multiple locations, sephora.com CM


Best luxury spa

Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace

An opulent oasis since its opening in 2007, Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace is the Las Vegas Boulevard destination for an otherworldly spa experience. Luxury relaxation takes a holistic approach with grand traditional Roman baths, Ayurvedic

Best budget spa

Euphoria Salons & Day Spas

herbal treatments and even chakra balancing. One-of-a-kind amenities like their Arctic Ice Room (where heated benches make the indoor snowglobe a peaceful escape) and their exclusive Nobu Nagomi Ritual are just a few of their luxe offerings worth making a trip to the Strip. Caesars Palace, caesars.com JH

Best hair salon

Josephine Skaught Hairdressing

When veteran hair artist Skaught Gibson dreamed up his salon concept, he envisioned a place that was artsy, sophisticated and welcoming all at once. Named for his grandmother, Josephine Skaught Hairdressing is just that, an inspired and innovative salon/art gallery now in its fifth year at the heart of the Arts District. Gender-neutral by design, services center on high-quality cuts, color, smoothing treatments and grooming with a comprehensive line of Bumble and Bumble products to make the best of every coif. (And if your own locks aren’t luscious enough, the salon offers long wear/gentle application adhesive Hot Heads extensions.) 1025 S. First St. #165, josephineskaught.com JH


With packages starting at $80, Euphoria transforms the spa experience from a quarterly splurge to an anytime indulgence. With more than 22 years of experience keeping Las Vegas beautiful on a budget, little wonder that Euphoria Salons & Day Spas is the locals’ choice for spa treatments, facials and massages. Go in for a quickie 15-minute, blemish-busting Breakout Emergency treatment, or spend the day before a big night out with Platinum Spa Package. And with three locations across the valley, it’s easy to get an appointment seven days a week. Multiple locations, euphoriasalons.com JH

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best of the city

s h o p s & s e r vic e s Best used bookstore

Amber Unicorn Books

This unassuming bookshop is home to an extensive, Ruth Reichl-approved cookbook collection that includes impractical but utterly charming first-edition titles like Flowers as Food. No petals? No problem. Food lit aside, all genres are well-represented, and the owners offer discounts when you bring a Trader Joe’s bag — or even if you don’t. 2101 S. Decatur Blvd. #14, amberunicornbooks.com KT

Best Vegas gifts for your odd uncle with the turntable


Frankie’s, Golden Tiki The Wax Genie Stacey Torres

Best vintage stores Patina

Stacey Torres is much more than her title The Wax Genie suggests. Of course, she’s a consummate professional in the field of hair removal, with a knack for sensitive skin epilation and soothing the fears of first-timers. She’s also a state-certified advocate through the Gender Justice organization and makes her locally sourced vegan zinc and titanium-based, fragrance- and dye-free waxes available to everyone, with absolutely no gender bias. 515 Rose St., thewaxgenie.com JH

Patina is a virtual Midcentury wonderland —

Best accessories shop

Exile on Main peddles the best vintage

Alex & Ani

Etro at Las Vegas Premium Outlets North Elegant, exclusive and eccentric, Etro is the definition of Italianmade finery. At full retail, prices for their handmade pieces often reach into the thousands, but the Etro Outlet boutique is your chance to collect signature-brand pieces at a steep discount.

stylish decades, too. This friendly Main Street vintage shop is like a concentrated dose of Palm Springs on steroids, a place where the furniture, art, lighting and clothing range from the kitschy to utterly opulent, and make for some of the best vintage shopping in Vegas. 1300 S. Main St. #140, patinadecorlv.com CM

Blvd., frankiestikiroom.com; Golden Tiki, 3939 Spring

Exile On Main Street

Mountain Road, thegoldentiki.com JPR

Focusing on preloved fashion with character, clothing, jewelry and accessories around — particularly if you’re a fan of patches, buckles,

Charmed, we’re sure! A national brand with real local roots, Alex & Ani is the accessories shop for meaningful personalized pieces that speak to your aesthetics, aura and altruism. Stacking is the current trend, with glimmering crystal bangles layered between chic wire bracelets that showcase your hopes, dreams and inner truths in symbolic charms. Made in America from recycled materials, these

Best outlet stores

but the wonders hail from plenty of other

We all know one: The uncle with the classic car and the retro pad. The turntable. The Converse Chuck Taylor kicks, worn with ... everything. What can you possibly gift that meets his hyper-curated stylistic standards? Not vinyl (he has it all). And the Dive Bar Shirt Club? Please. Instead, go native at one of our city’s fine tiki bars (Frankie’s Tiki Room, The Golden Tiki) with a real-deal T-shirt and one of their killer collectible tiki mugs. Bonus Round: At Frankie’s, fill the mug with branded swag (swizzle sticks and matchboxes), and watch uncle crack a smile. Frankie’s, 1712 W. Charleston

boots, denim, concert tees, flairs, fringes and other bad-ass stoner gear. 1235 S. Main St. Las Vegas, 702-823-3957 CM

baubles give back, too, with 20 percent of the proceeds from their Charity by Design line donated to a variety of causes, totaling more than $37 million since 2011. Fashion Show Mall #1335, alexandani.com JH

Best place for Vegas kitsch Bonanza Gift Shop

Elvis sunglasses? Check. Clear acrylic toilet seats filled with coins? Check. Dice clocks, card dealer visors, roulette wheel ashtrays, boxing aliens? Check, check, check, and, believe it not, check. Bonanza Gifts is one of the few remnants of a dying breed of road trip souvenir shops, 36,000 square feet of awesome where ridiculous keepsakes jive with jerky and gemstones. Visit now — or blink and it’s a high-rise. 2440 Las Vegas Blvd. S., worldslargestgiftshop.com JPR

Owned and operated by the Etro

celebrities and adventurous

signature Varvatos rock ‘n’ roll

family since its 1968 inception,

fashion enthusiasts all over the

style — streamlined, sleek, urban

Etro offers distinctive designs,

world. 795 S. Grand Central

and urbane — is available for half

custom fabrics and finely tooled

Parkway #2211, etro.com JH

(and sometimes a third of) the

accessories, all of which still

price of the goods in the mainline

originate from Italy, hand-crafted

John Varvatos Company

stores. The beautiful setting

by tailors and artisans. It’s not the

Store at Las Vegas

(gorgeous wood floors, curated

kind of logo-heavy luxury brand

Premium Outlets North

rock ‘n’ roll paraphernalia) and

that rappers boast about, but

Stress-free retail therapy awaits

helpful staff complete the

their signature Arnica paisley

at the John Varvatos Company

therapeutic escape. 555 S. Grand

print is legendary, and their

Store at the Las Vegas Premium

Central Parkway #3473,

collections are coveted by stylish

Outlets North, where the

johnvarvatos.com CM

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best of the city

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c u lt u r e

Best local artists Wendy Kveck



& Culture Best local photographer Mikayla Whitmore

Mikayla Whitmore is a quiet storyteller with an adventurous soul who’s willing to stalk light, like the time she waited for the early morning glow that peeks through Seven Magic Mountains. Her recent images also reclaimed her North Las Vegas roots, and as artist-in-residence for the Neon Museum, she guided others to fearlessly find beauty in old signs. Her photojournalism often reads as fine art. When she shoots a photo essay, it’s often more than gathering images to support someone else’s editorial. She is coauthoring cultural observations. Look closely at her work. Details about local people and landscapes are whispered in your ear. mikaylawhitmore.com EF

Artist Wendy Kveck has been blowing our minds for years with her rich, painterly works of women portrayed in color palettes of excess, in which the medium is most definitely the message. Her portraits both observe and challenge expectations and portrayals of women in media and in society. Often grotesquely beautiful and alarmingly real, the color-rich messy compositions never fail to engage and intrigue. wendykveck.com KP

Gig Depio

First, respect the skills — Gig Depio can flat-out paint. Second, he’s not shy about filling his canvases with topicality, a caustic wit and a gimlet-eyed take on history; his pieces wrestle with more than purely aesthetic concerns. Third, he uses purely aesthetic concerns — size, style, materiality, complexity — to bolster the oomph of his message (see “A Requiem for the Outsiders” for confirmation). An indispensible artist of this moment. depio168.wixsite.com/gigdepio SD

appeal. His giant suspended steel hand two years ago at the Clark County Government Center; guerrilla installations of metal origami dotting the Arts District; a large-scale minimalist homage to Paiute culture slated for the Main Street Improvement Project — all have received healthy applause. Next up: a large steel human head as part of the county’s median project, “Centered.” varelarico.com KP

Best mural

Piñata Motel by Justin Favela

The ephemeral expression of street art is fitting for a transitory town, which is ironic when you consider how murals from the Life Is Beautiful Festival have a long shelf life. In comes Piñata Motel by Justin Favela, the local who, in 2016, matched the cleverness of the festival’s visiting international

Joan Pereira

This Cuban émigré made a bold entrance into the local art scene with his debut show at peaceNart Studio in the Arts Factory last fall, introducing his distinctive approach to portraiture: Oversized oil paintings that capture the joy and struggles of his native country’s residents. The large canvases are somehow lifelike and dreamlike all at once. Cuba’s loss is Las Vegas’ gain. Facebook.com/ joanpereiraartist PP

artists by covering a Downtown motel and with strips of tissue paper. For a few days, Favela’s temporary sculpture reconciled the Latino mural tradition with contemporary street art. justinfavela.net EF

Best addition to the arts scene Seven Magic Mountains by Ugo Rondinone

Ignore the minor tinnitus of dissent from people who say this thing mars the desert’s beauty — folks, there’s a shooting range like a mile away — and groove on any of its multiple virtues: the levitating dissonance between its riotous colors and the drab desert; the way it distills the essence of Vegas (bright frivolity in a place it doesn’t belong); its selfie-ready joie de vivre. Thousands have, resulting in a priceless boost of tourism-enhancing social-media exposure. sevenmagicmountains.org SD


Best local sculptor Luis Varela-Rico

Public art is dicey, equal parts celebration and lamentation, often requiring years, if not eternity, for communities to fully appreciate. Artist Luis Varela-Rico breaks the sentiment by balancing fine art with broad

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b e s t o f t h e C i t y /// a r t s & c u l t u r e


Best public art program

Centered: Clark County Median Art

New ZAP! boxes and Wayne Littlejohn’s Dream Machine at Siegfried & Roy Park highlight Clark County Public Art programming under former Public Art Specialist Michael Ogilvie. His masterpiece is Centered, the sitespecific sculptures in the middle of county roads. The idea is not new, but it was deftly adapted for Southern Nevada. As the curator for Centered, Ogilvie made the project goals clear, saw different districts were included and shows how local artists can think outside the utility box. Centered allows the median be the message. EF

Best museum

The Barrick

As it enters its 50th year as a UNLV institution, the Barrick added two simple words to its formal name: The UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum … wait for it … of Art. Since joining the College of Fine Arts in 2011, the Barrick focused on being a contemporary art museum that gathers work from local artists to join a growing collection, and where contemporary artists around the U.S. can exhibit and lecture. The transition was shaped by former director Aurore Giguet and has not lost a step under the interim direction of Alisha Kerlin. unlv.edu/barrickmuseum EF

Winchester Cultural Center

The Winchester Cultural Center is easy to forget about, tucked away as it is between UNLV and Downtown. What its location obscures, however, its calendar reveals: a rich variety of cultural events from ballet to gallery installations to heritage festivals. Here is a hidden cultural gem that neatly defies the “cultureless Vegas” stereotype.


3130 McLeod Drive, clarkcountynv.gov/parks/Pages/ winchester-cultural-center.aspx


Bests we can all agree on Tourists / locals

Strip-gawkers and jaded locals, delight awaits you at Seven Magic Mountains (sevenmagicmountains.org), the jumblystacked rock-art Skittles totems 10 miles south of

town. At once smart spectacle and ludic commentary, it’ll engage both art lovers and follow-hungry selfie addicts. At the Pinball Hall of Fame (pinballmuseum.org), Vegasbound pinheads will drool at the prospect of playing the latest movie-franchise machines from Stern or a lovingly restored classic from the ’60s; locals will

find satisfaction in knowing that every quarter they drop goes to support the work of the Salvation Army. On the Strip, the Bellagio Conservatory (bellagio. com) — even when thronged with dead-eyed Instagrammers — is still an oasis of repose and sanity, worth the pedestrian slog for visitors, worth the drive for locals. Finally, the


Fremont Street Experience (vegasexperience.com) is the perfect antidote for taking yourself too seriously. Come on, chug a street-bar daiquiri served by a go-go dancer, throw some devil horns at the ’80s cover band that used to be an actual band from the ’80s, and howl, howl at the burgeoning frenzy of the canopy. AK

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Best place to encounter culture

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best of the city

best o f th e City

• Same Sex Mary

Best live music venue Brooklyn Bowl

Another year has passed, and, as per the usual in Sin City, many new things have been built. But the Brooklyn Bowl has yet to be supplanted as the best place to see live music in town. With a great sound system and loads of room to catch a glimpse of one of the great bands in their well-rounded lineup (from Jim James of My Morning Jacket to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic), it’s still really hard to beat the Bowl. 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. S., brooklynbowl.com/las-vegas MO

Best local rock artist/band



The All-Togethers’ self-described brand of “hillbilly jazz” is as enjoyable and down-toearth as it sounds, but it’s a lot more interesting than that tagline suggests, too. Rocking a style that is at once retro and new — think 1950s Sunday best meets West Coast hip — the All-Togethers are down-home Southern (banjo) with highbrow highlights (cello). But their tunes run the gamut, at times making you feel like you’re strolling the Quarter in New Orleans and at times energizing you with freight train speed. This versatility is part of what makes them altogether wonderful. thealltogethers.com MO

Best annual concert

Las Vegas Hardcore Punk Rock Reunion Show

While the history of Las Vegas’ music scene might seem like a footnote compared to a New York or Chicago, within the punk and hardcore world, the valley has been ripe with talent for decades, and has even spawned notable national acts such as Faded Grey and Curl Up and Die. Once a year, organizer Danny Breeden offers the faithful an excuse to dust off the old spiked jackets and beat-up Chucks for one more spin in the pit. Past evenings have featured reappearances by distinguished locals including Subterfuge, Tomorrow’s Gone, M.I.A., Self Abuse and Boba Fett Youth. Start reapplying your straight-edge Xs now — the 2017 date is already set for the fifth annual event: November 4 at Fremont Country Club. CB

Best musical trend The Residency

Once the quintessence of Strip entertainment, the residency helped put Las Vegas on the map by attracting legendary acts like Elvis, Liberace and The Rat Pack for extended stays in the desert. Surprisingly, outside of The

Best local singer-songwriter Halsey Harkins


Colosseum, the model fell out of style, and the number of recurring musical options on the Strip evaporated. Recently, as artists’ income continues to trend almost entirely toward live performance revenue, the residency is back, offering artists a break from the more grueling aspects of life on the road and allowing fans to travel to them. And where better than Las Vegas? New theaters, venues and an arena have sprung up, with more in the works, and existing spaces are swapping production shows for concerts. The Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood jumped from relative nonexistence to the number two 10,000-seat venue in the world last year. Expect even more major names to hunker down in 2017 as Las Vegas’ musical surge continues. CB

Best local jazz band Jazz Workshop

With one foot anchored in the great jazz tradition and another (much stranger) foot dancing toward the infinite abyss, Jazz Workshop thrives in both worlds. Featuring a Superfriends-like level of Las Vegas jazz talent, JW skillfully balances experimentation with soulful, smooth licks. Catch them late Thursday nights at Ferraro’s from 11p-2a. facebook.com/jazzworkshopthursdays CB

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One of the strongest voices among the recent wave of young local talent, native Las Vegan Halsey Harkins is making ripples on and off the Strip. The pianist, singer, and songwriter performs frequently in production shows and has built a following for her brassy, torchy original tunes. Her style is inescapably rooted in jazz, but the LVA and UNLV grad has never abandoned a pop sensibility. Keep an eye out for more music videos online and a slew of performances around town. facebook.com/ halseyharkinsmusic CB

Best local DJ DJ Ikon

Arguably the biggest local name in the club scene, Aaron White, a.k.a. DJ Ikon, has conquered the Strip, frequenting nearly every room across the boulevard. Catch the Blackout Artists member spinning open-format sets that pull heavily from hip-hop remixes while you can; he’s planning increased touring and festival appearances in 2017. djikonlive.com CB

Best new local band We Are Pancakes

This breakfast-adoring quintet took 2016 by storm, making it to the finals of the Road to Life is Beautiful, popping up on a slew of big local shows and releasing debut E.P. Cookies and Mimosas. As their name might suggest, they’re not afraid to get weird, but don’t dismiss without a listen. Their off-center pop is infectious, and they’re a tight live band. But most importantly, they seem to have offered the scene a lightning rod to coalesce around, hosting open-mic nights, collaborating with other local bands and always celebrating their peers. facebook.com/wearepancakesband CB

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Best category-busting musical act Sabriel

Las Vegas native Sabriel Hobart makes music that defies her tender age and desert upbringing. Best displayed on her aptly (and helpfully) named debut EP, shä bre el, the mononymous singer-songwriter blends funk rhythms, jazz textures, hip-hop beats, retro-futuristic synths and soulful vocals into a sound that’s deceptively smooth, unexpectedly urban and distinctively all hers. sabrielmusic.com PP

Best theater company

n KÀ

A Public Fit

Best theater director

Christopher V. Edwards

If the sheer genius of Bomb-itty of Errors to expose young audiences to The Bard wasn’t enough, Christopher V. Edwards helmed a production good enough to convert a purist. From casting to utilizing the Bayley theatre deck to grid, and curtain to house, from attention to detail in movement, to props, costumes and timing, he turned out an excellent production worthy of sold-out performances. unlv.edu/nct PA

Best actress

Maythinee Washington

Few actresses can evoke emotion from an audience the way this actress did with her role of Marianne in Constellations earlier this year. Real tears flowing one moment, heartfelt laughter the next — Washington’s performance was an honest, committed


Bests we can all agree on Liberals / conservatives

Nevada Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Co-chair Karen Boeger says, “We’re a little different take on the hookand-bullet crowd, because of

portrayal. If it’s true that acting is reacting, she embodied the meaning of consummate performer over the 90-minute play. PA

your living room experience for something that deserves a big screen, check out Galaxy. 4500 E. Sunset Road #10, galaxytheatres.com MO

Best Actor

Best local TV personality

The man is a chameleon, plain and simple. He can step on stage as a skeevy child molester, as he did with How I Learned to Drive, then, months later in Casa Valentina, sit at a vanity to slowly transform himself into a woman — movements, gestures, expressions and vocal tones altering in smooth, tiny stages. Then he took on an iconic role this year in A Few Good Men and made it his own, fully personifying the role. PA

The weather in Las Vegas is rarely surprising. So the best meteorologist has to bring something to the table aside from “it’s sunny.” Sherry Swensk on Channel 8 brings it. Her personality is as sparkling as her wardrobe, and she always offers helpful tips (like the best time of day to see the Neon Museum) that are as worthwhile for locals as they are for tourists. lasvegasnow.com/sherry-swensk-bio MO

Best movie theater

Sherry Swensk

Glenn Heath

Galaxy Green Valley Luxury

Some movie theaters in town have started offering luxury amenities like reclining seats; even Downtown is getting into the act with the recently opened Eclipse. Galaxy Theater, however, is the original. They’ve been at it a while — and it shows. Here, your little extra goes a long way with wine glasses that remind you of Riedel, and superior sound, seats, and screens. Netflix is wonderful, but if you want an upgrade on

our focus on habitat.” In other words, because these folks like to hunt and fish, they’re committed to protecting the public lands where wild animals roam. (backcountryhunters. org/nevada_bha). Liberals will love Penn & Teller at the Rio (pennandteller.com) because their show, genuinely entertaining even without the topical barbs and riffs,

Best Strip Show Yes, Cirque is well-established as offering amazing shows, but Kà is the most amazing of the amazing. What other show has a three-dimensional set that transforms from a stage to a ship — at one point, astoundingly allowing for a bird’s eye view? Aside from the set, Kà still offers the most athletic and action-packed repertoire of all the shows on or off the Strip. If “wow” is what you want, then no need to look for new. MGM Grand, starting $69, cirquedusoleil.com/ka MO

is really about critical thinking in a hype-inflated, post-truth world; conservatives might appreciate how Penn Jillette frequently drops provocative, just-wentthere, libertarian-flavored bon mots. But to experience political coexistence scaled up to the largest canvas Vegas provides, one need only consider the Strip, where ideologues of every species

daily walk, gape and obstruct traffic together, as one. The lefties can exult amid the free-flowing, multicultural vitality of the crowd, while the righties, nodding at the resorts, can applaud the economic clout created by an empowered business class and a small, responsive government. Also, there are dancing waters, and who doesn’t love that? SD AK HK

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best of the city

K À , V D A R A : CO U R T E S Y M G M R E SO R TS

A Public Fit burst onto the scene in 2014 and won the Valley Award for Best Play right out of the gate. Billing itself as “professional theatre for Las Vegas,” in a combination of staged readings and full productions, this company pays close attention to every minute detail and presents quality work time after time. 2016 proved to be no different. 100 S. Maryland Parkway, apublicfit.org PA






& Leisure Best staycation spots Downtown Grand

The casino floor is charming, the hotel decor sleek and modern. Downtown Grand is the Cosmo of Downtown, but what sets it apart for a staycay is an unbeatable two-fer: rooms that are (a) dirt cheap and (b) huge. A recent stay on a Saturday in early December was around $150 for a room that dwarfed most Strip contemporaries. That staying Downtown offers a choose-your-own-adventure of nighttime activities (Fremont tourist? Barhopping hipster? Cheapo Lyft to The Smith Center or Frankie’s) is pure icing. 206 N. Third St., downtowngrand.com JS

Lake Las Vegas

Did you know there’s a recreation-friendly body of water just east of Henderson perfect for overnight getaways? No, not Lake Mead — the more compact Lake Las Vegas. The Great Recession neutron bomb left it a nearly vacant Italianate-styled village, but the area is on the rebound, and two hotels — the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa and the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa — are worthy lodgings. The Hilton is elegant and relaxing; the Westin has a huge pool complex and beach for paddleboards and beyond. lakelasvegas.com GT

Vdara Hotel and Spa

When you staycation, you want to be close to the Strip, but not quite on the Strip. You want to be at a spot like Vdara Hotel and Spa. The rooms and spa are lavish, you’re steps away from Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan and CityCenter. But the hotel, which has no casino, is blissfully mellow. It’s a nice shot of privacy in the middle of the action. 2600 W. Harmon Ave., vdara.com TRW



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Best place to take a selfie

Best casino for people watching

Let’s say you just did something big — like propose to your significant other — and you want a take a quick selfie to announce it to the world and celebrate. There’s no better backdrop than Bellagio’s elegant conservatory, with its light and airy glass roof, vibrant seasonal flowers and stunning themed displays. You may even find yourself popping the question to a complete stranger. bellagio.com TRW

From floor to ceiling, Steve Wynn’s postBellagio masterpieces offer a sort of sensory overload at every turn, but the casinos continue to be the main thoroughfares through which traffic flows at each property. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, pull up a chair at one of the bars, lounges or restaurants that line the casino perimeter and take in the human artwork in perpetual motion. wynnlasvegas.com. MJ

Bellagio Conservatory

Best place to show visitors the real Las Vegas Casa de Shenandoah

Wayne’s Newton Casa de Shenandoah is a sweetly earnest spectacle, kind of like Las Vegas. Where else are you going to see 60 Arabian horses, a garage full of vintage Bentleys, a Fokker F-28 jet, an 8,700-square-foot Seventies-tacky mansion, a menagerie of swans, peacocks, parrots and wallabies, and a museum full of memorabilia from Mr. Las Vegas’ countless USO tours, as well as fan mail from presidents and celebrities? All this is set in a surreal and enchanting 52-acre Vegas pastoral, filled with green meadows, mountain views and no trace of the city itself. 3310 E. Sunset Road, $18-$95, casadeshenandoah.com TRW

Best place to get away from it all (in town) Springs Preserve

The Springs Preserve’s verdant core, paths and informative exhibits are usually filled with strollers (both the kind with feet and those with wheels), but beyond the amphitheater lie nearly four miles of nature trails that are visited by many fewer soles. You can amble out to the far west side, where there’s a tranquil, reedringed pond; often nobody else will be around. 333 S. Valley View Blvd., springspreserve.org GT

Best place to get away from it all (out of town) Flagstaff, Arizona

Sometimes you need to flee the Silver State — in a direction other than to Cali. And while most of us view Arizona as nothing more than Las Vegas’ hotter cousin, we often forget a sleepy college town in its northern reaches. In Flagstaff, “chill” takes on multiple meanings, from the weather to the vibe to the temperature of craft beers in the downtown bars. Less than four hours away, Flagstaff is the perfect overnight destination where you can recharge those big city batteries. flagstaffarizona.org MJ


Best casino to enjoy losing your money Golden Nugget

Old Vegas versus New Vegas has been beaten to death, but one aspect that never gets enough play is the suburban sprawl of the modern casino floor. The Nugget keeps its quarters tight enough to elbow the player next to you on a particularly zealous dice throw. Pack such a room full of people in a risk/reward fugue, and you’re going to get the kind of vibe usually reserved for the frozen orange juice scene in Trading Places. You might be blowing through your bankroll, but you’re doing it in the middle of a pure, old-school gambling frenzy. 129 E. Fremont St., goldennugget.com/lasvegas JS

Best poker room The Venetian

The Venetian poker room might not have the variety of games and overwhelming number of players of Bellagio, or the sleek, modern look of Aria, but it’s both incredibly comfortable and profitable for the average $100-$500 buy-in player. That’s because you’re going to get a steady diet of tourists, especially the wannabe pros around events like the Deep Stack Extravaganza. No need to fade the grizzled, flinty vets trying to grind out meager gains at the off-Strip joints, The Venetian continues to be the top spot for balancing aesthetics and plump opposition. 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., venetian.com/casino/poker.html JS

Best Parking

Tie: Boyd properties, Hard Rock Hotel, Hooters, Lucky Dragon, M Resort, Venetian, Silverton, SLS, Stations properties, Stratosphere, Tropicana, Treasure Island. (List depressingly subject to rapid and frequent change as more independent operators, as The Cosmopolitan did in mid-December, begin to charge for parking.) JS

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Green Valley Ranch

Always lively and clean, it was slightly redesigned recently (gone are several rows of long, low tables that had small TVs on them — very impersonal — replaced with lots of cocktail tables). Also: upgraded big screens with high-quality HD sets. And the sports book bar still has some of the most personable and efficient bartenders in the city. greenvalleyranch.sclv.com MJ

Best Knights Silver

Silver. The correct answer was “Las Vegas Silver Knights.” The city’s newbie NHL club had three whacks at the piñata, and they went with the name option that both ticked off local nomenclature martinets and got the team in a trademark brawl with The College of St. Rose, a Division II school in Albany, New York. The Silver State? It was right there. nhl.com/goldenknights JS

Best place for some low-cost fun Lake Mead National Recreational Area

Yes, the water level at Lake Mead is low (frighteningly so), but no, that doesn’t mean the lake is unusable — far from it. You’re very much encouraged to enjoy our manmade

Best sports venues Fertitta Field at Bishop Gorman High School We’re not sure if the taxpayer-subsidized football

Training Center are as

will likely rule this category

state-of-the-art as they

for the foreseeable future

come, rivaling facilities found

(until Sandoval’s Folly gets

at most universities. As

built for the Raiders,

striking as Fertitta Field is

anyway). Until then,

visually, perhaps the best

Cashman Field will still be

part of the estimated $10

stadium that a couple of

million complex is that it was

billionaires want to erect will

funded entirely through

ever come to pass. But if it

donations. Gee, imagine that:

does, the would-be

a privately financed football

architects could do worse

stadium. 5959 S. Hualapai

than cribbing design

Way, BishopGorman.org MJ

the king of sports venues. Can it match the hype of a big fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena? Of course not. But it can offer Dollar Beer Night, pitting you in the eternal struggle

elements from Fertitta Field. Opened in 2012, Bishop

Cashman Field

between a $20 bill in your

Gorman’s 5,000-seat

In the near future, once the

pocket and your better

football stadium and

Knights bring pro sports to

judgment. 850 Las Vegas

adjacent Fertitta Athletic

the city, the T-Mobile Arena

Blvd. N., lv51.com JS

wonder, so pool your money with some family and/or friends, and rent a ski, fishing or houseboat for the day. Or try your luck at paddle boarding, kayaking or scuba diving. Want to go even cheaper? Load up your bicycle or simply slip on your favorite hiking shoes and explore the nine designated wilderness areas spread across the recreation area’s 1.5 million acres. By land or by sea, our beloved national park continues to offer lots of fun ways to escape city life. nps.gov/lake MJ

Best place to have fun by yourself (almost) Exotics Racing

When’s the last time someone tossed you the keys to a six-figure Lamborghini or Ferrari and said, “Take her for a spin … on a seven-turn, 1.2-mile racetrack … at speeds above 100 mph … and there’s zero chance you’ll get pulled over by a cop”? Never?

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f er t i t ta f i eld CO U R T E S Y BISHO P G O R M A N HI G H SCHOO L

Best sports book





Well, at Exotics Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, you can do all this — in fact, if you have the desire (and budget), you can do it all day long in a variety of supercars (the fleet also includes Porches, Audis and Aston Martins, among others). Now for a brief clarification: You won’t exactly be by yourself; a racing expert will ride shotgun as you speed around the course. Still, it’s all about you — until your passenger gets on your case for driving too … slow! 7065 Speedway Blvd., ExoticsRacing.com. MJ

Best attraction The Park

Why did it take six decades for a legitimate outdoor gathering place to be built on the fabulous Strip? You can’t just blame four months of infernal summer heat — there’s shade, misters and sunset, right? More likely, it was the casino’s old-school keep-’em-inside mentality of no windows, no clocks, no outside world. Well, the MGM powers-that-be finally realized that modern-minded folks embrace the outdoors. Hell, they’ll even pay good money to eat and drink in it! So, now we all can amble through The Park, take in some gigantic scuplture, waterworks and Nevada skies. Plus beer, sushi, Belgian waffles and more in the eateries that line the concourse. Located between New York-New York and the Monte Carlo, theparkvegas.com GT



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Best place to introduce kids to art/culture

Neon Museum Boneyard

Art can sometimes be a stuffy proposition: Walk around serious rooms, look but don’t touch, keep your voice down. But the outdoor boneyard of vintage signs at the Neon Museum is, if not quite hands-on, still a blast, a fun and casual atmosphere to introduce kids to art, to craftsmanship and to the unique culture that makes their hometown special. 770 Las Vegas Blvd. N., neonmuseum.org TRW

Best place to get kids away from screens

Spring Valley State Park

Sometimes it’s worthwhile to be a little draconian. Spring Valley has no cell signal and no electricity. Screens become a lot less interesting when they’re dark. What Springs Valley does have is a reservoir jam-packed with fish; a campground with great amenities, including free showers, flushing toilets, and a fish-cleaning station; and the kind of quiet that will let a parent and child actually talk to (gasp!) each other. Oh, and the night sky ain’t bad, either. parks.nv.gov/parks/spring-valley AG




Bests we can all agree on Omnivores / specivores

You’re a vegan; your BFF loves nothing more than a good burger. Or, you’re Italian and your wife’s gluten-intolerant. Where’s the common dining ground? All over town, actually. Hussong’s Cantina is leading the crowded vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant field with a complete menu of plant-based items, including a rich chocolate cake with ancho peanut butter frosting (Boca Park and Mandalay Place, hussongslasvegas.com). At Lazeez Indian Mediterranean Grill, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners will have almost as many choices as their meat-eating friends — and it’s all halal, too (8560 W. Desert Inn Rd., lazeezgrillorg). If there’s a raw-foodie in your party, hit any of Greens & Proteins’ five locations for a both (cooked) BBQ chicken pizza and a raw pizza with cashew cheese and vegetables on a crisp flax seed crust (greensandproteins. com). The Pizza Kitchen dispenses with the separate specialty menu, instead inviting guests to build their own pies choosing from crust, sauce and topping lists that include gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. And don’t worry, unapologetic carnivores; they have chicken wings (5270 S. Fort Apache Road, thepizzakitchenlv.com). HK

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Best places for a leisurely stroll City farmers markets Whoever says Las Vegas lacks a sense of community has never spent an afternoon amidst the fruits, vegetables, breads, sauces, flowers, arts, crafts and generally festive company of the city’s numerous farmers markets. These are great public spaces to stretch your legs and connect with your fellow citizens. The city runs markets at Bruce Trent Park (Wednesdays), Gardens Park (Thursday) and at Tule Springs (first and third Saturdays of the month). Various addresses, free, lassvegasfarmersmarket. com TRW n CLARK COUNTY WETLANDS PARK

Peccole Ranch Sure, Red Rock Canyon is close by, a

Clark County Wetlands Park

The underappreciated Clark County Wetlands Park, on the far eastern edge of the valley, is the perfect spot to enjoy a family hike. The short and easy trails meander through green wetlands. There are plenty of plants, insects and wildlife to enjoy — including migratory birds — and the Sunset Mountains look close enough to touch. When you need a break from the outdoors, take the kids inside to the Wetlands Nature Center and Exhibit Hall for videos and exhibits. 7050 E. Wetlands Park Lane, free, clarkcountynv.gov/parks TRW

Best intermediate hike The Muffins

The Muffins are named for a distinctive rock formation atop Blue Diamond Hill, across the highway from Red Rock. Starting from the stables at “Cowboy Trail Rides,”


Bests we can all agree on Highbrow / lowbrow

Whatever level you set your brow, you’ll find something at Alternate Reality Comics (alternaterealitycomics.net). Nerd out on the spandex and superhero universe of your choice, or snag a graphic novel that’s as intellectu-

sometimes you don’t want to hike; rather, a brisk jaunt down a leafy, shaded suburban path is the preferred ambulatory ticket. The curving corridor trails that run through Peccole Ranch on the west side are a peregrinator’s prize, complete with grassy areas, xeriscaping, and scenic tunnels under roads. So get walking! Between Charleston Boulevard

Best advanced hike

and Sahara Avenue north to south, Fort

Kraft Mountain Loop

In snug Calico Basin, the namesake Calico Rocks get most of the visitor attention by being strikingly ruddy and roundly eroded. The adjacent Kraft Mountain, a lofty rhomboid rampart, gets less love — except from rock climbers and hikers in the know. You can ring the rumpled ridge that looks like a petrified, multilayered raspberry-vanilla pudding via a 3.5 mile trail. Some guidebooks rank the hike as moderate, but a high saddle hump on the west end and the scramble over a

ally satisfying as a novel-novel. Ask Ralph for a recommendation. High or low, you gotta eat, which brings us to Downtown’s The Goodwich (thegoodwich.com). If the humble sandwich is intrinsically lowbrow, these guys take it high concept with who’d-a-thunk ingredient combos sure to flatter your (highbrow) yen for refinement, as well as your (lowbrow) desire for mouth-blasting flava.

majestic natural treasure and all that. But

Apache Boulevard and Hualapai Way east to west. GT

streambed clogged with mini-van-sized boulders on the remote north side make it a bit more of an advanced experience. It’s the gnarliest route next to city limits that doesn’t require a rope or driving the Scenic Loop. Avoid during rain, and be sure your pooch is hardy if you hike with a furry friend. Trail head north of Red Spring Picnic area, located just off State Route 159 on Calico Basin Road.

As no place embodies the vital, fluid interplay between high and low quite like Vegas, and no place embodies Vegas quite like the Neon Museum (neonmuseum. org), it stands to reason that all brows can frolic here. Meditate on the cultural significance of changing sign designs, or just groove on the retro zest — you score either way. Speaking of zest: Zumanity! Cirque du So-


leil’s long-running sexy Strip (and strip!) show (cirquedusoleil.com/ zumanity) at New York-New York is enjoyable as spectacle naughtytainment — as “an erotic thrill ride” for those happy to be satisfied on those terms — or it can be savored for its high-end artisty, the way Cirque employs its dreamlike narrative aesthetics and amazeballs physicality to explore human sensuality. SD

*** readers speak >>> Best Indian Mint >>> Best Noodles Monta Ramen D esert C ompan i o n



best of the city

w e t la n d s : CH R ISTO P H E R S M ITH

Best family hike

hikers lope across open desert to the foot of the mountain, then make a steady ascent to the top of the ridge. The hike up has great views of Red Rock, and the view of Vegas upon reaching the Muffins is one of the best around. As an added bonus, the limestone rock of Blue Diamond Hill is rich in fossils dating back to at least the Mesozoic Era. AG


City Readers' Poll of the

Best public ar t Miscel laneo us Down town art 17 % Conta iner P ark flamin g man tis 6% Seven Magic Mount ains 4 UNLV F % lashlig ht 1%

D a y T rip 11% Mt. Charleston Park 10% Zion National Fire 10% Valley of .07% The Inn Zone


Specialty Foods Store

t s e B

Trader Joe’s 22% Whole Foods 17% Sprouts 12%

Best Thing Downtown

Best Hangout Grouchy John’s Coffee Shop 32%

Container Park 21%

Home 5%

Fremont Street 9%

PublicUs 1%

The Mob Museum 6%

Booze district .09%

t s e B



Sushi mo n 10% I Love Su shi 7% Other ma ma 5% Smith’s o n Charle ston .06%

Tacos el Gordo 14% Pinches Tacos 10% Taco y Taco 8% The one in my hand .08%

>>> B e s t S t o r e t o D a y d r e a m I n R e s t o r a t io n H a r d w a r e D esert e se rt C ompan o mpan i o n



best of the city



MARCH 3, 2017


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or working with a substance so resolutely physical, Man Hue Duong certainly does a lot of thinking about what she does with clay. “People might be surprised to learn that the biggest stage of my process is thinking — marinating, the exploration of ideas, playing around,” says Duong, a ceramic artist and visuals arts teacher in Palo Verde High School’s International Baccalaureate program. “The actual making is fairly short in comparison to how long I think about it.” Indeed, a morning coffee-shop conversation


F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 7


with Duong about her ceramic art morphs into a conversation about yoga (which she teaches), about meditation, about breath and presence, about the cycle of life and death. But it isn’t just aimless philosophizing. All that thinking fuels the visceral, paradoxical oomph of her conceptual ceramic pieces: soft, delicate-looking pillows with split seams revealing a glimpse of — what is that? — organs, guts, perhaps eyeballs? She had been creating ceramic pillows for years before she decided to explore what it might look like if she split one open. “The pillow form is symbolic of that weird in-between place, like sleep, where the conscious and unconscious meet. So you have this pristine exterior, but then one day I said, ‘I’m going to split into this.’” Duong’s got all kinds of dualities going on in her work and life. In counterpoise to her more high-concept art, she also makes and sells functional and beautiful ikebana vases. But even

those, in their way, manifest a kind of spiritual practice. “Yoga is so much about this connection between the body and the breath. I feel that with clay, it’s the same thing. When you’re on the (pottery) wheel, there’s the physicality, but there’s also this balance, this rhythm that has to unify in order for you to create something.” The intensity of her devotion has been slow-burning for years; she’s been making ceramic art since she was a teenager. “When I was 15, I just fell in love with the material,” she says. “The hands-on quality, the malleability of clay, is just so beautiful.” Her next body of ceramic art will explore the idea of ripeness and maturity. “I’ve been marinating on this idea of ripe — of something at its very peak. But then the word also suggests ‘R.I.P.,’ rest in peace, because some part of you must die in the process. So, there’s this peak of perfection, and this dying off.” What will these pieces look like? Duong doesn’t know yet — but this thoughtful coffeehouse conversation isn’t just about the work, it’s part of the work. Andrew Kiraly



t’s a maker’s wonderland back here! Follow Joel Spencer and Nova May from the front room of their Harmon Avenue studio — a room exuding zesty pop charm, with its wall-mounted ceramic popsicles and a circular red couch suitable for the Peppermill — back into their shop. To where they do what they do, which is hand-build everything from theater and movie sets and window displays to fine art and commercial backdrops, whatever someone needs created, all twining into a multifaceted practice. Joel: “Anything wacky, we’ll take on.” Look around. Tools! PVC pipe! Old props they might reuse! More tools! Welding equipment! Probably some junk liberated from a Dumpster! Did we mention tools?! (Thought experiment: Ask Nova what single tool amid this raft of hardware she can’t live without; now try to find the exact word to describe the look on her face. It should encompass shades of amusement, puzzlement, a wee bit of horror and a game attempt to consider what is, of course, a ridonculous

Place makers: Artists Joel Spencer, above left, and Nova May in the lobby of their studio; below, getting hands-on with new plaster work.

Shape shifter: Besides her hands, Man Hue Duong uses a texture rolling tool, fettling knifes, pin tools, wood ribs, and various trimming tools to shape her pieces. FEBRUARY 2017





Heart attack: Joel Spencer and Nova May in their studio, pouring plaster pieces for an upcoming show at Sin City called Sweet Nothings.

question. “I need more than one or two,” she answers. They need them all, is the real answer. Also, there is no word to describe that look.) This is where, for example, the couple created Spin, an interactive installation for a children’s festival at Winchester Community Center last year. By hooking bicycles to generators and those generators to synthesizers, they allowed kids to pedal up some music, exploring connections between energy, movement and sound. (Joel and Nova are both into alternative energy.) This was complemented by a 30-foot sculpture in which they cut, painted and affixed to each other a bunch of bicycles so they seemed to emerge from the floor and float along a gallery wall. The festival lasted one day, but Winchester decided to keep their work up for two weeks. Theirs is a total process, from the front-end — “Renderings, design,” Nova ticks off — to gruntwork (for Spin, Joel had to retrieve 29 bikes from Metro’s impound lot) to, Joel continues, “welding, painting, carpentry, sewing. And Dumpster diving!” She corrects him: “Repurposing!” They do that a lot. Nova: “We’re building an art deco set for a photo shoot, and we’ve salvaged some gold crown molding that’s perfect for it. It just worked out.” Vegas is a good place to ply their multiple trades. “There’s always a restaurant, there’s always someone who just came into some money and wants to do their house in some odd fashion,” Joel says. Next time you visit Sake Rok, a sushi joint in The Park, note the décor. That graffiti? Joel’s. Remember the heart-shaped “Love Locket” sculpture at Container Park? Nova’s. Their latest collab, viewable this month in Sin City Gallery in the Arts Factory, is Sweet Nothings, a collection of ceramic candy hearts — based on the Valentine’s treats — only with vastly different verbiage that delves into, quoting from their exhibit PR, “love, mass media, sex, pop culture, and loathing” to explore the intersection of romance and pop culture. Sweet. Scott Dickensheets


F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 7


f you know Jennifer Henry, chances are good that you think of her as a fashion designer of sorts; in her case, the sort that combines plastic sculpture with haute couture, making fantastic ball gowns out of cellophane, Mylar, tissue paper and other unorthodox materials. Art garments, she calls them. Mixed-media pieces designed to be worn in a certain way and setting — performance art. Indeed, Henry considers herself an artist first and foremost, the couture for which she became known, incidental. In 2009, a photographer friend wanted to collaborate on a winter project and suggested Henry make something out of holiday wrapping paper. Henry settled on a tutu of amber cellophane and balconette top. The piece turned out so well that, before long, she’d done a couple similar outfits for friends going to fancy parties. “I’d been making and doing art, and living and working as an artist in this city for a number of years,” Henry says. “So, I was used to making a (dress) project and being like, ‘Oh, that was fun.’” But before she knew it, those crafty little one-offs had turned into a full-time occupation. She found herself doing them for

fundraisers, Etsy sales, magazine photo shoots, New York Fashion Week, the LACMA Costume Council speaker series. In 2014, she was the artist-in-residence at P3 Studio in The Cosmopolitan. Her concepts evolved from wearable art pieces to complex themed gallery installations, from the Cube in Las Vegas to Form & Concept in Santa Fe. This month, she’ll be in two shows, A paper plastic dress at Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles, and Nesting at Las Vegas City Hall. Recently, Henry enrolled in the master of fine arts program at UNLV. She’s grown to the point where she’s ready to do what academics excel at: deconstruct the work, examine every aspect of it and figure out what it’s really all about. “Is it habit? Or expectation?” she asks. “Or is it just something that I’ve been doing, and now I’m doing something else?” She’ll continue to search for answers to those heady questions. Meanwhile, she indulged this

Dress for excess: Above, Jennifer Henry works on a piece in her studio at UNLV. Her most-used tool? A pencil. “The concept starts with a sketch, almost always.”

reporter’s more down-to-Earth curiosity. Among many materials and tools she works with, Henry says, the most important is still pencil and paper. “For me the concept starts with a sketch, almost always,” she says. As for all that plastic: Yes, she will take apart dresses and reuse materials where possible, which means in a few cases, finished pieces don’t end up with collectors. And her favorite fashion emergency? While working on several big projects at once, Henry left one piece, a copper gown for a Cirque du Soleil fundraising event, until the last minute. She opened the material shipment to find it wasn’t cellophane, as expected, but Mylar, which sticks to nothing. Her plan ruined, she had to find another use for the slick metallic stuff. “So, I took black party ribbon, and I tied it around it, and I was like, ‘That works.’ Then I began to stack them in pearlettes... What was wonderful and compelling about it was that it moved like a dream, and it was big and fluffy and gorgeous.” Heidi Kyser






all up the Instagram account for Make Studios. Now, scroll down. Farther ... farther ... just a little more ... there. Picture of a table. Not that one, the other one. (Make’s made a number of tables.) The one built from alternating lengths of undulating mesquite and some dark material, the whole thing laminated in gleaming epoxy. It’s gorgeous, right? That dark material: stained concrete. Odd choice, that. Not stuff typically used to make tables. “We spent months experimenting with mesquite and different ways to use it,” recalls Nathan Weber, the firm’s furniture principal. The team wanted to work with local materials, and mesquite’s as close to indigenous wood as we get. There’s a drawback, though. “Mesquite only gets so big,” Weber points out. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the wood sections are composited from smaller pieces to reach suitable length. “We wanted to add another material to really show the dichotomy between the mesquite and something else local.” They considered steel. Maybe some kind of hard resin. “At the end of the day,” says Christian Iusso, design principal, “we decided, let’s try concrete.”


F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 7


Ponder the creative leap here. After all, the table’s an inch thick. “Concrete wasn’t meant to be only an inch thick,” Nathan says. So concrete is not high on the list of usable alternatives. It’s a nutty idea, and many creators might stop there. But Make Studios simply jammed it full of rebar to give it necessary strength. “It was quite the process,” Nathan admits. “But it turned out really amazing.” If you attended Life Is Beautiful in 2015, you might’ve seen that table standing out from a wall in the “sideways room” Make Studios built in the festival’s art hotel. Other photos on the firm’s Instagram feed show similar creative adaptations. They employed Parallam — beams made of compressed wood and glue normally used for structural, not decorative, purposes — to create a theatrical wood interior for a juice bar. A concrete bartop inlaid with wood, a direct descendent of the mesquite table. More recently, metal stools are topped by oak that used to be shipping dunnage (look it up). There’s more to Make Studios than furniture, of course. It’s an architecture firm that also builds its projects — one holistic process. “Then,” Christian adds, “you take it to another degree of detail with the chairs and the booths and the ceilings and the bars, the light fixtures — it’s limitless.” Scott Dickensheets



Design of the times: Left and top, Make Studios Design and Build principal for furniture Nathan Weber sands and welds in the fabrication workshop. Middle, Make Studios principal for design Christian Iusso at the company’s retail space on Commerce Street. Bottom, a coffee table made by Make Studios.

haron Gainsburg takes a large spray bottle to a couple dozen jagged, microwave-sized carving stones arrayed on palettes at the back of her Downtown studio. The water mist transforms dry, gray rocks into colorful hunks of opportunity. “We call this raspberry,” she says of a stone that turns dark pinkish red. A delighted smile lights up her face. “This one’s marble. Look!” That Gainsburg still spontaneously marvels at stone’s mysteries after 40 years of carving may explain how, at 74, she believes her best work could still be ahead. She points out her latest sculpture, an alabaster swan resting contentedly on its own puffed up feathers, and says it’s a reflection of the phase she’s in now. She’s had ups and downs since she moved here from New Jersey 12 years ago, leaving behind a successful career founded on practice in Italy near the marble

She rocks: Above, Sharon Gainsburg uses a power chisel to carve stone in her Las Vegas studio. Below, rasps used in stone sculpture. Bottom, Gainsburg works with a tooth chisel as part of the sculpting process.




quarries that furnished Michelangelo with raw material. Arriving in Las Vegas, she discovered an impoverished art community and consumers so unfamiliar with her craft that they’d ask her if she used moulds. “When I got here, I was very challenged by a lot of things,” she says. “And I knew I was supposed to be here. I knew that I had something to offer people.” Anybody whose medium of choice is stone must enjoy a challenge. An extractive art, carving requires seeing a form held within the block and releasing it by removing anything that’s not it. Having produced some 400 pieces over the years, Gainsburg’s process has evolved to the point where she may begin by sketching an idea on paper or the rock, making a miniature clay model, or just jumping right in with hammer and chisel. But beginners need a little coaching to coax the sculpture from the stone. Gainsburg teaches her students how to do it by focusing on the technical aspects: learn to make convex and concave shapes, and then find parts of the rock that naturally lend themselves to those shapes. And just keep practicing.


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What stones: Bottom left, sculpting stone of various types and in various stages of work fill a shelf at Gainsburg’s studio. Bottom right, hammers, rasps, chisels, and other tools used in stone sculpturing.

“By the third or fourth class, they’re doing convex here and concave there, and then they look at it and say, ‘You know, this looks like a cat that’s laying down.’ It’s amazing! They say, ‘I don’t know how I did it,’ but they did.” As if that’s not tricky enough, the hardest of media also requires the greatest emotional and mental flexibility. Hit a seam or strike a chisel against the grain, and all your hard work might fall apart. “Back in New Jersey, I was doing a stone, and I was really struggling with it,” Gainsburg recalls. “I thought it was just coming together … and then all of a sudden, it just split in half. I had two halves. So, I took the skinnier one, and I held it up, and I saw this torso. And it was so thin that you could see through it, which made it even more beautiful. So, I did the torso. I made it kind of whimsical. It had a nice feel. I put it in a one-woman show I was doing, and 10 minutes after the show opened, I sold it. Never happened to me before.” Heidi Kyser



ere’s what you see in Cristian Sosa’s warehouse workshop: slick motorcycles and car bodies that look like sculptures, burly machines that hammer, bend and bore. You see tools and frames, the materials of industrial purpose and intent. What you don’t see, though, are the mistakes. “For every one thing I do right, there are three or four that are trash,” says Sosa, laughing. “I don’t get upset over that anymore. It’s part of the process. It has to happen for it to work.” That sounds obvious, but there’s something more going on. Sosa’s relationship to metal isn’t just one of subject acting on object. Sosa shapes metal, but metal has also shaped him. It’s turned him from a troublemaking high-school dropout into a patient father, a respected artist and, at 34, a veteran metalwork guru who’s taught his craft all over the world. He and his brother Roberto started Sosa MetalWorks in September 2013 as a custom car and motorcycle shop. Today, it’s also informally a tool brand (Sosa makes and sells his own power hammers) and de facto metalworking academy. If that sounds like stratospheric success for only being in business five years, it is. But his boss — the metal, the work — keeps it from going to his head. “The minute I come up and say, ‘Look at this bike, it’s a bad-ass bike, look at me, I’m a bad-ass builder,’ then I jump on a machine to make a gas tank — and the work puts you in your place. It kicks your ass. The minute you think you’re better than the work, it puts you right in your place.” No wonder the tough-looking, tattooed Sosa is so — there’s no better word for it — sweet. I ask him if there’s anything he avoids doing lest he damage his hands, the fundamental tools of his trade. He says, “I don’t fight anymore.” See what the work does to a person? Andrew Kiraly

Metal, man, machine: Bottom, Cristian Sosa works in his garage/studio at Sosa MetalWorks. Left, motorcycle body parts are shaped by industrial power hammers. Bottom left, drill bits and a drill press are other tools of Sosa’s trade.




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e k ta



your Arts+Entertainment calendar for february

17 Bonnie Raitt The Pearl at the Palms

Do we really have to say more than “Bonnie Raitt”? Must we really compose a tiresome come-on about “hard-rockin’ queen of the blues” and so on? People! It’s Bonnie Raitt! 8p, $46$334, palms.com


4 23 Krystal Ramirez Clark County Government Center

The exhibit I Want to See comprises diaphanous sheets of handwritten panels by Ramirez, hung so as to be flooded by light from the rotunda’s large windows. She’s best known as a photographer, but you can see a sample of her handwritten work in the Downtown restaurant Eat. Through March 3, free.

Cabrera Conducts The Beauty Queen of Dvorak Leenane The Smith Center

Time to celebrate Donato Cabrera’s birthday, so the Las Vegas Philharmonic will cue up one of his faves, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7, as well as the West Coast premiere of Clarice Assad’s Nhanderu, which has an Amazonian theme, and the world premire of Nathaniel Stookey’s YTTE (Yield to Total Elation). 7:30p, $30$109, thesmithcenter.com

A Public Fit

If you like your comedy black, shocking and Irish, this Martin McDonagh piece is for you. At its heart throbs a toxic mother-daughter relationship, around which McDonagh arrays a tale of repression, sex, murder and twisted reality. Presented by Best of the City theater troupe A Public Fit.

23 Walter Kirn Doc Rando Hall, UNLV

If you follow the iconoclastic novelist and essayist on Twitter, or read his always learned, counterintuitive column in Harper’s, or have read any of his books, you know why Black Mountain Institute selected Walter Kirn to deliver the Jim Rogers Contrarian Lecture. If you haven’t, think of this as a timely introduction. 6p, free (registration required), blackmountaininstitute.org

FEBuary 2017





THROUGH FEB. 12 Artist Sean Russell’s infrared photo-transfer juxtapositions of Big Lake, Minnesota and Nevada’s Red Rock National Conservation Area merge nature and technology. Free. Spring Valley Library, lvccld.org


Artists explore the cultural heritage of Chinese New Year for 2017. In the artwork, each artist is asked to include and highlight the animal associated with the year as well as investigate more information about Chinese heritage. Free. Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St.


THROUGH MARCH 9 Working within the constraints of feminism and formalism, artist Artist Shelbi Schroeder challenges the viewer to look beyond the façade of repetition and decoration into a deeper understanding of female desire. Free. Las Vegas City Hall Grand Gallery, 495 S. Main St., first floor, artslasvegas.org


Explore the best artwork and writing from local students in a variety of categories and mediums. Dating back to 1923, these awards are the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Free for members or with paid general admission. Springs Preserve, springspreserve.org


THROUGH APRIL 28 This exhibition combines traditional Mexican masks with contemporary artwork to blur the lines between art and artifice, self and other, being and nonbeing. Far from static artifacts, masks point to shifting meanings and challenge us to question notions of identity. Free. Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV, unlv.edu

of illustrated artist books by Salvador Dali: The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri (1960) and The Decameron, written by Giovanni Boccaccio (1972). These books contain 110 prints authorized by the artist. Free. Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV, unlv.edu MUSIC


A quartet consisting of harpist Mariano Gonzalez and Alfredo Alvarenga, both of Paraguay; Hong Wang, from China; and Flavio Martinez of Mexico will perform world music never heard before. $10 advance; $12 at the door. Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Drive, clarkcountynv.gov


Terry Davies and Sherie Rae Parker salute the music and careers of Barry Manilow and Bette Midler, who got their starts working together in the bathhouses of New York. This show includes the hits “Mandy,” “The Rose,” “I Write the Songs,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and many others, including duets. $20. Starbright Theatre, scscai.com


A No Doubt and Sublime tribute band showdown. 21+ only. Free. Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq, brooklynbowl.com


FEB. 4, 7:30P (PRE-SHOW TALK 6:30P)


An exhibition of two complete editions


feb r u a ry 2 0 1 7


FEB. 6, 7P

Harper and Fiorillo lead a 19-piece band filled with Las Vegas musicians. They will be performing jazz standards and classics from the Great American Songbook. $20–$35. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


Sweets is one of the stars of Absinthe. For this event, she hosts an evening filled with cabaret, original music, classic covers and a variety of vaudeville-style variety acts. Adding to the evening is Sweets’ All-Star Band, featuring Lon Bronson. $25–$40. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


The best and brightest from the UNLV Jazz program focus on Latin fusion. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org


Members of the School of Music faculty perform Hungarian favorites by Franz Liszt, Béla Bartok, György Ligeti, Johannes Brahms and others. $25; $22.50 seniors/military. Dr. Arturo Rando-Grillot Recital Hall at the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center, unlv.edu


The Las Vegas Philharmonic presents the West Coast premiere of Clarice Assad’s Nhanderú, the world premiere of the full orchestral version of Nathaniel Stookey’s YTTE (Yield to Total Elation) and Antonin Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor. $30– $109. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com

The legendary songwriter performs his hits, backed by his band. Among his well-known songs are “Walk On By,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Always Something There to Remind Me” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” $29–$125. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com



FEB. 5, 2P



An orchestra concert for all ages. $10–$20. Windmill Library Auditorium, lvccld.org

FEB. 10-11, 7P

Broadway, movie and TV star Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Sisters, Frozen)

Channel 10

is also a singer and musician. He presents a variety show that is sure to entertain. $39–$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


This intimate concert series features members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic performing small ensemble pieces including Scumann’s Märchenbilder (Fairy Tale Pictures), Opus 113, for Viola and Piano, Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in E-flat Major, Opus 120, No. 2, for Clarinet and Piano and Mozart’s Trio in E-Flat Major, K. 498 Kegelstatt, for Clarinet, Viola and Piano. $70. Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


The UNLV Symphonic Winds perform, conducted by Anthony LaBounty. $10; $8 seniors/military. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

Spy in the Wild: A Nature Miniseries Wednesdays at 8 p.m., premiering February 1


Acclaimed jazz musician Ramsey Lewis’ current tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of his hit albums Hang on Ramsey and The In Crowd. $45–$79. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


Songstress Reva Rice sings a compilation of famous songs that evoke African-American tradition and heritage from the Civil Rights Movement era to Broadway and rhythm & blues. Free. West Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org

City in the Sky: Departure

Independent Lens: Tower

Wednesdays at 10 p.m., premiering February 8

Tuesday, February 14 at 10 p.m.


Jazzy Smith, Josh Downtain, Erik Carlson and Thomas Nanthavongdouangsy sing in a wide range of styles from classic doo-wop to funk. An all-new show from the veteran Strip and cruise ship performers. $20. Starbright Theatre, scscai.com


African Americans: The Las Vegas Experience

Sharma presents Indian light classical music. $29–$49. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

(A Production of Vegas PBS)

Monday, February 20 at 9 p.m.

Africa’s Great Civilizations Monday – Wednesday, February 27 – March 1 at 9 p.m.

VegasPBS.org | 3050 E Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121 | 702.799.1010 feb r u a r y 2 0 1 7




Classical crossover artists in the best sense of the word, this ensemble mixes the pure sounds of violin, cello and bass with melodies from popular music. The electrifying trio was trained “old school” but bring a “new school” sound. They continue to impress by hopping genres from classical composers like Puccini and Gershwin to pop artists like Adele, Coldplay and Taylor Swift. $20–$55. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu


Television, film and theater actor John O’Hurley makes his debut as part of the new musical series George Bugatti’s Piano Bar, O’Hurley’s show offers a retrospective on the songs of The Great American Songbook, along with the musings from his eclectic life and career. $39–$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


Norman Vito and Myrna Rodriguez Adad perform classical, Broadway standards and movie themes for two pianos. Also featured is soprano Everlita Rivera David and harpist Mariano Gonzalez. $20. Starbright Theatre, scscai.com


The sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury come together for a show-stopping performance. $25 in advance. $30 day of show. Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq, brooklynbowl.com



The UNLV Wind Orchestra performs, conducted by Thomas G. Leslie. The Green Valley High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Diane Koutsulis, and Stephen Caplan, oboist and UNLV Professor of Music, will also perform. $10. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

On their newest album, the band intensified their brand of hard-edged rock with a tighter songwriting sensibility and more brutally raw energy than ever before. Now you can hear them live. $15 in advance. $20 day of show. Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq, brooklynbowl.com



FEB. 23, 7P

FEB. 24-25, 7P

A founding member of the Supremes (and the only member to be in every lineup of the group), Wilson performs a mix of Supremes classics and pop standards. $35–$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


Vargas entertains in Old Vegas fashion, performing classic hits from the Rat Pack era and beyond with his band and recreating the classic nightclub experience. $20. Starbright Theatre, scscai.com


Dru Young gives an unforgettable


performance recreating Cooke’s and Davis Jr.’s biggest numbers. See rare photos and film clips with surprising stories. Proceeds benefit the Musical Arts Scholarship Program. $25. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com

feb r u a ry 2 0 1 7



MARCH 3–4, 7P

Veteran performer Maye, known for her hit recordings of Cabaret and Step to the Rear, revives many of the classic songs from her career for an evening of sharp wit and show-stopping melodies. $39–$59. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


The Las Vegas Philharmonic presents the best and most-loved of Williams’ work including music from Jaws, the Star Wars series, Schindler’s List, Superman and many others. $30–$109 Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com



FEB. 3–19, FRI–SAT 8P; SUN 2P When twenty-something star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure 40ish novelist Olivia, he finds they each crave what the other possesses. As attraction turns to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, both must confront the dark side of ambition and the near impossibility of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away. $10–$15. Las Vegas Little Theatre Black Box, lvlt.org


The backstory to Troubled Waters, set in 1994 when secrets and temptations severed ties in the Waters family. Free. Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center, lvccld.org


FEB. 10, 7:30P; FEB. 11, 2P Highly acclaimed for its literary merit, this luxurious tale of fairies, dreams and moonlight is Shakespeare’s most popular comedy. The course of true love rarely runs smooth, but when the feuding king and queen of the fairies interfere in the couplings of mortals in ancient Athens, the result is mayhem. $12 Adults; $10 students/seniors. Nicholas J. Horn Theatre, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., 702-651-LIVE


A comedy musical in which two boys are orphaned by the sinking of a ship. Upon the death of their guardian, the boys go their separate ways. One grows up to have a prominent political career, while the other becomes a killer and casino owner. Despite their different lifestyles, the two men remain bonded through thick and thin. But when one runs for governor, his association with a criminal threatens his chances. $10. Starbright Theatre, scscai.com

FINDING NEVERLAND FEB. 14–19, 7:30, FEB. 18–19, 2P

This Broadway hit tells the story behind the beloved children’s classic Peter Pan.

Have What It Takes To Be A Hero?

Rescue allows you to explore technologies and innovations involved in land, sea and air rescues. Interactive exhibits include a fullsize helicopter simulator, infrared cameras, jet skis, a smokefilled room, and fire extinguishers.

Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. $29–$127. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


FEB. 17–MARCH 4, THU-SAT 7:30 Based on Ovid’s transformation myths, this presentation subtly mixes ancient stories of pathos and tragedy with contemporary language, humor and thought. In a series of vignettes, the characters experience love, loss, joy, and pain as they discover the inevitable consequences of their own actions. $27.50–$33. Alta Ham Fine Arts at UNLV, unlv.edu

Produced by


These Kung Fu masters have trained from a very young age in mental and physical disciplines, perfecting the art of hand-to-hand and weapons combat, which allow them to perform feats one thought only possible in the movies. This fully choreographed production will wow audience of all ages. $24–$85. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com

JAN 28 - MAY 7



FEB. 24–25, 7:30P; FEB. 25, 3P A new, original production exploring significant icons and events in the history of Black America. Inspired in part by the motives and misconceptions surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, this theatrical montage presents a mirror into the past, while reflecting causes rooted within our present culture. Free. West Charleston Library Theatre, lvccld.org


This show takes an irreverent look at life, love and procedural crime dramas through scripted and unscripted scenes and songs. $12 advance; $15 at door. Vegas Theatre Hub, 705 Las Vegas Blvd. N., cardiospider.com


Carmen Artis will portray the 19th century slave turned civil rights activist, Sojourner Truth, relating her journey

Our 2017 Season

Shakespeare in Love • Romeo and Juliet Guys and Dolls • A Midsummer Night’s Dream William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) Treasure Island • The Tavern • As You Like It How tTo Fight Loneliness

The Greater Escape.

800-PLAYTIX • bard.org #utahshakes feb r u a r y 2 0 1 7



THE GUIDE from plantations to freedom walks and eventually to meeting with President Abraham Lincoln. She will then present the legendary Coretta Scott King chronicling the Civil Rights struggle through music and narrative, from Scott-King’s humble upbringing in rural Alabama to her partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org


Based on the classic book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, this production utilizes handcrafted puppets, live actors, original music and innovative projection techniques to bring this heartwarming story to life. $14.95–$29.95. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com DANCE


The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater presents treasured choreographic works that span the history of African American Dance from the 1960s to today. Free. West Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org


FEB. 10, 5P; FEB. 11, 4P Showcasing all forms of dance with a common theme of LOVE and offering lucrative prize packages to the top three performers. Celebrity judges will provide invaluable feedback. All that, plus special presentations from industry professionals! $20 per group entry fee allows you to perform on the main stage in the festival. (All pieces must have a common theme of love.) Tivoli Village Main Stage, thepinktutuballet.com


FEB. 25, 7:30P; FEB. 26, 2P Nevada Ballet Theatre presents Tchaikovsky’s classic with full orchestra. $29–$139. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


UNLV Dance presents their quarterly ballet performance. $18. Judy Bayley Theatre at UNLV, unlv.edu


feb r u a ry 2 0 1 7




Glass is the host of public radio’s This American Life. Incorporating video and audio, Glass will share entertaining stories from his extensive career, discuss how the show comes together and even give a live demonstration. Enjoy this rare insider’s glimpse into an iconic radio show. $29–$99. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com


Featuring local authors reading from their work as an artist turns blank canvas into works of art live in front of the audience. $5. Bootlegger Bistro, 7700 Las Vegas Blvd. S., nevadawriters.org


This Las Vegas independent film produced, directed and written by L. D. Faison, CEO of the L. D. Faison Foundation, is an urban drama about one man’s quest for redemption. In it, moral conviction is challenged by the street code by which he once lived. Free. West Las Vegas Library Theatre, fromtheinside lookingoutthemovie.com


This cultural offering is highlighted by a special screening of Dark Girls followed by a short Q&A and cultural celebrations reflective of the African diaspora. The celebrations include dancing, music, spoken word and afro-ritualistic traditions observed in honor and recognition of African American Heritage & History Month. Free. West Las Vegas Library Theatre, lvccld.org


Celebrate the art of spoken word and live music with performances by Layzie Bone, Sparkle Sbfugproject, Mocha Blue Blaze and T.R.U.E. POET. Hosted by Mike Guinn. $20–$45. Baobab Stage Theatre, 6587 Las Vegas Blvd. S., baobabstage.com



Michelle Payne, in association with the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, screens an discusses films The Truth and Which Black Lives Matter? Free. West Las Vegas Library Theater, lasvegasblackfilmfestival.com


Celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to our community with music, food and dance. Enjoy live music and dance performances; food from local soul food restaurants; an historic black Las Vegas photo exhibit; and activities for the kids including arts and crafts, carnival games and face-painting. $5 adults, $3 children ages 3–12, free for children age 2 and younger. Springs Preserve, springspreserve.org


Laissez les bons temps rouler (“let the good times roll”) as we bring the tastes, sounds, colors and fun of the Louisiana bayou to the heart of the Southern Nevada desert. Featuring live music, food from local Southern eateries, festive adult beverages, a parade and crafts for the kids. Show your Mardi Gras spirit by creating a stroller for the stroller parade or enter the art mask competition, and win cash prizes! $6, Free for children age 2 and younger. Springs Preserve, springspreserve.org FUNDRAISERS


UNLV Jean Nidetch Women’s Center will present a one-night only benefit reading of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play. The center joins the V-Day campaign, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls through benefit productions of this and other artistic works. Proceeds from the event will benefit the UNLV Interpersonal Violence Survivor Fund, which helps survivors with transportation, health costs and emergency care. $5–$8. Philip J. Cohen Theatre at UNLV, bit.ly/2jA6XHg

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Crimson at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa $90 Advance Reservation $100 at the Door Available online at VegasPBS.org/wine (or in person at Vegas PBS) C a s u a l


Southern Nevada Public Television will host its 28th Annual Splendor in the Glass, a signature wine and beer tasting event. Guests will enjoy the tastes of up to 40 wineries and breweries courtesy of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits along with a slient auction and entertainment. Sponsorship Opportunities Available For information, please contact Amanda Gordon at 702.799.1010 x5344 or agordon@VegasPBS.org





Marydean Martin and Charlie Silvestri

special advertising section

education n ow

Making the Grades 46

great schools

pre-schools to colleges, find the right place to learn for any age


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Stellar academic programs, an emphasis on holistic education, and adaptability to student interests make Dawson a fantastic place to learn, explore, and grow. Dawson’s decision to be the first middle school in Las Vegas to offer Mandarin allowed me to establish a strong lingual foundation I continued to build through high school and college. Additionally, Dawson’s ability to accommodate my desire to attend a boarding high school made a daunting process much more approachable. I believe the academic preparation and opportunity I received at Dawson has been instrumental to my academic success. Pascal Cevaer-Corey Dawson Class of 2010 Stanford University

2 4

Month 2015

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The Dawson Difference At The Alexander Dawson School, we can’t predict the future, but we can teach children how to shape it.

Dawson gave me the room to be creative. For example, I wrote my first play in the eighth grade. It was a western melodrama we performed for the entire School. People thought it was funny and I loved that reaction. Dawson’s performing arts teacher told me to take that feeling and try applying it to screenwriting. That must have stuck with me because I chose to major in screenwriting and directing at Boston University. I believe a lot of my confidence came from the creative opportunities I was given early on at Dawson, and from the people there that helped me realize my strengths.

As a Dawson student I developed a solid foundation in writing, study skills, and problem solving. While it has been over 15 years since I first attended Dawson, I still rely on those basic foundational skills to guide me through the challenges of my Ph.D. program at Wake Forest University Medical School. I know my experience at Dawson prepared me for success in high school and beyond. Now, I am in my third year of graduate school studying the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. Brenna Beckelman Dawson Class of 2004 Wake Forest University Medical School

Lida Nasseri Dawson Class of 2007 Boston University

(702) 949-3600

Whether it’s delivering a presentation or taking a test, there isn’t a single identifiable thing that has been more beneficial to me than my educational experience at Dawson. I was encouraged to be an independent thinker and I still use the tools I was given at Dawson to put forth 110 percent effort into whatever I am trying to accomplish. I was taught to question what was questionable, and to discover what was undiscovered. Dawson has not only made me the person I am today, but has made me the person I will be for the rest of my life. Jonathan Walton Dawson Class of 2012 National Merit Scholarship Finalist 2016


10845 W. Desert Inn Road | Las Vegas, Nevada | 89135 Month 2015

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“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” - george washington carver We believe the best way to empower our community is to invest in young people. Our greatest pride is in helping students achieve their ambitions. Because when you’re free to think and dream, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.

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Never stop learning.

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR CHANGE? Required skills for the workplace are constantly changing. You have to be adaptable and acquire new skills throughout your career. UNLV Continuing Education has the right professional development certificate program or course to get you ready for your next job assignment or career move. Information Technology • Health Care & Allied Fields • Community Management Mediation • Nonprofit Management • Sommelier • Legal Studies • Pilot Training Unmanned Aircraft Systems • Human Resources • Sports & Wellness This spring we launch two new certificate programs—Personal Care Aide and Stage Technician. For more information on these programs and the Spring/Summer 2017 certificates and courses, please view the catalog online at ced.unlv.edu/cat2017 or call 702.895.3394.


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Getting smart in the valley


ith our vibrant neighborhoods, strong job market and range of kid-friendly entertainment, it’s no secret that the Las Vegas Valley is a great place to raise a family. It’s also a great place to get an education—from preschool to grad school and everything in between. The array of options can be dizzying. “Making the Grade” will give you an overview and help you set a course. Here’s a cheat sheet to what’s inside. Several of the CCSD schools are magnets, or themed programs designed to attract a diverse student body. These federally funded programs have a specific focus, such as Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM), performing arts, language immersion, or International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula. Letting students study areas they’re passionate about leads to higher engagement in classes and ultimately a better educational result. Better yet, there are no tuition, application or entrance fees for magnets.


Let’s start with the biggie. As the fifth-largest school district in the country, Clark County School District is responsible for educating nearly 75 percent of the students in Nevada. More than 320,000 students, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, are enrolled in 357 CCSD schools. CCSD also offers adult education courses and special education, as well as partnerships with higher-education institutions and community organizations such as Vegas PBS and the Public Education Foundation.


How you can support your local public school

Every school benefits from parental interaction, but it’s especially important for public schools, which may not have the same resources as their private counterparts. Start at home by creating a positive educational environment and talking to your kids about what’s happening at their school. Other ways to help include speaking to a class, volunteering, joining the PTO, clipping box tops, meeting with the school counselor to learn about the school’s needs, adopting a classroom, and/or donating supplies.

Another academic option is a charter school. There are 24 of these independently run public schools throughout the Vegas Valley. The “charter” refers to a performance contract outlining the school’s mission, which students are served, performance goals, and measurement methods. Many parents appreciate the flexibility and freedom charter schools have in designing curricula.


Adults have plentiful options as well. For undergrads seeking a degree, the College of Southern Nevada offers more than 150


How to apply for financial aid

Depending on the college and your financial situation, tuition might be more than you can swing, even if you’ve been saving for years. Financial aid may be the way to go, and there are two main types to choose from. Scholarships, the most common form of meritbased aid, are tied to performance and usually offered by the school. To apply for need-based aid, which requires an inability to pay, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you’re still coming up short of funds, consider a private student loan. For any type of aid, be mindful of submission deadlines, which can come early in the process.

degrees and certificates in 70 academic programs, including degree options in fields such as healthcare and information technology. CSN hardly has the market cornered on specialty areas. Private and public universities have diversified their offerings dramatically in recent years. You could get a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration at the Las Vegas campus of the University of Phoenix, or study Hospitality Management or Nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Both universities offer graduate-level classes as well. And, of course, there are plenty of educational opportunities outside the traditional classroom. Other opportunities include the School of Rock, where kids are educated on the finer points of rock ‘n’ roll; the Gondola University at The Venetian; the Dolphin Trainer for a Day program at the Mirage; or the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In Las Vegas, whether you’re in or out of the classroom, lifelong learning is an easy bet.


How to choose a private school

You’ve decided to send your child to private school. Now what? First, think about what you and your student are looking for from private school education. Next, do your research. Some things to consider: n What’s the school’s academic record like? Look at the average SAT and ACT scores. Check out the advanced placement offerings. n What’s the student-to-teacher ratio? n Is there good leadership in place? Meet the principal or head administrator. Ask for samples of communication between the leadership and the students. n What’s the energy like? Pay attention to what kind of vibe you get from the students.

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❱❱❱ The Alexander Dawson School

❱❱❱ Founded by Wharton School of Business alum Connie Yeh, 9th Bridge School (310 S. 9th Street, Las Vegas, 89101) is an entrepreneurial preschool serving infants through third grade. The school’s mission is to redefine the school experience through social/emotional learning. Students are taught sign language before they can speak, and older children cultivate independence by developing their own lesson plans. The curriculum includes

executive skills—like curiosity, decision-making, cooperation, persistence, creativity and problem-solving—to provide students with a foundation to succeed in business as well as in life. ❱❱❱ The Adelson Educational Campus

(9700 Hillpointe Road, Las Vegas, 89134) is a Preschoolthrough-grade-12 independent private school based on Jewish values and identity. The

Adelson Educational Campus consists of two schools: The Preschool/Lower School for students from 18 months through 5th grade and the Upper School for grades 6–12. The Adelson Educational Campus strives to develop students into caring, perceptive, engaged thinkers, who are fully prepared for top universities at home and abroad. Learning takes pace in a dynamic environment where students thrive academically by gaining invaluable skills and insights through authentic scholarship. ❱❱❱ Advanced Technologies Academy



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(2501 Vegas Drive, Las Vegas, 89106) is a magnet public high school in Las Vegas with a mission to integrate technology with academics for students in grades nine-12. A-TECH is a Blue Ribbon and 5-Star Reward School. Offering 22 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, A-TECH was rated as the Top Magnet School in Nevada by k12niche.com. The school regularly receives national accolades. It was recognized by the Washington Post as the

(10845 W. Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, NV 89135) serves pre-school through eighth grade students. Situated on a 33-acre campus, the school balances nurturing and challenge by focusing on the intellectual, social/ emotional and physical growth of children. The early childhood curriculum includes exposure to Mandarin, Spanish and Science. Lower School students are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in a global and digital world. The Middle School curriculum emphasizes college preparation. The Dawson College Bound program serves highachieving students beginning in the summer following sixth grade with graduation from the program occurring as they matriculate to high school.

Most Challenging High School in Nevada in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Also in 2015, Newsweek voted A-TECH the top school in Nevada for low-income students to “Beat the Odds.”


Your child takes center stage. Children as unique as yours deserve an educational plan designed especially for them. Allow your child to discover hidden talents and passions at our premier private school. From their first musical note, to their final science experiment, our rigorous academics, athletics, creative art and Spanish programs help grow global, intellectual, responsible leaders.

Learn more at HendersonSchool.com | 702.818.2100 e d u c at i o n n o w



❱❱❱ American Heritage Academy (2100 Olympic

Avenue, Henderson, 89014) is a principle-based Christian private school in Las Vegas serving families from North Las Vegas to Henderson. It began as a small home school group that has grown into a robust private school that accepts students from prekindergarten to high school. Academic excellence, along with responsible citizenship and character development, is emphasized at American Heritage Academy. Teachers at American Heritage Academy take a tutorial approach to education, using the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) methodology. Education focuses on the four Rs: Research, Reason, Relate, Record, and students test in the top 10 percent of the nation academically. ❱❱❱ Serving students in grades nine-12, more than 75 percent of Advanced Placement pupils at Arbor View High School (7500 Whispering Sands Drive, Las Vegas, 89131) earned college credits by passing the AP exams in Literature, Government, Politics, Biology, European History, Calculus, French, Spanish, and Studio Art. Arbor View’s unique campus is laid out with four two-story corner “houses” and a shared central esplanade. The design is intended to cultivate the feeling of a small-school environment. Home of the Aggies, Arbor View has 16 different athletic offerings from baseball to wrestling.


❱❱❱ Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas

(7951 Deer Springs Way, Las Vegas, 89131) a k-12 state sponsored tuition-free public charter school with emphasis in the areas of math, science, and technology. CASLV has five campuses throughout the Las Vegas Valley: two in Las Vegas, two in Henderson and one at Nellis Air Force Base. Named a Five Star Quality School two years consecutively, CASLV has produced two students who achieved the Gold Medal of the Congressional Award, the only two from Nevada in 2015. Service and leadership programs include Key Club and Civil Air Patrol.

candidate school for three International Baccalaureate programs, each of which develop an understanding of languages, culture and global issues. An emphasis on career and technical education includes tracks for business, computers, forensic science and fashion.

❱❱❱ Bonanza High School

(6665 W. Del Rey Avenue, Las Vegas, 89146) is a Select School serving grades nine-12 with programs in Fire Science, 3-D Animation, Computer Graphics, Video Production, Furniture and Cabinet Making, Technical Theater, and Business and Marketing. The school’s emphasis

❱❱❱ Canyon Springs High School (350 E. Alexander

❱❱❱ Basic Academy of International Studies

(400 Palo Verde Drive, Henderson, 89015), serving grades nine-12, was the first high school in Henderson. Home of the Wolves, the school’s motto is, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” Basic Academy is a


henderson now

on academic achievement earned the Class of 2015 more than $2 million in scholarships. Demonstrating the school’s commitment to philanthropy, the Bonanza High School Student Council donated more than 3,200 canned goods to the Salvation Army and more than $1,500 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Road, North Las Vegas, 89032) is a public high school serving grades nine-12. Canyon Springs is home to the Leadership and Law Preparatory Academy, a college preparatory magnet program which offers a four-year program in legal studies. There is a fully functioning courtroom on campus. The Leadership and Law Preparatory Academy was named a magnet school of excellence by Magnet Schools of America for both the

❱❱❱ College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is a fully

accredited institution offering more than 160 degrees and certificates in more than 70 academic programs— with 23 degrees and certificates available entirely online. There are three main campuses in the Valley: Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. There are multiple satellite locations throughout the Southern Nevada area as well. An average student-to-faculty ratio of 27 to 1 ensures students receive the attention needed to succeed. A variety of clubs, activities and organizations to keep students engaged and connected. The CSN Coyotes are national baseball champions and are also represented in team softball, soccer and volleyball. Recognizing cybersecurity as a fast-growing industry, CSN is positioning itself to become a leader in cybersecurity education. The college recently opened a state-of-theart computer lab using nearly $150,000 from the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology. Soon to follow are two new associate degrees in cybersecurity with courses on ethical hacking, physical security, incident handling, advanced network security and penetration testing. These new degrees supplement current associate degrees of applied science in network security and digital forensics, as well as a certificate of achievement in digital forensics. Starting wages in cybersecurity are between $45,000 and $55,000 annually. Those with experience and further training can expect to earn an average $84,620.

reimagine T H E


Imagine a community that provides every citizen with the doctors, nurses and healthcare providers they need when they are well, and when they are sick. Imagine shorter wait times to see both a family doctor as well as a specialist, with patient-centered care focused on improving health outcomes. Our state needs more qualified healthcare providers to bridge the gaps that exist. With your help, we can all reimagine a better future for our families, friends and communities. Roseman University, a not-for-profit, private University, has been working to build a healthier Nevada by providing the next generation of exceptional, compassionate healthcare providers. Reimagine the next chapter of healthcare for Nevada. Challenge. Reimagine. Roseman.




11 Sunset Way | Henderson, NV 89014 | 702-990-4433 10530 Discovery Drive | Las Vegas, NV 89135 | 702-802-2841 10920 S. River Front Parkway | South Jordan, UT 84095 | 801-302-2600

roseman.edu | @rosemanuhs

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2014-2015 and the 2015-2016 school years. ❱❱❱ Carrington College

(5740 S. Eastern Avenue #140, Las Vegas, 89119) offers the choice of an associate degree or certificate level education in healthcare, one of today’s fastest growing industries. Instructors bring practical working experience from their field into the classroom, and students build their resumes through clinical rotations or externships with local medical professionals. Additional programs include Criminal Justice, Veterinary Assisting, and Veterinary Technology. The Scoop, an online informational portal, keeps students connected with articles and share-worthy videos on an array of healthcare topics and more.

❱❱❱ Home of the Bulldogs, Centennial High School

(10200 W. Centennial Parkway, Las Vegas, 89149) is a public high school serving grades nine-12. Students have received National Merit Finalist Recognitions, scholarships, and Military Academy Appointments. The school’s NJROTC Program was selected as the number one unit in the nation in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The Bulldogs have earned more than 50 division championships, more than 28 region championships, and fifteen state championships. ❱❱❱ Challenger School – Summerlin (9900 W. Isaac

Newton Way, Las Vegas, 89129) is one of four Challenger Schools in Las Vegas. The Summerlin campus of this

independent, non-profit private school serves pre-k through eighth grade students. The curriculum builds on a foundation of reading, composition, math and history. Recognizing that the stimulation the brain receives after birth create the connections for intelligence, Challenger’s teaching methods maintain the circuits in the brain and help each child build new ones through a structured and encouraging learning environment.

Relevance, Relationships, and Responsibility. In addition to foundational coursework, Chaparral offers Mariachi, Journalism, Culinary, We the People, and Forensic Science classes and recently doubled graduation rates. The school has a robust athletics department with spring, fall and winter sports, including football, soccer, golf and swimming.

❱❱❱ Chaparral High School (3850 Annie Oakley

Heights Parkway, Henderson, 89052) provides infant care, toddler care, two’s care and preschool for 3- to 5-year-olds. Coronado strives to develop readiness skills and instill a love for learning at an early age in a home-like environment. Families are

Drive, Las Vegas, 89121) is a public high school located on the east side of the valley serving grades nine-12. The school’s pioneering spirit is embodied in its cowboy mascot and its motto: Rigor,

❱❱❱ The highly-rated Coronado Prep Preschool (2650 Sunridge

What’s Your Idea? Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs and Creators NOW ENROLLING! Student-inspired curriculum that ignites passions and empowers students to pursue ideas, no matter how small or wild.

Attend An Open House: Early Childhood Tuesday, February 21st at 4 pm Elementary Wednesday, February 22nd at 4 pm

Contact us at 702.724.1436 or visit 9thBridgeSchool.org to learn more! 310 S. 9th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101 | info@9thBridgeSchool.org


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southern nevada

Let us provide the means, so you can both achieve your dreams. GRANT APPLICATIONS | DEADLINE: MARCH 24, 2017 The Rogers Foundation is now accepting grant applications for support in a variety of areas including: arts and music, basic needs/well-being services, entrepreneurship, mentorship and more. Up to $100,000 awarded in three different areas; Gift of Imagination, Gift of Assurance, Gift of Knowledge.

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS | DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 17, 2017 The Rogers Foundation is now accepting applications for college scholarships, available to local high school seniors. A total of 11 Rogers Achievers Scholarships will be given away, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, and the money is valid toward educational costs at any college or university in the United States. Additionally, The Rogers Foundation is giving out a minimum of 15 full ride scholarships to Kentucky Wesleyan College.

For complete details and access to the online applications, visit: www.therogers.foundation. Contact Michelle Sanders at (702) 657-3114 if you have any questions.

701 SOUTH 9TH STREET, LAS VEGAS, NV 89101 | therogers.foundation e d u c at i o n




encouraged to visit and participate in daily events through a “open door” policy that includes a newsletter, weekly memos, and a live video monitoring system in which parents can watch live from anywhere with a cell phone or desktop computer.


theory in their choice of several casino games. Bartending and Beverage Management programs develop mastery of the art of mixing drinks quickly and properly. The Crescent Schools are one of the few accredited Bartending/Beverage Management and Casino Dealing schools in the United States.

❱❱❱ Guided by a philosophy of excellence through experience, Creative Kids Learning Centers

(creativekidslearningcenter. com) are accredited by the NECPA (National Early Childhood Programs Accreditation), a nationally recognized organization. Children are assigned to individual classrooms according to their ages and abilities. Students follow the “Learn Every Day, the Preschool Curriculum” with

activities that incorporate literacy, math, science, social studies, and the creative arts. As part of the Centers’ community service initiative, parents receive one free day of child care when they have a job interview. ❱❱❱ Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending

(4180 S. Sandhill Rd, Ste. B8,

Las Vegas, 89122) fulfills the demand for professionally trained bartenders, beverage managers and casino dealers. Using “hands on” teaching methods, students gain a thorough understanding of the gaming and bartending businesses. Gaming students become conversant with the rules, techniques, systems, procedures, equipment, and

❱❱❱ Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts

(3100 E Patrick Ln, Las Vegas, 89120) offers a comprehensive high school experience, in addition to selected magnet curricula. Students may choose one of the following magnet majors: Costume Design, Dance, Mariachi, Band, Orchestra, Vocal, Music Production, Technical Theater, and Theater. Magnet students have access to

❱❱❱ Henderson International School



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(1165 Sandy Ridge Avenue, Henderson 89052) is private, preschool through eighth-grade co-ed college, preparatory school. The school recently became a satellite site for The Western Talent Search, offered through the Center for Bright Kids. The program gives students the opportunity to take above-level and college entrance exams. These exams also give educators a clearer picture of where students are thriving. More than 70 percent of Henderson International School third-through-eighth-grade students qualified for this opportunity, earned by scoring in the top 10 percent nationally on last year’s independent school standardized test.



❱❱❱ UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS University of Nevada, Las Vegas (unlv.edu) is a public research university situated on 332 acres roughly 1.6 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip. UNLV has more than 350 degrees to choose from. The Honors College provides an distinct course path for undergraduates with an state-of-theart curriculum and access to academic and career advising, including a dedicated Academic Success Center. UNLV is also becoming a home for the study of robotics and unmanned aerial systems industries, with high-quality research opportunities and associated academic programs. UNLV has celebrated programs in hospitality administration, creative writing, nursing, law and dispute resolution, entertainment engineer-


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ing, architecture, sciences, fine arts and UNLV Continuing Education – offering professional development certificate programs. UNLV also has a number notable graduate schools, including the William S. Boyd School of Law, which is particularly well regarded for its legal writing program; the College of Education; and the College of Business – Lee Business School offering Executive MBA and MBA degrees. Several top players in the hotel and casino industry have graduated from UNLV. UNLV is home to the prominent Black Mountain Institute, a literary center dedicated to promoting discourse on today’s most contentious topics. The popular Rebels athletic teams compete in the NCAA

Division I Mountain West Conference. The Science and Engineering Building boasts over 200,000 square feet of laboratory and teaching space, high-tech conference rooms and integrated research areas. Opportunities for research are available through the university’s academic hubs, such as the Center for Gaming Research, the Center for Information and Communication Technology and the Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center. UNLV School of Dental Medicine is the only four-year accredited dental school in Nevada. The school receives more than 2,000 applications for an available 80 seats within it pre-doctoral program, and offers three advanced specialty programs.

community internships, Artist-in-Residence programs, and performance opportunities. As they partake in a challenging and rigorous curriculum in all content areas, students have the unique opportunity to study the performing arts—while still benefitting from a comprehensive environment rich in athletics, visual arts, service organizations, clubs, and countless student activities.


❱❱❱ East Career & Technical Academy (705

Vegas Valley Drive, Las Vegas, 89142) is a comprehensive magnet high school that offers several distinct program areas of study. Students select their program of choice when applying for admission. Students can choose coursework in Education, Medical Professions, Culinary Arts, Entertainment Marketing & Hospitality, Automotive Mechanical Technology, Information Technology Systems, Construction Technology, and Electronics Technology. Rigorous coursework, hands-on projects, job-shadowing, and internships will give students first-hand experience in their selected program areas. In addition, students can earn college credits through the 2+2 Tech Prep program and through Advanced Placement Courses.


oin us this summer for Education Camps at the Utah Shakespeare Festival! Whether you’re a young emerging thespian looking for stage time and instruction, an advanced technical student wanting more behind-the-scenes experiences, or a seasoned English educator needing professional development credit, we’ve got a camp for you! These, among many others, are available to students of all ages and abilities. Learn more at www.bard.org/camps-classes or send an email to usfeducation@bard.org. See you this summer!


Shakespeare for Junior Actors

Tech Camp

July 9-15, July 16-22, July 23-29

July 30-August 3

Actor Training

Advanced Tech Camp

July 10-15, July 17-22

August 2-5

Advanced Actor Training July 24-29


800-PLAYTIX • bard.org • #utahshakes e d u c at i o n n o w



❱❱❱ Everest College (170 N Stephanie St, Henderson, 89074) offers a choice of career training with programs as wide-ranging as health care, business, information technology, legal and skilled trades. Students may also earn their degree completely online. Everest offers students online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Students choose an Everest education for its hands-on training, small work groups, flexible class scheduling, industry-experienced instructors, being taught with tools and equipment that professionals use, learning centers and the option of online courses. ❱❱❱ Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School

(2015 S Hualapai Way, Las Vegas, 89117) is a private Christian school located in Summerlin. The school is guided by the core values of a Christian faith and life, teaching that engages and challenges learners, and the balance of mind, body and soul. Faith Lutheran’s curriculum is demanding, designed to prepare students for

❱❱❱ Northwest Career & Technical Academy (8200

W. Tropical Parkway, Las Vegas, 89149) is a public magnet school serving grades nine-12. Northwest Career & Technical Academy emphasizes college preparation and offers several programs for students to choose from: engineering & design, hospitality, mechanical technology, culinary arts, construction technology, early childhood education, teacher education, kindergarten, medical professions, media communications and biotechnology. There are over 50 clubs and activities for students to participate in, including Anime Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Hip Hop Club, Physics Club and Robotics Club.


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amphitheater, multi-purpose room and state-of-the-art science playground. ❱❱❱ Gilbert Magnet School for Communication and Creative Arts (2101 W


success at the college level. In high school, Advanced Placement courses offer students the opportunity to earn college credit or have introductory courses waived at the university level. 97 percent of the Class of 2016 are currently enrolled in college. ❱❱❱ Foothills Montessori School (1401

Amador Ln, Henderson, 89012) is a private school that provides children ages 3-14

with an education based on the Montessori method. Key elements include a low student-to-teacher ratio to ensure ample attention, a multi-age classroom structure to encourage student mentorship and a focus on individual progression without peer competition. Areas of study range from math, science, geography, and social studies to history, language, foreign language, music, art and physical education. The campus features an

Cartier Avenue, North Las Vegas, 89032) is an elementary magnet school serving pre-kindergarten through 5th grade children. The school’s guiding philosophy is that the arts are a way to learn and a way to live. The curriculum centers on integrated instruction and a climate for teacher learning and collaboration, infusing artistic and creative methodologies. The authentic integration of the arts into content areas and school-wide events strongly encourages and supports students’ academic success and positive character development.  ❱❱❱ Bishop Gorman Catholic High School

(5959 S Hualapai Way, Las Vegas 89148) is a fouryear, Catholic college








S A N DY R I D G E C A M P U S A D D R E S S : 1 0 5 1 SA N DY R I D G E AV E , H E N D E R S O N , N V 8 9 0 5 2 ( 7 0 2 ) 7 7 6 - 8 8 0 0 • I N F O @ C O R A L A C A D E M Y LV. O R G / CA SLV




preparatory high school operated under the auspices of the Diocese of Las Vegas. Home of the Gaels, Bishop Gorman is known for its athletic excellence. Twentyseven seniors from the Class of 2016 received scholarships to play at a college level. The school boasts a 98 percent college-bound rate, and its acting students have been Theatre State Champions six years in a row. ❱❱❱ Henderson Christian Academy (2750 Robindale Rd,

Henderson, 89074) is a private Christian preschool the Henderson and Las Vegas communities. With small class sizes and a nurturing family atmosphere, Henderson Christian offers families a well-rounded Christian education with encouraging

teachers who have an intimate sense of each child’s personality and needs. Henderson Christian accommodates children from 6-weeks-old to full-day kindergarten students. The school also offers before- and after-school programs. ❱❱❱ Kiddie Academy of Henderson (870 Coronado

Center Drive, Henderson, 89052) is an educational daycare modeled on the Life Essentials® educational philosophy, which includes family-style meals shared with other children, computer literacy and character education. Core curriculum is supplemented with Music & More, weekly 30-minute lessons filled with music, stories and activities designed specifically for each childs age. CampVentures is

designed for children up to age 12. Children spend quality time participating in water play and physical fitness activities, and some age groups can go on fun and educational field trips throughout the summer. ❱❱❱ Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (315 S. 7th

Street, Las Vegas, 89101) is an award-winning magnet high school. Located in the center of the Las Vegas High School Historical District, the Las Vegas Academy serves students in grades nine through 12. Students may pursue a major in band, vocal music, dance, guitar, international studies (French, Japanese, and Spanish), mariachi, orchestra, photography, piano, studio art, technical theatre, theatre, visual design, and World Jazz


studies. Students attend classes in 86-minute blocks, as compared with the standard 50 minutes in a comprehensive high school, allowing for more intensive instruction. ❱❱❱ Las Vegas High School (6500 E. Sahara

Avenue, Las Vegas, 89142) is a public high school and home of the Wildcats. Along with attending challenging academic classes, students can participate in sports, CTE courses, the school’s performing arts program, or its AJROTC

A TEAM APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Physician Assistant Physical Therapist Occupational Therapist Registered Nurse Family Nurse Practitioner Nurse Educator For more information about Touro University Nevada or if you want a campus tour, please call 702.777.3100 or visit our website at www.tun.touro.edu

Leading the way in teaching the health care providers and educators of tomorrow while

caring for

our community.

874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson NV 89014 Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and Licensed in Nevada by the Commission on Post-Secondary Education. Touro University Nevada does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, color, creed, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.


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program. Students can also join one of the 40 different clubs and organizations on campus. The Wildcats have won numerous championships, and their athletics programs are recognized as some of the best in Nevada. ❱❱❱ Milan Institute of Cosmetology

(710 S. Tonopah Drive, Las Vegas, 89106) offers career training in beauty, business, healthcare, industrial, information technology, and massage. Because instructors are professionals in their respective fields, they bring relevant, on-the-job experience to the classroom. Excellent training and job placement assistance enable students to become enterprising professionals. Because Milan is well known to employers for providing the most advanced, up-to-date curriculum, graduates can more easily gain employment and advance in their new careers. ❱❱❱ Nevada Career Institute

(3231 N. Decatur Boulevard #201, Las Vegas, 89130) is a for-profit college offering Diploma, Associate Degree and Certification Programs in health care that can be completed in less than a year. A leader in allied health education, Nevada Career Institute offers affordable training programs in medical assisting, surgical technology, medical insurance billing, and massage therapy. Programs combine rigorous classroom studies with hands-on training. A choice of day or evening classes accommodate busy schedules, and some coursework is available online. ❱❱❱ Nevada School of Massage Therapy

(2381 E. Windmill Lane #14, Las Vegas, 89123) offers a sevenmonth full-time program or 12-month part-time evening program. Graduates works in a variety of settings, including resort spas, cruise ships, medical offices, sports clinics, destination spas, or day spas. Many start their own private practices. The Nevada School of Massage

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❱❱❱ Roseman University of Health Sciences

(11 Sunset Way, Henderson, 89014) is a private, non-profit university with campuses in Henderson, Summerlin and South Jordan, Utah. The University is comprised of the College of Dental Medicine, offering an Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics/ MBA residency and Doctor of Dental Medicine program; College of Pharmacy, offering a Doctor of Pharmacy and Professional Continuing Education; College of Nursing, offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and RN to Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing; and an MBA program. Roseman’s programs are unique in that they utilize the Six-Point Master Learning Model.

Therapy is part of the Steiner Education Group (SEG), which is a subsidiary of Steiner Leisure Limited, a global provider of spa services. Steiner Leisure Limited operates more than 200 spas and salons on cruise ships and at resorts worldwide. Job placement services are available after graduation. ❱❱❱ Nevada State College (1300 Nevada

State Drive, Henderson, 89002) a four-year public college offering more than 35 majors and minors. Known


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for its small classes and experienced faculty, fields of study include the liberal arts and sciences, and more. Students can learn in-class or online, or a hybrid of both. All instruction is careerfocused so technology and a hands-on approach are high priorities. Recognizing that education goes beyond academics, Nevada State College also has a robust and diverse student life with a variety of clubs and organizations and the opportunity to participate in student government.

❱❱❱ Nevada State High School (233 N. Stephanie

Street, Henderson 89074) is a public charter school serving grades 11-12. With a laserfocused mission to support students in an authentic college environment, the school allows juniors and seniors to earn both high school and college credits through the Nevada’s dual enrollment law. The high school strives to complete students’ core college classes, but some students have gone beyond the basics to earn an associate’s degree before graduation. ❱❱❱ Named for the Palo Verde trees that surround it, Palo Verde High School

(333 S. Pavilion Center Drive, Las Vegas, 89144) is a public high school in Summerlin serving grades nine-12. The mission of Palo Verde is to prepare students to realize their academic, creative, emotional, physical, social, and career potentials as contributing members of a multicultural society in an international community of mutual respect. The school achieves this mission through challenging coursework, a robust athletics program and an array of activities.

EVENING MBA CONCENTRATIONS • Health Care Management • Finance • Marketing

• Business Management – Human Resources – Management Information Systems – New Venture Management

❱❱❱ Pinecrest Academy

(pinecrestnv.org) is a tuition-free public charter school network with three campuses in Henderson. Pinecrest’s vision is to empower lifelong learners with knowledge and values required for productive global leadership. Along with its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum, the school also teaches art and music. Students can participate in extracurricular sports, clubs and other activities. Students ranging from English-language learners to special education can also partake of before- and after-school activities.

EVENING MBA / DUAL DEGREE • MBA/JD (Juris Doctor) • MBA/DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) • MBA/MS (Hotel Administration) • MBA/MS (Management Information Systems) Attend an information session on February 23, March 21, or April 27 RSVP at unlv.edu/mba/infosessions

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Rancho High School Academies of Aviation and Medical Sciences (1900 Searles Ave, Las Vegas, 89101) is a “school within a school” inside Rancho High School, the second oldest high school in the Las Vegas valley. Part of a comprehensive high school serving grades nine-12, the RHS Academy provides students with rigorous and relevant learning experiences within the magnet programs as well as in the general curriculum. RHS fosters student creativity and ingenuity through dynamic electives such as orchestra, theater, dance, band, choir, and art. After-school athletic programs and club activities address students’ social needs by providing a sense of community. The Rancho High School Medical Academy is the head-start program for those interested in becoming doctors, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, & nurses. Pre-Medical students focus on terminology, equipment operation & care, and the fundamental principles of medicine. Students prepare for college & careers by studying anatomy & physiology, disease & diagnosis, and injury & evaluation.  “Real-life” medical work, including virtual autopsies, suturing, and CPR, gives students insight into the medical field. The only one of its kind in the District and one of only a handful in the United States, Rancho High School’s Academy of Aviation offers two dynamic and unique programs for students interested in aviation and aerospace. In the Academy of Aviation students learn the fundamentals of flight, space travel, and rocketry through hands-on projects and the use of expert technology in a state-of the-art aviation lab.  Physical sciences and emerging technologies are key components of course work.  Aviation students also earn college credit and prepare for success in college and in program-related careers. Other offerings include the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Dual Enrollment Program and Biomedicine.

❱❱❱ Robert O. Gibson Middle School Leadership Academy

❱❱❱ Sandy Searles Miller Academy of International Studies

(3900 W Washington Ave, Las Vegas, 89107) is a magnet school serving grades six-eight. The Leadership Academy fosters the academic success, personal growth, and social development of middle school students through service to their communities. The curriculum centers on english, math and science, and uses the real world as a classroom in which students develop as leaders who take initiative, solve problems, work as a team, and demonstrate their abilities while addressing real community needs. Eighth graders can participate in the Dual Language Immersion Academy, a bilingual program of Spanish and English.

(4851 E. Lake Mead Boulevard, Las Vegas, 89115) is a globally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme serving Pre-K through Grade 5 students. It’s the first school in Nevada to receive the top magnet school award in the USA. Miller is recognized as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) school. A partnership with Desert Research Institute provides students opportunities to engage with scientists in various fields of study. Miller provides Spanish instruction to all students. Students are involved in their learning through inquiry and discovery in an internationally-relevant and rigorous program of study.


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❱❱❱ Sierra Nevada College

(4300 E Sunset Road # E1, Henderson, 89014) is a private, four-year institution on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Northern Nevada with a campus in Henderson. Sierra Nevada College combines the liberal arts and professional preparedness through an interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes entrepreneurial thinking and environmental, social, economic and educational sustainability. With an 11:1 student-teacher ratio, students learn from faculty who hold prestigious advanced degrees and have distinguished careers in their field. The Henderson campus offers several masters degrees in teaching and education. ❱❱❱ Home of the Mountain Lions, Sierra Vista High School

(8100 W. Robindale Road, Las Vegas, 89113) is a public high school in Spring Valley serving grades 9-12. The school recently produced two

National Merit finalists, and several students have gone on to attend prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Berkley and West Point after graduation. Known for its strong robotics team, Sierra Vista won the respected Community Award in robotics and was a robotics world qualifier. They were State Finalists in cross country, wrestling, and volleyball, and the school won a National Championship in orchestra. ❱❱❱ Silver Sands Montesorri Charter School (1841 Whitney Mesa

Drive, Henderson, 89014) is a hybrid charter school that serves grades k through eight. Silver Sands Montessori is the only public Montessori school in Southern Nevada. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade engage in cultural and social studies as well as learning practical life skills, Spanish, art, and music. As part of the

Start Early. Start Right. Challenger School offers uniquely fun and academic classes for preschool to eighth grade students. Our students learn to think for themselves and to value independence. The results are unmatched at any price! Come see for yourself at an Open House! Tuesday, February 7, 8–5 Saturday, February 11, 9–1 Thursday, February 16, 8–5 Monday, February 27, 8–5 Open Enrollment Has Begun!

Montessori method, children are taught to develop independence, respect and an understanding of cultural differences. ❱❱❱ A college-prep institution, Somerset Academy of Las Vegas

(somersetacademyoflasvegas. com) has several campuses throughout Las Vegas and Henderson. These five-star charter schools serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade with a focus on cultivating effective leaders, good character, and a desire to render service. Technology is integrated with the core curriculum, and students can participate in special programs such as Math Night, Literacy Night, the Science Fair, Multi-Cultural Festivals, the Battle of the Books and more. A variety of after-school clubs and activities, including athletics, are also available.

An independent private school offering preschool through eighth grade

Desert Hills 410-7225 8175 West Badura Ave.

Los Prados 839-1900 5150 N. Jones Blvd.

Green Valley 990-7300 1725 East Serene Ave.

Summerlin 878-6418 9900 Isaac Newton Way

In sp ir in g Ch ild re n to Ac h ie ve S i nce 1963 © 2017, Challenger Schools. Challenger School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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❱❱❱ Touro University

(874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson, 89014) is nonprofit, Jewish-sponsored, private institution focused on the health sciences and education. Touro offers a wide range of degree programs in

allied health sciences and education, as well as osteopathic medicine. The Touro campus is also home to both a full-service patient health clinic, staffed by practicing faculty members, and a multidisciplinary

Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. In addition to serving the community through care, both facilities serve as on-site learning laboratories for students across the disciplines.


❱❱❱ Variety School

Is Your Child Gifted?

Curious • Compassionate • Imaginative • Eager to Learn

Call (702) 896-8000 for a Free Assessment

(2800 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, 89101) serves special needs students with physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities. The school features vocational training centers for a laundry, a kitchen and restaurant, a recycling center, a graphics center and a greenhouse. Students spend time in each area, learning a skill of their choice, with a goal of preparing them for the workforce. Some students come for behavior modification and are transitioned back to their home schools once they’ve completed their program at Variety. Some must stay for extended periods of time; many remain until they reach 22 and no longer can attend. ❱❱❱ Western Governors University (nevada.wgu.edu)

Financial Scholarships Are Available! • STEM Lab (5 Days a Week) • Writing Lab • Reading Lab • Math Lab • Art • Music • Physical Education • LEGO Robotics • Chess • Computer Programming • Library • Spanish • Inventors and Inventions Unit

Learn more at NasriAcademy.com


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is an accredited online university offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees for busy adults in four high-demand sectors: business, k-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. With a flat-rate tuition, WGU employs competency-based education, an innovative learning model which measures student learning rather than time spent in class. Created for working adults with full schedules, students learn at their own pace through 24/7 access to coursework and resources.


Profile for Nevada Public Radio

Desert Companion - February 2017  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada

Desert Companion - February 2017  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada

Profile for nvpr