I celebrated my best friend A’s birthday here in Vegas, and we did a bunch of touristy things.
First, I took her to the Bellagio conservatory and then she wanted to see Fiore di Como by Dale Chihuly. I was basically killing time until the San Gennaro Feast started.
San Gennaro Feast was held at the Craig Ranch Regional Park. San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples, Italy. It was the first time I had ever gone to San Gennaro, even though I’ve been living in Vegas for over 12 years! There were so many options to eat! Lots of booths to shop at, carnival rides. I had chicken parmesan and then a dozen cinnamon donuts for dessert.
On Thursday, we went to the Mob Museum. It was my first time there. Thankfully they give you a wristband so you’re welcome to come and go all day. The Mob Museum used to be a post office/courthouse for the city. It’s a stone’s throw from Fremont Street. The location is choice. You couldn’t have asked for a better location.
While we waited for the school group to finish their tour, I walked her over to the Heart Attack Grill. It used to be Jillian’s, an arcade that doubled as a live music venue. During my emo stage, I spent a LOT of time at Jillian’s. It was a trip going back now that it’s the Heart Attack Grill. The restaurant has that Dick’s Last Resort vibe: vulgarity is an aspect of the experience. You really have to have thick skin when going there.
I was pounced on for not wearing the mandatory scrubs they give you. The waitress nurse didn’t see me when she was fitting A. So another waitress attacked me for not wearing one. “Attack” is a strong word. Yelled at very forcefully is being kind. Like, I’m not the one who forgot I was there! That’s part of the experience though.
I don’t normally eat early in the morning so I had no appetite yet. Which is just as well: if you don’t finish your food, they spank you. It happened a few times while we were there. I was telling A that some fellas probably didn’t finish their food on purpose so they could get spanked by the hot waitresses. There’s maybe 1-3 items you can share but the rest you HAVE to finish on your own, in the restaurant. Can’t take food to go, cash only.
The Mob Museum itself was fantastic. I had been meaning to go for a long time but I could never fit it into my schedule. Thankfully, A was down for going. This is how we spend our time together: being nerdy and going to museums. Just by virtue of being a history geek, I picked up on a lot of the history of Vegas and Clark County on my own since living here.
For a city that builds and implodes every few decades, the city lives and breathes history. People get this idea of what Vegas is, but really, it’s like any big city with issues. But our story is unique because it was built on the greenback, legally or illegally. What can other cities say that? I highly recommend going, if you’re ever in Vegas. Take a couple of hours, get out of the heat and away from the crowds, and experience our unique origin story.