Tag Archives: Friday Field Trip

Mob Museum

Today’s #FridayFieldTrip was a long overdue visit to the Mob Museum here in Las Vegas. The museum is housed in the old post office/court house, built in 1933. It’s so rare to be able to visit something old in Las Vegas, because we blow things up and bulldoze them down to build the latest thing. The building is on the National register of historic places, and they’ve done a great job maintaining the integrity of the building while creating a museum space.

The museum collection was both interesting and disturbing. It’s about gangsters and police, so there are some rather graphic images of dead guys, not to mention electric chairs. But all the exhibits were well written, even thoughtful. Each one was a standalone piece.

While the information is interesting, and there’s an attempt to create a timeline, it felt to me that there’s a lack of through line to the collection. I don’t know that a comprehensive story was told of organized crime in America (or even Las Vegas). It was simply a series of snippets. Of course, most art museums don’t present the entire history of art, either.

Cleveland was mentioned several times, but none of my family members were named, so that’s a good thing.

I left there feeling a bit sad and uneasy about the world we live in. Maybe that’s the point?

Robert Beckmann

Today’s #FridayFieldTrip was a visit to the West Sahara Library and The Studio for Transmutations: Robert Beckmann: Under the Western Sky 1967-2017. There were several interesting pieces by Beckmann, but I found it interesting that he doesn’t seem to have a style of his own. Instead, all the work seemed to be inspired by other styles and painters. While Beckmann has the skills, I don’t know that he’s actually found his own voice.

Lions in Las Vegas


Today’s #FridayFieldTrip was a visit to the Lion Habitat in Henderson, NV.  It was wonderful to hear lions roar–once one big cat sounds off, others follow and the sound is amazing.

The facility is incredibly clean, although you do have to watch so you don’t get sprayed by the cats who back up to the edge of their cages and urinate.

The volunteers and staff and very knowledgeable and happy to answer any and all questions. They also seemed just as amazed and in awe of their charges as the visitors.

Many of these lions were part of the MGM’s habitat, which closed a few years ago. But, they’re not show cats. While hand fed, they aren’t trained to do tricks and they still have their teeth and claws.

It was very cool spending the afternoon with these majestic beasts. They’re way bigger than I imagined. I mean, I knew they’d be big. I’ve seen them on TV and in the movies. But, until you’re standing a few feet away, you just don’t get it. The massive paws and huge heads.

At one point, while being fed, for a brief moment, two of the youngest cats squabbled. The sound and energy of that moment brought a hint of fear to my soul. Not for them, but for me. Not that I was actually in any danger, but it triggered some deep seated instinct of fear when I heard those angry roars–like our house cats on massive steroids, or something. Silly, I know.

And, then there’s Ossie, the only giraffe in Nevada. He’s cool and interesting and, well, he paints. Their tongues are amazing, like a finger. The handler said their tongues grow an inch in length for every foot the animal grows in height. Ossie is only three years old. So, he’ll grow another 10 or so feet in height. Ossie’s paintings are actually pretty cool and available for purchase in the little gift shop.

It was a very nice day at the ranch. I’ve been seeing signs and wanting to visit for some time and my only regret is that I waited this long to go there. Locals get an entrance fee discount, which is always nice.

The habitat is only open from 11-3 a few days a week. Visit their website for more details.