Comparing Two Places

Topics: Las Vegas metropolitan area, Gambling, City Pages: 4 (1445 words) Published: June 2, 2008
Well-heeled mobsters, glamorous showgirls, fantastical mega-casinos, dazzling neon displays – Las Vegas is the world's most famous monument to reckless abandon and unbridled excess. From a dusty railroad town in the middle of nowhere, Las Vegas has grown into one of the world's premier tourist destinations. Once shunned as "Sin City" and considered beyond the pale of respectable society, it is now the epicenter of mainstream leisure much like Disneyworld, attracting more visitors than the holy city of Mecca. In contrast to Las Vegas, the city of Davis, one of the most educated cities in the United States, attests to a great history and a formidable education venture. A unique collection of artistic and vast resources lie within the boundaries of this farming city. At the city center stands the University of California Davis, a living monument of education and research. All things considered, the city of Davis is an academic institution, less commercialized, less ostentatious, less of a tourist attraction; whereas Vegas is more of a gambling institution, more of a commercial city, more showy and thousand times more of a tourist attraction. These differences create two different worlds, one that is spontaneous the other programmed. While there is life beyond the Strip, Las Vegas will always be best known as a place of escape and much like Disneyworld is a space where “everything is done for me” (Willis 650). From its incarnation as the favorite nightspot for men and women, to its most recent re-invention as a post-modern desert “Disneyworld”, the city has made its living by anticipating the desires of its visitors and then catering to them. And through casinos, Las Vegas commodifies these desires, and in the end makes millions. Vegas casinos are literally adult playgrounds, a spacious place (high ceilings, uncluttered layout of slot machines) where the environment is inviting and refreshing, stimulating curiosity and exploration. Las Vegas casinos convey an...
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