What Happens in Vegas?

Over the last year or two, I’ve accidentally become fascinated with Las Vegas, Nevada, a city that some people love to hate and perhaps even more people hate to love. I’ve traveled there for bachelor parties, to meet friends from the East for a weekend of hanging out, and to watch my wife compete in a desert obstacle course race. I’ve ventured off the strip to talk to locals, eat Thai food, and explore strip malls.

“What is this place?” I keep asking myself.

Can you help me figure it out?

If you’ve ever visited, I’d be eager to hear your Las Vegas stories (and happy to protect your anonymity in telling them, if need be). If you’ve ever lived there I’d be grateful for your thoughts and insights about the municipality, or for your personal story.

What makes Las Vegas distinct? What are the best and worst things about it? To understand Las Vegas, where should one visit? What should one read? To whom should one talk? If you have strong feelings about the city, pro or con, what are they? And what questions or curiosities do you have about Las Vegas?

All correspondence to conor@theatlantic.com is encouraged.

I offer my thanks in advance, and leave you with one of many photographs I’ve taken there in the last year: a shot of “downtown” that sorta seems like a scene from Blade Runner.

Conor Friedersdorf