Sin city

[Conor Friedersdorf]

Consider Las Vegas after 12 hours: already there is an urge to escape. The once quaint sounds of the casino floor clank against the nerves. You discern wrinkles beneath the caked-on makeup of haggard cocktail waitresses and paunch on black-jack dealers whose slouches gradually deepen.

Earlier on wedding parties brush past, tuxedos pressed and bridesmaid dresses flowing, fresh flowers pinned as boutonnières and bundled into bouquets. Friends beam as groom kisses bride: a happy future seems assured.

Hours later, a woman in a wedding dress stands alone, teetering drunk, her husband passed out upstairs. Her veil dangles from a blackjack table, anchored by a rum and coke; its ice is long since melted and a rust colored-ring remains when she yanks up the veil, tipping liquid onto the green felt where the dollar dances of her loved ones were gambled away.

In Las Vegas anyone who lingers very long finds its luster is lost, a particularly harsh sight in a city where the lights never dim.

It is, however, an excellent place to watch March Madness.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In