Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Yeah, that’s right. Dig it. Tonight was power-packed with coolness.

So after work I went to dinner at Lucille’s BBQ with Andy and Karen. After dining on some fine southern cooking (I had the pork chops… mmm mmm good), we headed over to First Friday in downtown Vegas. Note: downtown Vegas is not the strip. Anyways, First Friday is exactly the kind thing I thought didn’t exist in Vegas. It’s sort of a monthly art fair that takes place in and around a decent little gallery on Charleston St.

We got there a little after 8PM, grabbed a couple beers (which they sell in the street) and checked out a band that was playing Pink Floyd’s “Time”. It was pretty cold out, so after a quick bit we decided to duck into the main gallery. It had a pretty wide selection of modern art, ranging from abstract to realistic, and moody to whimsical. There’s two floors, and the whole thing has the layout of a maze. I’m also convinced it’s slightly larger on the inside than the outside, kinda like Dr Who’s phone booth thing. Anyways, there was lots to see. Several of the rooms were rented out by particular local artists who get to decorate the room however they choose — so the art sort of bleeds off the canvas and onto the walls, floors, and ceilings in spots. I really enjoyed that.

Next we hit a crazy antique store. Just loaded up with weird shit from the past century. I think the weirdest thing was a trio of caskets that were completely trimmed in pastel colored floral velvet. I’m not talking just about the interior here, I’m saying the whole outside of the casket was covered in velvet. And one of them was small, like for a child. They also had bowling trophies for random people, mannequins, odd furniture, old police badges, and and endless supply of kitsch. At some point we also came across several bottles of embalming fluid. The bottles had marketing copy on them with bits like “helps drain blood faster and more completely while conditioning cells!” We ended up coming to the conclusion that the store itself was a converted mortuary, and that when they bought the building, they just added the left-behind goodies to their antique collection. That would explain the weird caskets … those certainly would have been the ones that never sold.

Then we walked a little into the fair proper, which took place on these semi-commercial, semi-residential streets. I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it: aside from the normal tents and whatnot, there were people’s homes just open to the public with art on the walls. You walk into their house and look at stuff… but oops, don’t go into their kitchen. You can go in the back yard, though, where they’ve got various antiques and stuff laid out. Just a neat kind of personal public culture vibe. There were a few musicians around, and a couple of breakdance gangs battling it out on a big sheet of linoleum. I almost jumped into the fray, but Karen & Andy held me back — they didn’t want me to embarrass the other dancers with my mad skillz.

We ran into John Fanok, of Just a Little Girl fame… and also a fellow Zappos person. In addition to his prints, he created an incredibly cool miniature golf hole in the “Just a LIttle Girl” motif. The thing is pretty large — it would barely fit in your average living room. And it looks cool, featuring a partially destroyed city, which you shoot pink golf balls through. It’s got neat tunnels and ball traps and stuff like any good miniature golf course should. I guess it’s part of a local art project where a each artists makes a hole, and then they combine them into a full course at some point.

Alright… as if all this wasn’t enough. As if the night couldn’t get any better: we zipped over to Fremont Street, where we had the famous deep fried Twinkies ™ and deep fried Oreos ™ that I’ve been hearing about since I first moved to this god forsaken town. Man… that was some intense nastiness. In a good way. Sort of. The Twinkies ™ were definitely better than the Oreos ™. They’re delicious if you don’t think too much about it, and you’re in the mood for something really low class. Which describes the Fremont Street Experience pretty well anyways. Quite a contrast from the art show we were at just 30 minutes earlier. This town really does have everything. Just not in the proportions you might like.

And now I’m home in bed, happily recording my little pleasures so I don’t forget them. Good night.

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5 Responses to Now that’s what I’m talking about.

  1. Wow, sounds like a great night! The kind of night that makes you happy to be alive. I’m just glad that the deep fried oreo didn’t kill you ;)

  2. Three deep fried oreos for 99 cents! I think if I had eaten them all it would have killed me. But one each seems to have been non-fatal.

    Yes, it was a life-affirming night. I must pencil more of those into iCal.

    • Excellent re: life-affirmation. That makes me really happy. iCal let’s you schedule repeating events, ya? Or would that be perilously close to Winners Journal-ish?

  3. Surely you wouldn’t suggest that random people don’t deserve bowling trophies?

    This town really does have everything. Just not in the proportions you might like.

    Though I’ve only been to Las Vegas twice I think that’s the best quote I’ve ever heard about it. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they adopted that as the new slogan to replace, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”?

    • Maybe the world would be a better place if we gave out random bowling trophies. When I make my first million, I will start a foundation that does this. Just a global pool of names, pick one every day, and deliver them a custom engraved bowling trophy. What family in Honduras wouldn’t love that? It would be my way of giving a little back.

      And thanks — I’ll write the state legislature about the quote.

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