Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Locations

From: Victoria Two (
Date: 29 Jan 2006

The Flamingo is a new building, as are virtually all buildings in Las Vegas. To see something of the original town you need to go to Fremont Street which is the old town near the railway station, the main mode of transportation back when. Be sure to stay until night to see the modern light show. Fremont has about the only original architecture and feel, once you get away from the overhead canopy. That is also the area of the cheapest hotels. It is somewhat sleazy but I think it was back then as well. Beware the panhandlers and keep your money in a secure inside pocket.
  Las Vegas has two main TV shows, but is begging for some mystery books and plenty of material is available with a history of outrageous characters. The architecture is wonderful, something stolen from everywhere and overdone. You may want to walk into the Luxor Pyramid just to see totally too much.
  Not in books but needing to be are the Stratosphere Tower which is the tallest and can be seen all over the valley, and the Voodoo Room which is a bar at the top of the tower at the Rio Casino and hotel which is smaller, lower, and more comfortable, I think anyway. Both day and night views are spectacular.
  It has been a couple of years since I visited and the town changes drastically with constant construction. The newest and flashiest casino-hotels are at the extreme south end of The Strip as Fremont Street is the extreme north end. This is roughly ten miles long and serviced by buses and a trolley. Do NOT jaywalk. Tourists are mowed down in droves with any number of deaths reported each year. Traffic is horrible.
  A relative used to work for one of the hotel-casinos so I heard a few good stories. The whole shebang overwhelms me but would be ideal for a series of mysteries. The Benion (sp?) Murder of about seven years ago got lots of play but was rather pathetic in the details and the two defendants got off in a later trial. The medical office (no Gil Grissom then) wrecked the case before it was properly investigated so everyone has theories as to who did what to whom. At least one TV movie was modeled closely on it. The best part of the real case was when Sandy Murphy, the strawberry blonde girlfriend, left a pair of black panties behind at the jail, and the police brought her a sampling of panties so she could take her pick, but none of those were really hers. I feel that those panties are now in a gold show case in some casino office.
  Eating is cheap if you use the buffets, especially at the casinos that cater to the huge local population of retired people on budgets. Those are usually the smaller and older casinos behind the flashy new ones. Beer and cocktails are free in most casinos to those who sit for long periods at the slots. Tip the cute waitress in the skimpy outfit well and you can drink a long time if you want. You can walk yourself to death because the casinos are enormous so bring your most comfortable shoes. There are no windows for daylight and no clocks in the casinos in order to keep players mesmerized so be sure to have a watch if you are on any sort of schedule. Have a picture ID on you at all times, and the younger you look, the more you may be asked to show it.
  Sitting in a corner and watching will bring you any number of pleasurable incidents. On my first visit a lifetime ago, I played slots beside a woman who was working two machines as fast as she could when a man so drunk he could barely stand, shifted and weaved constantly while talking to her, tried to get her to leave "to go get married." She told him not to bother her.
  Enjoy your trip,

ejmd__ <> wrote:
  Can anyone offer any tips on hardboiled sightseeing in Las Vegas and San Francisco for a tourist on a tight schedule and a limited budget?

Obviously, a visit to San Francisco will have to take in 'the plaque' and John's Grill, but what else should be on the agenda for a whistle-stop race around town?

And what about Las Vegas? While I imagine the current Flamingo will show few, if any, traces of its origins, it'll be something to see. What else is there to put on the must-see list?


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Jan 2006 EST