8.07.2005

El Otro Vegas

The weekend arrived suddenly. Busy busy busy. (And school's not even started yet -- eeps.) Gratifyingly, though, MrStinky & Lulu had long ago made plans for a weekend getaway to Vegas -- el otro Vegas -- Las Vegas, NEW MEXICO.

THIS Las Vegas -- founded a full century before the shinier one -- is the hometown of StinkyLulu's pops (aka PapaStinky) & the home of Highlands University, where PapaStinky met MamaStinky -- causing something of a local scandal -- lo so many years ago. The town's realy a crazy burg: rural trading hub in the mid 1800s; railroad boomtown toward the turn of the century; small college town circa 1950; in decline pretty much ever since. But the funky hispanic hinterlands location -- combined with the pretty amazing blend of nuevomexicano & victorian & midcentury modern architecture -- gives this Vegas a nifty vibe. It's one of those amazing but decaying small towns: so easy to fall in love with & next to impossible to make a life in. And perfect -- winkwink -- for a weekend getaway with your sweetie!

But the Stinkys' adventure really started on Old Las Vegas Highway, just north of Santa Fe, at Bobcat Bite: a perfect place to get your certification as a carnivore renewed. It's a burger shack -- complete with calendar prints of bobcats framed on the walls, ancient wood veneer tables, simple menu, cash-only vintage cash register dingalinging away -- with the food served fast & fresh when, and only when they finally get to you. The burgers were good: a sizable glop of hamburger grilled on a filthy -- oops -- seasoned cast iron griddle, served hot & juicy on a simple bun. And the thronging crowd was palpably pleased with itself for having the good taste to devour seared cow-flesh in such authentic environs. (MrStinky aptly observed that it felt like being in the Hamptons: richie rich out-of-towners cramming into a tacky food shack & just inhaling the local color. So right, that MrStinky: Martha would totally eat at Bobcat.)

Colons contentedly full of cow, the Stinkys ventured north, arriving to the Inn on the Santa Fe Trail with plenty of time to freshen up for the evening's main event: the recent Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson flick Wedding Crashers.

"A road trip for a movie currently being screened on nearly every screen in the country?" Legitimate query, lovely reader. StinkyLu's omitted but one crucial detail. In this Las Vegas, recent hits are screened -- at least during the summer months -- at the Fort Union Drive-In. Yes, dear reader, at a drive-in. Tickets? $10 a carload. Refreshments? $9.50 for popcorn, hotdog & candy. To share MrStinky's first time. At a drive-in. Priceless....

(Good thing the drive-in experience was there to counteract the Stinkys' general disappointment in the mooovie. The first 20 minutes or so are freakin'ilarious. After that, though, the movie careens into too too many plots & loads of ill-conceived caricatures. Not even the charisma & comic chops of Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams & the incredible Isla Fisher can redeem this one. {StinkyLu will leave Owen Wilson unmentioned as Lulu realizes that some people like that sort of thing.} The Stinkys have seen worse, but then again the Stinkys have seen way better.)

Morning had MrStinky & Lu joining up with StinkyLulu's favorite cousin & her new beau at the astonishingly named local bistro, Spic & Span. Good food, better tortillas, and -- hey -- when in this Las Vegas, you just sorta hafta eat at a place called "Spic & Span"...it's a local law. And you know what they say: what happens in this Las Vegas stays in this Las Vegas...cuz barely anybody knows this Las Vegas even exists.

But, hey, this Las Vegas makes for a sweet weekend getaway...

2 comments:

your mom said...

I've been to the Spic & Span! Sadly, my visits never included the banquet room. Mighty kind of you to provide a link. I took the "tour" and it's clear to me now why I was stuck in the dining room... I wouldn't have gotten past the bouncers. (And how could Your Mom in good conscience haul young'uns to a double-X-rated room?)

criticlasm said...

Oh, That just made me laugh out loud. Good to know there's more in Vegas now than just the Dairy Queen and the Pizza Hut of my memory....