Day One at CES: From Hookers to High Def

Gambling erupted once more following a recessi...

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It’s my first time ever in Las Vegas. And mostly, all I’ve seen is the inside of the convention center. But I’ve also seen all sorts of Vegas-y things, like hookers, and porn stars, and a faux Arc de Triomphe.

I know this is a tech show and all.  And I know you probably want to hear all about the super cool new technology.  Like the Surface PC that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer presented at his keynote.  It’s basically a table that’s a PC that’s a touchscreen, that let’s you put all of you WiFi enabled electronics on it and simply flick things across the table from one to the other.

Or maybe you want to know more about the new green technology out there: Like biodegradable  batteries that you can throw in the garbage. (So much better than saving up the used ones in a plastic bag, forEVER until you can figure out what the hell you’re supposed to be doing with them.) Or maybe it’s the unbelievably gorgeous new WiFi enabled appliances from Kenmore, which makes a stove that will text you when your oven is reheated, or your timer goes off. Or maybe it’s the 3D technology that’s on everything from computer screens to Kodak printers.

I will (eventually) when I come up for air from this thing, write about the Windows Phone 7 that I’ve been lent to use while I’m here. (talk about a conversation starter.  Everyone wants to see it.) But the truth is, all I can really deal with is Las Vegas itself.

Often, when I travel, I’m sort of disappointed that every place is like every place else.  I mean, there are Starbucks in Paris. Paris!! But Las Vegas is a singular place.  Las Vegas is where the uniform for the cocktail waitresses in an UPSCALE hotel feature a skirt so short that the thong is visible.  And not in the “peeking out from the top of my outfit a la Monica Lewinsky” way, but visible from the other end.

Las Vegas is where I , who was previously attractive only to septuagenarians, had not one but two men approach me and my friend at a bar (where I was waiting for my take-out Sushi, thank you very much!) to say “So, what are you ladies up to tonight?” Seriously.  And then the other guy used this great opening line: “So, are you ladies drunk?”

Gotta love Las Vegas.

Last night was the massive Microsoft Partner Party and the brand-spanking new Cosmopolitan Hotel. Las Vegas is beyond glitzy.  Fountains abound.  Every surface that can be festooned is uber-festooned. And there’s enough marble to rebuild Elgin. But The Cosmopolitan isn’t glitzy, it’s glamorous. When we first walked in, the entire lobby was lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Only they weren’t.  They were giant columns of light with projections of books.  When we left, there were projections of botanical drawings.  Another time I passed by, they were super-mod geometric patterns.

Gotta love Las Vegas.

Thing is, I thought I would hate Las Vegas.  Instead, I’m looking at it like a social anthropologist.  What about this place makes otherwise normal men thing that “Are you ladies drunk?” is a good pick-up line?  What about this place makes the fashion such that it’s hard to tell which ones are the hookers?

I don’t know.  But one thing I do know is….

You gotta love Las Vegas.

PS While my new Windows Phone has the awesome ability to put my photos on my SkyDrive (into the cloud) automatically when I take them) my hotel, The Palazzo, doesn’t have the internet oomph I need to put them up.  Sorry. I’ll add ‘em later!


  1. says

    Your first time in Vegas? Wow! Glad you are enjoying it. We live in LA so we go to Vegas a few times a year. It’s within driving distance and it’s relatively cheap for a getaway weekend.

    Hubby is at the CES show right now (@DisconnectedDad). I told him to watch out for a bunch of wild and crazy Angels.

    Gotta love all that new technology.

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