Saturday, September 26, 2009

Las Vegas.

Places are hard for me to take in, wholesale. I prefer to think in bits and pieces. Years ago, I realized that if I aimed my camera at details and particulars, using a telephoto lens, I could produce something close to an artsy, admirable photograph. No building facades or street scenes, just a cornice here, a cobblestone there. No landscapes, but rather a stripe of quartz running across a rock, a pattern of treebark, the serrated edge of a leaf. I have a wonderful photo of Notre Dame--it's the magnified ear of a gargoyle.

Travel by extrapolation.

Las Vegas is, by its very nature, hard to take in fully, even by those who enjoy a wide-angle lens. As my husband said as we pulled into town the other day, it defines Massively Overdetermined Signification. And it likes it that way.

But I still take it pixelated.

The warm frisee salad, with the translucent egg, at dinner the first night.

The copper glare off the Wynn windows and the mix of pines and palms in the Wynn golf course. Wynn happened to be in our line of vision.

The unexpected way the sunlight danced on the floor of the dolphin habitat, imposing itself twenty-three feet down.

My daughter letting loose a huge "Wheeeeeeeeee!" when the monorail kicked up to speed, and everyone on board smiling at her enthusiasm.

How much I wanted to be back in Venice as I was walking through the close quarters of the Venetian's faux "streets."

And it was then my husband reminded me: "Who says what's real and what's not?" Besides one's pocketbook, I mean. Which also seems to keep tabs on the places we go in bits and pieces. Mostly 0000s and decimal points, in fact. So I was glad to hear that the calles of the Venetian may be every bit as real as those farther afield.


  1. I can't think of one original thing to say about Las Vegas. You did. Say something original, I mean.

  2. Did your husband really say that "Massively Overdetermined Signification" in a sentence, I mean in real time? Much better then my recent blog use of "signified and signifier" Can I use it?

  3. PA, yes, that is a direct quote, as we were turning onto Las Vegas Blvd., past New York, New York. Massively Overdetermined Signification. Have at it.