Look, notice, remember move on

by Royal Hopper

Often in the city of sin you will glance at someone sleeping on the sidewalk and let your glaze linger on their plight in the few seconds you have to spare before the light turns green and you forge onwards to the mortgage paying endeavor that occupies most of your week. In your mind you give him a name like “Fred” and every day as you think “oh there is Fred sleeping on the side walk again.” Then one day Fred is not there and he never reappears. Eventually you pick a new landmark to notice like say Johnny who sleeps on a different block until one day Johnny is not there sleeping in his usual spot and you don’t see him again. This happens again and again and again because it is human nature to notice things and then move on a defense mechanism perhaps. Is it right ?? Is it wrong?? I don’t know. But it is true and you know it.

Veteran residents of the City of Sin (I’m not sure if we actually have citizens) develop a blissful “unawareness” of their environment. Most don’t see the unfortunate sleeping under benches or someone simply sleeping off the previous night’s adventures in a part of town even locals usually avoid. Staring at the beer bottle they hold as if it was talking to them and revealing the secrets of the universe that lie in its glassy brown bottom.

Las Vegas never really gets back to normal because it doesn’t really have one except for the eternal cycle of look, notice remember and move on. We Sinners are not bad people. We just understand they way things actually work and except it for what it is. We can deal because we know that is how it is in the City of Sin.

Love You Sinners

It is a Rock Concert dont over think it

The Courage of Desperation.

They say courage is the ability to act calmly despite the fear you may feel

I have noted several kinds of courage not directly inspired by fear.. There is the courage of performance, the courage of familiarity and the courage of desperation. 

Gunfight at Oatman Arizona Act last month by Royal

Desperation can be a kind of courage. When you have nothing maybe you are less afraid of losing what you have.

A man sits in the intersection on the thin median on a busy Las Vegas street wherein many drivers are likely intoxicated or otherwise chemically distracted .

His legs are stretched out in front of him ..his hands by his side relaxed and apparently unconcerned occasionally straightening the corners of his red long sleeved  T that had probably  seen its better days when it was made in the 90s .

Skid Row opened for Scorpions last Month by Royal;

There are cars to his left and to his right in front and behind and he is not worried. He looks like he is sitting in a board room waiting impatiently for his cruelty free turkey sandwich with fat free mayo kale and keto friendly cheese ..and why would he worry. It doesnt look like he has anything to worry about losing …Perhaps he doesnt and that why he doesnt fear losing anything.

Like most modern people . I like having stuff. I like having a car, having decent clothes, having a great wife and a great home to come home to. 

When I was young I could fit everything I actually owned in my 72 Oldsmobile Cutlass . There was much less to worry about but somehow I find that I have things to protect I am much braver at least in that regard. The courage of performance and familiarity are much more straight forward.

If you have to act brave and you know how you do it because it is expected, beneficial and because you like an audience and to keep the audience you need to have some courage . Lastly if you know what you are supposed to do and say you can do it more easily and with more courage because that is how the human animal is bult.

The Scorpions last set at a recent las Vegas Concert

Change is eternal give yourself credit or


by Royal M Hopper III

As a child did you ever open a box of brand new cereal with a shiny and a pretty toy prize inside only to find out it was really the same old thing in
a different box with a different wrapper. In the end there is only so much you can do corn, oats and sugar. Its still basically the same thing.

People and cities are much like that. If they change for the better or worse its a likely because underneath they were always that way.

A sinner walks the streets of the City with a kind of mask: Photo by Royal

Two weeks after the mask mandate has been lifted a struggled to decipher how the City had changed and then over the course of a few days
driving to my mortgage paying endeavor realized what a silly twit I was being. Underneath the costumes it wears the City is the City is the City.

Photo by Royal

Now granted The shadow of winter had hung over the City of Sin like the masks we were required to wear were like
a badly matched outfit worn by a brash child on his way to impress his friends or like an old uniform on an athlete that had long outlived his playing days. The City had always been brash and obvious unapologetic of its loud crass ways _ and wore its reputation as the
City of Sin like a badge of honor or a carnation in a Villains pin stripe suit in an old film noir gangster flick. The masks seemed almost unnaturally humble for this brash no apologies city.

As I made the daily commute to the first day back at my mortgage paying endeavor I began to fall back into old habits by actually noticing the people who were walking the streets pf the City of Sin
Then as the usual assortment of non descript locals passed by a strange sight hit my jaded Sin City trained eyes.

He is shaggy with a full scraggily beard and long shaggy hair that would have fit in nicely at Woodstock had his grandfather not been a teenager when it took place. He wears a plain black blanket over his shirtless shoulders and wears dark colored generic dollar store pants.
He is in many ways The opposite of the City of Sin_ plain poor and desperate _ pathologically humble and numb and lost.

This is not an add. Im not that clever. Its to show there is always politics even in Sin City. Photo by Royal

Not wishing any attention to his plight and averting his eyes from any gaze that happens to come his way and perhaps as his brain clears away whatever
fog was covering its damaged corners realizes he is walking down the a Sin City street with no shirt in the winter time. Had he stopped and walked over to my plain blue Kia
I had planned to simply sway back and forth and speak gibberish until he figured I was another hallucination and stalked back into the haze of his lost world.
He wore no mask. he didnt even have a shirt and it was winter so I guess he figured whats the point. “What are you going to do arrest me,” his attitude
seemed to day.

A little further down the road a patch work Ragged Ann Doll of a woman walks. She is obviously in a similar situation but instead of plain she wears a patch work of layered clothing
as armor against the cold desert wind. The top layer is some kind of wool house coat/robe pastel and earth tone plaid, mismatched blue jeans and a colorful collection of shirts and jackets all tucked in and sensible. She carries herself much like the city does, a colorful patchwork of bold, proud colors and no apologies for her condition or caring about the stares she may draw. “Yeah what about it,” her very carriage seems to say. She wore no mask perhaps sensing the mandate would soon be lifted or perhaps because it clashed with the house robe and left over cast offs she was clad in. She would wrap her house coat sleeves around her face as people approached_ perhaps as a courtesy.

There is another who looks like an artist hurriedly making notes and taking photos ..lost in the bright chaos of the City of Sin bathing in its wonderful apathy absently mindedly pulling up his pants as a passing child leans forward from his mothers arms to point at his protruding underwear. He snaps the
photo and absent mindedly pulls at the mask on his chin but leaves his underwear exposed. He wears a mask it is brightly colored like an abstract painting.
He is much like the City brightly colored, talented and built to entertain and a little paranoid.

At yet another corner an older woman from a far gone era stares around the City of Sin. Her clothes indicate she has some money and has enjoyed some success in life
but the city clearly frightens her but for some reason she cant turn away from its abstract canvas of tragic stories. “Get away you scare me,” one glance then ” No wait don’t leave,”
her attitude seems to say. She wears her mask like armor or social cammo and slaps the hand of a stranger way as it endeavors to touch her masking event.

Some people still wore masks some for their health _ to fend off the pandemic that had raged throughout the nation and some because the governor said so.
Now the mandate is gone lifted by that self same worthy and the face of the Sin City Denizens was once again exposed to the world.
You know what it didn’t make the slightest difference. The City of Sin is still the City of Sin masked or unmasked.

The City doesn’t change unless it wants too. If you have changed somehow against the odds. You are much like the City of Sin. It was always inside you whatever mask
you wore before the change happed because you will it. Give yourself credit for that. It wasn’t the winds of fate or the will of heaven. You did that

Sinners that is life in the City of Sin

This was taken five years ago and it is just to show the city is the City is the City


by Royal Hopper

There is a unique kind of resilience to this city _ the City of Sin. It is a kind of attitude that is both a brilliant apathy a hyper sensitivity to the world around it.

We know there is a pandemic for instance and taking precautions like wearing a mask will bring the tourists back eventually so we do it _ not because we are afraid but because our Sin City pragmatism says it is necessary. Be sure of one thing though we will continue to be who we are mask/social distancing and all because the people of this strangely dysfunctional city understands what it means to walk and chew gum at the same time.

A cyclist and a walker at a Sin City intersection waiting to cross photo by Royal

I like to take photos. I dont pretend to be an artist but I have had a few published. This week end I picked up my Rebel T6 and started taking photos. In an attempt to walk and chew gun at the same time I stayed in the car and took photos at the intersections.

I have no idea what this guy was doing but he looks lonely Photo by Royal

The city looked much as it always did. Some people looked lonely …some people looked lost…some seemed filled with purpose and others just taking up space. The times had changed but the City of Sin hadnt not really and the Sinners who live there still dealt with it in much the same way. If you miss the City we are still here and mask or no mask is still the City of Sin.

Take Care Sinners

Just another Sin City Citizen photo by Royal

The beauty and falseness of Sunrises

The beauty and falseness of Sunrises

by  Royal Hopper

You are drive down a sparsely populated Sin City commuter roadway on your way home from your daily mortgage paying endeavor and notice the brilliant sunrise filtering over the mountainous horizon and through the buildings and houses of the city that is both the world’s realest and its phoniest city.

Daylight savings time has not lifted its anachronistic head and the sun is beginning to sink behind those self same mountains. It is beautiful. As it always is.

Something catches your eye as you pull to a stop at a traffic light. A homeless man looks up from his makeshift bedroom of soiled sleeping bags and linen and pillows likely stolen from a local hotel or from the trash, seems to moan squint at the unwelcome light streaming through his eyes and perhaps at the possibility of lower temperatures and rolls over covering himself with the filthy sleeping bag and attempting to get at least a little sleep before the winter chill sets in. The sun and the earth are empirical things whose existence cannot doubted by anyone except a few who overindulge in cannabis or the few who genuinely think burning man is a lame bourgeois tribute to sobriety. Sunrises and sunsets are a creation of humanity.
I have always had a certain mild obsession with sunrises and sunsets ..Perhaps it is a natural human reaction to growing up in small refinery towns that did not have much else to offer besides the occasional spots of natural beauty and incredible sunrises …Perhaps it is in reaction to the starkly beautiful sunrises and sunsets of my adopted desert city, the City of Sin. Perhaps but whatever the case sunrises and sunsets in their purest definition are not real.

The sun doesn’t set. The sun is the center of the solar system. The earth revolves around the sun and it rotates on its own axis. We cannot see it for 10 to 12 hours but it is always there because if it wasn’t the earth would freeze and die within minutes. The sun doesn’t set…The earth does…but the illusion is beautiful.

It is beautiful and as long as you understand that the value of beauty lies only in the moment and that for some people it is simply a fact they have to deal with then admiring that beauty is a good and hopeful thing, an unspoken promise of the new day and the possibility. 

Admiring sunrises and sets is both beauty and folly both admirable and in excess despicable.

It is admirable in that it means you can appreciate beauty that is right in front of you and it becomes despicable if you believe it excuses you from living in the real world and dealing with its problems..

a sunset 2.JPG
Just remember that in the end it is not a real thing ..the beauty lies in your ability to admire it and move on. Show the beauty to your friends and children and then come down to earth and live within the real possibilities of this earth. Also take joy in the smile of your children and the home you provide for them and in the frowns they give when they don’t get their way and you know you have done the right thing. Live for this day and the next and don’t get so hung up on the beauty of sunrises and sunsets that you forget to live in this moment and in this day …
The Sun is the Sun and for better or worse will continue with or without your admiration
That’s life in the City of Sin
Love you Sinners take care


Be the best you _ you can be or My trip to Culture and History nerd Paradise

Be the best you _ you can be or My trip to Culture and History nerd Paradise
by Royal Hopper
“Occupation,” I asked holding the trespass information card in my hand trying to be polite and stern at the same time. “Come on,” said the heavily perfumed and overdressed woman eager to be done with the interview. “I’m a ho,” she said as if stating the obvious.
That was more than 20 years ago and I can still remember it like it was yesterday because of the garish honesty this woman displayed in this long ago memory is a lot like my City the City of Sin. It is honest about itself which is something to be respected if not admired.


A weird building side mural of tourists and locals that is looked and taken pictures by tourists and locals. Even when they are weird and geeky Canadians are classy -Royal Hopper

Las Vegas is as obvious as a cheap call girl or a work of abstract art. It is garish loud and bright and at the same time time shallow and dedicated to pleasing impulses and desires at a price. It is seldom used for other purposes by the people who visit it and those who live and work here often got other places to relax..other places like Quebec have a history that is steeped in actual events and culture centuries old and part of a great colonial movement of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Both places put on a show about their obvious qualities and offer no apologies about being honest about who they are. IMG_6685.JPG
There are many varied approaches to parting a tourist from his or her hard earned vacation money one like the Vegas approach is loud, garish and brightly colored decadent honesty and one like the Canadian is quaint, cultural and comfortable as if to say ..yeah were culture nerds who know how to have fun and how to handle ourselves if necessary.
The point of all this is that there is no point …just be the best version of yourself you can and screw what anyone thinks about it …If your Vegas ( a loud obvious colorful party animal) be the best Vegas you …If your a Quebec culture nerd be the best version of that you can.

That is a life lesson from the City of Sin…..

Love You Sinners



Canadian Vacation


Coastal Canada ….. Royal Hopper

A few months ago I was vacationing in a beautiful civilized place having a wonderful time and hadn’t noticed the idiot circling the tables in the Canadian mall until my wife had pointed him out. As I saw the bearded tweaker circling the small group of tables in Coastal Canada my Sin City Radar went off like a klaxon on a ship in a bad WWII movie .
Then I sighed and pulled my camera bag closed to me and started him right in the eye with my best “Im local don’t even think about jackass,” look which even though I was damn near 3000 miles (I didn’t actually count but 3,000 sounds cool) away from home seemed to do the trick and the man targeted someone else. “Ah well,” there are assholes in every walk of life and every country even in civilized Canada. I really loved our cruise and will get into the positive aspects in future blogs but I had to get this off my chest first.

adventures of seas 2.jpg
My Vacation

by Royal Hopper

First I would like to say I had a wonderful time on the cruise my wife and I took down the Canadian east coast …It was the first time in months I had relaxed even a little …and there was only one time my Sin City asshole alarm went off during that vacation. Every Island big or small was amazing ..the people were friendly, the prices reasonable by Vegas standards and most importantly for an American the food was tasty. Lets face it we like to eat and will always notice bad food.
I think it was on Halifax Nova Scotia or it could have been Sidney _ I don’t recall exactly.

We were tired from walking and shopping and stopped in the local version of an indoor mall to grab a bite and reorient ourselves. I almost didnt notice the hyper stoned looking bald bearded tweaker “reconing” our tables and walking in an ever tightening circle looking at our stuff. My wife spotted him ..20 -years in casino security and it was my slot manager wife who spotted this idiot “reconing” out table. Now he might have been mall walking and just desperately in need of caffeine but I doubt it …nahhh he was looking for stuff to take.
As mention above I generally don’t panic when I see someone who is up to no good … I have just seen it to many times. So i gave him the look gripped my stuff tighter and sighed as I left the area.
Even in the most civilized of places there are bad people who want to take your stuff and does give a crap how hard you had to work to get it. As I watched the man pace around the interior of a Canadian mall and actually paid attention I knew instantly from 20 years working security in Vegas casinos he was both stoned and looking to steal something from someone.IMG_6835.JPG
He was not mall walking.
One of the great things about living and working in this City is that you are not surprised when people suck…and sometimes they do even in a civilized place where the people are generally there is always at least one asshole to watch out for….
Life and life lessons in the City of Sin…
Love you Sinners


An actor at a historical tells the Canadian side of that period in history -Royal Hopper



A homeless camp that once occupied an un-landscaped Russel Road in the City of Sin. It is gone now and I dont know what happened to its owner _ Royal Hopper

Your here and then …your gone

by Royal Hopper


You walk into the room with trepidation slightly behind the people who accompany you _ the stale smells of humaness of body odor, stale socks and life lost hanging in the air… The remains of a meal and two large drinks sit stale on the counter in the back of the room,. The red brown traces of food smelling of stale potatoes and sauce and onions sit on e the center of plate
The lemons in the tall glasses are just starting to turn a little brown and the ice long since melted and either drunk or evaporated. There are bits of personal property here and there but the room is sparse and somewhat Spartan.IMG_6615.JPG
You look to the right (cant be more exact privacy reasons) and see some blood .. This was someone’s last day on earth. That day they enjoyed room service and two tall lemon filled glasses of some Vegas style drink a day of gambling and then they were gone.
One thing living in the City of Sin has taught me is that life and the end of life isn’t like in the movies most of the time. One minute your a person with hopes and desires, favorite foods, favorite drinks, a favorite TV show favorite shoes …a history and stories to tell and then suddenly your gone …invisible ..a thing now ….
Later that day you see a young man walking across some place the law says he is not supposed to be …everyone watches as you politely tell the young man’s parents he cant be in the casino because everyone notices youth and the power of youth and potential. They even notice the 30 something couple walking across the casino sarcastically overdressed and rolling their eyes at the “peasants” who notice them. From their conversations they are not geniuses and may be as dumb as rocks . They are not invisible and are not gone.
Still later an older man at the bar is obviously sick and cannot tend to himself. He immediately gets attention from the staff of the hotel/casino and from surrounding friends . They call him coach and are clearly worried about him. He is not invisible …..
back to the empty room.

As you enter the room your companions who are much higher on the casino food chain look to you for reassurance and obviously nervous about the routine but unnerving part of their job they must now do. You manage a fake nod of bored confidence out of years of practice…but the sights in that quiet stale room will stay with you for decades to come. You leave the room realizing you have seen a dark Gothic painting of someone’s last day in the City of Sin …one that will be cleaned up and ready to be rented to someone else’s memorable decadent day in the City that’s for its own survival has learned to be cold and distant ..to smile reassuringly and pretend to know the answers pretend to be untouched.
I cant tell you precisely where this happened for privacy reasons but suffice it to say it was in one of the 100,000 hotel rooms in the City of Sin. It is a constant melodrama here… People come here near the end perhaps wanting one last fit of decadence before the reaper comes to claim them or perhaps just out of habit if their youth and then they are gone … just gone….

That’s life and death in the City of Sin
Love You Sinners Rock on

The dichotomy of decay and memory


What city has a giant tortoise as its mascot ask Bullhead City, Arizona–Royal

To remember and forget


by Royal Hopper


You see an older woman in a yesteryears outfit clutching something in her time worn hands using all the strength that remains in her to hold onto it. Exhausted she stops and looks at it tears welling up in her eyes as the memories it calls up flood into her world weary mind and then looks at the bag in her other hand that contains a bottle perhaps cigarettes and candy and a few other things.

She opens the hand that holds the sacred object that is clutched between her palm and a tall thin drink glass lets out a heavy sigh and walks over to a counter setting the small object down on it. She takes a sip of the drink as if she plans to finish it off and pick up the object again realizing instantly that this is an impossible idea. She looks at the object and at the bag of goodies and then turns and begins to walk away from it with a sigh.
She gets three of four steps toward the elevators and stops in her tracks the memories apparently overwhelming her. She turns slowly in a half circle clearly summoning most of her remaining strength to do so and drops the bag on the ground near a trash can shuffles over to the counter picks up the item and shuffle toward the elevator with the drink in one hand and the beloved item in another.

A kind passerby in a uniform picks up the item and offers to help her transport it to her room. She takes a breath steadying herself by putting her wrinkled hand on the the man’s suited shoulder and gives him a reassuring thank you but no pat takes a deep breath and continues on her way..the memories and the kind offer giving her the strength she needs to take it to safety.
the item was just a trinket of some by gone day with a tiny photo stuck in one corner worth very little. Some things are just worth preserving …They both think as they part ways.IMG_6451.JPG

Beware the spin, the myth and the half truths
I once wrote or started to write a dystopian future in which my city The City of Sin was falling apart. I described it as looking like the corpse of a giant celestial neon dragon covered with beautiful murals and graffiti had crashed to the earth scattering its neon scales across the dry dusty sand covered furnace like landscape. People still came to it I wrote ..to marvel at its former beauty and revel in the beautiful ugliness of its desert tomb..The city of Sin was now a mockery of its former self. The bright colors of its past struggling to stand out underneath under the weight of decade long neglect and tons of dust, desert sand, sun baked glass and dry rotted plastic.
I was in a desperate mood at the time and writing this was a way of expressing my dissatisfaction with the city I love.

The joy experienced to see such an incredible thing like the City of Sin brought to its end is a perverse part of the human psyche. One day when this finally happens if it does …people will come from miles around to marvel at its former glory and gain joy from the fact that such a powerful monster is still there and they are there to see it..I defy you to prove me wrong and would be grateful to be proven so.

Now to the point 

The most basic choice of life is this make the effort to preserve something or let it die and marvel at its corpse …
Sometimes it is as simple as this. Sometimes a thing is beautiful and worth preserving regardless of its weight in gold.
Sometimes and a thing whatever its worth in currency is just not worth the sacrifice or resources it takes to keep it standing….

This is a choice we make every day. Sometimes its a simple choice sometimes tragic.

How does it apply to this city. There is an ugly beauty in this city _ a bright garish ruthlessness that somehow accepts everybody who has money to spend ….beautiful in its acceptance and ugly in the fact that it really just wants your money and will eat you alive if you stay to long after you have nothing to give or take.
Beautiful in the memories it can provide …ugly in the predators it attracts… Beautiful in the tiny bits of culture it preserves ugly in what it can bring out in people.


Thats life in the City of Sin

Love You Sinners