Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vegas Baby! Vegas! Part I

Just got back from Vegas after celebrating my 30th birthday. We spent it at the Hotel Fremont, which apparently was the location of the Vegas interiors from "Swingers" very cool, old school so to speak. The Casino is forgetable, except for a Brady Bunch Staircase in the lobby that has been badly carpeted over, but it is still cantielevered and could be rescued. To our suprise the rooms have been remodeled in vaguely retro-style. The hallways have been carpeted in a Googie style print. And the rooms are done in a swanky chocolate brown scheme with mod/googie prints and Hollywood regncy-ish lucite and wood lamps. The Plantation shutters mar the look but as far as budget accomodations go it has a fair amount of style and there is plenty to do on Fremont Street. It is still kinda seedy outside but hey, that is part of that Las Vegas Charm, right? I had always wanted to stay there as I love the vintage images of the hotel and wanted to imbibe all of that intact mid-century design downtown.

We spent alot of time downtown mainly because of the hastle of the Valet-only parking situation at The Hotel Fremont, but it forced us to take in plenty of Fremont Street. Binions next door formerly Binion's Horseshoe was wild west inside, but fantastic aqua and red outside. We dined at the Plaza, or as I like to think of it as "Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise" from Back to the Future 2. They have a new retro logo as well with "Plaza" in script against a guitar pick shaped background, and since it seems to have never been remodeled it has plenty of "Retro" (or is it "Vintage"?) charm. Be sure to check out the awesome Amtrak mural at the former gangway to the now defunct railroad station. It predicts the far off metropolis of the future complete with levitating Amtrak monorails probably set in the year 1999....

Some people think it's Hokey but I love the Fremont Street Experience, I dig the funky light shows and I appreciate that it turns the entire district into a place to hang out instead of scurrying about on tiny sidewalks. It also makes it tolerable during the day when it would be otherwise sweltering going from Casino to Casino. I think it is lacking an important element of public sculpture, it needs a convertible with a statue of Robert Urich placed along it as if driving through the credits of VEGA$, and it needs a red mustang on two wheels being chased by police cars ala "Diamonds are Forever" that would be the coolest thing ever...

Posting resumed!

I have returned from self-imposed exile and hope to engage in regular posting. I have settled into my position at my "new" job and have been there now for going on 10 months, the same amount of time at Modern Living Spaces, so the fingers are crossed until I hit 12 months!

I like my position, and have picked up lots of computer skills, but in addition to becoming CAD literate, I am especially excited at the fusion of traditional and computer illustration skills. I take my hand sketches and import them into the computer where I render them in photoshop. Quite a 20th Century leap for this stone-knives and bear skins kind of guy. Our firm specializes in photo realistic digital models, but this is an expensive and time-consuming process especially in the early design stages. My sketching skills come in handy at those times when the design is still in flux.

I have not fully embraced technology. I have found that the hand drawing involves the observer in a way that engages their imagination and allows them to fill in the details of a design. This can be valuable as the digital model demands perfection and anything less the reality often hurts the presentation.