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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » JOHN-O's Las Vegas (& Honolulu pg 8) Thread
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JOHN-O's Las Vegas (& Honolulu pg 8) Thread
JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-21 7:21 pm   Permalink

Las Vegas Trip Report (Part 2)

City Center Review

Did you ever see the 1976 movie "Logan's Run" where people live in a domed city sealed off from the post-apocalyptic world? Mankind lives only for hedonistic pleasures and everyone is young, thin, and beautiful. To me that's the theme of the recently opened City Center and Aria Casino.



This would be a great place to hole up in the event of a worldwide viral epidemic or a zombie invasion. I'm sure the place is hermetically sealed and the glass is zombie-proof. I could imagine armies of the dead banging against the Aria's 24-hour cafe's glass walls as I enjoyed my $18 bacon and eggs. Service is so attentive and congenial, it was almost like MGM Mirage had created a staff of "Stepford Wives" robots or clones. When we ordered drinks in the Aria's Deuce lounge, the smoking hot cocktail waitress sat right down next to me to take our $15 each (!!) mixed-drink orders. As she closely leaned forward (giving me an eyeful of her beautiful décolletage), I thought maybe she was going to offer to come to my room afterwards. I guess service is good only up to a point.

I was surprised to see $10 minimums at the craps tables. Compared to similar upscale competitors like the Wynn LV and Caesars Palace ($25-$100 minimums), that's pretty reasonable. As I was the only one toking the pit crew (what's wrong with these cheap rich bastards?), they happily chatted me up.

Base Dealer: "So sir, what do you think of the Aria?"
Me: "It's pretty but it has no soul"
Base Dealer: "What places do you consider to have soul?"
Me: "I love the El Cortez and Golden Gate"
Base Dealer: "Huh?, Those places are dumps"
Me: "Hey those places give me 10x odds, can you do same?"
Base Dealer: "Uh, no"

Despite the less favorable Strip odds, I caught a hot roll and walked away with more money than I showed up with. That paid for drinks at Frankie's Tiki Room plus I bought a Frankie's T-shirt.

Overall the Aria was a nice place to visit but I doubt that I'll return (unless that zombie invasion happens).

Now I know all of TC is asking the same burning question.

"So JOHN-O, are there any Tikis at City Center?"

The answer is NO.

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2009-12-21 19:50 ]


 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2009-12-21 8:35 pm   Permalink

This is a great thread!

 
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Mongoloid
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Joined: Apr 25, 2008
Posts: 590
From: Long Beach
Posted: 2009-12-22 08:25 am   Permalink

Ive been meaning to get to the Atomic Testing Musuem, my grandfather worked for the Atomic Energy Commision and was in Nevada for quite a few years. Pretty sure he worked at Area 51 for a bit also. But i like the tie in with tiki!

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-12-26 7:53 pm   Permalink

This is where mid-century loving Tikiphiles should be eating for breakfast and lunch....



The Huntridge Drugstore Diner is open from 8am to 3pm on weekdays and from 10am to 2pm on weekends. It's located at 1122 E. Charleston Blvd just 1.5 miles down the street from Frankie's Tiki Room.

After your meal you can buy sundry drugstore items and then get drunk in the adjoining bar, all without having to leave the building.

This is the real "City Center" !!




 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-02-10 12:54 am   Permalink

Here's the definitive expose when the town was run by the mob. This book wasn't written decades after the fact but rather when those events were actually occurring. You still might be able to find it for a few bucks in a used book store as I did.

It's fascinating background to supplement your nostalgia for the Aku Aku, DTBC, Congo Room, and the Sahara when Elvis was doing Ann-Margaret there in the 28th floor Presidential Suite (during the filming of Viva Las Vegas).

This was the real "Jungle-style" Las Vegas.



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2010-04-02 16:51 ]


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-03-25 5:27 pm   Permalink

Is it that time of year again ??......



Are you a Soc or a Greaser ?? I think Tikiphiles would be the former.


 
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Big Kahuna
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Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2359
From: SoMass
Posted: 2010-03-25 9:30 pm   Permalink

My hair's full o Royal Crown. I'm definitely a greaser!

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-03-25 11:07 pm   Permalink

Big Kahuna, you might find this interesting.

Elvis vs. Jesus…...

• Jesus wore a crown of thorns in the style of royalty.
• Elvis wore Royal Crown hair styler.

http://snapshotsofgod.com/Elvis-Jesus.htm

A slight derail but it is MY thread.

Plus my next Las Vegas trip report will be chock full of Poly-Pop goodness.


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Atomic Tiki Punk
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6295
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2010-03-25 11:59 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-21 17:33, JOHN-O wrote:
Las Vegas Trip Report (Part 1)

You know here on Tiki Central, I don't think we spend enough time talking about science. You're in luck because my latest post is about my recent visit to the Atomic Testing Museum.

This museum documents the history of nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site in the desert north of Las Vegas. The exhibits focus on the science and technology aspect but also the cultural impact of the Cold War.

In the early days of the atmospheric tests, Las Vegas used it as a tourist attraction where visitors could take time away from the tables to view the atomic blasts. Our government assured the public there were no health risks, so why not celebrate with Atomic parties serving Atomic cocktails. Look it's Miss Atomic Bomb of 1958 !!



The museum doesn't allow photography of the main exhibits, but I've included some images of the building, lobby, and temporary exhibits. Here's a picture of a nuclear test at the Bikini Atoll.



Who knows what the effects of this testing were?




So what else does this have to do with Tiki? Well classic Tiki-style did originate during the 1950's Atomic Age. I might also argue that the mid-century popularity of Tiki was an escapist cultural response to the growing threat of Cold War nuclear annihilation. Could it be that Nikita Khrushchev was as much an influence on Tiki culture as Don Beach or Trader Vic?

Also did you ever notice that while the beginning of the Cold War gave birth to classic Tiki-style, it was just after the collapse of that threat when the current Tiki Revival began. The Soviet Union fell in 1991 and the following year, BigBro gave his first public lecture on Tiki-style. Is this just a coincidence or is there some strange relationship between Communist world domination and Tiki? I'll leave that philosophic discussion for another thread.



So fellow Tikiphiles, I encourage you to visit this fascinating place. Afterwards, you can go straight to Frankie's where you can raise your Tiki mug to toast Tiki's perseverance over nuclear armageddon. You can then make it a complete atomic afternoon by ending the day at Atomic Liquors on East Fremont.



(BTW, contrary to popular belief, Atomic Liquors never hosted blast viewing parties on the roof. )

The Atomic Testing Museum is located on 755 E Flamingo Rd, just 1 mile east of the Strip.


[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2009-12-21 19:20 ]



So you figured it out John-O, I was born at the times you are mentioning, my TC name is Atomic Tiki Punk, I am a Radioactive slam dancing
cold warrior and those Atomic Tiki pictures need to be my logos!

can you keep a secret?


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-03-31 12:17 pm   Permalink

OK, not one of my LV trip reports but a heads up on a current exhibit in Los Angeles for fans of mid-century Las Vegas (circa 1968).

It's at the MOCA branch in the Pacific Design Center (the "Blue Whale" of West Hollywood) and runs through June 20th.

http://www.moca.org/museum/exhibitiondetail.php?id=427

The show will highlight photographic records never seen before from the archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.





Will there be any previously unpublished photographs of the Aku Aku or the LV DTBC ??

I'll let you know.


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icebaer69
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 194
Posted: 2010-04-01 06:10 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-03-31 12:17, JOHN-O wrote:
...


amazing pic !


 
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icebaer69
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 194
Posted: 2010-04-01 2:55 pm   Permalink

"...Viva Las Vegas Weekend's TIKI Pool Party

Check out the vintage swimwear on the ladies
at Viva Las Vegas Weekend's Tiki Pool Party at the Orleans.
Wind down from a fun weekend with a relaxing day by the pool.

When: Sunday, April 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Orleans Hotel-Casino, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas
..."
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/mar/30/viva-las-vegas-rockabilly-weekend-guide/


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Trailerpark Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 352
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2010-04-02 1:56 pm   Permalink

Great thread, John. May I add a couple comments: When you call areas "dicey" I hope the readers understand it means there are pimps, prostitutes, junkies and criminals carousing in those areas. The Atomic Lounge is known for violent drug related crime. Now, some folks may not fear this, but I wouldn't take my wife there. Dino's and White Cross Drugs are in an area known for junkies, prostitutes and hustlers. Sure, its interesting, but watch your back when in those parts of town. On a positive note, the Golden Steer Steakhouse is a classic. Tony Spilotro (Joe Pesci in Casino) leased a space in the stripmall next to the Steer during the 70's. It was kind of a Sopranos 'clubhouse'. Spilotro's crew was called the 'Hole in the wall gang' because they would rob businesses by smashing a hole in the wall. I agree, the Double Down is a cool place.

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-04-02 3:32 pm   Permalink

Dicey: "Involving or fraught with danger or risk"

I'm not too worried. It's just like Issac Hayes sang.... "Man, Tiki people are some bad mutha... (Shut your mouth !!) But I'm talkin' about Tiki. (Well we can dig it !!)"

Hey, that's some interesting stuff about Tony the Ant !! I read he owned a retail business back in the day but I had no idea it was in the same strip mall as the Golden Steer.

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2010-04-15 23:08 ]


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-04-23 12:54 pm   Permalink

Las Vegas Trip Report (Part 1)

"Ever since I was a young boy
I've played the silver ball
From Soho down to Brighton
I must have played them all..."

OK, on my last trip report we visited the Atomic Testing Museum. I thought I'd continue on that same Las Vegas high culture note and explore another unique and fascinating place - The Pinball Hall of Fame. The Pinball HOF is located in a non-descript 10,000 square foot building and features several hundred pinball machines dating from the 1950's through the 1990's. It's the realized dream of Michigan native Tim Arnold who operates it as a non-profit organization, all excess revenues go to non-denominational charities.



This being Tiki Central, I thought I'd focus on the existence of Tiki-themed pinball machines. After all, what would be a better mid-century accessory for your home Tiki bar? My Internet research came up with only one related item, the ultra-rare "Bali Hi" machine.



That was the holy grail that I sought as I searched through the many rows of pinball machines, pausing occasionally to play a few games. Sadly it was nowhere to be found, but I did find these two Poly-Pop related machines:



Being the avid urban archaeologist that I am, I went snooping around in the back area where there were machines waiting to be repaired or restored. One particular machine caught my eye as it had some vague abstract Tiki iconography.



As I turned the machine's base around, the following graphics caught my eye (mind you it was upside down). Wait, could it be? Is that really what I think it is? Those look like Tikis !!



Had I just discovered some lost undocumented Tiki pinball machine? With the permission of the floor manager, I dragged out the machine's nearby headboard to get a more detailed look. Hoping to see the word "TIKI" running across the graphics I instead saw the word "TOTEM". Rats, this wasn't a Poly-Pop Tiki theme but rather a Native American theme.



BUT if you think about it, "TOTEM" seems like an odd word to use for a Indian pinball machine. Also if you squint your eyes, you could almost imagine the Indian brave as King Kamehameha, the totems as tikis, the brightly colored masks as PNG masks, and the word "TIKI" instead of "TOTEM". Could this have originally been designed with a Tiki theme but with the waning Tiki interest and devolution of the 1970's, the graphics altered at the last minute?

I submit that to you as my anthropological Tiki theory. (C'mon people, work with me here)

After that great disappointment, I exited into the parking lot. Just several yards away, the following establishment caught my eye, "Hawaii Massage".

Cool, a Poly-Pop massage parlor !!



As I entered though that door, I asked the receptionist "Excuse me, do you have any Tiki here?" Her response was "Sure honey, but that costs extra." Totally baffled by that remark, I decided to leave and go get a stiff drink.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is located on 1610 E Tropicana Ave just 4 miles East of the Strip (note this is the Pinball HOF's new location).



 
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