Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reno's Renaissance?

Reno calls itself "the biggest little city in the world?" To wit, wha? At any rate, the city itself seems not so big and like most cities of old, it was built around the river and it expanded gradually outward. Yes, it's no Vegas, but no city is. Besides, it's better than Carson City (which seems like the smallest capital of the western states) or Sparks.

Architecturally speaking, you have a mix of: Victorians from when the city's earliest days, brick hotels from the 20's and 30's, ugly government buildings and hotels from the 50's and 60's, closed casinos from the 60's and 70's, and a nice mix of modern condos...though not enough of them. There is no uniform revival as there was in Vegas, the funds aren't available now that the California Native American casinos have snatched up both the compulsive and casual gambling dollars.

As I explained to The Missus, if you haven't already booked a hotel in Reno and it is snowing heavily or raining, you are going to stop at California Native American casinos first. It's the safer drive, which is kind of shame because Reno has potential that may never be fully realized.

The picture below is pretty much symbolic of the city...

You think "oooh, 'Magic Underground?" The possiblities make the mind swim...

Then you go around the corner and you get this building. An escapee from either "Logan's Run," one of the "Planet of The Apes" movies or a Glen Larson production like "Buck Rodgers" or the original "Battle Star Galactica."

Take you hands off of me, you damn, dirty magician!

Cleanse your eyes with the condo building below, that is adjacent to Reno's River Walk.

Then there these mobiles all over Downtown. I've seen one just like this in Marin, made with oil drums.

What's this?

It's a fish.
No, it's a bicycle rack!
No, it's a fish!
No, you're wrong, it's a bike rack!
You are both wrong, it's a desert topping and a floor wax!

Let's move on to Reno's River Walk, shall we? If they built three more things just like this, they might have something special.

And who funded this endeavour? Why, Doctor Strangelove, of course. No, he only looks like Sellars in his famous role...

A sculpture...

The fountain. Ducks, eagles, falcons and fish abound.

The fountain empties here...

Going down the drain, just like my readership ; )



Blogger Quin Browne said...

and here i thought it was a bass-o-matic

Tue May 27, 04:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bubs said...

I worked with the Reno PD SWAT team in New Orleans after Katrina. They said if you liked outdoor stuff like hiking, camping, hunting, mountain biking it was a great city.

They didn't mention the public art.

Tue May 27, 06:26:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


It slices, it dices, it scales, and it catches fish!


That's because this is the extent of it, though like I said, a couple more projects, and you have something real interesting. You have your chain stores and a really, really, nice antique store right next door to the casinos. I know you would dig all the cool vintage stuff that they had.

They had the Boho cafe right next door to the River Walk, though an amazing dearth of theaters which is not a good sign.

Tue May 27, 08:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Some Guy said...

You've certainly proven that Reno is the U.S. equivalent to Florence, Italy.

Wed May 28, 04:53:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous bookfraud said...

reno sounds like the ultimate amalgam of americana: it has a riverwalk (san antonio), architecture from all periods of the 20th century, logan's run reference (ha!), a living snl parody, and a fish-head bicycle rack. and you forgot legal prostitution. what more could a poor boy want? it sounds like bizzaroville, my kind of town.

nice pics. your readership shall not go down the drain, not if i can help it.

Wed May 28, 07:57:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Certamente...e Io sono il "Ponte Vecchio".

(Certainly...and I am the "Old Bridge.")


True, everything but a symphony and theater. To compensate, they do have excellent jazz and rock radio stations.

"nice pics. your readership shall not go down the drain, not if i can help it."

I'm sorry, that cow got out of the barn a couple of weeks ago and Mel Gibson is repeatedly tipping it.

Wed May 28, 08:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger BeckEye said...

Cool pics.

But where's Mike Reno?

Wed May 28, 10:53:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Do you "The Scream" by Munch? Because that is what you are making me do right now.

Wed May 28, 11:02:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jewgirl said...

Reno has changed a lot, child. The last time I was there, it was pretty underdeveloped. now, it's a thriving metropolis.

Sat May 31, 03:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


There is literally twice as many houses as when I was there in '93. If they can work out downtown and hopefully put in contigency plans for street cars or trains if they hit a certain threshhold, it will be a good city.

Sun Jun 01, 08:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dale said...

Any city that has something that works as a dessert topping and a floor wax gets my vote.

Mon Jun 02, 07:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Some of the food at Circus Circus tastes more floor wax, than dessert topping.

Mon Jun 02, 08:40:00 PM PDT  

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