"Let's get down to brass tacks. How much for the ape?" - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

As I (briefly) touched down in Reno a week or so ago I realized that my knowledge of the city was based on some pulp fiction paperbacks from the 1950's...Charlie Chan in Reno, from 1939 (a movie which I view with an almost child-with-a-Barney-video like devotional repetition)...and a cop show parody.

At best, I had an off-kilter viewpoint...at worst, I was at least 60 years out of date.

Certain cities affect people that way...there's a determination to view them with an air of nostalgia which is mind-boggling to locals. Case in point, I swear that there are still some first-time visitors to London who anticipate being enveloped in fog so thick that even Sherlock Holmes would get lost in it...who envision being accosted on street corners by urchins selling matches and whelks...and who practice saying "cor blimey guv'nor" on the flight over.

I bring all this up ("At last, a point!" you cry) because it looks like I'll be spending a few days in Las Vegas at the beginning of February and I realized that I desperately need to modernize my expectations...Frank and the rest of the Pack will not be serenading me in some darkened nightspot...and all of the hotels that I know from old tv shows and movies have been knocked down. I need help. Does anyone have any suggestions for a first time visitor to city...someone who has a longing for a past long gone?


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