Saturday, March 14, 2015

Um, no

Hah! Not by a long shot.

This is an interesting gallery and piece because it isn't in the same vein as Vice's "Your Town is a Paradise" series (which deliberately seeks the underground/underbelly of a given city, and which did a bang-up job in Reno). This one is from a business magazine that I wouldn't guess was into clickbait.

In any case, the photos in the gallery are from a project where a photographer deliberately went to Reno's downtown casinos during off-peak hours and either snapped deserted areas or exposed people out of the shots. I'm not a casino-goer, but I've been inside or passed by enough times at many different times of the day and night to know that there are almost always people milling about. (To say nothing of places like the Grand Sierra Resort and the Peppermill, whose massive parking lots always look like a mall's on Black Friday.) 

As for the Biggest Little City's reinvention as a bowling mecca, well, it's been that for years now. The real reinvention (at least in the business sense, and one completely overlooked in the business article) is that Tesla its building its battery gigafactory here, which is worth billions. When Tesla-type cars are the standard (which can't happen soon enough), the Reno-Sparks region is going to be a main player in their generation.

Reno is so much more than the gambling and divorce corridor that was cemented in the American mind back in the 1950s. It's a college town, it's near Lake Tahoe, there are lots of recreational/art/museum/sports opportunities and is in most respects the same as any other mid-size city, for better or worse. It's not without its problems, but that's true of every place, everywhere. Far from being the most depressing place on Earth, it's not even the most depressing place I've ever lived. And anything truly depressing wouldn't have functioning buildings of any sort, or likely living humans. First World Hyperbole.

Really, my point is less about defending Reno (which doesn't need my help) than about calling out journalism that's misleading and incomplete even by the standards of your typical Internet slideshow.

And now I'm off for another day in Reno.


Kevin said...

I've always wanted to see Reno. Seriously. It looks fascinating, like Vegas before Vegas became so grim... plus beautiful natural surroundings.

Ian McGibboney said...

The natural surroundings are the best part for me, but there is no shortage of things to do.