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Archive for August, 2009

The Last Week Of Summer

We’ve survived another one. The weather lady says another day or two of over a hundred and we’ll be in the mid 90’s daily by Labor Day Weekend.

If you’re not heading out of town, there’s plenty to do.

There’s First Thursday, and First Friday, of course. Newly announced when you click your way thru is the “Miss First Friday” Contest with the winner to be announced at the 7th Anniversary FF in October. Here’s the full rundown of events and venues for Friday September 4th from 6 to 10 PM in THE DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS ARTS DISTRICT!

LaborDay2009Canned Heat and Three Dog Night at Fremont Street Experience. The entire “Summer of ‘69: Vegas or Bust” promotion this summer has been a smashing success. If you haven’t checked it out…..DO IT THIS WEEKEND.

While you’re there……10 Historic hotels, dozens of great restaurants, free street entertainment, live music everywhere.

 

RockyHorrorPicture ShowRocky Horror Picture Show at the Onyx,  

Every First and Third Saturday the Onyx Theatre in Commercial Center. Midnite – of course.

THEY’RE DOING ROCKY THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE SEEN AND EXPERIENCED! Always audience participation, virgin sacrifice and cool pre-show.

 

 

 

 

IMG_1531Pedalphile “Sweet 16” Bar Hopping on Saturday. This is a monthly bar hop thru downtown….done on bicycles! It’s great fun, lots of diverse people. They alway bring bandaids for me.

Meet up 6:30 to 7pm in the parking lot of the Arts Factory at Main and Casino Center. Ride starts at 7, back at midnite. Which bar to go to next kinda gets decided at the previous bar.

This picture from April. Usually there’s a theme. That night it was bunny ears. This week is called “Sweet 16”.

I’m doing a party in Paradise Palms first and then Canned heat. We’ll probably run into them during the evening.

Gallery Openings And Art Events include:

Studio 810 - August 5Studio 810  Expanding this month in to the parking lot and the front patio.

AND: Fun Crafting for ALL AGES! The most FAMILY FRIENDLY venue on the First Friday spectrum!  Join our resident artists in painting and decorating giant magical toadstools that will be used in the upcoming Fairy Festival at Cactus Joe’s on September 12th!  Bring your little ones in for a fun time with arts and crafts!  ALL AGES and ABILITIES are welcome to JOIN IN!

This is the hippest craft shop in Downtown Las Vegas.  810 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

 

 

 

Public Art Visiting Artist Lecture: Tues. Sept. 8, 7:00 p.m. at the Fifth Street School Auditorium.
Open to public, this lecture is sponsored by the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission in collaboration with the UNLV Department of Art. 

One of the pioneering voices of installation art, Robert Irwin began his career in Abstract Expressionism before leaving the studio in search of ways to create spatially-sensitive art. His latest work is the design of the Central Garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, an ever-evolving landscaping project that seeks to create a full sensory experience for viewers through the introduction of new plant species and the attraction of natural wildlife that has come to inhabit the area.

 

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Scotch 80s Battles Commercial Encroachment Into Historic Las Vegas Neighborhoood.

Scotch 80s signsI started to bring this up last week. The Scotch 80s neighborhood south of UMC Hospital is facing an all too common of a threat. Commercial Encroachment!

Tonight is the planning commission meeting where the rezoning requests will be heard. Items 12 to 14 will only be the 2nd public hearing so it won’t be too very long after the 6pm meeting gets underway.

If any of you are able to attend, I’m sure the Scotch 80s Neighborhood Association folks would welcome your show of support.

Alan Choate covers the story well in the RJ today.

If you’re a regular reader of Very Vintage Vegas, then you know how important the issue of commercial encroachment is to the whole concept of preserving and protecting the Historic Neighborhoods of Las Vegas. This is not a new problem. But it is one we’d better be willing to fight over and over again.

We’ve battled it over the “Titanic” encroachment into John S. Park, The Stratosphere Scorpion Tail Roller Coaster intrusion into into Beverly Green and SouthRidge. Condo proposals along Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara Ave are other examples.

I personally have not had a lot of interaction with the Neighborhood Associations on the west side. I applaud them for being organized and ready to do battle when needed, and I lend them my full support.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

Some Other Thoughts On The Financial Crisis

 Thanks to Anya, Steve Randy and Missy who all emailed me links to the USA TODAY story where I’m quoted – “Foreclosure Guilt Haunts Homebuyers”, by Steve Friess. We were at dinner a few months ago when I mentioned to Steve that the topic comes up all the time. Where did the people go who lost this house? Are they living in their car? On the Street? At relatives?  Yesterday, we learned that some of them may have bought another home first and then dumped the old home.

In any case, there’s always a human face to every house. I’d like to think that as we go forward and clean up this mess that we can actually start writing a new book full of happy new homeowner faces. Remember, however that the vast MAJORITY of homeowners did not buy during the bubble, and didn’t take out the artificial bubble equity. As long as they don’t HAVE to sell right now, they didn’t get hurt at all by the real estate melt down. That’s not saying anything about their 401k’s or IRA’s but they still have their roof over their head a monthly cost that they can afford.

Speaking of yesterday’s post on the whole Times article, Vegas Lee wrote this morning to ask:

The lady that was mentioned in the article you had on your web site yesterday, Brooke Boemio is an agent here in Vegas.Seems to me that what she is doing is not legal.  She is also hurting the industry.  Seems to me also that the banks, or the state could come after her. What is your opinion? 

I realized that I tried to defend the biggest bulk of us real estate agents, but I never did give my opinion per se. First, as someone who’s been misquoted, taken out of context or edited to meaningless in the past I’ll always give someone some benefit of the doubt when they’re interviewed in the media.

The actual practice of encouraging people to NOT PAY THEIR mortgage and to cheat the system is despicable, illegal and not recommended. Helping people figure out how to BEST COPE with true hardship is NOBLE. I do that all the time. You wouldn’t believe the calls and emails I get. Short Selling, Loan Modification, get a roommate,  get off your depressed butt and find another job, are all valid solutions. Criminal loan fraud is not on the list of recommended activities.

The FBI has a major task force here in Las Vegas. They’re still working thru all the mortgage fraud that was perpetrated during the bubble. I guess there will be new scams to be investigated that are derived from the “Anti-Bubble” (which is what we’re in now). The Sun Article says that it’s all being investigated. I hope this is true, and doesn’t just get lost in the shuffle.

AND REMEMBER THIS….. The statistics, the stories, the inventory, the very game itself is very different in the suburbs that it is in Vintage Vegas (lots of similarity, but lots of differences) and it’s different in each price catagory as well. Every headline  or story in not a blanket truth that applies everywhere.  

 

 

 

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Time Magazine Article “Less Vegas” Stirs Up A Hornets Nest

This last Sunday, people started asking me if I’d read the Time Magazine story “Less Vegas: The Casino Town Bets On A Comeback” . I flagged the email but didn’t get around to reading it till this morning when I started getting emails with a link to the story about the story that appeared  in today’s SUN.  

Here’s the final paragraph of the lengthy Times story. It’s not a flattering piece. He tells of optimism, but dismisses it all offhand as pollyanish bull crap.  I’m ever the optimist….. I’m all in, myself.

So Vegas has made its bet. This recession, it clearly believes, is just another business cycle. It will end, sooner rather than later, and the world will go right back to gambling on slot machines and real estate and tasting menus and double-digit corporate earnings. In fact, Wynn bet me $100, an amount I had to spend several minutes explaining to him, that the U.S.’s GDP growth will be positive by April 2011. In the meantime, he and the other people who run Vegas believe the deck will get reshuffled and new players will sit down at the table as casino owners, but the game itself won’t change. Americans, they think, will continue to get economically better off. It sounds a little hollow, especially looking at this city in the desert that creates nothing, the world’s greatest ghost town in waiting. But a lot of people have gone broke betting against the people who run Las Vegas. Besides, the Las Vegas people have no choice but to bet things will go back. They’re all in.

Much of the piece focuses on the big picture of closed down construction projects, bankrupt major casino owners, and a small part (that begins on page 2) about a real estate agent in Las Vegas who “spills the beans” about some unscrupulous practices of some real estate agents. It’s these couple of paragraphs that a few of you email me about on Sunday, and that caught the attention of Brendan Buhler in this morning’s SUN.

The story by Joel Stein in the Aug. 24 issue, “Less Vegas,” is a high-spirited and high-altitude view of the troubles facing Las Vegas, which he calls both “our most American city” and “an entire city of John Dillingers.”

In the story, Brooke Boemio — “a bouncy, sweet, recently remarried 31-year-old mom” — is cast as one of the Dillingers. She helps Stein break into a foreclosed home and brags about helping clients who are underwater on their mortgages buy a second house on the cheap and stop making payments on their first mortgages, pressuring the bank into selling the houses for a loss. Everybody’s doing it, she says in the story. In fact, she said, she did it herself.

I bring all this to your attention because I want to describe the Real Estate Industry from my point of view. Even though there’s some rebuttal in the remarks of the Sun article, most of the commenters seem to blame the entire meltdown on Realtors.

I know why I’m a Realtor.  I like (some) houses. I like people. I like making a living. I like being recognizable. I even like the stress and frantic pace of real estate. I find that the people I work with as clients believe as I do on most issues, and share my values most of the time. It may be true that opposites attract romantically, but in the business world, I think people attract those who are similar. The honest find the honest, and those without integrity find dishonest people to play with. I never get asked to do anything illegal or dishonest by my clients. I NEVER volunteer, either. And the other thing that I don’t do is try to put the entire blame for the whole recession and housing meltdown onto the back of any one of the players. EVERYONE played a role, real estate agents included.

I’ll give Time credit for one thing, they have internal links in their articles to just about everything pertain ant that they’ve ever published. One of them is “25 People to blame for the Financial Crisis”.   The American Consumer is #5 on the list. Wall Street is well covered, as is the banking and mortgage industry, the government, Presidents Clinton AND Bush, homebuilders and many others. There’s plenty of blame to go around, and just as before it’s all going to happen all over again because people just don’t change their stripes.  There’s plenty of people who are going to try to game the system, work a hundred new angles, seek out other dishonest players, and to greedily grab at others expense. I don’t have to play with them, however and neither do you.

The specific “crime” of buy and dump that’s mentioned in the Times article is one that started to happen at the beginning of the downturn, but new rules (tightening of guidelines) were put into place to stop the practice. Personally, I’ve heard that it happened, but I’ve never heard of agents actually promoting it as a business practice.

More of concern, are some of these things that need to be looked into NOW. Offers that aren’t being presented to the sellers at all; banks that aren’t taking the highest bid for the property, just the most convenient and quick to close cash bids; requiring all bidders to prequalify (again) with bank that owns the property; and hoarding of inventory. Yes there’s practices out there that range from the not nice to the scandalous, and it’s all part of the “game with no rules”. It’s a game worth playing….but not an easy game at the moment.

Mostly I just want to tell you that most Realtors are honest, hardworking, ethical and the bad apples do damage not just to our industry but to  the consumer and the economy and the nation.

And in case you didn’t click over to the article in Time, one of the links that shows up in the article is about modernist homes for rent including Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs Home. There’s some great pictures  there.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

Walter Zick and Harris Sharp – THE Mid Century Modern Architects Of Las Vegas

The Mint - Iconic Mid Century Modern Design by Las Vegas Architects Zick and SharpVeryVintageVegas is pleased to be one of the sponsors of  the “Zick and Sharp” Panel discussion and Bus Tour on OCTOBER 3rd. Zick and Sharp were the most prolific mid century modern architects of Las Vegas.

We started documenting their body of work last year after discovering a CD presentation that was made to the school board by Walter’s daughters. They were trying to get a school named after him. We joined that bandwagon, but got sidetracked and never finished the research for that series. Now we’re back on it and incorporating it into the upcoming panel discussion and bus tour.

Among the work that we’ve already explored and discussed has been Maude Frazier Hall (gone now); The POD SCHOOLS; and Nevada Savings. There’s plenty more that we’ll be covering and Classic Las Vegas and VeryVintageVegas hope that you can join us on October 3rd.

The un–official announcement is out and the plans are in place (except for a way to RSVP and pay for the bus tour – We’ll open the registration next week. Space will be limited for the bus tour, but abundant for the panel discussion).  

 From The Classic Las Vegas history blog:

Beyond The Mint:“ Walter Zick and Mid-Century Las Vegas

If all Walter Zick and partner Harris Sharpe ever designed was the Mint Hotel and it’s beautiful neon sign that would be enough.

But Walter Zick designed much more than just the most beloved, lost neon sign of Las Vegas.  He designed a variety of commercial buildings, mainly banks, schools and residential homes.

A lot of his architecture is still standing which is really amazing considering the reputation Las Vegas has with preserving history.

As noted here earlier this year, we became much more aware of Walter Zick’s architectural contribution to the Las Vegas Valley when we got a disc from Jack LeVine over at VeryVintageVegas that had been put together by Zick’s daughters in hopes of having a school in the Valley named after their father.

While the School District turned down the daughters, we came up with an idea and working with the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas and Nevada Humanities, we received a grant to do a program centered around Walter Zick and his mid-century architecture.

On October 3rd we will have a panel discussion at the State Museum on the work of Walter Zick.  Confirmed panelists include our favorite mid-century author and historian, Alan Hess, Assemblage Studios’ architect, Eric Strain, Karen Zick Goff and her sister, Claire and neon designer, Brian “Buzz” Leming.

Following the discussion, there will be an afternoon bus tour of some of Zick’s still-standing architecture.  The final stop on the tour will be the Morelli House.  Though Zick did not design the Morelli House, it’s mid-century architecture makes it a perfect place to have a small reception before returning to the State Museum.

We are currently working out the bus route, which we hope will include a few stops so that we can see the interiors of some of the buildings.  Once we have all the details worked out, we will post them here.

Seating for the bus tour is limited and reservations will be necessary.  Once we have the reservation number working, we will post that as well.

So, subscribe to this blog because you are not going to want to miss this.  If you ever wondered what happened to mid-century modern Las Vegas or how it came to be, this is the program for you.  If, like me, you’ve always appreciated how modern our Valley truly was, you won’t want to miss this program.

It’s going to be historic, fact-filled and lots of fun.

So, stay tuned.

This program made possible by Nevada Humanities and the Nevada State Museum and the generous donations of VeryVintageVegas, the Friends of Classic Las Vegas, Brian “Paco” Alvarez and the Junior League of Las Vegas.

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Veteran’s Memorial To Be Installed At Huntridge Circle Park

TOWNHALL 8-24-2009You’re invited to a “Community Meeting” tonight to discuss the proposed Veterans Memorial in the Huntridge Circle Park. The meeting will be at the Mesquite Club, 6pm 702 E. St. Louis Avenue.

There will be a “detailed presentation” about the proposed memorial. We know the city and the non-profit promoters of the Veterans Memorial are serious about this. They built a website and are collecting donations to fill a 1.2 million dollar budget. The City of Las Vegas has also put out an $800,000  “Call For Artists” which I’ve pasted below the fold.

The Huntridge Circle Park is the football shaped island in the middle of Maryland Parkway, just south of Charleston Blvd. It’s been a center piece of the downtown historic neighborhoods ever since it was built in 1942. The most recent history led to the park being closed down in 2006.

Many of us have been pushing and prodding and begging and pleading the city to re-open the park. The city says there’s no money. The City says that the Veterans Memorial is the best option for getting the park open.

Here’s a little background. A whole bunch of us from all the downtown neighborhood associations promoted a re-building and redesign for Circle Park. We held meetings, created a design, obtained grants from the city and county and rebuilt the park. We had a big grand opening party in 2005 and people started using the park.

A church group from Henderson started bringing sandwiches at lunchtime to feed the homeless. The number of homeless people in the area started to increase. There was a big increase in crime in the neighborhoods surrounding the park. One of the burglaries led to the murder of a man in his own home. It was assumed that this murder was related to the “homeless problem” that was being created by the serving of food at Huntridge Circle Park. 

Then the City passed a law making it illegal to feed people in public parks. The ACLU won the lawsuit against the city. Then one homeless man murdered another one in the park on November 24, 2006.

That’s when the city closed the park 4 days later. It has remained closed ever since. The excuse for keeping it closed has always been that “there’s no money to open it”, but the truth is, there’s no political will to re-open it until now.

I’ve always been in favor of getting the park opened again.  I’m neutral to the Veterans Memorial. Neutral to whether Las Vegas needs one at all. Neutral as to where it goes. Neutral to it being in Huntridge Circle Park. The City Council says that if they provide the funding to fence the park so that it can be closed at night, the can put the memorial there.

If that’s the best (or ONLY) way to get the park open, then I’m jumping on board to support the Veteran’s Memorial people. You can make donations or otherwise volunteer on their website.

 

CALL FOR ARTISTS: LAS VEGAS VETERANS’ MEMORIAL, LAS VEGAS, NV
Description
The City of Las Vegas (City) hereby invites individual artist’s or an artist team (Offerors) to submit written Statements Of Qualifications (SOQ’s) to create a profound and lasting work of art in honor of America’s service men and women. The Veterans’ Memorial is being funded by Las Vegas Veteran’s Memorial, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation. The Las Vegas Arts Commission and an evaluation committee will select a finalist that will work with the Las Vegas Veteran’s Memorial in preparing a design. The design will need to integrate an expandable commemorative component, such as a brick walkway, commemorative wall, or digital reader, where donors can pay tribute to family members or others who proudly served in the armed forces. The successful offerors and finalist will also be asked to submit a design for perimeter fencing to surround the entire park. All design proposals will need to be pedestrian friendly, ADA compliant, and vandal resistant to the extent feasible.
 

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Steve Evans To Run For Las Vegas City Council

STEVE EVANSI’m pleased to report that Steve Evans, the current planning commissioner for Ward 3 has announced that he’s thrown his hat into the ring to run for Las Vegas City Council.

Steve has been a true friend of historic preservation in general and neighborhood preservation. I’ve worked with him and consulted with him on dozens of projects. He has my absolute, unqualified support.

I’ll be throwing a VeryVintageVegas fundraiser for him at some future date. You’ll be invited.

In the meanwhile, all the facebook friends out there can show some support by joining the facebook page that Cindy Funkhouser created. STEVE EVANS FOR CITY COUNCIL

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 3 Comments »

Home Prices Stabilize??

I’ve been seeing this for several months now….at least in Vintage Vegas. Now there’s city wide statistical evidence, for at least a one month increase of 900 dollars. YEA! It’s only one month but IT IS THE FIRST TIME 30 MONTHS (since February ‘07).

Hubble Smith reports in today’s RJ……

Las Vegas Area Home Prices Edge Up

 (READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE)

NOW, if the banks will actually SELL the houses to first time home buyers instead of the cash investors. If they’ll actually accept some more of the short sales. If they’ll stop being overly ridiculously obsessed with dotting every I and crossing every T, and driving us crazy with stupid useless, paranoid minutiae and just close the loans….

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Fremont Street Experience “Summer of ’69: Vegas or Bust” Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock with Woodstock Tribute Palooza

I ran into an awful lot of you this weekend at the woodstock tribute palooza. For the rest of you, here’s some pix and some videos.

The ENTIRE summer long extravaganza has been a smashing success, regardless of what criteria is used to measure it. I talked to (and danced with) hundreds of strangers during the course of the summer. We met locals and tourists and never ever got a negative review. Jeff Victor, the president of Fremont Street Experience told me the crowd numbers, gaming numbers, food/beverage numbers where beyond the best hopes. I often was told that they’d booked their room on the strip, and ended up going to FSE every single night of their visit.

And those of us in the “new urban core” of Las Vegas didn’t have to drive far to get there, (or to get home safely, for that matter).

VeryVintageVegas is really about Urban Life. It’s not coincidental that the LV history scene, the Mid Century Modern revival scene, the art scene, the music scene, the entertainment capital of the world scene, are converged and merged in the essentially the same place and the same time. It’s happening “downtown” and not in the suburbs. Recession or not….the momentum hasn’t slowed.

This video is most of the actual Woodstock tribute show on the VivaVision.

 

I’d mentioned the Fremont Street Dancers before. Saturday night, I played spectator and shot this video of the 1st performance. They had pushed the crowd back and opened up a clearing and were all ready to go. I turned on the camera a minute early, which allowed me to catch the “frat boys” pushing their way thru the crowd only to discover themselves smack in the middle of the circle.  

IMG_4555The dancers moved to the 3rd street stage area for the second performance, and I was flowing along with them when I realized they were dancing their way across the “take your picture in the crowd at woodstock” set-up.

You can get a good sense of the “set” in the video. There was a non stop line of people waiting to get into the crowd and have their friends take pictures.

Jeff told me that they worked on this all summer trying to get a picture blown up that big, get the dimensions and measurements right, and figure it all out. I’m glad they spent the time, as it ended up being one of the really popular attractions for the Woodstock Tribute Palooza.

 

IMG_4538In the meanwhile, we had terrific tribute music on both stages. Janice, Jimmy, Creedence, and Jerry kept us dancing all night.

 

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Peace And Love, Harmony And Understanding

Woodstock Weekend.  I’m just happy to be able to say that I never gave up on the world. I’ve done my best with what I’ve got to make the world a better place. I still do everything that I do with optimism and love at the core.

I admire and cherish those who have done the same. I admonish and disdain the selfish and greedy, the haters, and the nasty, mean-spirited people of the world. I wish it was always easy to know who is who, (or at least easier to figure it out sooner rather than later).

Happy Woodstock. I think it should be a national holiday.  

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

The Law Of Un-Intended Consequences

The law of unintended consequences says that no matter how well you think something thru, and how flawlessly you execute the plan, it’s not going to turn out exactly how you expected. Murphy’s law is related to this as well. They say a butterfly can flap it’s wings in China, and it will cause a Tornado in Kansas.

I’m going to attempt to tell you (quickly) the story of why there’s been so little new to read this week at VeryVintageVegas. I’m not apologizing, just explaining.

It all started with the cash for clunkers program. There was JJ’s 93 Dodge Pickup in the driveway that I was going to sell or give away anyway. So I checked it out at cars.gov. It qualified as a trade in vehicle. Then I went car shopping. Ended up trading it and the Impala for a new Malibu! I didn’t really have the time to do all that, but momentum took over. Now I know how the first time homebuyers feel trying to get in on the 8000 tax credit before it ends.

My mother MADE me promise to not smoke in the new car. I’d made that same promise about the Impala 5 years ago, and it lasted about a week back then. This time, I knew it had to be forever, so I just QUIT SMOKING. No patches, no pills, no gum, no gimmicks. I’ve done all of them before. If fact I’ve done everything there is to do to quit except for ACTUALLY QUITTING. I’ve talked about, and thought about, and threatened to do it almost every single day for 40 years.

Well, it’s been a week today. I’ve been thru hell, as my body really tried to punish me. But I made it. I can think again today. All week I was totally spaced out like I was stoned. Dizzy spells, headaches, a 3 day head cold, nausea and more. But I made it. I got most of the really important paperwork done, made it to all of my appointments, and did everything but be a prolific blogger.

So now you know.

Some of what I should have been telling you about all week is…..

Scotch 80s signsScotch 80’s neighborhood gears up for a battle against commercial encroachment into the neighborhood.

 

 

 

Woodstock Tributepallooza at Fremont Street Experience this weekend. Dig out the Tye-Dies and go have some fun!

The Funk House is holding a FIFTY PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE SALE!  This weekend only!

 

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“Celebrating Life” Winners On Display In City Hall’s Bridge Gallery

The city of Las Vegas is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 “Celebrating Life!” juried fine art competition. The “winner’s circle” award recipients will be displayed at the Bridge Gallery located at Las Vegas City Hall, 400 Stewart Ave., on the second floor, from July 10 to Sept. 18, 2009.

This is the ninth year for this popular fine art competition, which is open to all Southern Nevada artists age 50 or better. It was also a record breaking year for both the number of works entered and selected this year, with 83 artworks out of 185 entries chosen for the juried exhibit.

At the May 22, awards ceremony held at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 25 works of art in six media categories were presented. Drina Fried’s mixed media piece, Red Couch, received the Best of Show Award of $500.

 

The Bridge Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Parking is by meter only. This exhibit is free and open to the public. “Celebrating Life!” 2009 is presented by the Office of Cultural Affairs and sponsored by the city of Las Vegas Arts Commission. For questions related to this exhibit call 229 -1012.

Other winners in the mixed media category include:

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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures – A Custom Mid Century Modern Home In The Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Of Downtown Las Vegas

IMG_4460Today, we’ve got a new Desert Modern custom in the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood of Downtown Las Vegas.

It’s certainly got some great Mid Century Modern features that are worth showing. You’d never know it from the listing, however

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IMG_4464I’ve been trying to get into this home for over a year. Even though it was listed in the 200’s as an overpriced short sale, the previous owners never let anyone in.

  

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4466Now it’s owned by Fannie Mae and listed for $75,000. I mention that, because Fannie Mae is SUPPOSED to give first consideration to owner occupied buyers instead of to the investors. AND…..they’ve even created a special loan program which allows an owner occupied primary residence buyer to obtain not only the purchase money but the “light renovation” money in the same loan. There’s only 2 sources for this type of loan which is called the Fannie Mae HOMEPATH RENOVATION Mortgage. I’m learning more about it now.

 

 

 

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One of my pet peeves is listed properties that haven’t even had the junk removed. Even if it’s bank owned, there SHOULD be some effort to presenting it well. So forgive the clutter, and just appreciate the Mid Century Modern features and fixtures of this Downtown Las Vegas “Desert Modern” home.

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IMG_4468(I love the logo graphic on this central vaccuum unit).

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IMG00054-20090806-1604Here’s a link to the three prior listings which show the house with furniture, water in the pool etc. It sold in 06 for $399k, and again in ‘07 for $436k. Still each of the agents totally missed the true character and nature of a mid century modern custom home.

There’s some great features to work with if anyone’s looking for a real project house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Downtown Las Vegas Mob Museum Unveils Its First Artifact

MobMuseum_logoIt’s not really the “Mob Museum”, but I’m pretty sure that will be it’s nickname for all time. It’s actually called “The Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement”.

IMG_4448This morning, Mayor Oscar Goodman unveiled the first artifact. It’s a brick from the wall where the 1929 Chicago St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred. There’s certificates of authenticity and display boards with photos and other documentation as well.

IMG_4451Dressed in his best pin stripe suit and white fedora, the mayor told of many of the plans for the museum that will be another great draw for the tourists to come to Downtown Las Vegas.

He was totally surrounded by camera from all the local TV News outlets, so I couldn’t really hear it all well. There will be coverage on 3, 8 and 13, so I’ll fill in links to this post after they’re aired. Hopefully, I’m scooping them all by getting it on the blog first.

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IMG_4438It was the first time I’ve been in the “Old Federal Courthouse Building” building in 20 years. Back then it was the downtown post office. The building is a registered landmark with the National and State Registry of Historic Places.

From the FAQ on the Mob Museum Website (pdf) in answer to the question -

Why the former Post Office Building?

It’s one of the last remaining historically significant buildings
in Las Vegas, included in both the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places, and determined to be significant at the national level for its association with the Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime (the only historic building in Las Vegas designated as significant at a national level). The building is an important remaining example of the Depression-era neoclassical architecture built by the federal government during the 1920s and 1930s.

I was able to hear Mayor Goodman tell a reporter that he’s dug deep into is own warehouse of memorabilia to make some significant donations to the museum. I think I understood that there will also be some items from the “Casino” movie, and I did hear him say “If I had seen the Casino movie first…..I’d have charged them a whole lot more money to be their lawyer”.

IMG_4450Here’s a shot of the current interior space, now that the demo work and environmental abatement projects have been finished.

The “Mob Museum” will open in 2011.

UPDATES:

The Sun and the RJ now have coverage on their blogs, as well.

I think my facebook uploads were the first to hit.

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Downtown Las Vegas – What To Do This Weekend

First Thursday In The Arts District Of Downtown Las Vegas

Thursday! It’s first Thursday in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District. First Thursday is the preview night for First Friday. Most everything is open, but without the crowds. There’s special events that night such as

Brett Wesley Gallery

Material_DreamsThe Brett Wesley Gallery never fails to disappoint us. We did, however, think that Brett’s last name was Wesley, but it turns out that Wesley is his middle name and Sperry is his last name.

That’s important because this month Brett’s showing his own photography, along with the photography of Patrick Rogers and Steven F. Dansky.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE – The Photography Show opens with an artist’s reception this Thursday night 8/6 from 7 to 10pm. There’s a sneak peak on the Brett Wesley website. The gallery is located in a PENTHOUSE LOFT at Newport Lofts at Hoover and 1st Street in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District.

 

Fallout Gallery

The fallout Emanuele Sferruzza_Evite - CopyThis looks like it’s going to be real good. Famed graphic artist Emanuele Sferruzza will be showing. The opening reception is Thursday from 6 to 9 at the Fallout Gallery at 1551 S. Commerce Ave. in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District.

“The Exhibit” will be showing August 6th Thru September 4th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST FRIDAY in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

It’s the monthly art stroll thru the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District. 6 to 10 pm. FRIDAY 8/7/09

THE STREET FAIR IS BACK thanks to new sponsors, some serious fundraising by Whirlygig, (the 501C3 non-profit) promoter of First Friday and a lot of perseverance from its Board of Directors.

50 artists will be showing on the street, along with live music, galleries, food, and lots of fun.

For a complete line-up of artists, music, events, and venues, here’s the First Friday Website.

Fremont Street Experience – “Summer of 69: Vegas or Bust”

Yesterday– A tribute to the Beatles – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights 8 to 11 pm.

We discovered a little treasure the other night while at the Mayor’s birthday party. A whole group of people have come together spontaneously as the Fremont Street Dancers. I accidently stumbled onto them, and caught a glimpse of them in the video that posted below about the Birthday party.

A little birdy has told me that they’ll be at it again this Friday night (I guess it won’t be spontaneous -but it will look that way if you’re nearby, a la the T-mobile dances. I also hear they’re planning a REALLY big one for the following weekend during the Woodstock Tributepalooza.

9:20 Friday night in front of the Golden Nugget and 15 minutes later in Front of Fitzgerald’s.

The Mob in Las Vegas – Centennial Stories: Examining Our Past

The next “Centennial Stories – Examining our Past” event will be Friday 8/7  – Bob Stodal will be conducting a roundtable discussion on the subject of “The Mob In Las Vegas” 6pm – Clark County Government Center 500 Grand Central Parkway.

Bob is the Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Las Vegas, as well as a commissioner with the State of Nevada Commission on Cultural Affairs. The discussion will be filmed and will show during the month of August on the Clark County TV Station – Channel 4

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