When I first visited Las Vegas in the late 90s - dragged there by my friend Tony who abandoned me when I got sick on our trip, leaving me shivering with chills under the covers in our room while he galavanted around town, not even spending the night in our hotel - I couldn't figure out where the Vegas I'd seen on TV and in the movies was.
Back then, the Sands was still open, as were many of the other soon-to-be-imploded "Old Vegas" resorts, including one nearby with a mechanical bull, which I gazed at wistfully through the window of our hotel room at the Stratosphere.
But even back then, Vegas seemed too...new.
Now, in the advent of Steve Wynn's Vegas takeover, glimpses of that old Vegas - predating my first visit - are hard to find, but not impossible.
And one of the best places to find Old Vegas is downtown, on Fremont East...
...And at the Freemont Street Experience, where the Neon Museum has preserved many old classic neon signs that are all lit up, which you can whizz by on a zipline under an LED screen ceiling, and see some of the costumed characters you find on The Strip or on Hollywood Boulevard, somehow charming on Fremont Street...
Photo Essay: Neon Boneyard, Vegas
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