Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Lady Victoria, Ohio River, Cincinnati

Lady Victoria, Ohio River.

In most US states except Las Vegas, gambling is illegal and casinos cannot be built on US state land. Ingenious entrepreneurs, opened casino boats which would float on water so technically were not on US land (I am not too sure abt the water bottom tho) I have heard that there is even a place in Indiana where they constructed a man-made lake to have a boat on it for gambling. Anyway, Lady Victoria is a casino boat. It touches the shore every hour. Its open from 9:00 Am to 4:00 AM. They need the 5 hours to settle the days accounts else they would be open 24 hours.

It isn't the only casino boat around. There are a couple of others too, but they require you to pay an entry fee. Lady Victoria has free entry. It is located kind of in the Tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana on the Ohio River.

If you go there regularly, you can apply for a member card and use this card whenever you play the machines. This gives you credits for all the dollars you are throwing away which can then be redeemed against food and drink.

Water and soft drinks aboard are free. They also have a wide variety of drinks. AS usual I stuck to rum and coke and declined from throwing away good money. The friends I was with just about managed to walk away even. Ambience is great. You have all these great and aspiring gamblers around you. Dress up could be jeans, tights or even a suit if u r a high roller. Waitresses (or hostesses as they prefer to be called) walk around in stockings and skirted leotards. They bring drinks to your table if you are among the big spenders. Otherwise you need to go to the bar yourself.

It was an experience to see people throwing away their money in the hope of netting the big one. There were people around us winning a $1000 or more. But they were definitely spending around that amount in the 2 days it took them to get that money back. Recklessness abounds !!!!!


Friday, September 15, 2000

Drinking out in San Antonio : Durty Nellie's reviewed

Texas, the second largest state in the United states (next to alaska) is 1/4 the size of India. Home of the original texan rangers, it evocates images of handsome cowboys. Well thats what i thought I was in for when I planned my trip to San Antonio. Well San Antonio is just 3 hours from the Mexican border and was originally part of Mexico. So majority of its poulation is hispanic and not nomadic cowboys.

The San Antonio river winds itself forabout 5 miles around the city, passing below the Hilton and a few other such famous buildings. But the main attraction on the river bank is the pub hopping. The river bank (other than the places where it is actually flowing under public roads and buildings) is covered with pubs and eateries.

We went into Durty Nellies to begin with. Now this is basically an Irish ambience pub but any indian would feel totally in place out here. Snacks are on the house whther u drink or not. And snacks are unshelled monkeynuts or timepass. The funda is that u eat as many nuts as u want and u can drop the shells wherever u please. The floors the tables the chairs are all covered with moongphali ke chilke.

They claim that they have 490 tons of peanuts shelled so far. and the floor seems to give testimony to that fact. They have live entertainment personified by an irish gentle man ??? who plays the keyboards and belts out the raunchiest numbers possible with all the "meaningful" blanks filled in by the inebriated crowd.

As usual in the US, action hots up after 11. And too many drinks could land you in the drink literally since theres hardly 1/2 a metre of distance between the pubs entrance/exit and the river with no barricades between the 2 other than the crowd. 5 varied beers and a nutty irishman (kahlua, irish baileys and cream on ice or on coffee) brought our bill up to about $25 which is a reasonable amount given the prices in Chicago.

Action songs, ballroom waltzing or dirty dancing... anything goes. Dress is casual jeans, ties and suspenders or even business suits. You will see all kinds, and no one is uncomfortable no matter how much or how little they have on. Visited a couple more places along the river walk but didnt feel inclined to have anything more than an ice cream after the ambience of Durty Nellies.



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