May 13-19, 2010
The Beauty Issue hot tipsâ€”from hair to toes exotic spa treatments delicious dining rooms spectacular golf holes and 50 lovely things about las vegas
This Week in Your CiTY 37
The new style in beauty salons, and helpful suggestions for the Clark County School District’s possible interim leader. Plus: David G. Schwartz’s Green Felt Journal and Michael Green on Politics.
The highlights of this week. By Susan Stapleton
Reports on culture, politics and business from The New York Observer. Plus: The NYO crossword puzzle and the weekly column by personal ﬁnance guru Kathy Kristof.
We take the GyPSy for a spin. By William Lefkovics
Seven food critic Max Jacobson picks the city’s most beautiful dining rooms. Plus: A pastry chef’s journey to the big time, Max’s Diner’s Notebook and eight more delicious dishes.
Playboy crowns the newest Playmate of the Year and Lady Gaga goes long. Plus trends, Tweets and gossip. By Melissa Arseniuk
Shawn Hummel’s art opening and the Grand Tasting at Uncork’d.
New and beautiful ways to keep your skin healthy this summer. By Jessica Prois
This week’s Look, expert beauty advice, and a few choice Enviables.
sporTs & LEIsurE
The nine most gorgeous golf holes in Las Vegas. By Brian Hurlburt Plus: Matt Jacob watches baseball trends in “Going for Broke.”
Seven Nights of fun, several parties past and a Mexican version of teatime.
arTs & ENTErTaINmENT
A Poetry Month redo, the new concert/ nightlife experience and Rex Reed praises Mother and Child.
On the cover and above: The Beauty Issue. Photography by Danielle DeBruno; hairstyling by Marshall VanIerland; makeup by Natasha Chamberlin; model Xian Mikol of Pinkerton LA.
ThE grEaT EscapE
Exotic spa treatments close to home. Photos by Danielle DeBruno
Paul Devitt talks about Beauty Bar Las Vegas on its ﬁfth anniversary. By Elizabeth Sewell
ThE DEsErT swaN
An ex-New Yorker gets worked over in search of the Las Vegas look. By Geraldine Campbell May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 9
Vegas seVen Publishers
Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger AssociAte Publisher, Michael Skenandore
Editorial editoriAl director, Phil Hagen MAnAging editor, Bob Whitby AssociAte editor, Melissa Arseniuk news editor, Sean DeFrank A&e editor, Cindi Reed coPY editor, Paul Szydelko contributing editor, T.R. Witcher contributing writers
Richard Abowitz, Eric Benderoff, David Berns, David Breitman, Geraldine Campbell, Geoff Carter, David Davis, Mericia González, Jeanne Goodrich, Michael Green, Jaq Greenspon, Glenn Haussman, Brian Hurlbert, Matt Jacob, Max Jacobson, Jarret Keene, Jessica Prois, Rex Reed, Jason Scavone, David G. Schwartz, Elizabeth Sewell, Kate Silver, Brian Sodoma, Cole Smithey, Susan Stapleton interns
Mark Adams, Kelly Corcoran, Jazmin Gelista, Jena Morak, Patrick Moulin
art Art director, Lauren Stewart senior grAPhic designer, Marvin Lucas grAPhic designer, Thomas Speak stAff PhotogrAPher, Anthony Mair contributing PhotogrAPhers
Jessica Blair, Hew Burney, Sullivan Charles, Danielle DeBruno, Darius Kuzmickas, Tomas Muscionico, Beverly Oames, Tony Tran contributing illustrAtor, Rob Tornoe
Production/distribution director of Production/distribution, Marc Barrington Advertising coordinAtor, Jimmy Bearse
salEs Account eXecutives, Christy Corda and Robyn Weiss
Comments or story ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org Vegas Seven is distributed each thursday throughout southern nevada.
WenDOH MeDIa COMpanIes Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger vice President, PUBLISHING, Michael Skenandore director, MARKETING, Jason Hancock entertAinMent director, Keith White creAtive director, Sherwin Yumul event coordinAtor, Richard Alexander
FinancE director of finAnce, Gregg Hardin Accounts receivAble MAnAger, Rebecca Lahr generAl Accounting MAnAger, Erica Carpino credit MAnAger, Erin Tolen
PublisHEd in association WitH tHE obsErVEr MEdia GrouP Copyright 2010 Vegas Seven, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without the permission of Vegas Seven, LLC is prohibited. Vegas Seven, 888-792-5877, 3070 West Post Road, Las Vegas, NV 89118 10
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Richard Abowitz “Showstopper,” page 79 Our newest columnist is no stranger to Las Vegas. Abowitz has spent more than a decade chronicling Sin City, penning hundreds of articles in the process. He writes the “Movable Buffet” column on Vegas for the Los Angeles Times and contributes regularly to The Daily Beast website. Last week saw the debut of his Strip-entertainment column, and as a added bonus this week, he’s written a guide for those (few) of you wondering where to ﬁnd poetry in this town. In past lives, Abowitz was an editor of the culture magazine Gadﬂy and a longtime contributor to Rolling Stone. In December he launched GoldPlatedDoor.com to report on all things Vegas, from a 31st-ﬂoor perspective, of course.
Danielle DeBruno Cover and feature photography The Desert Ice Studios photographer ﬁrst worked with us back in December as a contributor to our sister publication, 944. For this issue we’ve got her focusing on beauty, a concept she illustrated by documenting our cover model’s transformation through three exotic spa treatments at CityCenter. DeBruno ﬁnds on-location shooting inspirational. “I thrive in the ﬂow of on-spot creation as it ﬁlls me with divine purpose behind the camera and a true sense of belonging to my surroundings.” See more of her work at danielledebruno.blogspot.com.
Darius Kuzmickas The Latest Thought photos, page 16 The Lithuanian-born photographer splits his time between Las Vegas and Portland, Ore., and his work between ﬁne art and commercial photography. His background in architecture and graphic design gives Kuzmickas a distinct perspective on our city. “Las Vegas is a unique place,” he says. “There’s a lot of kitsch, but still it has its own glow. I like the harsh shadows. It’s very different from other places.” In a town like this, where things change quickly, documenting the present helps deﬁne the past, he says. “Architectural photography is really powerful. It just gets in people’s memory, gets ﬁxed in their heads.” Check out more of Kuzmickas’ work at kudaphoto.com.
Vegas Seven Mobile try it nOw steP 1:
Visit getscanlife.com on your mobile device to download Free scanlife software.
as you scroll through Vegas seven, snap a photo anywhere you see a 2D barcode.
Your phone reads the 2D code and automatically loads interactive content.
Win Free stuFF ★ rsVP For eVents ★ 2D Mobile exclusiVe oFFers anD eDitorial
Visit the Vegas Seven website May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 11
Seven DayS The highlights of this week in your city. Compiled by Susan Stapleton
Thur. 13 Tip your hat to the Old West as Las Vegas Helldorado Days returns for four days of bull ridin’, bronc bustin’ and calf ropin’ at the Downtown Rodeo Grounds. The annual celebration of all things Western includes carnival rides for $3 from 5 p.m.-midnight and a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned rodeo at 7 p.m. Other events include the Whiskerino beard-growing contest Friday, and a poker tournament, parade and ﬁreworks on Saturday. Las Vegas Boulevard and Seventh Street from Stewart Avenue to Mesquite Avenue, $10, free for kids ages 10 and younger.
Fri. 14 He may be taking a break from major touring, but Kenny Chesney just can’t stay away from the Hard Rock Hotel. Check out the former Mr. Renée Zellweger as he returns to The Joint for the ﬁrst of two consecutive nights, and if you can’t make it, don’t stress: The country singer will return for another pair of shows in July. 8 p.m., $150, 693-5220. Another option: Pack your bags and cross your ﬁngers during the inaugural Spread the Word Nevada Suitcase Party at Fletcher Jones Imports. You have to bring an overnight bag to this fundraiser, because one lucky ticketholder will be whisked away in a Maybach for a mini-getaway at Caesars Palace. The event beneﬁts Spread the Word Nevada, which promotes children’s literacy and gives more than 20,000 books monthly to underprivileged children. 7300 Sahara Ave., 5:30-7:30 p.m., $50 in advance, $60 at the door, 564-7809.
Liberace photo courtesy of the Las Vegas News Bureau
Sat. 15 What’s better than free? Hit Sunset Park as the Kids’ Mix returns with a range of no-cost, family-friendly entertainment, including balloon twisters, face painters, super soakers and a hoops clinic. Mix 94.1 FM is footing the bill, which means everything is gratis for the ﬁrst time in the event’s ﬁve-year history. Vegas Drive at North Rampart Boulevard. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Later that night, feed your inner Rocky fan by manning up with the Nevada Pops as they give a testosteronecharged performance with special guest the Desert Chorale. “Guy Movies” features music from ﬁlms such as Star Trek, Apocalypse Now, The Hunt for Red October and Gladiator. UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m., $15-$18, 895-2787.
Sun. 16 If Liberace were alive today, he’d be really old—91. Although he has passed, celebrate his birthday at the culmination of the Liberace Museum’s weeklong festivities. Admission is $3.50, which was the price when it opened in 1979. (These days, it’s $10-$15.) Meanwhile, Ali Spuck performs in the Cabaret Showroom. 1775 E. Tropicana Ave., 10 a.m.-8 p.m., cabaret shows $10-$35, liberace.org.
Mon. 17 Start your week off with the Schweiger Vineyards wine dinner at The Grape at Town Square. Andy Schweiger will be on hand to present selections from his namesake winery, sourced from the ﬁelds of Napa and Sonoma. The four-course dinner includes sesame-crusted ahi tuna and smoked pheasant breast, and ﬁnishes with chocolate raspberry lava cake paired with Schweiger Port VIII, of which only four barrels were produced. 6:30 p.m., $118 including tax and gratuity, 220-4727.
Tues. 18 It’s International Museum Day, so why not soak up some history? Las Vegas historian Michael Green suggests learning about construction of our local Eighth Wonder of the World at the museum at the Boulder Dam Hotel (1305 Arizona St., Boulder City, $1-$2), or visiting the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park’s visitor center (500 E. Washington Ave., $1), which tells the tale of the oldest building in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, the Clark County Museum (1830 S. Boulder Highway., Henderson, $1-$1.50) offers the opportunity to take a walk down Heritage Street, lined with historic homes, and the Atomic Testing Museum (755 E. Flamingo Road, $9-$12) is always a blast.
Wed. 19 Get over your fear of clowns by celebrating National Circus Day at Circus Circus or a Cirque du Soleil show. Take advantage of Cirque’s new $50 tickets, or try your luck at the $1 carnival games at Circus Circus. Although the city’s only circus-themed casino doesn’t have a resident Cirque du Soleil show of its own, it does house the world’s largest permanent circus, and features free daily shows under the big top from 11 a.m. Granted, Circus Circus’ newest performer isn’t a French-Canadian-sourced contortionist, but Bulgarian-born aerialist Stoyan Metchkarov has appeared in Jubilee! and Peepshow. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 13
What’s hip, what’s happening, what’s going on—and what you need to know right now.
Compiled by Melissa Arseniuk
america’s Top Bunny Like many of Hugh Hefner’s fabled parties at the Playboy Mansion, Playmate of the Year at the Palms is now open to the public. But unlike fetes at Hefner’s iconic estate, passes for the May 15 event are relatively affordable—general admission is $39 and reserved seats are available for the suggestive price of $69. Tickets to the awards show allow access to the afterparty at the Playboy Club, but postparty passes are available, too, for $40 (local ladies get in free). Playmate of the Year 2009 was a private affair featuring a multi-course dinner in the Palms’ Key West ballroom, followed by a party in the magazine’s namesake club. This year, however, Hefner and his Las Vegas apprentice, George Maloof, scrapped the dinner and will hold the main event at Rain nightclub before returning to the Playboy Club. Among the nominees for Playmate of the Year are Hefner’s former live-in girlfriends and The Girls Next Door personalities Karissa and Kristina Shannon, who appeared in the double summer issue as Misses July and August. Hefner’s current main squeeze, December Playmate Crystal Harris, was also You can party with Playboy’s June cover girl at the Palms. in the running—but Vegas Seven happens to know that the 2010 Playmate of the Year award will go to April 2009 centerfold (and June 2010 cover model) Hope Dworaczyk. The 25-year-old Texas native will be at the Palms to receive her title and accept the prizes that go along with it: A BMW motorcycle and $100,000 cash. Red carpet arrivals outside Rain at 8 p.m., awards from 9-10 p.m. Playboy Club doors at 9 p.m., afterparty at 11 p.m.
What’s Cookin’ at M M Resort and Cox Communications have teamed up on a new cooking show: Martini Time With Chef Tina Martini. Martini began hosting cooking classes in January in the madefor-TV kitchen adjacent to the casino’s buffet, dubbed Studio B. The studio-kitchen was previously used for ﬁlming Bravo’s popular series, Top Chef: Las Vegas. New episodes of Martini Time will be shot every week, and will air at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays on Cox channel 96. Shows will also be streamed live on Cox’s website, cox96.net, for two weeks after the air date. The new cooking show comes just months after PBS’ locally focused cooking show, ChefLive—which featured chef Luciano Pellegrini (Valentino) among other gustatory notables—went Web-only. Martini continues to host eight weekly cooking demonstrations in Studio B, at noon and 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets to see Martini in Studio B are $40 and include admission to the buffet after class.
Local chef Tina Martini’s cooking show debuted May 10 on Cox channel 96.
Clam-orous It took just 28 days for Apple to sell 1 million iPads, and users have already downloaded 12 million apps and 1.5 million books from Apple’s online iBookstore. Still, one of the most anticipated accessories for the device—the keyboard/stand/protective cover called the ClamCase—won’t hit stores until the fall. The case attaches to an iPad using a 360-degree torque hinge that allows it to open and close like a book. It can also be used horizontally to prop the iPad up like a digital photo frame or small-screen TV and, when closed, the ClamCase protects the iPad’s 9.7-inch display. The case also turns the iPad into a laptop-like device, thanks to a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. And the keyboard isn’t just iPad friendly: It can be used with other Bluetooth-compatible devices, including Playstation3 and TiVo. The accessory is expected to cost between $99 and $129. clamcase.com.
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
This Week in your CiTy
Angelo and Christine Giordano are betting on a new, miniature movie theater at the Las Vegas Hilton. “It’s a gamble,” Angelo says. “We’re doing something totally different and totally unique.” The Giordano Theatre will showcase a range of ﬁlms, from independent shorts to ﬁrst-run major motion pictures. It will show four ﬁlms a week, seven showings a day, seven days a week, between 10:45 a.m. and midnight. Also unique: unlimited popcorn with every $12 ticket. (In comparison, tickets to Rave cinemas at Town Square or Brenden Theatres at the Palms cost $10.25 and don’t include snacks.) The husband-and-wife duo are set to open their 70-seat namesake theater May 14 in what once was the Hilton’s Crown Room (and, before that, a baccarat lounge). “The Hilton didn’t want to give this room up, [but] they really saw the vision,” Angelo tells Vegas Seven. The Giordanos own Giordano World Entertainment, a
distribution and production company, and earlier this year organized premieres for two of their company’s projects, Reach for Me and American Sunset. Those events attracted celebrities including Seymour Cassel, Lacey Chabert, Steve Buscemi, Zac Efron and Billy Zane, but required crews to transform Hilton showrooms into theaters. Still, the makeshift cinemas worked, encouraging the couple to try their luck with a permanent, small-scale theater. Now, Giordano says more star-studded premieres are in the works. “It looks like we’ll be bringing them in with a Tom Hanks movie,” Giordano says, citing Benjamin Bratt and Denzel Washington as two of the guests he expects to host. Giordano Theatre features a 12-by-7-foot screen, a Yamaha sound system and a bar with additional seating in the back. Meanwhile, ticket stubs can be exchanged for two-for-one cocktails and $10 match play at the Hilton, among other incentives.
Gaga in advance
Lady Gaga photo by Denise Truscello
Bob Barker famously signed off from each episode of The Price Is Right by reminding his audience to help control the pet population by having pets spayed or neutered. Now Barker’s message is more than friendly advice—it’s the law. As of May 19, Clark County joins the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas in enacting a mandatory spay-and-neuter ordinance. Once the new law goes into effect, most dogs and cats in the Valley older than four months must be spayed or neutered. (The city of Henderson is working on a similar law.) “This community’s pet overpopulation problem is forcing our shelters to kill more than 30,000 cats and dogs every year,” says Joe Boteilho, the county’s chief code enforcement ofﬁcer. “Almost 90 percent of the pets entering the shelter have not been spayed or neutered.” Sterilizing pets has been the law in Las Vegas since April 1, but city spokesman Jace Radke says no citations have been issued to date. Violations are a misdemeanor, says county spokesman Dan Kulin, which means offenders are subject to ﬁnes: $225 for the ﬁrst offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for any subsequent offenses. To help Clark County residents comply, Heaven Can Wait Sanctuary (227-5555) is offering discounted spay-andneuter services to pet owners living in unincorporated Clark County who are on public assistance or Medicaid: $30 for the ﬁrst dog per household, $75 for every additional dog and $20 for all cats. Pet owners who do not qualify for ﬁnancial assistance pay full price, which starts at $115 for dogs and $50 for cats.
A Woman’s Right to Shoes “Sometimes, it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes,” Carrie Bradshaw lamented in Season 6 of Sex and the City. “That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.” Sarah Jessica Parker’s character had a long love affair with shoes, and the saga continues May 27 as Sex and the City 2 hits theaters. Still, Sex and the City fans don’t have to wait for the ﬁlm’s release to follow in Parker’s well-styled footsteps. Some of the shoes seen in the ﬁlm have already made their way to Las Vegas, including Brian Atwood’s gold-studded, lilac suede Locas, which Carrie wears to meet Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha for lunch. Shoe In at Wynn is taking pre-orders for the $800-a-pair shoes, which are expected to arrive later this month (hopefully in time to allow fashionistas a chance to break them in before the premiere). Parker dons a pair of black suede Giuseppe Zanotti pumps with pink metallic piping in the movie, too—and since they appear while she sings along to Patti Smith, Zanotti has nicknamed the shoe the Lyric. Although the Giuseppe Zanotti store in the Forum Shops at Caesars doesn’t stock the Lyric, they do offer a similar peep-toe platform from the same line (pictured above) for $795. Meanwhile, the brand that Bradshaw built, Manolo Blahnik, is keeping mum on what shoes will appear onscreen.
Lady Gaga’s Aug. 13 concert at the MGM Grand may be months away, but that hasn’t stopped the singer from plotting her next Las Vegas splash. Gaga’s recent announcement of a March 25 show is unusual, to say the least. Local music fans will be hardpressed to recall when, or if, another touring act announced a performance so far ahead of time. Gaga last performed in Las Vegas in December, when she gave back-to-back concerts at the Palms. The 2,600-seat Pearl sold-out for both appearances, but is tiny compared with MGM’s 16,500seat Grand Garden Arena. Still, tickets for the March concert go on sale May 15, and passes for the summer show are still available.
Lady Gaga at the Pearl in December. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 15
THE LaTEsT THougHT
50 Beautiful Things about Las Vegas We asked our friends, fans and contributors what turns them on. Here are the results …
16 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
where that is local, and you feel local. Walking between the buildings at the World Market Center and realizing that, yes, this is your city. Standing in the middle of CityCenter and looking up. The Golden Gate Hotel, and the fact that its phone number ends with the year it opened: 1906. The new bridge between Nevada and Arizona, a stunning achievement that has gone totally unappreciated by too many of us. The Henry Moore sculpture at CityCenter. The fountains at Bellagio when playing Sinatra’s version of “Luck Be a Lady.” Jersey Boys’ Rick Faugno hitting the high note in “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” The Beatles Love—the most beautiful show on the Strip. The energy of Vegas on a high-proﬁle night, like when there’s a UFC ﬁght. Weddings jumping out at you, as people commit their entire lives to each other. The euphoric explosion in a casino as a big jackpot goes down and a tourist’s dreams come true. A royal ﬂush (won by me). Free parking. FREE COCKTAILS! The $450 million raised for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. We bark all the time about people with money not doing anything for Vegas. This proves us wrong.
Beautiful sights (clockwise from top left): the Neon Boneyard, Bellagio fountains and Red Rock.
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. It may be a small Gehry, but it’s our Gehry. The Brookings Mountain West. To have this world-renowned, nonpartisan think tank in our backyard—at the most critical point in our city and state’s development history—is a gift. The Springs Preserve: It’s damn nice. The Fifth Street School, but the city needs to work on the building’s common outdoor areas when things get better. That should be a centerpiece of anything that occurs downtown—speciﬁcally for public use. Three Square’s beautiful new building (4190 Pecos Road)—and within its walls the beautiful feeling of the community coming together to end hunger. The dreams for sale in the windows of the designer stores at the Wynn. The Chihuly ceiling in Bellagio. The Holiday Motel sign at night along Las Vegas Boulevard. The Neon Boneyard—vestiges of a time when Vegas was truly beautiful. The parade of women in and out of the Las Vegas Athletic Club on Flamingo Road. The Crazy Horse girls at MGM Grand.
Lisa Remillard, KTNV Action News morning anchor. The insanely beautiful (and unfortunately married) pool boy at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic. Hamlin Peak, which overlooks Lake Mead. It has the most glorious 360-degree view—of Mount Charleston, Red Rock Canyon, the rim of the Grand Canyon and the lake right below, dotted with little white sailboats. It’s all anyone could want. Mount Charleston, one of the great and most accessible climbs in the West ... and it’s only 45 minutes from the ﬁnest resort and entertainment corridor in the world. Hiking Mount Charleston in spring when the aspen trees are in bloom. Red Rock Canyon on horseback after a rainy day, as the smells leap from the desert. Hiking Turtlehead Peak at Red Rock Canyon, the quietest spot in all of Las Vegas. You can hear the silent trees … The Clark County Wetlands Park, an underrated place for a walk, hike or good old-fashioned contemplation. Anything we missed? Please e-mail us (email@example.com) or post it on our Facebook page (facebook.com/VegasSEVEN).
Photography by Darius Kuzmickas
Sunrise as viewed from the top of Lone Mountain. Sunrise at Lake Mead, when you’re the only person there waiting for it, and it’s not too hot yet and you’re just praying that today it’ll be a good one—and that it was worth getting up at ridiculous o’clock! The Rio Secco golf course at dawn. An empty I-15 at dawn. Driving north on I-15 on Sunday afternoon while everyone going south sits in gridlock. The drive back from Los Angeles at night as you go over the ridge and you see the glory and hype that is Las Vegas. Flying back to Las Vegas after a vacation, knowing that millions of people envy that you live here. Terminal D at McCarran Airport. The outdoor patio at the Rio’s VooDoo Lounge, looking down at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo. The nighttime view of the Strip, looking north, from the Foundation Room atop Mandalay Bay. Andre Rochat’s cognac collection in Alizé at the Palms. The mint julep in Carnevino at the Palazzo. Jean-Philippe Maury’s chocolatecovered strawberries at Bellagio. The Western frozen custard at LuvIt—beauty anyone can understand. The seafood display counter at Chinatown’s Asian Market grocery store. The feeling you get as you go some-
THE LaTEsT Gossip Star-studded parties, celebrity sightings, juicy rumors and other glitter.
Got a juicy tip? firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweets of the Week Compiled by @marseniuk
@justinbaule Rubio’s! (@ Red Rock Casino) 10:04 p.m. @justinbaule Fuck Rubio’s! (@ My Bathroom) 11:25 p.m. @JHancock77 Everything bagels are the way. I have seen the light. @Pbpartygirl Sometimes when I’m cleaning my apt, I pretend I’m wiping away the evidence from a murder scene. Makes it a little more fun. Kelly Rowland, La La Vazquez and Kim Kardashian at Tao, Maria Menounos at the Palms, Sean Paul at the Playboy Club, Marisa Miller at Wet Republic and Miss USA Kristen Dalton at Sugar Factory.
Single, Mingle McCarthy Anyone who sat through How the Grinch Stole Christmas can understand wanting to be rid of Jim Carrey, so it’s no surprise Jenny McCarthy needed to get the Yes Man stink off of her as soon as possible. And that she did. McCarthy was spotted at the Palms May 5 where she singled out some dude’s tongue while partying at the Playboy Club. (See what we did there? What? And no, it wasn’t Chris Hardwick.) The lucky(ish) fella has yet to be identiﬁed, which suggests that McCarthy doesn’t even remember the dude. She sent out a Tweet the next day copping to it, but joked about her supposed ignorance/amnesia concerning her gentleman caller: “Yes, I kissed a mystery man in Vegas,” McCarthy posted to Twitter. “Everyone wants to know who he is or what his name is. ... So would I. Lol.” This all comes a month after she and the pet detective announced their break-up, but we’re still not sure what’s more sad: The fact that the years-long relationship is over, or that they delivered the unfortunate news via their respective Twitter accounts.
Mother Knows Best, Celebrates alone Every mom who celebrated Mother’s Day with your loving offspring, please stand up— wait, not so fast, Kris Jenner. The mother of six and stepmother of four more hosted a Mother’s Day celebration of sorts at Eve in Crystals May 8, but she couldn’t talk any of her socialite children—Kim, Kourtney, Khloe or even Robert Kardashian—into hanging out with her. It wasn’t the arduous 45-minute ﬂight from L.A. to Las Vegas that deterred her kids from coming—Kim was in town the night before to throw a bachelorette party for C-string socialite La La Vazquez. (The most famous of the sisters K hung out in the private dining room at Tao with the future Mrs. Carmelo Anthony and Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland. Let’s just hope Vazquez wasn’t listening to any of the relationship advice Kardashian proffered during dinner; relationship advice from Kim K is like hep-C prevention tips from Pamela Anderson.) Kim Kardashian ﬂew back to L.A. mere hours before Jenner arrived at Eve to celebrate being a mother of such mindful, selﬂess children. The events didn’t do anything to soften In Touch Weekly’s recent cover story featuring Kim’s ﬁrst husband, Damon Thomas, calling his former wife a “fame whore” who leaked naked pics of Kourtney to incite a scandal and talks smack about Khloe’s marriage.
Jenner’s ever-thoughtful second-born did arrange to have a designer handbag delivered to her mother’s hotel room before jetting back to L.A. What’s curious is that unlike almost every other mundane aspect of Kardashian’s life—how she ordered the sea bass at Tao because, you know, it’s “her favorite,” public shout-outs via Twitter for what was most likely comp hotel accommodations (Thank u … the Trump Hotel for another fab Vegas experience!”), etc.—the brand of handbag was not shamelessly announced/advertised/Tweeted a million times. This suggests the bag was indeed a legitimate gift, not some free swag or part of an endorsement deal. (We know! We can hardly get our heads around that one either—Kim Kardashian paying for something. In Vegas. It’s almost unheard of!) Whether it was purchased, comped or re-gifted, here’s hoping the purse was big enough to store Mama Kardashian’s lonely tears and the fat check the enterprising matriarch probably got to host her childless Mother’s Day celebration. There were no lingering abandonment issues, however. Jenner returned to L.A. on Mother’s Day morning, where she did breakfast with the kids and took her respectful family to church. Yes, we said church—because, you know, the Kardashians are the most wholesome, God-fearing family in America, and going to Mass (and Tweeting about it) isn’t hypocritical at all.
Kris Jenner 18 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
@thejoelstein Tiger Woods is still immensely inﬂuential, only now his inﬂuence lies in preventing men from texting their mistresses.
@JordyClot There r 2 types of people in the twitter world: Those who tweet and those who follow!
@Kozmoe Dear Justin Beiber: Thanks for taking away any street credibility that Ludacris once had. You are a life ruiner.
@ToddWorz If you used $299 to buy Apple stock instead of an Apple iPod 3G in 2003, you’d have more than $11,000 today. Frowning looking at my iPad :( @ztrip For a town that has such amazing restaurants, you would think the food selection at the Vegas airport wouldn’t be such shit. @hawkinstaylor If only my mouth had a backspace key. @NerdForTheWin Whoops! I had the elevator to myself and released at least a 25 PSI fart. I giggle and as the doors open a cute girl walks in. I cried.
@pseudopseudo I’m about to kill someone the next time I hear this UNLV radio spot. “I’M IN LOVE! I’M NOT IN LOVE! GO REBELS!” Seriously ... *KILL* @GOATunpublished A graduate named “Yank Wang” was greeted with shrieks at the UNLV grad. Stay classy Vegas.
centerpiece Stage UNLV master of ﬁne arts graduate Shawn Hummel (below left) is the ﬁrst Las Vegas resident to be featured in Centerpiece Gallery’s new “Locals Only” series. The series and Hummel’s contributions were recognized in April during a relaxed yet reﬁned cocktail reception inside the CityCenter gallery. Centerpiece will display Hummel’s photographs through May 24.
Photography by Sullivan Charles
20 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Bon Appétit! The pool deck at Caesars Palace was crawling with foodies, winos, celebrities and socialites on May 7 as the main event of Vegas Uncork’d, the Grand Tasting, took over. The evening proved to be the highlight of Bon Appétit’s four-day festival of food and wine and more food, and attracted dozens of top chefs and celebrities, including actress Laura Prepon (left), and Miss USA, Kristen Dalton (bottom right).
Photography by Beverly Oames
22 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
S E X Y
I N T I M A T E
B O U T I Q U E
702.823.2210 • 8665 W. Flamingo, Suite129 • Las Vegas, NV 89147
H&M Gone Bananas
Hennes & Mauritz, or H&M, recently announced it will open its largest U.S. store inside the Forum Shops at Caesars this fall. Taking the space previously occupied by FAO Schwarz, the ﬂagship location will be 60,000 square feet and three levels with ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing collections, including accessories. hm.com, forumshops.com.
Photographed by Tomas Muscionico
Protect Your neck
The French know a lot about sun ... St. Tropez anyone? And now, Phytomer introduces a new line of defense from harmful rays with its Sun Serenity Pre and Post Sun Exposure Duo, a two-part serum system, which lasts for 14 days. $79, phytomer.com.
Meaning “ball-shaped” in Japanese, the multicolored Maru lanterns from Cost Plus World Market are a fun and funky decoration for indoors and outdoors. Measuring 16 inches in diameter, they come in chili pepper, ice blue, forest green and orange clay. $7, 2151 N. Rainbow Blvd., worldmarket.com.
LAcy ANd SEth Schorr
27, housewife; 33, casino owner What he’s wearing now: Brioni suit and shirt, Zegna tie, Salvatore Ferragamo shoes and belt, and David Yurman cuff links. What she’s wearing now: Prada dress, Chanel handbag, Pam Hiran necklace from Anthropologie, Rolex watch and Jimmy Choo shoes. The product of a blind date arranged by their mothers, Lacy and Seth Schorr have been married for almost two years and are a perfect complement to one another in both style and taste. “Seth and I both care about good quality and good ﬁt over of-the-moment pieces. There are some trends we follow, but for the most part, our closets are comprised of things we could wear over and over again,” says Lacy, who is quick to afﬁrm that Seth dresses himself just ﬁne without her constructive criticism. “He always looks great to me, even when he wears his mismatched Crocs to walk the dog.”
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 25
Ready, Aim, Pose
Under the Knife
The secrets to primping and pampering, Vegas style Lasering, whitening, shampooing, spa-ing and supplementing have become a way of life in our beauty-obsessed city, and now Vegas Seven shares some ﬁnds, tips and expert advice on how to survive desert living as a perfect 10.
Dr. Jeffrey roth, plastic surgeon
What is the hottest trend in plastic surgery? Smaller operations sooner. Instead of people waiting until they are older and getting the blueplate special, they tend to come in earlier for smaller things. What is the most popular procedure? Here in Las Vegas we do a lot of breast work; breast augmentation and breast augmentation with lifts as well. Different patients come in for different reasons. Proportion is my favorite word with breast augmentation.
All in the Family Next time your kids or signiﬁcant other shells out for a thoughtful spa gift certiﬁcate, ask them to come along, as Las Vegas offers treatments for the entire family
Mother/Daughter If you get your multitasking personality from Mom, do triple duty with Salon Bellagio’s Mother and Daughter spa package. Catch up, unwind and enjoy a manicure and pedicure over tea and scones. Soak your hands and feet in water infused with rosemary plant extracts and oils. A spa technician will exfoliate with a grape-seed scrub and moisturize with sesame almond oil. “Much physical stress is put upon the hands and feet, yet we rarely give thought to re-energizing and nourishing them,” says Donna Foster, salon director. Bellagio, $350 (two hours). Couples Peel away stress alongside your signiﬁcant other with the Double Banana Leaf treatment at Qua Baths & Spa in Caesars Palace. You’ll be slathered with body butter and wrapped in a green banana leaf imported from South America. The leaf hydrates as well as locks in moisture. Finally, a spa technician will give you an Ayurvedic treatment, pouring botanical oils over your forehead and massaging your scalp. Caesars Palace, $450 (75 minutes). Teens If your teen likes to do her own thing, she’s in luck. Spa Mandalay offers treatments designed for 13-17-year-olds. Try a facial, which focuses on deep cleansing and moisturizing versus anti-aging and skin repair, or try one that can be tailored to target acne. “The spa is a perfect place for young adults to have an age-appropriate Vegas experience,” says Anna Lesko, director of Spa Mandalay. Mandalay Bay; $45-$135. – Jessica Prois 26 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Me Time for Men Movies, massages and manicures might sound like a girls night in, but it’s status quo for guys at Qua Baths & Spa in Caesars Palace. Stop into the men’s Barber Spa and receive a customized facial, straight-razor shave or toe and ﬁngernail treatments from Sal the barber, who sports a tuxedo and gives high-class service to match. Do double duty and sit back and watch the big screen. But if you really want to loosen up, get the Shorebreak Sports Massage, which incorporates stretching, deep tissue and sports therapy techniques ($220). Or, if last night’s events at the casino have you down and out, cut your losses and get the antiaging Poker Face Facial ($155). Finally, if you want all the luxury of a massage but want to keep your clothes on, go with the Tops and Tails treatment ($155). A spa technician will massage your scalp, hands and feet using vanilla milk and coconut oil. – Jessica Prois
9280 W. Sunset Road, Suite 236, jjrothmd.com, 450-0777.
Dr. Roth photo by Anthony Mair
The pedicure area at the Bellagio Salon.
What does the future hold? Less invasive ways to do the stuff we’re doing now—meaning laparoscopic surgery to make small incisions. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If we can make scars look better faster, that would be terriﬁc. There are a lot of neat things around the corner to reﬁne the operation into something better. … Ten years ago we really didn’t have Botox or ﬁlling agents for the face, and now we’ve realized we can do things in our ofﬁce and don’t have to go to the operating room right away.
Inner Beauty Four dietary supplements designed to improve your surface They say you are what you eat, and frankly, when it comes to your skin, we have to agree. If we subsisted on a diet of green tea, blueberries, almonds and avocados, we’d all have gorgeous, glowing skin. Add coffee, chocolate and wine (our personal vices of choice) to the mix, and the picture is not so pretty. Thankfully, a slew of new health and beauty supplements will let you have your cake and eat it to (OK, we’re done with the clichés now). These pills and powders all fall under the relatively new science of nutricosmetics, which is basically the idea that you can (and should) feed your skin. Here is our take on the latest and greatest in skin care you can eat: GliSODin Basics: The France-based nutricosmetics line is known for its detoxifying powders and daily vitamins, both of which will do wonders for your skin. Secret ingredient: SOD, or superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that repairs cell damage (usually the result of free radicals). Seven pick: GliSODin’s Advanced Daily Formula (a magic green pill) is packed with omega-3 goodness and will help get rid of dry, ﬂaky skin. Glisodinskin.com.
Functionalab Basics: Packaged in sleek, science lab-like containers (think beakers, vials and pipettes), Functionalab concoctions promise to boost your energy levels, make you zen and get rid of acne. Secret ingredient: The active ingredient varies depending on the pill or tonic, but the line depends heavily on natural sources of antioxidants such as blueberries and acai. Seven pick: We love the body toning formula—because, really, who couldn’t do with less cellulite? functionalab.com. Beauty Scoop Basics: This white powder is speciﬁcally targeted toward your skin, hair and nails. Secret ingredient: The vegetablebased product packs a combo of peptides, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins. Seven pick: There’s just one product for now—and we suggest adding it to your favorite juice to make the vanilla-scented powder go down a bit smoother. beautyscoop.com. – Geraldine Campbell
Sanitas Basics: The biogenic skin-care company recently added nutritional supplements to its line of organic cleansers, masks and moisturizers. Secret ingredient: B complex (a blend of B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12) encourages cell growth, helps wounds heal and stimulates insulin production. Seven pick: The surprisingly tasty Colloidal Mineral Cocktail (shoot it down every morning) is packed with colloidal trace minerals, vitamins B12, C and zinc. getsanitas.com.
A Million Dollar Grill The quest for “toilet-bowl white” teeth is on, so if your pearly whites are, well, less than pearly, here’s the lowdown on everything from at-home kits to laser whitening. The most cost-effective alternative is a do-it-yourself treatment, such as Crest’s 3DWhite line, which includes a whole range of strips, pastes, brushes and rinses. The bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide, is the same as what you get in the dentist’s ofﬁce, but typically a much lower dose—so it’ll take anywhere from two to six weeks to get the results you’re after. On the other end of the spectrum, there are dentist-administered treatments, which can be pricey (and sometimes painful) but produce immediate results. An hour-long appointment with Dr. Joseph Willardsen, for example, will set you back $500. But you can go from eggshell to ivory during your lunch hour—and the price includes a customset of bleach trays plus two syringes for at home touch-ups. And somewhere in the middle, there’s a technique that’s like microdermabrasion for your teeth: Basically, the procedure involves sandblasting stains out of the surface of the enamel. Ask your dentist about this new form of exfoliation—but beware of over-grinding. True Dentistry, 9061 W. Post Road, 434-4800, truedentistry.com. – Geraldine Campbell
Take iT all Off
Strickland photo by Anthony Mair
Sanitas Collodial Mineral Cocktail, Functionalab Tonic Zen and Beauty Dose.
Medical aesthetician and laser specialist Jena Glick from Image by Design says that upper lip and chin, under arms and bikini/Brazilian are the popular areas for laser hair removal. According to Glick, for the super overachiever, it would cost about $2,500 and take at least ﬁve sessions to become hairless from head to toe. Image By Design, 6850 N. Durango Dr., mylasergirl.com, 875-1518. – MJ Elstein
Just Face It
SuSan StricklanD, aesthetician What’s the most popular treatment for summer? Getting the back prepped and ready for sun dresses. Back Spa Therapy. Having light peels or microdermabrasion. What’s the next big thing for skin care? LED light treatments. Green light therapy helps with acne. Red light helps with rejuvenating the skin and stimulating collagen.
Skin-care product you can’t live without? Solar Defense by Body Therapeutics moisturizer and sunscreen. What’s your most important skin-care tip? Living here in Vegas, always wear sunblock. Susan Strickland Skin Clinic. 5435 W. Sahara Ave., 227-1233.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 27
Beauty Guide Staci Linklater, Globe Salon.
Make the Cut
kelly carDenaS, hairstylist
What is the hottest trend in hair? A mixture of textures. People wearing a little bit of curl and a little bit of wave in a combination. Which celebrity’s hair do most people envy? Jennifer Aniston is a staple. What product are you really into right now? Lemon sage thickening spray by Paul Mitchell. What product can’t you live without? Sculpting foam by Paul Mitchell. No. 1 piece of hair advice? Fall in love with what it is that you have. Kelly Cardenas Salon, 6015 S. Fort Apache Road, kellycardenassalon.com, 454-7993.
The Ultimate Rubdown
Oribe Brilliance & Shine Shampoo.
Healthy Tresses KVVU FOX5 anchor Monica Jackson makes a living off looking good, and she says she owes it all to stylist Sumayah Hodges from Grannz’s Beauty Center. Hodges has more than 20 years of experience with all types of follicles, including AfricanAmerican hair, like Jackson’s. Beyond that, the popular TV host says to use a strong moisturizer and conditioner on a regular basis. “To protect my hair from the desert, I wear a weave, which eliminates using relaxer. Once you get a weave, it needs to be maintained once a week and replaced after eight weeks.” Grannz’s, 4640 Meadows Lane, 860-0508. – MJ Elstein 28 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Bad Hair life In 2009, Totalbeauty.com voted Las Vegas the fourth worst hair city in American due to its dry, desert climate and high propensity toward sun damage. Pittsburgh, Olympia, Wash., and Corpus Christi, Texas, were the only other cities that fared worse on the list. But fear not, Brannon at the Hard Rock Hotel says with proper care, desert hair doesn’t have to be a burden. “The ﬁrst step is to think of your hair as an extension of your skin. After you clean your hair, you apply moisture back into it. Afterwards you can then add extra sealers like Brannon hair polish, which will add moisture. If you are swimming, and getting in and out of the water, don’t be afraid to spray sunscreen in your hair as well.” Brannon Hair, 693-5522, brannonhair.com. – MJ Elstein
Linklater and Cardenas photos by Anthony Mair
In the ever-competitive world of Las Vegas hair salons, clients can be won and lost over what happens or doesn’t happen over the shampoo bowl. Stylists have upped the ante on their head rubs, all in the pursuit of being able to claim that they give the best “head” in town. Staci Linklater at Globe Salon (900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 938-4247) uses a pressure-point treatment on all her customers that is as invigorating as it is relaxing. Her tactile prowess combined with Oribe’s Shampoo and Conditioner is a relaxation trifecta. During the ﬁrst shampoo, Linklater starts off with an aggressive up and down stroke. During the second shampoo, she uses a circular motion concentrating on the nape of the neck and the temples. During the conditioning treatment, she uses a deeply relaxing, all-over caress that fully immerses the hair in the rich product. But don’t get too comfortable, the best (i.e., the styling chair) is yet to come. – MJ Elstein
5)&.045"%7"/$&% "650.0#*-&.&3$&%&4#&/; )"4&7&3130%6$&%
"VUP4IPX%SJWFâ–²*O5IF7BMMFZ"VUP.BMM â–² )FOEFSTPO /7â–² XXXNCPGIFOEFSTPODPN
The Great Escape Exotic beauty inspired by spa treatments found at CityCenterâ€™s Vdara, Aria and Mandarin Oriental resorts Photos by Danielle DeBruno/Desert Ice Studios Photo assistant/studio manager: Heather Morton Hair and concept: Marshall VanIerland/Kelly Cardenas Salon Hair assistant: Devon Pollich Makeup: Natasha Chamberlin Makeup assistant: Maya Nozaki Model: Xian Mikol/Pinkerton LA A special thanks to Julia C. Shintaku, aesthetic director, The Spa at Aria
Italian Blood Orange Flowers Hold Life Ritual (90 minutes, $250, Vdara Health & Beauty)
Encapsulating the fresh and invigorating power of citrus, the treatment starts with a therapeutic massage followed by an exfoliation mixing an essential oil blend of orange blossom, grapefruit, blood orange rind and Italian blood orange with organic sea salts. The body is then wrapped in a nutrient-rich blend of extracts and organic ďŹ‚owers enriched with bio-dynamic honey. The experience ends with a relaxing scalp massage.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 31
Asian Bathhouse Ritual (80 minutes, $225, The Spa at Aria)
Using cucumber, yogurt and the soothing effects of the Vichy rain bar, this ritual commences with a full-body mitt exfoliation followed by a refreshing yogurt mask, pressure-point facial massage and ďŹ nishes with a fresh cucumber face and neck mask.
Mahjong Balance Treatment
(120 minutes, $325-$375, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental) Inspired by the traditional Chinese game mahjong, the experience begins with a foot ritual using ginger, jasmine and green tea followed by a body exfoliation and deep therapeutic massage with warm jade stones and cool mahjong tiles.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 33
The Desert Swan
An ex-New Yorker goes through a battery of beauty treatments to get a feel for Vegas-style glamour By Geraldine Campbell
I … volunteered … for … this.
Photography by Anthony Mair
This is my mantra as I stand, legs akimbo, in a cheap black thong (and nothing more) while Terry instructs, “Lift your booty up, gorgeous. Got to get your money shot.” Luckily, I’d had a bit of liquid courage in the form of a cocktail a la Louisiane earlier that night (the bartender assured me that the combination of bitters, absinthe, rye, Benedictine and sweet vermouth would cure the cold I’d been trying to squash for two days). If not for that potent punch and my newly bronzed skin, Terry would have seen my entire body blush a deep, dark purple. In point of fact, I actually volunteered twice for this assignment—a Sin City-style makeover that would take me from conservative ex-New Yorker to Va-Va-Vegas party girl in the span of 72 hours. The ﬁrst time I proffered myself, my editors rejected the offer. They thought the transformation might not be dramatic enough—my teeth were already white-ish, my skin tan-ish and my body hairless-ish. And while I could stand to lose 10 pounds, probably the only person who would notice the weight loss would be my husband (who would have to deal with a chocolate-, coffee- and wine-deprived wife). Still, I was dead set on a makeover. A new city called for a new me. Besides “having the boobs for it,” as a former editor so aptly remarked, there is nothing remotely Vegas about me. For one, I always seem to be the most dressed person in the clubs. During my most recent foray into Vegas’ nightlife, for example, the only skin showing was the ﬂash of ﬂesh that peeped out from my strappy shoes. And before that, I seem to recall making an appearance at Pure in a crisp white button-down, demure tweed skirt and sensible pumps. The ﬁrst and most important thing I had to change was my hair. I was in need of a new ’do. Almost as critical was my wardrobe, which on most days means skinny jeans and ﬂats—and on my most adventurous days means motorcycle boots and a miniskirt. The rest—spray-on tanning, teeth whitening, fake lashes and nails—would be icing. And so it was that I found myself with Terry at Bronzed—The Art of Tanning on a Thursday evening, trying not to steal glances at the unﬂattering full-length mirror while getting sprayed down by a man with nary an ounce of fat. In retrospect, it might have been better to do the tanning earlier in the week, before I had decided that the nine-day Isagenix cleanse I had signed on for was for the birds.
Earlier that morning, you would have found me in a similarly unﬂattering position—this time, derriere in the air as I had my nether regions waxed to perfection. In roughly an hour and a half, Bree Goldwater, human landscaper extraordinaire, had de-fuzzed me from head to toe. She even convinced me to wax my nostrils, one of the less painful procedures, as it turns out, but certainly a bad move considering the aforementioned cold. My entire transformation week began with a comedy of errors. First, there was my cycling accident, which left me with bruises from thigh to chin. Then, the day after the “before” photo shoot, I woke up with a screaming rash on my legs (which Urgent Care identiﬁed as contact dermatitis). So much for my plans to go to the Las Vegas Athletic Club’s Body Sculpt class every day. With all my maladies, it was all I could do to get myself out of bed and to my various beautifying appointments. At the Trump Spa, I’m pretty sure I started snoring mid-facial, and during my professional makeup session, which involved my ﬁrst set of false eyelashes and airbrush makeup, my nose was an irate, snotty mess. Still, despite the setbacks, after three days of primping and pampering, culminating in an epic seven-hour day at the Kim Vo salon, I was barely recognizable. My nails had been painted a rich purple (Lincoln Park After Dark), which gave me a rock ’n’ roll edginess; my hair had been dyed a chocolate brown and teased and curled into a white-girl ’fro; and my lips had been painted cotton-candy pink. When I looked in the mirror, I marveled at the statuesque sexpot with bedroom hair and come-hither eyes. I felt like Raquel Welch—only a less graceful version, surely, as I teetered and tottered on my borrowed heels. The ﬁnal test (besides the photo shoot, which would forever document my transformation) was to take the new me out for a spin. At 5:30 p.m., the trip from the salon to the valet felt like a walk of shame, though I honestly don’t think I got a single second look. And when I showed up for happy hour at Blue Martini, I felt the need to introduce myself to people with a caveat: “I don’t normally look like this.” It was only after several strangers commented on my dress (admittedly gorgeous, if a size too small and several inches shorter on both ends than I was used to), shoes (strappy stilettos that my husband would call “fuck me” shoes) and a cropped leather bomber that I realized … No one else besides me thought I looked out of place. After the “after” photo shoot later that evening, I changed out of my too-tight dress and killer shoes and into my cozy sweats. I scrubbed the makeup off my face (it took four washes and I still had remnants of smoky eyes) and brushed the oversize curls out of my hair. It was almost too easy to convert back to my former self—gone, so quickly was that gorgeous goddess. But when I looked closer, there were still remnants. There was that golden tan (actually quite a nice shade of brown) and my bold, beautiful ﬁngernails. My hair, even devoid of curls, still had a needed bit of attitude. And the next day, when it came time to return my borrowed clothes, I decided to keep that dress, because, while Holly Madison I am not, who’s to say I can’t have the best of both worlds?
The New York Classic look (above): DKNY Sleeveless Bubble Hem dress ($295) and belt ($170). During the transformation (below left): the hair and makeup session at Kim Vo salon. The Va-Va-Vegas “after” shot (opposite): Mara Hoffman Colorblock Mini ($310, available at Intermix) and, not shown, Veda cropped leather jacket ($650, available at Intermix) and DKNY Elena Ankle Strap sandals ($355).
THE RECESSION-BUSTER MAKEOVER Ultimate Kate facial, Trump Spa, $350 476-8000, 2000 Fashion Show Dr. trumplasvegashotel.com Spray Tan, Bronzed: The Art of Tanning, $45 737-8266, various locations bronzedtan.com Mani/pedi (with hot wax), Kim Vo salon, $165 791-7474, The Mirage, mirage.com Cut, color and blowout, Kim Vo salon, $295 Makeup, Kim Vo salon, $140 Nine-day cleanse, Isagenix, $200, isagenix.com Waxing (the works), Box Human Landscapers, $166 893-9993, 4750 W. Sahara Ave., bikiniwaxing.com Crest Whitestrips, $55 Shoes, DKNY, $355 650-9670, Forum Shops at Caesars forumshops.com Clothing, Intermix, $960 731-1922, Forum Shops at Caesars forumshops.com TOTAL COST $2,731
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 35
THe LocaL Newsroom avoiding Tangles
Job Cuts at the Library District?
Sola Salon Studios business model puts stylists in control
The board of trustees meets May 20 to discuss next year’s budget
By Jessica Prois
Photo by Anthony Mair
It used to be that if you were a hairstylist who wanted to own a shop, you found a storefront, sunk a lot of money into overhead and took a chance. But now there’s a different way for stylists to hang out their shingle: Sola Salon Studios, a company that rents stylists a spot to do business. Sola rents individual salons for $1,080 to $2,400 per month for a 100- to 200-square-foot suite, which two stylists can share. Russell Nordstrom and his two partners, founders of the four Sola locations in the Valley, are set to open another Sola location in July near Ann Road and U.S. Highway 95. His two stores in Henderson have waiting lists of stylists who want in. The ideal Sola candidate is typically a seasoned stylist who aspires to be a salon owner—and has a thick black book of clients. Stylists at Sola set their own hours and prices, and determine the markup of the product line they to sell. They’re also offered full beneﬁts. This model means stylists, barbers, massage technicians and manicurists don’t pay for overhead costs. That’s appealing because as people have cut back on beauty treatments during the recession, stylists have felt the pinch. “We’ve had seven employees go
through personal bankruptcies,” Nordstrom says, adding that stylists have the choice to work extra days if they want to. Sola was founded by owner Stratton Smith in 2003, and the ﬁrst location was opened in Highlands Ranch, Colo., in July 2004. The ﬁrst salon in the Valley opened at St. Rose Parkway and Eastern Avenue in November 2008. Sola stylists in the District at Green Valley Ranch cite their fact that they can be their own boss as a reason for leaving their old salons. “This is a fabulous place to work,” stylist Roxanna Ayakawa says. “Management is there for you, but they leave you alone. [Hairstylists] are independent thinkers.” Ayakawa worked at a salon where at least four of her co-workers left to set up their own shops at Sola. That salon has since closed. But the Sola way isn’t necessarily the ideal way for all stylists to conduct business. Donna Catalfamo, owner of seven successful Euphoria Salon locations across the Valley, says she knows of only three people who have left Euphoria for Sola. She says for most stylists, the legwork of marketing and tracking revenue can be a turnoff. “They’re talented people and are much more creative than wanting to
dealing with business aspect,” she says. At a typical commission-based salon, employees earn up to 50 percent of the money they bring in, but they don’t pay rent. About 25 percent of Euphoria employees work on commission, says Catalfamo, and the rest rent a chair. Her employees work under the Euphoria rules and aren’t able to choose the products they sell. On the other hand, Euphoria’s monthly rent of $800 to $1,000 is controlled. At Sola, rent ﬂuctuates based on utilities and taxes. Ayakawa says she makes about the same amount of money at Sola that she did at salon where she rented a chair, but now earns more from the products she sells. Traditional salons typically provide stylists with 10 to 20 percent commission on products sold. Jeana Walton, director of the Las Vegas branch of the Marinello School of Beauty, thinks Sola Salons are a good idea, but adds that stylists must be established to make the concept work. “If you don’t have a big list of clients, the likelihood of affording it is not too grand,” she says. “Especially in Vegas, where there are so many salons and so many different options. If you’re going to stick out, you’d better make sure your environment ﬁts your needs.”
Christina Saure works on a client at Sola Salon Studios.
By Kate Silver Layoffs could be coming to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. An e-mail from a library administrator inadvertantly sent to Vegas Seven states that the district is considering eliminating jobs due to budget cuts. The e-mail discusses a hiring decision that needs to be made “before we start the layoff process.” It’s not clear from the e-mail when that would happen, and ofﬁcially the library isn’t saying anything about job cuts before a May 20 meeting at which the budget will be presented to the board of trustees for approval. A call to the person who wrote the email was returned by Karen Bramwell, public relations manager for the library district. “We don’t know anything until the budget is approved,” says Bramwell. “So much of our budget is based upon property tax. Values keep on going down, or people will call and get their assessed value reduced.” Bramwell says the budget meeting will determine the need for cuts. “We’re still trying to come up with a really good budget,” she says. “Our executive director does not want to lay anyone off, but we do need to realize that concessions have to take place.” Library administrators have yet to meet with union ofﬁcials to discuss concessions, she says. The bulk of the district’s budget comes from property taxes, and with an estimated drop of $120 million in county revenue this ﬁscal year, some reshufﬂing is needed. How much the library needs to cut will be determined May 20 when their budget is presented to the district’s board of trustees. The library district has already made some moves to reduce expenses. Starting in February, it offered a buyout to 94 of its most tenured employees. In exchange for accepting the offer, employees got a week’s salary for every year worked and 100 percent of their sick leave. By the April 5 deadline, 21 employees had accepted the package, including three branch managers, two regional branch service directors and an assistant branch manager. They’ll be leaving their posts at the end of June and beginning of July.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 37
The Local Newsroom
Gren Felt Journal
Texting promotion driving trafﬁc to Primm casinos By David G. Schwartz
The easiest way to get into shape doesn't exist.
Visit goldsgym.com for a FREE 7 DAY VIP PASS Stop by one of our 6 great Vegas locations for a free tour! No obligations. Visit goldsgym.com for the location nearest you. First time visitors only with valid local ID. Non transferable, one per person, other restrictions apply, see gym for details.
38 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Texting promotions aren’t new. A wide range of companies, casinos among them, have been using cell phones to spread their message and (they hope) lure new customers since at least 2004. Yet in an interesting way, texting might be a lifeline for one of Southern Nevada’s hardest-hit casino companies. It’s no secret that the past few years have not been kind to Herbst Gaming, operators of 12 Nevada casinos, many of them under the Terrible’s name. Since acquiring three Primm casinos from MGM Mirage in 2007, things haven’t gone well for the company. Even before the recession dried up business for everyone, the 2007 smoking ban devastated Terrible’s slot routes (since 2006, they suffered a 42 percent drop in business). Primm, in particular, has threatened to become the company’s Waterloo. Herbst paid $400 million for the three casinos just before the economy took a nosedive, and increasing competition from Southern California Indian casinos for the high desert/Inland Empire market has squeezed them even further. So Terrible’s bought casinos at the worst possible time. Now what? The company is just coming out of bankruptcy, and its Primm properties might be the best route back to solvency. That’s because those casinos are in position to exploit a rare bright spot: While most tourism indicators are down, trafﬁc on Interstate 15 is actually up. Every day, about 35,000 vehicles whiz past Primm on their way north. Capturing just a slice of that trafﬁc has been Job No. 1 at Primm since the ﬁrst casino opened there in 1977. But today, the area’s casinos are using new technologies to improve their technique. Even before there was an interstate running from California to Las Vegas, billboard advertising was one of the ways that value-oriented casinos tried to reach customers. As trafﬁc moved from Highway 91 to I-15, the billboards got bigger, but the messages remained the same. But since March, the New Member Millionaire Mania promotion has used cell phones to move those ads into the 21st century. The idea is simple: Billboards along I-15 ask prospective new Players Club members to text a dedicated number
with a valid keyword. In return, they receive a text code. Once they swipe their Players Club card and enter their code at a kiosk on the casino ﬂoor, they ﬁnd out how much money they’ve won. For Stuart Richey, Primm’s vice president of marketing, the new-tech aspect is secondary to the underlying proposition for customers. “It’s easy to use technology, but if the promotion isn’t compelling, you’re not going to go far,” he says. “So we started with a great foundation—a guaranteed payday and the chance at a big prize. It’s a basic part of the gambling mentality that no one wants to leave money on the table.” For the cost of a few minutes to stop and sign up, players are guaranteed at least $5, and they have a chance at $1 million. It’s a deal that’s making sense to much of the casinos’ target valueoriented clientele. And the texts are a key element. We wanted to put something out there with meat on it,” Richey says, “and then use the texting element to put some turbo on it.” With their roadside location, it’s an apt analogy, and the promotion has been a success. In its ﬁrst eight weeks, more than 12,000 customers texted in for a chance to win. In all of 2009, the Primm casinos didn’t get that big a response from their e-mail campaigns. Enrollment in the casinos’ Players Club has seen a 25 percent bump. According to Richey, new members texting is just the beginning. “This is just part of what we’re doing at Primm,” he says, citing the casinos’ big investment in entertainment (we’ve all seen ads for acts at the Star of the Desert Arena), its growing casino database and a busing program. “Our initial goal with the texting promotion was to get something out there, see how it goes. Now we get to start working in bounce-backs.” In the right hands, texting promotions like this one can lead more customers into casinos. But as always, the technology takes a backseat to the real value and service the casino can deliver once they’re inside. David G. Schwartz is the director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research.
The Local Newsroom
Tough Love An open letter to the Clark County School District’s potential interim superintendent
Illustration by Rob Tornoe
By Dave Berns It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year since Jim Rogers’ smart-guy demeanor and rapid-ﬁre delivery disappeared from the top ofﬁce at the Nevada System of Higher Education. The multimillionaire owner of numerous TV afﬁliates throughout the West, Rogers, along with his wife, Beverly, have given nearly $250 million of their own money to beneﬁt colleges and universities, including UNLV, USC and the University of Arizona. Trained as a lawyer, Rogers is a passionate and selfrighteous advocate for Nevada’s public schools, colleges and universities, and has volunteered to head the Clark County School District while the school board and community leaders seek a permanent replacement for the retiring Walt Rulffes. To read through the 71 public memos he produced in 2008 and 2009 in support of the state’s education system is to grasp Rogers’ style. They are marked by clarity of purpose and a tough tone that occasionally ventures into the personal—a rare approach among public ofﬁcials. “When it became apparent to me that you were going to become the governor of the state, I was immediately concerned because my understanding of your policy on government funding of higher education, public health and social programs was that you would fund the lowest possible,” Rogers says in one memo to Gov. Jim Gibbons. Rogers cited a news interview on his Las Vegas NBC afﬁliate, KVBC-TV, in which Gibbons said state government doesn’t have a revenue problem—it has a spending problem. “That remark sent chills up and down my back,” Rogers wrote Gibbons, “because that made it apparent to me that you are a governor who would like to eliminate all social programs including education, health care and all related areas from ﬁnancial support by the state.” Question. Suggest. Criticize. Lobby. Publicize. It’s a style that could serve the Clark County School District well if the wealthy septuagenarian were to take the helm of the 309,000-student district. So in the spirit of a Rogers memo, here are several suggestions for the interim Clark County School boss: • Experiment with open enrollment throughout the district. Clark County Commission chairman Rory Reid and others have argued for it. Let parents decide which schools they want their children to attend. Don’t limit them to neighborhood schools. Academic success would no longer be linked to the neighborhood where you live, and the rejection of some schools for others would pressure administrators and teachers and parents at the schools left behind to make real changes. Jim, you’ve made hundreds of millions of dollars in competitive local TV markets. Why not force schools to compete for students? • Make every school an Empowerment School. The
school district has 17 such schools in which parents and school administrators make basic operational decisions. Extend that idea to all 352 schools in the district. Engage the community. Get parents, students and taxpayers involved. Give them a sense of ownership of the buildings and make those schools true community centers. • It’s 2010, and it’s time that every high school student has access to a computer with high-speed Wi-Fi. That would eliminate the need for most textbooks and help expose students to everything from the great works at the Louvre and the Library of Congress, to the 3-D imagery of the scientiﬁc minds at MIT and Stanford. Cox Communications could donate the Wi-Fi. After all, it’s the exclusive cable-TV franchise operator in this region, and company executive Steve Schorr values the company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen. (There’s already an elementary school named for him.) Meantime, MIT professor and angel investor Nicholas Negroponte is the catalyst behind a program to get free computers in the hands of million of children in Third World countries. We need a similar initiative in the Clark County School District, one that would see Apple, Microsoft, HP and other computer makers provide high school students with computers. Jim, you helped push through a record $500 million capital campaign for higher education. It’s clear that the Clark County School District needs a similar initiative driven by grants and donations from the private sector, foundations and wealthy individuals. Call the Steves—Schorr and Jobs. You know what it takes to get people to give. • Create incentives for students and parents. We live in a greed-driven culture that values the bottom line and for too many Americans, academic success doesn’t pencil out. Time recently asked: “Should Schools Bribe Kids? A Major New Study Reveals an Uncomfortable Truth—It Can Work If It’s Done Right.” School districts in Dallas, Chicago, New York and
Washington, D.C., offered ﬁnancial incentives for student success. In Dallas and Washington, academic performance improved for about 5,000 students in 39 schools. The results were mixed in New York and Chicago. • Speaking of Washington, D.C., follow the lead of its school superintendent, Michelle Rhee, and create a program that would see teachers voluntarily give up workplace protections that come with seniority in return for an opportunity to earn dramatic wage increases. During the boom times, the Clark County School District hired up to 2,000 teachers annually. Many were good, but some weren’t, and now it’s virtually impossible to ﬁre the poor performers. Instead, they are shufﬂed from school-to-school as district ofﬁcials try to minimize the damage they do. A “voluntary tenure” program wouldn’t eliminate the problem, but it would alter the mix while rewarding top teachers who move into administration to earn more money instead of remaining in the classroom. • Protect music, the arts and ﬁeld trips. All three are the ﬁrst to go in tough budgetary times. We’ve seen the power of these “extras” with youngsters who are too shy to speak in a classroom and teens who scoff at the idea of opening a book. Music is about math—it’s no different than the fractions many students have trouble grasping. Visual arts help students see the world in a different way. The performing arts help teach them about creativity and reaching goals. Field trips energize, motivate, provide context and actively engage learners in a way that a classroom setting can’t. The concert series for ﬁfth-graders at UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall is an excellent example. Why not extend that idea to other areas of the arts? Let’s face it Jim, you were the chief lobbyist and fundraiser for the state’s colleges and universities. Now the Clark County School District needs to tap into the address book on your BlackBerry.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 39
The Local Newsroom
If we Build It … McCarran’s new terminal adds capacity for busier future By Brian Sodoma
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
“We could not have continued [at the current conﬁguration] with 48 million passengers. … It would have completely broken the system down,” Walker says. “By choosing to continue with the project, we made the decision to not be an impediment to future growth.” Terminal 3 will add 14 new gates to the mix, accommodating an extra 6 to 7 million passengers per year. The 1.87 million-square-foot site will bring the airport to its full capacity of 53 million passengers. The airline industry as a whole gave signs in 1999 and in 2007 of its inability to handle peak demand, says Airport Council International President Greg Principato. Planes stuck on the tarmac for hours at airports during those times were a warning sign for an industry that, through a 2009 ACI survey, recently indicated a need for $94.3 billion in capital improvements such as runway upgrades, air-trafﬁc control moderniza-
Terminal 3 will smooth the process for international travelers.
tions and terminal expansions. Principato also said airports didn’t take advantage of a lull after 9/11. This time around, he says, it’s different. Expansions in Sacramento, Calif., and Atlanta, which is also adding an international terminal, are a good sign that the industry took the hint. McCarran’s third terminal will add six international gates to the mix. International travelers have been the lone bright spot when it comes to passenger growth in Las Vegas, accounting for about 14 percent of incoming passengers in 2009, up from 12 percent in 2007.
An expanded customs area that can process 2,000 passengers an hour, compared with 800 today, is a welcome addition, says John Bischoff, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority vice president of international brand strategy. Bischoff works to market the Vegas brand internationally, and ﬁnding new air service to and from international destinations is very much part of that equation. “We can now say, ‘Here’s a new terminal. The customer experience is quicker and more efﬁcient,’” he says. “It just adds a little icing on the cake to advertise the evolution of Las Vegas.”
Photo by Anthony Mair
Few places in Las Vegas have shown the effects of the recession like McCarran International Airport, with passenger volume down roughly 16 percent from its 2007 peak of 48 million passengers. But Clark County Aviation Director Randy Walker sees a tiny silver lining in this whole mess, as the development of Terminal 3 keeps some 1,800 construction workers employed through next year. The $2.4 billion project is 68 percent complete, he says, on budget and on schedule to open by June 2012. “It’s sad to see what the construction industry is going through,” Walker says. “But for the ﬁrst time in 20 years we weren’t challenged to ﬁnd enough qualiﬁed workers to work on a site.” With $500 million invested for civil engineering and utilities work, along with the relocation of Russell Road, questions loomed in 2008 whether the third terminal should be put on hold for a few years, as passenger numbers dropped.
Rubbed the Wrong Way Massage advertisements offer no relief for law enforcement
Photo by Anthony Mair
By Brian Sodoma
It doesn’t take much to come across questionable massage advertising in Las Vegas. A quick Google search brings up not only ads for a “beyond” massage experience, but also websites that review— and recommend—local establishments offering the proverbial “happy ending” with their service. Alt-weeklies and the local phonebook also do their share to assure us “hot sexy busty young girls” needed to loosen up that sore back are only a phone call away. “We do have a long-standing policy regarding massage headings,” says Mike Truell, spokesman for phonebook publisher DEX One. He says advertisers must not use words such as “nude,” “conﬁdential,” “XXX” or images of the human form that could suggest sex. But when pressed about the aforementioned “hot sexy busty young girls” advertising in the 2008-2009 book, he says: “We’re aware that with some words people can read into it as something else.” A copy of DEX’s “long-standing policy” regarding massage ads was, unfortunately, not made available. Local First Amendment attorney Allen Lichtenstein, who represents the trade group United Massage Business
Association, says the ads fall in line with Vegas’ infamous “What Happens in Vegas” slogan and other suggestive ads. While the group he represents works to keep a good image for legitimate massage businesses, he also says too much regulation of massage advertising is a catch-22. “If we close down every business in town that uses certain sexual [phrasing] or innuendo, we would have a ghost town,” he says. Metropolitan Police’s vice unit, which works undercover to bust prostitution rings, uses the ads for leads. Vice Sgt. Donald Hoier says there has been an increase in the number of 24-hour massage businesses, many of which are now showing up in Henderson. While Hoier estimates there were just a few of these businesses in Henderson a couple of years ago, recent reports suggest there are upward of 50 today. As a result, in January, city ofﬁcials adopted stricter regulations for massage businesses, including limiting hours of operation to between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., and requiring masseuses to wear clothing that covers from the knee cap to the neck.
While massage parlors are sometimes a front for prostitution, Hoier says the number of prostitution-related arrests in the Valley has dropped, from 3,931 in 2008 to 3,233 in 2009. He adds that some of it may be attributable to higher bail rates and stricter regulations that are forcing many convicted prostitutes to spend time in jail instead of being released without posting bail. Lisa Cooper, executive director for the Nevada Board of Massage Therapy, which regulates massage therapist licensees, says regulation comes with its share of gray area. The board does not regulate the ads or the massage businesses themselves, but instead focuses on the 4,000-plus licensed massage therapists in the state. For example, a massage parlor owner may not be a licensed therapist. However, that person may have licensed therapists working for the business offering illegal services supported by suggestive ads. “The only thing we can do is talk to a massage therapist, explain what we see. We can issue a cease-and-desist, but we can’t coerce,” Cooper says. “Unfortunately, it gives good upstanding legitimate massage therapists a black eye.”
What, exactly, is for sale here?
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 41
The Local Newsroom
Ensign continues to get battered on all sides By Michael Green
Redeﬁne the way you live with music and movies. Entertainment Design Group crafts personalized solutions for people who are passionate about music, ﬁlm, and sports. So whether you desire a new ﬂat panel, surround sound system, or simply want us to create a new environment, our staff has more than 28 years of combined experience to get you there. Passionately representing best in class products from Dynaudio, Marantz, Yamaha, Klipsch THX, MK Sound, NAD, Boston Acoustics, Kimber Kable, Denon, Velodyne, Lutron and many more...
By appointment only. Free in-home consultations available. For more info, email + eddieb @ edglifestyles.com or call + 702.204.5149. www.edglifestyles.com
42 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
If life were a Billboard chart, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., would have gone from No. 3 with a bullet to No. 100 with an anchor, leaving claw marks as he dropped farther. To note: • In a Politico.com story the Las Vegas Review-Journal covered in a blog but not in print, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said, “If it is true that indeed he did make these payoffs and all that kind of stuff, then I would think the honorable thing would be to resign.” Harkin is the ﬁrst senator to say anything like that about Ensign, and he normally has a high tolerance level: He’s from the state that gave us Charles Grassley, who served on the committee putting together the health-care bill and still lied that it included death panels. • In a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Ensign hammered Goldman Sachs. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd noted, “You know you’re ethically compromised when Sen. John Ensign scolds you about ethics.” • Time listed the 100 most inﬂuential Americans, so a columnist countered with the 100 least inﬂuential, including Tila Tequila, Mayor McCheese ... and Ensign: “His sex scandal is so confusing—he gave a job to the husband of the woman he was cheating on his wife with (I think)—that it’s taking forever for him to be thrown out of ofﬁce.” Even worse for Ensign, Gov. Jim Gibbons was on the list—and he was proud of it. Nor does Ensign’s life ﬁgure to get better. The Senate Ethics Committee may hold open hearings, and the idea of either Doug or Cynthia Hampton getting more face time shouldn’t ﬁll Ensign’s heart with glee, nor should exhuming any other questions about him. Worse, while he and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., have enjoyed a mutual nonaggression pact almost from the day Ensign arrived in the Senate, Reid has his own issues to deal with and other Nevada Democrats never signed that treaty. Ensign can expect little support here. Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., called him “a wounded junior senator.” While Nevadans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for Heller to accomplish anything, he cited the scandal as one of his reasons for not joining every other registered Republican in Nevada in challenging Reid. Heller may have meant Ensign
would hurt the GOP ticket; or he may have meant he can wait until Ensign’s term is up, if Ensign lasts that long. Most other Nevada Republicans have minimal loyalty to Ensign. The contrast is ironic: Democrats often have criticized Reid for interfering with party business back home, while Republicans have criticized Ensign for not interfering. Now they may be grateful, except when they stop to ponder where he was and what he was doing instead of building up a party. Increasing the irony, Ensign easily won election in 2000 and 2006, yet never was personally popular with the rank-and-ﬁle. His Senate colleagues haven’t rushed to his defense, either. David Vitter, R-La., should have, since Ensign supported him over a scandal involving an escort service. Maybe Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., could have spoken up: Graham, seen by those who don’t know any better as a moderate, was a House prosecutor in the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. Ensign helpfully called for Clinton’s resignation over his sex life and lies related to it. Back home, GOP national committeeman Robert List pooh-poohed the idea that Ensign would hurt his party, which, given List’s track record as a governor and Yucca Mountain ﬂack, isn’t a good sign. By contrast, a couple of lower-level party ofﬁcials have called on Ensign to step down. That would create enough fascinating scenarios. Suppose Gibbons loses the primary and Ensign resigns. Does Gibbons resign, letting Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki move up and appoint Gibbons to the Senate? It has happened before in Nevada. That might give Gibbons enough time in Washington to help some drunken women ﬁnd their cars. Or what if Ensign holds on but then is forced to leave next year? Suppose Rory Reid is elected governor and Harry Reid is defeated. A governor would choose someone from his party, and if you want someone with Senate experience … To which you say, both scenarios are ridiculous. They are at least as ridiculous as a grown man claiming the family of his mistress received a $96,000 from his parents as a gift. Michael Green is a professor of history at the College of Southern Nevada and author of several books and articles on Nevada history and politics.
Entertaining options for a week of nonstop fun and excitement.
Compiled by Melissa Arseniuk
Thur. 13 Shake it while you bake it—or just watch the professionals—as Aria’s adults-only pool hosts the Shake & Bake go-go dancing competition. At Liquid. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., $10 for women, $20 for men. Later that night, kick off the weekend-long CineKink ﬁlm festival (see page 87) with a gala at the Erotic Heritage Museum. The evening celebrates all things kinky and beneﬁts the museum that does the same. In addition to the provocative ﬁlm screenings, trays of aphrodisiacs—wine and chocolate—will be served, and fetish star Carol Queen will be there, too. 3275 Industrial Road. 8:30-11:30 p.m., $25 cover, eroticheritage.org.
Fri. 14 Calling all bronzed beauties: Maxim holds an open casting call at Tao Beach and awards the eye-pleasing winner with $5,000 in cash and prizes. The soon-tobe-determined stunner will also be featured in the popular men’s magazine. At the Venetian. From 10 a.m. until sunset, free for ladies and local guys, $20 for men from out of town.
Sat. 15 Playboy fans, rejoice: You don’t have to be an extra on The Girls Next Door to get into the 2010 Playmate of the Year party at the Palms. The annual event has opened its doors to the public for the ﬁrst time, and always attracts a variety of Playmates and playthings. Robin Thicke will perform, yet the highlight of the event is the crowning of the most well-rounded, well-endowed from 2009’s collection of centerfolds. Last year’s winner, Ida Ljungqvist (right), will be there to pass the torch, and Pamela Anderson will be honored in some way, shape or surgically enhanced form. Our suggestion: Lifetime Achievement. At Rain. 8-10 p.m., $39 general admission, $69 seated, 474-4000, ticketmaster.com.
SeveN NIghtS Sun. 16 Recover from last night’s party by taking in a distinctly different scene at M Resort. While still technically on the Strip, Daydream is miles from tourist-ﬁlled Las Vegas and provides a low-key, locals-friendly pool party alternative. Adding to the fun this year is a new management team (the brains behind Wet Republic, Angel Management Group), and don’t worry if you’re still hurting from the night before: M Resort has an onsite pharmacy for all of your hangover needs. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., $10 cover, free for local men before 1 p.m., always free for local women.
Mon. 17 Head to Town Square and mix it up with laughs and live music at Blue Martini. The popular lounge’s new Monday night event, Live at Blue, features comedy from Pete Giovine (The Jay Leno Show, MTV’s Punk’d, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham) and sounds from the Whispering Giants. 9 p.m., $20 cover, $10 for hospitality industry workers with pay stub or proof of employment.
Tues. 18 Since DJ Pauly D had to delay his debut at Skinny Dip at the Palms pool because Jersey Shore ﬁlming is taking longer than expected (insert your favorite J-Woww/Snookie joke here), stick to a solid Tuesday night plan of attack and hit Lavo for industry night. DJ Five returns to the booth and locals get in free, regardless of where they work, hang out or cash their unemployment checks. At the Palazzo. Doors at 10 p.m., $20/$10 for guys/girls without local ID.
Wed. 19 Pimp your night with Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, a.k.a. Xzibit, as the rapper and host of MTV’s Pimp My Ride takes to LAX for industry appreciation night. DJ Casanova entertains the midweek crowd at Luxor, and DJ Duane King plays for the exclusive set in the back space otherwise known as Noir Bar—if you’re lucky. Doors at 10 p.m., $30 for guys, $20 for girls, locals free. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 45
The Pond | Green Valley ranch
Upcoming May 15 | Morning Car-tunes with DJ Dig-Dug May 16 | sun-Days May 17 | inDustry Day
46 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Photography by Sullivan Charles
Haze | aria
Photography by Tony Tran
Upcoming May 13 | Industry nIght May 20 | cee-Lo bIrthday party and perforMance May 27 | Industry nIght May 30 | Jonathan peters
48 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Stoney’S Rockin’ countRy | 9151 LaS VegaS BLVd. South
Photography by Jessica Blair
Upcoming may 13 | ladies night may 14 | free beer friday may 15 | shorts, shots and longnecks may 16 | underground sunday
50 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Moon | The PalMs
Upcoming may 18 | bang with DJs PurPle anD graham Funke anD sPecial PerFormance by harDnox may 25 | DJ steve walker
54 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Photography by Jessica Blair
Tao | The VeneTian
Upcoming may 13 | Worship Thursday may 15 | maXim’s CapTaiN morGaN BirThday parTy may 21 | aLL iN preseNTs oLympiaN apoLo ohNo’s BirThday CeLeBraTioN may 22 | s.K.a.m. arTisT TaKeoVer WiTh mr. mauriCio, ToNy arZadoN, raVi drums, eriC CuBeeChee aNd sKy NeLLor
60 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Photography by Hew Burney
Teatime in Jalisco Created by mixologist eben Klemm for dos Caminos, $12 Much like the English have teatime, the people of Jalisco, Mexico, have tequila time. At Dos Caminos, tequila time is anytime—nightly from 5 to 7 during happy hour, especially.
KollEEN FliNT, BARTENDER AT ACES BAR AND GRill, 7272 S. El CApiTAN WAY
This drink was just added to the Dos Caminos drink menu, and was named after Jalisco—the Mexican state where blue agave plants ﬂourish in the warm coastal air. The harvest is used to make a range of tequilas, including Herradurra Blanco, which comes from Hacienda San Jose del Refugio in Amatitan, Jalsico. 1½ ounces Herradurra Blanco tequila 1 ounce green tea agave nectar 1 ounce lemon juice ice Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give it a few good shakes—about 20 times. Fill a rocks glass with fresh ice, strain the well-mixed cocktail into the glass, and it’s teatime. While this cocktail isn’t in Klemm’s bar manual, The Cocktail Primer: All You Need to Know to Make the Perfect Drink (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009), the master mixologist’s book outlines dozens of libations from Dos Caminos and other B.R. Guest Restaurants, including Fiamma Trattoria at MGM Grand and sister spots in New York.
Dos Caminos Upscale Mexican fare at the otherwise Italian-inspired Palazzo Located directly off the Palazzo casino ﬂoor, Dos Caminos serves a sophisticated Mexican menu and features more than 150 tequilas behind the bar. The 700-seat restaurant and lounge embraces the rich and vibrant food, landscape and culture of Mexico, and was designed by renowned architect David Rockwell.
Vegas seven May 13-19, 2010
Story From the Bar “My very ﬁrst night in Vegas, i went out to Carnival Court [at Harrah’s] by myself. one of my girlfriends told me to go down there—’You’ll meet people, you’ll have fun!’—so i go down there and i meet these two really cute girls—my age, really downto-earth girls—and we start hanging out. All of a sudden, these three 30-something guys come over in business suits. They were ﬂirty and buying us drinks, but it was just a little weird because they were older than us. So, we’re all getting buzzed and the next thing i know, the girls grabbed my hand and we are following the guys out of the bar. ... We stopped at an ATM, and i felt bad because i thought these guys spent all their money buying us drinks. We turned around and headed past the bar, toward the tables, and i thought, Oh, I get it, they got money to gamble, but we kept walking past the tables. We were standing at the bottom of the elevators and [one of the other] girls leans over to me and whispers, ‘Are you ready to make some money?’ and i was like, ‘What!?’ i looked closer and they were cuddled up with their guys and the only guy left was giving me the eyes. So i said, ‘Hey guys, let me tell my friends that i’m going to be a while, and i’ll meet you up there.’ As soon as i turned the corner, i split and took a cab home. The next day i called my mom and was like, ‘it was crazy, mom! These girls were total hookers!’” – As told to Patrick Moulin
The NaTioNal Newsroom This week in the New York Observer
Reuters, Politico line up for Newsweek The wire service may be trying to take on Bloomberg BusinessWeek By John Koblin
Wall Street photo by Daniel Acker / Getty Images; Meacham photo by Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images for Meet The Press
The 1,000-point drop on Wall Street on May 6 has bafﬂed observers.
The Day the Dow Dived Amazingly, a week after the biggest market drop in history, nobody knows why By Max Abelson On May 6, at 2:45 p.m., billionaire industrialist Wilbur Ross was interviewing a job candidate in his 27th-ﬂoor ofﬁce when his computer screen went all red. The Dow, which had opened the day above 10,800, began falling. It dropped, paused and then plunged monumentally, down past 10,400 and 10,000 and then 9,900, in a Newtonian whoosh. Ross, 72, asked his interviewee to step out. “Then we bought some Greek bonds, and we tried to buy some other things,” he said later, wearing a silk tie patterned with hot-air balloons. “After we put the orders in, I brought the young man back. Once you bought, you bought.” The biggest intraday drop in the history of the Dow, nearly 1,000 points, didn’t happen because of a calamity: No monuments had been burned and not a single colossal European country had defaulted. It just came. And then it went. The Dow was up above 10,500 by the end of the afternoon, and then back to 10,800 on May 10, after a trillion-dollar bailout package for Greece was announced. “We’re on to the next freaky thing,” a banking executive said this week, less than seven days after the Great Fall. Is a terrifying and bizarrely opaque 1,000-point free fall another thing that is just going to happen on Wall Street every now and then? If so, will we know why? More pointedly, have we learned anything from the terrifying and bizarrely opaque events of the past year and a half? “We hope to be able to provide investors and the public with more information soon on the events that may have contributed to this volatility,” the Securities Exchange Commission chairman,
Mary Schapiro, told a Congressional subcommittee on May 11, “but we should recognize that it will take time to fully analyze the data.” The night before, in a corner of the joint book party he threw for the scholars Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini, hedge fund manager Kenneth Grifﬁn did not want to bother parsing the stock market’s Thursday collapse. “Why did it fall on Wednesday? Why did it fall on Friday?” said Grifﬁn, who is 68 slots ahead of Ross on this year’s Forbes billionaires list. “People make up stories after the fact.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s new chief executive, was alone in his 40th-ﬂoor ofﬁce after a Thursday lunch when he saw the market wobbling. He called Suzanne Charnas, his head of investor relations. “Oh, God, what’s happening?” they said. Gorman thought it must have been some kind of mistake. Vikram Pandit was in a meeting at the Citigroup Center on East 53rd Street. Another executive interrupted with the news. The chief executive stayed to ﬁnish the meeting, and then he collected staff in his ofﬁce to talk. Steve Schwarzman was at Blackstone’s annual conference with limited partners at the Waldorf Astoria. A senior executive at AIG had all-day meetings. “I was in a cocoon all day,” the executive said. “Sometimes it’s good to be in cocoon.” At 2:30, just before the crash, a former principal at Long Term Capital Management was walking out of a lunch with a hedge fund manager when he saw that the Dow was down a couple of hundred of points. “Not your best,” he said. He Continued on page 71
It has been only a week since Washington Post Co.’s chairman, Donald Graham, announced that Newsweek was on the block, but already a few big media players are taking an early look at the newsweekly. Thomson Reuters and Politico.com owner Allbritton Communications have expressed interest out of the gate, according to people familiar with the situation. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has also taken a look, though a spokeswoman said, “Not us” when asked about being on the short list. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham also said he would consider trying to pull together an offer with investors. People involved with the Newsweek sale cautioned that it’s incredibly early and that rich folks tend to congregate around big media properties, but that doesn’t mean they’re close to drawing up an offer sheet. Of the names that have emerged on the short list so far, Thomson Reuters is the most surprising. The company, a huge player in Europe, has only recently stepped up its game in the U.S., and has never before been a contender for a U.S. property with Newsweek’s proﬁle. Last year, when Bloomberg was about to purchase BusinessWeek, Thomson Reuters Continued on page 74
Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven
The National Newsroom
when warren Buffett is Your Daddy Peter Buffett sold off Berkshire stock that would now be worth $72 million. Regrets? By Bess Levin regret it. I have a way more interesting life than I would have if I’d just gone through school and taken a job I didn’t like. Did your dad help cultivate your musical side at all? Did he sing around the house? He would whistle and sing all the time. His favorites were “The Hut Sut Song” and “Mairzy Doats.” Your dad dressed up as Axl Rose and did a power ballad for a Geico spoof earlier this year. Did you see the performance? How would you rate it? He’s a total ham, as I’m sure you can imagine. As for the performance, I thought it was OK. Emphasis on “OK.” You have the same folksy sort of writing style as your dad. But I can’t help but notice a distinct lack of sexual innuendos, which is one of his trademarks. He always manages to marry folksy business wisdom with innuendo in Berkshire’s annual report. [laughs] He certainly does do that. I make those jokes, too, but not as much as him. I’ve actually called him out on it before. Two or three years ago, in the annual report, he made this joke about a girl in short shorts in the supermarket—I can’t remember what it was—and I was like, ‘Dad, come on, you can’t do this. This is too much.’ And he just laughed. You say he’s always been supportive of doing what you love, but has your dad ever asked you to come work with him? Before I left Stanford, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, I was thinking, ‘You know, my dad’s kind of this bigtime guy, maybe I should at least think about it.’ We talked about the possibility, and he sent me some annual reports, but it just wasn’t for me. And I never got the sense from him he wished I would come work for him, but I always knew the door was open. Your dad is famously giving almost all his money to charity when he dies. Are you ever like, ‘Come on. Throw me a couple of bones.’ [laughs] I’m really not. We’re all comfortable, and if we had an excess of money, we’d rather give it to charity anyway. And actually, when we all turned 40, we got $1 million, which was something that was never supposed to happen. So how did it happen? I think my mom somehow talked him into it. My sister and brother were facing
big challenges in their lives, and my mom said, ‘This is going to change them. They’re adults, but it would help.’ Do you have any advice for Lloyd Blankfein’s kids? One of the boys just ﬁnished his second year at the family business [Goldman Sachs], and the other will be a ﬁrst-year investment banker this June. I don’t have advice for them, but I do for Lloyd Blankfein. I would just tell him to make sure his kids do it on their own. Let them learn how to fall down so they can get up. Respect them enough to know they can do it, like my dad. He wasn’t
being a tightwad, or not being loving; the way he raised us was actually extremely respectful. Don’t write blank checks. Now that you’re grown up, are there any perks that you get for being Warren Buffett’s son? Do you get to ride on a private jet every now and then? Do you get free car insurance? There are some perks. Riding on a private plane sometimes is deﬁnitely one of them. Something I never take for granted! Bess Levin is editor of DealBreaker.com.
Photo by Mark Sullivan / WireImage
Given the troubles that have notoriously plagued the children of the world’s richest people, you might guess that the son of Warren Buffett (net worth: $47 billion) might not be particularly well adjusted. At the very least, you could probably assume that he might not know the value of a dollar or a day’s work. As it happens, Peter Buffett, Warren’s youngest, dropped out of college, sold his inheritance and followed his dream of becoming a musician (and netted a bunch of awards, an Emmy included, along the way). In his spare time, he’s lectured parents on how to teach their kids ﬁnancial responsibility, which he’s now turned into a book, Life Is What You Make of It: Find Your Own Path to Fulﬁllment (Harmony, 2010). The Observer: Why did you want to write this book? Buffett: For decades, people would say to me, ‘You’re Warren Buffett’s son? But you’re so normal!’ It was funny to me that they were surprised I turned out like this. At one point, I was asked by Citigroup to speak at these wealthmanagement seminars they have for clients, and I talked about how to raise kids so they wouldn’t be screwed up about money. People kept saying I should do a book. I thought it was great to think that my story could help people. Did you have an allowance? How much was it? Yes. It was whatever the going rate was in the ’60s—50 cents, maybe a dollar. Did you have summer jobs? Yeah, as soon as I was old enough. I was really into photography, and my dad owned a weekly newspaper, so I got a job there as a photo assistant over the summer, just a low-level job helping out where I could. You did a year and half at Stanford and then dropped out. How did your parents react to that? Actually none of us—myself or brother or sister—have ﬁnished college. My parents were always saying, ‘Find something you love doing.’ In the book you talk about how you received an inheritance from your grandfather, and it was shares of Berkshire Hathaway, worth $90,000, which you sold. Now it would be worth $72 million. Any regrets about that? People can’t believe I don’t, but it’s true. And I actually didn’t sell it all at once. It grew over time, so I was able to take advantage of that. But I absolutely don’t
Warren Buffet and son Peter. 70
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Dow Continued from page 69
went to another meeting, which lasted until 3:15, after the fall and rise. On his iPhone, he checked a couple of his stocks. One that normally trades for around $3.50 was down 20 cents. “And I took a look at the low, and the low was down 75 cents. And I said, ‘No, that’s a misprint. Then I looked at other stocks.’” He realized what had happened while standing in the street. It was not particularly loud or chaotic at the suburban Kansas City headquarters of BATS, the third-largest exchange in the country, right behind New York’s and Nasdaq. “Is it Greece? What’s going on?” CEO Joe Ratterman asked aloud. At Goldman Sachs, gossip was ﬂoating around the investment management division that Citigroup had caused the fall with some sort of mammoth trading error. Silly Citigroup! An executive at another bank heard the same thing and told a newspaper reporter. CNBC heard it, too, and put up a story saying that a Citi trader may have inadvertently pressed a “b” for billion, not a “m” for million, in a trade that may or may not have involved Procter & Gamble. This was given a name: It was called the fat-ﬁnger theory. And the fat-ﬁngered investigation had a focus: CNBC said there was a strange sale of 16 billion E-mini S&P 500 futures, traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In Chicago, alongside the S&P 500 futures pit, a 38-year-old squawk-box broadcaster named Ben Lichtenstein, a man with a stadium-size voice of gravel and amphetamines, narrated the dive as it happened. “Guys, this is probably the craziest I’ve seen it down here!” he shrieked. On a recording that was immediately passed around on websites like Zero Hedge, he narrated the fall number by number. It was pandemonium. “This will blow people out in a big way that you won’t even believe!” he screamed in between a stream of numbers. After work, he went to his daughter’s soccer practice, then his son’s baseball practice, and then went out with a client. The next morning, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange conﬁrmed that Citigroup’s activity did not appear to be irregular or unusual. And by late Friday, the Obama administration had sent out word that a fat ﬁnger did not, in fact, start the biggest collapse in Dow history. So what did? Traders had been itchy about the Greek debt crisis and the British election—but nothing astounding had happened that afternoon with either. Was it hackers or terrorists? Schapiro said on May 11 that it didn’t look like it.
Is a terrifying “and bizarrely opaque 1,000point free fall another thing that’s just going to happen on Wall Street every now and then? If so, will we know why? ”
The New York Stock Exchange blamed Nasdaq. Nasdaq blamed the New York Stock Exchange. Then Nasdaq blamed the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Was it the machines? On May 7, both The Journal and The New York Times had articles about high-frequency trading, the gargantuan but relatively new industry that uses algorithms to buy and sell. When the market falls to a certain level, both articles said, high-speed ﬁrms’ computers are programmed to sell automatically to protect against more and more losses. The ﬁrm Tradebot Systems, another enormous Kansas City–based ﬁrm, even said that its computers shut down entirely. A “computer glitch at even just one ﬁrm could trigger a wave of selling that sets off huge losses across ﬁnancial markets,” a Journal story about the New York Stock Exchange’s upcoming 400,000-square-foot high-speed hub in suburban New Jersey said last year. The new hub was nicknamed Project Alpha. By May 9, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn, was on Face the Nation, complaining about “very fancy computers that can move in microseconds.” At the book party the next night, Grifﬁn, the hedge fund manager, held up a glass of champagne with Maria Bartiromo to toast the Bremmer and Roubini books. “I think that it’s much easier,” he said in a conversation afterward, “to try and blame faceless computers.” The next day, another Journal article said that a $7.5 million trade for 50,000 options contracts from a hedge fund advised by Nassim Taleb, famous for the book Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Random House, 2007), “may have played a key role in the stockmarket collapse.” It did not mention that the paperback version of Taleb’s book was released that morning.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven
The National Newsroom
Exchanging Vowels 1
101 102 105
109 110 111 112 119 120
106 107 108
By Merl Reagle
115 116 117
123 127 128 129
ACROSS 1 Spots for yachts 8 South American carnivores 14 “___ that’s the way it is, eh?” 18 “Poor Johnny” of song 19 Barbarian imitators? 22 Eye doctor, at times 23 Deﬁnite tip-off that Tarzan is your new baseball coach? 25 Greek letters 26 Expected 28 Hungarian sheepdog 29 Reckon 30 Couple of guys? 35 Makeup, e.g. 37 Poet’s initials 38 Music notes 39 ___ wave 41 Song of Sol. follower 44 Ms. Lauder 47 Eating regimen that makes you really mad? 54 Standup Margaret 55 A miner offering? 56 Parolee, perhaps 57 Texas player 58 Actor’s uncen-sored biography? 63 Woody Allen’s worries 65 Cheer syllable 66 Chicago university 67 Music jobs 70 Mysterious John 71 Per
72 Crystal’s “gain weight now, ask me how” program? 77 Foundry form 79 Ready for a reﬁll 80 It may have eyes 81 Abhor 84 Rte. recommender 85 Little ones 87 Coffee order that’ll put hair on your chest? 90 Surrey, e.g. 92 The ___ Good Feelings 95 Hose wrecker 96 Old polit. alliance 97 KFC’s basic concept? 101 ___ pants 103 Seeking, in the personals 104 Turns on an axis 105 Palm (off) 106 Popcorn holder 109 Catches, as perps 113 Crossword puzzle? 118 Some stones 121 Cat, in Catalonia 123 Boarding loc. 124 See 9 Down 125 Worst-ever gymnast? 130 Role for Rosie 132 Movie epic that’s probably more than you’ll ever wanted to know about poi? 133 Like some oil 134 Didn’t toss 135 Fled to wed 136 Rises
DOWN 1 Way to the Web 2 Singer Baker 3 Unwind 4 Locked away, perhaps 5 “___ a chance” 6 Unable to agree 7 It may lead to the truth 8 VI x L 9 With 124 Across, a can-can comment 10 “Wheel of Fortune” buy, perhaps 11 Pack (down), as tobacco 12 Ideas and suggestions 13 Reduce, with “back” 14 Choose 15 Old brand of crackers 16 Flow real slow 17 Shuttle path 20 Groucho’s Driftwood 21 Without 24 Shirt type 27 Choice word 31 Scot’s negative 32 No-win situation? 33 PC inserts 34 In good shape 36 Carol’s contraction 40 West Coast baggage tag 42 Order to an orderly 43 Sunday paper inserts 44 Song of Sol. preceder 45 Drive (away) 46 John Major’s successor 47 Attempt
48 Former name of Universal Studios, Inc. 49 “12 Angry Men” star 50 Valuable bar 51 “Don’t take the bait, Bugsy!” 52 He’s Will to Debra’s Grace 53 Comedian Daniel, or a Brit’s nonsense 55 Via sneezing, perhaps 59 Reason for being denied admission, perh. 60 Right-angled extension 61 In the past 62 Smart, funny folks 64 Forward 68 Space 69 Inner-city blight 71 Basic Spanish verb 73 Linked, as oxen 74 “I am the sorrier; would ___ otherwise” (Shak.) 75 Rx overseer 76 Stork’s mouthful 77 Like some Fr. nouns 78 Surﬁng mecca 82 Pound alternative 83 Actress Garr 85 Roman directed it 86 Give up a chess piece, for short 88 Parts of waves 89 Attila, to his wife? 91 An ___ single 93 Cries of surprise 94 Ebert’s love 98 Lithium-___ battery 99 Stick or ball intro 100 Understanding 101 “Law & Order” role 102 Kansas or Texas city 105 Popular pens 106 Arnold of “True Lies” 107 ___ the crack of dawn 108 Netanyahu’s successor as P.M. in 1999 110 Juan’s water 111 Ballet support 112 Pub perch 114 Skylit courtyards 115 Have lunch at one’s desk 116 Traction aid 117 Makes 119 Muse’s instrument 120 Trough chow 122 A Ringling brother 126 Mel who could really belt one out 127 Extra phone line? 128 Before, of yore 129 Tacit approval 131 Prod. in the suction section? !!! VOLUME 16 IS HERE !!! To order Merl’s crossword books, visit www.sundaycrosswords.com.
5/17/2010 © M. Reagle Answers found on page 74 72 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Style & Culture
Godspeed, Georgy Girl, good-time guru By Simon Doonan Lynn Redgrave changed my life. I don’t care how bananas that sounds. It’s true. She was my unwitting guru, a patron saint for me and for all intrepid, glamour-obsessed optimists. She died May 2, leaving us, her adoring disciples, sad and unmoored. A certain bizarre phrase keeps looping through our brains. ... “I’m going to Carnaby Street to get a ﬂat and a modeling job, and I’ll be back in half an hour.” These words were spoken by Redgrave in the 1967 movie Smashing Time. The plot of this ﬁlm revolves around the arrival in London of two common trouts named Yvonne (Redgrave) and Brenda (Rita Tushingham). Their goal? The same as everyone who shleps to the big city: fame, fortune and beaucoup de pooblicitay. The advertising campaign that lured me to this movie at the age of 16 used the slogan “Two girls go stark mod!” I wasn’t disappointed. When the lights came up, I knew that I had found a raison d’être. I decided that I too would go in search of a trendy Carnaby street pad and, in the absence of any modeling offers, a switched-on, groovy, pace-setting occupation. When my childhood best friend, Biddie (a.k.a. James Biddlecombe), and I simultaneously ﬂew our respective coops, we hung out of the train window, in imitation of Brenda and Yvonne, singing the Smashing Time theme song: “Going down to London, going down to London, we’re going to have a SMASHING TIME!!!” We rented a squalid bed-sit and set about the task of clawing our way to the middle: I dove into the mad-cap world of window-dressing, and Biddie vamped his way into the spangled West End drag/cabaret circuit. Like Brenda and Yvonne, Biddie and I were two naïve, glamour-starved funsters mesmerized by the fashion and fabulousness that shimmered on the horizon. Guided by visions of our two heroines, we learned that the best defense against any disappointment/rejection is humor. Her portrayal of Yvonne is memorable and hilarious, but also poignant. The ability to inhabit a character so dripping with emotional ineptitude and imbue it with genuine vulnerability was her great gift. She did the same in Georgy Girl and was nominated for an Oscar. Despite the gravitas of the Redgrave dynasty, Vanessa’s younger sister understood that inside us all lurks an uncool Yvonne screaming for a bit of love and attention. When I gushed after meeting her in the mid 2000s, she surprised me by matching my deranged Smashing Time–ophilia with equal enthusiasm. She was only too happy to talk about this under-celebrated movie and was at pains to assure me that she and Brenda, as she still referred to Tushingham, had remained pals. She joked about her chemo wig and her burgeoning career as a playwright. Here was a woman who, despite baroque family dramas, eating disorders and cancer, still believed it was possible to zip off to Carnaby Street to get a ﬂat and modeling job and be back in half an hour. R.I.P. Yvonne. You will be missed.
The National Newsroom
Personal Finance Newsweek Continued from page 69
threw itself into that bidding very late in the game, joining up with ZelnickMedia to make a play for the business weekly. Bloomberg, a rival to Reuters, ultimately bought the magazine. While Reuters is best known for business media—it recently announced plans for a ﬁnance Web video service called Reuters Insider, reported to cost $100 million—it also has been beeﬁng up its consumer reporting, a buildup that would ﬁt in well with a Newsweek purchase. The company lets ﬁnance blogger Felix Salmon do what he likes, and last year it hired Jim Impoco, from Condé Nast Portfolio and The New York Times before that, to beef up its long-form reporting team. And what would Thomson Reuters want to do with a magazine such as Newsweek? Perhaps the company is just kicking the tires, or maybe there’s a plan at work that is more substantive. Last year, Newsweek cut its rate base from 3.1 million to 1.5 million, hoping to serve a far more elite audience. Maybe the people at Thomson Reuters feel like they can have their own version of The Economist. Staying competitive with Bloomberg, which has a monthly and just added a weekly magazine to its holdings, could be another reason. “We do not comment on market rumors,” said a spokeswoman for Thomson Reuters. Bloomberg told The Times last week that it didn’t have interest in the newsweekly, but one person familiar with the Newsweek sale said that it may be reconsidering, especially after Thomson Reuters decided to throw itself into the mix. Bloomberg didn’t show interest in BusinessWeek until a week before the deadline approached for bids. The New York Post reported that Carlos Slim was interested in buying Newsweek two days after the magazine went up for sale, but a Slim spokesman immediately shot that one down. Robert Allbritton, chairman of Allbritton Communications, did not return a call looking for comment.
Exchanging Vowels by Merl Reagle
M O D E M
A N I T A
E C C L
S H O O
M A S C
O A H U
T U OP MA T
R E L A X
I N A S A F T E O NN YO B I L D A I R R B I B A L R Y A R K E
N A S COA T I O T E CON A N T OR CH I MP DU E P U NDM I T CH T A S T I D A L E T H E S L AM OR E E X C E R Y R AW A L A G I GS L L Y T O T A L F L OW S P U D T Y K E S MA E E R AO F S I D E CH I C K SO S L U E N A B S ME N S GA T O L OURO T T E N O T A RO T A RO P T E L OP E D
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
S C A L E F O N D A C R E S T S
OH SO OP I E R T T H E B I OP I S T T I S A I S T D I N A S T GS T S OE E A T N E S S D E T E HO L A T UN U N C A P F OB A L P I E T A L A R I V E T I R A N I A S C E N
S A T N E S E E R I C
T O S H
S T A R
T E R I
C L E A T
E A R N S
A strategy for charitable giving makes donations go further By Kathy Kristof, Tribune Media Services
Do you have a charitable giving plan? President Obama placed a spotlight on charity when he published his tax return information recently, showing a vast array of causes supported by the First Family. While that strategy may be wise for the Obamas, who have the means to donate generously and can use their high-proﬁle giving to highlight the many causes that need money, it’s not a good approach for most ordinary folks, experts say. In fact, when ordinary people give small gifts to dozens of different groups, it may be a tell-tale sign that their giving is off the cuff, rather than strategic. It’s an indication that you’re responding to a friend or pitch, and treating giving much like buying shoes. If that’s how you give, your tax return will look like a Yellow Pages of worthy causes, but the amount that you give will likely vary substantially from year to year. Then, too, executives at the organizations you give to probably won’t know your name (except as an entry on the mailing list), and may not be willing to take your phone calls or respond to your concerns. Sound familiar? Then you’re probably missing an opportunity, say the authors of a new book called The Art of Giving ( Jossey-Bass, 2009). Wise donors consider their gifts an investment rather than an expenditure, said Charles Bronfman, a Seagram’s heir, noted philanthropist and co-author of the book. And they expect those gifts to pay dividends, he said. What does that mean? Charitable dollars are an investment in ﬁxing a problem that you’ve identiﬁed and feel strongly about, he said. A strategic giver should be able to see measurable progress that’s commensurate with the amount invested. You don’t need to be rich to be a strategic donor, Bronfman added. But you do need to be systematic and purposeful. Your ﬁrst step? Create a budget and a giving plan. “When you become intentional about giving, you budget,” said Jeffrey Solomon, the book’s other co-author and president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. “It becomes a part of your day-to-day existence.” Determining the right amount to dedicate to charity requires balancing what you’d like to accomplish with what you can afford. While some experts note that the typical family gives about 3 percent of their income, some—including the Obamas—give more and others give substantially less. There’s no right amount. People typically give for three reasons: to accommodate a friend; to help an organization that they’re fond of, such as a church or alma mater; or to support a cause. Most of your giving should be concentrated
in that last category, but you should also be realistic enough to know that you’re not going to turn away every friend’s request, Bronfman said. Figure you’ll reserve 35 percent to react to requests and emergencies, such as the earthquake in Haiti, that pull at your heartstrings. But the other 65 percent of your charity dollars will be “invested” in causes you want to help, he suggested. Investing in a charity now becomes much like picking a mutual fund. There are literally thousands from which to choose. Many will have the same mission but differentiate themselves by the approach they take to solving the problem. To start narrowing the ﬁeld you need to “dive into your soul” to ﬁnd the topic or topics that are nearest and dearest to your heart, Solomon said. Once you’ve settled on a topic—be it education, art, animals, music, hunger or religion—you also need to consider the approach you prefer. What’s that? The Art of Giving explains it with a riddle: If you saw a bunch of people drowning in a fast-moving stream, would you want to jump in to save them one by one, or would you want to run upstream and stop more people from falling in? Some charities address causes, others address consequences. A soup kitchen or shelter, for example, is a “consequence” charity, which helps those already in trouble. If you wanted to address the cause of homelessness, you might choose to support education or mental health programs that aim to reduce the number of homeless people. Each of your choices will narrow the ﬁeld until you have just a handful of groups to check out more thoroughly. At that point, you need to investigate the charity you’ve chosen by looking through its written materials or website, or contacting its employees. Questions you might ask: What population does the charity serve? How does it deliver its help? What is it trying to accomplish? How does it measure its success? What do you do if the group says its success can’t be measured, or that it’s so special that there are no relevant benchmarks? Consider it a warning sign that you’re dealing with the Bernie Madoff of charitable investments, Bronfman said. “If the charity says we’re unique and can’t be compared to anyone,” he said, “that’s the wrong charity.”
Determining the right amount to dedicate to charity requires balancing what you’d like to accomplish with what you can afford.
Kathy Kristof’s column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services. She welcomes comments and suggestions but regrets that she cannot respond to each one. E-mail her at email@example.com.
Arts & Entertainment Reading
Who’s on Verse?
Because April was National Poetry Month and nobody noticed By Jarret Keene
Photo by Anthony Mair
Written in Stone: The words of 20 Nevada poets at the Lewis Avenue Corridor Poets Bridge.
Celebrating National Poetry Month in Las Vegas was like throwing a purity party in a Pahrump brothel, wasn’t it? Still, there are real bards in town crafting intense verse and speaking powerful words, as long as you know where to look. Here’s a handy guide for ﬁnding your way around the literary hinterlands of Sin City. First, get your bearings. The best place to start is by Facebook-friending and also Twitter-following The Las Vegas Poets Organization. These local, veteran metaphor-slingers do a tireless, thankless job of updating the verse-crazed community on readings and book signings. Whether it’s a wine-and-cheese academic panel at UNLV or an open mike in a garage, this group knows about it. One you’ve grasped the virtual lay of the land, look for certain names in the spoken-word scene—like detective-poet Harry Fagel. Although he’s been quiet so far this year, Fagel usually comes alive in the summer with a big poetry/punk-rock bash at a dive bar. Last year he released the Wordmurder CD (available at CDBaby.com), with musical accompaniment courtesy of The Vermin. His poetic nemesis is, appropriately, public defender Dayvid Figler, a sporadic performer locally who more often packs clubs in Portland and San
Francisco and is essentially Vegas’ best-known literary ﬁgure. Younger superstars include the shamanistic Jeff Grindley (who co-hosts the hip-hop-edged “Human Experience” poetry night every Thursday at Club Forbes, 3400 S. Jones Blvd.) and quirky yet passionate local slam queen Kari O’Connor. Open-mike poetry nights are tricky, but manageable. You may want to get your toes moistened at Word Up!, Tuesday nights at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf near UNLV (4550 S. Maryland Parkway). Hosted by Mark Snyder and Megan Milligan, this gathering gets a tad weird on themed nights (“Country Music,” seriously?), but whenever an out-of-town or prominent Nevada poet is featured, it makes for a satisfying affair. On the third Friday of every month, The Poets Corner at West Las Vegas Arts Center (947 W. Lake Mead Blvd.) showcases a diverse, urban style of spoken word and is always a sureﬁre pleaser. On the wilder side, consider S.O.A.P. (Society of Anarchist Poets) on the ﬁrst Sunday of each month in an Arts District shop called Hillary (1104 S. Third St.). On the milder side, check out the all-ages Seldom Seen Poets assembly at Sunrise Coffee Co. (3130 E. Sunset Road), hosted by Hannah Marisahl every Wednesday.
As far as Vegas poetry publishers go, the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV, which runs a reading series in the fall and spring semesters, is responsible for Witness, an acclaimed and annual literary journal that contains some of the best (if a little rareﬁed) poetry being written today. Over at College of Southern Nevada, Red Rock Review, under the consistent editorship of professor Richard Logsdon, soldiers on as, arguably, Nevada’s best-known literary forum, in which lots of really great (i.e., readable) poetry appears. Zeitgeist-Press, run by Bruce Isaacson, continues to produce beautifully designed full-length collections and chapbooks by Vegas and Bay Area bards ( Julia Vinograd of Berkeley, Calif., for example) and shows no sign of slowing down. Zeitgeist titles are available at Dead Poet Books (937 S. Rainbow Blvd.) and via Amazon.com. Finally, make the pilgrimage to the downtown Poets Bridge, at the Lewis Street Pedestrian Corridor (between Fourth Street and the Strip). There you’ll ﬁnd stanzas written by Nevada and Las Vegas poets inscribed into the very concrete in the year 2002, a sonnet’s throw from Fremont. Good to know that even in the slotmachined heart of Vegas there’s a place for poetry. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 77
Arts & Entertainment
Last of the Chosen Few
Sites to see
Three mainstream American poets publish their mid-career greatest hits
By Geoff Carter
By Richard Abowitz Although different in many ways, three poets—Henri Cole, Edward Hirsch and Kay Ryan—have all witnessed the demise of mainstream American poetry during the course of their careers. They are no longer able to count on readers knowing the tradition or rules of their art. Few general interest magazines or newspapers publish poetry anymore. In its place, American poetry has become a series of autonomous universes each with its own websites, publishers and magazines. As a result, the cohort of poets who began publishing in the ’80s became the ﬁnal generation to be sifted through major New York publishing houses. Cole, Hirsch and Ryan were among those to be so chosen for publication. All write in a way that is striking by being accessible compared with their immediate predecessors—from Wallace Stevens to James Merrill. Three decades later, all three have now reached that moment that calls for them to make a book of selected poetry. Each book offers a lifetime’s highlights culled by the poet for inclusion, kind of like a musician’s mid-career Greatest Hits album. Poets know that this will be the book stocked in every local library, the book that has the best chance to ﬁnd readers. And most poets also know that after “the selected” falls a writer’s “later poetry” ending, of course, in a “collected poems” published posthumously. But for now, enjoy what is fast becoming an anachronism with one of these tomes: Edward Hirsch, The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (Knopf, 2010). Transcendence is a particular favorite fervor of Hirsch though remembering is at the core of Hirsch poems. Like Cole, this is a poet whose memories love moving from the personal to the transcendent. A Hirsch poem frequently pivots on two qualities critics hate: sentiment and nostalgia. “The Beginning of Poetry,” the opener in this collection perfectly captures Hirsch’s romantic view of his art: “Railroad tracks split the campus in half/and at night you’d lie on your narrow cot/and listen to the lonely whistle/of a train crossing a prairie in the dark.” If not for the campus, this is closer to Woody Guthrie (or the explicitly invoked Hank Williams) than Auden. Hirsch is best known for a surprise best-seller on loving poetry—How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love With Poetry (Harcourt Brace, 1999). And, his poetry is in love with poetry. His lines froth with images, and often artistic heroes are invoked and duly paid tribute. Hirsch has a real gift for narrative which is the primary trait of his longer poems. The downside of Hirsch’s storytelling ability is that often his poems read like prose broken into lines. The many poems about his childhood are as interesting as the view into the time they offer. That is a prose pleasure. Yet, Hirsch is also capable of ﬂawless poetic concision as when addressing insomnia, a favorite topic, in “4 A.M.” Hirsch writes: “Let 5 o’clock come/with its bandages of light.” 78
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Henri Cole, Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 19822007 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). Freud may be out with the world at large, but a cigar is never just a cigar in the poetry of Henri Cole. In fact, even a cigar is often too much metaphor for Cole. A typical poem begins: “I am lying in bed with my mother,/ where my father seldom lay.” Yes, that “lay” is an unsubtle double entendre. The entire scene of course was already transparently, nakedly and desperately Oedipal. This unabashedly autobiographical poetry features titles and lyrics that are either called “Self-Portraits” or refer to the author’s life, parents and sexual experience. Despite the personal content, Cole’s poems are meant to be accessible. The lyric author sees himself as everyman enough to reach from his life to offer readers a mystical experience somehow meant to illuminate us along with him. The mystical experiences Cole invokes—usually Christian, Classical or pagan nature—end his poems by reaching for a transcendent note. But you need to offer buy-in. So, to truly appreciate Cole you must accept that a bug on a poet’s bed is not merely interrupting his reading but ﬂies away “a tiny god-horse hunting for her throne-room.” Kay Ryan, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 2010). If one book can make an argument for why poetry still offers rewards unavailable in other writing, the jewels by the reigning U.S. Poet Laureate do so. Ryan’s poems do not invoke a prosody tradition for an audience with no expectation of iambic pentameter or any particular rhyme scheme in mind. Instead, Ryan’s highly compressed poems invent their own prosody using eccentric rhymes and off rhymes, occasionally heavy meter, to create miniatures packed in complexity worth reading and pondering. Ryan’s tiny poems also have an inner hardness. Her poetry understands predators and prey in life and metaphor. Perhaps echoing the harshness of the Mojave desert, where she spent part of her childhood, there are venomous snakes, spider webs and deer all acting in the prism of these abbreviated lines amid the obscuring thicket of word play. “How a Bird Sings” in its entirety: One is not taxed;/One need not practice;/one simply tips/the throat back/over the spine axis/and asserts the chest./The wings and the rest/compress a musical/squeeze which ﬂoats/a series of notes/upon the breeze. This poem embodies Ryan’s art though, not her process, because a bird’s song is natural and her poems are gorgeously, artfully forged.
SEE ME, FEEL ME (thisisnthappiness.com) It’s not often that I’ll say, “Aw, just look at the site and you’ll ﬁgure it out,” but thisisnthappiness.com needs to be seen to be understood. It’s a site of (mostly) life-afﬁrming photos, which are worth a thousand words apiece. I don’t have that kind of column space, so you’ll need to see for yourself. Warning: Contains nudity, squirrels and Kraftwerk.
SNAP! (photojojo.com) Photojojo is one of those rare photo resources that doesn’t ﬁll me with the urge to buy more expensive camera gear, or to look at my portfolio of images and say, “Wow, these are real shit.” Their twice-weekly e-mail newsletter is written by photo geeks who are just as content to shoot with a $20 plastic camera as they are a $5,000 SLR; for them, it’s all about the image, not the gear. Even if your only camera is on the back of your phone, Photojojo will give you free tips that will make your shots better—and if you own a proper camera, they’ll show you where to ﬁnd inexpensive gear that you can actually use, at prices that won’t break you. Journalist Geoff Carter is a Las Vegas native living in Seattle, land of virtual titillation.
Trading a Prince for a Crown By Richard Abowitz Best known for once housing Prince’s 3121, the ground-ﬂoor club space in the Rio has been home to many show business dreams—nightclub acts, nightclubs, shows, magicians and a concert venue. Replacing the demised ND’s Fuego— The Evolution of Nightlife is Crown Theater, whose owner Darin Feinstein does his best to talk like a sensible businessman explaining his choice. “I think this venue is perfect to create the nightclub/concert experience that is difﬁcult to ﬁnd anywhere. I am encompassing a rock-style venue with a Vegas nightlife scene.” This actually sounds similar to Prince’s residency when he offered a nightclub party that became a concert that became a nightclub followed by an after-hours jam. But concert booker Joe Rinaldi sees Crown as slightly different: “Prince shows were always about the concert and the four-hour afterparty. It is not dissimilar in that we are going to have two operations stacked: a live concert and a club operation. But Prince’s thing always related back to a live performance.” Of course, the plan for Crown is not built around the loves and habits of one artist. In fact, the ﬁrst three acts booked stand out as diverse. The ﬁrst ticketed show on June 19 will be ’80s New Wave act Devo. On June 30, Crown presents early rocker and country legend Jerry Lee Lewis. Then, on July 24, metal stalwarts Queensryche will perform a concert with cabaret elements. “You have to touch all corners of the music scene or you run out of ideas very fast,” Rinaldi says. The plan is to host 12 concerts a month, but, unlike 3121, open the nightclub as often as nightly. Still, this location struggled even in good times. Could launching in the worst economy in Vegas history really be an easy business decision for Feinstein? “Well, we are optimistic. There is a lot of talk about the economic situation across the board. But we feel if we offer people reasonable prices with the right mix of talent, we are going to get enough of the 800,000 people who like to visit Vegas each week. But we will take all the luck we can get.” Like Menopause for All Ages. Girls Night: The Musical is about to make its Vegas debut in the Hollywood Theatre (May 6-23) at MGM Grand. Deb Toscano, one of the stars, describes
a plot that could do well in a town where Mamma Mia! ran for years: “The show is about ﬁve best friends who go out to celebrate one of their daughter’s engagements. And the girls talk about their lives: past, future and present. They dance and they sing. It is about ﬁve girls having a blast. Women relate to us. We are different women and we are different shapes and sizes and we are real.” Toscano plays a boisterous character who shares many of her own traits: “Thanks for interviewing me. You stopped me from playing, and I am already $120 down on slots. My character, she would love this. I naturally ﬁt my role. She is just like me.” Toscano makes it clear that like a women’s Breakfast Club, every type is covered. “Every woman in the audience identiﬁes with one of us.” The touring musical has played theaters across the country, but is only now making it to Vegas, Girls Night out. where there are high hopes for it. Toscano says a regular Vegas show for Girls Night: The Musical is a dream. “Vegas is the ultimate place for a show. How can you not want to play here forever? I am already thinking of myself as a short, overweight showgirl.” Dancing Through the Looking Glass. Also taking a run at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theatre (May 7-26) comes the dance crew JabbawockeeZ. The name is a misspelled tribute to a Lewis Carroll poem, and the performers are known as ﬁrst-season winners of America’s Best Dance Crew and as the opening act on the last New Kids on the Block tour. For these full-length appearances, JabbawockeeZ are creating a special show. Happy First Birthday to Human Nature. At Imperial Palace, Human Nature have impressed audiences with their versions of songs by Motown greats. The group’s May 11 anniversary show included a special performance from Smokey Robinson and the announcement of a two-year contract extension. Read Richard Abowitz at GoldPlatedDoor.com. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 79
Arts & Entertainment
Music The Best Policy
Honesty has always been a top priority for the fast-rising rockers of Paramore By David Breitman As the current of youthful music continues to steer itself into a brick wall of creative decay, several artists around the world have stepped up and veered away from the antiquated abyss of pop music’s landscape. Granted, selling out is far more proﬁtable than it used to be, and throwing together some catchy beats with barely audible lyrics about nail polish and pleasuring sailors is an effective way to sell records (looking at you, Ke$ha), but that doesn’t mean that mainstream music has to be completely devoid of meaningful and honest lyrics. “I guess a lot of people try to get attention by singing about drugs, alcohol and women or whatever,” says Paramore’s drummer Zac Farro. “But that’s not really what we’re about, so why the hell would we bother singing about it?” As part of America’s new wave of creative rock, Paramore has become a throwback to the age of sincere music thanks to their unique sound and inspired sentiments. Led by vivacious vocalist Hayley Williams—whom critics describe as the antithesis of contrived punk—Paramore boasts an eclectic catalog propelled by the platinum album Riot! The wildly popular and critically acclaimed disc—
which includes Billboard-topping hits “Misery Business” and “That’s What You Get”—is not only a testament to the young group’s overwhelming talent, but also an insight into their lyrical integrity. “We had to ﬁght a little when we ﬁrst started out in order to make sure we stayed true to what we wanted to do,” Farro says. “But eventually everybody involved with our music realized how important our faith was and how we wanted to keep our values in our music.” Although Paramore, who currently tour with Christian rock sensation Relient K, is not the ﬁrst group to ﬁght for their scruples on the musical battleﬁeld, their plight has become especially notable given the era in which they choose to do it. Without judging the moral ﬁber of a generation that supports prescription drug theft and Zach Braff movies, it is poignant to note that very few bands have reached the top of the alternative charts with religiously inspired tracks (for example, “Halleluja” and “My Heart”) and a complete lack of explicit or sexual lyrics in their albums. “We never put too much stock into stuff like that,” Farro says. “We just put out the kind of music we like and hope people appreciate what we’re doing.”
Hayley Williams, her brightly colored hair (not pictured) and bandmates are Paramore.
Farro also claims that integrity is a slippery slope in the music business and staying true to your beliefs is the only way to produce quality tracks. “It’s really screwed up that people have to put out records just because they want to get rich or famous,” he says. “They end up singing about things that they don’t believe in, and that’s something we never wanted to have happen. If you’re in it to be famous or make money, you’re just in it for the wrong reason.” While Farro and the rest of his band-
mates have barely scratched the surface of their musical potential, the 19-year-old drummer claims that regardless of early success and industry pressure, the group plans to continue its sincere pursuits. “We’re just a bunch of friends playing the kind of music we like and I don’t know why we’d ever stop doing that,” Farro says. “If you don’t believe in what you’re playing, then what’s the point?” The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel, 7 p.m. May 16, sold-out, 693-5583, paramore.com.
By Jarret Keene
Molly Hatchet Justice (SPV/Steam hammer)
The Hold Steady Heaven Is Whenever (Vagrant)
These days, Molly Hatchet of Jacksonville, Fla. are better known for their tradition of Frank Frazetta fantasy art on album covers than for delivering a brand of metallic Southern rock that found popularity in the late ’70s. That could change with Justice, the band’s ﬁrst studio album in ﬁve years. Softer, introspective ballads are included, and they likely stem from the passing of Hatchet members Danny Joe Brown in 2005 and Duane Roland in 2006. Then again, the standout track—and reason for the album title—“Fly on Wings of Angels (Somer’s Song)” is dedicated to the memory of Somer Thompson, a little Jacksonville girl who was brutally murdered. The song contains as much gothic power and melancholy as any hipster-redneck band (i.e., Drive-By Truckers) can muster. Too bad patriotic boogie anthem “American Pride” will discourage listeners. To their credit, Hatchet clearly couldn’t care less. ★★★★✩
For whatever reason, it’s inevitable for respected alt-rock bands to make a play for Bruce Springsteen’s audience. (Even the Killers felt obliged to try with their second album.) Sure, Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady have always worn their Boss inﬂuence better than most, with credit going to vocalist Craig Finn, who despite a nebbish appearance comes across like a burly, well-read welder. However, Finn’s desire to fashion a full-blown roots-rock masterpiece is so massive it’s distracting. For example, the guitar riff fueling “Rock Problems” is perfectly boneheaded, the irony nearly lost. Still, there’s no denying Finn’s literary ﬁnesse and musical knowledge, especially during the rough waltz of “We Can Get Together,” when he sings: “Utopia’s a band/ they sang ‘Love Is the Answer’/I think they’re probably right.” The Boss couldn’t have referenced another (lesser) song better. ★★★✩✩
Robert Cray Authorized Bootleg: Austin, Texas 5/25/87 (Island)
80 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Releasing an ofﬁcial live “bootleg” nearly 25 years after the recording seems pretty suspect. In the case of blues guitarist Robert Cray, however, this is more a chance to prove how nothing has really changed regarding his ability to create magic onstage in front of an audience. Anyone who’s attended a Cray concert in recent years knows the man makes his guitar smolder. What you might not realize is that, during his “peak” (in the year following his 1986 breakthrough album Strong Persuader and the crossover hit “Smoking Gun”), Cray was already a deft interpreter beyond his years. His searing take on Albert King’s “Let’s Have a Natural Ball” is spot-on, while his commanding version of “Don’t Touch Me” is as ﬂuid as the blues gets. The Fender Stratocaster has rarely been played with such authority and passion. ★★★★✩ (Cray plays Red Rock Resort’s Rocks Lounge on May 22.)
Arts & Entertainment
Metalheads for Jesus By Jarret Keene
have a relationship with Jesus, and it doesn’t have to ﬁt into a neat little box.” Speaking of boxes, Area 702 is basically one massive indoor skate ramp. What would Jesus make of skateboarding? “He’d be all for it,” Green laughs. “God takes pleasure in the existence of humanity. He created man, loves man, and enjoys our tricks and how we’re always goofy.” It may not be the Christian thing to do, but I hate Jimmy Kimmel. And so should everyone in Vegas who loves live music. The comedian, UNLV grad and former KUNV 91.5 FM DJ did our city a grave disservice by inviting Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit to perform on his show—on May 24! Which is when the acclaimed band had been scheduled to perform at Beauty Bar. Not anymore. Jimmy, reviews for the band’s just-released third album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, are so positive they’re cringe-inducing. Why keep us from experiencing the most praised band of 2010 just to boost ratings? (Don’t get too upset, people. There’s talk of rescheduling the show for summer.) Apologies, Soundcsrapers. I gave you the wrong date for Reggae in the Desert at Clark County Amphitheater (500 S. Grand Central Parkway) a couple weeks ago. It’s June 12. As Pilate said to Jesus, “What is the truth?” OK, it’s what’ll help you to enjoy a great afternoon of music. My bad. Are you in a Christian metalcore band here in Vegas? Does your church allow moshing in the pews? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Clayton Addison
For me, an intriguing musical oxymoron is Christian heavy metal. How does a young headbanger reconcile satanic noisemaking with the worship of God’s sacriﬁcial lamb, a.k.a. Jesus? (Last time I entered a Christian bookstore, there were still titles warning parents about evil acts their kids will commit due to listening to Marilyn Manson.) Clicking around on the Internet led me to a crushingly loud Christian metal band from Redlands, Calif., called Sleeping Giant. The band’s last album, 2009’s Sons of Thunder, cruciﬁed my eardrums with the clamor of ﬁve guys giving sonic life to Revelations—you know, the part of the Bible where the world’s end is vividly described? Even better, turns out the Giant is setting its massive foot into Area 702 skatepark (3040 Simmons St., Ste. 104) in North Las Vegas on May 15 with a slew of other less Jesus-freaking heshers, including Bleeding Through and Born of Osiris. Giant vocalist Thom Green is worried about confronting a secular audience, though. “For the most part, people know what we’re about and come to be encouraged in their relationships with God,” says Green, en route to Pensacola, Fla. “Some people we expect to be angry, because they’re there for the other bands.” On the phone, Green is very open his commitment to God. On record, however, his lyrics, while decipherable, are consistently delivered in growling metalcore fashion. It’s not easy to hear his devotion over the apocalypse his band unleashes. “I’m just hoping people get a different perspective. I want them to see you can
Christian hardcore band Sleeping Giant hits Area 702 Skatepark May 15. 82 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Movies Worth Taking in This adoption-centered movie tugs the mind and heartstrings
By Rex Reed Mother and Child is a potent, poignant and beautifully calibrated ﬁlm about the always-timely issue of adoption and its effect on three strangers in Los Angeles whose lives connect in haunting and unpredictable ways. The adoption theme would seem like no big deal if the three female subjects were happy and securely established in their homes and careers. But all three are tortured victims of frustration, their lives spun out with rising and falling dramatic impact, variations on a single theme. The result is heartfelt and mesmerizing. The enchanting Annette Bening is Karen, a bitter, unhappy and barren spinster coping with the death of her mother and lifelong feelings of loss and regret over the child she gave up for adoption when she was 14. Naomi Watts is Elizabeth, the grown daughter she has never met, now an icy lawyer with a lust for power games whose own adoption at birth has poisoned her against the idea of marriage and motherhood. Kerry Washington is Lucy, an infertile wife who turns to adoption as the only key to the parenthood she passionately craves, against the wishes of her skeptical husband. Colombian-born writer-director Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her) is both a sophisticated storyteller and a master of multi-layered narratives about strong, liberated women. As he threads together the fabric of his exemplary ﬁlm, you become intensely involved in all three stories, wondering how they will inevitably intersect. One of the many pleasures is watching the women grow and evolve, revealing more about themselves in each successive scene. Fraught with pitfalls, the narrative comes together seamlessly. Unfolding like a novel, each chapter has a resonance that stands alone while luring us into ﬁnding out more on the next page. Karen’s loneliness and distrust of men makes life thorny for a friendly co-worker ( Jimmy Smits) at the rehab clinic where she works, but she saves most of her disdain for children. She reserves her most private feelings for the
journal she has kept for 37 years for the daughter she has never seen, hoping some day they’ll meet. Elizabeth is a tough, no-nonsense man-hater, but in her law ﬁrm, she cleverly seduces her older boss (Samuel L. Jackson), as well as her nextdoor neighbor (Marc Blucas), who is married, for the sole purpose of getting pregnant. Lucy’s excess of human warmth is wasted in the struggle to convince her husband (David Ramsey) he is capable of loving a baby that is not his own, but enters the painful adoption agency process with the aid of a Catholic nun (the great Cherry Jones, in the kind of role Fay Bainter invented). Every scene is sharply observed, shaded with nuance rare to American ﬁlms, and pulsating with subtle emotion. Even the scene in which Bening meets her long-lost child’s biological father (David Morse) eschews cheap soap-opera histrionics for the sake of tears. Ask any mother who was ever forced to give up a child for adoption, or any adoptee who has spent years wondering or worrying about unknown parenthood, and they will tell you a formal precision of underlying impassioned sensitivity overshadows everything. You never forget you can never know who you really are. How these relationships ﬁnally merge and the three women ﬁnd ways to reach out for whatever roots they can ﬁnd in their lives builds, brick by brick, to an increasingly satisfying conclusion with a surprising cinematic coda. (Not all of the multiple stories end up the way you expect.) Very credible acting is greatly responsible for the honest and infectious quality of the ﬁlm, but the delicate pacing, the lovely cinematography, and the restraint in the use of music make invaluable contributions. Garcia has also gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid sentimentality, examining the causes of conﬂict, anxiety, insecurity and self-doubt that have impacted the parallel lives of these remarkable women. Unlike a long line of Hollywood tearjerkers destined to play “Mammy” on your heartstrings, from Greer Garson in Blossoms in the Dust to Shirley Temple in That Hagen Girl, this is one ﬁlm about adoption you can cherish in different musical keys. Some cynics will label it schematic, others might dismiss it as a “woman’s picture.” Ignore them all. Mother and Child is a ﬂawless ﬁlm of heart-rending realism about the eternal chord that binds parents and children and the emptiness when they are separated. Everything about it adds up to a consummate revelation that left me enriched and feeling hopeful about the artistry of motion pictures. Rex Reed is the ﬁlm critic for the New York Observer.
David Ramsey and Kerry Washington play a couple torn over the prospect of adoption.
84 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
A Night iN the
Vegas SEVEN magazine and ARiA Resort & casino are giving you the chance to win a ViP Package. Enter for a chance to win a VIP Getaway Package at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, including a $2500 shopping spree from Crystals. Winners will also attend SkYY Vodka’s private advance screening of Sex and the City 2 on may 26 in the Viva ELVIS™ Theater.
For your chance to win, visit weeklyseven.com/city by May 21. in theaters May 27
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER/WIN. OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND DC (EXCLUDING CA & TN) WHO ARE AGE 21+. VOID IN CA, TN, AND WHERE PROHIBITED. ENTRY AND OFFICIAL RULES AT WEEkLYSEVEN.COm/CITY.
Arts & Entertainment
Movies What’s So Funny ‘Bout War, Greed and Ignorance? Robin Hood prequel is an uphill slog By Cole Smithey What if the ﬁlmmaker who created Alien, Black Hawk Down and Gladiator turned his eye to Anglo-Saxon myth? You’d get a gray palate of natural light, muddled medieval politics and a scattershot screenplay by Brian Helgeland. Or a least that’s what you get with Robin Hood, director Ridley Scott’s cloud-covered history of Robin Longstride’s path to outlaw legend, which soars whenever Cate Blanchett takes the screen as Maid Marion. The ever humorless Russell Crowe is a paunchy archer in King Richard the Lion Heart’s army when the ruler (Danny Huston) is killed during a generic battle involving gallons of hot oil, arrows and muddy swords. Entrusted to deliver a dying soldier’s sword to his father, Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow) in Nottingham, Robin (Crowe) and his mercenary companions take the opportunity to return King Richard’s crown to England’s callow new leader, Prince John (Oscar Isaac). Upon receiving his son Robert’s sword, the blind Sir Walter insists that Robin impersonate Robert—something Robin has already been doing to avoid military punishment—and also pretend to be husband to Lady Marion so that Loxely’s land will not be taken away when he dies. It’s from this overlong setup that the prequel takes its shape. In an overworked effort at making Robin Hood a somber man with heavy emotional baggage about his father, and an idealized sense of justice, the ﬁlmmakers have drained all the fun out of a story that should at least have some amount of proletariat joy. While it’s true that this Robin Hood is unlike any you’ve seen before, it’s also one that you may not want to see again.
The severe lack of color in art director David Allday designs, and in Janty Yates’s dull costumes, contributes to the ﬁlm’s drab visuals. Without sufﬁciently supported subplots or developed secondary characters to cue the action, the lack of color takes a toll on the audience’s ability to discern the stripe of ambiguous Russell Crowe tries a weapon that Kevin Costner and Cary Elwes already mastered. characters in the run foretells. Robin’s other three would-be Merry Men up to the ﬁlm’s battle climax. Musically, the ﬁlm fares (Scott Grimes, Kevin Durand and Alan Doyle) are all considerably better with Marc Streitenfeld’s vibrant but lost in the shufﬂe. By the time Robin Hood becomes original score lending surefooted counterpoint to the a military leader in a ﬁerce beach battle against the ﬁlm’s poignant underbelly of social oppression. French army, we get the feeling that things can only go However much some audiences might want Robin downhill for the outlaw’s future prospects. Hood to be Gladiator-in-Sherwood-Forest, Scott has kept his There are three or four great scenes, and all involve head about him in delivering expedient battle scenes Blanchett and Sydow. Seen through this relief, Robin that resonate with the quickness of the arrows being Hood should more rightly have taken on the ﬁlm’s inlaunched. There is none of the grainy action-for-actended title of Nottingham and been more about the father tion’s-sake digital excess that weighed so heavy in Black and daughter who bestow upon Robin his humanity. But Hawk Down. And yet we never get to enjoy the “stealing even that would leave out the ﬁlm’s most glaring missing from the rich to give to the poor” aspect of the Robin component, humor. Hood legend that audiences rightfully expect. Mark Addy’s Friar Tuck barely takes a nip at the Robin Hood (PG-13) ★★✩✩✩ bottle and isn’t anywhere near as jolly as his reputation
By Cole Smithey
Furry Vengeance (PG)
Written to the tastes of lazy 5-year-olds, director Roger Kumble (Cruel Intentions) attempts kids’ comedy. Brendan Fraser milks the last drop of his boyish charm as a real estate developer who moves his wife (a blank Brooke Shields) and son to an Oregon forest. Blind to his boss’ (Ken Jeong) plan to pillage the verdant land, he becomes enemy to the area’s woodland creatures who assault him with animal-made booby traps. 86 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Iron Man 2 (PG-13)
There’s plenty of eye-popping action and snappy one-liners in this sequel. Robert Downey Jr. is at the top of his game as genius superhero Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man). Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) is making competing Iron Man suits and Mickey Rourke is villain du jour Ivan Vanko. Romantic tension simmers between Stark and his new CEO (Gwyneth Paltrow), while Scarlett Johansson’s legal representative joins Stark Enterprises.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (R)
More contemplative than Wes Craven’s 1984 original slasher ﬂick, Samuel Bayer’s updated version has a quieter surreal edge rooted in suspense, not bloodletting. Plenty of quarts still ﬂow from a group of teens who were molested by Freddy Krueger (a fearsome Jackie Earle Haley). Subtle nods to classic horror ﬁlms create a grotesque universe of the sleep-deprived where nightmares nestle like Russian dolls.
The Back-Up Plan (PG-13)
On the day of her artiﬁcial insemination, Jennifer Lopez ﬁnally meets the man of her dreams (poorly played by Alex O’Loughlin). Excruciating, interminable and preoccupied with the words “shit” and “vagina,” The Back-Up Plan is the worst ﬁlm to come out of Hollywood so far this year. Television director Alan Poul (Big Love) makes his feature ﬁlm debut with a remedial script by TV writer Kate Angelo.
* E R ’F D A T H IS N
TIL REVFD U SKYO A
Watch on the Wild Side Two ﬁlm festivals this week display the kinky, grindy, gory side of cinema By Jaq Greenspon “CineVegas was great, but it never pushed the envelope far enough for my tastes,” ﬁlmmaker Chad Clinton Freeman says. “Now with it on hiatus there’s nothing much at all for fans of edgy cinema here in Vegas.” “Instead of just sitting around,” Freeman created the Polly Stafﬂe Grindhouse Fest, a ﬁlm festival for the creative souls who support the “girls, guns and gore” mantra of Freeman’s genre indie ﬁlmmaking website Pollystafﬂe.com. The inaugural run of this festival will show 13 ﬁlms (some ﬁt-for-print titles include Slime City Massacre, The Dead Undead, Dead Hooker in a Trunk and Zombie Apocalypse Now: A Zombie Hunter) and more than 30 trailers, music videos and shorts, including several world premieres. The festival, which runs May 12-16, is located at the Sci-Fi Center (2520 State St.—on the backside of Commercial Center). Tickets are $10 per day. Fiveday passes and three-day passes can be purchased in advance for $40 and $25 at PollyGrind.com or TheSciFiCenter.com. Freeman, who is also a screenwriter, occasional Seven contributing writer and former ﬁlm festival judge, is excited about
Matty Thunders in a ﬁlm at Grindhouse Fest.
his new role as festival founder. “This was something … that allowed me to give to the art community of Vegas, while also helping to promote independent cinema.” If grindhouse horror isn’t your bag, ntacusbyphoe:702.31 o CineKink starts its national tour itrfpl≠! so,ﬁnduFacebkTw l with aegasShr|@ “three-night stand” atV Onyx NcCf Theatre (also in Commercial Center, 953 E. Sahara Ave.) May 14-15, with an opening gala May 13 at the Erotic Heritage Museum (3275 Industrial Road, eroticheritage.org). This “kinky ﬁlm festival” celebrates sexual diversity with ﬁlms and videos that range from hot to mild. Highlights include The Pinky Song, a “musical tribute to new love” and Yes, Mistress, a ﬁlm shorts program. Full festival package is $50; single-day pass is $20 and two-day pass is $30. Discounts for students and seniors. Call 732-7225 or visit onyxtheatre.com.
C A @
The Losers (PG-13)
Hot on the trail of Kick-Ass’s experiment in vacant violence, The Losers is equally wrongheaded. A team of U.S. Special Forces, led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clay, gets double-crossed and then joins up with a mercenary named Aisha (Zoe Saldana) who insists they seek revenge against CIA baddie Max ( Jason Patric). The ﬁlm’s politics, like this entire effort, are sketchy. Each character seems to have sauntered in from a different movie.
Scan here for up-to-the-minute movie listings delivered directly to your mobile device.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 87
Gadgets & Tech
GyPSy delivers audio insights on the road in Southern Nevada By William Lefkovics Perhaps you have out-of-town guests who would like to see something other than the Strip—or out-of-town guests you just don’t want to (or don’t have time to) show around. After enjoying success in western Canada, GyPSy Guide—your personal, self-paced GPS-enabled audio tour guide—has arrived in Las Vegas (and a new, island-speciﬁc version is available in Hawaii, too). The hands-free device goes for $49 a day and is delivered to your door (reservations are made via a toll-free number). GyPSy includes two pre-programmed tours: One to Red Rock Canyon and another to Hoover Dam, and both start at the south end of the Strip. It is easy to set up the device: The kit includes the modest hardware required to suction-cup the holder to your vehicle’s windshield or dash, and you can use the included auxiliary cable or FM transmitter to play the audio over your vehicle’s sound system. A universal 12V power connector is also included to make sure the device doesn’t run out of juice and leave you stranded. Although it’s not a traditional, enter-your-destination-and-let-itﬁnd-the-best-way-to-get-there kind of GPS unit, GyPSy uses the same
satellite-enabled sensors to queue pre-programmed, location-speciﬁc narrations along each route. You can leave your assigned route at any time, of course, but GyPSy won’t resume the tour until you reach another activation point along the tour route (there’s usually points every few miles or so). The device tells you where to turn and identiﬁes points of interest along each route as optional where you can stop and explore—or not—but if you stop at every one, each of the tours (which took me seven hours to complete, combined) could easily take all day. The narrator covers some great content, but also rambles on about historical things he thinks you might want to hear. On the Hoover Dam tour, for example, you hear stories of the mob’s impact on Las Vegas, which is entertaining. But the commentary plays as you are passing the M Resort, home of the best off-Strip buffet in Las Vegas, which is not mentioned at all. The tour is informative and pleasant enough, but it misses opportunities. Recommended attractions, such as Bonnie Springs and Spring Mountain Ranch on the Red Rock tour, are subject to set hours of operation and some spots charge fees for admission, which
The GyPSy Guide, left, uses a FM transmitter to play audio.
88 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
The GyPSy Guide mounts on your windshield just like a standard GPS device.
add to the cost and are not always mentioned in the tour’s audio. The accuracy of some of the content is suspect as well. On the way to Red Rock, for example, the GyPSy suggests stopping at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, and recommends checking out the saltwater aquarium while you’re there. However, the aquarium is part of the Silverton, which is not mentioned at all. A little later on the Red Rock tour, the narrator erroneously identiﬁes a home as belonging to Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. Jillette’s house is nearby (on Wigwam Avenue just east of Buffalo Drive) but is not really visible from Blue Diamond Highway, on the tour path. These errors and omissions are balanced by some good myth-busting. For example, on the Hoover Dam tour, GyPSy correctly asserts that despite the legend, no bodies are buried in the dam, and that the large mountain on the east side is not Sunrise Mountain, but is actually called Frenchman Mountain. However, after proudly declaring this common error, GyPSy fails to mention that Sunrise Mountain is close by, too, just to the north of Frenchman. When I look at the device itself, a Windows Mobile device running the GyPSy Guide multimedia GPS tour application in kiosk mode, I keep asking why. Why isn’t there just an app for this? An iPhone or Blackberry can connect to GPS and show a map with elevation change, distance and average speed for the same routes as the GyPSy; why can’t a smartphone be empowered with an app version of a GyPSy audio tour? Still, GyPSy eliminates any concern over data plans, coverage areas and roaming fees, which could be a major concern (and headache) for out-of-
towners. All things considered, it seems a dedicated rental device may be easier to use for many people— tourists, especially. While I enjoyed the voice of the narrator, I would have liked to have seen more options there. Perhaps some local ﬂavor with news anchors Dave Courvoisier (a voice-over actor on the side) or Nina Radetich—or Carrot Top, Mayor Oscar Goodman or Wayne Newton. No advertisements are included on the audio, but the rental fee could be reduced with the addition of locationspeciﬁc ads. For example, a restaurant could offer beverage deals to parched GyPSy-guided tourists as they approach the establishment. GyPSy Guide is a pleasant experience for independent, self-paced travelers. The current tours have lots of insightful commentary, historical references, gambling tips and generally useful advice, yet it would be nice if GyPSy added to its offerings. My suggestions: the Valley of Fire, the Grand Canyon and Death Valley. William Lefkovics is technical director at Mojave Media Group and co-author of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: The Complete Reference (McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2008). He also contributes a monthly column on Outlook at Windows IT Pro Magazine, has lived in Las Vegas temporarily for more than a decade and can be reached at email@example.com.
GyPSy Guide, $49 per day; 1-877-308-6164, gypsyguide.com/lasvegas.
May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 89
7 Beautiful Rooms
Twist has a great view, but who’d want to look out?
An appreciation of restaurant design, from a treehouse-anchored space on the Strip to lavish rooms in the burbs By Max Jacobson
If restaurants are the cathedrals of the 21st century, then surely Las Vegas is the new Rome. In honor of Vegas Seven’s “Beauty Issue,” here’s a short list of fabulous dining rooms, featuring great designers such as Adam Tihany, David Rockwell and Tony Chi who’ve done incredible work on the Strip. I’ve found the competition off-Strip to be fairly ﬁerce as well, so I’ve included two of my “local” favorites. Sirio. The Aria resort has Sage, a grandiose art deco showplace, and Lemongrass,
which looks like an enormous Thai birdcage. But Adam Tihany’s creation on the mezzanine here can’t be ignored. Chefs toil behind glass at a workstation; plush red leather chairs ﬁll the dining room; and a giant, burnished copper spaceship dominates the dining room. The peasanty menu features pici, thick Roman spaghetti Bolognese and a terriﬁc osso buco. Inside Aria, 590-7111. Twist. Paris superstar chef Pierre Gagnaire’s only American restaurant is on the 23rd ﬂoor of the Mandarin Oriental, looking out
over the Strip’s dead center. Despite the grand view, it’s very Parisian here, thanks to cracked alabaster wall sculptures, hundreds of glass globes suspended from the soaring ceiling, and a leopard-patterned carpet done in gray and crimson. The food is a complex interpretation of American and French products combined in ways never before imagined. 590-8888. Vintner Grill. This popular room in western Las Vegas is owned by the Corrigan Brothers of Agave and Roadrunner fame. The décor features a tongue-and-groove Continued on page 92 May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 91
Two decorated chefs; one great steak house By Max Jacobson
Beautiful rooms Continued from page 91
ceiling, a black-and-white checker ﬂoor and Orion chandeliers hanging from trees on a Moroccan-themed patio. The food is the province of Spago alum Matthew Silverman and runs to upscale, eclectic fare. Start with Moroccan spiced lamb ribs or crispy calamari with a curry aioli. Then graduate to masterful entrées such as halibut with couscous, spinach, toasted orzo pasta, lemon gremolata and sweet tomatoes. 10100 W. Charleston Blvd., 214-5590. Guy Savoy. A private elevator whisks you to this cathedral-like room with majestically high ceilings and austere, dark wooden paneling designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who also did parts of the Louvre and Guy Savoy’s restaurant in Paris. The champagne bar has an arresting sculptured bear composed of white matchsticks. The cooking is magniﬁcent, such as the oysters en gelée, superb American beef and the chef’s signature artichoke soup with Parmesan and black trufﬂes. In Caesars Palace, 731-7110. Sensi. The Japanese designer Super Potato used stone walls and water features in this Spa Tower stunner, which relies on an abundance of wood and glass for the natural look. The tandoori breads and meats, fresh pastas, American grill fare and fresh seafoods are prepared in four show kitchens fronted by glass. Chef Martin Heierling has great design karma. His other restaurant, Vdara’s Silk Road, has an exotic, central Asian design from architect Karim Rashid. In Bellagio, 693-7223. 92 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Mastro’s Ocean Club. David Rockwell’s 80-foot “treehouse,” a magniﬁcent construction of curved wooden beams, is the centerpiece at this new steak and seafood house that came to us from Orange County. The dining room boasts beautifully curved white leather booths and mahogany banquettes. If you stick to the basics, such as the Caesar salad, one of the prime steaks and wine from a nicely put together list, you can eat reasonably well here. In Crystals at CityCenter, 798-7115. Hank’s. This clubby Green Valley steak house is notable for its elaborate crystal chandeliers from the Czech Republic, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and were strung individually by visiting artists from that country. Distressed mirrors and a cool marble bar are just of few of the lavish appointments. The cuisine is solid, with prime meats complemented by terriﬁc sides such as creamed corn and trufﬂed tater tots. In the Green Valley Ranch Casino, 617-7515.
Hank’s (top) and the Vintner Grill (above) add some swank to the Vegas burbs.
Two of the most prestigious restaurant awards in the world were announced recently. One was the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. (I am on the voting panel.) The surprise winner was Noma of Copenhagen, Denmark, with Spain’s famed temple of molecular gastronomy, El Bulli, ranked ﬁrst last year, coming second. No Las Vegas restaurant made the list. Then there was the annual James Beard Awards, held in New York City, with the Wynn’s Paul Bartolotta among dozens of Vegas chefs in the audience. Claude Le Tohic, the chef at MGM Grand’s Joël Robuchon, won Best Chef Southwest, beating out the other two ﬁnalists, Lotus of Siam’s Saipin Chutima and RM Seafood’s Rick Moonen. But Moonen, whose restaurant is at Mandalay Place, had his day as well. He won a James Beard Television Award for hosting a segment of Chefs A’ Field, which took place in Alaska. Congratulations to chefs Le Tohic and Moonen. The Outstanding Restaurant Award went to New York City’s Daniel, and Best New Restaurant went to Marea, also in NYC. Daniel Boulud of Daniel recently shuttered DB Brasserie at Wynn. Michael White of Marea was the opening chef at the MGM Grand’s Fiamma. It’s comforting to know that New York is still the center of the universe—or at least that the Beard House says it is. I’ve known Strip House chef John Schenk since he came here to open Nectar at Bellagio, in the spot occupied today by Fix. John is a good ’ol boy from rural upstate New York. He grew up on a farm and knew how to butcher a steer before he could tie his shoes. Strip House, for those of you not familiar, is one of this city’s best steak joints. It’s housed in Planet Hollywood, with a design by David Rockwell, done in lurid crimson. Black-and-white deco portraits hang on the wall. Lighting is dim and sexy, tres Belle Epoque. But Schenk’s meats are the main draw, such as a 40-ounce porterhouse that he dry-ages for 35 days, best eaten with the house steak sauce. On the side, you can have such treasures as goose-fat potatoes or creamed corn with pancetta. For dessert, there is the incredible 24-layer chocolate cake, which will feed a small orchestra. Strip House, incidentally, is a national chain, but Schenk, who is the corporate chef for all of them, has made Las Vegas his home—a real plus. Call 737-5200 for a dinner reservation. Hungry, yet? Follow Max Jacobson’s latest epicurean observations, reviews and tips at foodwinekitchen.com.
Dishing Got a favorite dish? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a sweet tooth for old-school junk food, this is the place to go. One of chef Kerry Simon’s most popular desserts is a platter that includes his miniature takes on the Hostess Cup Cake and Sno Ball, Rice Krispies and Fruit Loop treats, and caramel popcorn, tiny sundaes, milkshakes and cotton candy. $9, in Palms Place, 4381 W. Flamingo Road, 994-3292.
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Four Cheese Ravioli at Maggiano’s
Combining Little Italy and the Strip, this chain restaurant is known for its family-style atmosphere and portions. But this is one dish that might be too delicious to share. The four cheeses f illing the ravioli are ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella and provolone. Then it’s baked al forno with both a pesto-alfredo cream and marinara sauce. $5.95 half order and $9.75 full, in Fashion Show, 732-2550.
Achiote Grilled Chicken Breast at Pink Taco This Mexican delicacy will make you say “Arriba, arriba!” The chicken breast is marinated in achiote and various Mexican spices to give it enough sabor (ﬂavor) to transport you to a placid day on the Mexican coast. It comes with a side of rice and beans as well as fresh guacamole and pickled onion. $13.95, in the Hard Rock Hotel, 693-5000.
Asian Dumplings at Todd’s Unique Dining
Chef Todd Clore wows the Green Valley crowd with his many eclectic and tasty dishes, which are the result of cooking experience that ranges from an upscale Chinese restaurant to a Strip buffet. His pot stickers come to the table perfectly crisp, nicely browned. And at six to an order, they’re one of the best dumpling deals around. $9, 4350 E. Sunset Road, 259-8633.
Dumplings by Anthony Mair
Junk Food Platter for Your Table at Simon
Dishing Got a favorite dish? Tell us at email@example.com.
Cadillac Fajita Nachos at Cabo Wabo
Sammy Hagar ﬁrst did this cantina in Cabo San Lucas, and now he has brought the party, music and some fun food and drinks to the Las Vegas Strip. This nacho platter looks like a sunny day in Cabo. Each chip is loaded with refried beans, your choice of seasoned beef or chicken, a mix of cheeses and jalapeños. It is served with salsa, guacamole and sour cream. $13, in the Miracle Mile Shops, 385-2226.
The Bobbie Sandwich at Capriotti’s
This legendary sub lets you relive Thanksgiving any day of the year, with its splurge of stufﬁng, cranberry sauce, turkey and mayo in a bun. You can choose which size you want, but for the full Thanksgiving effect, we recommend that you go for the large. $6.50, multiple locations.
5 Consecutive Zagats Best Pizza Awards & Best Pizza R-J Readers Poll America’s Neighborhood Pizzeria 1395 East Tropicana Ave. 4001 South Decatur Blvd. 1420 W. Horizon Ridge 4178 Koval Lane
702-736-1955 702-362-7896 702-458-4769 702-312-5888
4111 Boulder Highway
,nVide (lliV ,Vland &aVino
,nVide %ouldeU 6tation &aVino
www.metropizza.com Also visit us at: 96 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Beso Beso Salad at Beso
Actress Eva Longoria Parker owns this elegant, Latin-inﬂuenced steak house made popular in Hollywood and now in Las Vegas. And this salad is one of its star attractions. It consists of Bibb lettuce topped with slices of tomato and ﬁne herbs, dressed in a champagne orange vinaigrette. It’s a light and ﬂavorful start to your dinner. $14, in Crystals at CityCenter, 254-2376.
Three Color Curry at Mix Zone Café
This popular lunch entrée will make your taste buds explode with its variety of ﬂavors. Daniel Coughlin’s creation includes a mix of yellow, green and red paste with bamboo, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, basil, carrots, coconut milk and some ﬁsh oil. $8.95, 2202 W. Charleston Blvd., 388-0708.
7win la\eUV oI ultUathin and FUiVp\ pizza dough ﬁlled with Nutella and topped with UaVpEeUU\ VauFe and IUeVh EeUUieV 6aYe tiPe (at pizza and deVVeUt all at onFe
No Piece of Cake
Lura Poland picked up wisdom the hard way before getting her dream job at Sage
By David Davis The next chapter in her career began with a mistake. Nearly broke, she answered an ad on Craigslist for an “assistant pastry chef” at a new restaurant—except she thought the ad meant “assistant to the pastry chef.” The job was actually for pastry chef who’d be assistant to the executive chef. “If I’d known,” she says, “I never would have applied.” But that executive chef, Richard Camarota, seemed to like her, so she decided to ﬁnish the application process. “I did two dishes off the tentative menu, plus a dish of my own, a goatcheese cheesecake with honeyed ﬁgs and honey ice cream,” she says. “They said it was really good. They especially liked the textures of the ice creams.” What did Poland think? Lura Poland’s ﬁnally in a good place: the Sage kitchen. “I totally thought I blew it, I thought they were going to hate me because I’m such a perfectionist. And my beignets looked like turds.” Soon after, Camarota called to say she was hired. “I said, ‘Really?’ But I tried to play it cool, keep it professional, so I said, ‘Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.’ I didn’t want them to think I was easy. Then I went home and started screaming, ‘I got the job!’” It took her awhile to believe it. “It only started to seem real when I started doing menu development, maybe the ﬁrst time Shawn [McClain, Sage’s owner-chef ] showed up at my house to do a tasting.” She still has trouble believing her good fortune, given all that she’s been through. “I thought I would die in a cardboard box,” she says. Instead, she’s living happily ever after—engaged, with a new home and a full-blown career, not to mention a steady paycheck. “My life is pretty freaking good.”
Seven Things Lura Poland Can’t Live Without My black hoodie sweatshirt. I love it to death and wear it almost everywhere. I am dreading the day it falls apart. Geraldine, my car. We traveled all the way from New Hampshire to here together. That kind of thing builds a relationship. She’s always been steady and reliable for me, which is more than I can say for some past relationships. 98 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
My camera. I really enjoy taking pictures—of places, animals and, of course, food. I take a lot of pictures of things I am doing in the kitchen and post them on my Twitter feed. They help serve as mental notes. Coffee. I am not a morning person. Restaurant supply stores. I can get lost in one for hours.
Disneyland annual pass. My ﬁance and I spend a lot of time there together. We are both big believers in staying young at heart. And we really, really like Thunder Mountain. Her sense of humor. If I didn’t have the ability to see the absurdity in even some of the most serious situations, I think I would have cracked a long time ago.
Her Latest Creation Lura Poland intended to update Shawn McClain’s citrus panna cotta, but ended up creating a new dish instead. “I added some rhubarb. Then we got some strawberries from Harry’s Berries—they do the best strawberries—and I thought, ‘How cool would it be if it was a strawberry rhubarb panna cotta?’ You never see that.” Now you do. Sage’s newest dessert also includes honey orange juice, sparkling wine jelly and honey shortbread, topped with a quenelle of strawberry wine sorbet.
Photography by Anthony Mair
Ten years ago, Lura Poland was taking tubes off a conveyor belt at a factory in Dover, N.H. Today, she’s among the rising-star pastry chefs in Las Vegas, working at Aria’s hot new restaurant, Sage. What was her bridge to a successful, exciting career? A spam e-mail from the Atlantic Culinary Academy. It made her think, “That looks like a lot of fun ... and it’s just down the street.” So she signed up. Still, “I never thought I’d make money cooking.” For most of the next 10 years, her skepticism seemed valid. Her ﬁrst post-grad gig was at a New Hampshire bistro on the brink of collapse. “It was the worst job of my life,” she says. But she learned a lot by helping run the short-staffed kitchen and creating a new dessert menu. After the bistro closed, she worked for a chain restaurant and gained three years’ experience in the kitchen, progressing from line cook to lead cook. One day a friend from Las Vegas convinced her to move. They got in her Ford Taurus, which was “packed with so much stuff we blew a tire,” and drove out. After much persistence, she landed a low-level cooking position at a major Strip hotel. “The work was mind-numbingly dull,” she recalls. “But I learned a lot about how not to do ice creams and sorbets.” Although the experience was valuable, she felt very out of place. The feeling must have been mutual, because after six months, just before Christmas 2007, she was asked to resign. “I thought I got ﬁred because I sucked,” she says. “It was the worst Christmas of my life.” In the new year she signed on with the Venetian’s newly announced Restaurant Charlie, which would quickly become one of the city’s best restaurants. “I was a peon, and the pastry chef [Aaron Lindgren] was demanding, prone to mood swings. It was awful.” Eventually, though, Poland came to appreciate Lindgren’s relentless perfectionism. “I am grateful,” she says, “because every now and then I’ll catch myself doing something lazy and hear his voice inside my head, and I’ll be, like, ‘No, I can’t do it that way, I’ve got to do it right.’” When Lindgren left, she had the opportunity to work under Vannessa Garcia, who, later that year, would be nominated for the James Beard Rising Star award. Although the Restaurant Charlie earned a Michelin star, it was super expensive and ultimately had trouble making ends meet. So, Poland was soon out of a job again.
HEALTH & FiTnEss save Your Hide
A quick guide to having a scorch-free summer—for people who care about their skin
By Jessica Prois In a city known for overexposure in a lot of ways, there’s a lesson to be learned in keeping it under wraps when it comes to the sun. Many summer sun worshippers bristle at the thought of sunscreen and long sleeves, but experts say that 80 percent of skin cancers are related to the sun, and the high risk factor in Las Vegas has a lot to do with our sun-centric way of living. Yes, you’ve heard all of that before. Well, here’s a reminder, as well as some cool new products and treatments, to help you safeguard your skin this summer—and look good doing it. Know the risk Las Vegas is a breeding ground for two main types of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most common type of cancer for people 25-29 years old, and it can be deadly. It’s usually found in people who spend extended periods of time in the sun and burn easily. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type overall, and it mostly affects those who experience a high level of sun exposure over a lifetime. “The Vegas lifestyle puts us at risk. It’s shorts, hanging out by the pools, enjoying the outdoors,” says Dr. Jason Michaels, founder of and physician at Aspire Cosmetic MedCenter. “It’s also a sexy city. People want tans, and they want to look good.” Know what to look for One in ﬁve Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, but if it’s detected early enough, the cure rate is almost 100 percent, Michaels says. The American Academy of Dermatology urges people to use the “ABCD” rules to detect signs of skin cancer: Asymmetry: One-half of a mole or birthmark doesn’t match the other. Border: The edges are irregular. Color: The color is not the same all over. Diameter: The area is larger than the size of a pencil eraser or is growing larger. Other warning signs include a sore that doesn’t heal, or redness or swelling. When it comes to freckles, the same ABCD rules apply, Michaels says. “Look for the ugly duckling.” Know the treatments Skin irregularities require a trip to a board-certiﬁed dermatologist, Michaels says. Doctors might do a biopsy and then treat non-melanoma skin cancers with a cream or a process such as photodynamic therapy, which targets proliferating cancer cells and 100 Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
draws them out. Melanoma cancer needs to be treated aggressively and might need to be removed so it doesn’t spread. Know summer skin care To keep skin from becoming dehydrated, Daphne Davis, aesthetic director of Woodson Dermatology, recommends the HydraFacial, which infuses skin with antioxidants, and exfoliates it, suctions out pores and then injects nutrients such as Vitamin C. (The treatment costs between $125-$150 at Woodson, 2800 N. Tenaya Way). But Davis also cautions that many people overdo it with treatments. “Chemical treatments, laser, over-the-counter products, scrubs—oh my God, they’re doing everything!” she says. An alternative solution is to use organic products, which let your skin breathe. Natural products penetrate the skin faster than those with preservatives, says Mary Lifrieri, aesthetician at ElevenSpa. They’re also ideal for people with sensitive skin. If you’re purchasing organic, it’s best to use them synergistically, but if you can’t afford that, an organic moisturizer is essential, she says. Organic treatments can also easily be done at home, such as mixing juice from a cucumber and distilled water to use as a balancing toner, or boiling oats just past the point of grittiness and slathering them on to draw out oil. Know how to look good and be safe Luckily, dermatologist-approved products make it easy to safeguard your skin and look beautiful. Davis recommends Color Science self-dispensing mineral makeup with SPF 50 sunscreen ($60, colorscience.com). The brush-on powder is made up of ﬁnely ground minerals without any of the chemicals, dyes and preservatives found in traditional makeup. “Ninety percent of the damage we do is attributed to not wearing sunblock,” she says. “People need to remember that the FDA approves a minimum of SPF 30, not 15 anymore.” Michaels is an advocate of sun-protective clothing such as items found at Solumbra.com and Coolibar.com. He says the clothes are a good substitute for sunscreen.
Top: A beach cover-up and sun hat from Solumbra. Above: The HydraFacial. Left: A wide-brim sun hat from Coolibar.
SportS & LeiSure
Making the Cut
Beauty abounds as we look at nine of the ﬁnest golf holes in the Valley If eyes were made for seeing, then Beauty is its own excuse for being.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
By Brian Hurlburt Bali Hai Golf Club, 16th hole.
What can keep the masses enthralled with the escape of golf is sometimes not just the ecstasy of that one ﬂeeting great shot, but the opportunity to walk with the beauty and solitude of a course. And here in Las Vegas, there is plenty of golf majesty to keep us all engaged in the grand old game. So with that, we give you nine of Las Vegas’ most beautiful holes, accented by a clubhouse to rival the city’s slickest architecture. And please understand that slimming the list to nine was akin to going 3-under par on Amen Corner at Augusta during the Masters. Cascata Clubhouse: A round always begins and ends with a visit to the clubhouse, and mostly that time is just a mere afterthought. But at Cascata, the environs signal that this golf experience is anything but average. Large doors open to reveal a ﬂowing river, splitting the clubhouse between the restaurant/bar, and the pro shop and lavish locker rooms. Nineteenth hole? Yes, but to the 10 th power. Architect: Rees Jones.
Dergan once sprawled—blond hair ﬂowing—on the green during a cover shoot for VegasGolfer. Architects: Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley. Rio Secco Golf Club (par 4, 478-yard 11th): It was abundantly clear that this hole would zoom to the top of the unofﬁcial best holes in Las Vegas list when it opened. It hasn’t disappointed because the tee boxes are enclosed by native rock walls before the hole unfolds, doglegging right with a view of the Las Vegas Valley painting the background. Architect: Rees Jones. TPC Summerlin (par 3, 196-yard 17th): This hole provides annual drama during the PGA Tour’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Water guards left, bunkers right, and views of the city are prevalent. During tournament week, fans watch from “The Hill” with drinks in hand as the best either crumble or overcome this hole. Architect: Bobby Weed with Raymond Floyd.
Primm Valley Golf Club (par 5, 530-yard 2nd): You Shadow Creek (par 3, 164yard 17th): This par 3 is said to never can go wrong adding a hole by course designer Tom be Michael Jordan’s favorite, so Fazio to your list, and this par 5, who are we to argue? The hole is which wraps around a large lake, tucked in the shadows of mature is a no-brainer. Mountains in pine trees, plus it’s guarded nicely Legacy Golf Club, 10th hole. the distance cap it, but perfectly by water. And it comes with an placed bunkers and a large green make this dogleg left urban legend that the deceased dolphins from The an experience. Architect: Tom Fazio. Mirage habitat are buried in the hillside overlooking the green. Architects: Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn. Snow Mountain, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (par 3, 198-yard 16 th): There are three lavish golf Bali Hai Golf Club (par 3, 141-yard 16th hole): This hole rests in perfect view of the guests on the courses at Paiute, but this hole sits atop the leaderpatio of a beautiful clubhouse. A lagoon-like water board for us. A small green is decorated by a lake and feature surrounds the short-but-challenging hole. A bunkers while the Sheep Mountains are the aiming moment that adds nicely is that Playboy Playmate Lisa point. Architect: Pete Dye. 102
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
Legacy Golf Club (par 3, 193-yard 10th): As far as we’re concerned, any list of golf holes has to include this one for sheer devotion to the Las Vegas theme. Each tee box here is shaped in a card suit, but other beauty includes native vegetation and an undulating green. Architect: Arthur Hills. Bear’s Best Las Vegas (par 3, 229-yard 4th): This makes the list as part of the tapestry that is Bear’s Best. The course is made up of 18 of Jack Nicklaus’ favorite holes from courses he has designed. Old Works in Montana comes to life here, complete with black slag bunkers. Views complete the beauty. Architect: Jack Nicklaus. Southern Highlands Golf Club (par 3, 214-yard 17th): “Like the 17th hole at Shadow Creek, Southern Highland’s penultimate hole is gorgeous and daunting, with a beautiful reﬂecting pond fronting the green and more than a dozen species of plants and ﬂowers accenting the water features,” says local golf author and member Jack Sheehan. “If your round hasn’t been ruined by the score you make on this postcard hole, take a moment and look backwards to the tee and absorb the moment and beauty.” Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. And as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so grab the sticks and start to behold. Brian Hurlburt is the former publisher of VegasGolfer and current founding editor of GolfLasVegasNow.com.
Rio Secco Golf Club, 11th hole.
Going for Broke
Betting trends established early in baseball season By Matt Jacob Let’s see, through May 10, the San Diego Padres had the third-best record in the National League, the Washington Nationals were four games over .500 and two games out of ﬁrst place, and the Toronto Blue Jays were four games over .500 thanks to a 12-5 road record. All three teams were picked by most experts to ﬁnish last in their respective divisions. Meanwhile, the Red Sox (17-16), Angels (15-19) and Cubs (14-19) were a combined total of 16 games out of ﬁrst place in their respective divisions. To quote the great Slim Pickens, what in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here? I’ll tell you what’s going on: Unless you do business in the Bronx, money doesn’t automatically buy happiness in baseball, and right now, several payroll bottomfeeders are getting more bang for their bucks than the big spenders. How does this translate to the wagering world? Well, through the season’s ﬁrst ﬁve weeks, three of the top ﬁve moneymakers for bettors were the Nationals (ﬁrst), Blue Jays (third) and Padres (ﬁfth). Meanwhile, the Red Sox (22nd), Angels (23rd) and Cubs (29th) all were in the bottom 10. Will things change as the summer progresses? To a certain extent, absolutely. But keep in mind that Colorado, Texas and Florida were thought to be ﬂukes last year, and they ended up ﬁnishing 22, 12 and 12 games over .500, respectively, and were second, third and ninth on the
money list. Meanwhile, the Mets and Diamondbacks were pegged as playoff contenders, yet each ﬁnished 70-92. So what can we expect on the diamond going forward? Here are ﬁve bits of betting advice in the coming weeks (with my bankroll sitting idle at $5,255): 1) So long as the price/matchups are right, keep riding teams such as San Diego, Texas, Toronto, San Francisco and Minnesota (all of whom have underrated starting pitching, quality bullpens and balanced lineups. 2) Stay away from the Red Sox until they put together a strong 10-day stretch. 3) Fade overrated clubs such as the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Mariners as big favorites or small underdogs (they’re all ﬂawed). 4) Start looking for opportunities to back the Astros (10-21) and Orioles (923) at nice underdog prices (neither will continue to play this bad). 5) Continue to look for spots to play the red-hot Rays and Yankees on the run line (meaning to win by at least two runs). That’s because each of New York’s ﬁrst 21 victories and 18 of Tampa Bay’s ﬁrst 22 wins were by multiple runs. Matt Jacob is a former local sports writer who has been in the sports handicapping business for more than four years. For his weekly column, Vegas Seven has granted Matt a “$7,000” bankroll. If he blows it all, we’ll ﬁre him and replace him with a monkey.
Photo by Eldon Lindsay / Omaha Royals
Parraz on Deck During ﬁve seasons in the Houston Astros’ farm system, Jordan Parraz never ascended higher than Single A despite being named MVP of his team twice. The former Green Valley High School and College of Southern Nevada standout was traded to the Kansas City Royals in December 2008, however, and now he is one step away from the major leagues. Parraz, 25, will continue his climb toward the big leagues at Cashman Field on May 15-18 when the Omaha Royals play the Las Vegas 51s. The outﬁelder, who hit .348 at three minor league stops last year, is batting just .184 this season through May 10, but is starting to heat up with a .286 average this month. For more information, go to lv51.com. – Sean DeFrank Ex-Green Valley star Jordan Parraz. May 13-19, 2010 Vegas Seven 103
seven questions Paul Devitt The multi-city club owner talks about running a hipster bar in a tourist city, the evolution of downtown and life without video poker By Elizabeth Sewell
Where did the idea for Beauty Bar come from? It just kind of evolved in my head. Collecting antiques and midcentury-era stuff—1950s and 1960s—has always been my passion. I was in the bar business at the time, so I had this idea. I found this old salon in Long Island and I bought [the interior] and put it in storage. I started looking for space in New York City and I found an actual [40-year-old] salon 110
Vegas Seven May 13-19, 2010
that was still operating. I went and asked the guy if he was interested in selling his lease, which he was. He thought I was a hairdresser, I believe, so he sold me his lease. I didn’t even need the stuff I had in storage. I moved a few pieces of furniture around, put a bar in the place and the rest is history. What drew you to Las Vegas? I love downtown Vegas. Whenever I would come to Vegas—I used to come for trade shows because I had a clothing line—we would always go downtown and hang out. Even though there was not a lot going on, I liked the kitsch and the history. So after I opened in L.A., this seemed like the most logical spot. Why hasn’t Las Vegas Beauty Bar been as successful as other locations? We’re kind of event-driven in Vegas. When we have something really good going on, we have a great night, but as far as a steady nightly party, it’s tough down there. It’s a small crowd of kids that support the scene and there are a few different places to go. … The Beauty Bar will be busy and The Grifﬁn will be slow, or The Grifﬁn will be busy and the Beauty Bar will be slow. Typically, in a big city there are plenty of kids to go around to ﬁll all the bars and they move around. In Vegas they seem to go to one place and stay there. Why is the atmosphere different in Las Vegas compared with other cities with Beauty Bars? Because of the casino culture, that kind of rules the roost. They have so much money to throw at clubs, advertising and talent—it’s very hard to compete with that. If I could pay $500 for a band, they can pay $5,000 if they want that same band. It’s like Down &
Derby started at the Beauty Bar, and then the Palms wanted it, so the Palms just had to wave money in front of the promoter’s face and they went there, of course, because they’re probably making ﬁve times the money. I can’t blame them. That’s what they’re in it for; it’s business. … To me, downtown Vegas—the Fremont East is what they call it—is what real living is like in other cities, where people go to bars and there’s not blackjack or poker on the bar tops. That wouldn’t ﬁt in the Beauty Bar. Would I do it if I had the option? I probably would because I would make so much money off those damn things, but it works better without it. What do you like about Las Vegas? I’ve made some good friends, and there are deﬁnitely some good people there. I have great employees and some great people I work with, in particular John Doe and the guy who runs [the funk dance party] The Get Back, our busiest night of the month. It’s a great party. It’s funny that it’s not by far the busiest Beauty Bar but I have the busiest party at any of the Beauty Bars. Will you have any new projects in Las Vegas? Unless some big casino comes and throws lots of money at me, I don’t think I’ll be doing anything else in Vegas. What’s your favorite Beauty Bar story? When Martha Stewart came in to get a manicure. The old lady I bought the salon from in New York … was about 80, and we got her to come back and do the manicures after we bought the bar. She did a manicure for Martha Stewart, and someone next to me walked over to her and said, “Florence, do you know who that was? That was Martha Stewart.” She said, “Who cares? She’s a crappy tipper.”
Photo by Anthony Mair
Though neither a hairstylist nor a cosmetologist, Paul Devitt has made his mark on beauty in Las Vegas. He brought his salon-inspired saloon concept, Beauty Bar, to the ﬂedgling Fremont East District ﬁve years ago this month. (A May 30 anniversary party will feature the Afghan Raiders, Twin Brother and DJ John Doe). After launching successful Beauty Bars in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Beauty Bar Las Vegas seemed like a natural progression. Featuring an interior salvaged from a salon in New Jersey, it became a refuge for local bands, DJs and hipsters. The original Beauty Bar opened in New York in 1995 in a transformed salon. Ten more locations have followed since in cities such as Chicago, San Diego and Austin, Texas. The Las Vegas branch has been only “marginally successful,” Devitt says. In December he launched Beauty Bar Vodka, and in honor of Beauty Bar’s signature Martinis and Manicures happy hour, during which your manicure comes with a martini for $10, he’s creating a line of nail polish. Each city will have its own color—ours will be a glittery gold, of course. A Nevada State Board of Cosmetology rule that prohibits manicures at establishments that sell alcohol may put a crimp in that popular special. So for now, Beauty Bar is offering free nail-care demonstrations, in case you have to have yours done in Las Vegas’ own hue.