Las Vegas! My first time here! I’ve been wanting to visit for years, but never really had a good reason to. Or any money, for that matter. This time around, I still didn’t have any money, but I did have a good reason: Michael & Brooke Coxen, who run Paper & Home, a stationery design studio in town, had contacted me a ways back about a potential visit to Vegas. We teamed up with Evelyn Walker from RDG, a local advertising firm, to set up a truck event. It was a crazy windy day, but sunny, and we had a good time. It was great to finally meet Michael and Brooke and Evelyn, after so many months of emailing. I think I also ended up meeting every person in the Vegas letterpress community, which was awesome because I hadn’t even realized that there was a community there. I met Amy and Mitch from Somersault Letterpress, who recently took over an existing printing business and are in the process of revamping it and calling it their own. They had me over to their lovely home studio for a beer and a tour. Their place is just south of the Strip, but it feels like another planet – it’s quiet, shaded, green, and there’s nary a tourist or club promoter in sight. So refreshing! And their studio is gorgeous. Here’s a blurry photo of their front entrance.
They took me out for an amazing sushi dinner at their favorite neighborhood spot. I love it when people are clearly regulars at a place – the chef just kept putting food and wine in front of us without us even ordering. Everything was delicious, except maybe that sea urchin stuff… what was that called? Uni? Amy loved it, but I’m still not so sure.
It was really important to me that I get this glimpse of the non-Vegas-y side of Vegas, but I also wanted to get a glimpse of the full-on VEGAS experience. And so, I lost a bit of cash at the blackjack table. That’s what you do when you go to Vegas for the first time. It wouldn’t have felt right any other way. This cashout ticket represents what I walked away with at the end of the night, after I’d lost it all at blackjack and then moved on to the penny slots, trying to salvage a bit of my dignity. Pro tip: playing the penny slots will never salvage your dignity.
On my way out of town the next morning, I discovered the Vegas I wish I had seen more of. Old downtown Vegas – with the campy older casinos and fabulous neon signage. This is where I will go next time. I stopped at the Neon Boneyard, only to find that you need an appointment to get in. But I skulked around and shot some photos through the fence at the beauties inside. This stuff knocked me out, and has inspired me to start working on a potential “Desert Typography” project… stay tuned.