After the show, we are allowed to visit the VIP lounge on the 32nd floor. Oddly, in this land of ubiquitous AC, it has an outdoor terrace with an incredible view.
(photo: Max Chow)
The next day Tracy, Mauro, and I ride bikes to the old center of town — Freemont St. — which is now a theme park of olde Vegas. One of the casinos has a large video screen advertising deep-fried Twinkies for 99¢. A pretty woman is shown taking a big bite as the cream filling overflows her mouth.
As an attraction, it's hardly the Eiffel tower or the canals of Venice, but it's an attention grabber.
On the way back, I peel off to visit Jennifer and Max, who are at the Magic convention, which has nothing to do with magic. It is a convention of all the clothing manufacturers in the country; it's massive. We are guests of Bill at Tannis Root, the company that prints and vends our t-shirts and those of some other acts like Tenacious D, Sonic Youth and Beck. One building is devoted to street wear, and the other, even larger, is regular designer's booths.
The second floor of the "street" building features some of the hip-hop lines who have spent millions on their booths. Here is Jay-Z's lounge and bar section of his display.
Another manufacturer has its area set up like a campground — Astroturf, camper vans, tents, the works. An MC and rapper work from the open roof of a VW van while America's youth sits around the fake campfire on fake logs, like urban boy scouts.