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chitowngambler

Since Mar 2005

50-64 year old male

Chicago, Illinois

I have seen the Strip, very nice but we have places like that at home and I quickly saw through the illusion. I still visit but Trip Advisor has enough people to report on the tourist places. I am drawn to the neighborhood places, similar to those in my native Chicago and now seek those out. I consider myself something of an expert on the shadowy areas found near the tourist areas of Las Vegas, such as Fremont Street east of the Blvd. Known for taking bizarre side trips, we call them Dive Trips, through these places with fellow poster “The Mailman” out of Boston. Some of these places are pretty rough and it’s safer with a second person to watch your back. I tend to talk to everyone and I do not judge what I find in those places. Then I try to tell it like I see it, within the bounds of this site anyway. I post my findings, sometimes revealing hidden gems, like the Atomic and Bunkhouse and some times real dumps like the Western. Some places are never mentioned, lest some darn fool tries to go there, following in my footsteps and gets in real trouble. I probably visit these places because I have spent my youth in such places on the Southside of Chicago and still visit them on the north side. I find the conversations I have in the dives and dumps to be fascinating. Frankly, I have little interest in someone a Bellagio complaining that their Porsche is just a little too red, but I find the tale of the guy who got fired for driving a snow plow in Minnesota, while he was very drunk, and making a weaving road that ended up stranding a lot of drivers in a snow covered field and thus how he ended up in Las Vegas drinking dollar drafts at the Western to be fascinating. My inspiration is an old dead song called Wharf Rat, some may know it. It is based on research down by the dock of San Francisco and tells the tale a regular guy who wanders down to the docks and meets an old beggar, named August West who asks for a dime for a cup of coffee. The man says he has no dime but he tells him that has some time to hear his story. That is what I do and many of those folks value the chance to tell their tale. I buy them a drink, and make it very clear that is all I have in mind, then just sit there and listen. Some of the stories are horrible, like the man in the final stages of cancer who told me, a total stranger who did not know his name, EXACTLY and in great detail, what he did in the war, some are sad, some are funny and frankly some are just a pure scam to get another dollar draft. One thing they seldom are is boring. These folks benefit from getting it out of their systems and I come away feeling better about my own little problems but well aware that with a few missed paychecks or a turn of bad luck or illness, I could very well be in that same position.
Travel Style
Like a Local
History Buff
chitowngambler's TripCollective Progress
Total Points
122,086
Level 6 Contributor
Helpful Reviewer
100 Votes
Readership
5,000 Readers
Passport
3 Cities
Senior Photographer
20 Photos
Explorer
6 Reviews
Total Points 122,086

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