Just returned from Atlantic City, NJ and a weekend of depraved debauchery at the gaming tables.
My thanks and appreciation goes out to the Staff of the Revel Hotel and Casino, who did everything that was humanly possible to make our stay (Tess and her late-husband's mother came with me) a true delight, even if you can't smoke in the room you've paid for.
A few things of note about Atlantic City:
1) The devastation of Hurricane Sandy (this 'Superstorm' nonsense is pure political claptrap,and a dodge for the insurance companies; it was a fucking hurricane!) has been largely repaired and/or minimized. Atlantic City nowadays looks cleaner and more inviting than it has in decades. The Boardwalk was in impeccable shape, the beaches were incredibly clean. New Jersey's new motto of late has been "Stronger than the Storm", and one can believe it. New Jersey is coming back strong. One wishes that our state and local government here in New York was at least half as competent as that of New jersey when it came to fixing Sandy-related problems.
Alas, New Jersey has Chris Christie and we're stuck here in New York with Bloomberg, Cuomo, and the worst Congressional delegation known to history. The difference between a competent government and one mired in stupidity is unmistakable. Christie apparently gets things done quickly and efficiently. One is left to wonder what his presidential prospects would have been had he not hugged Resident Obama on national television and perhaps cost Mitt Romney an election.
If the GOP doesn't tap this guy for at least the bottom of the 2016 ticket, it's a shame. Don't you realize he only buttered Odouchebag up in order to get New Jersey the resources it needed to recover so quickly? It's called 'politics', you know. This is one of those times when the Evangelical Wing of the GOP should actually heed Jesus' words (because they usually don't) and abhor the sin, but love the sinner. Turn the other cheek, and let forgiveness of sins be the word of the day!
2) There were more families (and by this I mean families with small children) in Atlantic City this weekend than I can ever remember seeing before in all my travels there. Sure, most came for the beach and to see the fireworks show on July, 4th, but it was refreshing to see so many young children having a blast, and a hotel (The Revel) that actually welcomed them. Most of the hotels on the Boardwalk don't want children anywhere near them. All those happy kids actually brought a sense of joy to everyone else.
3) Business is down at all the casino/hotels in the area by some 50% this year, with knock-on effects throughout the local economy. Most of that is due to the lousy economy, and some due to Sandy, but it doesn't cost you much to take your kids to the beach for a day, and costs little more to keep a hot dog vendor in business, or to pay for a parking spot while you're there. Keep Atlantic City working anyway you can!
The local hotels are offering great package deals, and the casinos are all offering great incentives to go down and play -- if only for a day. If you have no summer vacation plans this year, get your behind down to AC and take advantage!
Now, some observations:
1) To the under-25 female of a predominant type that seems to be staggering out of every bar and nightclub in the vicinity:
While I do appreciate your uniform (that is, the tight, tube-top-like dress that manages to leave little to the imagination, the lack of panties, the wedge-shaped platform shoes with six-inch heels that not only make you look taller, but also make it appear as if you have two bricks attached to your feet), I must say that I find it an interesting mental exercise to imagine just what your fathers would say (assuming you have one) if he saw his little baby dressed like a Las Vegas hooker.
It is also predictable what is going to happen to most of you before the evening is over. About half of you will end up wandering around in a drunken stupor, walking into walls, falling down, glassy-eyed and potential prey for any scumbag in the vicinity. You are low-hanging fruit.
About a third of you will eventually toss everything you've ever eaten up at some point, keeping the maintenance staff very busy, indeed, and ruining the hair and makeup that you've so assiduously applied with a trowel, and destroying the white spandex costume that you've attired yourself in. In other words, you're about to make an incredible nuisance of yourself; it's bad enough to have dodge puddles of vomit, it's even worse when you have to also dodge the vomiter, the small crowd of girlfriends that struggle mightily to pick you up off the floor -- balanced precariously on those six-inch wedged bricks -- while you cry and ask God why this has happened to you, and even worse to watch you repeat this little drama every 15 feet before you can make it to the elevators, and one hopes, either to your room or a waiting ambulance.
Another 10% of you will probably wake up on the Men's Room floor in a puddle of urine, sperm and vomit, with your panties (assuming you wore any to begin with) around your ankles, wondering just what the hell happened to you. If you're lucky, your assailants at least had some decency and left cab fare on the floor next to your head.
In any case, there seems to be a serious lack of lady-like behavior and self control. The liquor starts a'flowing and a good many of you can't seem to handle it. My recommendation: stop drinking.
The so-called 'men' are hardly better, although I must say that I did not see a single drunken brawl between men this weekend. The 'ladies' took care of that, though. Mostly, they fought over the boys, and when you stop to consider just WHAT they were fighting over you begin wonder just what planet you must be on. The typical under-25 male in these places seems to be of a predominant type: a hyper-tattooed lout, apparently addicted to steroids and baseball caps (to hide the thinning hair caused by the steroids), in flip- flops, and wearing enough Axe Body Spray to defoliate Southeast Asia better than Agent Orange ever could.
Both travel in packs with at least 5 members, minimum, and they behave as if they were 10 year olds. That's before they get drunk, in which case they become toddlers with cigarettes and whiskey, which is apparently the only reason they came to the hotel -- i.e., for the parties where they could get rip-roarin' potted at a discount.
2) There was a pronounced lack of senior citizens this weekend. This might be because the Revel, specifically, stated upon it's opening that it did not want them in the hotel. It has since recanted, mostly for economic reasons. In fact, the place is constructed in such a manner as to deter seniors; the hotel is quite vast, and to get anywhere requires both a great deal of walking and sometimes multiple escalators/elevators. I had to push Tess around in her wheelchair this weekend, and I can tell you that I was physically exhausted some days just from walking around the hotel.
By the way,.the Revel is beautiful. The grounds are fantastic, the rooms are luxurious, the restaurants are top notch (except one, and I'll get to it), and it would appear as if the whole reason behind the place is relaxation. The casino is small, and somewhat claustrophobic compared to others, and appears to have been an afterthought. If you don't want to gamble in the Revel, you don't have to: there's two swimming pools, an extensive spa, great shopping and restaurants, bars, shows, and a private beach. The landscaping is impeccable; the entire hotel is surrounded by a sea garden where people simply sat around talking, reading, soaking up the sun, and having a good time without cards and chips. In the evenings, the outdoor areas all have fire pits, and people congregate around them. Sitting lounges have been set up everywhere where people can simply sit someplace with a view to enjoy. It's a wonderful atmosphere.
Anyways, I didn't see many Old Ones when I was gambling in Caesar's Palace. or on the Boardwalk, either. So, one must assume that the Old Folks stayed home, or have been given subtle hints not to come, and I for one applaud this apparently unspoken policy. I'm getting sick and tired of heading to a casino for a weekend only to have to negotiate an obstacle course of slow old men with leaky bladders shuffling on canes, a forest of walkers, and penny-and-nickle-machine-playing grayhairs who are gambling on my money, considering most have lived longer than they had any right to expect, and have received far more than the amount they ever paid into Social Security and Medicare, when they were economically useful.
Since I'm paying for your extended life cycle with my extorted tax dollars, at least have the fucking courtesy to not rub it in my face by gambling. Besides, the air is much easier to breathe when it isn't fouled by the disturbing aromas of mothballs and soiled adult diapers.
3) I have bone to pick with the Lugo Italian Restaurant in the Revel. Two things:
a) Salmon should never be burnt. If it is burnt, you should not serve it. If you do serve it and the customer sends it back, do not attempt to get snooty about it. Don't be a moron, either -- when I asked the manager for a new piece of fish, he asked me a stupid question (How would you like that cooked, Sir?) and my response was "Oreganata, and not burnt". It was a stupid question because there was only one salmon dish on the menu, and one would think serving it without cinders would be an obvious thing to do.
b) Tiramizu requires two sorts of liquors. The first, obviously, is brandy. The cake must be allowed to soak in brandy. The second is, according to taste, either a coffee or chocolate liqueur.When your Tiramizu has but one of them, and the ladyfingers inside are stiff enough to resist the fork, you have a problem. If you insist otherwise, then you're a douche who has no business being in a restaurant, let alone as a pastry chef.
But other than that, I had a blast, made some money, and came back home relaxed and slightly sunburned. All in all, a great weekend!