Steve Friess, a columnist, podcaster and major media contributor based in Las Vegas, has relocated to the University of Michigan as a Knight-Wallace fellow. For his final Las Vegas Weekly column, he uncorked one of the most memorable farewell-to-readers essays FishbowlLA has ever read.
Beginning with a full-time job at the Review-Journal in 1996, Friess’ professional experiences in Sin City mirrored the leisure capital’s explosive growth. He departed a couple of times for gigs in South Florida and China, but realized just how much Vegas was in his blood when he turned down a 2003 job interview opportunity with the Washington Post. Writes Friess:
I took a fake Liza Minnelli whom I met at the Celebrity Impersonators Convention to a 2 a.m. show by the real Liza at the Luxor. I covered rock-paper-scissors and Monopoly championships… I wrote full-service guidebooks geared towards gays, NASCAR fans and the French. My Little Brother (from Big Brothers Big Sisters) and I snuck into all the pools on the Strip and graded them for the Los Angeles Times.