The Pyramids of Vegas
By Michael A. Hicks
The Eiffel Tower looks down upon you with an eye of arrogance, knowing that you are mesmerized and already within its control. You spin around to look for a familiar face, and there she is, the Lady Liberty. She welcomes you in from the heat, promising you riches that you both know will never be attained. So you run south, hoping to escape her charm and warm invitations, only to be ensnared in the lion’s den gaze of the Sphinx.
There is only one place in which you can visit Paris, New York City, a pyramid, and a beach in one afternoon. Las Vegas.
Movies, music, stories, and countless television specials have sought to discover the truth about Las Vegas. They point to the strippers, buffets, shows, machines, and neon to explain the city’s appeal. Vegas is all of those things, yet none of them at the same time.
Las Vegas is a child’s dream, transposed onto the mind of adults across the world. As kids, people see the world as large and mysterious, a place where buildings and people loom like giants. A place where sights and sounds serve as a carnival to the senses. As we grow older, we lose that sense of wonderment and awe. We become privy to the man behind the curtain, and all the magic is lost.
Except for Vegas. The city is a last bastion for the disenchanted and disillusioned. In Vegas, everything is bigger. The people are more beautiful. The sounds are louder and sights are brighter. The buildings tower over people, as did the pyramids of ancient history.
That is what Vegas means to the millions that make a pilgrimage there every year. Sure, people travel to Vegas to fulfill certain carnal desires, but the deepest and strongest desire of all is to dream again. Vegas allows us to believe that we are children, if only for a few days.
Caesar’s Palace, the Venetian, MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Mirage flank the boulevard, creating a valley of lost souls, immersed in the spectacle and the promise of a good time. Civilizations of the past built monuments to be monumental, a way in which the people could show the world their strength, ingenuity, and constructive prowess. Gone are the days of the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. Now only Vegas attempts to quench that fire.
Vegas hotels are the modern day pyramids, most clearly realized when the Luxor rose up to the heavens as an actual replica of a pyramid, cementing its place along the Strip with the other modern wonders.
Next time you are in Vegas, stand back and breathe in the architectural masterpieces of excess and adult dreams. Never in one place will you view the future and the past merged together in such a dance of decadence and transcendence.