I have officially been a resident of Las Vegas for just over 4 months now. Whenever friends ask how things are going, I answer quickly, “I love it…I really love it,” which surprises me every time the words come out of my mouth. Not because I didn’t think I’d love it, but because of how quickly it’s become home for me.
I lived in Madison, WI for over 4 years and it never really felt like home, but I don’t know why. I then moved to San Jose, then San Mateo, and eventually on to San Francisco where it took a while, but the city finally felt like home. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with San Francisco during my very first visit when I stood at Twin Peaks and looked over the entire city. I knew in my heart that I was moving there and did a few months later. No matter how fast I fell in love with the fabulousness of the city, it took a while for it to feel like home.
So why has Vegas not only found its way into my heart (honestly–it did that a year ago–but that’s another story!) but is a place I call home sweet home so quickly? Because of the community that is growing and thriving in Downtown Vegas. What’s awesome is I’m not the only one who can see it, taste it, feel it. I’ve had numerous friends visit in the short while I’ve lived here and they all say they same things which only confirms the validity of the community.
It’s not something that’s exclusive or contrived. It’s real…very real…and very exciting. It’s a community of passionate people coming together to be a part of something bigger than each of us could ever imagine as a single unit. I compare it to the community that brought so many people together in SF in early 2008, when people shared ideas openly, challenged each other, and cheered each other on. Part of the reason I left the city I loved was because that spirit seemed to be dying. For a while, I thought maybe it was just something I was seeing only through my eyes, but after multiple conversations with others who were a part of that community, I’ve come to the conclusion that the spirit that thrived was in fact missing now.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ondi Timoner last week as she was a speaker at the Tech Cocktail Celebrate conference that we produced. I controlled my inner fan girl as she directed “We Live in Public“, a documentary that was shared in the online community a few years ago and really made me think about the things I share via social networks and why I share them. Ondi is working on a project called “A Total Disruption” and shared this video she made during her visit to Downtown Vegas last week. You can also read her take on what’s going on so you understand from an outsiders perspective. It makes my heart sing and I hope that it will help you understand why I moved to Vegas and why I am so happy to call it ‘home’.