Friday, May 30, 2014

The Fremont Street Experience AM

"What are you taking a picture of?" A man asked me as I was hovered over a row of empty chairs.

"Fremont Street in the early morning.  It's a different world."

He scratched his scruffy chin and then glanced back at the shuttered kiosks.  "You're right.  It is, isn't it?"
It is seven a.m.  The crowds are gone.  The music, shut off.  I can actually hear the cooing of pigeons that are scrounging under tables for morsels of food.  My eyes see patches of blue sky through the unlit canopy.  The casino signs, ablaze with neon the night before, look old and tired without electrons coursing through them.

The street performers have been replaced with homeless men, begging for money.  I give each of them a dollar--not even enough for a cup of coffee, but a start.

"Hey, lady, good luck to you today," one of them shouts as I walk away.

What?  No God Bless?  Oh, right.  I'm in Vegas.
I realize what an oddball I am.  My Las Vegas is not a blackjack table or a slot machine.  It is not a $200 ticket stub.  It is not lounging by a pool or drinking pink-colored cocktails. My Las Vegas is the here and now in a city that is still asleep.  I relish the silence.  I have found magic in the most unlikely of places-- Fremont Street at seven in the morning.

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