Vintage Las Vegas

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As some of you may know, I lived in Las Vegas for two years before moving back here to NYC. I have a special place in my heart for Vegas, and I look back on it fondly although it was a tough area in my life at the time.

I have been wanting to do a vintage Las Vegas post for a little while now, and I can mix my love for Vegas along with my live for vintage. I found some great pictures from the 1940s through the early 1960s that I wanted to share, and I thought you all would certainly enjoy to see Vegas when it was just starting to become a huge gambling and entertainment center!

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Downtown Las Vegas – the original Strip – Fremont Street.

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Fremont Street lot up at night, circa 1950s. The Golden Nugget and Pioneer Club are still there.

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The Stardust, early 1960s.

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Downtown Las Vegas – around 1950.

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Another vantage point of Fremont Street, either late ’40s or early ’50s.

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1950s.

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1950s.

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The Sahara was the sixth hotel to open on the current day modern Strip on 07 October 1952.

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Gamblers enjoying the roulette wheel, late 1940s.

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Fremont Street in the late 1950s.

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This is from when the Tropicana Hotel was being built on the “new” strip “Las Vegas Boulevard) in 1957.

Hanging at the Monster Hop

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On Saturday my boyfriend and I took a little trip into the city at the suggestion of a friend on a rockabilly swap & sell Facebook group to visit Otto’s Shrunken Head on East 14th Street in Manhattan. It is a total rockabilly tiki bar, and had the Monster Hop going on that night, as is per usual every last Saturday of the month. It is a rockabilly/psychobilly party, and features bands such as the Spastiks, which I have heard of but have not had the chance to see until that night. I was super excited to go to a new rockabilly hangout, since there are entirely too few in this whole tri-state area!

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As soon as we got there, I was in love. The whole atmosphere reminded me of Frankie’s Tiki Bar in Vegas, and I instantly felt at home. Everyone looked great with their suicide and victory rolls, red lipstick, and winged eyeliner! The guys looked just as good in their pompadours and vintage clothes. I literally just had to sit there for a minute and let it all sink in that I was in a totally amazing place that seemed to have been put in the city just for me!

They have a whole laundry list of amazing tiki-inspired drinks for you to try. I got the Stormy Skull, which has dark rum, coconut, and ginger, and was amazing. You tell me coconut is involved, and I am sold! After that I had some rum and cokes, and to my glee they had Sailor Jerry rum! And look at all of that embellishment! How juvenile am I to be excited over little decorations like this?! 😉

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The booths were gorgeous – I could imagine them being original to the space since the 1940s when it was a smoking lounge/bar during the war where everyone gathered around the radio to hear the latest on how our GIs were faring in their pursuits. I wish I could have gotten some better shots, but here’s some ones I found to give you a better idea:

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I found my friend in the front about an hour after we had arrived, and we ended up hanging out and drinking until about 1 A.M. I don’t even entirely remember what time we left, but I do I know I wanted to stay all the way until 4. But my boyfriend and I would have had to have waited for a few hours to make another train to head back to Long Island, so we called it a night and hopped on the LIRR back and passed out for the remainder of the night (and morning as well – we didn’t wake up until noon! 😉 )

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