Seen on the Road, November 2012

If it's Novemeber, then that's when my wife and I are on the road down to Las Vegas and then to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and points north.

Here are a few things that caught my attention.

Yes, Las Vegas has lots of "visual clutter." But that's what can make it interesting. I don't gamble, but instead while away our annual weekly stay by strolling the streets, casinos and shops looking at architecture, products and people. The photo above features the plaza in front of the Venetian casino.

Nearby is the Fashion Show indoor mall which has many of the same upscale shops found in the casinos along with some of the usual mall fare. I have no idea what to make of that structure in front of it. Chalk it up to being in Vegas, I suppose. The truck with the sign advertising girls who really want to come visit you is one of a fleet that prowls up and down the Strip.

I noticed the "tasteful" jacket and matching shoes in a show window of the Billionaire shop in the Palazzo casino. Items in the shop are very expensive (more than a thousand for a pair of shoes, for instance), and if that jacket is any indication, marketed to the nouveau riche.

Meanwhile, over in the Wynn's, these ladies are setting up a window display at the Chanel shop. It seems that this season Chanel, Dior and some other couturiers are into puffy, above-the-knee dresses. Chanel in all its Vegas shops (and elsewhere, I suppose) has the mannequin's normal fake hair topped by a Louise Brooks style helmet wig of an unnatural shade (the wig leaves some of the other "hair" showing in all cases). I am not sure what Coco herself would make of this, given her preference for simple, understated, practical clothing.

On to Santa Barbara and its Nuevo Paseo, a downtown outdoor shopping mall. Before the Great Recession, Santa Barbara had plenty of stores. But now one sees a noticeable number of closed ones such as this former chocolate shop. Note that the Santa Barbara area has plenty of rich people. I noticed empty stores up in Carmel as well, Carmel being even more upscale. Given that the voters of California just voted in an income tax increase, I expect to find even more empty stores the next time I visit.

Speaking of Carmel, I thought it'd be fun to toss in a photo of Storybook Style as found in the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea itself. I've photographed this one before, but always there were cars parked in front, preventing a full view. I took this on a dreary day just before shops opened.

I thought they had been consigned to History. But no! It seems that Oscar Meyer has had some new Wienermobiles built such as this one seen in northern California. Long may they roll.