Driving It Like I Stole It… Slow

The March 2-8 issue of Vegas Seven magazine

The March 2-8 issue of Vegas Seven

This week’s issue of Vegas Seven magazine features three stories that I’m really happy to say went very well, especially one that could have gone very badly.

I’ll start with the latter. Have you ever driven a $200,000 sports car? Neither had I until a few weeks ago, and then I got a chance to test drive a McLaren 570GT that was in stock at Chicago Motor Cars in Las Vegas. This car is amazing, and I would have loved to take it up to 90 miles per hour like my guide did during the first lap of our test drive.

But to me, the words “drive it like you stole it” mean going at or below the speed limit so you don’t get pinched. That’s exactly how my experience turned out. As far as a recommendation, I think this video sums it up quite nicely.

The second article in this week’s issue was a much easier, and less risky, assignment. I spoke with the owners of Luxe Rust, an antique and restoration shop that opened recently in downtown Las Vegas. More than the furniture, I was impressed by the owners, and their commitment not only to craftsmanship, but also the belief that everything that’s used can be restored good as new, creating a new experience for a new owner. If you’re a big believer in recycling and reducing your footprint in the world, this is a place you should see in person.

And lastly, a story that I’ve been really excited about; a conversation with DJ and XS Las Vegas headliner David Guetta. It was a rare opportunity to do the “celebrity interview” for the magazine, and he was quite genuine and willing to talk despite having just come from a long recording session at a London studio. I asked him about playing to Las Vegas crowds and his residency, as well as his recent participation in a documentary about the 808 drum machine. He also shared a story about meeting Keith Haring, which was pretty funny.

The new issue of Vegas Seven is on newsstands now.

Catching up with Cirque Stars, Owl-watching, and Cooking with Alexa

The February 23 issue of Vegas Seven magazine.

The February 23 issue of Vegas Seven.

The February 23 issue of Vegas Seven magazine featured a trio of stories I’d recently submitted, including a Q&A with some of the stars of Las Vegas’ Cirque du Soleil shows.

The performers who answered my brief questionnaire are among those starring in a new “neighbors” campaign that will show Cirque stars out and about, picking up laundry, drinking espresso’s, etc. Among the questions I included in the feature were “What’s your Vegas guilty pleasure?” and “Which movie makes you cry?” Because those are the kinds of things inquiring minds want to know.

Also in the magazine is a brief piece on throwing the perfect dinner party with help from the Amazon Echo and its Alexa A.I. assistant. Alexa can do much more than just read you recipes, and I picked out a few of the Echo’s specialized “skills” that you can use to enhance the experience for your dinner guests.

By far my favorite feature in this issue is my conversation with wildlife photographer Andrew Feiler, who is currently exhibiting his photos at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum in a dual collection titled “Naturally Nevada” and “The Wild World.” Feiler and I spent an afternoon hiking in the Spring Mountains near Summerlin South, where we came across a pair of great horned owls that he’s been watching for the last two years. It’s not often that I get away from the city, and this little adventure made me realize I should get out more. After all, the mountains are right next door.

It’s the Year of the Rooster. Can you find one?

Vegas Seven magazine Chinese New Year issue

“Do You Have Roosters Here?”

Sometimes the assignments I receive are very simple, like the one in this week’s issue of Vegas Seven magazine. All I had to do was go out and find roosters around Las Vegas for the magazine’s Chinese New Year issue.

“Just find roosters?” I asked my editor.

The answer was yes. There didn’t need to be anything special about the roosters. They didn’t have to come from the city’s Chinatown. They didn’t even have to be related to Chinese New Year.

They just needed to be roosters.

That is as simple as it gets. It sounds like an easy task, but Las Vegas is a big city. It was well known to me that roosters would be represented at the major casinos when they put up their Chinese New Year displays, so I could count on finding a couple of roosters on the Strip.

But then it got complicated. Surely, no one wants to read that I saw a rooster on a banner or bus stop billboard. I found plenty, but I wouldn’t send anyone there to see them.

So it took a couple of days, and I had to get creative. In the end, I think the article turned out pretty good. You can read for yourself, and check out the outstanding photos from photographer Cierra Pedro.

Catching up with Las Vegas’ ‘Intriguing People’

The 2017 Vegas Seven magazine "Intriguing People" issue

The 2017 Vegas Seven “Intriguing People” issue

This week’s issue of Vegas Seven magazine puts the spotlight on 23 artists, influencers, and entrepreneurs that make Las Vegas such a fascinating place to live.

The annual “Intriguing People” list is a celebration of the city’s diversity and its ability to attract creative talent from around the world. I spoke with five of the men and women featured, and just one of them was born in Las Vegas.

The issue is on newsstands, and all of the profiles are online at the Vegas Seven website. Here is a sample of my contributions, and a little bit about the five individuals I interviewed for the issue. I encourage you to read all 23 stories. You will learn about the people, the city, and find some inspiration in the work they do.

Danielle Polk, also known by her DJ moniker Carouselle, is a member of the city’s emerging creative class. Originally from Oklahoma, she moved to Las Vegas in 2009 and now co-owns her own clothing label and produces her own music, among other ventures. During the course of our conversation, she talked about her search for “truth, beauty, and goodness,” what she’s bringing to this year’s Sundance Film Festival and why she loves Las Vegas.

Brothers Jeff and Joe Thomas have been in business together since they were kids, but they’ve hit the big time with their latest venture, Donut Bar in Downtown Las Vegas. These donuts are works of art, Instagram-worthy, and customers are so obsessed that the brothers can only keep their store open for a few hours every day. We talked about how the Las Vegas Donut Bar came together, and how they plan to top their hugely successful first year in business.

Omnia nightclub Director of Marketing Richard B. Alexander learned a lot about nightlife and event planning as a young man in Las Vegas. But he learned even more when he stepped away from the city for a few years. Now he’s back and ready to make Omnia the premier club destination on the Las Vegas Strip. We talked about getting out of your comfort zone and how Vegas nightlife compares to other cities.

When I was 20 years old I was probably worried about getting tickets to a Friday night showing of some movie. Hunter Hopewell is about to film one of his own. The creative director of his family’s production company, Rock*Comedy*Film, is an award-winning filmmaker and performer building a following here in Las Vegas. During our conversation he talked about his first standup comedy performance, what inspires him, and the legacy he wants to leave the world.

A life-changing event led Natasha Pace to a career she never expected, but was surprisingly good at: estate sales. After launching her own business, Silver Lining Estate Sales, in Las Vegas, she gained a reputation as an organizer of people’s lives. In her own life, she is a master organizer, and offered me some tips on keeping my own affairs in order.


The Legends Always Sound Better in Las Vegas

Sting performs at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Sting at the Chelsea

My recap of Sting’s New Year’s Eve performance at The Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is up now at Vegas Seven.

In a nutshell, this was the New Year’s Eve show we needed, and New Year’s Eve is what the Cosmopolitan does best. I can’t imagine another hotel topping the talent lineup the property has hosted since its opening: Jay-Z and Coldplay, Steve Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers, Bruno Mars, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

Enjoy the recap, setlist, and great pics by Erik Kabik.

Saying goodbye to 2016 in Las Vegas

The December 29, 2016 issue of Vegas Seven magazine

The Dec. 29 issue of Vegas Seven magazine.

I’ve spent the last two New Year’s Eve’s in… not Las Vegas. That’s really no way to spend the holiday. As much as I love my home state (NY) I’d argue Las Vegas is a better New Year’s experience. There’s something for every taste, and you can dial it up to a 10, or keep it around a 4, if that’s the way you like it.

For the New Year’s Eve issue of Vegas Seven magazine, I picked out seven ways to ring in 2017 off the Las Vegas Strip. There’s plenty to choose from — dinner specials, concerts, all-you-can-drink experiences, and even fireworks just outside of the city.

Online, you can get a look inside LAX Nightclub at Luxor as it readies for New Year’s Eve. The club had a lot of success this year with its “Throwback Thursday” headliners, and stuck to that theme when looking for its Dec. 31st headliners.

I also spent a few minutes chatting with Ron Ischer, Entertainment Operations Maintenance Manager at the Fremont Street Experience. It falls on Ischer’s shoulders to keep the 12.5 million lights of the Fremont canopy shining bright 365 days a year. But, as you can read, New Year’s Eve presents its own set of challenges.

The new issue of Vegas Seven is online and on newsstands now.

Fremont Street New Year's Eve Preview in Vegas Seven Magazine

“The Brightest Bulb on Fremont Street”

This man sells the most expensive comic books in Las Vegas

This week’s issue of Vegas Seven magazine features my interview with John Dolmayan, owner of just-opened Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas and drummer for System of a Down.

We chatted over the phone before I met him in person at his store, and he showed me around the “showroom” and warehouse, where there are boxes of comics waiting to be graded and massive collectibles and statues that aren’t yet on display. Dolmayan also let me into the high-end salon, where you can browse some of the most expensive and rarest comics ever printed. You can only get into the salon with an escort, and those books are locked up in safes when the store is closed.

Dolmayan and I talked about his education in the comic book industry, how he started making money at small baseball card conventions while building his collection, and how he took a pay cut to join System of a Down.

You can read the article here.

Torpedo Comics owner John Dolmayan talks about his education in the comic book industry with Vegas Seven magazine

John Dolmayan recently opened Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas (photo courtesy: Vegas Seven)