PICTURES FROM MY 30 PLUS TEAMS TOUR OF LAS VEGAS PART ONE

I was here from June 16 until the evening of June 22.

It was all about eating, having fun and oh yeah, because this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas, it was all about team number 31 of the National Hockey League, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Enjoy the pictures

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A TOUCH OF MICHIGAN IN DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS

You might think that while I was on my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas , all I did was eat.

You might be right and it just wasn’t at one of the many buffets or restaurants that the city is famous for.

At The D Hotel and Casino right in the middle of the action on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, there’s a 24 hour restaurant that might just be familiar to those of you who have either been to or lived in Detroit or any other city in Michigan .

The restaurant is called the American Coney Island Chili Dog.

Now, there’s no Coney Island in Detroit , but when the many Greek immigrants who settled in Detroit first came to this country, they went to New York first, and what was the first American thing they ate?

You guessed it, hot dogs.

For some reason, they were given the name Coney Island dogs and these immigrants brought them to their new home, Detroit.

These hot dogs are grilled and slathered with chilli sauce, but don’t look for beans in this chilli .

You won’t find them.

Instead you’ll find a flavorful sauce with onions and you can add mustard or ketchup to it, although I have no idea why you’d want to mess up a perfectly good hotdog by adding ketchup to it, just saying.

This restaurant chain,which is all over the city of Detroit, might have been one of the favorites of the owner of the hotel, Derek Stevens, who was born and raised in Detroit.

In case you didn’t know, the hotel’s name, The D, is another nickname for the city of Detroit.

Prices at the restaurant are reasonable and they use the same recipe for the sauce that was used by the founders of the original American Coney Island Dog back in Detroit .

You might even see a relative of the founders behind the counter as they do come to Las Vegas from time to time just to make sure the restaurant is sticking to the formula that made this place so popular with Motowners for all these years.

You might not be a fan of hot dogs, but trust me, if you can’t get to Detroit , or if you are from the Motor City, and you want a taste of home while you’re in Las Vegas, get yourself over to Downtown Las Vegas for the American Coney Island Chilli Dog Restaurant .

VISITING DOWNTOWN CONTAINER PARK

When people visit Las Vegas , they stay mostly on the Las Vegas Strip , and if they happen to be staying at one of the downtown casino hotels, people only go to check out the Fremont Street Experience, then they return to their hotels to gamble or if they’re staying at one of those fancy hotels on the Las Vegas Strip , they return to the Strip.

But those tourists in the know, who have been to Las Vegas more than once, know about a place that the locals also know about.

It’s the entertainment district of Fremont Street , known as Fremont East .

Right in the middle of Fremont Street East , on 7th Street is the Downtown Container Park.

What’s so special about this place?

The restaurants and stores are made from shipping containers, hence the name Container Park.

Plus it’s located in Downtown Las Vegas , so there you go, Downtown Container Park .

It opens up at 10am or so, and has an area for children, as well as a domed area for showing movies.

But at 9pm, like the rest of the city, the park comes alive.

No one under 21 allowed in the park after 9pm.

Just like in Paris and other cities, you’ll see “locks of love”, but unlike Paris and other cities, these “locks” aren’t on a bridge .

They’re on a heart with other locks, right on Fremont Street .

Also in front of the park is a giant Preying Mantis .

Don’t worry , it isn’t real , but this is Las Vegas , after all, and you just know that this insect is going to do something like put on a show or something .

After awhile, the eyes of the insect light up and out of its antennas comes fire.

Yeah, that is real, so don’t get too close to it.

To say that the sight of the insect spewing fire might startle you is an understatement, so don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

If you’re staying on the Las Vegas Strip and you know that you want to see the light show at the Fremont Street Experience or glide through the air on Slotzilla, don’t return back to the Las Vegas Strip just yet.

Take a walk down to 7th and Fremont Street and do a little shopping or eating at one of the shops at Downtown Container Park .

GOOD THAI FOOD IN LAS VEGAS AT LE THAI DOWNTOWN

In a city known for its buffets and five star restaurants , you wouldn’t expect to see any kind of Thai food, let alone good Thai food.

Venture off from the Las Vegas Strip and head down to Fremont Street , a little bit past the Fremont Street Experience and there it is, Le Thai Downtown Restaurant .

The restaurant is in the area of Fremont Street known as Fremont Street East , which is the entertainment area of downtown Las Vegas .

You’ll find nightclubs, Downtown Container Park, which I’ll talk about later in another post, and one of the oldest casinos in town, El Cortez, which at one time was owned by mobster Bugsy Siegel.

If you take a walk down this street, you will definitely miss Le Thai.

I know I have the many times that I’ve been in town.

The restaurant is open every day but on Monday thru Saturday, there’s happy hour and lunch specials.

The lunch special is from 11am until 3pm and it cost only $9.95 plus tax.

That’s a good deal if you ask me.

I love Thai food and on the special lunch menu, I was happy to see my favorite Thai food , Panang Curry on the menu.

You have a choice with all the items on the special of white or brown rice with either chichen, tofu, shrimp, beef, or pork.

I had white rice with beef, and lemonade.

I was asked by the waitress on a scale of spicy from 1 to 5, how spicy did I want my food?

I went for 2 and it was still spicy but oh so good.

I have had Panang Curry at other Thai restaurants , but not like this.

This curry was very flavorful and instead of string beans, it was loaded with carrots.

It was so good and so filling that I had enough for leftovers.

To say that I would recommend this restaurant to people if they are ever in Las Vegas , the Strip or even Downtown Las Vegas, would be an understatement.

If the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy the view.

The prices are reasonable, even if you don’t do the lunch special or go for Happy Hour.

You can even do take out.

No matter what you do, you can’t go wrong with Le Thai Downtown Restaurant on 6th and Fremont in Downtown Las Vegas .

LIVING IN LAS VEGAS OR DO YOU LIVE IN A CASINO?

‘I’m leaving Los Angeles and I’m moving to Las Vegas . ‘

“Las Vegas ? Do they have houses on the Las Vegas Strip?”

“Do people ACTUALLY live in Las Vegas ? ”

‘Yes, and I’m going to find a place in Downtown Las Vegas . ‘

“Downtown Las Vegas ? There’s really a Downtown Las Vegas ? ”

‘Yes, it’s where Las Vegas actually started.”

“No, seriously. Where are you going to live in Las Vegas , a casino?”

Long before I had even thought about or even considered doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour , well meaning friends and definately many family members who didn’t know that much about Las Vegas asked me questions like this constantly .

I told them that I was leaving Los Angeles after 10 years.

I had quit my job at Malaysia Airlines and like Lebron James, I was taking my talents elsewhere .

I wasn’t moving to South Beach, though.

Nor was I moving back to the East Coast .

I was going to Sin City, Las Vegas , aka New York City on steroids.

What was I going to be doing?

I didn’t know that much about the city, even though I visited there, a lot.

Las Vegas is just about as close to a suburb of Los Angeles as you can get.

I signed up with a temporary agency, but I wasn’t going to do any kind of job in the city until I got fingerprinted by the Las Vegas police department, which EVERYONE in town must do if you’re applying for any kind of job.

Contrary to popular belief though, prostitution is ILLEGAL in Clark County , where the city is located , not that was going to be my job, mind you.

The agency paid for my fingerprints, which I think were either $50 or $75.

(It was 12 years ago, people. My memory isn’t that sharp !)

When I first moved, I had enough money to stay at El Cortez Hotel, which is downtown, and was once owned by Bugsy Siegel, the mobster.

I stayed for about a week or so.

When my money ran out, I didn’t know where to go.

I still didn’t know the city that well enough.

Someone at the agency suggested a place in North Las Vegas called Shade Tree Inn.

It became my home for awhile.

Did I mention that this was a homeless shelter for single women and women with children ?

Yes, I stayed in a homeless shelter for awhile and I’m not ashamed to say so.

You do what you have to do to get by.

I had to learn when to get up at a certain time, when to bathe at a certain time, what time to be in bed, and try to find something to do in the morning because the shelter didn’t let you in your room from the hours of 10am until 4:30pm.

I had to check in with the staff if I came in after 11pm, which was when the staff turned the lights off.

I did find an apartment as well as a job after awhile.

My apartment, which was a studio with kitchen, bathroom and a balcony, cost less than my place in California and a heck of a lot less than what I’m paying here in New York City .

Like my job, my place was located in Downtown Las Vegas , mere blocks from my job on Fremont Street.

Where did I work?

It’s Vegas, I worked at a casino.

I worked at Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casino, which is now known as “The D”.

I was one of those people who make the players cards, which you give to the dealer at the table ,or put in the slot machines .

My fancy schmanzy job title was “card ambassador”.

Did I enjoy those three years that I lived in Las Vegas ?

Yes and no.

I didn’t know what to expect.

I didn’t follow my own advice.

I didn’t do my research .

Visiting Las Vegas is very different than living here.

The cost of living is low.

There’s no state tax.

Now some of you may say what’s wrong with that?

I’m greedy.

When those tax refund checks come in, I want to see a federal AND a state in my account, just saying.

Need I bring up the heat in the summer?

I don’t care if it’s a ‘dry heat'(my microwave is too.), I can never get used to getting home after midnight and it’s 99 degrees.

Plus my neighbors are in the huge pool that takes up most of the apartment’s courtyard .

Definitely wasn’t used to that.

Nor could I get used to waking up at 9am, and the temperature is 106 degrees and climbing.

Needless to say, the casinos made it very easy for locals to lose money.

Need your paycheck cashed?

We’ll do it for you so you can play those slots.

Even the casinos on the Strip began catering to the locals who rarely gambled there .

I took advantage of everything because I liked playing the slots and getting all the perks that I could.

After work it was always party time.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas , right?

There’s more partying going on now it seems than when I lived in Vegas.

Every day a new restaurant , hotel, dance club or show is opening up or so it seems.

After three years in Vegas, I decided to move again, back home to New York City where most of my family and friends are.

There are times that I question moving back to New York .

However, if you were to ask me if I did move , would it be back to Las Vegas ?

I don’t know honestly .

I have way too much stuff going on and I really don’t have the patience anymore to reapply for services that I’m getting here in New York .

You know, that “senior stuff”.

I enjoy visiting though where for a couple of days or even a week, I can say that I live

in a casino .

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – CHECK OUT THE FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE .

 

 

You’ve  decided  to  leave the  Las Vegas  Strip  for  the  evening  and  head on over  to  the  old  section  of  town ,  the  place  where  Las Vegas  actually  began ,  Downtown  Las  Vegas .

There aren’t  as many  casinos  down here but they  have just  as much  nightlife  and  excitement  going  on  as the  casinos  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  do .

One  thing  that  this  area  has that  the  Strip  doesn’t ,is a pedestrian  friendly  mall known  as  the  Fremont  Street  Experience .

Since 1995 ,  there has been  a  covering  over all the  shops ,  restaurants ,  bars and casinos  on Fremont  Street .

At night, from 8 pm  until  Midnight ,  this  canopy  lights up and becomes  something  known  as  ”  Viva  Vision  ” ,  where you can hear the  music of  acts like  the  Beatles ,  Green Day, and Bon  Jovi  ,  accompanied  by   what seems to be the entire  light  bulb  section  of every  Walmart ,  Target ,  or Home  Depot  store in all 50 states and Puerto  Rico  plus  the  District  of  Columbia .

If this wasn’t  enough  going  on ,  on either  side  of  the  street ,  there are  two stages  that people  perform  on, that is  when Viva  Vision  isn’t  playing .

Viva  Vision  runs   every  half hour, by the  way .

If the fifty million  lights from Viva  Vision  weren’t  bright  enough ,  every casino from The D all the way down to  the  Plaza  Las Vegas  gets a  little  brighter  also .

No, that’s  a  lie.

It gets a LOT  brighter  actually .

Do you  want  to  have  a  closer  view of the  goings-on  at Fremont  Street ,  including  the  crowds  and  the  many  street  performers  that seem  to  pop up  everywhere ?

You can by paying   $20 and riding  the  zip line  known  as  ”  Slotzilla  ” , which  shoots you out of  a what else, slot machine

 

,  and sends you zooming  over  the  crowds just like Superman  or Wonder  Woman .

No one ever told  you  that  Downtown  Las  Vegas  was  just  as much  fun  as the  Las  Vegas  Strip  even  though  it’s  much  smaller

You had so  a much fun at the Fremont  Street  Experience  that you just  might  come  back again  tomorrow  night.