Friday, April 18, 2014

It's a Kids World

Lately I have been thinking about childhood. If your childhood was anything like mine, you grew up in a neighborhood filled with (what was then thought of as) middle class homes, maybe even middle-lower class, either way, it was a multi-ethnic neighborhood filled with people of all ages and varying religions.

Each weekday morning, children lumbered and meandered towards school while parents drove off in their automobiles to their respective careers. Some of us had an idea about what our parents truly did day in and day out in order to keep the lights on and the kids fed, but mostly parents existed on a different plane than the children of the neighborhood.

The parents came and left our world with regular frequency.

The Kids, if you will, had an extensive network of news and happenings all throughout the neighborhood in which parents were all but oblivious.

An adult’s world consisted of their household, their jobs, their commute to their jobs, grocery stores and figuring out “what’s for dinner?” and maybe what’s on TV every night. Grown ups were seldom interested in the goings on within the kid world.

The Kids know who just moved in or who just moved out, where the scary dogs live, who just had kittens, who got beat up on their way home from school, were they crying or not, where the big piles of leaves are or where to find the trees with ripe fruit.

Do you remember such a time?

Who do you feel more like today, the child or the adult?

I was thinking about these memories most recently because it occurred to me that I am The Kid, once again.

For a minute I had become the adult, but ever since getting rid of both of our vehicles and opting to walk most destinations (which are all mostly within 1.5 miles from our home), I have returned to the wonder-filled Kid World.

It appears to have been the automobile altering our universe all along.

Now that we live in an area that we can walk to our destinations, we are able to observe our surroundings and take in the small things that all the grown ups are missing. We have countless friends up and down every street in our urban neighborhood who wave a friendly hello or stop to chat as we pass by. Some of these people are shopkeepers, some of them are what you might quickly generalize as "homeless", (we prefer the term "outdoorsman"), while still others are complete strangers who see us everyday and are compelled to pull over their vehicle just to tell us how lovely we are. Believe it or not, that has happened on more than one occasion.

This feeling of belonging within my community takes me back to my childhood when life was far less rushed and directed more to enjoying the moment right now for what it is.

I have so many friends who seem to have forgotten the simple pleasure of walking. People who got a driver’s license as a teenager and just never looked back. I remember the humiliation of being a walking teenager while the cool kids would speed by in their own cars laughing all the way.

Back then, the automobile was a serious right-of-passage one had to reach before even being considered to be a whole person.

I understand the desperate need for youth to be “taken seriously”, at least in their own eyes, and the necessity of feeling like a real grown up. I get that. I was that person.

At some point, it all just became so exhausting; the insurance, the gasoline, the maintenance.

How much am I laboring simply to maintain this vehicular status symbol?

Compound this idea with the fact that every dollar I am spending on maintaining this vehicle is going directly to industries and companies that I abhor, whether they be insurance companies, oil companies or douchie mechanics.

We have it in our collective conscious somehow that these atrocious industries are “necessary evils” in our society.

I, myself, am quite sick and tired of necessary evils.

Although your results may vary, since shedding our automobiles, so many advertisements have been rendered useless. The ads keep coming and you really don’t realize how much of our world is auto-based until you are out of your auto.

In the mail, you have smog check coupons, ads for tires, used car sales events, etc.,

On television, there is a nonstop onslaught of insurance companies competing to save you a dollar on this presumably mandatory obligation, auto dealers liquidating their inventory, innumerable ads from manufacturers themselves along with safer tires, brakes, and the like.

Then, of course, are your gas stations conveniently located around every corner along with mechanic shops- these things don’t fix themselves.

Inside the markets are scented trees for your automobile and never-ending lines of products that have been altered for auto comfort; your bluetooth, your specially designed cup holder cup, sun visor attachments designed for easy access while driving.

And let’s not forget dude….. Food designed to be eaten while driving.

So many inventions that are completely useless to me, due to my decision to say No.

No, I do not need to earn an extra $600-1000 per month that I can contribute to reprehensible industries that are poisoning our planet as well as ourselves.


So you won’t think that I’m a loser?

For the convenience of driving to Del Taco on a whim?

I can see that it is the whimsical behavior that most people seem to be addicted to.

When I want something, I really need it and I need it right now, no questions asked.

This is very childish behavior. You might NEED to get to a hospital now and again, but I seriously doubt that you NEED a cheeseburger.

You might be asking yourself some basic questions like:

How do you get groceries?

How do you get to work?

Pick up your kids? Etc.,

First off, I don’t have any children and do not plan on having them, so yes, right there you could probably shut down and assume that your kids need your car. Fine. I’m not arguing with anyone over here. This is just my tale.

My partner and I walk to work (less than half a mile) each way. In the event that we have heavy objects to transport or inclement weather, we take the bus. Two people, one way equals $4.

Groceries? Of course, the G D groceries!? Vehicle or no vehicle, I highly recommend ordering your groceries online. I use VONS, but I am sure there are others. I can sit with my list of items that I need and fill my cart online, select a delivery window, pay online and just sit back and wait for the grocery man to wheel all of my goods up to my door. In many cases, the store offers free delivery but even if I had to pay $6.99 for delivery, it would still be completely worth it. Note: their drivers are not allowed to accept tips.

While there is little to zero chance of our society moving toward independence from automobiles at least in the foreseeable future, there is still a lot of room for individuals to free themselves from the clutches of this vehicular octopus,

We did not always have such a simple life. We took deliberate steps to create this lifestyle for ourselves.

If you have a desired way-of-life that you are not currently fulfilling, I would suggest taking personal inventory on what aspects of your life take priority.

Next, stop accepting “necessary evils” in your life.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Como Me Encanta

I do not intend for this to be a food-centric blog, but food is something we all need, so it can also be the great denominator.

Hopefully, for your own sake, you read the earlier post, “Where I Eat”, a veritable gold mine in local dining awesome spots.

In “Where I Eat”, I praised Los Molcajetes for being thee most amazing mexican fare you are going to find ANYWHERE. This is true, we do love us some Molcajetes.

Yet, there is and almost always has been something lacking from Las Vegas Mexican food/restaurants- DELIVERY.

I have no doubt that you, reading this right now, have a list or even a drawer full of delivery restaurants in your kitchen (or similar) at home. You have your favorite pizza place and thai restaurants, maybe chicken wings, traditional Americana, etc.,

But WHERE are the Mexican delivery restaurants?

12 or so years ago, I would get delivery from a little place called La Familia ( located at Jones/US 95), which later became Mi Familia and later still became a vacancy.

That place was amazingly authentic, including “weekend cures” of menudo, pozole, barbacoa and the like. Mmm mmm… nothing like getting a piping hot pozole delivered to your door on Sunday morning.

Neither here nor there.

Ten years have gone by, but now, finally….

We have discovered an all out fantastic Mexican restaurant THAT DELIVERS!!!

To be certain, we have ordered from them 4 times in the past week, trying different menu items and here I sit today overjoyed to share the good news- LOS HUICHOLES.

I queue up mariachi music while we devour our tacos and burritos, chips and salsas, as to enhance the experience.

The food is incredibly authentic AND affordable. AFFORDABLE TOO???


$0.99 mini tacos (buy half a dozen or more at least)
$3.99 breakfast burritos
$4.99 burritos (choice of several meats)
All kinds of Mexican family specialties, a full veggie menu and full American menu (with burgers, fries, cheese steaks, wings, that kind of thing) to boot.

As with most all delivery restaurants, you are going to be limited to your radius (aka distance from the restaurant).

Los Huicholes is located at 546 N Eastern Ave, and their delivery area is roughly 3 miles. Great news for downtown Las Vegas (as we get delivered to all the way over at I-15/Oakey Ave).

It gets better.

No habla espanol? No problemo.

We discovered this beautiful treasure of a restaurant while perusing, a website dedicated to getting you whatever type of grub you like delivered to your door.

Browse the full menu and complete your order, even pay using paypal, google wallet or credit card online. No miscommunication due to verbal translation errors.

It does tend to take about 75 minutes for delivery.

The extra 30-45 minutes to wait for food from Los Huicholes (opposed to other delivery restaurants) is like a meditation, preparing oneself for the glory one is about to recieve. It makes the food taste that much better.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Main Street/18b Roundup


I don't like to get overly eager or excited about all the rumors swirling around this place because that can be disappointing in the end.

Except this time, these promises appear much more realistic, even the ones that sound like ridiculous pipe dreams.

Hop Nuts/Makers and Finders
Beer and Coffee making their way to Main Street. Construction has been going on bit by bit for some time and things look like they still have a way to go but keep your eyes peeled for this building to reshape the entire feel of South Main St in the near future.

Buffalo Exchange
Patina Decor and Skin City have both vacated their Main Street storefronts and until now we had no idea who, what or why was to come but now we have received believable testimony that the mother of all recycled fashion stores will be taking residency in the spaces left vacant by the two aforementioned boutiques. We noticed the dividing wall being demolished as we passed by yesterday morning (and there is a chance that they will be added to the next Antique Alley map ahead of their actual arrival).

UPDATE: The wall has been removed!

Rockin Bettie
Directly across the street from the forthcoming Buffalo Exchange, (where Better Than New lifestyle boutique pulled anchor several weeks ago), Rockin Bettie, formerly a kiosk inside the Meadows Mall as well as a mobile fashion-vending trailer and online store, is speedily making 1216 S Main Street her/their own.

Laura's Treasures
Vegas Vintage (and their associated booth retailers) migrated North from Imperial Ave to Colorado Ave not too long ago and now that space will be home to Laura's Treasures. Have yet to meet Laura but it's one more space filled in on the block.

Tenaya Creek Brewery
I do not know how these rumors get started, but my source, who is extremely credible in the world of Las Vegas beer culture confirmed to me that Tenaya Creek brewing has plans to open on 3rd Street in (or at least near) the arts district. I know of few buildings capable of such majesty on 3rd St, and a couple of empty lots possibly suitable for building. Either way, we wait patiently to witness any material development of this awesome brewery.

Patina Decor
Patina may have been coerced out of their space on Main, but this is a positive lateral move for this fabulous boutique. Patina has taken over OMT, who vacated their spaced shortly after having a baby. Just a block South on Main Street and across the street.

Galaxy Street Market
Formerly Galaxy Foam, the new owners have already been approved for a tavern limited license, but now the big news is that this vintage building will be re-purposed into a bazaar-type market featuring live food preparation, outdoor cart businesses and artisan vendors. Partners promise it will be "the first of it's kind in Las Vegas..."
Read more:

Jerry Misko
One of Las Vegas' more recognizable and prolific artists is moving back into the Arts Factory. Welcome home, Jerry.

Widow Den/Happy Panda
Have you been to the Arts Factory recently? Two boutiques have expanded into Charleston-facing storefront space. Happy Panda Toys and Widow Den have both done remarkable jobs expanding their store brands as well as their inventory.

Winfield Manor
Kamran Fouladbakhsh is not the household name that some other downtown developers have become, but here in my neighborhood, he and his family are responsible for some of the most drastic improvements. They have transformed at least 3 different micro-apartment communities into desirable living conditions for the new wave of urban-dwellers. He purchased the Galaxy Foam building, which is awaiting it's transformation (into Galaxy Street Market). They're currently creating a 2 story 1920's theme urban lounge plus mixed use facility out of the former Art Haus studios. But that's not all... They're also in the midst of bringing Winfield Manor, not only back to life, but to a future glory. Most recently, this building housed an AA/NA meeting place, a terribly outdated laundromat and (something of a) halfway house upstairs. Very soon, this old haunt will boast some primo living quarters and a restaurant on the ground floor. Hallelujah.

1129 S. Casino Center Blvd

The Box Office. scratch that. The Morton Office.
We had exemplary optimism that renown restaurateurs Michael and Jenna Morton would be turning the building on the corner opposite Winfield Manor, formerly music and theatre venue The Box Office, into a restaurant- but they're not. They are, however, making the building into their own corporate offices. This will at least bring professionals into the neighborhood on a daily basis, which should prove to be a positive.

Cannabis. Say what?
No doubt you have probably heard that Cannabis dispensaries are going to begin being licensed to operate within the City of Las Vegas and wouldn't you know it, they're likely opening up within the arts district. I have caught word on a couple of different locations, but I am not acknowledging anything until I see this for myself. I'm not necessarily opposed to dispensaries, but I don't believe it to be a very progressive move either.

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