The Time the Lights Were On But Nobody Was Home in Las Vegas
No one was unaffected by the early days of the pandemic when the Shelter in Place orders were much more strict. When many of us left our shelters for essentials we were reminded of any post apocalyptic movie we had ever seen. I know I was. The only reminders of normalcy were the essential and front line workers keeping the world turning whom I hold great gratitude for.
When the quarantine orders started to ease I felt it was finally safe for me to check on my family who live near Las Vegas. In mid March the Vegas Strip was shut down for the first time since JFK’s assassination and I was there in the beginning of June, the last week of the shutdown before the reopening.
While the Strip casinos and other businesses were closed, it was permitted to ride a bike down the strip and I took advantage of that as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I have been on the Vegas Strip countless times during my life. I’m very familiar with it. But I’ve never seen it like this. It was beautifully eerie. It was a balmy night, in the high 90’s. The crescent moon was setting behind the strip which was a photographers dream. The air had cleared, the usual “Vegas smell” was gone and the air smelled fresher than usual. It was rid of the usual stench of partying and exhaust fumes like it was going through its own disinfection. The most of the fountains were drained and dry. The Volcano at the Mirage was dark and still. It was quiet. We only saw about a dozen other people also on bikes soaking up the silent Strip as we were. I planned to be able to go back a time or two but I went on the last night it was safe to do so. In the nights after, civil unrest hit the Vegas strip and it was completely blocked off the next night.
These are the images I got. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to see it this way but I pray that nothing happens to make it look like this again.
If you are interested in purchasing prints of these photos they are available on my website here.
Gear used Nikon D7200 with Nikkor 50mm 1.8 D
Please click on images for larger view.
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