Like many artsy types, I ditched my digs in suburbia for the promise of cheap, bohemian living in a “transitional” part of downtown about a year ago. For the most part, it’s been great. Sure, it’s a bit grungy — but that’s part of its charm. I’ll take a wino in a Santa suit over a Bed, Bath & Beyond any day.
I love my neighborhood, my neighbors, and my proximity to everything … but there’s a reason these houses cost less than a drink at XS: They’re shitboxes! Zero insulation, ancient plumbing and wiring, wandering homeless people, burglars – and, worst of all, infestations. The roaches, you can spray for.
But you can’t spray for hipsters.
I’ve already bitched about these neo-downtown types ad nauseam, in this publication and elsewhere, so I’ll keep it brief: It’s a delicate balance. Mustachioed kids on bikes are fine, but when the bicycles start to outnumber the methheads, you know you’re in trouble.
But now, as a resident, it’s in my best interest to see downtown cleaned up a bit … so I’ve made a few forays onto the bandwagon lately, to join in the pom-pom waving and get into the spirit of Downtown Living™. Yayyyy!
First, I paid a visit to the trendy East Fremont district, to check out everyone’s favorite hip new watering hole, Commonwealth, the latest in a plague of mixology bars to blister up in downtown. Crossing the threshold is like being sucked into a hipster wormhole and spat out into a bar in Portland; thanks to the dedicated efforts of a certain demographic, when boozing on East Fremont, one hardly knows one is in Vegas anymore. I don’t get it. I moved to Vegas because I like Vegas! Bluehaired bingo bubbies! Drunken divorcees dancing to Doobie Brothers cover bands! Scammers, hustlers, winos and hookers — oh, my! You can have your East Fremont; I’ll stick to good old-fashioned Fremont, canopy and all.
Next, I headed across the tracks to the Smith Center, to attend a pseudo-scholarly talk by a well-known futurist. The lobby bustled with cosmopolitan types in tweed overcoats and cashmere scarves, and the parking lot was dotted with NPR bumper stickers — just like a real city. I had a feeling what was in store, so I played a little drinking game: Bowtie? Drink! Beard? Drink!! Earnest white people? Drink!!! Thankfully, the Smith Center bar serves wine in exceedingly genteel plastic sippy-cups, so despite my increasing state of inebriation, I didn’t spill any on myself, despite constant chugging.
After the show, plans were made to hit up — where else?! — the East Fremont district for cocktails and discussion. I was tempted to join the fun, but, alas, had a prior commitment on the opposite end of the spectrum, geographically and culturally: a nude-modeling gig in a motel down on Boulder Highway. That’s right — I’m so resolutely anti-hip that I’ve made a career of slumming. I’d rather frolic nude on a stained mattress in the meth-riddled hinterlands of Vegas than swill Fernet Branca with a bunch of twee dickheads in ascots and Morrissey glasses.
So I bid my intellectual pals adieu, and headed east … and that’s when it hit me. If you go far enough east on Fremont, it turns into Boulder Highway. So, really, Boulder Highway is nothing more than East-East Fremont!
The realization was a bitter one: I’m the worst kind of hipster snob there is! “Oh, East Fremont? That’s OK for the kids … but for me, East-East Fremont is where it’s at.” Before you know it, I’ll be so far east, I’ll be partying in downtown Hendertucky, drinking rocket fuel and tonic. Anything to escape those meddling hipsters.
But I can’t escape myself!
SARAH JANE WOODALL gets all NSFW at her blog, Wonderhussy.com.