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Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New YearIs it over yet? 2009, I mean.

Worst year ever in so many ways for so many people. I’m always an optimist, but 2009 really did test us. I think the big banks ended up being the only big winners.

2010 has to be better. Hopefully it will be for everyone.

December was the worst month for me personally, in what lots of people are saying was the worst year ever. I’m real good at feeling guilty, and nothing has made me feel that way more than the lack of posting to the blog in the last 30 days. I’m resolute to get back into the swing of daily posting.

I wish you all the best for a safe, happy and prosperous 2010.

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First Friday Is New Years Day

A great way to start the New Year would be a trip downtown to the monthly First Friday Arts Festival.

January 1, 2010 6:00 pm -10:00 pm Here’s the whole scedule of events.

Come down this month to enjoy both visual and performance art! .  There will be tiki carving, video and DJs on stage, live improv on the street, artist, vendors and so much more!

Don’t miss “Art in Tandem”. Ricardo and Jesse, from Erie Pennsylvania, have traveled all over the world as “Art in Tandem ” and have recently landed in Las Vegas. They will be easy to spot especially when riding their tandem bicycle. We will also be showing a video of them in front of The Funk House that details their various ensembles and travels in tandem.

Be sure to stop by the First Friday info table (in front of The Funk House) or Trifecta Art Gallery in the Arts Factory to buy your raffle tickets for the great Premium Outlets gift basket we have for January, including a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE , Guess merchandise and much more! (you do not have to be present to win)
Donate to support First Friday:  http://www.firstfriday-lasvegas.org/fundraise.html

Of Special Note – Don’t miss:

D’Arte Designs POP-UP Galleries presents “An Eclectic Collection”,
works by
Sigrid Brunel, Denise R. Duarte, Anita Getzler, Walt Heron, Arthur Jabob and MIKEL PATRIK.
Experience the energy of this confluence of artists who articulate their world visually by a variety of media. Abstraction to reconstructed realities flow from their creative centers to this place in time, the first day of 2010. Experience the new decade and new year in a refined and artful environment.
ONE NIGHT ONLY, First Friday, January 1st from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Holsum Design Center, 241 W. Charleston Blvd., Suites 140&150.
Also open at Holsum Design Center on First Friday, H. Stephen Jackson/Architect Gallery in suite 175 and dining at Lola’s, a Louisiana Kitchen. Trolley Stop.
For more information contact Denise with D’Arte Designs, 702-372-3755,www.dartedesigns.com

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The 2nd Annual TributePalooza to Rock Fremont Street Experience for New Year’s 2010 Weekend

If you’re out and about and aren’t spending a fortune to be somewhere “fancy”, you could also stop in at Dinos on Las Vegas Blvd and Oakey. Lots of downtowners will be there. No cover, lots of karaoke.


I’m starting out at Dino’s, an hour or 2 on Fremont Street, and plan on being at Don’t Tell Mama on Fremont at 6th long before midnite. No cover there, either.


Lots of other’s including the Arts Scene crowd will be at the Arts Factory for the “Galactic Dec-a-dance” NYE Ball.


30,000 or so will be on Fremont Street, and most of the Tourists will be on Las Vegas Blvd.


Regardless of whether you’re staying in or venturing out…..Be safe…..And Happy New Year!


LAS VEGAS – December 29, 2009 – Las Vegas’ famed Fremont Street Experience is ready for a rockin’ New Year’s 2010 Weekend celebration with its 2nd Annual TributePalooza.  The spectacular New Year’s Eve includes live concerts by eight of the world’s best tribute bands, a 2009 year-in-review show on the Viva Vision screen, followed by a countdown to midnight with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and then Fireworks by Grucci under the canopy choreographed to virtual fireworks on Viva Vision.

TributePalooza bands will deliver performances emulating classic favorites Aerosmith, Depeche Mode, Guns N’ Roses, INXS, Led Zeppelin, No Doubt, U2 and Van Halen.  Plus, there will be a live stage show, “Jimi Hendrix and the Psychedelic Ride.”

New Year’s Eve is the only day of the year with ticketed admission to Fremont Street Experience. Wristbands are $10 for locals with valid Nevada ID and $20 for out-of-state visitors.  Fremont Street Experience is restricted to persons 21 and over on New Year’s Eve.  Wristbands can be purchased in advance by calling 702-678-5600.

The street will be packed with action while the giant Viva Vision screen dazzles with a light-and-sound extravaganza 90 feet above the street.  The five blocks of the fabulous Fremont Street Experience, home to 10 legendary casinos, will be transformed into the biggest private party in Las Vegas, with upwards of 30,000 people in attendance.

Revelers are invited to celebrate the dawn of a new decade in true Las Vegas fashion at the city’s one-stop outdoor entertainment venue.  The night will be filled with music as the eight ultimate tribute bands will provide continuous live concerts on both 1st Street and 3rd Street stages from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.  The performance schedule is as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear Age Seminar at Atomic Testing Museum

Since I’m coming out of hibernation, let’s throw a little Las Vegas History into the mix.

Nuclear Age Seminar at Atomic Museum

Tuesday, January 12th, from 6 pm – 8 pm

A discussion and lecture titled “From Splitting the Atom to the Cuban Missile Crisis: Writing the 1st Quarter-Century of the Nuclear Age,” will be presented on Tuesday, January 12th, from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119.

The Atomic Testing Museum, the Black Mountain Institute, and the UNLV History Department proudly present discussion panelists Dr. Martin Sherwin, Dr. Ruth Sime, and Dr. Mary Palevsky. UNLV History Professor, Dr. Andy Fry, will moderate the event. The speakers’ combined research and knowledge of the development of the nuclear age ensures that the conversation will be both informative and thought-provoking.

Admission is $5 per person and free for museum members. Call (702) 794-5161 for more information. Click Here for more information and a money saving coupon to the museum exhibits and gift shop.


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A Year End Message From The National Trust For Historic Preservation

One of the causes that’s most dear to me – and I hope to you, as well – is the National Trust For Historic Preservation. Please read and respond, if you can,  to their year end request for donations:

Protect Places That Matter

Ever since Ann Pamela Cunningham led the first effort to save Mount Vernon, the historic preservation movement has had as its guiding principle bringing people together to save the places that matter to all of us.  

Over the years, our movement has evolved to encompass not just presidents’ homes, but historic schools, parks, cemeteries, courthouses, rural landscapes, downtowns and a host of other places that help define us as a nation.  

I am writing today to ask you to help sustain our work to preserve America’s story and her places that matter with a generous year-end gift to the National Trust for Historic PreservationYour support for our work is more important today than ever before.

Through our many successes, we’ve shown that preservation is good for the soul as saving places from the past preserves uplifting architecture, provides a solid foundation for building strong communities and maintains the stories that connect us as a people.  But in these times, it is not enough to show that preservation is good for the soul, we must prove that it is good for the pocketbook as well.  

Bluntly put, too many people think historic preservation is a “nice to support” activity, but one that is expendable when serious issues like education, economic development, and global climate change need to be addressed.

You and I know that historic preservation is not expendable, but is rather an important component of efforts to educate our youth, create local jobs and make our existing homes, neighborhoods and cities more energy efficient and sustainable.

We are at a critical time as a movement – a time when we must make sure that local, state and national preservation groups get a “seat at the table” where economic development, job-creation and climate-change programs and policies are being developed – because preservation has an essential role to play in all of them.

Please make an immediate and generous year-end gift to help ensure that the preservation of America’s heritage has an ever-more meaningful place in the landscape of American values.

Thank you for your support,

Dolores McDonough signature

Dolores McDonagh
Vice President Membership

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A million dollar prize to anyone who can…..

invent me a 30 hour day or a 9 day week. I thought December might be slower, but…..NO! NO! NO!

Something’s had to give, and it seems to have been my blogging time. Hopefully, I can get some blogging in later this week. In the meanwhile…..

I had wanted to ask you to go do some of that holiday shopping in the Arts District. That’s where I’m doing all of mine.


Uncle Jack 


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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures

IMG_6544One of the truly great front doors of Vintage Vegas is on this foreclosure at 825 E. Oakey. If you’re out and about, it’s worth it to stop and take a look. I’ve admired this door for 25 years.

It’s a mostly broken house, and offered for cash only. It came to market on Wednesday, and already has multiple offers.

Everything but the front door needs to be completely redone. Actually, the 1 bathroom still has it’s original tile work, which can be saved. But it’s so filthy and stinky that I couldn’t even stay in it long enough to get a picture. The used syringe on the counter didn’t help either.




I think a design like this would be pretty easy to re-create (if you’ve got good carpentry skills) if anyone’s looking to dress up a front door. It’s really no different than building a picture frame.

The foreclosure inventory is very small right now. There’s dozens of empty homes that we’re watching that will come on the market eventually. This one had a sign out front for over 2 weeks before it got listed in the MLS.  Our experience is that these are, for the most part, not eligible for FHA or VA financing, because of the “livability standard” that’s required for Government backed loans. The banks are routinely taking their best cash offer.

We’re seeing more “regular sellers” now, who for some reason waited till the bottom of the market. They tend to be in much better condition. They’re much easier to deal with, but the competition for them is fierce.

There’s also a lot of “flip” properties now, as well.  Some of them have been cleaned up nicely, and some they’ve merely done some cosmetics without actually fixing the infrastructure.

It’s a great time to try to buy, but it’s the Reality Show of all Reality Shows. Twists and turns, and changing rules, and grumpy, overworked people to deal with. If I give you keys one day, that’s how you know you’ve won the game. In the meanwhile, be ready for the ride of your life.

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The Holiday Windows Of The Arts District

The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District is very near and dear to my heart. It’s the bridge between the historic neighborhoods, and the redevelopment of Downtown. It’s the place where the 2 eras are converging. There’ll be plenty of action in the future what with the new City Hall, The Smith Center For the Performing Arts and lots of new building. The stage is set for a second wave of re-gentrification for the historic neighborhoods as the economy turns around.

In the meanwhile, there’s the Arts District.

Most of the attention is paid to First Friday. I want to pay some attention this month to the entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, artist and merchants that haven’t given up the dream, or wavered in the least on their vision of a vibrant energetic, walking district. They’re riding out the storm of this recession as best they can. A successful holiday season for them will help insure that many of them are still there when things get better.

They deserve our support, our best wishes, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, they deserve some of our dollars that we’ll be spending this month on holiday gifts. This is a multi part series telling you about various galleries, businesses, and shop of the Arts District. Call it free advertising. I’m calling it a call to action.

Let’s start with the holiday windows. In the great tradition of wonderful holiday displays in storefront of years gone by, many of them have created wonderful windows. Go see them. Stop in and buy something for someone on your list.

The Attic

IMG_6393The Attic – 1018 S. Main Street, just north of Charleston.  

The attic is one of the first shops to open in the area. 1986 to be exact.

It’s the funkiest funnest store in all of Las Vegas. Visa thought so, and did a commercial featuring The Attic in 1998 for the final episode of Seinfeld.




IMG_6394This is the attic’s other window.

There’s copies of reviews from Vurb Magazine and 94 on their Attic Vintage website that are worth the read. Nothing you read about them, however, will be as fun as going there and checking it out in person.





Valentino’s ZootSuit Connection

IMG_6418Valentino’s ZootSuit Connection – The Arts Factory 107 E. Charleston Suite 135

Monday thru Saturday 11am to 5 pm

This display window and the entrance is in the center lobby of the Arts Factory.

You’ll be blown away.














IMG_6429Gaia – Flowers, Art, Gifts 4 E. Main Street.

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 702–997–0222

The window is delightful. The store is like no other flower shop you’ve ever been in.

It’s Mother Earth’s kind of shop.




Retro Vegas

IMG_6362Retro Vegas 1211 S. Main Street

11am to 6pm Monday thru Saturday

It’s my favorite home furnishings accessory stores. Primarily focused on Mid Century Modern and 50’s and 60’s funky.

Mark and Bill are great friends of mine, and deserve the repeated mentions.

Everything’s affordably priced the inventory changes all the time.


Atomic Todd

IMG_6358Last week I told you that Atom Todd – who’s a lighting consultant by day, and art curator by night, was doing something special.   

This window is on Main Street, just a few doors from Retro Vegas. The big reveal was at First Friday. I missed the reveal, but you shouldn’t miss seeing it.





There’s plenty of other galleries, stores and shops in the Arts District. Please consider giving them a visit as part of your holiday shopping.

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It Really Wasn’t All That Confidential

IMG_6263It was my first time that I actually helped to find the location for a film shoot. I’ve been asked before, but it never went anywhere.

Kathleen Bell’s job for the Cinematography Class at UNLV was to find a suitable location for the class project. She called and I spent a day playing back scenes in my own mind of every home I’d ever been in Vintage Vegas. That’s a really big number. I didn’t realize how many homes I’ve been in during 20 years of promoting the historic neighborhoods of Vintage Vegas.

They needed 3 distinct settings. A detached garage, a 40’s or 50’s living room and a vintage bathroom with a window.

IMG_6252What were they doing? A re-creation of a scene from LA CONFIDENTIAL. It’s scene 15 in the DVD version that I have if you want to cross reference it.

At first it seemed we’d be doing 3 different locations, one for each setting. I knew the perfect garage, I figured out the perfect living room, and a great bathroom with a big window. The various owner’s weren’t willing to let us use any of them.

Then I remembered one of the Cinderella Ranches in Bel Air that I had sold last year. It had all 3 of our requirements all in the same house. The owners, Steve and Franklin were thrilled to help, and most accommodating to give up their home for a day.



The main actors were dressed in fedora’s, suspenders, baggy pants with cuffs, and skinny ties. I thought I was the only one who dressed like that, anymore.






IMG_6258The living room, which still has it’s silk wallpaper and flowered curtains. It was set up as “flop house” with naked mattresses and beat up furniture. This picture was taken after the shoot when they were putting it back together. 


I couldn’t get anywhere near the bathroom to get a picture during the shoot, what with all the equipment and people, but there’s a perfect “vintage pink bathroom” with a perp trying to squeeze thru the window in their movie.



IMG_6247I learned that shooting a movie is a lot like road construction. There’s only a few people doing something at any one time, and the rest are standing around waiting for their turn to do something.


So if you happened to be at Bruce and Oakey last Wednesday and were wondering what was going on…….








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3rd Annual Downtown Las Vegas Neighborhoods Holiday Celebration

Welcome to Downtown Las VegasOrganized by West Huntridge Neighborhood Association to gather ALL Downtowners to celebrate being “downtowners”.

It’s always been a real fun gathering. It’s NO HOST for drinks or food but it’s 1/2 priced till 8pm. Bring some neighbors, make some new friends. We’d love to see you.  

Thursday, 12/10/2009 6 to 8 pm at PT’s Pub Sahara Avenue, just west of 6th Street. (across from the Eureka).


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This Was Fun – Any Guesses?




It’s Confidential, but I should be able to fill you in on Friday.





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First Friday And Preview Thursday In The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

Bundle up and do some Holiday Shopping. Great art from local artists is the best gift you can give.

First Friday is the  monthly art fair in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District.

I’m absolutely running late in getting you some of the openings and special events for the December First Friday. Remember, most of the venues are open on Thursday Evening as well for Preview Thursday. Most of the opening parties take place on Thursday.

Gaia – Flowers Gifts Art 4 E. Charleston

Gaia 12-3 annoucementGaia features paintings by Dan Hooker in our flower shop, as well as an exhibit of mixed media works by B.J. Lipari in our tea lounge. A reception for Dan and B.J. will take place at Gaia during Preview Thursday, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 3.

During First Friday Las Vegas at Gaia, Susanna Brent will be playing with fire! Using her torch, the local jewelry maker will give a dramatic demonstration of her torch techniques. Susanna will also be showing her latest line and talking to visitors about the environmental impact of the jewelry industry. This is a must-attend event for anyone who loves both jewelry and the Earth.



Phenomenal Photography

Brett Wesley Gallery - Las VegasBrett Wesley Gallery – Casino Center At Charleston

This amazing collection will feature world renowned and emerging photographers rarely seen in Las Vegas. Experience works from David LaChapelle, Albert Watson, Adam Fuss, Kim Joon, David Drebin, Stillmand and More.

Brett says this exhibition is not to be missed!

The opening is during Preview Thursday 6 to 10 pm.

A small glimse of the show is here.

Exhibition Dates: December 3rd thru January 29th. 11am to 6:30 Tuesday Thru Sunday. And First Friday and Preview Thursday.

Your Future Starts Here

Your future starts hereContemporary Arts Center – In the Arts Factory

This exhibit will showcase the lives, work, and experiences of artists who were once members and primarily involved during the “Golden Age,” of CAC.  The  exhibit will highlight the CAC’s influence on the careers of artists and the beneficial impact the artists had on the CAC. 

By presenting the work of CAC members and founders the exhibit seeks to provoke inspiration and inform Las Vegas of the importance of the CAC as a community based organization. The works and deeds of the exhibitors continue to have a great impact on the present and future careers of artists. Their efforts and successes have made a great contribution to the Contemporary Arts Center and  the Las Vegas Art Community. For a list of Artists and about the CAC, click here. Opening Reception during Preview Thursday.


This one’s a mystery. Atomic Todd has something extra special hidden behind the rolladens. 1217 S. Main Street. The big reveal happens from 6:15 to 6:20 pm. during First Friday. Quoting from the invite:

Alios announces the arrival of our holiday window. The grand reveal will occur at 6:15 with the raising of the Rolladen door.

In the spirit of the holiday windows of Marshall Fields in Chicago and the beauty of the Lights of Las Vegas…

Alios presents NO VACANCY


As usual, here’s the link for all the events, venues, and music lineup for First Friday in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

Holiday Toy Drive At The Arts Factory

The good folks from Olive Crest are running a toy drive for abused and at risk children from low income families in Las Vegas.  Donation boxes here at the Arts Factory and we hope our visitors will fill them with toys which will be distributed before the Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukkah holidays. This community event which will directly benefit Las Vegan families of all denominations and the toys will be distributed through the “Lark Williams Toy Drive” event and to several youth centers around the city. The boxes will be all around the building for next few weeks.

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“Desperate Landscapes” On The “The Do-It-Yourself Network” – Casting Call For Las Vegas

I can think of a lot more than several homes here in Vintage Vegas! Wanna be on TV?

Desperate Landscapes




“The Do-It-Yourself Network”  is bringing its hit show “Desperate Landscapes” to Las Vegas, and they’re looking for some young, hip homeowners who have desperate front yards.  We need homeowners who are fun, energetic and serious about fixing up their front yards to be on par with others in the neighborhood.”

They are looking for homeowners “in the heart of the city.” You can go to www.jaytv.net to fill out an application.

If your home is the sore thumb on your block, Jason and the Desperate Landscapes team want to take your front yard from worst to first!!

They’re looking for:

  • Personable, energetic and telegenic homeowners willing and able to spend a day landscaping with our team
  • Homes with no… and we mean NO CURB APPEAL
  • Bad lawns, crumbling walkways, peeling paint, dead trees, messed up windows/doors/shutters
  • Homeowners who have neighbors willing to complain (on camera!) about your desperate landscape!


I’ve been emailing with the producer’s. They’d LOVE to see a Vintage Mid Mod Home on their schedule. If you’re applying, please let me know.

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Fremont Street Experience Welcomes Rodeo Fans for the 23rd Annual Downtown Hoedown

Fremont Street Experience is going country for the annual kickoff party for the National Finals Rodeo on Wednesday, December 2. The event highlights major country-music entertainment with free live concerts on two stages at Fremont Street Experience. Entertainment schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, Dec. 2
6:30-8pm – Gloriana, 1st Street Stage
 6:30-8pm – Jonathan Singleton, 3rd Street Stage
 9-10:30pm – The Lost Trailers, 1st Street Stage
 9-10:30pm – Emerson Drive, 3rd Street Stage
In addition to the Dec. 2 kickoff event with country music headliners, Fremont Street experience will present free country music concerts Dec. 3-12 on the 1st Street Stage, 8-11 p.m. nightly.

Fremont Street Experience located in Downtown Las Vegas.


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