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Pokers Tattoo

pokersThis article is dedicated to a working class tattoo artist, Chris Unger founder of Pokers Tattoo Shop in Las Vegas.

One thing we have in our beautiful city is a large population of tattoo artists.  There are shops all throughout the city and let’s face it everybody knows someone who knows someone right?

For some reason finding the right tattoo artist still can be a challenge though. Then deciding what to get becomes an over whelming  task. Of course, having fears about putting something so permanent on your skin is normal and wise. Not to mention the pain involved which almost isn’t worth it, until you see how great it looks.

It can be devastating to become a victim of a tattoo gone wrong. Trust me I know. Not only is it painful and expensive but that awesome feeling of seeing your great new art is deflated into, “Oh My Gosh what am I going to do”. What can you do but wipe your tears, go home tail tucked and swear you’ll get it fixed, eventually.

For me, the new addition of my permanent mistake was on my obviously visible forearm which forced me to be stuck showing off the pathetic attempt of art or be forced to wear long sleeves most of the time. I even hated talking about it and of course everyone has questions no matter how it comes out.  Honestly though, long sleeves and living in the desert, lets just say for years I was answering a lot of unwanted questions.

Fast forward 9 years and I no longer have to wear my sleeves of shame. By chance a couple of summers ago I happened to meet the skilled and experienced, Chris Unger, a true tattoo artist. As I was waiting in line for a beer, I happened to over hear a conversation from a man standing behind me. He was speaking to Chris about covering up a horrific tattoo. My ears involuntarily perked immediately, I tried terribly hard not to eavesdrop. Lucky for me, Chris must’ve seen questions written all over my little face. He caught my eye and  busted out, “you interested in a tattoo?’ Before I knew it I went from wanting to fix a half dollar size tattoo on my inner forearm to creating ideas to do a full sleeve on my left arm which would cover my tattoo blemish as well. After that it was only a couple of weeks before I took my first climb up the long stairway above Dead Man’s Tattoo Supply Shop to Chris’s tattoo shop, Pokers. Bottled up with nerves and anxiety (this was my first tattoo in years), I was instantly relieved to walk in and see a clean organized and professional shop.

Then my fears quickly slipped away as he took a great deal of time to talk with me about my ideas and how he could incorporate them appropriately onto my skin. The experience became even more authentic when he didn’t even bother to use tracing paper for the outline of my tattoo. Chris took a sharpy to sketch some basic lines on my arm (that looked ridiculous to me, artists always amaze me) and worked free hand from there. It is such a great feeling to know your tattoo cannot be replicated. Mine is designed specifically for the curves and crevices of my skin and mine only. Talk about making a girl feel special.

I was so proud after my first session and other people where impressed as well, even my doctors. Just my outline was getting plenty of attention and questions worth answering. Plus, there was no embarrassment or shame to hide under, a weight had been lifted. Also I couldn’t help but notice that with the several tattoos I had gotten before none of them ever healed so flawless. The next day it was barely tender to touch, Chris had promised me (since I am a big baby), “It’s all in the technique”. This was definitely the best tattoo experience I’d ever had. I would like to give a big shout out to Chris Unger for creating something phenomenal with his talent.

So for any of you ink freaks or ink virgins out there looking for a great tattoo and don’t know where to go, Pokers is where it’s at. His shop features several tattoo artists that will help you put those crazy ink ideas onto your skin. The shop is located on Russell and Valley View Blvd, which means it is only a quick trip from the strip, for all you tourists. Also conveniently located just beyond the strip for all you locals.  Set your fears aside as you are guaranteed quality ink at Pokers so don’t hesitate to call. You won’t be disappointed.

Phone 702-736-6667

Address 5720 S. Valley View Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89118

Click here to like them on Facebook

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2012 Housing Growth

Happy 2013 Las Vegas. The new year is already bringing excitement not only because congress got the fiscal cliff taken care of but for Las Vegas there are many projects in the works. These projects are good news for the valley, since the recession hit building projects have been stagnant and Nevada’s bounce back has not been easy. Not only do us desert dwellers have such projects as sky wheels and water parks to look forward to but the housing market seems to be climbing back as well. Since Las Vegas bared the brunt of the worst housing crisis in history it has been unclear what would happen next. With the  market crash houses were left at 60 percent of their values leaving banks and homeowners in desperation. So what now? 2012 showed real promise for the Las Vegas housing market. Houses still are not worth what they were during the time period before 2008 when the inflation bubble was being taken advantage of by banks, buyers and sellers. Realtors had a great year in 2012 and are looking forward to 2013. Since people have been forced from their homes and banks are refusing to forgive or adjust mortgages they are being left with thousands of empty houses they need to get rid of. Of course this is happening at rock bottom prices which makes me wonder, wouldn’t it have been easier to work with the homeowners? Also, there has been an influx of residents from California who refuse to ride out the recession any longer in the Golden State.

Most properties being sold are in the lower end of pricing but there is always those luxury buyers and you have to admit Las Vegas is still luxurious. So we have put a list together to show the six most expensive home sales in Las Vegas for 2012.

  • 1. 7 Falcon View Court, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: Sept. 11

    Price: $8.35 million

    Description: Two-story, 10,650 square feet, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms. Built in 2009. Features a porte cochere, motorized glass pocket doors, double island kitchen, wine room and theater.

  • 2. 9401 Kings Gate Court, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: July 16

    Price: $7 million

    Description: Two-story, 15,802 square feet, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms. Built in 2002. Has theater and fitness rooms, an elevator, a lazy river pool and an eight-car garage.

  • 3. 30 Olympia Hills Circle, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: May 31

    Price: $5.6 million

    Description: Two-story, 14,148 square feet, eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms. Built in 2009. Has an elevator, marble floors, home theater, hand-painted ceilings and a wine cellar that holds more than 600 bottles.

  • 4. 5 Promontory Pointe Lane, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: May 2

    Price: $5.15 million

    Description: Two-story, 12,496 square feet, five bedrooms, nine bathrooms. Built in 2009. Sits on a Summerlin hillside overlooking the valley. Includes a 480-bottle wine cellar, six-car garage, theater, game room, security cameras around the perimeter, a 12-person spa and an outdoor kitchen.

  • 5. 5100 Spanish Heights Drive, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: Jan. 19

    Price: $4.5 million

    Description: Two-story, 14,306 square feet, seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms. Built in 2003. Former home of actor Nicolas Cage. Has 16-car garage, an elevator and a theater room. Master bedroom has a balcony and a sitting room.

  • 6. 45 Hawk Ridge Drive, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: Aug. 16

    Price: $3.7 million

    Description: Two-story, 7,016 square feet, four bedrooms, six bathrooms. Built in 2009. Located on the eighth green of Bear’s Best Las Vegas golf course.7. 8 Morning Sky Lane, Las Vegas

‘Sin City Rules’ cast makes me an offer I have to decline — for now – Las Vegas Sun News

Check out this article about the new reality show, Sin City Rules. If you haven’t heard about it, it airs on TLC at 7pm on Sundays. This article doesn’t put the show in a good light. Have you watched it? What are your thoughts on the show? Do you think it does damage to Las Vegas’ reputation? This was written by journalist Robin Leach at the Las Vegas Sun. Leave your comments below, let us know what you think.

Talk about bad timing! It’s no secret that I have lambasted the new reality TV series “Sin City Rules” that has aired two episodes so far on the Learning Channel. I loath the concept and the producers staging fake and spiteful dramas. I hate the behavior of the women.

I condemn it because the real powerful women of our great community behave and serve us so admirably, and “Sin City Rules” doesn’t show Las Vegas in its true light. Instead, it confirms the worst fears people who don’t know Las Vegas think of our city as shallow, backbiting and filled with ugly behavior.

I’ve gone as far as saying it doesn’t have one redeeming quality. So imagine my surprise when I received this email from the cast on Monday night:

It’s Amy Hanley from “Sin City Rules.” I wanted to reach out to you as I have always liked you. We are doing some amazing things for the community in the next couple of days in honor of the holiday season. I have been designated as the one to pick whom I feel is the best person to whom we give an exclusive. I am very excited to share this with you, and I have spoken to all of the women, and we are all excited to sit and chat with you.

It will be the first time we all sit down together and are interviewed. We have agreed to allow you to ask as many questions of us as you want, and we will share as much as possible that we can for this special interview. We would love to take you to dinner at Oscar’s since it’s a staple in our community. I feel your columns have the best followers and held in the highest regard. I would love for nothing more than all of us to sit down and show you exactly why we love Las Vegas.

Click to enlarge photo

Scott Harrison/Retna/HarrisonPhotos.com

Jennifer Harman, Lori Montoya, Lana Fuchs, Amy Hanley and Alicia Jacobs of TLC’s “Sin City Rules” at the Venetian on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012.

Please contact me at 702-XXX-XXXX ASAP, as the exclusive we want to share with you is a time-sensitive manner and Christmas is right around the corner. I look forward to hearing from you and enjoying a wonderful steak dinner at Oscar’s.

What an opportunity! Can you imagine they felt I was the best person to get their exclusive? I could find out exactly what amazing things they are doing for the community before the weekend and which I’d happily write to show my fears are hopelessly incorrect, and I shouldn’t have reacted so harshly when Lana Fuchs called herself God.

They said I could ask as many questions as I wanted! I’d find out if Lana’s getting the rumored spin-off. I could ask Lori Montoya how her husband got control of Rain Cosmetics when my friend Rain Andreani, who used to do her makeup and worked with the lab chemist to mix the formulas of the line named after her, wound up losing it. I’d find out why Rain couldn’t be on the show and if the cosmetics line promotion is part of the compensation deal. I could ask Alicia Jacobs how it felt to have all those evil accusations made against her.

I’d never pass up a dinner with five women at former Mayor Oscar Goodman’s steakhouse, and just think I would even have let their producers film it for the show if they’d paid my normal TV fees, which I always donate to our beloved local charity Keep Memory Alive. A great story and charity donation without resorting to a surprise camera ambush!

But as you can see, they made this “time sensitive,” and what with the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood, the Venetian’s Culinary Clash and other obligations before I drive to California for Christmas with my kids and grandkids, it would be after New Year’s before I could accept their kind offer.

However, if they email me the “amazing things they’re doing in the next couple of days to honor the holiday season,” I am happy to report them. Also, if the devastatingly low ratings for the show don’t get it canceled and it is still on the air in January, I’ll happily do the dinner — and happily pick up the tab myself.

My thanks to them for acknowledging this column has the best following and is held in the highest regard. I’d love to know why if they love Las Vegas, they let the producers show them and our city in such a bad light. I am grateful they offered me the exclusive interview. I’m just sorry I have no time to do it as fast as they’d like. It grieves me to say to them “please feel free because of my time constraints to offer it to any of the other columnists who may have time before the holidays.”

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope their TV exposure leads to the fame and fortune they seek and that they somehow turn all this negativity into something positive to truly benefit our great city.

via ‘Sin City Rules’ cast makes me an offer I have to decline — for now – Las Vegas Sun News.

Ho Ho Holiday Happenings

The Holiday Season is in full force now and I’m sure your wallet is coming out for the purpose of giving. So what are you going to give? You could stick with those corporate stores that offer the same mass produced products or realize it is the most wonderful time of the year and the best time to put some money into your local economy and buy some spectacular gifts.  So this weekend happens to be a perfect weekend to buy local and enjoy some Las Vegas culture all at the same time.

The first Friday of this month will be on the same weekend as the Second Saturday, which means the popular First Friday Festival and the StrEATS Festival are happening on the same weekend. First Friday has become a large event over the years which means there is plenty of opportunity to buy local as there are a plethora of artistic vendors that participate in the festival. It’s perfect for the holidays, you can go out enjoy the community and find unique cool stuff for your giftees. What you are going to see out there is an array photography art, paintings, and even sculptures. You can also find threads from local fashion designers and my personal favorite, fashion accessories to add finishing touches to your looks. If you can’t make it to First Friday, the StrEATS Festival is on Saturday and although it is still in its beginning stages there are several local vendors to check out.

One of the newest vendors that I adore and they just happen to make appearances at both events is A Girls Glitter. They are a local company that is online and sells at local events as well. They specialize in bling and originality of fashion accessories. It’s hard not to buy at least one of their unique fashion accessories with all that sparkle reeling a girl in. Besides every girl needs a new accessory and of course, so does her friend, right?  Be sure to hit them up online if you don’t make it out and see them this weekend.

Of course at both events there will be plenty of those delicious food trucks to help tame the appetite you work up. Just remember to grab a jacket and maybe some gloves as it will be chilly outside this weekend. Hey and even if you don’t buy anything at the festivals get some ideas and grab some business cards to follow up later on that unique gift idea. Save the corporate stores for buying your paper towels and remember keep it real by buying from local businesses for your gifts this season.

One of the best traditions for the Holidays are those beautiful light displays and of course our awesome city has got that covered as well. Take the family out this weekend and enjoy some displays our city graciously offers. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts an annual light show called, Glittering Lights and it is open now until January 6th from 5:30 till 9 pm,Monday Thru Thursday and till 10 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays. It’s $15 per carload during the week , $20 on holidays and weekends so be sure to pack all your friends and family in the vehicle and split the cost.

Also, the Springs Preserve is hosting the Holiday Light Spectacular this weekend on December 8th and 9th from 5 to 9 pm,  it will also be open from December 15 thru the 23rd at same time in the evening. This event will be, “bathed in the glow of thousands of colorful, eco-friendly LED lights, the family-friendly celebration will feature tasty treats, holiday arts and crafts, reindeer (pony) rides for the little ones, photos with Santa, and much more”.

One of the most talked about holiday events for this weekend is the 12th annual Lakes Festival of Lights, located just South of West Sahara and West of Durango Drive. The event is free to attend and there will be many festive holiday family happenings to enjoy like arts and crafts, live entertainment and even a boat parade. It starts at noon on Saturday, December 8th and runs until 6p.m.

Oh, one last thing just to let you know the Mob Bar is celebrating it’s 1 year anniversary tonight offering drink pricing from back in 1933. If you’ve been looking for something to do tonight this is it. So stop downtown tonight at the Mob Bar after 5pm to enjoy some of their delicious cocktails basically a buy one get one free opportunity (buy one get one free should always be taken advantage of…just an FYI).

Whatever you do be sure to get out there this weekend, enjoy and support this fabulous city we live in. Happy Holidays Las Vegas!

It Sounds Like “Hottie”

I write regularly about the talent in our beautiful city in many areas of arts. I realize this city is bubbling with it and it has bubbled over into fashion industry as well. I was lucky to find local talent in fashion design by the lovely Amy Hanley. She is a true native to Las Vegas as she is the daughter of  Wendy Mazaros author of the chilling novel Vegas Rag Doll and notorious mob hit man Tom Hanley. Sweet Amy is a busy woman raising a family, giving financial help for Vegas locals and is currently filming with TLC in a reality show called High Rollers. On top of all that she is starting her own local clothing line called Mob Doll Haute.  This line will offer women the opportunity to wear clothing inspired by the high fashion sense of the Mob Molls (wives of mobsters) from the past with a modern approach. I’m thinking a little like Sharon Stone from the movie “Good Fellas” but better cause it’s not just for the movies. This high fashion line will start with a few distinct luxury outfits that appeal to woman of different body types and we can only hope it grows from there. I mean really since the 80’s fashion sense seems to have come back in “style” these sophisticated styles should.  I expect that these designs will become a nationwide trend within the next few years. Amy is serious about keeping business in Vegas and staying local and that’s why we love her. She is abundant about watching Vegas take a turn for the better since the 07 financial melt down. Watch out LA she may be on to something here and breaking into the fashion industry is another way for Vegas to be one of the top sought after cities. She has plans to release a line of Mob Doll Haute logo wear here soon as well, since it is one of the coolest logos out there I’m sure it will be a hit. Both her fashion line and reality series are expected to be released in December. So keep an eye open.

Local Festivities This Weekend

It may be hard to tell but fall is upon us and you may want to stop down at the Downtown 3rd farmers market and get some seasonal foods that you love. It is open today from 9am-2pm. Some seasonal foods such as, “Sugar Pie Pumpkins, Warren Pears, Fresh Crop Asian pears, Serpent Cucumbers, Chestnuts, Baby Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranates, Fresh Wild Huckleberries, Baby Watermelon, Radish, Smyrna Quince”, will be available so if you have a chance get down there and bring some yummy tastes home.

Can’t make it downtown? There is also the fabulous Fresh 52 Farmers and Artisan Market located in Town Square from 9am till 2pm today also. The best news is they have moved to Whole Foods Market so there is plenty of parking for attendees. Buy Fresh, Buy Local.

First Friday is celebrating their 10th anniversary this weekend. Come down for the party starting at 5pm. The hub is located on Colorado St and Main st. There are so many things going on down there to many to list. Come check it out.

Tonight at the Mob Bar an all woman electric string quartet, Phat String will be performing live from 8 – 11pm. Unique entertainment and an excuse to enjoy one of those phenomenal Mob Bar cocktails, who could ask for more? The bar is located on 3rd street between Ogden and Stewart St.

Attention beer lovers DOGtober Beer & Brat Festival event will be taking place this Saturday, October 6th at Big Dog’s Brewery located at 4543 N. Rancho St. Admission is free, drinks and food will be available through cash purchase. This is a charity event for Patrick Kelly Youth Foundation. Drink beer for a cause the event runs from 2 to 9pm.

The 19th year of the Chivalry Renaissance Festival l is taking place all of this weekend. It will take place at  Silver Bowl Park and you should be prepared to see lavishly costumed knights, knaves, fine ladies and wenches. The festival will feature stages with entertaining costumed performers. “There will be 50 shows per day along with historical re-enactments, jousting tournaments, medieval pageantry and more than 100 artisans – including blacksmiths, stained glass designers, jewelers, wood workers, toy makers, perfume blenders, stone carvers and sword, dagger and armor craftsman — to demonstrate and sell their wares. Authentic food, from fish and chips to an English feast, also will be available as well as beer and ales for adults with proper identification” The event starts tonight, October 5th and runs through Sunday, October 7th and is located at Silverbowl Park 6800 E Russell Rd.

It’s a busy weekend within the Las Vegas community  we have local performing arts shows all weekend as well, see Wednesday’s post here. Get out there this weekend and support our local community.

Las Vegas PumpkinThursday & First Friday Events

It’s already October and First Friday is only a day away. It should be a more comfortable event this month now that the monsoon humidity has gone. I hope to see you out there tomorrow night. The event will kick off at 5pm in the Downtown Arts District, the hub is located an Colorado St. and Main St.

Oh but wait there is more. Do you like to carve pumpkins? If so First Friday is having a Pumpkin Carving World Record Breaking event today at Kids Zone on 1213 Casino Center. The event runs from 9 am till 9 pm. They provide the pumpkin, you provide your carving skills. You also get to take your piece of art home with you. Fun Right??? See the flyer below for more details.

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