Friday, March 16, 2007

Las Vegas - The Riviera - A Night About Nothing

This evening I did something which yielded almost nothing. I visited The Riviera.

Ten years ago I used the bathroom there. Then two years ago I think I walked through. I've never used their self parking though, so that was the reason I gave myself to visit the place.

First of all, I learned that the driveway which looks kind of cool, dropping below street level on The Strip, is not self parking. Going north on Las Vegas Boulevard, I followed the arrow signs and made a right on Riviera Boulevard. I never knew that it was called Riviera Boulevard. I had always called it, "that street across from Circus Circus."

Well I made that right as the arrow indicated, and was getting awfully close to The Las Vegas Hilton before another sign indicated self parking. I took a picture of the sign with the Las Vegas Hilton in the background. It seemed I was closer to it than The Riviera.

Anyway after making the right, it's another few turns until getting in the garage, and I imagine that when the place is crowded, the system quickly breaks down. Only thing nice about the self parking was that it had a view I did not expect. Unfortunately I have learned this several days after The Stardust was imploded.

By the way, I used the staircase, as the elevator seemed unnecesarily creepy. Maybe it was just the desolation and darkness.

Entering through the rear, it felt like I was walking through a major bank office building in New York. It sucked.

I followed the pathway patterned in the carpet, past closed stores, and into an odd angled hallway which made me feel as if I was going the wrong way. I kept my focus on the carpet path and finally got to the main area. I walked around twice because I was hoping to stumble upon the real main area. After two circuits of the place, I knew that that was the real main area.
The night was comfortable and they had the doors wide open to let people in. Or out, as in my case. Up the few steps and out the door, and I was on Las Vegas Boulevard, right near where I had made the original right turn that began this roundabout.

I crossed The Strip and walked in the direction of The Stardust. There is a McDonalds between the dirt lot which was The Westward Ho, and the dirt lot which was The Stardust. Funny place to put a McDonalds, between two dirt lots. This McDonalds is boasting with a sign that they will be turning into a two story McDonalds soon. I am looking forward to attending the implosion of the old one.

Right after McDonalds is a fence which before it was a fence, was the entrance to the sports book side of The Stardust. Two men were sleeping in the street against the fence. I took their picture.

Up the street some more is the remains of the main sign of The Stardust. That was the main entrance. Across Las Vegas Boulevard from the old main entrance is a souvenir store which I imagine got some good traffic from The Stardust. Now, the place wasn't out of business, but I was surprised to see it closed. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't remember seeing it closed, and anyway I don't think t was even midnight. I took a picture.

I took a few more shots of The Area Formerly Known As Stardust TAFKAS, because I have been photographing the place so intensely for many months that I do not know what to do now. Then I headed back in the direction I came from.

The last time I was in this area, it was smoked out from the implosion, so I decided to walk through Circus Circus in order to see if the air had yet cleared. While I am happy to report clear air, it was also hot. Hot air under the big tent. Outside it wasn't hot or cold, it was simply comfortable. Inside Circus it was actually hot.
I picked up a free copy of What's On magazine; Stevie Nicks is on the cover and she looks good, in sepia.
Back across the street, followed the carpet path, to exit out the back, and up the creepy staircase; to eventually come home and write this, a night about nothing.

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