Downtown Las Vegas Has Some Brooklyn Vibes, And We’re Here For It

Collage photos by Austen Tosone

The similarities are actually pretty wild

Las Vegas has a reputation that precedes it: the place you go to gamble, to party, to get married at a moment’s notice, and—most of all—to escape reality. What's not to love?

So when given the opportunity to check out a locale that’s been on my travel bucket list for a while, I wasted no time putting my adventure pants on and flying across the country, even though I knew virtually nothing about the city, other than what I had seen in movies (read: casinos, expensive hotels, and some interesting characters). 

Vegas may be the place you go to gamble, party, or get married, but I did none of those things (somewhere in New Jersey my mother breathes a sigh of relief). And rather than escaping my reality, I actually found that the Downtown area of Las Vegas held a mirror up to it. I may have been in a different zip code, but I couldn’t help but notice that the scene in DTLV felt a lot like where I live in Brooklyn, New York. 

No, really: The Citrus Grand Pool Deck at the Downtown Grand hotel has some similar vibes to the rooftop of the William Vale in Williamsburg. The wall murals that were commissioned for the Life Is Beautiful Music Festival, which takes place in DTLV, give the ones in Bushwick a run for their money. And with its bright lights, street performers, and high-thrill entertainment (I’m looking at you Slotzilla Zip Line), Fremont Street reminded me of Coney Island. Even spending a few nights in the Real World Suite at the Oasis at Gold Spike where a season of the reality show was filmed, reminded me of the show's seasons in New York City. 

Plus, much like in Brooklyn, the DTLV food and drink options are also cool without trying too hard. Here’s how my dream food and drink day would be spent in Downtown: breakfast at Donut Bar, famous for its unique donuts that have a whole Pop-Tart stuffed inside; lunch at Flippin’ Good (double cheeseburger, vanilla shake, hold the fries); afternoon cocktails at the Velveteen Rabbit, a women-run establishment that borders the Arts District neighborhood; dinner at Park on Fremont; and a night out at local bar Commonwealth, with dancing on the rooftop and a quick getaway through a door in the back to the Laundry Room, a speakeasy hidden within. 

Most of all, once you find yourself off the beaten path—or the beaten strip—you come face-to-face with the thing that really makes this area awesome: the people. The Downtown locals are a nonjudgmental crew. Just like New Yorkers, Vegas dwellers often have frequent visits from out-of-town friends and are constantly playing tour guide and showing off their favorite neighborhood spots, thus making all visitors feel the way I felt while I was there—right at home. 

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Which one, though?

Kim Kardashian is suing fast fashion retailer Missguided, claiming that the brand uses her image to spark interest in and sell its clothing. This lawsuit comes a few days after a theory, that she may be selling her own vintage clothing designs to fast fashion brands so that they can rip them off, made its rounds on the internet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kardashian's attorney Michael Kump writes that "Missguided systematically uses the names and images of Kardashian and other celebrities to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing." Other celebrities that the brand has tagged on its Instagram include Cardi B and Dua Lipa, along with the other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Kump uses the example of the Yeezy dress that Kim posted to Instagram, which was ripped off by the brand within a couple of hours. "Recently, for example, after Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram of a dress that was made for her... Missguided quickly responded with its own Instagram post... boasting that it would be ripping off the design within 'a few days,'" Kump continues. "Missguided purposefully inserted Kardashian's Instagram username (@KimKardashian) into its post to capitalize on her celebrity status and social media following in promoting the sale of its upcoming product."

Kump also draws attention to the fact that the brand uses Kardashian's name so much that it may lead others to believe that she works with the brand, which, he wants to make clear, she does not: "Missguided's U.S. website has included entire pages that are devoted solely to the sale of clothing inspired by Kardashian, and on which Kardashian's name and likeness are prominently used without her permission to promote the products."

Some are noting that it's suspicious that Kardashian is not suing Fashion Nova, as well, since the brand most recently ripped off a vintage Mugler gown that Kardashian wore. Though it may be harder for Kardashian to make any claims since timestamps have revealed that the dress was made before Kardashian premiered the dress.



Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

He previously claimed to be a victim of a hate crime

According to reports, actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested by the Chicago Police Department. As CNN outlines, he's facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

The Empire star previously claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime on January 29. He alleged that two masked men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and yelled, "This is MAGA country!" Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were eventually arrested and brought in for questioning, during which news broke that one appeared on Empire and the other worked as Smollett's personal trainer. Now, according to both men and reports, it's being said that Smollett paid them to "orchestrate" the attack.

Smollett's attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, have issued a statement regarding their client's defense. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," they told Deadline. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If this is all true, this unfortunate turn of events should in no way take away from the fact that there is an abundant number of racially and sexually motivated attacks happening all of the time. They also still remain vastly underreported, so it's essential to listen to alleged victims, always.