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A Teenager's Las Vegas

François Dischinger Teens hanging out in front of a Las Vegas fountain.

Photo: François Dischinger

A TEEN FANTASY: JUSTINE'S PERFECT LAS VEGAS DAY
After waking up in my obscenely large suite in Caesars Palace, I get my chauffeur to shuttle me over to the Paris hotel, where I have cappuccino and a chocolate croissant from Lenôtre. I haven't seen so many restaurants in one place, ever. Paris is actually quite well done—the cobblestones, streetlamps, and façades. It makes me nostalgic about my summer program in Paris last year—oh, why am I such a teenager?

Next, a little shopping must be done, so over to Bellagio I go, and I buy some indecently expensive things at Chanel and Prada. Lots at Prada, including a bag for Reggie, who's still asleep. All this superfluous spending makes me thirsty and footsore, so I prance over to the casino (any casino) and have a Coke while I play the slots for about an hour. Naturally, I win a jackpot. Remember, this is my perfect day, so I don't have to be 21 to play. (That's the one seriously irritating thing about Las Vegas, but, hey, I'll settle for people-watching.)

It's already noon and I'm in the mood for something spicy, so I have chile-crusted crab cakes at the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse in the Mirage. Then I take a stroll in the hotel's Secret Garden to gape at the white lions and tigers. Well, everyone knows what admiring endangered animals for too long makes you want to do: shop for kitsch. Yes, it's time for me to head down to Fremont Street, where I browse through all the souvenir stands and without hesitation buy one of every single thing I see: T-shirts, visors, pens, purses, clocks, can openers, wind chimes, plaques. I don't care what it is as long as it's ridiculous.

Night is coming on quickly, so I change into my new cocktail dress—Prada, of course. I wouldn't mind one of those Platanos Locos cocktails at the Pink Taco or an Amaretto Sour at Spago (this is fantasy, right?) and a little pizza. Now it's time for Siegfried & Roy. I've shopped, I've eaten, and I'm watching old Germans in sequins fight dragons with the help of disappearing tigers—who could want anything more?

Reggie Nadelson is the author of a series of mysteries, including Bloody London (St. Martin's Press).

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