Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I went to the Stratosphere with my friend L. For $35 you get to go to the top of the tallest structure west of the Mississippi and ride all of the rides. It's a great way to spend an evening.

First though, L was running late, so I decided to play a few hands of Blackjack. The dealer was cool, and I was up to $100 at one point, but I ended up giving most of that back. I think I was $10 in the hole, but I tipped her and also had enough in chips left to tip the bartender at the lobby bar and the valet.

I asked for a Fernet Branca on rocks, but the bartender didn't know what that was (bad sign), so I ordered a Dirty Martini with Tanqueray. It came garnished with stale olives and a chip of ice, but it tasted right. The music was a mix, but there was more rock and roll than you usually get at places like this, and I dug that. "Everything is better with Rock and Roll."

L showed up and we figured out how to get to the top of the tower. The signage of the place and indeed the very flow of traffic seems to be a haphazard afterthought. The ladies at the counter selling tickets told us to use the machines. The machine contract must have gone to the lowest bidder. One was down, the other two ran like they were on DDOS. But it added to the fear of dying at the top.

The double-decker elevator is fun, there's a video screen showing the people riding beneath your feet. Your ears pop with the changing pressure. It's fast. At the top, more confusion as to where to go. I wondered if someone had spiked my drink. But the view!

I've been to the tops of many a tall building, but this is Las Vegas. Things are more fabulous out here. This glowing garden in the middle of the black valley looks like a shining testament to our humanity. Keep the crown jewels, England.

The bar up there was closed for a private party, so we couldn't get a drink, which was disappointing.

The rides are contraptions that dangle and spin you over the edge of the tower and shoot you off the top of it. Thrilling, terrifying, wonderful. I recommend doing all of them. I didn't feel like going on any of them more than once, so it wasn't a loss that we didn't buy bracelets that allow you to take unlimited rides.

I found out about Level 107 Lounge after this outing, so I'll be going back to the tower for that.

1 comment:

Sky Jack Morgan said...

The fact that machines of metal and light exist for our enjoyment is a comforting thing.