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The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart & Alex Pall


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Read Vegas Seven right-side up and then flip it over and start again with (7) SEVEN NIGHTS, featuring after-dark entertainment and the week’s nightlife happenings.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

JANUARY 12–18, 2017 TO DO

32 Cocoa Counterpoints

13 24/7

What to do around the clock in Las Vegas.

Hot chocolate for the healthconscious and the partiers. BY AL MANCINI

BY SHANNON MILLER

14 The Deal

SOCIAL INFLUENCE

BY ANTHONY CURTIS

Vintage travel cases tell tales of 1940s and ’50s Americana.

FEATURE

BY KRISTEN PETERSON

Free parking is a deal in 2017.

16 Burning Up

Superduo The Chainsmokers talk to Vegas Seven in an exclusive interview.

36 The Best of CES

Our niftiest and most ridiculous finds. BY SEVEN STAFF

37 Butte in the Eye

BY MARK ADAMS

21 New Year, New You

Niyama Sol yogawear for fitness, fashion and the environment. BY GENEVIE DURANO

22 Soul Searching

Yoga instructor Dray Gardner guides students to their truth. BY JESSI C. ACUÑA PLUS: Alternative

35 Mysterious Journeys

Gold Butte National Monument secures its protected status. BY MICHAEL GREEN

CONVERSATIONS

39 The Genius of

Lin-Manuel Miranda

yoga.

24 Natural Beauty

Sidestep the toxins and embrace plant-based ingredients.

Hamilton creator could attain PEGOT status. BY CHARLIE STARLING

Ask a Native

OUR SITES TO SEE

VegasSeven.com

joins the beauty game.

40 Lucky No. 7

25 How Does Your

BY SEVEN STAFF

Now Serving We take the first bite of restaurant openings around town. Head to vegasseven.com/ nowserving to get a sampling of The Cosmopolitan’s new Milk Bar, fast-food vegan joint Vege-Way, Downtown’s Freedom Beat and more.

Vegas Roots reconnects the community with its food.

ON THE FLIP SIDE

DTLV.com

BY JESSI C. ACUÑA PLUS: Cannabis

Ways to thrive in 2017. BY JAMES P. REZA

Our new year’s resolutions.

Garden Grow?

BY SHANNON MILLER PLUS: Plant-based substitutes that won’t make you miss meat.

26 Mind Over Matter

Cultivating a meditation practice. BY GENEVIE DURANO PLUS: Social

fitness.

Seven Nights What to do after dark. BY MARK ADAMS

BY MARK ADAMS

TASTE

Nightlife personalities who make health a priority.

29 One Bite

BY DAVID MORRIS

Freedom Beat’s chicken fried bacon. BY AL MANCINI

30 First Look

The Cosmopolitan’s dining revolution continues with Zuma. BY AL MANCINI

Ghost Ride Fremont East becomes the testing ground for autonomous technology with the NAVYA ARMA 100 percent electric and driverless shuttle.

Fanning the Fire The Chainsmokers launch a three-year residency at Wynn Las Vegas.

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

PHOTO KRYSTAL RAMIREZ

Vegas Roots community garden looks forward to giving back this year.

of Nevadans

Club Tour Drai’s in The Cromwell. BY KAT BOEHRER

Night-Lites

RunRebs.com Weekly Recap Tyler Bischoff examines coach Marvin Menzies’ strategy against Utah State, changes to the starting lineup and more.

SpyOnVegas.com The Hookup Find upcoming events, see highlights from the hottest parties, meet the DJs and more.

Dayclub Dome and Zoology. BY JOHN CARR

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DRAY GARDNER ON HEALTH AND HEALING

Photography ANDREW SEA JAMES

tastic Opportunities. H I R I NG BA R T E N DE R S, SE RV E R S, POOL AT T E N DA N T S A N D HO S T S. We are looking for fun, enthusiastic and talented individuals for our 2017 Pool Season! Bring your smile, passion for people and updated resume. JOI N US I N PE R SON January 20 and 21, 2017 Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas The Gallery 10:00 am – 4:00 pm A P P LY O N L I N E I N A DVA N CE mandarinoriental.com/careers

Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger President Michael Skenandore Chief Financial Officer Sim Salzman Vice President, Marketing and Events Keith White Creative Director Sherwin Yumul Graphic Designer Javon Isaac Technical Director Herbert Akinyele Controller Jane Weigel

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Publisher

Michael Skenandore Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Melinda Sheckells MANAGING EDITOR

Genevie Durano SENIOR EDITOR, DINING, BEVERAGE & NIGHTLIFE

Xania Woodman ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Mark Adams SENIOR WRITER

Lissa Townsend Rodgers EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Shannon Miller Contributing Editors Michael Green (Politics), David G. Schwartz (Gaming/Hospitality) Art CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Benjamin Ward SENIOR DESIGNER

Cierra Pedro STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Krystal Ramirez VegasSeven.com DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL CONTENT

Zoneil Maharaj EDITOR, DTLV.COM

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Amber Sampson CONTRIBUTING WRITER, RUNREBS.COM

Tyler Bischoff Production/Distribution DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION/DISTRIBUTION

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Robyn Weiss, Matt Iles DIRECTOR OF SALES, BILLBOARD DIVISION

John Tobin


TO DO

What to do around the clock in Las Vegas By Shannon Miller

THURSDAY 12

FRIDAY 13

SATURDAY 14

Cold Cave brings its experimental elec-

Surfin’: The Beach Boys Tribute arrives

Check out health and wellness booths and fitness demonstrations at Healthy Henderson Fair. The event also features a food truck, plus bounce houses and face painting for the kids. 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Henderson Multigenerational Center, cityofhenderson.com

COLD CAVE BY MIGUEL ESCOBAR; DANIEL TOSH BY IAN WHITE

tronic pop to The Bunkhouse Saloon. 9 p.m., $15–$20, bunkhousedowntown.com

DJ Atomic and DJ Fish host a viewing party for Silent Night, Deadly Night. Experience cathartic release from holiday stresses with this 1984 slasher Santa flick. 9 p.m., doubledownsaloon.com Get refreshed and ready for the New Year at South Point’s Costa del Sur Spa & Salon, with treatments such as the 50-minute New Year New Skin facial. 9 a.m.–8 p.m., $95–$180, all specials valid Mon.–Fri. through Jan., spacostadelsur.com Country act Kane Brown brings his Ain’t No Stopping Us Now tour to House of Blues. 6:30 p.m., $22, Mandalay Bay, houseofblues.com/lasvegas

Cold Cave (above) and Daniel Tosh.

at the Cannery Casino Hotel. A faithful re-creation of the Beach Boys live, the group will play songs such as “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “I Get Around” and, of course, “Surfin’.” Jan. 13–14, 8 p.m., $10, cannerycasino.com

Skillz Hudson and Manfred Hein bring their laughs to Bonkerz Comedy Club at Rockhouse. 8 p.m., $20, Grand Canal Shoppes, bonkerzcomedyproductions.com

It’s opening night at The Mirage for Tosh. Show, if you’re in the mood for some hilariously offensive and witty humor from Comedy Central mainstay Daniel Tosh. 10 p.m., $77–$105, mirage.com Five-piece funk, classic R&B and hip-hop group In-A-Fect brings its sizzling harmony and old-school vibes to Aliante. 9 p.m., $10, aliantegaming.com Don’t miss Broadway in the Hood’s premiere of The Mountaintop, a play about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final moments before his assassination, which begins its run at The Smith Center tonight. Times vary, through Jan. 15, $34, Troesh Studio Theater, thesmithcenter.com

Former Hells Angels member and chapter president George Christie stops by The Mob Museum for a talk and book signing of his Exile on Front Street: My Life as a Hells Angel … and Beyond memoir. 1 p.m., free for members or with museum admission, themobmuseum.org After hosting free storytelling workshops at West Las Vegas Arts Center (947 W. Lake Mead Blvd.), award-winning storytellers Djeliba Baba and Diane Ferlatte perform an afternoon of African folktales and fables at Charleston Heights Arts Center (800 Brush St.). Workshops 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., performance at 2 p.m., $10–$15, artslasvegas.org Partake in Beatlemania when The Fab plays its Ultimate Beatles Music Celebration at Brooklyn Bowl. 8 p.m., brooklynbowl.com/las-vegas

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TO DO

24/7

THE DEAL BY ANTHONY CURTIS

Free Parking Is a Deal in 2017

The Juggler, screening this week at Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival

Nevada’s longest-running flickfest, the Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival, returns to screens around the

Valley. Catch the opening-night screening of On the Map at Brenden Theatres tonight, followed by a Q&A with director Dani Menkin. Through Jan. 29, individual tickets $10, festival passes $50, lvjff.org The Las Vegas Philharmonic returns to Reynolds Hall to perform a Mozart piano concerto and Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony, plus a piece by local Las Vegas composer Michael Torke, keeping with director Donato Cabrera’s mission to offer the community both contemporary and classical works. 7:30 p.m., $30–$109, The Smith Center, thesmithcenter.com

SUNDAY 15

First African Methodist Episcopal Church in North Las Vegas hosts Peaceful Voices on Social Justice: A

Community Dialogue on Attaining King’s Dream in 2017. Honor the civil rights hero by engaging with

and contributing to his legacy. 3–5 p.m., 2446 Revere St., 702-888-3958

Brace yourself for an adrenaline-packed adventure on Dark Ride XD, which debuted at Gameworks Las Vegas late last month. Use your light gun to get through interactive 3-D journeys like Alien Asteroid, Forbidden Mine, Zombies, Gigamon and Pirates. 11 a.m.–midnight, $7, Town Square, gameworks.com Celebrate the late, great Debbie Reynolds and the 65th anniversary of one of America’s quintessential movie musicals, Singin’ in the Rain, which hits the big screen at various Valley theaters for a limited engagement. 2 and 7 p.m., select theaters, fandango.com

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Cirque Du Soleil’s Toruk: The First Flight begins its brief run at T-Mobile Arena. Immerse yourself in Pandora, James Cameron’s imagined world from Avatar, in which the native lifeforms and their planet must overcome the threat of destruction. Through Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m., $39–$155, t-mobilearena.com

parking as a deal, but sometimes you don’t know what you have till it’s gone. With the rescinding of the locals exemption from MGM Resorts International’s paid-parking initiative, the recent announcement that Caesars won’t be charging locals to park when it initiates its pay program turns out to be significant. Of course, the same recognition should be given to the casinos that don’t charge anyone to park, including SLS Las Vegas, Treasure Island, Westgate, Hooters, The Venetian/The Palazzo, Wynn/Encore for nonvalet and Circus Circus, which is the exception in the MGM program. My first cool find of the New Year is a free breakfast for gamblers at Dealer’s Choice Lounge, located at 4552 Spring Mountain Rd. Mondays–Fridays, simply play $20 in a machine to get a breakfast sandwich, or eggs and bacon on a plate, with coffee or juice. If you’re a first-timer, you’ll also get $10 in free play after playing the 20 through once. I call the Dealer’s Choice deal an “instacomp,” because you know exactly what you need to do to earn it. Two more instacomps are available this month at Tuscany and Silverton. Earn 200 points ($200 coin-in) on Tuesdays at Tuscany and get a 2-for-1 entrée in Marilyn’s Café or Pub 365. Earn 250 club points ($250 coin-in) on Thursdays at Silverton and get a $10 dining credit, or earn 1,000 points for a $50 credit. The latter is the better deal, requiring only 20 points-per-dollar played versus 25 points-per to get the $10 comp. These days, you don’t find many gambling tournaments that are open to the public, but Downtown Grand is holding one January 12–14. It’s an open blackjack tournament with a $150 entry fee. The prize pool is guaranteed at $20,000 in playtill-you-lose chips, which means it’s a good deal for players in terms of “equity” (the ratio of prize money to entry fees) if there are fewer than 133 entrants. I’m guessing it will be close to that. The $1 oyster deal at Andiron Steak & Sea that I’ve written about before turns out to be even better than advertised. In addition to all the oysters you can eat, beers are half-price daily from 5–7 p.m. So a dozen freshly shucked Baja Kumamotos and a couple of brews will set you back about $20. Oscar’s Steakhouse at the Plaza has expanded its happy hour. Running daily from 4 to 7 p.m., it’s 50 percent off select appetizers, beer, house wine and well drinks. On Wednesdays, the same deal runs all night long, with all bottles of wine and Champagne also half-off. And on Thursdays, it’s half off drinks for ladies till closing. On the negative side of the ledger, the Plaza has discontinued its excellent “$500 on Us” players club sign-up bonus. Too bad. That was a good one. 7

Find more stuff to do in Las Vegas at vegasseven.com/calendar.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and LasVegasAdvisor.com.

MONDAY 16

Line up Downtown on Fourth Street between Gass and Ogden for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. 10 a.m., kingweeklasvegas.com Spring Mountain Ranch State Park hosts a Trails, Trees & Trash service project in honor of MLK’s

devotion to public service. Plant trees and clean up the park while enjoying warm beverages, a bonfire and the satisfaction of doing a good deed. 10 a.m.–1 p.m., $7–$9 vehicle entrance fee, parks.nv.gov

TUESDAY 17

Nik Mastrangelo performs The Mob, The Law & Frank Sinatra. A friend of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Mastrangelo

shares his favorite Rat Pack tunes and recollections from a tumultuous time for law and entertainment in Las Vegas. Ages 18 and up, 7 p.m., Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Rd., lvccld.org R&B and soul singer-songwriter Keith Sweat lays down innovative and iconic slow jams, kicking off his short-term residency at the Flamingo’s Donny & Marie Showroom. 7:30 p.m., $59–$225, caesars.com/ flamingo-las-vegas WEDNESDAY 18

Happy hour at Culinary Dropout offers bites such as pork belly nachos and smoked salmon bruschetta from 3–6 p.m., Mon.–Fri., food specials $3–$7, drink specials $4–$7, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, culinarydropout.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE L AS VEGAS JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE COUNTING free


BURNING THE DETAILS Renowned Los Angeles-based photographer, screenwriter and director Tyler Shields took these exclusive images of The Chainsmokers, seen for the first time in Vegas Seven. Shields is also the lens behind the new black-and-white advertising and video campaign We Are Wynn Nightlife. His celebrity portraits, the stunning series "Historical Fiction" and his book The Dirty Side of Glamour capture a true visual imprint of the 21st century.

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UP

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ALEX PALL AND ANDREW TAGGART OF THE CHAINSMOKERS, WHO WERE ON FIRE IN 2016—AND THAT FLAME ISN’T GOING OUT ANYTIME SOON By Mark Adams Photography Tyler Shields


JUST THREE YEARS AGO, IT MIGHT’VE BEEN EASY TO DISMISS THE CHAINSMOKERS AS STEREOTYPICAL EDM DJS— the kind who spend most of their time remixing others’ tracks. But since the duo’s big 2014 break, Alex Pall, 31, and Andrew Taggart, 27, have been proving themselves as recording artists, churning out hits co-written by Taggart and featuring emotive lyrics that sink themselves into the hearts of their fans. Oh, and Taggart started stepping in front of the sound mixer, taking the mic on songs such as “All We Know” and “Closer.” “When we met, I came in as a DJ and he came in with a producer background. Over the course of four years, it’s definitely blurred and blended a lot more,” Pall says. “I don’t think we were songwriters when we started out, necessarily ... To become more comfortable and confident in our songwriting and the producing side, it’s just been amazing. We just used to remix 50 songs a year or something. It’s really different.” Listeners—and the music industry—took notice, as “Closer” only recently ended its 12-week reign on the top of Billboard’s Hot 100, and what came after that success was even bigger: three Grammy nominations, including the coveted nod for best new artist. In the past 30 years, only two other dance-music artists can claim that nom: Skrillex, in 2012, and C+C Music Factory, in 1992. Not bad for a couple of kids from East Coast suburbs, who started playing shows in New York City for a crowd of 100. “For any artist, the Grammys are the highest form of validation—win or lose. Just to be considered, to know that our peers [who] have a vote in this process thought [we were] worthy, [for] what we’ve done this past year ... is just incredible,” Taggart says. In addition to their obvious synergy in the studio, The Chainsmokers likely wouldn’t be where they are today without a ton of hard work—and the rigorous touring schedule they keep. The pair played countless festivals in 2016—from Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas to Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits—in addition to club performances all around the globe and awards shows, from the American Music Awards to MTV’s VMAs, where Taggart made his live vocal debut with rising alt-pop star Halsey on “Closer.” “There’s really not a lot of things we do for fun. We’re pretty much [working] at the moment. We’re either at the studio or we’re traveling to a show or playing a show,” Taggart says. And speaking of the studio, Taggart divulged that the duo is always working on new material—not exactly a surprise when you consider the fact that they’ve yet to release a full album instead focusing on churning out fantastic EPs laden with hit after hit after hit. “We always write. Writing’s our passion. [Being in the] studio is our passion,” he says. “Touring can be really fun but also really stressful, so we have to make sure that we allocate enough time to be in the studio and kind of let our creative minds run free.” In addition to letting off some steam expressively, it’s become a known fact that The Chainsmokers are certainly of the “work hard, play hard” mind-set. That makes them a great fit for Las Vegas, where they just signed on to continue as headliners at Strip nightclubs, this time inking a three-year residency deal at Wynn Las Vegas.

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“Wynn has a long history of identifying ‘best in class’ entertainment to perform at the resort. … When we saw the meteoric rise of The Chainsmokers last year, we knew we wanted to align our brand with theirs,” says Alex Cordova, executive vice president of nightlife at Wynn Las Vegas. He adds that the property has “great things” in the works for The Chainsmokers’ shows. And a Chainsmokers live show is definitely something to experience. While some DJs might shy away from an open format, it’s exactly that style which makes Las Vegas an appealing gig destination for Pall and Taggart. “Everyone [goes] to Vegas to have a good time, and that kind of allows us some freedom in our set,” Pall says. “We get to play funny throwbacks that everyone knows but forgot about [and] cool versions of our own songs. [We] get interactive with the crowd.” After a banner year of owning the airwaves, Taggart believes it’s also the sheer success that makes a Chainsmokers show so entertaining. “It lets the audience trust us a little bit more. They’re more familiar with who we are and what we do,” he says. “That allows us to be able to push the boundaries and play some unexpected stuff and take chances … people are on the same page with us because of what we put out in the studio.” Did we mention they’re already returning to XS this Saturday? Healthy habits might be trendy during the New Year’s resolution season, but now has never been a better time to take up Chainsmoking. 7

Want to know what it’s like to attend The Chainsmokers' new threeyear residency at Wynn Las Vegas? Read the full story in 7 Nights on our Flip Side.


DISCOVER THE YOU YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN. WE HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF SEATS AVAILABLE FOR OUR JAN. 14 REAL 90. GO TO REALRESULTSFITNESS.COM/REAL-90 OR CALL 702.331.3172

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

New Year, New You Easy Stretch For devout practitioners, the

By Genevie Durano Photography Michael Spain Smith

biggest change that yoga provides is within, but who’s to say that we also can’t look fabulous while getting our bliss on? Niyama Sol, a local yogawear design company, has this in mind with its line of tops and leggings that fit like a second skin and can go straight from the mat to the street. “Our fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and the prints are dye-sublimated onto white fabric,” says Allison Hart, co-founder of Niyama Sol. “The products we design are items we want in our own wardrobes, whether taking a fitness class, going to the office or running errands. We want to continually design something that you can wear every day for almost any occasion, not just fitness.” Yoga is just the start of the many ways you can transform yourself in 2017. Read on for our guide to a healthier you this year, from cultivating a meditation practice and exploring a plant-based diet to taking part in social fitness. Plus, we give you the high points on cannabisinfused beauty products. 2017 is going to be your best year yet. Read more about Niyama Sol on vegasseven.com/niyamasol Janua r y 1 2 -18, 2017 vegasseven.com

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Soul Searching

Yoga instructor

DRAY GARDNER

guides his students to their truth By Jessi C. Acuña Photography Andrew Sea James

H

e gives a verbal cue to pose. He drops some words of wisdom. Pose. Wisdom. Pose. Wisdom. And so goes class—a dance of postures set to the tune of a gifted, motivational orator. Some say attending one of Dray Gardner’s yoga classes is life-changing. And so goes a dialogue with him. He shifts his cadence; draws out a word or two. Wait for it: He’s whispering to your soul. Whether on the yoga mat or face-to-face, Gardner’s intentions are clear: “My goal is to work on opening up a healing space for people to come,” he says. And, boy, do they. A local instructor since 2007, his weekly

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classes at 103 Hot Pilates and Yoga studio have a dedicated following. But it’s his Silent Savasana classes at venues such as the Red Rock Hotel & Casino pool and Brooklyn Bowl that are taking his teachings to sermon status. At these large-scale events, Gardner cues poses to hundreds of participants via LED headsets and imparts his hard-fought insight: “We have to turn our pain into power and our wounds into wisdom. The longer we hold on to things, the heavier they become,” he says over personally curated music, another passion of Gardner’s. A nontraditionalist, Gardner is the type of yogi who’ll drop a curse word as quickly as he’ll drop an affirmation. But just as it is unlikely for a former college football player

from South Central Los Angeles to become one of Las Vegas’ most revered yoga instructors, his story is one that had many chances to end up in a much darker path. At age 10, Gardner and his brother were kidnapped by their biological father after what was supposed to be a short visit with the estranged parent. Gardner says he experienced abuse both physically and verbally—details not for the faint of heart. “When you’re 10 years old, you think you’re scared,” he says. “When you get older, you realize you damn near got killed.” Gardner went down a path of selfdestruction, in which he inflicted pain on himself every chance he got: car and motorcycle accidents, wrestling, jujitsu,


HELIYOGA COURTESY KIRVIN DOAK; YOGA IN THE SKY ERIK K ABIK PHOTOGRAPHY ERIKK ABIK.COM

HEALTH & WELLNESS

boxing. But it was the fighting, as in bare-knuckled, head-to-head, back-alley street fights, that took him down. “I was always wanting to endure pain, dance with pain,” he says. He fought anyone who slighted him. Gardner eventually found his way to Las Vegas, but the turmoil followed. A close childhood friend whom he used to fight alongside was arrested on eight charges of rape and murder. “He was the most violent person I had ever met in my life,” he says, pointing out that this friend also suffered from childhood trauma. Gardner moved on, intent on changing his ways. He started by washing dishes at Station Casinos and eventually worked his way up. He dabbled in food and beverage and ultimately landed at a career in real estate, but it all caught up. “My body broke,” he says. “I was 37.” Directed to have back surgery, he turned to yoga instead, diving in headfirst. Not even a subsequent seizure and cyst on his spine were going to stop him. At that first yoga class, Gardner walked in with a cane. “I made a pact with the man upstairs that if he allowed me to walk again, I was going to spread this message of yoga,” he says. With two of his friends, Gardner was determined to become a yoga teacher, but as misfortune would have it, all three suffered medical obstacles. One of the friends was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and took his life three days later. It was yet another life-altering moment for Gardner. “I found my calling in the strangest way,” he says. “I tell people there are lessons in the light and lessons in the dark. Some of my most profound messages came through in my darkest moments.” Gardner, of course, continued on to become a certified yoga instructor. In addition to 103 and Silent Savasana, he teaches Yoga in the Sky, a class in the High Roller, and HeliYoga, a chartered helicopter ride to Valley of Fire (see “Yoga for All,” right). He also volunteers at the Clark County Detention Center for Yoga in Jail—a calling that his life experiences have prepared him for. “Being able to connect with people that I never probably would have, whether it be MS13, Skinhead—you name it, they’re there,” he says. “I tell them they are not their past, so let’s let that go and let’s move.” Catch a lifestyle and wellness retreat with Dray Gardner in Palm Springs on January 27–29. For more information, visit shiningsoulgoals.com.

Yoga for All

Take your mat to unexpected places

The beauty of practicing yoga is its simplicity. All you need is a quiet place and your mat—no studio space or other equipment required. But sometimes, a variation in routine might just be what you need to put some oomph into your om. Here, we’ve rounded up some pretty groovy places to find your bliss.

By Genevie Durano

HeliYoga File under “destination yoga”—HeliYoga is billed as the most exclusive yoga experience, and rightfully so. In partnership with Maverick Helicopters, Silent Savasana has created a yoga experience that will take you to a new plane—literally. It starts with a 45-minute private helicopter ride to Valley of Fire, where you land on a ledge. Silent Savasana’s instructors will have your mat ready for you; all you have to do is take in the stunning views of the red rocks, enjoy the absolute silence (well, once the helicopter powers off) and immerse yourself in 75 minutes of a private yoga session adaptable to all skill levels. It concludes with a breathtaking helicopter ride over the Strip. It’s not cheap, but it’s a bucket-list moment for you and five of your best yogi friends. ($3,499 for a 2.5-hour experience for up to six participants, silentsavasana.com)

Yoga in the Sky If a helicopter ride is too lofty a goal, aim for the world’s highest observation wheel instead. At 550 feet, the High Roller in The Linq is a surprisingly quiet spot to practice yoga. A certified instructor from Silent Savasana leads the class through two revolutions of the wheel for a one-hour class. Each session is limited to six students, so there’s plenty of room in the pod to stretch your dog. It’s a good way to elevate your practice while taking in the view of the Strip. Guests must book at least 24 hours in advance. $75/ person with a premium sunset option Monday–Wednesday for $85. One-on-one sessions are also available. To make a reservation or for more information, call 702-322-0537 or go to caesars.com/Linq/ High-Roller.

Booze Yoga If you think yogis are all about kombucha, then clearly you’re not hanging out with the right ones. Booze plus yoga is a thing, and a popular one at that. Tas Upright, the creator of Booze Yoga, says her approach to the practice reflects her free-spirited and authentic personality. “The idea of Booze Yoga came about while having a drink with a friend. So many friends told me they want to try yoga but were too afraid of looking ridiculous in class or they worry that they’re not flexible enough,” Upright says. “I figured after a drink or two, people will loosen up and are willing to try something new.” And while drinking and downward-dogging may seem at odds, the combination is actually a perfect match, Upright says. “Everyone is so focused on their practice, they really don’t get obliterated,” she says. “You can expect a lot of inappropriate comments, jokes, burping and laughing, and still get a butt-kicking practice.” Booze Yoga has invaded Artifice, Velveteen Rabbit, Atomic Liquors, Crafthaus Brewery, Forte Tapas, Hop Nuts and various other spots. Follow Tas on Instagram @BoozeYoga to find out the next upcoming events.

Dolphin Yoga One of the more challenging poses in yoga is the dolphin pose, but doing yoga with the dolphins is as awe-inspiring as it gets. The class takes place at the Siegfried & Roy Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage in the underwater dolphin-viewing area. An instructor leads the group in an all-skilllevels class as the sanctuary’s bottlenose dolphins swim all around. And the benefits of such a practice are backed by science: The levels of oxytocin (the love hormone) released by the human body while being near these gentle mammals are significant and comparable to a mother cradling her newborn. This will take your shanti to a whole new level, we promise. Classes are offered Friday– Sunday. Space is limited and requires advance reservation, 702-791-7472.

Top: Stunning vistas at Valley of Fire will ignite your practice with HeliYoga. Bottom: The pods in the High Roller offer a stable and stunning platform for inversions.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Beauty Without Cruelty You made a commitment to a better you in 2017, but have you thought about the toxins and chemicals found in the cosmetics that you feed your skin every day? Here are some brands that sidestep the funk and bring on the beauty—both for your face and the environment.

—Jessi C. Acuña

Juice Beauty Quickly becoming the standard in eco-friendly makeup thanks to a partnership with consciously eco-aware Gwyneth Paltrow—they launched a line last January—Juice Beauty is riding the wave despite being on the frontline for over a decade. Organic botanical juices serve as the base, which helps the skin absorb the products’ nutrients, in place of fillers such as petroleum or added water. Buy at Ulta Beauty, Whole Foods and juicebeauty.com. Vapour Organic Beauty Avoiding nasty toxins never looked so good. Solar and wind power fire up Vapour’s skin care and makeup line, which are made with organic ingredients, mineral pigments and essential oils. The New Mexico–based lab’s Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation is a red-carpet favorite for the earth- and body-conscious. Buy at Saj Natural Beauty in Downtown Summerlin and vapourbeauty.com. RMS Beauty Creator Rose-Marie Swift’s skin care products appear regularly in high-fashion glossies, so it’s no wonder RMS is becoming a cult favorite. From the brand’s celebrated Living Luminizer and “Un” Powder, breathe easy knowing the line is formulated with raw, food-grade and organic ingredients in their natural state with minimal heating. Buy at Skins 6|2 Cosmetics in The Cosmopolitan and rmsbeauty.com.

Cannabis Beauty Defined Anti-Aging CBD Hemp Oil Facial Moisturizer Going green takes on a whole new meaning with this nonGMO, cannabidiol-infused hydrating cream. It defends against aging while improving skin’s elasticity with a hypoallergenic, sulfate-free base.

Leaf Relief With the expansion of marijuana legalization laws across the country, people are abuzz about the many benefits of the cannabis plant. A study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has discovered evidence that “our own body not only makes chemical compounds similar to the active ingredient in marijuana, but these play an important part in maintaining healthy skin.” Inspired by this information, entrepreneurs have been fielding ways the leaf can be a natural cosmeceutical agent, as cannabinoids are processed into oils or extracts that can offer antiaging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. While there is an exciting potential for multiple health and industrial uses, further and more rigorous studies are needed to confirm cannabis’ effectiveness in the beauty industry. Until then, consumers can decide for themselves whether the power of pot is the real fountain of youth.

—Erika Kimble

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The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector This hand cream that replenishes the skin’s crags and fissures has ingredients such as cannabis sativa seed oil and beeswax to hydrate and provide a protective coating. It’s one of The Body Shop’s top-selling products, and consumer reviews swear by its magical healing properties. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar This PETA-friendly cosmetic brand yields color-blasting shades to nourish while beautifying lips. With ingredients such as hemp, vitamin E and peppermint oil, the lip tints are antimicrobial but also offer rich, saturated color.

Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit Daily Herbal Hydrating Stick With SPF 30 A sunscreen that moisturizes with 100 percent hemp seed oil and shea butter, it’s also high in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, as well as coffee cherry extract. Apothecanna Extra Strength Relieving Body Oil This topical treatment is a mixture of peppermint, juniper, arnica and cannabis that is touted for providing speedy relief from pain and inflammation, and is especially effective for sore muscles pre- or postworkout. at LoDo Massage in Denver, you can even schedule a “Mile High Massage” with it.


How Does Your Garden

Grow? I

Vegas Roots volunteers find out in the city’s only urban farm

t’s no secret that the food we eat is connected with the condition of our bodies. Restaurants and grocery stores offer healthy options for this very reason. But is there something to be said for growing our own food? Vegas Roots community garden manager Betty Moore and the volunteers who work there say yes. For them, the crucial question is not so much what we eat, but how this food comes to be and where it comes from. Growing your own food not only yields delicious, nutritious produce to supplement meals, but it also precipitates appreciation for the labor and resources necessary to grow the ingredients that go into pretty much everything we eat. Vegas Roots, Las Vegas’ first and only urban farm, aims to get low-income families, at-risk youth and other volunteers involved with growing food from seed to harvest. It provides Adopt-A-Plot, Lil’ Roots Garden Club and End of Heart Disease and Diabetes Eight-Week Program to meet this goal. People of all ages, including myself, come to the garden to improve their health in one form or another. “I enjoy volunteering in the garden

Vegas Roots community garden’s You-Pick program starts back up on February 4. To get involved, visit Vegas Roots community garden, 715 N. Tonopah Drive, vegasroots.org.

because it’s peaceful,” says James, a regular contributor. “It’s kind of crazy. It’s all chaos out there, but when you hit the corner, there’s a real garden over here.” For me, helping with farming slows down my daily grind and gives me an appreciation for my health and the earth. There is something to be said for the value added when you work with nature to help a seed grow from start to finish. After spending New Year’s Eve morning weeding, building and cleaning up the garden, the volunteers sat around a bonfire to roast marshmallows, reflect on the past year and look forward to the one ahead. With winter on its way out, the gardeners already are planting seeds for spring that will hang out in the greenhouse until the weather is warm enough for them to survive on the ground. Volunteers and visitors look forward to reaping the rewards. —Shannon Miller

Where’s the Beef? Who cares? You don’t need it with plant-based alternatives Whether you plan on becoming a vegetarian or simply choosing to scale back on animal intake this year, your options don’t have to end or even begin with faux meats. Skip the substitutes—though they’ve come a long way since the Tofurky—and go for whole-food alternatives instead. Missing that shredded-beef texture? Need a pulled-pork fix? 2017 just might be the year of the jackfruit, thanks to the fruit’s familiar consistency and ability to absorb most flavors. Find it at most Asian markets such as 99 Ranch Market (4155 W. Spring Mountain Rd., 3768 S. Maryland Pkwy., 99ranch.com). Another popular veggie option having its heyday is the cauliflower, which serves as a great replacement for chicken in Asian dishes. But, if you really want to believe in the power of whole-food meat alternatives, try the plant in its hot wings incarnation, which appears on menus around town, including Jardin at Wynn and California Pizza Kitchen. Don’t confuse tempeh with a meat substitute. This whole food is derived from fermented soybeans, making it much more digestible than other soy varieties. Its flaky texture makes it the crab to your cake and the fish to your fillet. Bacon, steak strips, ground meat. Shiitake, portobello, cremini. It’s surprising what a little imagination can produce when mushrooms are at the center of the kitchen. Sauté ’em, bake ’em or fry ’em—that rich, earthy flavor is keeping the meat away. Much like mushrooms, eggplant delivers that meaty taste and texture while offering plenty of nutritional value. Think of burger patties, meatless lasagnas and eggplant parmesan to replace those beef-fueled nights. —Jessi C. Acuña

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Mind Over Matter

MEDITATION AND ITS MANY BENEFITS

By Genevie Durano Photography Carlos Larios A mindfulness movement has taken root in the last few years, undoubtedly a reaction to our fast-paced, technology-driven lives. Just as yoga has become popular in the West, so has meditation, one of the core components of a mindfulness practice. Meditation may seem daunting for the uninitiated, but its health benefits are many, including reduced stress and a sense of peace. Longer term, it has even been shown to rewire the brain in positive ways. There are many types of meditation—the tradition dates back centuries in the East—but mindfulness meditation, simply put, is being aware of the present moment without judgment. It is sitting still and acknowledging the thoughts in your head and then letting them go. It can be done as a home practice or in a studio, with a teacher guiding you. Raise Your Kundalini Yoga (RYK) and Meditation (rykyoga.com), the largest meditation center in Las Vegas, offers classes for all experience levels. “We generally teach traditional types of meditation, varying from Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to Live Gong Meditation, Yoga Nidra ‘Conscious Deep Sleep’ to Mantra Yoga,” says RYK founder Cosmin Mahadev Singh. “These are meditations that use either techniques from Kundalini yoga, or the powerful sound of the gong, chanting, guiding or simple stillness in silence. Our classes are 90 minutes long, which gives enough time for [new practitioners] to be introduced to the beautiful science of meditation. There is no experience required to attend the classes, but you must do half of the work by getting in your car and coming to the studio. We’ll do the other half in class.” Just like any physical regimen, meditation is a practice that you can spend a lifetime improving. There is no final destination, per se, but it lays out the foundation for your general well-being. “Meditation is a space, a mind state,” Singh says. “We are born to be happy. Take this inner peace, clear mind and joy and share it with everybody. Share all your gifts with the whole of humanity and may we all live healthy and happy together.”

Get Social

By Shannon Miller Photography Danielle Kwasniowski Sometimes, even your gym buddy isn’t enough to get you to work out on a regular basis. Here are a few alternatives to weights and machines that will keep your body and mind in good shape.

Group Bicycle Rides SmashbrosLV invites cyclists of all skill levels to let loose during Monday Night Rides, the group’s weekly, 2-year-old tradition of hanging out and exploring the best bike routes Downtown. Lately they’ve been meeting behind Hop Nuts Brewing at Crank & Grind Cycle shop. Find their latest exploits and meet-up spots on their Instagram @smashbroslv. BYO flask of whiskey to warm up those muscles before the ride and during breaks. Best Lap Pools For anyone with joint pain (or who just doesn’t like running), swimming is an excellent cardio and calorie-burning activity that doesn’t send your joints slamming into the pavement or treadmill belt. Try Pavilion Center Pool in Summerlin, Municipal Pool Downtown or Henderson Multigenerational Center. One-month memberships start at $15 for kids and $30–$38 for adults.

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Climbing Around the Valley Red Rock Climbing Center (8201 W. Charleston Blvd.) may seem small when you first walk in, but crowding isn’t a problem with three floors of routes and a fitness/yoga room. Origin Climbing & Fitness (7585 Commercial Way) in Henderson offers 22,600 square feet of space, cardio, core and weights room and yoga classes taught by TruFusion instructors Tuesday through Thursday. Both Red Rock Climbing Center and Origin offer shoe and harness rentals, day passes for the hesitant but curious and programming for kids. And there’s the ultimate gym—the great outdoors. Red Rock Canyon is a world-class climbing destination. Bouldering (a form of climbing that uses no harnesses or ropes) is an accessible activity for new climbers, as the only gear you need are a pair of climbing shoes, crash pads (cushions to catch your fall), chalk and a guidebook, all available for purchase at an outdoor store or easily borrowed from your climbing buddies. (Red Rock Climbing Center rents crash pads for $15 per day.)


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Apply at

theMresort.com/summer An Equal Opportunity Employer

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ONE BITE

TASTE

Ca l

oc

tor

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand downtowngrand.com Instagram: @freedombeatlv

D

the

In the world of clogged arteries and too much of a good thing, there are two dominant camps: one espousing that any food can be improved by deepfrying it and another that insists everything’s better with bacon. So in this city of excess, it was only a matter of time until someone decided to combine those two vices. That someone is Gordon Ramsay protégé Scott Commings, head chef at Downtown Grand’s 24hour restaurant-cum-concert venue Freedom Beat. Chicken fried bacon ($11) is exactly what it sounds like: chunks of fatty pork belly, battered and deep-fried. To call this a greasy, messy guilty pleasure would be overstating the obvious. And it lives up to those decadent expectations. But the dish actually isn’t as salty as you might imagine. In fact, the flavor supplied by the accompanying chili honey vinaigrette dipping sauce makes a stronger impact than expected on such a bold dish. But let’s be honest, very few people are ordering this dish for the gourmet factor. This one is purely for bragging rights, the ability to go home with a story about how you ignored all nutritional common sense and lived to tell about it. And for that, it’s worth every penny … as well as your cardiologist’s co-pay.

By Al Mancini Photography Anthony Mair

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BECKER BY DAVID GRIFFEN; RIB EYE COURTESY OF THE COSMOPOLITAN; SUSHI PL ATTER BY TASTIL M GONZALEZ MOURE


TASTE

Zuma The Cosmopolitan zumarestaurant.com Instagram: @zumalasvegasofficial

FIRST LOOK:

Zuma

Opposite page: Rib-eye steak with wafu sauce and garlic chips. This page: Chef Ranier Becker; sushi platter.

Contemporary Japanese Cuisine THE COSMOPOLITAN’S DINING REVOLUTION CONTINUES WITH A WORLD-FAMOUS TENANT PEDIGREED IN BOTH GILL AND GRILL By Al Mancini

W

ith the unprecedented expansion of Nobu and the long-delayed opening of Morimoto all behind us, one might think Las Vegas would be ready for a break from importing pricey international Japanese restaurant brands. But in a city where nothing succeeds like excess, is it really surprising that another player is preparing to take a place at that table? Zuma has already demonstrated its ability to play with the big boys in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Rome, New York and Turkey’s Datça Peninsula. The local casino in which chef and co-founder Ranier Becker has chosen to compete is The Cosmopolitan. In advance of the restaurant’s January 25 grand-opening celebration, Vegas Seven recently got a peek at Zuma’s cards. Las Vegas’ Zuma will occupy the square footage that last housed The Cosmopolitan’s P3Studio interactive art space. Becker says the fact that it wasn’t a restaurant in the past will make it easier for them to achieve their goals. These include a segmented kitchen and frontof-house area. “Food-wise, we must have a sushi counter, robata grill and the main kitchen,” the chef says. “Another important element is the bar and lounge. It adds to the fun and the relaxed atmosphere that you find at Zuma.” As for the menu, Becker describes Zuma’s cuisine as “traditional, but not authentic,” and sees that as a plus when playing to an audience with a solid understanding of Japanese cuisine while still delivering a new dining alternative. Because the restaurant wants to cater to “all kinds of dining, whether it be a quick bite or an evening out,” it will include diverse dishes in all sizes. When it comes to sushi and seafood, Zuma will rely on the suppliers of its Miami and New York locations as well as regular shipments from Japan. While classic sashimi and nigiri will be available, the restaurant prides itself on “house” preparations such as pirikara hamachi with sansho pepper, avocado and wasabi mayo, or the mixed seafood dish Zuma chirashi, a sushi rice bowl of assorted fish, avocado, cucumber and gobo (burdock root). If you happen to have friends who turn up their noses at raw fish (or if you’re one of those people yourself), Zuma promises to present

something for all diets. An easy starting point will be the robata grill. Offerings there will include skewers of meat, fish and enough vegetables to satisfy a vegan, cooked over traditional Japanese charcoal. One of the greatest challenges any international restaurant group has when coming to Las Vegas is figuring out how to stay true to its roots while still creating an experience as distinctive as its new home. Obviously, with Zuma having 10 other locations worldwide, a large portion of Cosmopolitan diners are likely to know the restaurant and its most popular dishes before they open the menu. “Of course, the Zuma favorites will be a feature [on the Las Vegas menu],” Becker says, reassuring those loyalists. “We have a huge international following, and many of our guests come to Zuma for those dishes, such as thinly sliced sea bass with yuzu, truffle and salmon roe; and our barley miso marinated baby chicken, oven-roasted on cedarwood; and from the robata, our jumbo tiger prawn with yuzu pepper.” Las Vegas casino-resorts are unique in the way they lend themselves to walking from restaurant to restaurant and grabbing a quick bite at the bar of each. The chef clearly sees the appeal of this, especially at The Cosmopolitan, where he describes the restaurant program as “brave and thoughtful.” So what dish would he recommend to complement those of his new neighbors during a restaurant crawl? Becker suggests one of his personal favorites: robata chicken wings, which he describes as “the ultimate bar snack.” At this early juncture, any list of recommendations is destined to change as Becker and his team continue to customize the Zuma experience for our city. “We like to tailor our menu to the market demand. I mean, who knows better than your customers what they want, right? So, after opening, we will introduce a few new dishes. If they’re well received, they’ll [eventually] be featured on the menu. Indeed, they may translate globally. It’s an exciting time for development when you have a new team in a new environment.” And that anticipation is mutual, as we watch the entire process unfold over the next few weeks. 7

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TASTE

COCOA COUNTERPOINTS By Al Mancini Photography Krystal Ramirez

Hot chocolate to warm the health-conscious and the partiers We may not see a lot of snow in the Valley, but Las Vegas winters certainly pack enough chill to send us in search of something to warm our belly and bones. Few beverages hit the spot like hot chocolate, and for those seeking out this drinkable cocoa treat, we offer you two versions: one healthful and one sinful. HEALTHFUL

For the health-conscious consumer craving a piping-hot chocolaty fix, nobody in town delivers like The Juice Standard (4555 S. Fort Apache Rd., 2530 St. Rose Pkwy. and in The Cosmopolitan, juicestandard.com). While the local chain is best known for its cold-pressed juices, during the chilly months, customers in the know can warm things up with three steaming drinks made from organic raw cacao powder. According to co-owner Marcella Williams, “It’s loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants” that eliminate free radicals, and which many believe help mitigate cancer risks and promote heart health. That powder is mixed with house-made cashew cream to begin the process of creating your drink. Next to be added is alkaline water, which has a pH of 9.0 and is believed to be better for hydrating because it’s more easily absorbed. A touch of raw agave adds a little sweetness without using sugar. Before the mixture is steamed, your mixologist will add one of three ingredients, depending on what taste and health benefits you’re looking for. CBD(C) ($8; not available at The Cosmopolitan location) features CBD oil, a hemp extract that contains no intoxicating THC, but is still believed to have many of the health benefits of cannabis. While it doesn’t impart a very strong taste, there’s still a bit of a hippie vibe to it. If you want something a bit more refined, go with L’Orange Cream Cacao ($6, $7 at The Cosmopolitan location), which adds a touch of orange peel extract for a mild fruity touch.

From left: The Juice Standard’s CBD(C), Some Like It Hot and L’Orange Cream Cacao.

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But on those coldest of winter days, your best bet is unquestionably Some Like It Hot ($6, $7 at The Cosmopolitan location). This drink relegates sweetness to the back burner, and instead blends the mild bitterness of the raw cacao with the kick of cayenne pepper. In addition to bringing the heat, the pepper will alleviate the sinus congestion that is far too common this time of year while boosting your metabolism in the process. SINFUL

As you bar-hop your way down Fremont Street on a chilly winter’s evening, there are plenty of places to stop for a strong cocktail and to get out of the cold. But none may feel more appropriate for the task than Park on Fremont (506 Fremont St., parkonfremont.com) thanks to its semi-psychedelic hunting lodge motif of brightly colored taxidermy fowl and a mounted deer head adorned with chrome firearm antlers. If tracking tourists and hipsters were a winter sport, this would most certainly be the spot to recharge in the midst of a long hunt. So it seems appropriate that in addition to the

obligatory craft beer and cocktails, the menu offers traditional hot chocolate with a dash of “cheer,” served in a folksy mug. A nod to those who (perhaps a little too) eagerly await their local nonprofit’s cookie season every year, the bar staff has created a wintry treat called the Dirty Girl Scout ($8). And while the name is an homage to Thin Mints, the flavor profile is a bit more complicated—much like the thoughts that run through your head when you realize the title of the drink is still a bit of a turn-on, even at your advanced age. The drink begins with an ounce of Stoli Vanil. Next comes half an ounce each of peppermint schnapps and Avión’s tequila-based espresso liqueur. The booze is then floated on a hearty cup of house-made hot chocolate that is topped with whipped cream and garnished with a fresh mint leaf. The result is guaranteed to warm your insides, and provides a nice little buzz in the process. And of course, should you drink too many, you can pay a return visit to The Juice Standard the next day to rehydrate in a more healthy manner. 7


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SOCIAL INFLUENCE

Mysterious

Journeys

An artist tells tales of 1940s–1950s Americana with vintage travel cases and artifacts

THERE ARE OBJECTS WE LEAVE

behind long after we’re gone that have no apparent meaning to anyone else—mementos from another decade, another place, another life. Out of context, they’re junk to some, mysteries to others, elements of an incomplete story. As an antiques dealer specializing in the vintage modern style, artist Susan Bryan took such items, which were distinguishable from more high-end keepsakes, and tucked them within works of art she made by adorning vintage travel cases with beaded souvenir belts and necklaces. A broken violin bow, a tassel, a handwritten note and other ancillary objects became pieces of narratives, complete with maps, fabrics, postcards, books and other sundry items. Objects that might seem the least meaningful became valuable elements of a grander story in the works, currently featured at Patina Decor on Main Street. “I figured out pretty fast that I was more informed by the vintage and antique items I was coming across,” Bryan says, referring to the business she owns with her husband, Alan Platzer. “We come across these stories all the time. You’re buying someone’s past or how they lived. We often wonder, ‘Who owned this and why did they keep this? Where did he or she go?’” Bryan created the case’s exteriors by shucking belts and deconstructing necklaces, creating fields of color and pattern and incorporating rosettes, beaded fringe and Native American-inspired symbols—a chief, a thunderbird, an arrow. Emblazoned across might be the words "Grand Canyon," "Arizona," "Montana," "Big Sur," "Las Vegas," "Alaska" or "Aloha." Each one is a full composition. A squat 1940s train case with a handle is covered in robin's-egg blue beads bordered with beaded patterns. Leather belt parts with vinyl stitching create horizontal rows and chevron stripes. The medium is sentimental, kitsch American nostalgia that landed in the hands of Americans venturing out in the 20th century’s new age of auto culture and freeways that took families out west, up north and into a landscape dotted with landmarks and adventures. There are nearly 20 cases ($1,250-$2,500), each a deviation from Bryan's work as an abstract painter, and each is a journey of sorts, a fabricated life left for the viewer to interpret through the vintage matchbooks, scarves, lace, writing utensils and books inside. An old note, a military patch, a photograph and mahjong tiles direct the narratives. Bryan tried to keep the interior objects reflective of the time period of each case, most of them from the ’40s and ’50s, while thinking about the kind of person who would have carried it. Within them, she’s made use of checkerboards, leather folios, distressed doll heads, a slide viewer and memorabilia from a José Iturbi piano recital. “I’m collecting this stuff as I’m working on [each] piece,” says Bryan, who received her BFA years ago from Colorado State University. “You have to work within the bounds of the materials.”

By Kristen Peterson Photography Cierra Pedro

On a larger case, the vertical striping from threaded belts and necklace beads creates a contemporary take on a native blanket design. The words, though symbolic, are more about pattern and color, which is why the lettering for “Aloha Hawaii” can sit with rows of “Montana, Montana, Montana”—the repetition reflects the mass production of Americana, collective memories and the outsourcing of American products, whether intended or not. Some belts were made in Hong Kong or Japan using Native American beading traditions representing tribal identity and values. One of her favorites, “Prison Made,” includes a Montana license plate marked with the phrase "Prison Made," and indicates through beads creating an eye and tattooed tear that somebody in this story, male or female, went to prison. The books, marbles and other interior items hint at the story. As with the others, where its owner began his or her life and where he or she ended are invisible bookends that we’ll never find out. All we know from Bryan’s fictional stories is what that person might have valued through the artist’s poetic vignettes, dripping in engaging sentimental mysteries. 7

Patina Decor 1300 S. Main St., Suite #140, 702-776-6222, patinadecorlv.com

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SOCIAL INFLUENCE

By Zoneil Maharaj, Lissa Townsend Rodgers and Amber Sampson

CES’ NIFTIEST—AND MOST RIDICULOUS—GADGETS We scoured the tech show to find the latest and greatest speakers, a scan-to-cook oven and more

FOR THE AUDIOPHILE Music: Not Impossible Experiencing a live concert is one of life’s simplest pleasures, but it’s not one that everyone can enjoy. Music: Not Impossible makes it inclusive for the deaf community. Developed by Not Impossible Labs, a California-based company that creates “technology for humanity,” the product is a set of wearables that allows anyone to feel music. Vibrations are sent through the body via wrist and ankle bands and a vest equipped with sensors. Different instruments trigger different location sensors, such as bass in the lower back and guitar in the wrists. It's still in development. notimpossiblenow.com –Zoneil Maharaj Sony Life Space UX Sony’s line of Life Space UX

products brings the future into your living room in stunning style. The Glass Sound Speaker ($799.99) looks fragile, but blasts impeccable 360-degree audio from its illuminated glass case. The LED Bulb Speaker ($239.99) is a colorful shower of sound that plugs into a standard light socket to enliven a room with crisp music, 192 color settings and 32 levels of brightness. Still a prototype, the 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector ($50,000) is concealed in a table and casts vividly detailed images up to 147 inches diagonally onto walls. It can stream movies, concerts, music, art and more, as well as function as a virtual reader for books and magazines. If only we could afford it. sony.com/lifespace –Z.M. VRTIFY This virtual and mixed reality music service

provider immerses you in a high-definition, 3D experience and has already licensed clips from bands such as Coldplay, Florence + the Machine and Ghost. Compatible with most headsets, VRTIFY also allows users to create their own unique experience by pulling music from streaming services and choosing different environments to get lost in. Suck on that, YouTube. vrtify.com –Z.M. FOR THE KIDS Dash and Dot It’s not every day you see a robot

composing songs on a xylophone, but that’s exactly the kind of commands kids code into Wonder Workshop’s Dash and Dot. Through five apps, youngsters can program the bots to catapult projectiles, zigzag their way around obstacles, act out storybook characters and more. Everything kids do with Dash and Dot supports early methods of coding, so they learn nonstop. makewonder.com –Amber Sampson

Beyond Tablet At the drop of a game sheet over

Beyond Screen’s display-less smart tablet, Beyond Tablet becomes a puzzle game to teach children spatial recognition and logical reasoning, a battleship submarine game with interactive pieces and a melody board to ex-

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Janua r y 1 2 -18, 2017 vegasseven.com

periment with sound. This is the ultimate reinvention of the classic board game. beyondscreen.com –A.S. Octopus We’ve all wished the kids in our lives were more responsible, and with the icon-based watch Octopus, they just got a little closer. The watches bear more than 500 stored icons that remind kids to perform tasks. Little Timmy always forgetting to feed the cat or brush his teeth? Send a reminder through an app over bluetooth, and it’ll ping him. It’s a fun way to get kids on board with a daily routine. octopus.watch –A.S. STUFF THAT NO ONE NEEDS Whirlpool Scan-to-Cook Oven Is glancing at the cooking instructions on a box of frozen pizza and punching the buttons for time and temperature on your oven just too labor-intensive? Whirlpool has found a way to heat up dinner without taxing your mental and physical faculties with their scan-to-cook technology, in which you scan the barcode on that box of frozen egg rolls with your smartphone and the phone automatically tells your oven what to do. Of course, you still have to open the box and the oven and possess the cerebral dexterity to remember to remove the plastic wrap, but it’s a step. Such things make me wonder whether humans will wind up like an episode of Star Trek—one where Kirk lands on a planet with a race that is so evolved beyond having to actually do anything that they’re just oversized brains and bug eyes with some dangling neurons, and kidnap hapless starship captains to watch them brawl with alien bruisers and bang space babes just to feel something by proxy. whirlpool.com –Lissa Townsend Rodgers iHome Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Machine Do you have trouble going to sleep without

sound effects and a light show? The Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Machine will help you relax via a plastic blob with about 50 different settings you need to fiddle

with on your smartphone (Who cares about all of those studies telling you screentime before bedtime is bad?) before you can attempt to nod off to “focus” and “aurora” settings. There is also an option to wake up with “alarm flash,” which is blinking blue lights: I hope the Russians hack that shit and every person who has one of these wakes up in panic, thinking they’re being busted by cops at a Kmart. ihomeaudio.com –L.T.R. Moikit Gene Smart Water Bottle

Most water bottles have two components: a bottle and a lid. However, the Moikit Gene has a number of parts, including a battery and Bluetooth. The bottle’s “hydration tracking technology” connects to your smartphone to calculate how much water you need to drink, according to weight, condition and activity level, and then tracks your progress toward optimum hydration. Because life should have some achievable goals. moikit.com –L.T.R. For more gadgets from CES 2017, visit vegasseven.com/ces2017

From top: Dash and Dot; Sony Life Space UX Glass Sound Speaker; Moikit Gene Smart Water Bottle


POLITICS

SOCIAL INFLUENCE

By Michael Green

Butte in the Eye of Nevadans GOLD BUTTE NATIONAL MONUMENT SECURES ITS PROTECTED STATUS

T

his is how the tenures of Barack Obama and Harry Reid end: not with a whimper or a bang, but with a beaut—that is, a Butte. Gold Butte National Monument, to be specific: 300,000 acres of sand dunes, petroglyphs and natural beauty, known as “Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon.” Using the 1906 Antiquities Act, Obama declared Gold Butte a national monument after years of pushing from Reid, Congresswoman Dina Titus and environmental and Native American groups. (I am on the board of one such group, and proud to be.) Whether intentionally or not, Obama heeded the late Justice William O. Douglas’ admonition that “before these priceless bits of Americana … are forever lost or are so transformed as to be reduced to the eventual rubble of our urban environment, the voice of the existing beneficiaries of these environmental wonders should be heard.” The surest sign that Obama did the right thing? Douglas would be happy, and Reid, Titus and the groups in question are happy. But the right-wing insurrectionists who believe they are the only ones who have an investment in this land—and reputedly used the petroglyphs for shooting practice—are not. Yet some of the people involved in this issue and the responses to it say a great deal about where Nevada politics has been, and where it is headed. For Reid, it was a crowning moment. A week before his first election to the Senate in 1986, Great Basin National Park was created, making Nevada the last state in the union to have its own national park. Getting that done required compromise and endless effort—and Reid would do the same to help protect the

Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site, among others. Indeed, Reid has had a hand (and sometimes a fist) in creating almost all of Nevada’s more than 1 million acres of conservation areas. But Gold Butte differed little from previous fights. The battle to create Great Basin National Park pitted environmental groups against miners and ranchers who insisted that the area would one day produce wealth for them, although it never had in the past. Gold Butte takes its name from the remnants of a mining town that hasn’t been seen or heard from in more than a century. Earlier Nevada officials, including Gov. James Scrugham and Sen. Alan Bible, strained every nerve on behalf of environmental protections, and sometimes paid a political price. Reid leaves undefeated on this score. When Bible pushed for Great Basin National Park, he had help from the White House, but not from the “People’s House.” Titus was a big help in supporting the conservation designation for Gold Butte. Beyond the usual reasons—a belief in protecting some parts of our environment, for example—there was also the impact of Titus’ scholarly expertise (she belonged to the professoriat before going into more honest work) in atomic testing. She knows more than a little about what we are capable of doing to the land—and to ourselves. The progressive groups involved worked together. Sometimes these organizations can wind up at cross-purposes, depending on the issue. Gold Butte serves as a reminder of the benefits of unity. What it came down to was what Aretha Franklin called R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, Dave Archambault II, who fought the pipeline through his lands,

said of Obama, “It feels like, finally, for the first time in history, over centuries, somebody is listening to us.” Gold Butte once was part of the Moapa Reservation, and the area is sacred to Southern Paiutes. Their concerns deserved, and received, respect. Though not from everybody. Sen. Dean Heller declared himself “terribly disappointed.” The next day, he announced he would run for re-election. Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, whose decision to run for governor affected Heller’s decision not to, chimed in with criticism of Obama “undermining local control of Nevada’s communities, and damaging our jobs and economy.” Since Washoe County will give Heller and Laxalt substantial support because of their Northern Nevada connections, those who worked together on Gold Butte would be well advised to remember how they felt about it and perhaps suggest that the community near Gold Butte—Southern Nevadans—would like to have pleasant vistas surrounding them. It’s worth suggesting to them that they supported Cliven Bundy, but apparently don’t care about what the rest of the world thinks about the area. It also might be worth asking them why, when Gov. Brian Sandoval, whose administration saw the designation was coming and worked with the White House on it, has emphasized ecotourism, they are so opposed to having places in Nevada for tourists to visit and marvel at. Indeed, far better to marvel at the beauty of Gold Butte than the beauts who sought to destroy it. 7 Michael Green is an associate professor of history at UNLV.

“It feels like finally, for the first time in history, over centuries, somebody is listening to us.” –Dave Archambault II Janua r y 1 2 -18, 2017 vegasseven.com

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THE MOST FABULOUS THING

CONVERSATIONS

ASK A NATIVE

By James P. Reza

The Native’s Ways to Thrive in 2017 2016 was a rough year, with so many cultural icons falling and the sociopolitical landscape seemingly hell-bent on proving chaos theory. But take a look at the calendar and you’ll notice something wonderful: We all survived it. Welcome to 2017. Aside from what happens in the world at large, life is lived locally. Las Vegans have dug in our heels and bounced back so many times that our Wild West resiliency is almost cliché. Those of us who have been here for the long haul often rely on tested techniques for thriving in our hyperkinetic landscape. Read on for the inside scoop: Get out of town: Swapping scenery refreshes perspective, something critical to being a healthy Las Vegan. A week in Iceland is dreamy, but too many locals have never stepped foot in Red Rock Canyon or on Mount Charleston. Day trips to Zion and Flagstaff are easy, and even the beach is within reach.

The Genius of

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA Hamilton’s creator could attain PEGOT status with an Oscar win for Moana By Charlie Starling

PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEY

Get out of your neighborhood:

Once, Las Vegans traveled across the Valley for a cup of coffee and conversation; now they won’t leave their hood to see the best eye surgeon. Exploring beyond your burb helps you feel like you’re part of something bigger. It may reignite a sense of civic pride or fire up your desire to help change things. Either way, it’s better than stagnating in isolation. Smile: Our city’s transient nature tends to teach locals to be cold and detached, which is a self-propagating social disease. Smiling goes a long way toward fixing that problem. It also reportedly reduces the risk of heart disease. Visit the Strip: Snobbily avoiding the Strip is a Nouveau Locals mistake. Why shun a multibillion-dollar infrastructure built to please? Sure, it can be expensive. Yes, traffic can be daunting. Paying for parking? Who does that? But you can mitigate those factors and have the time of your life. It’s energizing to see all that money being made by all that fun being had. Spend time with friends: Some of the best people you know are just a text message away. Don’t let the frequently frantic Las Vegas lifestyle (especially in the service industry) keep you from connecting with old friends and making new ones. It’s what makes a place a home. Get cultured: From the Mob Museum to the Neon Museum, from Symphony Park to the Springs Preserve, Las Vegas is growing culturally. Much of it is in or near Downtown, where an independent record store, a bookshop and vintage stores share streets with cultural institutions. This isn’t an argument that Las Vegas is like New York, but rather that it has become a better Las Vegas. Make 2017 the year to experience it. 7 Have your own tips for thriving in 2017? Send them to askanative@vegasseven.com.

IF YOU’VE BEEN READING MY LITTLE

column since its inception, you might’ve noticed by now that I like my shit circular: Golden snitches, alcohol receptacles, human-size latex bubbles. It extends beyond the physical, though—my dorky little brain dances when circumstances have circumference, and the past 12 months have rounded themselves out quite deliciously. Almost a year ago to the day, I wrote an article about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but a gentleman by the name of Lin-Manuel Miranda hijacked a few inches of that column. Well, he’s gone and done it again. Another movie came out, and it has wormed its way under my skin in much the same vein as Miranda’s Hamilton and In the Heights musicals. It’s Moana, Disney’s most imaginative movie in years, which was promoted by possibly the company’s most misleading ad campaign. If you saw the trailers for the film and were deterred, I implore you to think again. The film follows the daughter of a South Pacific village chief—though don’t mistake her for a “princess”—in her quest to restore order with the ancient Polynesian gods and lead her people back to the ocean in the canoe wakes of their ancestors. There is no pesky romance—simply magic, adventure and heroics, and the original songs are what give Moana its heart. That’s where Mr. Miranda comes in. The award-winning artist, alongside Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i, has created a rich and respectful soundtrack for a story set in the South Pacific. I have already spent a fair few hours trying to perfect the main theme, “How Far I’ll Go” (performed heroically in the movie by rising star Auli’i Cravalho, voicing the titular role), on my ukulele. It’s beautiful ... and tough. Lyrics written by a rapper are not the easiest to sing at speed; Miranda is known for his internal rhyme schemes and alliterative lyrical acrobatics, and let’s be honest: I’m a novice, at best.

Dwayne Johnson voices the role of Moana’s demigod Maui, rapping on “You’re Welcome,” and the triumphant “We Know the Way” features Miranda himself as one of Moana’s ancestors. Plus, there is “Shiny,” performed by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords—the track sounds as if Miranda and David Bowie had a musical baby, and that baby is a giant jewel-encrusted crab monster. I’m not kidding. Delightful doesn’t cover it. If (or when) Miranda gets an Oscar for any one of these incredible songs, he will become one of only three people in history to earn PEGOT status, joining those who have won the Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. What tickles my brain is that one of the two current PEGOT holders is Richard Rodgers, whose name is emblazoned across the theater where Miranda’s award-winning musicals both played on Broadway. There are those circles again. Please permit me to squee! I’m now reaching the end of my time performing in Absinthe here in Las Vegas. In a period of sadness and upheaval for me (two and a half years is a long time, and I’m going to miss this show like crazy), Moana reminded me of my previous adventures, and that there are only more to come. Almost 10 years ago I was dancing on cruise lines and spent my last three months as a 21-year-old circumnavigating the globe. During that time I visited Tahiti, Moorea, Tonga, Rarotonga. ... The mountain on Moana’s island home looks a whole lot like Bali Hai, a mountain I have climbed, and on top of which is a pineapple farm where I had the best damn jam-ontoast of my fucking life. Like Moana, I seek adventure. I wish the same for you and yours in 2017. 7 See Charlie Starling in Absinthe, twice nightly in the Spiegeltent at Caesars Palace, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. WedSun. Visit AbsintheVegas.com for tickets. Follow her on Twitter: @charlistarling

Janua r y 1 2 -18, 2017 vegasseven.com

39


CONVERSATIONS

I really want to focus more on my passions for photography and videography and hone my craft. –Matthew Iles, account executive

Lucky No. We asked the Vegas Seven staff:

What’s your new year, new you goal? I won’t waste groceries and I will reduce my carbon footprint. –Ben Ward, creative director

In 2016, I went hard on health and fitness. Now I’m trying to trim the other fat in life: debt and bullshit material things. I already traded in my unnecessary SUV for a dinky little Honda and cleaned out my closet. Now, if someone would let me sleep on their couch, I can stop paying rent, too. –Zoneil Maharaj, director of digital content

Slow down, be in the moment and truly enjoy the experiences and blessings that each day brings. –Michael Skenandore, publisher

I want to have a baby. –Brittany Quintana, account manager

This is the year of curated commitments. I’ll be practicing the art of saying no, because too often, I say yes to everything and end up stressed out and overcommitted to things I should have skipped. No more! –James P. Reza, contributor

My goal is to make the most of my free time by cutting down on screen time. –Jessie O’Brien, editor, DTLV. com

Illustration Cierra Pedro 40

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Where There's Smoke... | Vegas Seven | Jan. 12-18, 2017