The ultimate city of sin, Las Vegas tempts all sorts of people. We explore its charms through photographs
Words & Photographs: UNNIKRISHNAN RAVEENDRANATHEN
The second thing you notice on arriving in Las Vegas is that it’s in the middle of a desert. The first thing is the slot machines. They’re everywhere. I already knew these things, of course. Even before immigrating to the States from the other side of the world, I’d seen Las Vegas depicted in countless movies, television shows and travel advertisements. Glitz, glamour and gluttony, that’s what it’s all about.
Or is it? Having lived in California for the past five-odd years, I’ve always wanted to see what this fabled playground for the rich and famous and the down-and-out alike was really all about. As with most places, I find out that the popular image barely scratches the surface.
The “entertainment capital of the world” is well-known for its profusion of casinos, spectacular shows such as Cirque du Soleil, all manner of trade shows and conventions, and, of course, Wayne Newton, Mr Las Vegas himself. What really interests me, though – what always fascinates me about a place – is the less obvious, ground-level goings-on. To really know a place, you need to ignore what they want you to see and go out and explore on your own.