Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Last scheduled signing

I have one more scheduled book signing for My Week at the Blue Angel. It’ll be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Barnes & Noble near Summerlin (8915 W. Charleston Blvd., 89117). I’ll be there till at least 2.

I haven’t seen a lot of the folks who supported Beneath the Neon, which will also be available at B&N, at any of the My Week at the Blue Angel events. Hope to see you at this one.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Books at Resnicks

Oh, and Beneath the Neon and My Week at the Blue Angel are also available at Resnicks, the hip new convenience/grocery store at the bottom of Soho Lofts (Las Vegas Boulevard just north of Charleston). For more info on the store, visit www.resnicksgrocery.com. (Heads up: The site is under construction.)

Books at the Beat

Beneath the Neon and My Week at the Blue Angel are now available at the Beat in downtown Las Vegas (520 Fremont St., 89101). Owners Michael and Jennifer Cornthwaite, who are very supportive of local artists, agreed to stock a few signed copies of each book in their cool coffee shop that looks out onto Fremont. As far as I know, the Beat is the only business downtown that carries the books.

Maybe Michael and Jennifer’s next business venture will be a bookstore. Downtown could use one and it would sit well in the Fremont Street area, though, yeah, they probably wouldn’t get rich off it.

Casino Online review

A kind review of My Week at the Blue Angel by a casino website based in the UK:

http://www.casinoonline.co.uk/book-reviews/my-week-blue-angel

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Midwest Book Review

A short but sweet review of My Week at the Blue Angel by the Midwest Book Review:

My Week at the Blue Angel
Matthew O’Brien
Huntington Press
3665 Procyon Street, Las Vegas, NV 89103
1935396412, $14.95, www.shoplva.com

A sleazy cheap motel is often the headquarters of life’s adventures. “My Week at the Blue Angel: And Other Stories From the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas” is a collection of memoirs from Matthew O’Brien about his own unique adventures in Vegas, a town with no shortage of notoriety. His exploration however, isn’t the theme park, but the city that hides behind it that is living and breathing much like any city in America. With plenty of black and white photos, “My Week at the Blue Angel” is a fun and intriguing read that will prove very hard to put down.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leaving Paradise (Road)

I moved out of the Diplomat, on Paradise Road just south of DI, at the end of December and am now living in an apartment in downtown Las Vegas overlooking the boulevard. It was bittersweet, as I’d lived at the Diplomat since mid-2005 and have a lot of fond memories of the place. But it was time to move on.

As detailed in My Week at the Blue Angel, the Diplomat was originally owned by Wilbur Clark, frontman of the Desert Inn hotel-casino, and opened in 1960. It featured a porte-cochere, football field-sized courtyard and bow tie-shaped pool (the building and lobby are also shaped like a bow tie) and was home to actors, showgirls, mobsters, magicians, casino executives, comedians and showroom stars. Judy Garland lived in apartment 125, according to property managers Jan and O.J. Hasner. Betty Grable lived in 132, said fan and friend Bob Isoz. Dean Martin in 139. Ann-Margret and Louis Prima also lived at the complex.

When I moved in, the Diplomat—like many Las Vegas headliners—was past its prime. The stucco and wood-frame building was dingy, its trim faded. There were no showgirls by the pool. It was home to cabbies, construction workers, card dealers, bartenders, front-desk clerks, punk rockers and retirees.

I found a crack pipe (not a headdress or sequined jacket) in the closet.

Jan Hasner said former tenants often visit the Diplomat to walk the courtyard and reminisce. What do they think about, I wondered in the story (titled “Another Day on Paradise”)? An addiction? A lost love? Visits from the grandchildren? If I visit, what will I think about? My ex-girlfriend? The books I wrote? The women in maid uniforms and nametags, shuffling toward the mailbox, too tired to smile?

I don’t know. But I do know I’ll miss the place, in many ways. The unique floor plans. The green and shaded courtyard. And the friendly and eccentric neighbors, many of whom I consider close friends.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beneath the Neon for 98 cents!

About halfway through my book signing on Saturday, which went pretty well, someone pointed out that Borders was selling Beneath the Neon (list price $19.95) for 98 cents a copy. Apparently, it was some kind of “Super Saver” sale — or the store just screwed up.

Regardless, there were three or four copies of the book left when I finished the signing. So, if you haven’t bought the book and live in the southeast valley (the store is at Sunset and Stephanie), you may want to call and see if copies are available and if they’re still scanning at that price.

The number is 702-433-6222.

AJC story

This article about the Shine a Light community project, which was posted on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website over the weekend, was written by freelancer Bill Banks. Not sure if it has appeared in the hard copy of the paper. (It’s snowing in Atlanta and, apparently, the paper wasn’t delivered today.) If anyone has seen it in the hard copy, please let me know.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/decatur-native-helps-underground-799070.html

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book signing

I’ll sign copies of Beneath the Neon and My Week at the Blue Angel Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at Borders (1445 W. Sunset Road, Henderson, NV 89014). I’ll be there till at least 4.

I have only one more scheduled signing after this Saturday (Feb. 5 at the Barnes & Noble on West Charleston). Hope to see you at one of them.