welcome to fabulous las vegas

031021-016.Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set:

The Welcome sign stands in the town of Paradise, four miles outside Las Vegas city limits, near the huge stone columns of the old McCarran Airport and the bright green hologram of the Bali Hai Golf Club. The sign does not face Las Vegas, but rather looks away. So, if you live in Las Vegas, and you want to see the sign, you have to leave the city. You have to get in your car and head south out of town, turn around, and come back in. If, for some reason, you find yourself at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard, all you will see is the sign’s backside suggesting you DRIVE CAREFULLY and Come Back SOON.

It makes sense that the great icon of Las Vegas is not actually in Las Vegas. Most cities keep their icons within city walls for the benefit of its citizens. Any Los Angeleno standing on the corner of La Brea and Hollywood Boulevard can see the HOLLYWOOD sign. The Eiffel Tower can be viewed from all over Paris; the Kremlin is in the heart of Moscow. What makes the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign true to Las Vegas is that it exists mostly for visitors.

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