I came to Vegas with only one thing to do on my list: i needed to find a vintage shop. When I thought of Nevada’s sin city, what came to my mind were tall women in glamorous gowns with high heels and feather boas, standing by the gambling tables watching their husbands and sugar daddies lose a fortune or win big. Surely there would have to be a vintage shop that has kept remnants of those glory days when Las Vegas was still how we knew it from old James Bond movies.
As things happen sometimes, Vegas was not all that I hoped it would be. Yes, we stayed at a huge 5-star hotel for less than $50 a night and yes, we enjoyed more than one of the ultra-strong free margaritas that are being served to you as soon as you take a seat at a slot machine but still we felt none of the glamour and magic we had anticipated. Vegas was going to be our final stop on an amazing road trip I did with my good friend Anthony from Austin, Texas via Grand Canyon (see the video here). The past days had been full of excitement, special moments and memorabilia that would stick with us forever, so we hoped for a grand finish. We hoped that a Dollar would win us a million, that we’d be welcomed like royalty, that we’d party like celebrities. Instead we argued over money, got overwhelmed with the crowds and just couldn’t find a common ground that would have enabled us to make the most of it.
We did try to like it, mind you. We asked waitresses and bartenders for the “local” Las Vegas. Where did the people go to who lived here? Surely there were some cool, hidden bars no one knew about? What we got were shrugs and empty eyes, people telling us that this was all there is. People came here for the jobs, not to have fun.
When our 2 days were up Anthony had to drive the car back to Austin while I needed to catch the Greyhound bus to Los Angeles. The Greyhound Station was in a slightly shabbier looking area, closer to the old part of Las Vegas that was only frequented by the same people who’ve been coming for the past 40 years. Happy to be leaving this bizarre place in the middle of the desert I suddenly couldn’t believe what I saw:
It was a Vintage shop! A real big one, with bright colors and different styles in the windows! I felt this was almost like a mirage. Just as I was about to leave Las Vegas feeling that I liked next to nothing about it, I found the place I had initially come for. Here I would find that dress I wanted, that I could keep in my closet and wear for myself every now and then because it was far too outlandish to wear outside and in public. I asked Anthony to stop the car and with a wide smile I walked across the street and opened the doors of The Attic.
I assure you I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never seen a cooler vintage shop. This 2-story haven of sequins and leopard print is full of extraordinary dresses, accessories, even furniture and and novelties of all sorts. Imagine the perfect vintage paradise – this was it.
The place was complete with all the vintage wonders I could ask for, swaying with Vegas glamour from each decade of the past century. There was even a parrot called Miss Kitty shouting things, not sure it was all friendly stuff, though.
On their website the Attic describe themselves as the biggest vintage shop in the world and while this may or may not be true, it has been going strong since 1989, so you know this place is doing something right. They offer to customize any piece that might not fit perfectly and with a bit of a smile and wink in your eye you might even be able to negotiate a small discount here and there, it’s worth asking. I might be biased but i consider this place as the biggest attraction in the whole of Las Vegas, so do not miss to pay it a visit.
As it goes, I do believe in signs, especially when I travel and so I like to believe that my finding the Attic on a whim was a way for Las Vegas to tell me that not all is bad about it and that it’s worth coming back to one day, and hopefully find even more cool stuff that the guidebooks don’t tell you about. I did find that dress which holds a cherished spot in my wardrobe. One day I will go back to Vegas if only to wear that dress for the first time.
If you have secrets or tips to share about Las Vegas, I would love to read them in the comment. That way I’ll start crafting a list of things to do for when I go back there.