Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Las Vegas - The Stardust Implosion - More Details

The way it began.

Multiple syncrolite beams of white xenon turned on in a fanned out formation. They all were raised to a vertical position, forming a cohesive beam of light. This beam of light then tipped over so that the right corner of The Stardust was illuminated. It remained like that for 4 seconds, and then went dark.

This movement seemed to me to be a sort of salute, similar to the manner of performing present arms, with a saber.

After the salute went dark, the fireworks began.

Five individual firework shots were launched in succession from left to right. This volley of five was done three times, and upon the 15th shot (the end of the 3rd volley) the full force of the fireworks came on.

Fireworks are artistic, and it is difficult or pointless to present logic in order to substantiate a particular color or shape. But somehow this particular display was the perfect display to represent The Stardust. It wasn't just a random variety of fireworks thrown to the sky with the main concern being coming in at the agreed upon cost.

This display looked like what The Stardust would have looked like, if The Stardust was a fireworks display instead of a hotel.

The final fireworks shot was at 3 minutes 21 seconds after the first. It ended distinctly, and was the equivalent of a drummer striking a snare three times.

In the momentary still, the crowd cheered the end. But the building came back to life with an encore the likes of which I have never seen.

The building became lit with fire at the center bottom, and like a fast fuse, the fire ran to the left and right; it went up the sides and met again at the top center of the building. Some more firework shots were launched over the The Stardust as the entire front perimeter was ablaze and flashing incredibly. And then the number 10 lit like a fire on the entire face of the building, and the crowd which was long since in the hands of the performer, called out, ten, nine, and so on, as one fiery number blazed into another until reaching "1."

The flashing continued at the perimeter. A simultaneous launch of 5 fireworks shot not too high over the roof, immediately followed by another simultaneous launch which crowned the first five. Then the thunder of the actual implosion began. The building collapsed, from the center and left side first, and the right (Las Vegas Boulevard side) falling into the center of the building. The center of itself. The smaller building which was also imploding at the same time was quickly obscured by the smoke.

The display was so incredible that when the implosion finally came, it did not seem real.

When the countdown numbers were lit on the building, I could not believe that I was seeing and experiencing what I was seeing and experiencing.

People stood thrilled and stunned by what they had witnessed. Then the smarter ones started to get out of the area, because the same smoke which obscured the smaller building was quickly obscuring all of us.

Somebody screamed "run." There is no point in merely speaking "run" it must be screamed.

There was laughter and shouting. The Stardust could not have been seen, even if it had still been standing. Walking north on Las Vegas Boulevard, I felt like I was in some bizarre mix of a dream and warm snowstorm.

After a brief stay in a store, I headed back out on The Strip. The Stratosphere could not be seen. The ground was white. Everything was odd. I walked north to Circus Circus, and sat down on a bench in a shopping area. I felt not well. The smoke or ash or whatever it was, had been intense, and was not over. Employees were walking around wearing air masks, (dust masks ?). Some people held shirts over their faces.

I drank water and called a friend. No answer. So I called the hotline and left a message describing the implosion. I don't think that I made too much sense, and quickly bailed out of the call.

I think I said something like "Hi this is Roy and I am choking to death in Circus Circus."

Trying to revive myself I walked around, and went to a small grocery shop near a timeshare stand. The guy on line in front of me was complaining that if they were going to blow up a building, they should have let people know. He lit a cigarette as he walked out. I got some drinks and made my way to the garage.

Outside cars were covered in white. Some windshields had been written on comically, by running a finger through the ash of The Stardust. I made it to my car, and feeling somewhat better, called the Hundy hotline again. I was more coherent, but probably not as funny as my earlier distressed call.

Exiting out the Industrial side, I drove south. Off to my left I saw a beautiful crescent moon not too high. Something was odd about seeing it. Then I realized that I was able to see the moon because The Stardust no longer stood to obscure that point in the sky.

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