non-celebrity rehab

That last tournament was traumatic enough that I took a vacation. I didn’t go very far and wasn’t gone for very long. All the same, it was good to see friends and it was good to eat some spiffy foods.


soooo gooood

Pho sho. I love Vietnamese noodle soup and there aren’t any good noodle shops where I live so if I’m going somewhere that is guaranteed to have some good pho, I make sure to get a bowl. The iced Vietnamese coffee is like rocket fuel (with sweetened condensed milk) and counteracts the food coma.


We went to check out the Cosmopolitan hotel which had opened late last year. All Vegas hotels need a signature “thing” nowadays in order to stick out from the crowd. The Cosmopolitan’s “thing” is bling. My friend kept talking about crystals (and she really likes sparkly things) and really tried to convey what it was I was about to see.

We walked into the hotel, and I saw some bling on a mirrored column. It was neat, and very sparkly.

okay... ...this is kinda pretty...

But that was not the newsworthy sparkly bit.


The Cosmopolitan’s bling thing was not paltry crystal bits set into a mirrored column, it was their light fixture known as The Chandelier.

whoa nelly

like those beaded curtains... but so much more expensive...

...and impressive


From an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The chandelier, which took about a year to complete, combines more than 2 million crystal beads and three bars within a 10,000-square-foot space. The 65-foot tall fixture is made up of large crystal curtains combining layers of string that work to create a semitransparent skin around the interior.

The original design called for a chandelier with 4 million crystal beads. [A]fter calculating the impact on the hotel’s structure, changes were made to reduce the size and weight of the chandelier. The chandelier is anchored to a steel structure within the ceiling of The Cosmopolitan’s casino.

I do wonder what it would have looked like with twice the amount of crystals…

Of course, I tried to find out how much such a modest light fixture might cost (in case a random broke-ass pool player like myself wanted to commission one to live in) but in all articles about The Chandelier, those associated with the project “declined to discuss the costs related to the chandelier’s construction”. I was told the rumored cost was in the neighborhood of $6 million. Six million? Seems like a lot until you compare that to this bit I found about how The Cosmopolitan has been faring since it opened in December 2010:

The Cosmopolitan reported a loss of $54.3 million during the second quarter of 2011, bringing in a total of $126.1 million in revenue. Of that, over $70 million came from the restaurants and bars in the hotel-resort; just $28.1 million in revenues came from the casino.

Back to the sparklies.


The beads were strung on cables and draped everywhere (even around a luxury vending machine on the second floor) and you could go right up and handle them. That made me feel like a delinquent kid messing around with artifacts in a museum. I left fingerprints everywhere. Security guards and museum docents, WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW?!?! Whee!!

dude, they, like, let you touch them! heavy duty crystal beads -- could definitely kill someone with these

The crystal beads (made in China, of course) were hefty and not as sharply faceted as the beads I make jewelry with, but that made sense since these beads served a different purpose.

The photographs I have here don’t quite convey the size or scale of this light fixture. I found some publicity stills by James Medcraft for The Cosmopolitan and Rockwell Group (they did the hotel interior) which I’ve included below (until they tell me to take them down) for your admiration. Click to embiggen! (Opens in a new window.)



I’m going to make a more thorough visit with better photographs (and maybe a drink or two) the next time I’m in Vegas, but until then, if you are in Vegas, it’s worth gawking at in person.


After the bling impact (blingpact?) subsided, we wandered about the floors. On the second floor, which was populated with several nice restaurants, we were greeted with the following:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

Oh, it's a badly lit table populated with cocky non-players. How anti-climactic.

Yep, it’s a pool table. It’s covered in red felt, but hey — table time is free and your competition is generally extremely weak (although they don’t think so).

We didn’t go to see, but there are outdoor pool tables at the swimming pool area. If you visit the hotel website, you’ll see them in some of the publicity photographs.


We only had a short time before I was to leave Vegas so we stopped in one of the restaurants for a quick drink and bite. Below is easily one of the most magnificent sushi things I have ever eaten. It’s uni (sea urchin) wrapped in a slice of fish and banded with a ribbon of shiso leaf. The chef, charmed by my friend, even put a smidge of caviar on top.


This little snack wasn’t filling in the least but the memory of it will probably serve to motivate me to try and win a tournament. Because I sure as hell can’t afford to eat that on a regular basis.

The martini was good and KO’d me on my trip back to Lala-land and reality.


one for the road


And now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming consisting of blood, sweat, tears, bus rides, and fading an unknown number of assclowns who shall exhibit idiocy of a fearfully unknown magnitude — all in the name of winning something before the year is out.


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