I grew up obsessed with gangster movies.
- I lived in the suburbs, and had zero exposure to real-life crime, so I thought movie mobsters were the coolest.
I especially loved gangster movies about Las Vegas. My two favorite movies of all time are Casino and Bugsy, which are both centered on Las Vegas in different stages of development. Because of these films, my mental image of Sin City is washed out, glamorized, and from a bygone era. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to Las Vegas from time to time, I just wish I could have gone there 20 or 30 years ago when it was really wild. The Las Vegas of today is family friendly, without all the sharp edges of the old days. There are no gangsters here, only major corporations who own the biggest Las Vegas casinos and venues. The cannabis here is pretty stellar, but even that is no longer a criminal enterprise, it is also owned by major corporations. The last time I went to Las Vegas I avoided the strip altogether, and stayed on the outskirts of town where it’s all locals. I shopped at a locally-owned cannabis dispensary and then had a few drinks at a bar that claimed to be the oldest locally-run bar in Las Vegas. What I learned is that beyond the glitz and glitter of the cinematic Las Vegas, the real city is very down-to-earth. There is a lot more to Las Vegas than gambling and cannabis, there are amazing people with a deep and rich local history. .