In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct 28, 2011 / 30 Tishrei, 5772

Losing at Wynn

By Greg Crosby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | All I can say is, Bugsy would have hated it. Frank would have hated it. Elvis too. My father definitely would have hated it. The last stop on our terrific road trip was to be in Las Vegas, at the Wynn Hotel. I wanted an elegant ending to our month-long travel adventure across the country and I figured that a couple of nights at the Wynn before going home would be just the right frosting on the cake. I figured wrong….in spades.

I chose the Wynn because we had been to Steve Wynn's other hotels through the years (Golden Nugget, Mirage) and always had a wonderful stay. We never stayed at The Bellagio, but we walked through the lobby and casino after it first opened years ago and appreciated the level of sophistication and décor throughout. I figured the Wynn and Encore would have that same level of elegance. Again, I figured wrong.

I should mention that it had been at least ten or twelve years since we last stayed in Las Vegas, but even back then the "old Vegas" was long gone. At that time Las Vegas was pushing the family friendly concept with amusement parks and other kiddy concessions attached to the casino/hotels. Families started coming, pushing baby strollers and dressed in their best amusement park clothing (T-shirts, tank tops, shorts and flip-flops).

But even though most of the town went in that direction, Steve Wynn's Mirage and his new Bellagio hotels harked back to the more adult, elegant Vegas of the fifties and sixties, when the tuxedo-clad Rat Pack guys and bejeweled gals stood at the gaming tables. The Wynn hotels always seemed a cut above, a bit more serious, a bit more sophisticated, and always done in the best of taste. You might say a class operation.

The first indication we had that things were not the same was when we walked in through the front door and felt the air. The hotel lobby air was warm and dank. One thing the old casino/hotels of Vegas were always noted for was the fresh, clean air that circulated throughout the lobby and casinos. No matter how oppressively hot it got outside, inside it was refreshing. The air in Wynn's was downright stuffy.

When we turned the corner in the lobby to get to the registration desk we couldn't believe our eyes. There must have been a hundred people waiting in a snaking rope-line. This was to register. The stanchion line looked like something you might see at a really busy day at Disneyland or going through the airport security check on a holiday week-end.

After 30 or 40 minutes we inched our way up to the desk and spoke with one of the dozen or so desk clerks. She took my credit cart info then asked for our cell phone number. Why? Well, so that she could call us and let us know when our room would be available. We dragged ourselves through the warm lobby and sat down at a bar near the casino. It was then that we became aware of yet another assault on our senses, the loud canned music. We were to find out later that the horrible screeching and thumping was nonstop and piped in everywhere within the complex. You couldn't get away from it.

Neither could you get away from the ugly interior decoration of the entire place. It looked like a cross between an exaggerated cartoon version of an Arabian Nightmare and Peter Max psychedelic hippy poster art. Bold colors swirling in enormous butterfly images on carpets, walls, ceilings, drapery, and furniture accompanying oversized Middle Eastern-style hanging tassels and light fixtures. But the butterfly images, what's THAT all about?

After about an hour we got our phone call and returned to get our room key, which you do at a separate bank of desks in the reception area. Our room was not what I had requested so they moved us to another room and we called to have our luggage sent up. Here's the way it works with the bellmen; there are front door/lobby bellmen and there are separate room bellmen. What this means to the guests is, you tip twice! You tip the guy in the lobby who first gets your bags out of the car and brings them into the hotel, and then you tip a different guy who takes them up to your room.

We had dinner reservations that night at one of Wynn's exclusive restaurants, Sinatra. When we made the reservations from home a month before, the girl taking our reservation asked if this was going to be a special occasion. Jane told her yes, it was her birthday. The girl said "Very good. I will make that notation with your reservation." We thought no more about it.

We arrived at the dinning room at our appointed time and were shown to our table by the host. After Jane was seated the host leaned over to her and handed her an envelope which had "Happy Birthday" written on it. She opened the envelope and read it: "Thank you for joining Sinatra on your special occasion! We are pleased to have you dinning with us! Grazie!" We ordered drinks and noticed that at a table nearby, a man was brought a small desert with a candle in it. Well, we figured Jane would be getting the same treatment. We figured wrong.

We wound up having a very nice multi-course dinner, including desert and coffee. The food was good (although a mistake was made on Jane's main course, but it was quickly rectified). The dinner was extremely expensive, but that was expected. What wasn't expected was that nothing was ever acknowledged concerning Jane's birthday beyond that little envelope she was handed. Why did the reservation girl make such a point of asking if this was to be a special occasion? What a disappointment. Even little neighborhood places bring out a dish of ice cream with a candle in it; you'd think a restaurant where dinner for two costs three hundred dollars would do a little something. No class. Frank would have hated it.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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