Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday Night on Fremont Street
Downtown Las Vegas

Fremont Street East Street Scene

It’s been awhile since I have meandered down Fremont Street on a weekend night. It’s always fun to see the “largest LED display system” the Viva Vision canopy that’s one of the highlights of the Fremont Street Experience. When we were there, we saw and heard The Doors music and graphics projected on the canopy one hour; another hour we heard a tribute to the rock band Queen.

I didn’t visit, but took in the sight of a new location of Firefly Restaurant in the upper portion of the Plaza Hotel. I love the Firefly Restaurant on Paradise; it serves yummy tapas and thirst-quenching sangria, all brought to you by very attractive male and female wait staff. I can’t wait to experience this new location overlooking the canopy.

The usual Downtown riff-raff was out in force on a Friday night, but I was relieved to see the Fremont Street security personnel and bicycling Metro police officers keeping everyone in line. I was mugged and attacked in broad daylight while arriving at work at Fitzgeralds Hotel & Casino four years ago, and I still get a little jittery, even though my friend Drew accompanied me on this trip.

There are always street performers under the canopy to capture the attention of tourists and locals alike. One of the standouts that has performed 10 years at the Fremont Street Experience is Carl “Safe-Sax” Ferris, a talented musician who plays at least four instruments, but promotes himself at the Downtown venue by playing saxophone and selling his adult contemporary and jazz-influenced sax CD’s. He has opened shows for the likes of Edgar Winter, Foghat, and ELO, all groups and musicians known to me, since I grew up in the 1970’s. He’s a crowd-pleaser with an engaging, friendly personality—how can you be grumpy or bothered by a guy bopping around with a saxophone doing jazzy or bluesy tunes?

He even had a newly married couple dancing together while onlookers swayed and clapped to his soothing music.

Another place I spied, but didn’t go into, was the Downtown Cocktail Room. It has gotten rave reviews in the local press for its ambience and signature drinks; it is on my list of places to visit…very soon.

Other places I strolled past were in the Fremont Street East area: the Beauty Bar and the Griffin. Both clubs looked busy, with young people spilling out into the sidewalk area, across from the renovated El Cortez.

There is always something to see and do on Fremont Street at night: a great place to people-watch, have an inexpensive drink, gamble with better odds than the Strip will offer you, and everything’s within comfortable walking distance. You can’t beat that on a muggy Friday night.

Male Go Go Dancer At Fitzgeralds

All photo credits: Julie Kasperson
(click photos for a larger image )

-VegasJules ( Julie Kasperson ) can be contacted through her facebook page.


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