“Please Don’t Pee On My Car,” Blowjob Alleys, and Other Tales of the City



ELV — the man, the myth, the influencer  of public opinion — loves to gasbag about what’s right and wrong about Downtown Las Vegas. As someone who lives and works here (his office is in City Hall, his house a mile to the west), he has had a stake in downtown’s success since 1995 (when said residence was purchased). But rather than continue to bloviate about what we think, we thought it time to get into the belly of the beast, as it were, and hear first hand from folks who live the reality of trying to succeed in this trying environment every day. For purposes of eliciting complete candor, we also thought it best to refer to our subjects by the  skill-set they bring to their jobs — jobs that are fraught with more stress and peril than many of us can imagine. So, for your elucidation, edification and delectation, here they are: the Operator, the Craftsmen, and the Talent: smart, talented interesting folks who are risking it all in hopes of carving out an urban identity for our humble burg:

The Operator

Operating a business on East Fremont Street is no easy matter. There have already been failures (Radio City Pizzeria, Insert Coins, Wild, Itsy Bitsy has apparently already changed hands) and competition keeps getting fiercer. So we sat down with someone who was there at the beginning, and knows where a lot of the bodies are buried, as it were. The picture they painted wasn’t a pretty one.

ELV: You’re not optimistic about the future of East Fremont Street?

TO: Let’s just say I’m cautiously pessimistic.

ELV: What’s the problem? In 25 words or less?

TO: They need to create a niche market and sustain it, and the owners and operators and the City haven’t done that.

ELV: Well, it’s more of a destination now than it was five years ago..

TO: It was hot for a couple of years. Lots of publicity, lots of locals. But the locals all came, looked around and left. Then the parking went to $10. The crowds you see here on weekends are tourists. During the week it’s dead and locals have no reason to come here. I mean, what the fuck are people going to Container Park for? They’re not buying anything. They say to themselves: Why should I drive from Tropicana and Tenaya to downtown? And there are no answers except to drink.

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The Yummy Phase – The Bane of ELV’s Existence

All things exquisite* are disgusting when you first try them. – ELV

We’ve all been there. You’re at lunch with a group of colleagues, or invite someone into your home for a bite. Everyone’s salivating over the menu or parsing the finer points of your ouefs Escoffier fourée a la Parmigiana when someone (usually a guy) says something like “I don’t eat seafood,” or starts sniffing some unfamiliar dish as if it was designed to kill him. When this happens ladies and gentlemen, you have run smack dab into the “Yummy Phase,” and the socially stunted palate pygmies who are consumed by their childish food fears and infantile eating obsessions.

Adam Carrolla — a comedian possessing a keen eye for social absurdities and truckloads of common sense — rightly explains this retarded reversion (to insisting upon foods that appealed to you when you were ten years old) to a sense of entitlement on par with sitting in a high chair and wailing about wanting more ice cream.

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Michael Pollan’s New Rule

Photo: Ken Light

It’s simple really:

“Don’t buy any foods you’ve seen marketed on television.”

In an interview this week with New York Magazine’s Adam Platt, food guru  (he hates the term, btw) Michael Pollan has this to say about Big Food:

…it’s very hard to stay ahead of the food industry. When I first published Food Rules, I said, “Don’t buy any processed foods with more than five ingredients.” Within a year, there was a Häagen-Dazs ice cream called Five. There was a Tostitos commercial on TV where this woman is buying chips for a party. She picks up a bag and says, “There are more ingredients here than I have guests coming to my party.” And then she reaches for Tostitos, which only has three ingredients. None of them particularly healthy, but only three ingredients. So I added a new rule: Don’t buy any foods you’ve seen marketed on television.

ELV loves this rule, obviously, and thinks it is a perfect companion to:

ELV’s Immutable Axiom (#137): The more a food is advertised on television, the more worthless it is.

Exhibit #1: Coca Cola.

Exhibit #2: Any and all diet foods.

Exhibit #3: American mega-brewed beer.

Exhibit #4:


(Feel free to add to the list in your comments below.)

The prosecution rests.