Sunday, July 25, 2010

Da Hood

As many of you may already know, I have moved.

I have lived in Las Vegas for five-and-a-half years.   I spent the first two-and-a-half in the barren reaches of the northern wilds (Centennial, Durango) and then moved out west to Summerlin for the last three.

It took about a year, but I found life in Summerlin increasingly frustrating.   At first, I was thrilled at the proximity of restaurants, bars and - for god's sake - real live casinos with 24-hour access, but the numbing sameness of the place began to wear on me.

Summerlin is not Las Vegas.

There are reasons to live in Summerlin.   It's clean, ordered, somewhat safe, probably a great place to raise kids.   But it's all the same.   Stucco, stucco, stucco, strip mall.   Strip mall, stucco, stucco, strip mall, stucco.

I now live a mile-and-a-half east of the Strip off Flamingo.   Sure, there's plenty of stucco here as well.   But some of that stucco is over 50 years old.   There are hints and bits of an older Vegas everywhere.   Personally, I am fascinated with what this place must have looked like in the years between 1945 and 1979, and espcially during the 1960's when it was the playground of the Rat Pack, the home of Liberace and host to Elvis.

There are neighborhoods from the sixties where the houses are all made out of block.   These places have been around so long and have been so heavily customized by successive generations of occupants, that few of them bear resemblance to the original floorplans, let alone each other.   In Septfordlin, evey house looks pretty much like every other, you are not allowed to experiment with alternative forms of vegetation (thigh-high weeds), build a combination hot-tub/house shack out of tar paper and fiberglass in your back yard, nor let a 1973 Chevy Malibu turn to dust in your driveway.

There are dozens of ancient apartment buildings.   With a little bit of imagination, you can see these relics thriving in say, 1962.   It is amazing how many wacky ideas people had for housing that, at the time, probably seemed either cute, romantic or genius or some combination thereof.   Thirty years on, some of those ideas make for some very peculiar architecture.

It is this visual diversity that I began to crave during my sequestration in Stuporlin.

So now I am out here where things are decidedly weird and often simultaneously exciting, sad, beautiful and disgusting.

I hope to bring you many great images of my new 'hood.


The_Scum said...

Furst ro comment.

Lavi? Obviously you want to see and document to crazy assed Hunter side of Vegas the choices are either just off strip or downtown.

Just off strip by UNLV is probably safer than downtown and more diverse in a non-Metro driven way than downtown.

I will miss than blog posts that were around my Old Hood but will enjoy looking at your new Hood.


The_Scum said...

Chock full O'Typo's!

Lavi D. said...

Just off strip by UNLV is probably safer than downtown and more diverse in a non-Metro driven way than downtown.

I think you're right, and that's where I iz.

I've already got a dozen great shots from two early morning rides this past weekend.


Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.

-Hunter S. Thompson

Dedicated to the other side of Las Vegas, namely; the sprawling, mad, incoherent underpinnings of the world's favorite destination.

That, and the occasional ranting about nothing in particular.