We are here

bicycle kid

This bicyclist makes his way through the urban landscape in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

In a world of their own 

 

by Royal Hopper

 

You look at the woman standing on the corner with her head phones and her jogging outfit. She is performing an understated dance to the music on her headphones ..Performing for no one but herself and unconcerned with what critics or commuters think she doesn’t so much dance as quietly move to the music. No wild gestures she just giggles with her feet and arms and body as opposed to belly laughing for effect.
She notices you staring art her as she continues her subtle celebration.

couple looking at each other

This couple is either about to kiss or beat the crap out of each other. That is the City of Sin folks. The best and worst in humanity _ Royal Hopper

She doesn’t get angry or offended. She manages a friendly smile waves at you and you despite years of Sin City training that tell you don’t wave at people dancing in the street you hesitantly wave back which seems to please her and for a moment she looks your way as you look toward her and smile a little too.
She smiles again and then goes back into her own music headphone enhanced environment and moves to the sound as the traffic light changes color and you are forced to move on down the avenue toward the job you hold down to pay the mortgage and buy good coffee _ and that health insurance thing.

people looking at each other

Are you looking at me. The city of Sin Folks_ Royal Hopper

True individuals unlike many people they don’t bother with social camouflage or social uniforms. They listen to what they like and dance where and how they like _ they even wave at you and smile when you stare at them.

I get the feeling that there are a lot more of us Sinners who quietly rebel against the requirements of “social culture.” Not as bold as the bus stop dancers above they exercise their individuality from the confines of their car or apartment of home or club protected by all the right social protection >>>>>like a social condoms they put on to avoid being stared at or made fun of by people they don’t know _ but they do it. . . .

In closing I would like to relate an obvious fact Las Vegas is a weird place.

painted street thingie

Tropicana Avenue street art _ Royal Hopper

I had a conversation with an English comic the other day .. We agreed on one thing Las Vegas is the weirdest place on earth. He confessed that he had had enough of the weirdest place on earth and was moving back to Florida where normal weird people like him can function without being bothered by people who don’t make waves they are just them . . . They dance they sing they wave and yes that is life in the City of Sin.

bicycle guy

Just another lonely bike rider in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

 

guy across parking lot

Just another lonely days walk in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

 

Love ya Sinners

Rock The Sin

Later

cityscape okay

You guessed it. The City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

cityscape okay

You guessed it. The City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

place landing

Plane landing in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper 

The Aging Misfit Eats Breakfast

by Royal Hopper

uy waiting at crosswalk

File photo of guy at crosswalk- Royal Hopper

You look over to your right across the morning haze of heavily conditioned and scented Vegas air ignoring the hints of artificial coconut and industrial cleaner, stale cigarette smoke and cheap perfume that always hang in the Vegas air and spot a faded black T shirt with the once rebellious Moniker Misfits.

standard vegas cityscape meh

“Standard Vegas Cityscape” _ Royal Hopper

The Misfits were a Punk Rock band that formed in 1977 as a dark Gothic Rock worshiping cult band from new Jersey. You look up and the face of the man wearing the shirt and you see a surprise ..a rotund gentleman with a brushy gray mustache, bald head and surprisingly quiet demeanor.
Perhaps he is a culture warrior of days gone by brought down by age and appetite. Perhaps he borrowed the shirt from a friend or Offspring (pun intended) to remind himself of his glory days.

The aging rebel notices you out of the corner of his eye and steels himself to react. He shuffles his feet prepares for action _ arches his back and then burps..Shrugs a little perhaps realizing you see his Misfits shirt and was reminded of the decade you both lived thru and don’t miss in the least.

Whatever the case The Misfits fan sat down with a friend in his truck drivers cap short sleeved flannel and unbuttoned so you could his Misfits T. “I was to a rebel and I was young once he seemed to say turning back to his breakfast and the friend who had come back from the casino to join his pudgy gray haired friend.

mountains in the background

Sometimes we forget that The City of Sin is surrounded by hundreds of miles of desert and mountains _ Royal Hopper

Vegas is where the spirit lives on long after the body and mind are to tired to rebel against or indulge in anything ..in the City of Sin your inner drama queen can at least stay awake and show its head now and then. Just ask the man who walked across a local casino in his John Wayne outfit ..ten gallon hat and all. Never mind that “The Duke” went to the great beyond in 1977 or that he was at least 4 inches shorter than old Johnnie was doesn’t matter, near him walked a cowboy and a gunfighter and a few others who wore their inner drama queen like a badge of honor.

Photo posing season is just around the corner as temperatures in the desert begin to rise. Soon tall yellow Big Birds and brightly colored anthropomorphic robots and hello Kitties and a host of other imaginary characters will don their costumes and entice people to pose for pictures with them in return for a modest monetary recompense ( a tip).

Everyone wears a costume of some sort. We all indulge in social uniforms and camouflage. We all dress like something we want to be perceived as or not perceived as. We also all maintain a part of ourselves something we chose to be ..at the corners of our identity. Something that gets us through the day and sometimes gets us a tip.

As you peruse the weirdness of the City of Sin just remember one thing. A rich drunk ahole is a rich drunk ahole is a rich drunk ahole and if you are rich and drunk you are just as much of an ahole as the poor drunk ahole next to you. White, black, Red Brown or Purple when you talk about the pittance the other person makes as an excuse to be an ass. . . .You have declared yourself the same . . .
All you rebels, drama queens and aging Misfits take heart

The City of Sin is here to stay

Life in the City of Sin The Weirdest place on earth

Take Care Sinners

motor cycle at intersection

This is a Las Vegas intersection. At any given time you could see a sign holder, a crazy person and people on their way to work _ Royal Hopper

 

 

Starchild returns to the City of Sin 

 

by Royal Hopper 

 
I saw a woman (I call such people Starchild after my late mother in law) with her eyes closed leaning into the wind chanting to herself _ not caring who was watching. The city ignored her the way it usually does. When she was done chanting she opened her eyes and looked around at the traffic around her _ at the commuters who entranced in their daily commute to the clock punching routines they used to pay their bills and buy insurance barely noticed her antics and if they did _ didn’t notice or simply do what city dwellers do in these situations _ turn up their stereos and look the other way.

people crossing street 2

This is a Las Vegas intersection. At any given time you could see a sign holder, a crazy person and people on their way to work. People here spend a lot of time waiting at such places _ Royal Hopper

There is a tradition in the City of Sin that has taken hold in recent years. Generally it means people are less private about the weirdness that makes them who they are.

Just down the road from this week’s Starchild and a day later a man keeps a look out for his friends staring daggers at passersby as he takes drags on his cigarette smoking it with an intensity hard to describe to us nonsmokers unless you see it. He has thousand yard stare more appropriate to a war zone than playing over-watch for two homeless guys eating dinner. His buddies are calm and don’t seem worried about their purloined repast but wild eyed guy as we shall call him continued to keep a look out crouching _ ready for action as the city bus passed him by. He was ready for anything even if anything didn’t give a rat gluts about his existence.

hey yo

Hey yo _ photo by Royal Hopper

There was a convention of teachers in town this week.

This week in Las Vegas people got naked, people got drunk, people made and lost millions. Some gathered in this the Center of corporative decadence to meet colleagues and do business surrounded by temptation. Some people were conceived some saw their final curtain. Some rose to the occasion and some were brought down forever.
In other words it was an ordinary week in the City of Sin..brothers and sisters except that it rained a little.

the guy talking

talking on a cell phone while waiting _ Photo by Royal Hopper

As for this week’s Starchild or Spirit Caller or New Age Chick _ whatever your preference is _ Maybe she was actually chanting and leaning into the wind to say her dark prayers or maybe she was listening to the music on her phone as she waited for the light on the crosswalk to change but whatever the case _ whatever her prayers was _ a spirit chant or the latest Chick Metal from avante guarde radio the light changed and we both exchanged glances _ Starchild and Story teller and went along our way.

Donnie and Marie

Donnie and Marie _ photo by Royal Hopper

That is life in the City of Sin
Take Care Sinners
Love you guys

DSCF8739

which way do I go. A Sin City commuter ponders the traffic at an intersection – Royal

 

Looking Crazy in Sin City

by Royal Hopper

 

Last week a serious looking Asian business man sat at a lonely booth bobbing his head to music no one else can hear. He stops and looks puts his convention snack tray of seaweed salad, sushi and assorted Asian vegetables and smiles as he takes the hidden sunglasses/ear buds off his head and walks out the back door leaving his glasses sitting on the floor. They were just glasses. The man was listening to his own music the one always playing in his brain. He had taken a $20 pair of shades to listen to that imaginary music and left thousands pf dollars in electronics untouched. Now that the music was over he left the glasses behind and stalked back into his own apparently well paid world.motorcycle
It is an old story _ one that we have talked about many times. Sinners _ residents of the City of Sin _ are very good at making people think they are crazy. We have talked about the skill of practiced crazy. The method many Sin City dwellers have of convincing any on lookers they are nuts either Increasing their appeal as a Sin City drama queen worthy of tipping and taking pictures with or in other cases someone who should be left alone..

Lets start this week’s discussion with a question.

What would you do if the crazy chick you were staring at from the safety of your car _ windows rolled up_ stops screaming at the air for a moment looks over and waves at you with a coy come hither look in their eyes ?
Stayed tuned for the answer.

When you are in Sin City and you see someone talking to invisible people and shouting angry slogans at the wind or petting their long deceased stuffed parrots or laying in the dirt punching at enemies in the sky or telling you in detail about the beloved grandfather they

20150930_064340

Sunset in Sin City _ Photo by Royal Hopper

have been talking to all evening despite the fact he died before they were born. It could be the real thing _ or they could practicing a Sin City tradition popular among those at the edge of sanity.

This past week thousands of smart gadget freaks crossed wires with thousands of salesman of said gadgets and while polite conversation was the rule ..there was some of that Sin City crazy was there in full sic figure force.

 
A lot crazy can get you institutionalized a little crazy can help you be left alone.

That is after all life in the City of Sin

Take care Sinners

Love You Guys

 

Absinthe

A good symbol for Sin City. The kind of sign Sinners can get into – Royal Hopper 

Believers and Sinners in Sin City

 

by Royal Hopper 

 

A man stands alone in the median of a Las Vegas avenue holding his sign high in the air pointing it at every motorists who passes by with passion and pride shouting its slogan at those who get close enough .

guy standing

A Sinner takes it all in on his daily commute _ Royal Hopper 

One car stops ..the driver rolls the window down and stares at the man as he pulls a piece of paper from his pocket with an frustrated flourish. They stare at each other for a second as the tension at the impromptu meeting rises the sign holder is clearly preparing himself to spout the long practiced tag lines of his belief of his cause // the one he has come to the Sin City sidewalk with his carefully painted sign to promote.
“The man in the car speaks first and as the dedicated sign holder prepares a s response the motorists . . .
Asks for directions pointing at the map.

The believer holding the sign replies with his tag line _ unable to stop himself he vents his true believers passion on the motorists who stares at the believer for a moment strokes his scruffy goatee and his reluctant casino workers haircut ..looks at the believer for a moment and the speaks .

building at night

The city at night _ Royal Hopper 

“Right on,” he says rolling with window up part way and rolling his eyes in such an obvious fashion it can be seen from the opposite side of the road. The road has a shoulder a rare thing in the City of Sin and the motorists stops and asks the next pedestrian directions and as he makes a U turn and drives off in the direction indicated turns the heavy metal playing on his car stereo up as loud as it can go and flips the metal head devil horns sign at the sign holding believer as he passes and waves at him,.

Happy New Year (2)

Happy New Year …This is the first New Year’s Eve I spent in Vegas that I didnt work. I drank hot chocolate and counted down with my daughter _ Royal Hopper  

Time and time again the scene plays out in the City of Sin. People hold signs for money are as common as politicians at a fund raiser. People who hold them for beliefs are there too _ but people seldom pay any attention to them. Its tough to make us Sinners give a crap about causes. We are so used to weird and flamboyant you almost have to be good looking and naked to get stared at and even them we probably will not read your sign.

mom and child

Mom and child on a walk in Sin City _ Royal Hopper 

Rumor has it on New Years Eve a group of Christian sign holding protestors nearly got into a brawl with large groups of Sin City revelers and their friends. Rumors say words like whore were used as the Sin City revelers spurred on by Mr Jack Daniels and their girlfriends who had been called whores stepped forward to engage in some New Year’s Eve Sin City brawling.
The tussle was broke up by Las Vegas’ finest because no one with to many brains screws with Sin City PD for very long.

This was the exception. Mostly us Sinners just don’t give a crap about causes. We all have our beliefs but we just don’t have the patience to force them on others and our city most certainly does not.. . . .

That’s life in the City of Sin Brothers and Sisters
Rock on

2015 good bye and Good Riddance

Rivier sign

One of the things we lost in 2015 The Riv finally closed after 60 -years

2015 was a lot like an old car. You are grateful to have it ..but glad when you finally get a new one.

By Royal Hopper
Once a man who was being walked out of casino for not having any money and not taking a bath regularly and wearing the same clothes every day (he was homeless) paused as he reached the door of the old Riviera. Hotel/casino and looked around pensively. His expression changed from one of practiced pretend craziness to genuine sadness and nostalgia.

“I am going to miss this old place,” he said a small tear seeming to form in the corner of his eye. “I used to come here in better days,” he murmured. “You know brother. . . “ he said looking at the security guard who was escorting him out. Both the guard ..they call them officers now I guess. . . and the reprobate were old hands at the game they were playing and to them it wasn’t personal . It was the life they both chose out of necessity, bad luck and the dual vagaries of fate and morally uncertain men. They were not angry at each other it was the game.

elvis slept here2

a relic of old Vegas taken summer 2915

“Yeah man. My Mom worked here for awhile years ago,” the guard said gesturing toward the nearest door out of long habit. I used to come here a night sometimes when I was bored and play quarter mania and video games and eat at the Burger King.”

“Yeah brother,” the reprobate said shaking his head but stopping his hand from patting the guard on the shoulder knowing from experience that grabbing a guard was a no no when being escorted out of a Sin City casino.

“I will miss her too,” the guard said stepping back as the reprobate continued walking toward the door _ knowing he would be back when the guards shift was over and was once again just an anonymous dirty, poorly dressed face in a crowd.

EDC sign

EDC 2015 Photo by Royal Hopper

After the man left the guard looked around a bit stroked his red and gray goatee in thought and then keyed his radio mike and reported that the reprobate had indeed left the property. “Yeah man I will miss her to..” he said looking at his watch as if somehow the hands had sped up and were moving faster in there inevitable countdown of time.. So long 2015. You were a bitch sometimes but you had class.

blow up doll

Fair is Fair _ File Photo Royal

************************************************************************ In the larger non human sense of the word the closing of the 60-year old Riviera Hotel/Casino with all its history was a big part of the year 2015 in Sin City. Overall it was a rough year in the City of Sin. Google it We lost people We lost friends.

Google it https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=2015+in+review+las+vegas&start=0

http://bestoflasvegas.com/winners

More than 42 million people visited the City of Sin..
Politics took certain stage in the latter part of the year with candidates of every sort wooing Sinners to their cause. The country’s biggest Rave hit town once again taking up the entertainment torch left un kept acts like the Grateful Dead were to old even for Vegas . The CES, MAGIC, Grand Prix racing and SEMA were among the Alphabet soup of conventions that graced the City of Sin in 2015.

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Christmas week in Sin City

samstowm x mas show

Some of us Sinners watch the Christmas show at Samstown hotel/casino Wednesday _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The Glories of Neon Christmas or Merry Christmas Sinners

By Royal Hopper 

This Christmas I watched an animatronic bear with a Santa hat dance I ate dinner with my family. I opened presents and exchanged awkward hugs with people I love and talked about the good old days with feigned gusto while my dogs tore apart the stuffed animals we bought them.

xmas eve dinner 2 better

Christmas dinner at my house _ Photo by Royal Hopper

It was Christmas like it is in millions of households in millions of homes across the country.

The City of Sin itself was the same wonderful weird place it always has been.

Twas the night before Christmas and the casinos were full
If you think gamblers go home for X-Mas your full of Bull

I saw a man riding a skating board across a pedestrian crosswalk in an expensive suits talking on his cell. My daughter says he was a hipster. I guess it is a good thing I saw him coming and didn’t step on the gas. Perhaps I was taken by the Christmas spirit
Perhaps I remembered those times I was a wannabe cool guy _ long hair, slick shirts and blue jeans faded just right.

animatronics

One of the Samstown Christmas show cast shows off his Christmas beanie _ Photo by Royal

There was another cell talker pulled over in the corner lane of a busy highway sitting on his scooter decked out in head to toe in slick black leather talking on his cell phone intently as traffic whizzed past him on the elevated highway.

I witnessed a woman walking on the sidewalk and talking on her cell loud enough so that I could hear it 30 feet away ..in a closed car with the windows rolled up and the radio playing at an audible level. I felt sorry foe the dude on the other end because he was getting a ration of pre Christmas crap from this lady and her cell. I don’t know what it was with people with people on their cell phones this week but it was weird.

That being said you could also surmise the week leading up to Christmas in Sin City was somehow different than other parts of the country_ You would be wrong.

kuma playing

Dogs love Christmas as evidenced by this 85 pound pooch dancing with joy at her bevy of new Christmas dog toys _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Mostly it is the same..Cheesy Christmas themed laser light shows, decorations strung up around the city .. Christmas parties everyone hates except the drunks ..who mostly just don’t remember why the picked the fight that got them kicked out of the party.

Walk across a casino on Christmas Day people say Merry Christmas as they throw off their coats and belly up to the bar or the roulette table or the chick named Snowball who is going to roll them later on that evening.

It is not bad movie or a bad trip.. It is just life in the City of Sin.

Rock On Sinners
Merry Christmas
Love You guys