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Archive for September, 2007

Today’s Re-Run – What Is A Cinderella Ranch

There’s over 600 posts that we’ve done sitting on our “old” blog which you can access here, or in the link in the Archive Section in the left column.

From our Archives, May 9, 2007

Yes, the ranch home was a version of the modernist movement of the 50’s and 60’s. To get away from the boxy flat faced look, some architects got the idea to add some ornamentation to the fronts. Scroll work facia boards, extended awnings, and roof ornamentation got added to give the homes a very unique look. Inside is ranch ranch ranch….but outside became the fairy tale home.

Last month when we attended the Alan Hess Architectural history lecture, we learned the phrase “Cinderella ranch”. We liked it much better than “Gingerbread Home” that we had been using previously to describe a style of ranch home in the 60’s.
We’ve found them scattered thru out Vintage Vegas. There’s a wonderful pocket in the yet to be discovered neighborhood of Las Verdes on the west side, as well as many sprinkled like gumdrops thru McNeil.
There’s 2 whole subdivisions of them, one on the east side called Belaire. They’re easy to find on Oakey, and for a few streets north of Oakey between 17th Street and Eastern. Most of them are very well kept, but we do occasionally find one that’s a real fixer.
 The other west side, undiscovered neighborhood is off of Arville, just south of Sahara. They even named the subdivision “Enchanted Village”. There are streets named after lots of our favorite childhood fairy tale stories. You could live on Hansel or Greta Streets, Thumbelina Circle, Lilliput, King Midas and my favorite…Cinderella Lane!


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Las Vegas’ Last Mid-Century Drag – Lower Fremont & The Boulder Strip

If you drive along Fremont Street, East of Las Vegas Boulevard you will observe a collection of vintage motels and businesses that time forgot. These endangered properties are some of the last vestiges of mid-century road architecture left in Las Vegas.

For many years Fremont Street was the main drag for teenagers and young adults to cruise in their cars. Many longtime residents remember the days of cruising old Fremont. They would begin at the confluence of Fremont Street and Boulder Highway past the Blue Onion Drive-Up Café, now the site of the Blue Angel Motel, and head west towards the old Union Pacific Railroad Depot. This tradition continued until Fremont Street was converted into a pedestrian mall. Lower Fremont offers some of the oldest buildings still in existence in Las Vegas. Several small non-de-script buildings date back almost a century. One building in particular just east of the El Cortez parking garage, on the North Side of the street dates back to 1919. Fremont street in the 50's

Along lower Fremont spectacular motels dot the landscape. Many of these classic structures are gravely endangered and already many of their signs have been painted over or outright destroyed by overzealous owners attempting to “spruce-up” the properties. The Alicia Motel is a prime example of property owners not realizing the value of these historic signs or the value of using a sign company to refurbish them. When I was curator of the Neon Museum we fought hard for the Lucky Motel sign on Fremont Street only to be out-flanked by a local magician wanting the sign to decorate his living room.

As you continue driving East on Fremont past Charleston, Fremont becomes Boulder Highway. Along boulder highway there is collection of mid-century buildings; motels like the Lucky Cuss and old auto dealerships can still be seen. The former Oldsmobile dealership with its winged roof line and the slanted oval roof of the Chrysler dealership are classic examples. These buildings are also in danger of being demolished. Sadly precedent has already been set in the area after the closing and subsequent demolition of the famed Green Shack. Luckily the original sign resides in the Neon Museum Boneyard. Enjoy the drive… -Brian Paco Alvarez

(note: Thank you so much to Brian for this reader contribution! Brian Paco Alvarez is the curator of the Las Vegas News Bureau, a life time resident of the Downtown Las Vegas area, a great friend, and in incredible resource for historical content, current events, and ‘super-deep inside scoops’ on everything Las Vegas. We hope to see a few minor metaphorical road blocks cleared up soon so you can read his amazing insights on a more regular basis! – Steve Christmas)

Photo Attribution to A Very Interesting blogger and modernist Charles Phoenix


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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Vehicles Do Not Make A Home More Attractive To Real Estate Buyers

You can never have too many carsMove the vehicles out of the driveway, off of the lawn, away from the curb, and OUT OF THE PICTURE!







We should hide the brown spot in the lawn...We'll just park the truck over it and no one will know!









Guest Quarters Are NOT Included in The Square FootageAnd…My All time Favorite which I’ve published before back in the old blog.


(Just a reminder….if there’s a little magnifying icon in the bottom right of any picture, you can click on the picture for better detail.

Scrolling over any picture probably will provide an extra chuckle.)


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Vintage Vegas Neighbors Sponsored A Make A Wish Fundraiser

P9293067While zigzagging some new LA buyers between downtown and McNeil and Glen Heather, we took a site seeing side trip thru Scotch 80’s.

There we stumbled upon a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation. An 18 hole mini golf course all thru the lawns and grounds of one of the great french revival mansions.

We applaud their sense of giving, and their creativity!


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40 Home OPEN HOUSE This Sunday in Paradise Palms, Francisco Park, Sunrise Villas

If you’ve ever wondered about the Mid Mod Neighborhood of Paradise Palms, or the 1 story townhomes call Surise Villas, or Francisco Park, this is a great way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. 1 to 6 pm this Sunday 9–30–2007

Capistrano poolParadise Palms is both sides of Desert Inn between Maryland Parkway and Eastern. Start following signs from Desert Inn

There are 9 Sunrise Villas Communities up and down Eastern Ave between Desert Inn and Tropicana. I think there’s at least one open house in each of the communities. Follow signs from Eastern Ave.

I’ll be at our listing at 2594 Capistrano Ave in Francisco Park. From Desert Inn and Eastern, go east to Topaz, then north on Topaz to Capistrano, Right to 2594.

Capistrano kit 2








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Today’s Re-Run – One Of the Millions of Photos From The Las Vegas News Bureau

 From our Archives on the old blog. This one is dated June 14. I’m presuming that all the photos being shown next Friday will be of similar interest.

Our friend and Las Vegas Historian Brian Paco Alvarez is the curator at the Las Vegas News Bureau Photo & Film Archives, which is managed by the Convention and Visitors Authority. He sent us wonderful piece of Las Vegas History from the Archive. It’s a photo for a print ad for Caesar’s Palace, circa mid 60’s. It’s called “Suite with Piano”. Except for the pink carpet, it reminds me of where we’re having the party at Ben’s house. Would anyone besides me love to have Paco as a guest blogger at VVV? I thought so. (Did you hear that resounding YES, Paco?) You can meet him at the party, and help us lobby him to give up a few minutes a week for us. He’s one of the entrants in the contest.


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Las Vegas News Bureau Stages 2 Photo Exhibitions In The Arts District

Portions of World-Famous Photo Collection on View Beginning First Friday, Oct. 5     LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas News Bureau, an operation within the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, brings its photo collection to First Friday on Oct. 5.    One photo exhibit chronicling Las Vegas’ entertainment history will be on display in the heart of First Friday’s outdoor festival.    A second exhibition called “Vintage Point” will open for a four-week showing the same evening at the Contemporary Arts Collective inside the world famous Arts Factory.  Four local artists—Darius Kuzmickas, James Stanford, Fred Sigman and Erin Stellmon—and three current News Bureau photographers—Darrin Bush, Brian Jones and Glenn Pinkerton—will put a contemporary spin on the Bureau’s classic images. A compilation of vintage and contemporary video footage will also be on view. Las Vegas News Bureau Curator Brian Paco Alvarez and Diane Bush co-curated the exhibition.   For more than 50 years, the Las Vegas News Bureau has captured timeless images of Las Vegas, from its evolving skyline and fantastic resorts to headline entertainers, sports and cultural events.  The partnership between the Bureau and First Friday is part of the LVCVA’s ongoing support of community and cultural programs.    


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center.  With approximately 133,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and 9.5 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area.  For more information, go to www.lvcva.com.


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Vacant Homes Hurting Values in Las Vegas Neighborhoods

We have the ability to help prop up property values in Vintage Vegas

We’re recommending that neighbors band together and go mow the lawns, or pull the weeds or pick up the litter, or even more extreme, go paint the trim on abandoned homes.

Last month, I posted the story below, and my little pet peeve rant about people who don’t take care of their landscape. It’s bad enough when they live there. It’s even worse when it’s an abandoned home, or a bank REPO. But we, as proud and involved neighbors NEED TO TAKE ACTION. In the very least, call the city or county rapid response and get them to get on top of it.

If the home is for sale, it will bring a better price if it looks even a little better from the street. If it’s for rent, it will bring a better quality of tenant if it looks better. If it’s just abandoned or awaiting foreclosure, then it’s STILL HURTING YOUR VALUE. The foreclosure problem is hurting values as it is. The look of the properties that are vacant does even more damage. We can’t solve the foreclosure problem, but we can at least take the downward pressure off of prices by pro actively doing something about the look of the vacant properties.

I know we’re all busy with our lives and our own problems, but I’ve never ever talked to a homeowner who wasn’t concerned about the value of their own home. That value is being dramatically affected by the vacant home across the street.

From the Archives August 28, 2007

Certainly these people must come home everyday and drive thru their neighborhoods. Don’t they realize that Vintage Vegas is well over the hump of the “comeback”? This home is the ONLY one on the block that isn’t being taken care of. I showed the house next door to this yesterday in Fran Park 4 which was really nice, but the clients were turned off before we ever got in the house, because of the house next door.

Every home in Vintage Vegas affects the value and desirability of every other home around it (both good and bad). I had the seller on our new listing down by the airport mow and clean the yard of the vacant house across the street from his. He thought I was nuts when I suggested it, but admits now that it changed the whole feel of the street!
The particular peeve is rock landscape that has grass or weeds growing in it. They make chemicals that will kill it or keep it from growing. They make plastic and weed stop material to put under the rock. You can even pull it out by hand!
Speaking of being good neighbors…. maybe one of your neighbors needs a friendly nudge. I offer to help, or volunteer to do it for them, which often causes enough of a guilt trip that they jump right on it. And then I still go over an help for at least a few minutes. Give it a try if someone on your block is hurting your home value.
With fall coming, and the temperatures retreating, it might be a good time for you to organize the neighbors for a Saturday morning mowing and trimming party to spruce up the worst house on any given block. Let everyone know you’re going to do it. If they don’t want to, or can’t help, at least it might cause them to want to make their own home better. It’s probably a bank owned property anyway, so you don’t even have to ask for permission. Just go do it. It will help that house sell for more, make your street prettier, and help keep up the hard earned property values of your neighborhood.


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Vacant Homes Spell Trouble For Nice Las Vegas Neighborhoods

Green-swimming-pool-713936 CNN did a report this morning from Phoenix about their thousands of vacant homes. Their biggest problem is swimming pools that aren’t being maintained that have become breeding ponds for Mosquitos.

The Las Vegas Association of Realtors issued a request for all agents to report green pools at vacant houses to the Clark County Health District. We’re asking our readers to help also. If you know of an abandoned or bank owned vacant property near you, and you know it has a pool, then take a peek over the wall and report it the health district at 759–1220 or online at Southern Nevada Health District.

Normally Mosquitos aren’t a problem in Las Vegas (one of the many reasons I love living in LV) but there have been reports of West Nile Virus in a few clusters of mosquitos that have been identified.


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Downtown Las Vegas Parking

It just got better.  Let’s talk about LoPro at Downtown Cocktail Room for a minute.  I love it.  Thursdays from 4–8, my favorite happy hour goes down at 111 S. Las Vegas Blvd. There’s a valet.  Sometimes the valet’s busy running around doing his job.  Sometimes I’m impatient & just drive through the alley & park on 6th between Carson & Fremont, throw a few quarters in the meter, & head right in for a basil mojito (custom delicious brilliance developed by George the bartender). 

Sometimes those quick lil’ b*****d’s in the parking enforcement golf carts beat me back my vehicle. (OK, sometimes I’m just having too much fun or too many mojitos to remember i need to re-deposit coins) My point is this: there’s nothing cool about coming out of the bar, or where ever you may be and finding a $20 ticket that would have cost you a quarter to prevent between the hours of 8AM & 8PM. 

I mean, come on this is Vegas!  By 8PM we’re pretty much doing our thing & running around with a pocket of loose change racing vindictive golf cart drivers is not my thing.  I suppose we could drive down to any of the tourist traps South of Sahara & park for free in a luxurious structure designed to funnel the crowds & their wallets directly to the slot machines.  Of course gambling’s not my thing either (thank G-d).  I want that gritty, down to earth urban vibe in my day & evening.  I’d rather pay $20 twice a month for my lack of recollection that ‘we have to do that in this part of town.’

This may still be the case on the extended lunch meeting, or other such mid-day recreation.  However, with LoPro starting at four, and most meters I’ve encountered near the hot new Fremont East having a 2 hour time limit wouldn’t it be great if Mr. Goodman (who I met at LoPro a few months back) could make it a bit easier for those of us who get lost in the sultry ambiance of mojitos, maroon, bamboo & leather?  Well, I’m happy to report that someone in his crew must have gotten the message. 

Wednesday evening after pulling up behind Beauty Bar & unloading my Dj rig for our fundraiser I thought I could just pull out of the alley an set up car camp on Sixth St. Convenient right?  No, to my initial dismay every meter on the street was bagged up un-usable.  I pulled around the corner and managed to scope a spot in front of the Western Union on Carson where the teller was kind enough to make change of a few dollars for me.  While depositing my first 1.5 hours worth I stopped with a perplexed look on my face.  This particular meter’s sticker was laughing at me displaying hours of operation 8AM–6PM!  No way!  Sweet I found the ‘lucky meter!’

I jogged down the street a bit, and no wait am I in heaven?  Every meter on Carson was now shined up with a new ‘hours of operation’ sticker displaying operating hours of 8AM-6PM!  That’s right, despite the two hour limit, if you’ve got two bucks in change lodged in your seat or console, you can now deposit 2 hours worth of time, arrive for the first sips of LoPro, and stay as long as you like.  With no nasty $20 hang over payable to the City of Las Vegas!  Good move parking enforcement guys!  It looks like most of the meters around the Fremont East Entertainment District have already or will soon change to 8–6, but double check, I’m not paying your ticket.Las Vegas Parking




I snapped this pic yesterday as I was on my way to LoPro once again, where I caught up with Amy & Candice from Vurb.  These two lovely ladies hinted that there may be a very cool Vurb Magazine party coming soon.  I’m sure they’ll let you know about it soon, especially if you’re staying up to date with their hot new web site.  Of course, we’ll post info on the event as soon as they give us the go ahead!


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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – An Automatic Toilet Lid Closer

Auto Closing ToiletSure wish I had invented this. It would surely have made a pot full of money! 






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Springs Preserve Event, Las Vegas

Join the great explorers
Travel from the Gobi Desert to Nepal through the Springs Preserve “Great Explorer” film presentation Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. or attend a family friendly screening Saturday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.

The Springs Preserve is partnering with Les Grands Explorateurs, the internationally-acclaimed documentary film and lecture series to bring filmmakers Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins for a screening of their award-winning film “Asiemut: From Mongolia to Calcutta – 5,000 miles by bike.”
This beautiful film traces their nomadic journey through the Gobi Desert, Xinjiang, the high Tibetan Plateau and the jungles of Nepal. The film received the People’s Choice Award and Special Jury Mention at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Carrier and Higgins will remain after the film for questions.
Admission to the film is $12 non-members, $10 members, $6.50 children ages 5 to 17.
Reservations are required. Call Springs Preserve Adult Education at (702) 822-7786.
View the Springs Preserve calendar for more great classes, lectures and workshops.


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Historic Keil Ranch Used As A Dump

Keil Ranch Historical Site a disaster according to George Knapp

We don’t usually cover North Las Vegas, but we ARE into historic preservation. A hat tip to a regular reader, Josh Weltmer for bring this story to our attention. We’re going to do some research to see if anything has changed. Kiel ranchKnapp’s story was published in July, but we missed it.



We googled of course, and found a great article on the history, preservation efforts and frustrations of Keil Ranch. Click here for the history of Keil Ranch


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Las Vegas Fundraiser A Huge Success

Tropicalismo Cuban CabaretLast night’s fundraiser at Beauty Bar for Toms Shoes was a huge success!  All of the sponsors from VeryVintageVegas.com, Zia Record Exchange, Buffalo Exchange, Tru Talent Management, Workmans, Chinese Laundry & Action Party Rental were all there, along with a good crowd of Downtown locals & friends.  We raised over $500.00 dollars to be donated to S. African children! 

The event was one of a kind, celebrating the birthday of our friend Lolita Bush & her graduation from IDT.  What really made it amazing was the collaboration of so many different artists & performers.

P9263008There were break dancers from two local b-boy groups; Uncommon Alliance and Knucklehead Zoo.      

We tried our best to capture some of the amazing feats these urban tumblers were pulling off, but I’ve yet to find a shutter speed that can keep up with their quickness.  You can experience the fancy footwork of Uncommon Alliance for your self on most First Fridays.  They usually set up their gig on Main St. South of Charleston Blvd.

There were live music and vocal acts from local artistsLive Vocal performance as well as all sorts of DJ performances from DJ Duwop, a local staple of Las Vegas hip-hop scene, two amazing disc Jocks from L.A., Matter & Balance.DSCN1548  They are actually not just two amazing DJ’s that perform together, but also an amazing couple!





Then, of course, I was there for the DJ battle.  That was great fun, but as I’m not a scratch or battle DJ, I was incredibly happy that I was given a chance to spin my records in a style that was a bit more akin to the usual sort of DJ set that I get to do.

Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s Old Is New Again In Vintage Vegas

Time permitting (I spend a couple of hours a day researching, typing, editing) I’m going to start bringing a daily post from the old blog into the new blog, and reprinting it as if it was new. I hope our long time readers won’t mind, but there’s a 677 posts IN THE OLD BLOG. There’s always a link to it in the top left column under ARCHIVE.

from August 16, 2007

Speaking of Retro

Our favorite Las Vegas Newbie, Susan of the “Susan Saga” series brought us a gift last night. It was the catalog of her favorite retro supplier. When she wanted to re-upholster her 50’s dinette set, she went looking (online, of course) for the appropriate vinyl material. She found a terrific source and it turns out, they manufacture all kinds of Retro Fun. Tables, chairs, appliances, toys, planters, stools,….. Meet PASTENSE, a San Francisco based company with all kinds of great stuff.





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