Las Vegas . . .
December 1, 2021
“The Meadows” is an intriguing experience. After struggling unsuccessfully for a French apartment, finding one in “Las Vegas” was accomplished in three days. A one bedroom this time, a step up from my last tiny studio in Los Angeles.
If you position “The Strip,” the gambling and party life in the casinos somewhere “over there,” the rest of this town is fairly typical American fare. With over two and a half million people, it’s a good-sized place. And sprawling. Most of the streets are straight, North and South, and East and West.
Add the some eighteen million and more people who visit yearly, it’s a very big place. And its gambling and party industry keeps it in good shape financiall. Good streets, for the most part, lots of local retail businesses, and a scrambling work force.
It takes a lot of relatively low-income workers to service the eighteen million visitors. And they are spread wide and deep across the city, which is not a downtown kind of city but a broadly spaced bunch of houses and apartment buildings all cozied around many well-stocked shopping malls.
Some mentionable architecture is here in addition to a lot of middle-class housing, but all are marginalized by the 360 degrees of surrounding dark mountains. It takes some getting used to, to find yourself always in the middle of a valley watched over by imposing rocks.
I like it more than I anticipated. “Sin City” industry is a very steady business. If you believe in capitalism, then the crowd that fills the casinos is proof of the power of consumer demand. No doubt: gambling and partying are common to people worldwide.
If you do the math, it takes about one worker to keep every twelve visitors fed, watered, entertained, and fed. Actually, since not all Vegans work in the industry, one worker handles more than that on average.
Which, however, automation has begun to alter. Digital machines have begun to replace people managed card dealers and roulette table operators. I think the casino moguls in their search for higher profits will find that does not last long.
People come here not just for gambling. I think they come mostly for companionship with newly discovered party people, like themselves. If I’m right, I suspect we’ll find that some of rhe digital robots will again be replaced by people. Let us hope.
Friends have warned me against getting the gambling fever. Gambling’s never been a thing in my life. I’d toss a few dollars into roulette just for the party with visitors from Russia, Germany, France, Italy, South Africa, Tulsa, and New York. That was all.
My real reason for moving here was Economy and a Big Change. When Europe disappointed me, I thought I’d give America another try. I needed to save money and I’ve always been curious about what it’s like to live in a desert.
The Mojave is wide, its sky is a high as Montana’s, its local people are crazy drivers, but otherwise seem to be quite normal. And prices are about 25% lower than California where I’ve been hanging out the past dozen or more years. That’s a nice price break, believe me.
There’s no doubt Vegas is still a growing city. If you’ve ever thought of moving elsewhere to lower your cost of earthly existence, but don’t want to hide in the woods somewhere, you might want to consider it. It has lots of kids and they don’t seem to all become gamblers.
As I get to know it for real, I’ll keep you posted on that last point.