I had spent the week enamored by the bright lights and big action Las Vegas had to offer, and was ecstatic when an insider suggested capping the trip off with a much needed schooling on the Mob’s involvement with this bustling metropolis. Proposing a trip to the Mob Museum, I was totally in, I only hoped I wasn’t about to be bamboozled.
Walking up the steps of this wildly historic building, I felt like I was suddenly preparing to stand trial in this former US Federal Courthouse, about to get pinched. Talk about setting the stage; I was engrossed before even stepping foot inside the actual museum. What drove it home even further were the ticket takers and guides: carefully scattered throughout the three story museum, each and every one felt like a wise guy. From their appearance, to their seemingly authentic accents, they had the vibe in this place nailed.
Already feeling like I was spending the afternoon in Bugsy Siegel’s shoes, the interactive exhibits on each floor really sealed the deal. I felt like a hot headed, maniacal gangster, ruthlessly tearing up the streets when I fired a simulated Tommy Gun, tried to keep my cool behind an authentic two-way mirror lineup, and facing my short-lived fate in a replicated electric chair. So yeah, interactive doesn’t even begin to describe it when you’re fascinated on this crazy level.
Right when I’d get totally obsessed with this hard-hearted world of crime, I’d march around the corner, presented with the law enforcement’s sobering side of the story. With that being said, I’m certain all museums are aiming to convey the truth, but The Mob Museum was a breath of fresh air I couldn’t quite put my finger on. You’d think that you’ve heard it all before, or that this age-old cat and mouse tale of mobsters versus cops would be presented in utterly different lights at two completely separate establishments. Although there was a great deal left to the imagination, from what I could tell, the ‘family’s’ version was just as truthfully depicted as the police force’s story.
So, after being completely dazzled by hours of dark and enigmatic tales of racketeering, where do I go from here? In search of some heavenly Italian food, obviously. Yep, I’m talking about Ferraro’s in downtown Las Vegas. Dear Lord, the spinach ravioli and tiramisu still has my head spinning…and their amazing service really makes you feel like you’re ‘family.’ Now, [remembering things like ‘never rat out your friends and always keep your mouth shut’] I can only hope I don’t get whacked for ratting out this buried Vegas secret.
And just when you’re thinking your charming ‘day in the life of a gangster’ doesn’t get any better, a trip to a seriously cool, majorly iconic cocktail lounge [Vegas’ oldest in fact] will really seal the deal. Refreshments at Atomic Liquors like the “F Bomb”, “Hunter S. Smash” and “Last Word” make it hard to forget where you are.
What I’ll tell you, is spending a day like this in Vegas will definitely make you feel like the King of Cool himself. Mob Museum, Ferraro’s and Atomic Liquors? Now aint that a kick in the head?