Las Vegas Buffet - Le Village Buffet - Paris Las Vegas

List of all French brands to boycott due to French Anti-Islam polices.

List of all French products to boycott Major brands: * Accor * Activia * BNP Paribas * Air France * Bonne Maman * Bugatti Automobiles * Carrefour * Cartier (jeweler) * Chanel * Citroën * Clarins * Clear (shampoo) * Danone * Dior * Évian * Garnier * Hermès * Ibis (hotel) * Ibis Budget * Ibis Styles * Kenzo (brand) * L'Occitane en Provence * L'Oréal * Lion-Peugeot * Longchamp (company) * Christian Louboutin * Mercure (hotel) * Michelin * Perrier * Peugeot * Président (brand) * Renault * Sanofi * Sephora * Tefal * Total SE * Ubisoft * Volvic (mineral water) * Louis Vuitton * Waterman Pen Company * Yoplait * Yves Rocher (company) * Yves Saint Laurent (brand)
0–9 * 12 bis A * A.L.B (Watches) * A.P.C. * Accor * ACMAT * Activia * AG2R La Mondiale * Air Caraïbes * Air France * Aixam * Albingia * Alstom * Alter Eco * Amora (mustard) * Andros (company) * Anne Fontaine (brand) * Arc Holdings * Archos * Areva * Armand de Brignac * Arturia * AT Internet * Atari SA * Au Départ * Auchan * Dominique Aurientis * Automobiles Chatenet * Automobiles ERAD * Aux Etats-Unis * Axa B * Babolat * Baccarat (company) * Badoit * Balenciaga * Banania * B&B Hotels * Baron de Lestac * Beneteau * Betjeman & Barton * Bière de Garde * BNP Paribas * Bonnat Chocolates * Bonne Maman * Bookeen * Vera Borea * Boucheron * Bourjois * Bouygues Telecom * Brandt (brand) * Brasserie Thiriez * Bricomarché * Buffet Crampon * Bugatti Automobiles * BUT (retailer) C * Cacharel * CAMECA * Campingaz * Canson * Carambar * Carrefour * Carrefour Planet * Cartier (jeweler) * Groupe Casino * Castel Group * Castorama * Caudalie * Champagne Binet * Champagne Gauthier * Champagne Krug * Champagne Mercier * Dom Pérignon * Champagne Louis Nicaise * Chanel * Charles Heidsieck (Champagne) * Chaumet * Chloé * Chocolat Poulain * Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear runway collections * CIAT Group * CIJ * Citroën * Clarins * Clear (shampoo) * Clément Tyres * Club Med * CMA CGM * Comptoir des Cotonniers * Constellium * Courvoisier * Crédit Agricole * Crédit Industriel et Commercial * Crédit Mutuel * CS Communication & Systèmes D * S. T. Dupont * Dailymotion * Dane-Elec * Dangel * Daniel Hechter Paris * Danone * Dassault Group * Daum (studio) * De La Chapelle * Delair * Delbeck * Delsey * Derby (French car) * Dior * Total Direct Énergie * Dragon Bleu * Dufour Yachts * Duralex * Duralex Picardie E * Eisenberg Paris * Benoît-Pierre Emery * Engie * ESI Group * Essilor * EssilorLuxottica * Évian * Exagon Engineering F * Faiveley Transport * Fareva * Fauchon * Fauré Le Page * Faurecia * Fenocchio * Fenwick Groupe * Fine Champagne * Fnac * Focal-JMLab * Fragonard Parfumeur * Frapin * French Bee * Fromy, Rogée & Co G * Garnier * Gauloises * Gimar Montaz Mautino * Gini (soft drink) * Gitanes * Gitzo * Goyard * Grenoville * Grey Goose (vodka) * Groupama * Guerlain * Gunhild (clothing) H * Handpresso * Pierre Hardy (fashion designer) * Haulotte Group * Hennessy * Hermès * Hervé Chapelier * Jean-Paul Hévin * Hollywood Chewing Gum * Houbigant Parfum * Hutchinson SA I * Ibis (hotel) * Ibis Budget * Ibis Styles * Iliad SA * In'oya * Ingenico * Invoxia J * J. P. Chenet * Jeanneau * JOB (rolling papers) * Joon (airline) * Juery K * Kenzo (brand) * Keolis * Koenig (organ builder) * Kolibree * Kookai * Krampouz * Kréma * Kronenbourg Brewery L * L-ACOUSTICS * L'Occitane en Provence * L'Oréal * La Cornue * La Rochere * Laboratoires Expanscience * Laboratoires Pierre Fabre * Laboratoires Servier * LaCie * Christian Lacroix * Lactalis * Ladurée * Lafarge (company) * Lag (company) * Lalique * Lancel (company) * Lancôme * Lanvin (company) * Guy Laroche * Laster Technologies * Laurent-Perrier * Le Chameau * Le Coq Sportif * Le Zèbre
L * E.Leclerc * Legrand (company) * Léo Marciano * Leroy Merlin * Lestra * Level (airline brand) * Lion-Peugeot * Loft design by * Longchamp (company) * Christian Louboutin * Louis XIII (cognac) * Luneville Faience * Lyreco M * Mainbocher * Maison Devambez * Maison Maquet * Majorette (toy manufacturer) * Make Up For Ever * Malabar (chewing gum) * Malesan * Malletier * Manitou Group * Maped * Marais (company) * Marigaux * Marithé et François Girbaud * Maritima Ferries * Mavic * Mazars * Mazlo * MBK (Scooter manufacturer) * Melvita * Rodolphe Menudier * Mercure (hotel) * Michel Cluizel * Michelin * Microcar (brand) * Midual * Mir:ror * MobiWire * Moët & Chandon * Monoprix * Morabito (brand) * Motul (company) * Moulinex * Roland Mouret * Mouton Cadet * Moynat * MPM Motors * Murex (financial software) N * Nexans * Nidec Leroy-Somer * Niderviller pottery O * Orange S.A. P * Panzani * Parfums Givenchy * Parrot SA * Paule Ka * Pequignet * Perrier * Perrin Paris * Petrossian (business) * Peugeot * PGO (automobile) * Pinnacle vodka * Poclain * Poliakov (vodka) * Poma * Power Vehicle Innovation * Président (brand) * Promod * Pyral Q * Quadient * Quechua (brand) R * Radiall * Automobiles Rally * Red Bicyclette * Rémy Cointreau * Rémy Martin * Renault * Parapluie Revel * Nina Ricci (brand) * Rizla * Roady (Mousquetaires) * Rochas * Louis Roederer * Rorgue * Ruinart (Champagne) S * Salomon Group * Sanofi * Schneider Electric * Scorpa * Sennelier * Sephora * Septodont * Sescoi * SFR * SGC (wine) * Sixpack France * Skis Rossignol * SNCF * Société Bic * Société Générale * Sodemo Moteurs * Sodern * Soitec * Solairedirect * Solar Euromed * Solex Carburetor * Solido * Staub (cookware) * Suez Environnement T * Technal * Tecnifibre * Tefal * Thiers Issard * Three Barrels * Total SE * Transdev * Trekking sarl U * Ubisoft * Emanuel Ungaro V * Valeo * Vallérysthal * Valrhona * Vandoren * VéloSoleX * Vergnet * Veuve Clicquot * Vicat * Vilebrequin * Vivendi * Roger Vivier * Volvic (mineral water) * Voxan * Louis Vuitton W * Waterman Pen Company * Wiko * Winoa Y * Yema (watch) * Yoplait * Yves Rocher (company) * Yves Saint Laurent (brand) Z * Zig-Zag (company) * Zodiac Aerospace
submitted by Mega_whale to MuslimLounge [link] [comments]

List of Scenic/Quiet/Fun Roads Around Town!

I found it very difficult to source some scenic/quiet/fun roads around town so I would like to share my list. Never did I ever know the KW region had such a wide variety!!

Maple ON - Conestogo Dam
  1. Could start from Union St in Elmira (where CrossRoad buffet, Esso and A&W is) -> Turn Left at the end of the road -> follow GPS to the dam

From Cambridge
  1. Turn right onto East River Rd from Brantford Hwy and keep following it until you hit Paris
  2. Follow East River Rd then take a left onto Scenic Dr -> You'll hit Brantford Hwy again -> make a right at the first light -> follow it and eventually you turn left onto East River Rd to Paris
  3. Start from Conestoga College Cambridge Campus and go to Blair Rd
  4. Start from Conestoga College Cambridge Campus and go find Dumfries Road

  1. Go explore Kressler Rd

From Paris
  1. Pinehurst Rd to Spragues Rd to St Andrews St
  2. Pinehurst Rd then right at Glen Morris Rd W
  3. Pinehurst Rd then left at Wrigley Rd then right at Dumfries Rd

Conestogo to Elmira
  1. Sawmill Rd then right on New Jerusalem Rd

Conestogo to Elora Casino
  1. Northfield Drive East -> Right at Line 86 -> Left at Katherine St N

  1. St. Andrews St W (start at the Fergus Library) -> follow it

  1. Middlebrook Rd (start at Elora Lions Park()

St. Jacobs
  1. Three Bridges Rd -> Right to Hemlock Hill Dr

  1. Fordwich Line

submitted by georg3__ to waterloo [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…5

“Hey, Viv!”, I say, as we’re all being shuttled onto the bus which will take us to our hotel, “Toss me one of those miniatures, if you please. Yeah. Of course, Vodka’ll do. It’s bloody dusty round these parts.”
Viv chuckles and asks if anyone else wants anything. He’s a consummate scrounger and somehow sweet-talked a demure and pulchritudinous female Air China cabin attendant out of her phone number, Email address, and a case of 100 airline liquor miniatures.
That he looks like a marginally graying version of Robert Mitchum in his heyday and speaks fluent Dutch, French, and Italian might explain his success. I mean, a guy with four ex-wives can’t be all wrong, right?
He’s a definite outlier in this crowd. We could be characterized as a batch of aging natural geoscientists who collectively, sans Viv, add up to an approximate eight on the “Looker” scale. Besides the years, the mileage, the climatic, and industrial ravages, it’s a good thing we all have expansive personalities, as most of us are dreadful enough to make a buzzard barf.
But, save for Viv, no one presently here is on the make. Oh, sure; we’ll all sweet talk some fair nubile into a free drink or a double when we really ordered a regular drink, but we’re all married, most terminally, that is, over 35 years and counting. The odd thing is that save and except for Viv, none of us married folk had ever been divorced.
That is strange, considering that the global divorce rate hovers around 50%, and we are often called to be apart from kith and kin for prolonged periods. However, we are always faithful and committed to our marital units and those vows we spoke all those many long decades ago.
But, hey, we’re all seriously male and not anywhere near dead; and there’s no penalty for just looking, right?
We’re all loaded on a pre-war, not certain which war, by the way, bus which stank of fish, kimchee, and diesel fuel. We really don’t care even a tiny, iotic amount. It’s free transport, we’re tired of traveling, and not keen on walking any further than we absolutely have to.
Viv has been passing out boozy little liquor miniatures, and I’ve been handing out cigars since I bought a metric shitload back in Dubai Duty-Free and somehow got them all through customs.
We didn’t light up, as there was neither a driver nor handler present. So, we figured we’d all just wait on the cigars, and concentrate on having a little ground-level “Welcome to Best Korea” party until the powers that be got their collective shit together and provided drivers, herders, and handlers.
We sat there for 15 long minutes. Being the international ambassadors of amity and insobriety, we started making noises like “Hey! Where’s our fucking driver?” and “I am Doctor Academician! Of All State Russian Geological Survey! How dare you make me wait?
Suddenly, a couple of characters in ill-fitting gray suits and fake Rays Bans are outside the bus having a collective meltdown. Somehow, someone fucked up and put us on a ‘regular’ bus and not the ‘VIP’ bus. In other words, we got to see what the locals really got to ride around Pyongyang on instead of our supposed to be impressed by the bus that wasn’t there; but was now just arriving.
A spanking new purple-and-chrome Mercedes long-haul bus shows up. It even has our group name emblazoned above the placard that normally tells where the bus is headed or who it is for: “’국제 석유 지질 과학 연합’ [Gugje Seog-yu Jijil Gwahag Yeonhab] or ‘International Union of Petroleum Geological Sciences’”.
We are brusquely ordered off our present bus and into the opulent, obviously bespoke, bright yellow faux-leather interior Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH M. It’s so new and so obviously a ploy to get us to think that all things here are so new and opulent, it even smells of that new car, ah, bus, aroma.
“Well, we’ll take care of that soon enough”, I muse, as the bus is equipped with ashtrays and we’re going on the scenic route to our hotel, which is only 25 or so kilometers from the airport. However, it was announced that it’ll take us about 2 hours to get to our hotel since we need to see the city in its best light and get a feeling for the town if we should ever find ourselves lost and alone.
We all know what’s going on. They’re getting our rooms ‘ready’ for our arrival and need some extra time to make sure everything’s all wired in and transmitting properly.
“Guys”, I muse to our new handlers, “I’ve been to the Soviet Union, pre-wall fall. I stayed in places where I was definitely among the first westerners ever to grace their porticos. We’re a busload of natural scientists, of eight different nationalities, covering the economic spectrum from staunch capitalism to sociable socialism to hard-core communism. You even think for a second we’re going to spill any beans about anything you’d find interesting or useful? Think again.”
In fact, it would become a running joke between us all to see what sort of fake bombshells we could drop into the normal conversation what would give the listener’s the greatest case of the jibblies.
But for now, our bags were all loaded into the cargo compartment of this very, very nice, I must admit, mode of conveyance. Our handlers: ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’, are all seated upfront and please with their latest tally of bodies. We have a couple of shady fellow travelers with the knock-off Ray-Bans and shiny gray suits that just appeared out of the woodwork in the back, seated by the loo, watching over all of us, and we’re going on a fucking city tour, whether we like it or not.
We’re all present and accounted for. Let’s keep our camera in our bags for the time being as the drinking and smoking lights had just been lit as the bus fired up its new German-engineered and machined precision diesel engine.
The bus rumbled to life and after a moment or two of checking that all dials, gauges, and indicators were where they were supposed to be; without so much as a cursory glance, we pulled out into traffic.
Except there was none.
Not another bus, pushbike, tap-tap, scooter, car, truck, hover-board, or motorcycle in sight.
Seems we were a big deal. They shut down the main drag so we wouldn’t be encumbered by such proletariat things like traffic jams or people-things cluttering the roadway, clambering for a look at the Western scientific cadre.
So, away we whizzed, sans traffic and into the very belly of the beast, and onward; eventually, towards our hotel.
Our handlers were very kind to point out passing scenes of interest.
“Look, look! There’s the Potong River. Notice all the lovely birds, ‘eh what? See the Norwegian Blue? Beautiful plumage!”
“See here, look. Here’s the Taedong River. Many forms of fish in the river. Maybe we’ll see some fishermen. If you like, we can stop, and ask them about today’s catch.”
We all declined, as we were certain that the fish the ‘random fisherman’ we’d talk to was flown in fresh from elsewhere earlier in the day.
Besides, we were comfortable. We had our drinks, our cigars, and we were leaving the driving to someone else.
After being driven around the city and seeing all the wonderful monuments, like the faux Arch of Triumph, which looks exactly unlike its namesake Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris.
The Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea, which, by necessity, is unfinished. Then there’s the Tomb of King Tongmyŏng, where people are lining up, just dying’ to get in.
Finally, we all called for our hotel, the Yanggakdo, after yet another mausoleum, the Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun.
Arches or tombs. Such a stunning array of monuments and places of less than moderate interest.
We were interested in Mirae Scientists street (Future Scientists street). It is a street in a newly developed area in Pyongyang to house scientific institutions of the Kim Chaek University of Technology and its employees. But we were told that it was too late, there was not much there to see, we needed to express written permission to visit, and we’d be going there tomorrow or next week.
We wheel into the parking lot of the Yanggakdo Hotel and are immediately unimpressed by the pseudo-Baroque concrete fiasco that appears to stand, wobbly, before us. It’s a page right out of the Soviet Construction-For-The-Masses Handbook. A cold, gray concrete edifice with multitudes of seemingly little, tiny windows. A perfect metaphor for our travels thus far; look at the expansiveness of Best Korean wonders, through this pinhole.
However, we judged too soon. We were told to go inside and check-in, whilst our luggage would be de-bussed for us and handled by the expertly efficient hotel staff. The lobby was opulent, tastefully laid out in earth tones of facades of veneers of marble, granite, some garnet-mica schist, if my hand lens doesn’t lie, some Prepaleozoic anatectic migmatite, displaying intricate and intense plication, xenoliths, and graphic delineation of minerals by segregation through melting points. There was a gigantic well-appointed and well kept up aquarium, complete with snuffling sharks and nuclear-submarine sized groupers.
Very handsome indeed. Impressions increasing slightly.
Then we see that there’s a bloody casino on the bottom floor of the hotel, several bars interspersed throughout the hotel, and karaoke, of which I’m not terribly fond, but some of my European counterparts almost swooned at the prospect. There are a large pool and weight rooms/gymnasia, saunas and places to relax outside of one’s room, but still under the watchful eye of the thousands of ill-concealed video cameras at every turn.
“Covert surveillance” may be a thing in Best Korea, but it’s a practice still leaves a lot to be desired. The Eastern Siberian Russians back before the wall fell were more covert with their obvious button audio microphones woven into the fabric covering the headboard of your Intourist bed than the Best Koreans here. Their cameras were ‘disguised’ as flower arrangements, overhead lights, and speakers inexplicably placed into things like standing ashtrays, refuse bins, and randomly placed holes in the wall.
The floors were all covered with exquisite what looked to be hand-woven rugs of most vibrant crimson and gold; the usual Communistic colors. Always with some sort of floral pattern or pattern that’s supposed to be reflective of nature, as I was told. Evidently, for workers to remember what nature was as they don’t get out much with 14 to 16 hours workdays here in the Worker’s Paradise.
Enough of the travelogue; we all wander up to the front desk, and each with their own passport in hand, request our reserved rooms. We supposed that we would all have rooms on different floors as the reservations were made, expired, re-made, juggled, rebooked, allowed to expire, re-jiggered, and finally formalized a scant week before we left the UK.
Nope. No such luck. We were all on the 39th floor. The place boasts 47 floors, of which, the top floor is a revolving restaurant. Evidently, food tastes better when you’re rotating.
However, it won’t spin unless you first buy a drink.
We had that thing whirling like a NASA centrifuge after its discovery the second night.
Yeah, all 12 of us are bivouacked on the 39th floor. A floor with approximately 30 rooms.
I guess we could have played “Room Roulette” and see who got which room and who’s luggage. Or we could switch every day or two to drive our handlers nuts. Or, we could just take our assigned rooms, which were conveniently located one empty room apart.
Meaning, no one had adjoining rooms. Why? Fuck if I know. We didn’t spend much time in our rooms, and that time was either sleeping or showering. We’d all meet at the bar, casino, restaurant, karaoke, bowling alley (all three lanes) or actual meeting rooms every once in a while when we thought we should get together and compare notes. It was the most inexplicable situation.
Plus, we spent an inordinate amount of time waiting on the fucking elevators to take us to our room. These elevators, and if you think you’re going to get a batch of aging senior scientists to schlep it up 39 floor’s worth of stairs, think again; are the slowest elevators in the civilized world. And that was the consensus of scientists representing not only Europe and North America, but Russia as well. 15-25 minutes added to each journey, up or down; stopping on every floor, except 5, on the way down..
Jesus Q. Fuck, dudes. If you can’t construct a bleedin’ elevator that works better than those at the Sozvezdie Medveditsy Guest House in Lesosibirsk, Eastern Siberia; then I suggest you seriously rethink your plans for world domination and new world order.
Grako and Erwin once, while waiting for the fucking elevator, figured out that we were earning some US$25 each just to wait for the lift to arrive and take us to our rooms. Every day. Sometimes several times per day.
With that, we all agreed to toss our “waiting time” funds into a kitty and on our last day of captivity here, blow it all in the hotel casino. Whatever became of that would be donated to the Koreans we thought most deserving of our largesse.
Would it be our handlers? How about the Korean Scientists we’d be meeting? The affable and most accommodating concierge? Or that plucky little Korean charwoman who was always on our floor and kept everything spotless, right down to our freshly laundered and pressed field clothes and newly polished field boots; done without our requesting or knowledge?
Only time would tell.
It could be a fortune or it could be bupkiss. Just like our expectations of the Heavenly Kingdom where we were currently sequestered.
As it was, with our official protestations, they kept only photocopies of our passports as we roundly refused and threatened a full-scale karaoke battle right here in the lobby if they didn’t relinquish our passports immediately. I had broken out my nastiest cigar and was primed to offend.
With that, we all had our keys and trooped over to the elevators for our first, of many, inexplicable waits. We made many uncharitable and potentially nasty remarks about the Anti-Western posters that made up some of the wall décor. Once we finally made it to our floor, we all fanned out to find our rooms. Viv found his first and was quite pleased to report to the rest of us that there was a “Welcome” basket in his room.
We all hoped that we would be receiving one a well.
I was in room 3914; which I considered a close call, but later only wondered as there was no 3913. Upon entering, I saw it was 1980s Hotel 6 opulent, but with an excellent over-city view. True it was late, dark, and the city was only somewhat lit up; I was looking forward to the view of the town in full daylight.
The room had a ‘king’ bed; that is if the king in question was Tutankhamen, the stubby, Egyptian boy king. The bed had no mattress pad and no box spring but it was hard enough for my liking. Many of my compatriots didn’t agree and complained bitterly. They eventually received thin mattress pads for all their kvetching.
There was an ancient Japanese color television, which only had 2 English language channels - Al Jazeera and the BBC, which was on a dated news loop. Watching the local channel is amusing though; the ads for ‘personal enhancements’ were hilarious, even without understanding a word of the language.
There were a couple of chairs and a low table, built-in dresser drawers for our clothes, a rusty and probably unusable room safe with corroded batteries, a small table built out of the wall that would serve as my travel office, and would-you-believe, a rotary telephone; how’s that for nostalgia?
There was an old-model radio built into the nightstand next to the bed. I was very surprised to find it not only received AM, FM but shortwave as well. I had brought along a pair of Bose headphones and during some rainy down days, spent many fun-filled, and I mean that sincerely, hours DXing from the comfort of my ‘enormous’ king bed.
Beyond that, the room was very nondescript. Like any other of the millions of rooms in hotels around the world that unlike here, aren’t claiming a 5-star rating. I mean, it was clean, if not a little long in the tooth. But didn’t smell too terrible, even after I took care of that with my Camacho offerings. It was utilitarian, everything worked, even the water pressure, which surprisingly could strip off layers of one’s skin if you weren’t careful.
The bathroom, though no Jacuzzi, had a large enough bathtub for the occasional soaking period. Western accouterments in the bathroom were also welcome additions. My knees can’t handle the traditional squat-holes any longer.
There were an electric teapot and several brands of tea, but no coffee. A quick “Gee! I sure wish I had some coffee!” to the four walls and damned if 30 minutes later, a porter didn’t arrive to replenish my tea and courtesy in-room coffee…
There was a small Japanese brand in-room refrigerator which I thought might house a mini-bar. Oh, no! It was actually a complimentary larder stocked with all sorts of Best Korean goodies. Multiple cans of Taedonggang beer. Several bottles of Pyongyang Soju, in various flavors ranging anywhere from 16.8 to 53 percent alcohol by volume. My fridge was skewed towards the right-hand side of the bell curve; the more heavy-duty boozy side.
Evidently, my reputation had preceded me again.
There was a selection of German-style wheat beers from the Taedonggang Brewery and the more familiar ales, steam beers, and lagers. There were some imported beers like Heineken, Bavaria, Pils, a couple of Japanese brands: Asahi and Kirin, and something called ‘Hello Beer’ from Singapore.
There were also ‘sampler’ bottles of Apricot Pit wine, and a couple of high-alcohol fruity liquors made from constituents such as apple or pear, and mushrooms. There were also special medicinal liquors like ‘Rason’s Seal Penis Liquor’.
That is going home with me unopened.
There were a couple of bottles of local sake, called Chonju. Finally, there was a couple ‘samplers’ of homemade alcohol known as Makkoli. Plus there was something called ‘Corn Grotto’, which for the life of me, looks and tastes much like a very passable Kentucky Sippin’ Bourbon.
I put our concierge on instant danger money the very next day. He’s yet to source me more than a fifth of the stuff so far.
I found that there is a popular drink here which mirrors the Yorsch of Mother Russia. Beer and soju can be mixed to create *somaek’; a foamy, frothy, funky drink of many flavors, depending on the soju chosen.
Is ethnoimbibology at thing? The science of how different cultures drink and the effects of drinking culture on different societies. If not, now I have another Ph.D. to pursue after I endow a chair at some likely Asian university.
Anyways, in everyone’s room was a “welcome” basket, just chock full of Best Korean goodies. Postcards, stamps, ads for coin sets, stamp proofs and other goodies that could be purchased at the hotel. There was a field notebook, which I thought was a very nice addition, newspapers, cookies, crackers, biscuits, candies, fruit drinks, and some fresh fruit; although tamarind chewies and durian chips aren’t on my list of personal favorites.
There were a couple of tour books, just chock full of staged photos. These were very nice as well, as so far, we haven’t had much time for shopping outside of government stores or smaller family-run shops in town or out in the boonies.
A few of us were hungry and decided to see what the hotel had to offer room service-wise.
But, they did have a selection of restaurants. There is a Chinese restaurant, a European restaurant, and a Korean restaurant on site but they all serve the same food...a Best Korean attempt at western food. And it was weird being the only ones in the restaurant even though it was fully staffed.
We grazed lightly and decided to do some late-night perambulations around our hotel. Our handlers admonished us to stay within the confines of the hotel, or see them if it was absolutely necessary to go walkabout. In the hotel, we were on our own.
We found that there were tunnels in the hotel’s basement. The basement tunnels were a real bonus. There’s a bar with pool tables, a karaoke room, bowling, and a massage parlor, where I was beaten and pummeled into submission by tiny, diminutive, little Korean lassies fully 1/5th my size.
It was wonderful.
There was a hairdresser’s, who were completely befuddled by my shoulder-length silver-gray locks and full gray Grizzly Adams beard. They did provide a lovely shampoo/cranial massage though for the equivalent of US$2.
There were a couple of shops selling Chinese goods rather than local stuff, which was sort of disappointing, a cold noodle bar, and another casino. No shops selling Korean Communist propaganda posters, as I wanted to augment my Soviet-era collection. Perhaps I’ll find something in-country later on.
We were shocked to find that the casino had WiFi that was uncensored and we were able to access; after a fee of liquor miniatures and a cigar or two. We were supposed to have access to the global internet, not local intranet, from the universities that we would be visiting. However, all of that was under the heavily squinting eyes of handlers and guys in shiny suits wearing fake Ray-Bans.
I still had my secret satellite internet lash-up available, but that was iffy, a pain in the ass to set up, and ridiculously expensive. However, it did work on the 39th floor and the times I used it instead of wandering down to the tunnels, no one appeared to be the wiser. Thus far.
So typically, we’d just head to the basement casino with our laptops, iPads, and phones. Bam! Robert’s your Sister’s Husband, we could connect more-or-less free with the outside world; hence how you are reading this now.
Herro! “Yes, I’d sure like another beer. This time a porter, if you please.”
The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Or the more they put into locks, the easier they are to pick.
Besides, we were told we’d have access to unfettered and free internet. OK, so we just found it for ourselves. Whaddya expect? We’re scientists, motherfucker, back off.
Back to reality.
The breakfast buffet the next morning had a wide choice of Asian and Western food, although the choices seemed to be the same every day. The main event was to beat the Chinese tourists to the egg station every morning. Breakfast always included fried eggs, a limited selection of pork, kippered fish, potatoes, rice, fruit, and a very Titanium-dioxide-white white bread
After a while, I took to going to the small market behind the lobby, buying some imported Chinese or Japanese nibbly bits and heading to the tunnels for a few breakfast beers before the long hard day’s work. It took almost a week, but I gained the trust of some of the workers in the tunnels and they showed me the on-site microbrewery at the hotel. It produced very passable, and very, very cheap beers of several varieties.
Liquid bread. Beer. Is there nothing it can’t do?
After breakfast our first day at the hotel, we were told to meet in the Conference Room “Il-sung” as we were going to have a ‘Welcome foreign imperialist scientists’ introduction and indoctrination.
Besides our handlers and the shiny-suit squad, there were several Korean folks we didn’t recognize. These were students, scientists, and scholars from the Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Il-sung University, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; all hailing from Pyongyang, and the University of Geology from North Hwanghae Province.
“Oh, marvelous”, Erlen remarked, “It’s going to be a bloody Chautauqua. We’ll be here all day.”
“Well”, I replied, “It could be worse. We could be on a bus headed off on another unscheduled road trip.”
As we found our seats, our Korean counterparts were busily setting up portable screens, like the ones your grandfather had for showing his 2.1 Googleplex worth of travel slides every Christmas or Thanksgiving get-together. They had a couple of ancient Chinese brand laptops that could have doubled for body armor, they were so thick and heavy.
While they fiddled with running cords for the overhead projectors and 16mm film projector; yes, it was going to be movie time as well, the hotel’s restaurant folks wheeled in carts laden with scones, cupcakes, and other sweet sorts of bakery. Another cart was wheeled in with pump-pots of hot water, tea, and coffee. Usual scientific meeting fare.
There was one final cart that made the day bearable. It held a pony keg of hotel micro-brewed beer on ice, with several dozen frosty mugs available for all who wanted to partake.
There were instantly 12 mugs that were spoken for.
I grabbed a cold beer and wandered around the conference room, sipping beer, chewing on an unlit cigar, and just trying to be pleasant to our hosts and their scientific guests. I was surprised when one North Korean professor, who spoke amazingly British-tinged English, offered me a light for my cigar.
“Is smoking allowed here?” I asked.
“Allowed?” he laughed heartily, “My good man, it’s practically a prerequisite.”
“Here then”, I said, offering him a nice, unctuous Camacho, “Try one of mine.”
Dr. P'ung Kwang-Seon of the North Korean University of Geology became my instant and lifelong friend at that moment.
We had a very nice chat, much to the chagrin of the gray suit cadre, who could hear what we were talking about, but probably didn’t understand anything beyond every 8th word.
After a while, we were asked to take our seats, after refreshing our drinks, and introduced to the group of Korean geoscientists we’d be interacting with during our stay here in Best Korea.
I tried to record every name, but between the students, other scholars, and professors from the various universities, I decided I’d ask for a list of participants once the day had worn on. After all, they had all our names, references, and resumes if the thick folio they kept referring to was any indication.
There were a couple of hours of introductions, as every one of the Korean geoscientists there introduced themselves, mostly through translators, told of their personal area of specialty, and their latest work.
Most were what would be considered geoscientists, but oddly enough, not one that you would consider a petroleum geoscientist, however tangentially.
There were geomorphologists, structural geologists, petrologists, mineralogists, marine geologists, engineering geologists, and seismologists. However, there were no stratigraphers, sedimentologists, paleontologists, or geochemists. We were all geoscientists, but apart from the obvious Korean:English disparity, it was as if we spoke different scientific languages as well.
That would be our first hurdle to overcome.
They had no oil industry here; none whatsoever, therefore why one would bother with the geosciences that fed directly into petroleum? That, in and of itself, would make it difficult to explore for oil in the country. Couple that with the fact that they’re so insular, think their version of ‘science’ is the best, at least that’s the official line, and think all other’s ‘science’ is capitalistic, substandard, and inferior doesn’t bode well for your country discovering anything either oily or gassy.
We were having another conclave around the beer keg, ack, err…a ‘coffee break’ and I mentioned this fact to my scientific colleagues.
“Guys”, I need input here, “We’re going to get precisely nowhere if they won’t even acknowledge that they have major problems from the start.”
Ivan replies, “Very true. I’ve seen this before back home. You get a group so entrenched in their own little corner of science, they can’t even accept or acknowledge that others exist. Not only exist but actually know more about a certain problem than do you.”
Dax joins the fray, “Sure, that’s very true, but who’s going to tell them this unfortunate fact? They could take that as a personal, national, and global insult. Imagine you’re at an international conference and a bunch of foreigners walk in just to tell you you’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 75 years.”
I add, “Remember, though. These characters are scientists as well. I think it’ll be a good measure of seeing what sort of science and scientist we’re dealing with here. If they are truly researchers, they’ll listen to and evaluate what we say as for veracity and accuracy. If they’re just a bunch of Commie goons; no offense, Comrade Academician Ivan, they’ll get all pissed off, kick us out, and we get to go home and enjoy our triple Force Majeure pay.”
Ivan walks over and deliberately steps on the toes of my newly polished field boots.
“In Soviet Russia, field boots walk on YOU.” He laughs in his heavily inflected, and scary, Soviet-era speech…
“Yes, I agree”, Joon adds, “But who is going to address this issue with our hosts? Perhaps one of our Russian comrades, as they are, or were, more politically aligned with our Korean friends and perhaps best understand the issue?”
Ack speaks up, grinning maniacally, “No, I disagree. We should have the one person here who so encapsulates the ideologies and political leanings that they love to hate here so much. You know; the quiet, diminutive, and soft-spoken North American…”
Dax recoils, “Oh, no! I’m not going out in front of this mob of ornery Orientals…”
I smile wanly and tell Dax to cool out.
“Relax, Dax. They’re talking about me.”
“Oh, yes”, a collective group of voices replies, “Yes. Let out fearless Team Leader break the bad news to our Eastern Colleagues. That way we can gauge their reactions to being bounced around scientifically by a member of the Evil Capitalist Cartel.”
“OK”, I reply, “I’ll do it. But be forewarned, my fine feathered fiends. I get stuck on a topic that’s not precisely my bailiwick, I’m going to throw your ass to the wolves. Remember, we’re all in this together.”
Whoops, and catcalls were reduced to mumbles and ‘Aw, fucks.’.
Chautauqua resumption was called and I asked for the floor.
It was a bit off the agenda, but since they’ve been chewing the air for the last several hours, they understood it would be appropriate for us to at least try and get a word in edgewise.
I downed my beer, and grabbed a fresh one as what I was going to say was going to be harsh, cut-and-dried, and rather pointed. But delivered in a pleasant manner.
I hoped.
This all had to be filtered through a series of translators, one for general conversational Korean and another for the more technical and scientific transliterations. I realized I was going to be up here for a while. So, I brought a cigar.
One way or another, I was going to deliver our pronouncements and hell, I may as well be comfortable while doing it.
“Greetings and felicitations, my Eastern Colleagues. Let me first say how nice it is to be here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as part of the ….”
I’m going to fast-forward through all the flowery bullshit and introductory happiness; I’ll going to just cut to the guts of the matter.
“…Now, you do know why there has been virtually no oil, gas nor any other hydrocarbon related deposit discovered here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea?” I asked by way of a rhetorical question.
I sipped my beer and lit my cigar. In for a chon, in for a won.
I let the buzzing subside on the side of our eastern counterparts.
“Because, and please do not take this as insulting or derogatory, but as a statement of irrefutable fact, no one with the proper training nor experience has been looking. You’re historically guilty of applying the science incorrectly and letting dogma and politics guide your search, instead of the scientific method and the facts. Geology, like all natural science, is just as truth based on the facts for a capitalist as it is for a communist. Reality is not influenced by your beliefs, be they scientific or political, secular or spiritual, ‘trusted’ rather than ‘thought’; any more than by your wish that it wouldn’t rain today during a raging thunderstorm.”
Little Boy over Hiroshima was dropped with less effect.
Our Democratic People's Republic of Korea colleagues erupted into a chaotic mixture of stuttering, internecine yelling, accusations, and sputtering.
Calling for decorum, I figured that since I was this far gone, I may as well push the plunger all the way to the bottom.
“Gentlemen, I do not denigrate the science of geology as taught and practiced here in Best Korea.” I actually said that, sort of a slip of the tongue. Continuing, “However, one would not fish for Bluefin tuna from a rowboat in a pond with a fly rod. One does not hunt bear in the city with a slingshot. Just as one doesn’t search for oil and gas with mining engineers, geomorphologists, and seismologists.”
I let that sink in and after the translation, they calmed a bit and wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say. I could sense a couple was less than thrilled with what I had to say, but forging onward…
“One fishes for Bluefin tuna in the deep ocean with huge rods, reels and a specialist boat captained by someone with deep experience in hunting the elusive fish. One hunts bear in the proper environment, the taiga or forest, with the proper tools and guided by one with the education, learnedness, and experience to know how to make the hunt come out successful.”
Hit them with some analogies they can relate to and digest. Now, go for the carotid.
“Just like one does not hunt oil and gas without stratigraphers, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, and other oil and gas experts who have the education, experience, and knowledge to know where to look. Knowing which environment looks most conductive to hide your quarry, if you’ll pardon the pun, and how best to find them, the guys who know how to corral and de-risk them once you find them, and the engineers and technologists who know how to bring them to the surface so they can be utilized.”
They had stopped being irritated and were listening in rapt attention.
“My colleagues and I have spent the last few days going over, in detail the geology of your country. There is nothing we can see that would preclude the development, entrapment, and preservation of economic quantities of oil and gas. Ture, the geology is quite complex as is the structural history of the entire peninsula. That’s one other thing you will have to accept. Geology doesn’t give the tiniest shit about political boundaries. One must look at the big picture, and that doesn’t stop at some man-made borders. Ignore that fact at your peril, because if you continue to view the geology here as not existing across political boundaries, you are preadapting yourself for failure.”
Drs. Ivan, Volna, and Morse make certain that everyone sees the ex-Soviets agreeing with the bushy-bearded, cigar-chomping American capitalist.
“So,” I said, hoping to bring this little spit-balling session to a fortuitous close, “If we can have an agreement; scientific agreement, on these points, then I am certain we can find a way forward with not only this discussion but the program we can devise for the best Korean (notice phase shift?) geologists to take the project forward both scientifically soundly and economically successful.”
My North Korean counterpart gets up from his seat in the conference room, goes to the keg, taps a couple of beers and walks up to the podium where I was standing.
“Thank you, Dr. Rocknocker, for saying what needed to be said”, he spoke in perfect English as he handed me a beer.
I grinned and gratefully accepted the beer.
“Why, Dr. Chang Kwang-Su”, I said, as that was his name, “You old fraud. You do speak English; and very well, I must add.”
“Yes, almost all of us do”, he relayed, “But, as you said, we are most reserved. We were more or less under orders of the ‘most illustrious’, to play coy, and act as if we spoke no English.”
“I see.” I said, “I’ve worked in several FSU countries as well as Russia and saw that there as well. I guess old habits die hard.”
“That they do, Doctor.”, he replied, “But, we must now tell you the truth. We knew exactly what you said is true, and we agree. We are not as totally insulated from the outside world as some suspect.”
“Well, I was going on what your superiors related to us. Like the police that had all their toilets stolen, I had nothing else to go on.” I replied.
“Ah, ha! Quite!”, he chuckled, “We had long suspected that we were lacking in certain areas of scholarship. What you said cements that fact as it was an independent conclusion. We can now present that to our superiors with the caveat that unless we bolster work and training in these areas, the hunt of hydrocarbon resources here will be for naught.”
“I am relieved”, I said, truthfully. “I was slightly concerned that some might take umbrage to being told their science is not up to specifications. I tried to be the bearer of that bad news but deliver it gently. Here, I find you need that to use that as a truncheon to smack one’s boss upside the head and tell him that an upgrade is required. And fast.”
“Ah, so”, he replies, “We are in total agreement. Now that is out of the way, we would appreciate it if you’d help in designing a course of study for up and coming local geoscientists. Then, we can go forward with a great plan to search for oil and gas here in…Korea. Correct?”
“Absolutely”, I remarked, “You’ve got over 400 man-years of science and exploration expertise here in this room alone. Let’s shoot for the moon, so to speak. Let’s get you up to speed on scientific journals and articles that are available out there in all of academia and industry. Let’s get you communicating on a global basis. Let’s prove that you can talk science with global scientists and still not have it affect your political or nationalistic aspirations one little bit. Let’s see if we can drag you, figuratively speaking, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.”
“Doctor”, Dr. Chang remarked, “You are the embodiment of what we were always told what Americans are. Brash, loud, confident, and evil. Except for evil, you are American as we were led to believe.”
“Hey, I take that as a compliment”, I exclaim. “You think that’s bad, I’ve got a bunch of earnest Europeans, raucous Russians, and a couple of cagey Canadians on my side as well. Before we’re finished here, we’ll have you ordering hachee, dining on Caldo Verde, snacking on salmiakki, drinking Russkaya vodka with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, eating poutine, and rooting for the Packers.”
“Doctor, I don’t know what half of that means, but I hope it comes to pass. It sounds most fascinating.” Dr. Chang chuckles.
The rest of the day was spent with various groups crystallizing and breaking off from the main crowd; then reforming as different groups. This was good, as it showed an interest across not only national borders but across ideologies and scientific specialties.
Most everyone here spoke English with some degree of fluency, so the translators were called in only occasionally.
I made certain they were included in everything that transpired that day. I want everyone to feel ‘part of the team’. How better to show the classlessness of Western science to include everyone in on both sides of every discussion and activity?
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

Buffets: Why are some food items specifically tagged “all you can eat ?”

TLDR: Just the title
I may be wrong but all my life I’ve just assumed a buffet means you pay a price and you eat unholy amounts foods until you can’t anymore.
Reason I ask is I’m going to Vegas next month and obviously I’m going to try out a buffet or two. However I noticed things listed such as “all you can eat crab legs/ or shrimp” or whatever. Got me thinking...why are crab legs specifically “all you can eat?”
Shouldn’t everything at a buffet be all you can eat? The ones I’ve been to were like that. Or am I wrong in assuming high end luxury Vegas buffets did the same thing? There’s also this place called Palms Resort casino in Vegas which has A.Y.C.E buffet (all you can eat) why would they name it that?
Are the other Vegas buffets NOT all you can eat?
Bonus question: Las Vegas it worth the money to eat brunch at Paris Hotel? I chose this because it’s close to my hotel (Flamingo)
submitted by Retrolord008 to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]

Thưởng thức các bữa tiệc buffet ở Las Vegas

Thưởng thức các bữa tiệc buffet ở Las Vegas
Thưởng thức các bữa tiệc buffet ở Las Vegas
Nói đến du lịch Mỹ, hẳn là nhiều người gửi hàng đi mỹ tại tphcm sẽ nhớ tới hình ảnh thành phố Las Vegas – thiên đường ăn chơi bậc nhất thế giới, với hàng ngàn casino sang trọng hoạt động ngày đêm. Song song với đó, ẩm thực Las Vegas cũng là một trong những yếu tố khiến người ta muốn đặt chân đến thành phố này.
Các bữa ăn ở đây dường như là bất tận, đặc biệt là các bữa tiệc buffet. Cùng tìm hiểu những “bí mật” mà không phải ai cũng biết bảng giá gửi hàng đi mỹ tại tp hcm khi thưởng thức buffet ở Las Vegas nhé!=
Mở cửa 24/24
Một trong những điều đặc biệt nhất khi nhắc tới ẩm thực Las Vegas đó là các quán buffet ở đây thường mở cửa suốt 24h để phục vụ thực khách cả ngày, chứ không có giờ cố định như hầu hết nơi khác. Có thể kể tới một số nhà hàng mở cửa vào rất khuya như: Paris, Flamingo, Planet Hollywood,…
Station Casinos không chỉ nổi tiếng là sòng bạc nổi tiếng tại thành phố Las Vegas, mà còn có một điều thú vị nữa đó là mỗi năm nơi đây lại tiêu tốn hơn 1 triệu quả trứng luộc, được dùng trong các bữa tiệc buffet. Điều này cũng góp phần đem lại doanh thu khá lớn cho Station Casino.
Trứng cá muối vào cuối tuần
Ẩm thực Las Vegas còn rất nổi tiếng với món trứng cá muối – một trong những món được đánh giá là ngon nhất thế giới. Vào cuối tuần, các sòng bạc Las Vegas thường có mở một khu vực riêng, chuyên phục vụ món trứng ca muối. Vì vậy, nếu có cơ hội đến đây, bạn đừng quên thưởng thức món ngon tuyệt hảo này tại thành phố xa hoa – Las Vegas nhé!
Cuộc chiến ẩm thực giữa các casino
Để thu hút khách du lịch Mỹ đến các sòng bạc Las Vegas, thì các khách sạn nơi đây còn cạnh tranh nhau bằng “cuộc chiến” ẩm thực, liên tục đẩy mạnh chất lượng các món ăn trong bữa tiệc buffet. Đó là bởi khách đến với sòng bạc không chỉ đơn giản là đánh bạc, mà còn là hưởng lạc.
Khung cảnh ăn uống cũng được chăm chút
Du lịch Hoa Kỳ và ghé các sòng bài lớn tại Las Vegas, bạn sẽ thấy các sòng bạc ở đây rất chú trọng quy mô, lẫn khung cảnh xung quanh. Có nhiều sòng bạc bạn có thể được thưởng thức các món buffet hảo hạng trong quang cảnh tuyệt đẹp.
Sẽ thật tuyệt nếu bạn thưởng thức ẩm thực Las Vegas trong khung cảnh tuyệt đẹp tại The Bayside Buffet, nhà hàng Bacchanal Buffet, hay nhà hàng Paradise Garden Buffet…
Chênh lệch giá giữa buffet trưa và tối
Nhiều nhà hàng có giá buffet buổi tối cao hơn so với buổi trưa. Vì vậy, nhiều thực khách đã tranh thủ đi vào thời điểm giao giữa buffet trưa với chiều. Nếu tính toán thông minh, bạn có thể thưởng thức buffet vào buổi tối sơm với giá thấp hơn tầm 4 USD.
Không phải ngẫu nhiên mà Las Vegas được bình chọn trong top 10 thành phố ẩm thực của thế giới. Du lịch nơi đây bạn mới thấy rằng, Las Vegas đâu chỉ có đánh bài tại những khu casino sang trọng, đẳng cấp. Mà ẩm thực Las Vegas cũng là yếu tố “níu chân” những ai gửi hàng đi mỹ tại quận 6 biết hưởng thụ tại thiên đường ẩm thực hàng đầu thế giới này.
submitted by vyngankhanh to u/vyngankhanh [link] [comments]

What's happening around town (Wed, Sep 11th - Tue, Sep 17th)

Tulsa's event list.

Wednesday, Sep 11th

Thursday, Sep 12th

  • American Miniature Horse Registry National Show (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 15th The American Miniature Horse Registry and American Shetland Pony Club are bringing their National Show to Tulsa’s Expo…
  • Big Daddy Weave - Alive Tour (Union Multipurpose Activity Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Premium ticket holders will receive first entry, premium seating in a reserved section, a premium guest tour laminate, and participate in a pre-show conversation with Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave. With the band releasing new music, a television show, and a new book, Mike will share stories from this exciting season and take questions from the…
  • Book Launch: Religion around Mary Shelley by Jennifer Airey (University of Tulsa - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm
  • 🎓 Bounce'n Beethovens (Owasso Library - Owasso) Thru Sun, Sep 22nd Start Time: 6:30pm Children and parents explore music through movement and instruments as they play with egg shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, drums and maracas in this fun, interactive program. Registration is required as class size is limited. Register online or call 918-549-7323. Please register for only one Bounce'n Beethovens class per month. For ages birth-5.…
  • 🎭 Creations in Studio K (Tulsa Ballet - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 22nd Tulsa Ballet presents "Creations in Studio K," an annual series of new works created by…
  • Coweta Fall Festival (Downtown - Coweta) Thru Sat, Sep 14th Celebrate the coming of fall with friends and family at the annual Coweta Fall Festival. Held in downtown Coweta, visitors…
  • 🎓 Frankenstein, Doubt, and Despair: A Book Launch (Oklahoma Center for the Humanities - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Join us in celebrating the publication of TU professor Jennifer Airey's new book: Religion around Mary Shelley. Mary Shelley lived and wrote during an age of religious instability, one that witnessed the spread of atheism, millenarianism, Methodism, Unitarianism, and Evangelicalism, among other belief systems. In this book, Jennifer L. Airey…
  • Just Between Friends (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sat, Sep 14th If you have a growing family or are planning for one, the Just Between Friends sale, held at the Tulsa Expo Square, is…
  • Kendall Whittier After Five (Kendall-Whittier - Tulsa) Kendall Whittier After Five brings the Tulsa community together for Thursday evening fun. Each second Thursday, all are…
  • Midday Static (Blackbird On Pearl - Tulsa) Start Time: 9:00pm
  • 😂 Quinn Patterson (Loony Bin - Tulsa) Thru Sat, Sep 14th
  • Rogers County Free Fair (Claremore Expo Center - Claremore) Thru Sun, Sep 15th Come to the Rogers County Free Fair and browse through Made in Oklahoma products, arts and crafts, baked goods, livestock…
  • 😂 Sebastian Maniscalco Headlines River Spirit Casino (River Spirit Casino - Tulsa) Start Time: 8:00pm Fresh off a wildly successful, two-year-plus run on his Stay Hungry Tour, Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year Sebastian Maniscalco is back with the You Bother Me tour, which is currently set to visit 12 cities in the U.S. and Canada throughout its fall run.
    Touted as ‘the comedian’s comedian” by People, Maniscalco finds himself…

Friday, Sep 13th

  • American Miniature Horse Registry National Show (Expo Square - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 15th The American Miniature Horse Registry and American Shetland Pony Club are bringing their National Show to Tulsa’s Expo…
  • 🎓 Bounce'n Beethovens (Owasso Library - Owasso) Thru Sun, Sep 22nd Start Time: 6:30pm Children and parents explore music through movement and instruments as they play with egg shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, drums and maracas in this fun, interactive program. Registration is required as class size is limited. Register online or call 918-549-7323. Please register for only one Bounce'n Beethovens class per month. For ages birth-5.…
  • Crayons Improv Comedy Show (Heritage United Methodist Church - Broken Arrow) Get ready to laugh at this family-friendly, improvised comedy show. Crayons Improv uses audience suggestions, participation…
  • 🎭 Creations in Studio K (Tulsa Ballet - Tulsa) Thru Sun, Sep 22nd Tulsa Ballet presents "Creations in Studio K," an annual series of new works created by…
  • Coweta Fall Festival (Downtown - Coweta) 1 day left Celebrate the coming of fall with friends and family at the annual Coweta Fall Festival. Held in downtown Coweta, visitors…
  • Friday Night Test N Tune (Tulsa Raceway Park - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm
  • 🎨 GARDEN CAT BOOK LAUNCH (Philbrook Downtown - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm Join us for the launch of of very first picture book featuring our famous garden cats! Perfectly timed to be the same night as our annual Internet Cat Video Festival. Tulsa native and acclaimed authoillustrator Katie Turner will be here to sign copies. The cats may sign too. They’re moody. Time will tell. :) THE CAT WHO GOT FRAMED by Katie…
  • 🎨 Internet Cat Video Festival (Philbrook Downtown - Tulsa) Start Time: 6:00pm Meow's the time. Get ready for the Internet Cat Video Festival, airing in the Philbrook Gardens! This notorious offline celebration of online cats, co-hosted by Philbrook Director Scott Stulen, features the best cat videos the internet has to offer. Member Tickets on sale July 22 Not-Yet Member Tickets on sale July 29 Friday, September 13 Doors…
  • Just Between Friends (Expo Square - Tulsa) 1 day left If you have a growing family or are planning for one, the Just Between Friends sale, held at the Tulsa Expo Square, is…
  • LA Guns with Special Guest Grind (IDL Ballroom - Tulsa) Start Time: 7:00pm Headliner: LA Guns Special Guest: Grind
  • Monster Mash up (Blackbird On Pearl - Tulsa) Start Time: 9:00pm
  • 😂 Quinn Patterson (Loony Bin - Tulsa) 1 day left
  • Rogers County Free Fair (Claremore Expo Center - Claremore) Thru Sun, Sep 15th Come to the Rogers County Free Fair and browse through Made in Oklahoma products, arts and crafts, baked goods, livestock…
  • ScotFest (Events Park / Rugby Practice - Broken Arrow) Thru Sun, Sep 15th ScotFest is Oklahoma's flagship celebration of Celtic history and heritage. Held in Broken Arrow's Chisholm…
  • 🎭 Tulsa Town Hall's 85th Anniversary Season (Tulsa Performing Art Center - Tulsa) Start Time: 10:30am

Saturday, Sep 14th

  • American Miniature Horse Registry National Show (Expo Square - Tulsa) 1 day left The American Miniature Horse Registry and American Shetland Pony Club are bringing their National Show to Tulsa’s Expo…
  • 🎓 Bounce'n Beethovens (Owasso Library - Owasso) Thru Sun, Sep 22nd Start Time: 6:30pm Children and parents explore music through movement and instruments as they play with egg shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, drums and maracas in this fun, interactive program. Registration is required as class size is limited. Register online or call 918-549-7323. Please register for only one Bounce'n Beethovens class per month. For ages birth-5.…
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Monday, Sep 16th

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Tuesday, Sep 17th

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2018 Album of the Year #24: Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

Artist: Arctic Monkeys Album: Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino Released: May 11th, 2018 Listen: Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube

THE LUNAR SURFACE (Where It All Started)

The year is 2016, Alex Turner has returned home from 30th birthday celebrations to discover a brand-new Steinway Vetregrand piano. It was a gift from his manager, and it opened a whole new world for him. “Looking back now it seems really... significant. It changed everything really.” He states about it within an interview from Mojo Magazine. He was correct. The piano sparked everything to life becoming the “centre of the universe” for the album. Guitars were just not giving him ideas anymore, but the piano was. Stored in a spare bedroom within his LA home, this became “The Lunar Surface” his almost makeshift recording studio. The name coming from the theory that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing. Alex even stating to Radio X that, “It was amusing to say, “I’m going down to the Lunar Surface.”” The makeshift studio also helped shape the album title, it was “instrumental” to the process. But the piano wasn’t the only thing within the makeshift studio. There was a drum kit, a Vox Continental organ, and a Tascam 388 eight-track recorder. The eight-track recorder would serve as a substantial part in making the album. “I sat with all my instruments and recorded the songs into the machine. That way, I could hear everything at once, whereas in the past it was all in my imagination until I could play the songs with the band.” He also considered it “a writing tool” as much as a recording tool. Working in isolation, he recorded tapes that would later remain on the record in forms of elements such as vocals and various instrumental parts. The eight-track even served as part of the album cover with the “lobby model” of the Hotel + Casino sitting overtop of it, with an earlier version of the record as the tape on it. The model itself was constructed by Turner. The model itself was birthed from the album title and the fact that this is the 6th Arctic Monkeys album. Thus, explaining the hexagon imagery, 1 side per album. The model first started as cardboard, left over scraps from this model can be seen in a photo from inside the Lunar Surface shot by Zackery Michael. Then it was built more and more until we arrived at the model showcased on the album’s cover. The model has a rotating sign bit that was inspired by the House of Pies rotating sign.


Upon assembling some of the track, Alex took them to fellow bandmate, guitarist Jamie Cook. Jamie is considered the “gatekeeper” to band, almost like the human bullshit meter. Alex almost feared that he would underwhelmed with it. But Jamie was the one told Alex, “This is definitely what we should be doing.” This led to the pair adding guitar parts to the songs. The majority of these, like the demo tape vocals, stuck with the album. From here they took the album to Vox Recording Studios on Melrose Ave. in LA, in May 2017. This is where the first full band sessions were recorded. Some of the “more interesting” keyboard sounds within the album came from these sessions. But this did not really work out for the band. So, later in September, the band went to La Frette Studios, a residential recording studio on the outskirts of Paris. This was where the album really came together. The band spent about 5-6 weeks recording here. This was Jamie’s idea. La Frette ended up seeing the band bring in an extra 9 musicians to play with them. This also led to a ‘Pet Sounds’ style of recording. This was a large ensemble recording style with these multiple musicians and the band themselves on multiple different instruments including multiple of the same type. So, 2 drum kits, 3 guitars, a couple of pianos. This did not work for every track but did work for a few. (Specifically, The Ultracheese, but I will talk about this more later) Alex stated to BBC Radio 1 that, “A lot of the energy I feel like came from that session. It was all like together in La Frette.” Some of the La Frette sessions can be seen in the Warp Speed Chic short film shot by Ben Chappell.

THE ALBUM (Natural Progression and Influences)

The album overall is 11 tracks. Many believe that the album is a concept album revolving around the Hotel + Casino, but that is not the case. Each one is a “short story” in the words of Turner. Four Out Of Five and the title tracking being the most connected of the collection. "But in other ways it does seem like a collection of short stories and we named the collection after one of the stories which is this one [Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino]. The other ones belong in the same place as this." (Radio X Track by Track interview). The title of the album itself came from a variety of things. The two most prominent being: the fact it is a “place”, and the location of the Apollo 11 moon landing. One thing should be known about the idea of the hotel and casino being a place, Turner loves to think of albums of places. “I think of some of my favorite records as places that you can go and stay for a while, and sort of spurred me on to give this record the name of a place.” (iHeart) The other part of the name itself coming from the Apollo 11 landing may be considered more interesting. This is due to the fact it may have come from cups themed with the lunar landing. The title of course is not the only interesting thing about the album. The sound itself is a departure from their last, AM. But the band all feel like this was natural progression. But the AM era was where they felt they had went a little too far. Bassist Nick O’Malley told Mojo Magazine that he felt that they had lost the “realness” in a sense with that era. “I think we'd gone as far as we could go. I had these crazy ‘80s hair metal leggings on-stag. I'd worn ‘em on Halloween, which I'd done dressed as Macho Man Randy Savage, the WWF wrestler. That was a big sign that it was time to have a break.” And with that they took a break, a five year long one. Turner himself was also aware that he could not do what he did on AM again, “I was aware of the idea that, I don’t think I could have been singing about the things I was singing about on AM anymore.” (Studio Brussels) This was not the first time the band has faced this “challenge” of switching it up. The same thing had happened with their 3rd album Humbug. Drummer Matt Helders states, “We’ve had that challenge before, after the first album success where we had to just get on and make the second, or else forever be dwelling on it. But this one didn’t feel like that. I mean, maybe there’ll be fans we gained from AM that will be a bit confused now. Like, that was their first experience of the band... ‘and now they’re going this?’” (Mojo Magazine) But the band did not want to make AM 2.0. Guitarist Jamie Cook stated to Mojo Magazine, “If we were worried about that we would never have made Humbug. And to disappear for a couple of years then come back with AM2? I think people have been, ‘Fuck off.’” But of course, this move was not met without criticism. Many fans and critics found themselves in a state of “What the fuck happened to Arctic Monkeys?” upon their new era and album due to the departure of sound from AM. But Turner himself does not see this a full-fledged departure, “There’s an idea that this album’s radically removed from where we’ve been. I can sort of see that, but I don’t think it’s as much of a move as people suggest.” (LA Times)
The album takes multiple film influences, science fiction influences, and musical influences from film scores to help make these “short stories”. Science Fiction inspired Turner to explore other worlds to create the album. Worlds he made up as he went along. Three films from Jean-Pierre Melville served as main influences on the album. The films being Un Flic, Le Cercle Rouge, and Le Samouraï. The films mostly center around a jazz club. The set interiors of these films piqued Turner’s interest. “So, when I would sit at the piano and play these types of chords, I was thinking about those Melville interiors a lot.” (Pitchfork) Overall, the sci-fi influenced led to Turner accessing sort of a “vocabulary” to say, that helped paint this picture of this hotel and casino on the moon.
The album also has this “magic” that they just could not get upon other recording sessions. This led to many of the demo tapes and early session elements making it to the file cut. They wanted to make an intimate experience but just could not get it to be as intimate as some of the early recording.
The album itself is also “autobiographical” in a sense. Turner sees it as him talking to himself all throughout the 11 tracks. But this wasn’t his first time trying to write things towards himself. “I tried to write this kind of thing before, I just didn’t know how to, really. I think I tried and recognized, thankfully, that I wasn’t ready. It's like the natural place to have gone, after that first record, was somewhere around ‘ere.”


Opening the album, we have Star Treatment, an almost 6-minute-long track. The track itself beings with the line “I just wanted to be one of The Strokes.” A polarizing opening line for a polarizing album. This lyric was originally meant to be replaced, but Turner kept it in. He was using the “Scrambled Eggs” method for the album. The “Scrambled Eggs” method comes from Paul McCartney where he used “scrambled eggs” as temporary lyrics while writing The Beatles’ song ‘Yesterday’. This just happened to be one of those lines. But he took a liking to it the more time went on. The Strokes of course were a big influence on the band, they were even coined “The British Strokes” upon debut. But truth is, time has passed since then. About 12 years to be exact. “But when I circled back around to it I felt like it was right where it ought to be because of how it makes me think, “Shit. The last 12 years just flashed by.” There’s an honesty and a truth to it.” (Pitchfork) The passage of time is a constant theme within this track, with references to the ‘70s, the ‘80s. This track was the first thing Turner had written for the album. It came about during the last run of The Last Shadow Puppets (Turner’s side-project with Miles Kane). But this is also the most direct Turner was with himself on the album. Specifically, about songwriting. Lines like “The golden boy’s in bad shape,” refer to the fact he was lost with his songwriting and did not know where to go. But like how the track had started before the album itself had started, there’s a particular line that had existed since 2009. “Here ain’t no place for dolls like you and me,” That was the line. He had tried giving it away to others to put in a track, but no one would take it. So, he saved it because he didn’t have “follow up” per say yet but found it within this track. Another focal point for the track is the lounge singer and his backing band. This lounge singer theme can be seen through, but this is where it starts. This is where the lounge singer gets the name for his band. “I think I like the idea that there would be a longue singer sat at a bar, overhearing somebody being cut off from having another martini and hearing them say “Who are you to cut me off? The martini police?” and then this lounge singer thinking “That would be a good name for my backing band.”” (Radio X) But this track serving as the opening track overall sets a tone for the album. Upon sharing the music with others, they decided this would be the best place to start the album, a way to get people to hear it first and foremost. The other way to do this would have been releasing it as a single. But they took what can be seen a controversial move in this era of streaming and singles being more prominent than albums to release no singles. Like how this track led to Turner writing the rest of the album, it leads you, the listener, into the rest of the album.
One Point Perspective is the shortest track on the album, but it does pack quite a bit of a punch. With the title coming from a filming style, specifically one used a lot by Stanley Kubrick, a main influence on the album, we dig a bit more into the sci-fi roots. The track itself focuses on conversations, dreams, and how they are often interrupted. “It was informed perhaps by conversations I may have heard or been involved with. Under the influence of some narcotic draft or another. And fragments of those things are appearing the lyrics on this tune.” (Radio X) The track also focuses briefly on a made-up documentary called “Singsong ‘Round the Money Tree”. “I think specifically in the case of this documentary, there was something else there. And it came from the “If I’m gonna end up singing to a quiet room, like what comes before that.” Perhaps someone had told me they’d been singing along to a score or something.” (Radio X) Of course this brings us to the quiet rooms. What exactly are the quiet rooms? Well they’re exactly what they sound like, literal quiet rooms. But they also refer to isolation experienced by Turner while recording the album. With the vocal takes, especially the early tape ones, it would just be him, alone in the Lunar Surface with his eight-track. Of course, there’s also the line “Bear with me, man, I lost my train of thought.” This one is followed by a pause in the vocals and is usually played up for the live shows, but it represents that spot in a conversation where you really do lose your train of thought. Maybe it’s your mind wandering, maybe it’s that you are being interrupted and then trying to resume what you were talking about but forgot. But, it’s a universal feeling that ties together this track.
American Sports is an interesting track. Not just musically, but lyrically. Music wise an organ plays a main part in the track. The organ though was strangely organized upon recording. With Turner doing one bar, recording it, stopping, doing another bar. Eventually in later recording sessions they attempted to play it all together but just could not get the same effect/sound as the one from the eight-track tape, so they stuck with that. The vocals were also from the eight-track tape. Lyrical wise the track was pulled together by a line given to Turner from his grandfather. “I visited me Granddad one day and he said to me, ‘You know, I often think of phrases even there that I think you might be able to do something with.’ And I sort of went ‘All right.’ He likes to watch the horse-racing, and he began to tell me that whenever there’s what’s called a ‘steward’s inquiry,’- All you ever hear back after the steward’s inquiry is the phrase ‘the trainer's explanation was accepted by the steward.’ Which, as he said it I just thought was loaded.” (iHeart) This was what sparked the rest of the track. But there’s one question left, what the fuck is Lola? Well, a Lola is his writer’s block. Seen within the chorus with the line “And I never thought, not in a million years, that I’d meet so many Lolas.” He gives the writer’s block a bit of a personification. The track also gives us more callbacks to technology, another overlapping theme within the album. The narrator describes a video call with God, and a virtual reality mask stuck on ‘Parliament Brawl’. The parliament brawl also allows this track to get a little political. This can be seen heavily within the first line of the second verse, “Breaking news, they take the truth and make it fluid,” mostly referring to the phenomena of ‘Fake News’. Overall, the track makes for an interesting take combining writer’s block, political problems, and technology.
The title track serves as the fourth track to the album. Opening with imagery of Jesus in a day spa. But the track itself is built upon the idea of the character Mark. Mark of course is a character in the track who answers phones, mostly stating the name of the hotel and casino while asking where he can direct your call. First Turner pictured Mark at this phone, then he pictured where the phone was after that. This led of course to the album title, but it also leads back into the track itself. This of course is played off well in the video, but we’ll get to that in a bit. As the track builds you a bit more of this world of the hotel and casino on the moon, it also leads to some interesting lines. One in particular being “Kiss me underneath the moon’s sideboob.” Question of the year being, what the fuck is the moon’s sideboob? Well, the term was coined by guitarist Jamie Cook. “There was a really thin crescent moon in the sky, which Jamie from the band described as the moon's sideboob and I thought that was like quite profound.” (Studio Brussel) Another odd line within the track is “Technological advances really bloody get me in the mood”, this is a bit of a satire. But is also a slight observation. This observation being that technology sometimes changes society, especially when advances are made. These changes can be reflected in the way we talk to others, the way we act, and many other aspects of our life that we may not fully realize at first. For the record though, technological advances do not turn him on.
Onto the video, this was the second single from the album, and the second video. The video was released on the 23rd of July. Directed by Ben Chappell and Aaron Brown, the video continues an overlapping Kubrick inspired theme. Unfortunately, Turner is the only one from the band who fully makes an appearance in the video. The others are briefly shown through footage from their BCC Maida Vale Studios session appearing on displays though out the “sets”. Throughout this video there’s sections where the track and video break a bit for some flashing red lights followed by some “doots” taking over the audio, like the Four Out of Five video. The video was filmed at the Peppermill Reno, a hotel and casino within Las Vegas, Nevada. The Peppermill Reno were nice enough to write a blog post about the video breaking down the locations of the video. The video took two days of film to shoot within the area. The first location they filmed at was the Fireside Longue. This is the first time Turner, playing out the character of Mark, is handed a phone. The phone was handed to him by a worker from the Café Milano within the hotel and casino. Two different suites are featured throughout the video. The first being the Safari Adventure Suite. This is home to many of the hot tub scenes. The other being the Roman Opulence suite, this was the all gold room. There’s also the elevator shots that came from the 17th floor elevators. The wandering around the hotel and casino shots, mostly shot within the cube bar and the island buffet. And some phone call answering with the Tuscany Tower’s courtesy phone. There’s one other particular phone scene within this video I decided to save for last due the fact that it is going to come up a bit later. The second phone call is answered within a replica of the 1966 Batmobile via the Batphone. This serves as a nice callback to one of the later tracks on the album titled, Batphone. During these shots he also is fake driving with a projected image of a tunnel in the background, this also comes up in the Four Out of Five video, but we’ll get into that on that track.
Believe it or not this the “love song” on the album. Yeah. The track is described by Turner as being a conversation between him and an unnamed female character he is falling for. But that all gets overshadowed by the semi-titular line, “The leader of the free world, reminds you of a wrestler wearing tight golden trunks.” The line does steal the show for being out there in a sense. The beginning of the line is a bit cumbersome to say the least, but it is almost melodic in another sense via the delivery. But this overall is just another part of the conversation with this female character. It may even be part of her imagination, you know, something she’s saying. Almost giving us a retrospective into her thoughts, feelings, and sense of humor. This all leads towards the bridge of the track. “Bendable figures with a fresh new pack of lies, Summat else to publicise, I'm sure you've heard about enough.” Almost showing us how fast the conversation is moving along. But also showing that you get to a point where you don’t know what to believe in the conversation or really what to believe in the track. The bridge also brings another interesting point forward. The words in particular, ‘Bendable Figures’ was almost the track’s title. “Which was because, someone got me a toy Batmobile, and it came with bendable figures of Batman and Robin, I assume, among others possibly. I’ve made a bit of a name for me since, and I mean, I am a fan of the old Batman book. I remember looking at this box and on the box it said ‘bendable figures’ and I don’t know. The news might have been on in the background, and here we are.” (iHeart) Another interesting point of the track is how straight the narrator and this female character are with each other. They both are basically telling each other that they fantasize about each other. She says it by whispering in his ear, he says it by responding to her straightly.
Another track with an interesting open, this one was originally different lyric-wise. Originally the words were ‘Karaoke and raspberry beret, in imaginative ways, and I get signed right then and there by a hotshot executive / I wasn’t expecting it that easy.’ Quite a departure from the final version that appears on the track. Four Out of Five served as the first single to the album. The track describes a taqueria on the roof the Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, and more particularly how it is boasting four stars out of five. Mostly just how perfect scores are unattainable so a four of five is great enough, “Because the people that are in charge of giving the scores, they never give a perfect hundred.” (Beats 1) The taqueria itself is named “The Information-Action Ratio” this comes from Neil Postman's book ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’. “I was attracted to the idea as soon as I heard that phrase; even though it was in this book from [1985] it still seemed relevant—more relevant than it probably was when the guy made it up.” (Pitchfork) The phrase itself explains that we don’t need the vast amount of information we receive and that we don’t do much about this information. But it’s a great name for a taqueria on the roof of a hotel and casino on the moon. The track itself also gives us more of the story about the hotel itself. Mostly its location, other than the moon itself. We learn that the entire moon is getting gentrified due to an exodus. There’s also a really cool play musically where the last chorus literally is lifted up another semitone after it’s said at the end of the bridge.
Onto the video for this one, the Kubrick fantasy filming begins here. Directed by Ben Chappell and Aaron Brown, the video was released on the 13th of May. The video was filmed at the Castle Howard in Yorkshire and the Munich Marienplatz station in Munich, Germany. The video starts with Turner playing a piano but then stopping to go look at the model of the hotel and casino. Throughout this video there’s sections where the track and video break a bit for some flashing red lights followed by some “doots” taking over the audio. Then, the video sees Turner taking the role of a director for some “Video Lifestyle Packages” for the hotel and casino. But it also gives us two different Turners. One with a beard, one without. The two doing seemingly parallel tasks within different areas. The other band members are also seen within the video, mostly jamming out. Especially with the nice little jam session with beardless Turner in the end. Due to the fact there’s two seemingly different Turners this has led to fan theories surrounding the video. Some stating that maybe the hotel and casino is some cover up for a mental hospital, another stating that maybe it’s both sides of his life (regulaprofessional). Assistants are also seen throughout the video setting up sets and other things, almost as if this was a film set. There’s also one scene in particular I’d like to touch on, the car scenes. This one is a bit important because it almost calls back the “haunt you via the rear-view mirror” line from Star Treatment. This scene was originally intended to be used in a video for Star Treatment, but they used it here instead. Overall, the video a bit of a visual treat with its cues from Stanley Kubrick and was more than a fitting visual return for Arctic Monkeys going into this era.
Yeah that’s a title to get your attention. The title comes from the actual event of the world’s first ever monster truck front flip. This was something that had caught Turner’s interest and will probably catch yours too upon just reading it. Sure, he may have only watched the video once, but the headline itself was what caught his attention. Later on, he used it create the base for what he was imagining with the track. “I think I imagined a sort of old presidents’ men style news room with just enough men in there. And sorta trying to get the editors attention like “You'll never believe it, somebody's done it forwards” and I think going off in my mind, perhaps and I thought, I don't know... It seems like that's where were at now innit, that sort of things are happening." (Radio X) The track itself lyrically describes TECHNOLOGY. More specifically, how people love their devices. “You push the button and we’ll do the rest” a repeating line that refers to how we’ve gotten so far that you can just push a button, and something will happen. Whether it be something within an app or data storage. Data storage is another important theme within the track. Our data is being stored everywhere. The track uses the data storage as a metaphor in many ways, with things like someone trying to breach into it. But overall the track itself just shows us how technology is changing us, references to technology changing us lie throughout. But we also see a bit of a jab at how no one wants to explain what the technology is exactly doing, “There are things that I just cannot explain to you, and those that I hope I don’t ever have to.” This wraps everything back around because it ties into the theme of just pushing a button and having everything done for us. We don’t see the background process, we don’t know what exactly they do, we just know that we can push a button and it will be done.
True to the title, the track explores the themes of Science Fiction. Science Fiction is the “lobby model” of the album, as in it brings it all together. The track started with the idea of exploring Sci-Fi further and exploring worlds created from this, same with the album. One of the things in particular that sparked this was the Fassbinder film ‘World on a Wire’. Sci-Fi takes these themes and attempts to connect them to the real world and even Tranquility Base. Continuing the overarching theme of technology, this one takes the focus on how we’re viewing society due to technology, again. Making light touches on religion, we can see how in this “area” per say, science has won. But we also see how it feels like Sci-Fi is taking over in the form of a reality that feels strange and almost fictional at points. Technology keeps becoming a bigger part of our lives to the point where it almost disconnects us in a way. The narrator in this track wants to avoid that, he wants to stay within the life of his love. But it’s hard with things changing so much and society also changing. He states that he wants to make a “simple point” about peace and love but not too obviously. And this track almost feels like that point. But then it takes a bit of a turn at the end. We see the narrator take this back a bit and Turner begin to doubt if he’s wandering on too much with the track itself. “So, I tried to write a song to make you blush. But I’ve a feeling that the whole thing, may well just end up too clever for its own good.” Describing it as too clever shows that he feels like he’s overthinking it all. With a track with an almost double meaning like this it is a bit easy to understand why it may be “too clever”.
Ah yes, the rock and roll song of the record. Or well, the rock and roll without the roll. IT’S ALL ROCK MUSIC TO ALEX TURNER DAMMIT. This track has been described as frenzy but controlled. The structure of the track itself reflects that, “It goes like 3 verses in this tune before anything else changes. And I think like by that third one you get this sense of like you shouldn't be doing it again, it's time to move somewhere else. And eventually it does happen.” (Radio X) The main idea for this track came from the fact we almost create these “characters” within the virtual world. You know, your online presence through social media. The title itself is refrained throughout the track as the chorus and refers to how we just look a photo and decide what people are like. In this case the female titular character of the track is described to look like “fun”. Furthermore, this is joined but what may seem to be a non-sensical string of words. But, it’s meant to represent scrolling through a social feed like Instagram. “As far as the “cheeseburger” line, I was actually watching an episode of the show “High Maintenance,” and there’s a part where the person’s taking their picture with a cheeseburger and posting it and all this.” (Pitchfork) The verses focus more on the internet culture and the behavior of those within. Whether this behavior be something like a VR experience of New Year’s Eve at Bruce Wayne’s Manor or being a dickhead to someone. It’s about how we can almost do whatever we want with almost no restrictions in this virtual landscape. The bridge brings it to a point where we realize, it almost feels like everything is online nowadays. This follows by some lines of Turner criticizing himself for constantly talking about marital arts to people in bars. This mostly draws from Turner’s frequent kickboxing sessions. “Maybe sometimes I put stuff into a song to stop myself from doing it - I think I’m just realising that’s true. Like there’s a line in the middle of She Looks Like Fun about waffling on to strangers about martial arts in bars, and that was definitely something I was doing a lot of and was aware I needed to stop doing.” (Mojo Magazine) Also this marks the second time within the album where he says something regarding the music and it happens. This time being in the form of a key change. The last chorus features a key change that is in time with him stating it in the track.
The all mighty Batman comes into a focus theme upon this track! Okay... Barely. A “Batphone” in the sense of this track is a direct line to Turner via his phone. The track deals with analysis and criticism of technology all at once. Opening on Turner realizing that he can just use a search engine to find a more interesting word to describe what he’s trying to say. Which, it wasn’t always like this, there was a time where you’d have to go through whole thesauruses to find this interesting words or phrases. Now they’re just a click/tap/touch away. Moving along we see that the narrator in the track specifically is of high class, stating that there’s much to discuss over a game of golf. Of course, that is phrased better within the track itself but for simplicities sake I’m just going to leave it at that. Then he gets into the fact life is a “spectator sport”. Through social media we sit and watch other people’s lives unfold like watching a sport almost. Then we get to a line that may seem more polarizing that it is. “I launch my fragrance called ‘Integrity’ I sell the fact that I can’t be bought.” Upon hearing this line for the first time you may think “What the fuck kind of pretentious bullshit is this trying to be?” Well, that’s exactly where you’re wrong. The idea of a fragrance called ‘Integrity’ is literally just that. “With something like that, I can’t sit here and tell you I wanted to make some comment about integrity and my relationship to it, and then make a fucking perfume out of it and write a smart-ass line like that. It’s more like I see the shape of the letters of “integrity” on the perfume bottle in my mind’s eye—once you know what that font looks like, then it writes itself after that.” (Pitchfork) Yeah, the line came from the visualization of perfume literally called ‘Integrity’. (Which, hilariously, there is one now called that.) Back to the lyrics, we see Turner talk about how he got “sucked into a hole” through a handheld device, this means his phone. Of course, we do all get a bit sucked into our phones now and again. It happens. And now it’s easier than ever. This being due to things like updates to make it easier to access things. The glow of the low beams within this track may be the car lights of your lover. But we do know that he will be by the Batphone if you need to get a hold of him at all. With our phones so close to us at all times, it’s almost like we all have personal Batphones. Then we get into how phones have changed over time. Coining them as “re-decorated” with new lights and sidebars upon them changing. Back the chorus again we see Turner sitting in his living room, with blinds closed, watching the lights of cars going by, but knowing that he'd know those of the car of his lover. Ending upon the panoramic windows again. These are said to be “looking out across your soul”, this is simply just our phone screens. They’re glass, windows are glass. But we look and see things on display including our souls, you know, our lives. Thus, making your soul being put on display through these “windows”. Sure, it’s not just your own soul, there are other people in this world, but it’s important you know that it is yours first and foremost on display. Always remember, whatever you put online, others will see.
Our closing track is a something that could be called Turner’s “Default Position” at this rate. But that does not mean it’s a bad thing. This track in particular is one where we see the Pet Sounds influenced recording style come to life, with multiple drum kits, multiple guitars, and pianos within the recording. The track sees Turner reflect on his past and how things have changed overtime. The title comes from the fact that the track may be a bit too “Cheesy” for everyone except himself. Songwriting of course has changed over time the most for him, upon talking about old tracks he stated, “It feels like we’re doing a cover or something when we play the first album, really, but that’s fine. I don’t hate doing that. It’s just come to the point where I play ‘Mardy Bum’ or something like that and it doesn’t even feel like mine anymore.” (BeatRoute) He feels disconnected from his old lyrics, which is sad but true statement. Of course, this track also touches quickly upon the themes of technology and politics throughout the track. But overall, it’s more just a personal reflection upon everything. Turner even describes himself as not being deep in thought, even if it looks like he was. He’s just living his life, good or bad, it’s just how everything is going down. The track ends the album on the line “I’ve done some things that I shouldn’t have done, but I haven’t stopped loving you once.” We all have things we regret in our lives. Sometimes that shit gets us out of nowhere and ends up on our minds. But we also see Turner telling his lover that he just loves them throughout it. Throughout all the good, the bad, the dirty bullshit, he still loves them.

THE B-SIDE (Anyways)

Yeah I was not finishing this without talking about the B-Side that was released with the title track on the 7” single. The B-side is titled ‘Anyways’ and was cut from the album. “I had a song that didn’t make this record with lyrics that mentioned both Bing Crosby and Randy Newman. And I just thought, You can’t do that. You can have one or the other. Just fucking calm down! You don’t want to make a song too lumpy.” (Vulture) Anyways here means the topic of a conversation and trying to change it. The narrator keeps trying to change the conversation. This can be seen throughout the track with a change in subject seemingly every few lines. One minute talking about toga parties, the next asking about if Mum and Dad are doing well. It’s just topic after topic in this “race” to Anyways. Technology appears again, with a quick mention of oversharing, something that is prevalent throughout the world of social media. Going back the Four Out of Five video from earlier we have a quick mention of a double life. This of course being the public/personal personas or home/professional personas. Much of the rest of the track just shows Turner bearing his all out there for everyone to see and making light of this. “You sort of reveal a piece of something as you’re writing and recording it. Then you find what you’re attracted to, scribble away a bit more of the dust and discover a bit more of the picture. Gradually, it becomes what it is. Each time you reveal another bit of it, it commits you to take the next step.” (BeatRoute) Some argue that this would have made a more “fitting” close for the album than The Ultracheese, other argue that it could have fit in literally anywhere on the album. Overall, I’m just glad it did get released it in the end.


I first listened to the album when it leaked. Shit on me all you want but I was just so curious. The whole no singles thing intrigued me alongside the sci-fi theme. I was looking for something different and I found it with this album. At the time did I know this was going to be my album of the year? No. Fuck, I barely knew anything about AM at the time apart from Do I Wanna Know?. I coined it as something along the lines of “What Death of A Bachelor could should been.” Turner constantly describes this album as one where he wanted to take people to a place, to this imaginary hotel and casino, and I was taken there upon first listen. I felt like I was sitting, watching a longue singer belt out tunes about his life. Of course, now on the right night I can recreate that feeling, but not always. But the album has just stuck me. Sure, many upon first hearing it found it off putting, but I loved it since first listen. If anything, this album was what made me a fan. This is what me look at AM and go “There’s something here I was missing.” Sure, it did take me months to act upon that, but I’m glad I did. Do I know where AM are going to go next? No. I don’t think any of us really do anymore. This album proved how unpredictable it is to calculate Arctic Monkeys in a way. Maybe the next record will be guitar based again, maybe not. We’ll only know when it comes, no matter how far away that is.


  • 2018 Mercury Prize Nomination
  • Best Alternative Music Album (Grammy Awards)
Four Of Five:
  • Best Rock Performance (Grammy Awards)
submitted by ResIsByTheBatphone to popheads [link] [comments]

Vegas Super Bowl Weekend Trip Report

TL/DR: Had a great run at the craps tables Super Bowl weekend. Arrived in Vegas Friday afternoon and departed Monday afternoon and stayed at Planet Hollywood. Got on a hot roll first session of the weekend and didn't look back - no losing days! I had some memorable rolls and hit the bonus bets.
SuperBowl trip:
My friends have been doing the SuperBowl weekend trip in Vegas for years - I joined them for the first time in 2018. This is my second trip with this crew.
My game:
I place the 6/8 for $30 each (or $60 on the other number if 6/8 is the point). Pass line & continuous come bets with odds (down with odds if the 6/8 hit).
For odds, at a $10 table I'll take full 3-4-5 X odds (or 5X odds if allowed) out of the gate. I didn't find much in the way of $10 tables in Vegas .... AT $15/$25 tables I start my odds $30 on 4/10, $40 on 5/9 and $50 on 6/8 - press my odds if the table heats up and then increase my come bet if the table stays hot.
I'll bet $15 on the hardway if the point can be rolled hard (i.e., 4/10 or 6/8) and I dabble in the bonus bets (repeaters and all-tall-small)
Friday afternoon
Check-in, hit the patio at Beer Park (Paris) for an adult beverage.
Back to Planet Hollywood for craps. Open $15 minimum table. The first 2 base dealers had my game figured out in seconds: "down with odds", they'd leave $15 change in the come for me (knowing I'd have another come bet) and on my "off and on" wins they'd pay me in all nickels or combination of $25/$5 chips or all $25 chips depending on how well supplied I was with $5 chips ("dealing to the rack" in the lingo).
First session I bet $5 each on the repeater 9 and repeater 10. Both came in this session and I was off to the races.
Changed for dinner, had another winning craps session at Planet Hollywood and then off to dinner
Friday dinner
Went to the off-strip Herbs & Rye steakhouse. My friends and I went there last year and enjoyed it. This year it was a bit of a miss (the steaks weren't cooked to order / got messed up). They do have a happy hour (1/2 price steaks 5-8). With my good run in the afternoon run I covered the bill for the 4 of us (with my friends covering the tip).
Friday night
First stop - The D downtown. It was loud, busy, smoky and full of characters. 10X odds with the table minimum bumped from $10 to $15 shortly after I arrived. I got stung here and gave back a chunk, but not all of my afternoon winnings.
Second stop - Binions. Played at the "Cowgirls" table near the doors (Cowgirls = scantily clad female dealers, like at Blackjack tables at the pleasure pits of other casinos). Dealers are inexperienced, but I did remember one dealer from last year who knew her stuff. $15, minimum and 5 X odds. Had a nice win here.
Third stop - Linq. Met up with friends who came in on a later flight. Found a $15 table. Bought in for $500 ... choppy table, got the dice ... down to the felt and found myself reaching into the wallet for another $100 so I could bet odds .... and then got on a great run (as the shooter)! Eventually got my odds to the maximum and then got $25 come bets out there with max odds too. I had $5 each on the All-Tall-Small and I had all the spots filled up except the 2-12 for what seemed like a dozen rolls. After the inevitable 7-out, I cashed out $1500 and called it a night.
For the $15 games Friday night at all casinos my advice is to pack your patience, enjoy the scenery (Linq and D have go-go dancers), kibbutz with your friends and drink your complimentary adult beverage. The tables are busy, some players are inexperienced, some dealers are on the new side too, it's hard to hear the dealers (and vice-versa) and there is lots of irregular action (small mid-roll buy-ins, hands in the table when the dice are out, etc.).
Saturday afternoon
Had lunch at YOLO's (Mexican restaurant at Planet Hollywood). Played at Planet Hollywood (lowest min was $25)
Used my $150 in free play at Blackjack and lost six consecutive hands. (Why I didn't use my free play at craps is a mystery, even to me).
Got my losing Super Bowl bets in.
Had a nice win before lunch at craps - gave much of that back after lunch.
After a break, Round 3 to me, though .... $25 table, got the dice and had a nice monster roll. Again I had $5 each on the 9-10 repeater bets and they came in 2-3 times. I got my pass line up to $75 with odds and made my point (collecting $525). My pass line bet progression is patient so I figure I may have made 5-6 points (1-2 points with $25 pass line, 1 point with $30 pass line, 1 point with $40 pass line, 1 point with $50 pass line and 1 point with $75 pass line). Once my pass line got to $30, I had $25 come bets going and once my pass line got to $75 I had $50 come bets going.
Two guys next to me bought in for $200 and coloured up $2000+ each. I also had a big win.
With no boxmen at the table there was a 5 minute delay as they had to wait for a supervisor to become available to approve the chips the players were colouring up.
Saturday evening / show / dinner / night
I had tickets to Absinthe at 8pm, so headed down to Caesars Palace for around 5 PM to pick up my tickets. Caesars Palace was, well, Caesars Palace. The $25 tables were jammed up like a $5 game downtown, the $50 tables were busy and they even had a $100 table open. It was a big win just to find an open spot at a $25 table.
The vibe at Caesars is money. Money. Money. Money. Lots of action and well-heeled gamblers. Even the dealers - one craps dealer at my table, with his slicked back mane of silver hair and gold necklace-pinky rings-gold watch looked like the Central Casting prototype for an old-school Vegas dealer.
Escaped with a small win. Then - in another big win - my friend and I were able to find a spot at a bar for a pre-show cocktail. Caesars was hopping.
Absinthe was great! Highly recommended. Amazing acrobats/performers in an intimate setting. Raunchy, offensive and hilarious comedy bits from the MC and his assistant. Plus the sexy Green Faerie.
Dinner was at Hell's Kitchen: Highly recommended. I had the lobster risotto and the crispy-skin salmon.
After dinner, found a $15 table at the Linq and had a decent win.
Super Bowl Sunday
Planet Hollywood minimums were $50 before breakfast. Went to Paris (Mon Ami Gabi) for breakfast and found $25 and $15 tables at the Flamingo.
The $15 table was jammed so we played at $25 .... and hit the All-Tall-Small with 5$ on each. Ka-Ching! Migrated to the $15 table when spots opened up. At the $15 table, things were up and down (mostly down) ... I had a nice roll that got me mostly back to where I was when I left the $25 table - I hit the small (with $5 on it), 2 hard sixes ($15 and after $10 pressure a $25) and multiple points (I had my line bet up to $30 and had it hit).
I had a nice win at the Flamingo for my 3 hours of play (10 AM-1 PM), but my total win was less than what the bonus bets paid out. The bonus bets saved my session!
Went to Blondies (in the Miracle Mile mall at Planet Hollywood) for the Super Bowl watch party. Blondies is a sports bar with a well-executed attractive women serving cold beer business model. This has been my friends go-to party for years ($200, open bar, buffet, etc.). I won the halftime squares (Pats 3, Rams 0) for $1000. Then, a guy I met at this party last year, said "tiskertasker89, you have the 3-0 square, i have the 3-3 square lets split our interests for the 3rd quarter and final". I agreed, and the 3-3 squares came in both times and I collected another ~$1000.
Flush with cash and booze I played the $50 tables at Planet Hollywood after the game. A new experience for me. It worked out. After some choppiness, I got on (reportedly - based on a dealers comment - a 40 minute run). (I was more focused on having to the bathroom than shooting). I almost doubled my buy-in, took a break (met up with my friends at the Planet Hollywood centre bar) ... took another shot at a $50 table and dropped 1/2 my winnings in ... seconds?? ... called it a night and ended with a respectable win for my first time playing $50 minimums.
Didn't play on Monday - didn't want to tempt fate. This trip, I only lost at one casino and barely had a losing session. Breakfast at the Cafe in Planet Hollywood, bought souvenirs, got a 20 minute massage at the mall kiosk. The equivalent of the football kneel-down to run out the clock.

Other quick hits
At the $50 minimum table at Planet Hollywood they didn’t let me bet less than $50 odds …(I was planning on $30 on 4/10, $40 on 5/9 and $50 on 6/8) ... The base dealer – who had initially set up my bets before the stick said “Hey, it’s a $50 game” – gave me a knowing look and said “the Rio -which is owned by the same company – would let you do it”. After no odds for a few rolls, I eventually took single odds on all my pass line and come bets.
At the Linq after a point of 5 or 9 was made I said to the dealer “Oops – sorry - I’ve over-bet my odds”. I had a $15 line bet with $80 odds. I was expecting them to hand back my extra $20 – instead they set up the over-bet as a place bet and paid it. I thought this was generous of them (Although, I guess I’m assuming that on a losing wager in this situation they wouldn’t take the odds over-bet).
For the “you can trust the rating system” file, after my cashing in my chips following my Sunday session at the Flamingo I asked the supervisor what my average bet was and how long I played. She said – “I’ve already closed you out. Let me check. You’re Kenny, right?”. Ummm, no. I'm tiskertasker98 ... In fairness, there was a shift change during my play … but still
On Saturday, my friend – who is a Diamond player but somewhat new to craps - hit a repeater bet and didn’t realize it didn’t stay up. I was playing at a different table. The crew didn’t remind him that his repeater bet came down. Of course, the repeater hit again and he thought he was on it. For the “all well that end’s well file”, though, my friend did hit 2 repeater 8’s on his last craps session of the trip on Monday morning.
A few times, dealers were tripped up by $15 come bets with $30 odds on the 4/10, $40 odds on the 5/9 and $50 odds on 6/8…. To me this is bread and butter craps … full Double Odds and all bets pay $75 …Anyways, no big deal, the underpayments were easily corrected and the overpayments somehow got overlooked.
A nice zinger: Good-guy craps player at the Flamingo (he had an all-day $1 hard six for the crew) got thanked for his crew-wager and said "No THANK YOU. You dealers are the hardest working guys in Vegas. Although, if I'm with an all-female crew I have to say you dealers are the SECOND hardest working girls in Vegas".
submitted by tiskerTasker89 to Craps [link] [comments]

Trip Report! 22nd Birthday trip

Day 1. My fiance and i land and get to Mandalay Bay by about 7:30am, we figured it would be too early but tried to check in anyway. When we were checking in I asked if there were any complimentary upgrades available; She said we could move from a resort King strip view for a double queen room at the Delano. We decided to stick with the resort king which paid off because they ended up waiving our resort fees. Since we had a good amount of time until our room was ready we went to the buffet before going to the nearest dispensary and got a pen vaporizer then went to the Shark Reef aquarium which was pretty badass. We then worked our way down the strip going through each resort from Mandalay to MGM then down to Paris, we started getting close to time to start getting ready for dinner so we headed back to Mandalay. They said they would text/call between 12-1 for the room to be ready and we hadnt heard anything by 4, so we went to the counter to ask about it and that's how we got the resort fees waived. We got up there and my fiance took a short nap and i went down to the casino. We went to Batista's for my birthday dinner and i got a picture with Gordy. We walked back to the room from there with a few stops along the way and called it a night.

Day 2. We're early risers so we get the most out of our trips, so by around 9:30 we started walking towards Bruxie's at NYNY for some chicken and waffles which was incredible. We rode the roller coaster at NYNY which was honestly a lot better than i expected, then we walked through all the resorts down to Ceasar's and got some Fat Tuesdays after my fiance did some shopping, then took the tram from Excalibur back to Mandalay to hang out by the pool for a little while. We had a reservation at Blue Ribbon Brassiere during their social hour and got a ton of oysters and stopped at an Art-o-Mat before leaving. We then went back to NYNY for our 7:00 show of Zumanity which was fantastic. When we got out we went across the street and got some orange julius then back to Mandalay; We gambled a little bit then went upstairs, showered and ordered some room service.

Day 3. Pretty early morning again, we get crepes at 48th and Crepe and walk around the Aria until the Hofbrauhaus was open. We had a couple masses each and had some food while we were there for a couple hours. Then we were off to Fremont street, we hung out there for a few hours and did the zipline. The pictures turned out good enough for us to actually buy them all haha. We then went to the stratosphere and got to the top before deciding neither of us were down to do any of the rides but we got the amazing view. We found a cool spot to have a preroll we got at the dispensary before getting a lyft in one of those self-driving BMW's back to Mandalay to get ready for dinner. We got ready and went out to SLS for our dinner at Bazaar Meats which was by far the best meal of my life, expensive but absolutely worth it. Then we went to see the Bellagio fountains then had another preroll before making our way to the Skyfall lounge for our final night out, the view was incredible.
Day 4. Up early to check out and give the bell desk our bags, i was obsessed with Bruxies so my fiance got Krispy Kreme donuts and i got bruxies again. We went down to the Venetian for a little while to shop and look around. No matter how old i am I'll always be suckered into the magic shops and those damn magicians are good sales people lol. We went back through our random casinos that we had vouchers for to get our money or play a little and tried to soak in our last walk through the strip before heading out to the airport. We didn't do a lot of drinking or anything crazy but it was by far the best vacation i've ever had and we'll be back as soon as we can. Thank you to everyone who gave suggestions on where to eat and what to do, it definitely helped out a lot.

TLDR; My fiance and i had a badass first time in Vegas, ton of great food and great people. Zumanity was fantastic and we'll for sure be back.
submitted by JWGibson1 to vegas [link] [comments]

Las Vegas trip report (restaurant heavy)

I went on vacation to Las Vegas with my wife from July 2nd-7th. This was my 5th trip and our 3rd together. Here's my (excessively long) trip report:
This time we stayed at the Cosmopolitan, and we had a Terrace Studio Fountain View room. It was our first stay at Cosmo (I'd been to Wynn, Luxor, Aria Sky Suites, and Bellagio previously), and the hotel was great. I thought our room was nicer than the one we had at Bellagio last year and for a cheaper price (friend who is a travel agent got us a pretty good deal). Literally the only downside I can think of is not being able to listen to the fountain music on TV. We were in the Chelsea Tower (which is larger than Boulevard), and had a great balcony view.
Cosmo definitely attracts a younger crowd than some of the other casinos on the strip- lots of people in their 20s and 30s staying here. There are two main pools, one in each tower. When we went down to the Chelsea Pool around 11am on the 3rd, literally every seat was already taken. Note: Chelsea Tower is much larger than Boulevard, but its pool is much smaller. We hiked over to the Boulevard Pool and settled in. Great view looking over the strip with a livlier atmosphere than you'll find at the Bellagio's pools. Also worth noting the water is pretty shallow- no more than 4' deep. The most amusing part of our swimming experience was watching an Asian kid, probably 10 years old, swim all around the place, bumping in to every other group there, and saying hi. Seemed odd that he was basically on his own at that age, but he was clearly having a helluva time.
One of the best parts about Cosmo is its location- right in the center of the strip, which makes an easy walk to most of the other casinos. It has a great selection of restaurants (see below) and modern decor as well. One notable omission in my opinion is it doesn't have any shows/productions in house. The casino also doesn't have a poker room, but I didn't end up playing during this trip anyhow. Easy walk to the Bellagio or Aria poker rooms regardless.
Checkin to the hotel was very easy. Our flight got in to Vegas at about 8am on Sunday, so the room wasn't ready yet when we arrived. They took down all my info, and we left our bags with the bellhop. They sent a text message when the room was ready around noon, and they brought the bags up to our room. I used the online checkout on Friday morning. Easy peasy.
Side note- I'd never used Uber before this trip. Definitely recommend it for others in the same boat. Cheap/easy to use, and I liked riding with the average Uber driver more than the average cabbie. Each hotel has its own pickup/dropoff location for UbeLyft- just ask any employee, and they'll point you in the right direction. I never had to wait more than five minutes to get my ride.
The only show we saw on this trip was Ka at the MGM Grand. I'd pretty much recommend any Cirque du Soleil show on the strip- they're all pretty amazing. O at the Bellagio is probably my favorite, but Ka was great in its own right. Supposedly it's unique among Cirque shows in that it has a big storyline, but uh... I'd just say there's not much of one. Amusing moment before the show: I get a text message from my wife, who is sitting right next to me. "Am I sitting next to a drag queen?" I looked over. Yes, yes you are.
We also made a trip to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. I felt like the line for tickets was pretty absurdly long. I realized the reason for that when we got in- the whole aquarium was about half as big as I expected, so they needed to keep the flow of people in fairly slow. Having said that, the exhibits they did have were great, and there was no shortage of staff floating around to answer any questions you might have. Definitely a good spot to bring the family to in Vegas.
The biggest reason we love Vegas is the food. Yes, my wife and I are the annoying people who post pictures of thier food on Facebook. The great thing about Vegas is there's multiple restaurant for just about any cuisine you can imagine right on the strip.
Wicked Spoon Buffet at Cosmopolitan (7-2-17 brunch): I like to hit up a buffet once whenever I visit Vegas, and none have disappointed. These places definitely aren't the Golden Corral. Our flight got in pretty early Sunday, so stuffing ourselves at the buffet and having extra time before dinner seemed like a good idea. To start things off, I'm a sucker for an omelette station, so I grabbed a Denver style omelette. Added some cheesy hash brown casserole (one of the best things I had), and a verrine. I have no idea what a verrine is, but it was basically a shot glass filled with mashed avocado, grapefruit, and a bit of crab. Good stuff. Had I stopped here, I would have had a normal sized brunch by most people's standards. Of course the entire point of a Vegas buffet is getting full value by stuffing yourself so full you can't walk, so I made more trips.
Next up I grabbed a jerk chicken thigh, a few pieces of spicy tuna sushi, some house-made italian sausage, and yogurt/fruit. The jerk chicken was perfect in that after the first bite I thought- that's not that spicy. 3 bites in, I'm feeling it a bit. By the end, I'm chugging my coffee/juice.
Finally it was time for dessert. When I first visited Vegas back in 2005, my friend informed me that the #1 rule of Vegas buffets is that you must try the bread pudding. You are not supposed to question the reasoning behind the rule, nor are you supposed to debate whether it's necessary. You simply do it. Wicked Spoon featured a bourbon white chocolate bread pudding. It was good, but I wasn't sure what to make of it since it tasted more like butterscotch than bourbon to me. I also had half a mango danish and some little chocolate tart. I thought I was done at this point until my wife brought back some gelato. I couldn't sit there and watch her eat, so I ended up getting some coconut-lime gelato for myself. The selection is pretty ridiculous- about 18 flavors to choose from. After the gelato, I finally waved the white flag.
Picasso at Bellagio (7-2-17 dinner): We've been wanting to visit Picasso for a while now. I was going to book a reservation here for our honeymoon back in 2014, but as it turns out they typically take a 2 week vacation in July every year. We ran into the same problem last year, but they were open on Sunday the 2nd this time before closing. Finally, we had our chance.
Picasso is basically fancy-pants French fine dining at its best. If you've ever seen the movie Ocean's Eleven, the restaurant scene was filmed there. We were seated at a table next to the window with the Bellagio fountain outside, and my wife had a real Picasso painting above her shoulder. So uh... not bad. I wore a suit and tie, but you really don't need to- wear khakis and a nice shirt, and you'll fit in fine.
We both ordered from the four course prix fixe tasting menu. My goal when eating out at nice places is to get stuff I don't cook myself / haven't tried much before. First course I got the poached oysters. The dish was basically smooth, melt-in-your-mouth like butter. Next up was the foie gras. This was the second time I've foie gras, and I've decided it's just not my thing. I could tell it was prepared properly, but I just don't think it has much flavor. The rhubarb chutney on the side was good, though. For the entree, I had the roasted milk-fed veal chop. After the first bite I literally started laughing, basically thinking, "Where has this been all my life?" Literally one of the best things I've ever eaten. If I had to nitpick, it was cooked a touch rare for my liking. But it was amazing. I wanted a lighter dessert given how much food I'd stuffed myself with that day, so I got a pineapple tart with prickly pear sorbet. Almost too pretty to eat.
Picasso is definitely the type of restaurant you take your date to if you're wanting to impress them. I like Le Cirque a bit more based on my two trips there previously. Le Cirque is a much smaller restaurant, just feels like a more intimate setting, and the service seemed a little more personal. But really you can't go wrong either way. Also, it was a nice touch seeing the chef, Julian Serrano, as we left the restaurant.
China Poblano at Cosmopolitan (7-3-17 lunch): The best way to explain China Poblano is that it seems like one person wanted to start up a Mexican restaurant at Cosmo, one person wanted to start up a Chinese restaurant, and then some executive asked, "Why don't we have both?" There are literally two different kitchens in the same restaurant, and the food is served tapas style- dishes just come out one by one whenever they're ready.
We started off with the queso fundido for an appetizer- pretty standard stuff. I ordered two tacos from the Mexican menu, one taco suadero (brisket), one carnitas. The brisket was good, the carnitas was great. Because if eating a taco with pork rinds on it is wrong, then I don't want to be right. I decided to get Mongolian beef lettuce from the Chinese menu, because I remember reading an IAMA from a Chinese restaurant owner a while back who said that was one of the best things on the menu that people rarely ordered. And he was right. We skipped dessert since our stomachs were still half full from eating the day before.
Estiatorio Milos at Cosmopolitan (7-3-17 dinner): Milos is proof that food doesn't have to be fancy to be fantastic. They just use high-quality ingredients, use a simple preparation, and let the food do the talking. The neat part about this place is that they really don't have specific fish on the menu. Instead you walk up to the fish case, pick out the one you want, and let your server know how you want it prepared. And marvel at the produce while you're at it.
We ordered the tzatziki as an appetizer, and at first I wasn't going to take a picture of it since it's just tzatziki. And then I tasted it. And I decided it deserved a picture- the best I've ever had. Next up was a Greek salad which was ridiculously good. Those definitely aren't the tomatoes you buy at Kroger. We chose lithrini, which seemed like a generic white fish, for our entree. Pan-seared with lemon, capers, and herbs. Some basic potatoes and broccoli for our sides. Milos is one of our top recommendations for people visiting Vegas.
Milk Bar at Cosmopolitan (7-3-17 dessert): We skipped dessert at Milos because we wanted to try out the Milk Bar. I grabbed one of the much-hyped compost cookies, which I actually thought was nothing special, and a spiked chocolate malt milkshake. The shake was awesome. I ended up coming back later in the trip and got a spiked coffee shake as well. Not sure they're worth $12 apiece, but you're in Vegas, so what the hell.
Eiffel Tower Restaurant (7-4-17 lunch): My wife had put this on the list of places to visit a month ahead of time, so we ended up going here for lunch. You enter the restaurant by going up an elevator in the main floor of the casino, and the doors open to give you a nice view of the kitchen. I always like restaurants where you can see people work in an open kitchen, so I thought this was a nice touch. We had reservations for when the restaurant opened, so we managed to snag one of the best tables in the place with a great view of the strip. We started off with the cheese tray as an appetizer, which was most notable for the honeycomb. I think that's the first time I've ever had real honeycomb, and it was delicious. I decided to go brunch-ish for my meal and order the lobster eggs benedict, which was easily the best eggs benedict I've ever had. We shared a frozen strawberry souffle for dessert, and the best compliment I can give about this is that we immediately began looking up recipes to make our own when we got back to our hotel room. Overall a great meal, and I think we'll head back here for dinner during our next trip to Vegas.
Tetsu at Aria (7-4-17 dinner): I'd wanted to visit a Japanese steakhouse while in town (especially since the favorite place in my town was run down by new ownership and closed), and I was a little surprised to find there weren't many options. Tetsu is actually a sectioned off portion of the BarMasa restaurant in Aria, and you can order sushi from BarMasa's menu while there. Which I did. I'm far from a sushi connoisseur, but I thought it tasted like a standard salmon roll- good, but I wasn't blown away by it or anything.
As far as the hibachi grill itself goes, the first thing to note is that the chefs basically just prepare the food in front of you but don't put on any sort of show. So if you're wanting to impress the family with a flaming onion volcano and eggs juggled on a spatula, this isn't your place. It's about the food, and the food was fantastic. I had the whole lobster, which is every bit as good as it looks. The chili shrimp cilantro fried rice was as good as the lobster, and I had some brussels sprouts on the side. My wife got the fingerling potatoes as a more photogenic side dish to her chicken. They also serve prime A5 Japanese Ohmi beef, but I couldn't justify spending $132 on a 4 oz steak. We had chocolate sesame ice cream for dessert, and the sesame was actually a lot stronger than I thought it would be (might actually put some people off).
Of course one of the fun parts of eating at these places is talking to people seated with you at the table. One of the ladies next to us teased a server, trying to get his name badge, Harvey (definitely not his given name), since apparently a guy named Harvey founded the golf club she worked at. Even went so far as to summon the manager to see if she could get the badge, but ultimately she failed in her negotiations. Everyone at the table had a laugh about the situation.
Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay (7-5-17 lunch): We were looking for a lunch spot down on this end of the strip before heading to the aquarium, and the Burger Bar (actually located in a walkway between Mandalay Bay and Luxor) came recommended by several people. To start with, they had a great beer menu. I ordered the classic bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. Great burger, cooked perfectly. I know there are several excellent burger joints on the strip, so it's probably not worth making a special trip far out of your way to come here. It's a great option if you want a burger and are on the south end of the strip, though.
Lemongrass at Aria (7-5-17 dinner): Next up, some Thai food. We had some pot stickers for an appetizer, which I thought were pretty average. Nothing to stand out here from your average takeout in either taste or presentation. My wife decided to order some wonton soup to share, and I'm glad she did. It was freakin' amazing- easily the best part of the meal. I wanted something light for my meal, so I ordered the garlic and lime steamed cod. The surprised reaction of the waitress seemed to imply that nobody ever ordered that. It was good, but you better love lime if you get it.
As luck would have it, the one time we received poor (exceptionally slow) service on the trip was when we had our meal before a show. We had to skip dessert so that we could make it down to MGM Grand in time to see Ka.
Olives at Bellagio (7-6-17 lunch): We thought about hitting up Lago for lunch, but since we were headed to Sinatra for dinner we wanted to avoid back to back Italian. Olives had a nice deal on a 3 course prix fixe lunch menu, so we ordered from that. I had the Caesar salad to start, followed it up with fish and chips, and finished it off with tiramisu. A bit of an odd combo, but a good meal. Nothing exceptional. Great server, though.
Sinatra at Encore (7-6-17 dinner): Another place we'd wanted to visit on previous trips but never had a chance to. There's tons of Frank Sinatra themed memorabilia in the place, including a Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar as you walk in the door. I'd describe the place as lively but classy as hell- which is pretty much what you'd want when going to a Rat Pack themed place.
To start off with, I ordered an Old Fashioned. It's one of my favorite drinks to order because everyone does it differently, and you never know what you're going to get. Well, it was the best Old Fashioned I've had in my left. I meant to ask the waiter what type of boorbon they used, but ultimately forgot. We ended up sharing the estiva for an appetizer, which is basically a watermelon salad. I ordered the gnochetti for my entree, which tasted great, but the portion size kind of left me wondering where the rest of it was. We shared the panna cotta for dessert, which was as good as it looked.
Eggslut at Cosmopolitan (7-7-17 breakfast): Eggslut is a casual stand at Cosmo that pretty much sells egg sandwiches all day long. I had the Fairfax with bacon, which is pretty much what they're known for. I think the reason why it was such a great sandwich was they kept the eggs inside creamy, whereas most breakfast sandwiches have the eggs cooked hard as a rock. When you walk up to the place your first thought is- whoa! Only $8... finally a reasonably priced meal. And then you realize they charge $5 for a cup of coffee or orange juice, and you remember you're still in Vegas. Regardless, this place is a good stop for breakfast or a late night snack.
Overall a great trip. Can't wait to go back again and try some different places.
submitted by MogKupo to vegas [link] [comments]

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Le Village Buffet Paris Casino - YouTube

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