Vegan in Vegas
I quickly realized the Vegas Strip is simply what happened when Bourbon Street and Rodeo Drive had a baby and left it to fend for itself in the desert. Bourbon Street doesn't have really any high-end coorporate retail shops, nor does Rodeo Drive have a shop with 32 flavors of alcohol slushies, but together they've made Las Vegas Boulevard which has the best (or worst, depending) of both worlds.
other confused, sock-and-sandal wearing drunkards floating up and down and all around with you. From Paris you can see New York, New York (literally right there!) but the seasoned Vegas walker will know that the road to New York is paved with 4 flights of stairs, 3 trips to the wrong side of the street, and a wicked case of vertigo before finally reaching the M&M Store that apparently embodies the spirit of Manhattan.
The ping-ponging around aside, the absolute best part of vegas is the secret vegan menus!!! My two favorite things — food and secrets — combine to make Vegas a culinary treat. Sure, everything is overpriced, but it is actually surprisingly good! I went to the Trevi Italian Restaurant in Ceasar's Palace and got an amazing vegan minestrone for $9 and noodles with veggies for $19. And free bread with a selection of seasoned olive oil, red pepper hummus, tapenade, and artichoke. They may have given us the bread by mistake, but after paying $28 before tip for noodles and soup, I wasn't gonna say anything. Several places have vegan menus if you just ask.
The BEST place for vegans in Vegas has to be the Wynn. Here's a link to the vegan menus at all the Wynn restaurants. I went to The Buffet, $139 for three of us, and it was AMAZING. There are lots of vegan things, including vegan desserts like chocolate chip cookies and mango tapioca pudding and soy cherry chocolate chip ice cream. Of course, it's all you can eat (any drink besides water is an additional charge, however). They also had THE BEST vegan pizza I've ever had. They don't have it by the slice but the person at the pizza oven will be happy to make one for you, covered in vegan mozzarella (I didn't know what brand, but could tell it wasn't daiya) and any other toppings you like. Tell the host you are vegan, and they will introduce you to the chef (Chef Malcolm), who will give you a quick tour of the plentiful options available to vegans at The Buffet!!!
Butterflies and Typewriters
Of course, I still don't exactly understand what the book is about, but I have great appreciation for the style and content. It is one story of many in a long history of "picaresque" novels, so called for their portrayals of a central "picaro" (Spanish for "rogue") figure who hails from the dregs of society and has a series of adventures loosely structured enough so as not to qualify as a plot. Comedy and satire abound, and the picaro's blasé interpretation of morality provides a vicarious thrill for everyone who wishes they could just stop acquiescing to society's bullshit already. I mean, whose adventures would you rather watch with voyeurism and schadenfreude: someone who values practicality and their own needs over a moral compass, or an insufferable pedant with a penchant for proclaiming rules the ultimate mark of civilized society?
Political rantings aside, the whole point of my post is that the story BEHIND the creation of Confederacy of Dunces is being made into a film, titled Butterfly in the Typewriter and based on the book bearing the same name. It chronicles writer and professor John Kennedy Toole (who went by the name of Ken) as he writes, suffers depression, and struggles to bring his masterpiece to light. Toole died by suicide in 1967 at the age of 31, after which his devoted mother continued to champion his work, ultimately getting the manuscript published and earning her son a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1981. I haven't read Butterfly in the Typewriter, but have read Ken & Thelma, which documents the pair's mother/son relationship and Thelma's unwavering determination to get her son's work published.
Filming is set to start very soon (in May) and stars Susan Sarandon as Thelma and
Thomas Mann as John Kennedy Toole, with Nick Offerman and Diane Kruger in staring roles as well. Keeping my eyes peeled. I'm going to ask New Orleans Movie Tours to take me to set so I can get a front-row seat. I have not been paid to promote New Orleans Movie Tours or anything. But if they gave me money I wouldn't say no. But they haven't. I just love New Orleans and movies and going on tours.
Save the dates! May 13 & 14, 2017
Saturday, May 13, 2017 — I'll be at Garden District Books on Prytania from 1-3pm celebrating Independent Bookstore Day! GDB is hosting activities galore. Splat the Cat will be there, whom I haven't met yet, and I'm scheduled to appear just as Splat leaves. Is Splat avoiding me?! Come see me; we'll have signed copies of my book Opossums Don't Live in Houses and Other Alternative Facts. If you just want to hug me and say hi that's 100% great, too!
Written by me, Starry, from It's Me, Sesame!