You may have heard, as did I, that Las Vegas has gentrified and is no longer a haven for displays of tackiness and titties.

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Golden arches and giganto-boobs: ultimate Americana.

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Lights or headlights? You decide!

While you're thinking, have a tasteful random plunging Roman horse:

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Yesterday I spent some time wandering in art galleries in Strip hotel. A lot of the art had an odd quality of being at once credentialed (award-winning and very expensive), technically accomplished and/or pretty and appealing, and vaguely tacky. Lots of rainbows, pop culture references that were sassy without actually being subversive, and panoramic views that change color if you lower the lights. However, I did see something which was legit pretty awesome:

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My favorite pulp fiction heroine, Modesty Blaise!

I have not yet hit the Bellagio fine art gallery, which I think will have non-tacky art.

Before I go, have another disembodied head, this time with perspective.

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This was all at Caesar's Palace, where I was staying for two nights. Before I left, I had a very relaxing soak at the "Roman baths," which I went to lateish and so had almost entirely to myself. (No photos; it was very wet.) I am now ensconced at the Vdara, where I apparently got a random free upgrade to a suite with a magnificent view!

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That is me pretending that I could afford a $4000 jacket.

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And that is me having a good time and a cocktail at noon. It was followed by an absolutely delicious plate of burrata-stuffed agnolotti with pickled pepper strips, broccolini, Italian sausage, and garlic cloves. The waiter's rec, and it was a good one: very bright, strong flavors with excellent contrast: creamy, spicy, tart, savory. And that was followed by a plate of English toffee beignets, warm and soft and rolled in cinnamon sugar.

This was all at Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill, which is a bit funny because we have one in LA. I'd never been there, though. I was there because I'd practically run from Vdara to MGM Grand in the hope that Cirque du Soleil's Ka was having an open rehearsal. They were not. However, yesterday I did get to see a half-hour open rehearsal of Cirque's Love, the Beatles show. I was in the third row and got to see a brief but amazing bit of a female aerialist on a looped rope, plus four small rowdy boys rehearsing a dance number. It was in the round, with projection screens on all sides. The stage manager and the projectionist answered questions and talked about the show, or rather the stage manager talked about the show and the projectionist geeked out over the screens' technical specs.

Tonight I'm seeing Cirque's Mystere at Treasure Island. Afterward, I might have a swim. Or I might watch the Bellagio's fountains dance from my window. Or a swim followed by fountains. They run till midnight.
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