Today, or tonight rather, I went to the long-awaited Freeside – or in our world – the area surrounding Fremont Street, in North Las Vegas. It was an exciting time and quite the sensory overload. I am going to spend two days here in Freeside, since there is so much I want to explore and see!
# 311 – Freeside
# 30 – Freeside’s east gate
# 210 / 373 – Atomic Wrangler Casino / corner room
# 211 – Cerulean Robotics
# 212 – King’s School of Impersonation
# 311 – Freeside – As aforementioned, Freeside is a reference to the real world Fremont Street in North Las Vegas. It is a pretty wild place, but everyone is very nice. There are two parts, the area known as the Fremont Street Experience, a canopy-covered pedestrian mall of sorts and the area outside of the canopy called Fremont East District. The entire area is located on the seven or so westernmost blocks of Fremont Street, also known as the Glitter Gulch.
I look a very long nap this afternoon to wait out the heat / recover from the heat of yesterday and woke up around 5:00 pm to head to Freeside. My airbnb was not too far away, but I was very tired still so I decided to drive. I parked in Downtowner Motel parking lot which is on the corner of 8th & Fremont – it was cheap and had plenty of spots. It was right next to some stacked semi containers that are brightly painted and lit up. There were some kids running around and laughing, some other people were making a rap video (?) and then others were taking wedding photos – my first taste of the varied activity of Freeside.
This area is bright and loud, especially for me having spent countless days in the quiet and solitude of the surrounding desert. The canopy above my head acted like a massive television screen, blinking lights per usual for Vegas danced around, and music pumped from speakers above my head. I wore earplugs because I am sensitive to sound, but it is likely palatable without them. The streets were jam packed with every kind of person – bachelorette parties, tourists speaking a variety of languages, families, costumed people, showgirls, Elvises (Elvii?), and more.
I was overwhelmed but in a good way. I had to keep myself on track all night, looking for New Vegas landmarks and keeping an eye out for subtle similarities – which was hard because of all the wild distractions!
# 30 – Freeside’s east gate – There is also an area is also called “Freeside East District” which is a separate area than the Fremont Street Experience, comprised of the areas between 8th and Las Vegas Boulevard, that are not under the canopy. The area is sandwiched in between two signs, the eastern-most one being right where I parked. So I was able to feel joy immediately seeing my first similarities of the day.
# 210 / 373 – Atomic Wrangler Casino / corner room – The Atomic Wrangler is based on the real world location Atomic Liquor, located on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. I found out that it is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas.
Interestingly, since the Nevada Test Site is located only 60 miles / 96 km to the northwest and patrons were able to watch the first of many nuclear test launches from the restaurant’s rooftop on January 27, 1951. It did not double as a brothel or hotel, so it didn’t have a corner room to kick someone out of.
The in-game sign has a nod to Doctor Strangelove, where the character Major Kong rides an atom bomb. A block away, there is a neon cowboy that looks similar as well.
# 211 – Cerulean Robotics – I looked and looked but could not find anything related to robotics in the area. The closest I got was a store within the Neonopolis called The Fremont Arcade. I played some pinball which was fun even though I am bad at it.
# 212 – King’s School of Impersonation – This location in-game is clearly a reference to Elvis “The King” Presley, of whom both of my grandmothers are obsessed with. I took a lot of photos of everything Elvis-related per their request. Elvis was synonymous with Vegas, having played 636 consecutive sold out shows at the (now) Westgate.
I think the in game equivalent, in location at least, is the Four Queens Hotel and Casino. It is on the corner directly as you walk into the Fremont Street Experience. This place was awesome – all of the little details were very cool. I liked the exterior walls, upon looking closely, are actually crowns. The writing along the sides looks somewhat similar to the in game building as well.
Today there are no Elvis museums, but there are many shows and impersonators. I found the Elvis statue later in my journey that I will include here.
Other notable things I saw tonight was the Hacienda slipper, an unappealing advertisement for “mac” and cheese (regrettably, not Blamco brand), a preying mantis that spits fire, a zip line that looked terrifying, and this mural that features a dude I have a hankerin to talk to.