Come 2 Vegas | Upcoming events, attractions and what happens in Vegas

Monday, June 29, 2015

Absinthe, the show

by Cynthia Hakopian

The show opens with trapeze act and a guy that builds and climbs a chair tower. It goes on to several amazing dance numbers and a few acrobatic performances that are definitely super fun to watch. All acts are performed without the use of safety nets and each performer is highly skilled. The dance performances are varied in style, the tightrope walkers and acrobats amaze and the aerial artists are bewilderingly entertaining. 

The audience is seated in a circle around the stage which allows for a more interactive experience. The hilarious emcee and his 'sister' sidekick bring lots of vibrant energy between sets, inviting audience participation and eventually getting everyone to laugh and enjoy themselves. There is much fun to be had while watching this show-a something for everyone revue.

My personal favorite was the girl with the balloon. It's hard to describe exactly what she does, so I'll just let you discover it on your own. The show also features a finale with the lovely Melody Sweets. All in all a great show to watch no matter where your seats are located. 

Cynthia Hakopian, author contributor to Come 2 Vegas. Originally from Tehran, Iran, she grew up in Los Angeles, now living in Las Vegas. Studied at Chelsea College of Art, London, UK. She sings and write lyrics; love dancing and swimming.

Favorite quote: Dans ce trou noir ou lumineux vit la vie, rêve la vie, souffre la vie.

on fb:  https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.hakopian




Friday, June 26, 2015

Valley of Fire and Mouse's Tank

Valley of Fire, the oldest Nevada State Park, is located in the Mojave Desert approximately 58 miles or about one hour from Las Vegas.

Among many interesting rock formations are Elephant Rock, Arc Rock, Beehives and among endless beautiful trails is the Mouse's TankTrail head is a little over a 1 mile drive behind the Valley of Fire Visitors Center and it is a relatively easy 1 mile hike through an amazing landscaping. The hike elevation gain is 240 feet.

Mouse's Tank, known officially as Petroglyph Canyon, is surrounded by mystery and legends. One of the legends is about its very name. It's said this remote reservoir was the hideout of Mouse, a fugitive Paiute Indian, during the 1890s. He was accused of gunning down two miners and also some other crimes in the area. It's said he went wild on a few occasions when he got drunk. The word "tank" comes from cowboy lingo, where a "tank" is a place that holds water. 


Follows a sandy wash from the potholes in the sandstone rock, down a waterfall, that I wasn't able to see, I guess it evaporates during the summer, you arrive at the Petroglyph Canyon. The rock walls at the base of certain sandstone monoliths are thought to have been decorated by prehistoric ancestral Puebloan farmers or not. There are mysterious "bat women" on the wall; they look like are flying in the sky. Maybe these "bat women" are what ancient alien theorists are talking about. According to them, extraterrestrials with superior knowledge of science and engineering landed on Earth thousands of years ago  :)


Getting there:
Before reaching the Visitor Center, turn left and drive west on the road to Mouse's Tank and the White Domes. The Mouse's Tank parking area is just a few minutes up the road. From the trail head, it is about 0.25 miles to the heart of the petroglyph area.
Fees
Entrance Fee: $6.00 per vehicle per day; $60.00 for annual pass. Camping Fees: 14.00 per night per vehicle.
Hours
The park is always open. The visitor center (open daily, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM) provides exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory, and recent history of the park.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Las Vegas Local Lingo

Enjoy all-you-can-eat buffets, get married in a blink of an eye at any Vegas wedding drive thru, even smoke marijuana and do anything you want to. Just kidding. Not everything is OK. In case you don't know, prostitution is illegal in Vegas, but almost everything else is OK, like lap dance, a economy booster according to the former Mayor Oscar Goodman "...in order to revive the economy here, every man should get a lap dance."  ... and I say "every woman should go to a male strip club". But before you come 2 Vegas, be familiar with the local lingo. 

You can be in red and  get a huge comp or maybe even a RFB if you are a whale but not a grinder. But if you are not a whale with issued markers or cannot say hit me to the stickman again, because you were stripped by the machines, you can leave your watch at the bank, fill up your bankroll then head up to the cage to get a black and get ready for the action again. Remember, don't go to the casinos on a dark day before leaving town.

Head up to a nightclub wearing your skin-tight galaxy-print crop-tops, LEGO your cohort/twerk team and get a bottle but please keep the fist-pumping to a minimum, so you don't look like a d-bag. Just #turnup and be part of a turnip farm, and be ready for the epic.
Are you a fish? Be a good shooter or even a swingin' but never use a spoon, cause if you do, you will 86'd. Watch up, be aware of the boxman, the pit boss and also the eyes in the sky.  Last but not least, don't be a stiff turkey, be a George and before leaving, give some tokens to the dealer's drop box, so next time, you can tell to a croupier "color me up".

86'd (eighty-sixed) - getting booted from a casino, usually for cheating.
7-Up Factory - a strip club where all the dancers are particularly attractive, i.e., they rank seven or better on a 1-10 scale.
Action - sum total of your winnings.
Air Dance - An “air dance” is used to describe a lap dance without contact. It’s not a compliment to the dancer.
ATF -  “all-time favorite,” meaning a customer’s preferred dancer.
Bank - pawn shop.
Bankroll - amount of money an individual has to gamble with.
Beater - dancer who, while onstage, can’t keep to the beat of the music.
Black - $100 casino chip.
Bird Dog - bouncer who monitors the private dance room, often called the Champagne Room.
Blind lap - getting a lap dance before seeing the dancer give someone else a lap dance.
Bolt-Ons - breast implants.
Bottle - a bottle means table at nightclubs.
Boxman - craps dealer who sits over the drop box and supervises bets and payoffs.
Cage - main casino cashier.
Carpet joint - a casino catering to high rollers.
Check - casino chips.
Chum the waters - tipping generously onto a stage to receive more attention from dancers. 
Civilian - woman at a strip club who doesn’t work there.
Croupier - dealer
Crossroader - a casino cheat.
Comp - short for complimentary.
Drop - total cash traded for chips at the gambling table.
Drop box - rectangle shaped locked box located on gambling tables where dealers deposit paper money.
Eyes in the sky -  surveillance cameras in the casino area.
Extras - acts related to prostitution in a strip club.
Fish - a novice gambler
George - casino patron who is a big tipper. 
Green chips, Greens, Greenys - $25 casino chip.
Grinder - low roller.
Grind or Sawdust Joint  - casino that caters to low rollers.
Guest list - free nightclub cover/admission.
Hard count - counting the change from slot machines.
High roller - customer with the reputation of wagering large sums of money in the casino.
Hold- casino profit from all the wagers.
House fee - fee dancers have to pay to work in a strip club on a given night.
Hurl story - manufactured sob story told by a stripper to elicit a more generous tip, sometimes called a “mercy tip.”
In red - A comped customer's name usually appears "in red" on a maitre d's reservation chart.
Hit me - phrase used by blackjack players who want another card from the dealer. 
Juice -  you have to juice to get the high roller suite. 
Juice Bar - strip clubs that serve no alcohol, just soft drinks.
Junket - group of high rollers flown in on a chartered plane by the casino.
Ladderman - baccarat supervisor.
Light the candle -  the light on top of a slot machine that signals a jackpot has been won. 
Low roller - player who makes small bets; a grinder.
Markers - casino issues checks used by high rollers.
Marryin' Sam - wedding chapel minister.
McDance - dance done with an extreme lack of enthusiasm or imagination.
Mileage - how much bang you get for your buck in strip clubs. 
Off-Stage Fee - the fee a dancer pays the strip club to skip dancing onstage and dance in VIP rooms.
Pastposting - increasing or decreasing your bet after the spin has completed.
Peeler - stripper.
The pencil - pit bosses have the pencil to grant players free rooms and authorize markers.
Pigeon, plunger or steamer - gambler who chases his/her losses. 
RFB Comp - room, food and beverage complimentary from the hotel.
Rack - the device that holds the chips on gaming tables.
Raincoater -  stripper slang for a customer that’s not particularly discerning about a dancer’s looks; he’s more into lots of physical contact.
Red-bottoms - shoe with a red sole on the bottom 
Rock or gawker - a customer who nurses his drinks, doesn’t tip dancers onstage and doesn’t get lap dances. 
Shoe- container from which several decks of cards are dealt on the Baccarat and blackjack tables.
Shooter - gambler who is rolling the dice on a craps table.
Snaking - the practice of watching a lap dance someone else is getting.
Spiff - fee a cabbie gets for delivering a customer to a strip club. 
Spoon - device used by slot machine cheaters.
Stickmandealer who handles the dices with a hook-shaped stick on craps tables.
Stiff - casino player who never tips or tokes regardless of how much they win.
Tip rail - also known as “pervert row” or “sniffer’s row,” is the row of seats around a strip club’s stage, where you’re expected to tip frequently.
Toke/token - tip.
Turkey - gambler who is unpleasant to the dealer.
Vulture - stripper who hovers near the door of a strip club waiting to pounce on new arrivals.
Whales - gamblers who are so wealthy that they routinely lose millions without in a blink. 
White knight - pejorative slang term used by dancers when a customer thinks they can “save” the dancer from their life as a stripper.
Zoned - trance-like state some dancers go into when they’re working, typically results from  drugs or boredom.

Las Vegas Name


Las Vegas is known as the the Entertainment Capital of the World, America's Adult playground, Sin City, but it sure didn’t start off that way. The dry piece of desert was named in the 1800’s by the Spanish, who used it as a watering spot along the Old Spanish Trail that connected Los Angeles with Santa Fe. The name translates as The Meadows due to the lush grassy meadows that grew around the springs.

The Spanish came for water, hidden underground in a series of artesian springs, that had been a source of survival for Native Americans of the Mojave and Paiute tribes for more than 13,000 years

But the Spanish didn't build Las Vegas. They just passed through on their way to Santa Fe. Later on, the railroad and mining industries built the path to make it easy for mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel to take over and with the "famiglia", build Las Vegas the way we know. 

Later on came Howard Hughes, The Aviator, who changed Las Vegas into a corporate city, which Steven Wynn transformed into a mega resorts. 

We cannot forget the Rat Pack, lead by Sinatra, who reigned in Vegas for 43 years, transforming the western-feeling town into a glamorous one. Ol' Blue Eyes started his career early being arrested twice. For what? Seduction!

And we got seduced by such a metamorphose, that we end up forgetting where the name of the Las Vegas came from.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway


The new Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway is located in an area of 128-acre, which is part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. 

Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway is open after almost 3 years of construction. Because Mt. Charleston is considered the sacred birthplace of the Paiute Tribe, they were part of the construction and design. It is beautiful to see the touch of the seven nations of Nuwuvi - Southern Paiute - throughout the design and surroundings, beautiful iron arts, tiles mandalas, animal sculpted.

The Visitor Gateway is sculpted to create five plateaus, two amphitheaters, one sightseeing with benches, one picnic area and one huge space for hiking groups gatherings at the main entrance of the loop trails. Sightseers can stand in a circle of 360-degree view from the top of Cathedral Rock to the Visitors Gateway.

Inside the Visitor Gateway there is a gift shop, an interpretive gallery which opens a large field area for group gatherings, and orientation loop trails.

Eco-friendly
Instead of a traditional heater or air conditioner, the building has a system of heat-exchanging coils that works much as the coils in a refrigerator. Only in this case, roughly 10,000 feet of coils are buried in the ground next to the building and extend inside.

A computer automatically opens and closes windows near the ceiling to further regulate internal temperature and air quality. The building is so sophisticated it needs its own weather station.

The shelves in the gift shop and paneling on the information desk are made from old-growth redwood salvaged from old campground benches and picnic tables.

Silent Heroes of the Cold War
A few steps from the visitor center, a twisted propeller mounted to a rock marks the entrance to a new national memorial dedicated to the Silent Heroes of the Cold War. Harris said the memorial marks the culmination of a 16-year campaign led by Las Vegas resident Steve Ririe, who helped lift the shroud of secrecy from the 1955 airplane crash on Mount Charleston that killed 14 men flying to Area 51 during development of the U-2 spy plane.

At the property’s geographic center is the Seven Stones Plaza, a tribute to the seven Southern Paiute Indian tribes known collectively as the Nuwuvi

As the name suggests, the plaza features seven boulders — one for each of the tribes — arrayed around a central stone marked with a hand print representing Ocean Woman, the Nuwuvi’s creator.


Trails
There are great loop hiking trails surrounding by an unique ecosystem as the rest of the region. 
Many of its plants and animals, including one species of chipmunk, are found nowhere else on earth. 

Getting there
Kyle Canyon is the main day-trip destination. To reach Mount Charleston, follow US-95 six miles northwest of the intersection of Rancho drive and 
I-515,making a total of fifteen miles from the Strip. On the spaghetti bow, keep left towards Reno. At that point, head west along Hwy-157, Kyle Canyon Road, which for its first ten miles continues to cross a flat desert. 

Shortly after, the highway, enters Kyle Canyon Rd. Kyle Canyon Road to a dead end shortly after Cathedral Rock.

Looping around the parking lot of Mount Charleston Lodge, Charleston Peak - 11,918-ft - is the higher elevation and usually remain covered by snow between mid-October and mid-May each year. 

Kyle Canyon hikes
There are 52 miles total of hiking trails in Mount Charleston. If you're a beginner hiker, the popular Mary Jane Falls trail has a seasonal waterfall and even a cave. 
This kid-friendly, two-mile trail is only an hour long. Fletcher Canyon is another easy hike, featuring walls up to 100 feet. 

Big Falls and Cathedral Rock are great half-day hikes. Big Falls has a seasonal 100-foot waterfall and Cathedral Rock has impressive views. 

Visiting Mount Charleston Lodge
Set below the highway on the left, seventeen miles up from US-95 and facing a towering rocky outcrop, the Mount Charleston Lodge is the best accommodation option in the mountains. Mount Charleston Lodge is located in Kyle Canyon at more than 7,000 feet. With 24 log cabins, the lodge provides comfort and comes with a spacious outdoor deck and a fireplace. 

The lounge resembles an old-fashioned national park lodge, with lots of wooden furnishings, a high-vaulted ceiling and an open fireplace. 

The restaurant at the lodge is a favorite spot offering lunch specials and pricier steak, chicken, and seafood dinners. There is also also a cozy pub style bar. It is usually packed with day-trippers and it is difficult to park close to the lodge. 

The terrace surrounding the restaurant has many hummingbirds feeders and a fabulous views to the canyon. Outside the restaurant, next to the entrance you can buy beautiful native American jewelry.
Address:  2525 Kyle Canyon Road
Las Vegas, NV 89124
Phone: (702) 594 7529

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Giving children a little sweetness in their life

by Charity Griego
On Saturday June 6, 2015 Dunkin Las Vegas donuts shops hosted a fundraiser event for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation’s Camp Cartwheel and invited local celebrities, public figures and professionals to serve and prepare sweet treats, cashier, bus tables, greet customers and of course yell out "WE HAVE ANOTHER DONATION!" for cash contributions. We are extremely excited to announce that the event raised a total of $12,315 – we’ll be able to send 50 kids to camp!! This is a significant increase over our inaugural event last year, which brought in $7,500.


The location pictured in this article was that of 6795 W Tropicana Ave on the corner of W. Tropicana Ave and Rainbow Blvd, however eighteen Las Vegas locations participated in this event. The fundraiser's volunteers included the Las Vegas Outlaws and Posse; the cast of FANTASY at Luxor Resort and Casino; the cast of Chippendales at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino; Clark County School District Police; +Jay R Beatbox, local hip hop musician; the cast of SEXXY at WestGate Hotel & Casino, +JC Fernandez of Mix 94.1; +JoJo Turnbeaugh of 95.5 the Bull; Marco and John Mac of Sunny 106.5; Johiah Hall, Big D., and Claire of My 93.1; Las Vegas Fire and Rescue; +Dao Vu of KTNV Channel 13 Morning Blend; +Javelin Broderick, MotoAmerica “Supersport” Roadracer; and legendary boxing trainers Jeff Mayweather and Floyd Mayweather Sr., attorney +Eric Roy and +Rosario Grajales of RosarioKnows.com. with coverage by local media outlets and ESPN. 


Camp Cartwheel was established in 1996 a was created with the mission to reveal critically ill children of some of the physical and emotional stress of  grueling treatments and the psychological strain of dealing with various illnesses. Some children which attend Camp Cartwheel are afflicted with such critical illnesses as cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, hemophilia, renal disorders, and immunologic diseases. The camp is open to children ages 5-17 and siblings are welcome to attend as a bonding experience. 

This year's Camp Cartwheel Session 1 will be held July 15-18 and session 2 will be held July 22-24 and will facilitate about 100 campers and volunteers per session. The camp is located at the Torino Ranch in the Spring Mountain Ranch about an hour outside of Las Vegas off the Blue Diamond Road exit. The 3-night  camp session organizes activities such as swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, canoeing, scuba, outdoor games, rock wall climbing and much more. The deadline to volunteer was April 3, 2015 but you can still donate to the cause by visiting nvccf.org.


Photosby Charity Griego
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