The Adventurist Guide to Downtown Las Vegas

Sin City Pickers

antiquesIf you live anywhere near Downtown, or are a frequent visitor, I’m sure you’re familiar with Antique Alley and all of the wonderful shops there. Many shops specialize in certain things such as Vegas memorabilia, clocks, vintage items and/or collectibles. Possibly the most unique place to shop is at the south end of Antique Alley. It is Sin City Pickers. The two story green building is located on the northwest corner of Wyoming and Main Street. From the time you enter the space you will be engulfed in 10,000 square feet of shopping nirvana. This amazing venue has a wide selection of items from vintage and collectibles to albums and rare finds. Sin City Pickers is a unique space which houses many different stalls for vendors to sell their wares.

20160509_122022Many of the stalls have specialty collectibles such as tea sets, vintage signs, ceramics, furniture, and clothing. There are stalls where you can buy, sell, and/or trade items. Sin City also offers a space for local artists to display and sell their art.

Sin City may look different when you visit because every six months the stalls rotate to allow for different vendors and artists. There are booths that support different charities. Owner/manager Katie Hughes-Appel donates to charities such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Absence of Hunger which is an organization that provides meals to elementary school children to take home so that they have food to eat for dinner.

20160509_121731The second floor of the building houses a fantastic toy and collectible store. This stall has everything from Barbie to Star Trek. You can definitely get lost looking through the stacks of comic books and shelves of action figures. There are items for all ages and every level of collector.

Sin City hosts many events throughout the year. One of the regular events is on Thursday evenings when there is a running game of Dungeons and Dragons. There are steam punk tea parties throughout the year. In the fall there will be a comic book fair and art exhibit. Sin City has also hosted yard sales and farmer’s markets. Be on the lookout for more events to come.

20160509_122927One of the coolest things in Sin City pickers is an electric shock therapy machine possibly from the early 1930’s! The machine has been transported here from Boston. The investigators from Southern Nevada Ghost hunters have tested the machine for paranormal activity and it registered a tremendous amount! They intend to investigate further and film an episode from Sin City Pickers. How cool is that?!

Take some time to sift through the wonderful treasures such as the over 6000 records in the new record room, vintage dolls and collectibles, and other amazing finds at the Rabbit Hole. Sin City Pickers is open 11am-6pm with free parking in front and in back of the store located at 10 W. Wyoming. Like and follow them on Facebook at Countess Katie’s Art Emporium/Sin City Pickers Antique Mall.

JinJu Chocolates

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20160421_125557Downtown is the best place to experience all Las Vegas has to offer. One of the sweetest places to visit is in Container Park. JinJu Chocolates is a unique chocolate shop located on the second floor. The shop offers a variety of chocolate items you can’t get anywhere else.

JinJu Chocolates was founded by Jin Caldwell. Caldwell honed her skills as a Master Chocolatier and an award-winning pastry chef under the guidance of some of the world’s top pastry chefs in Las Vegas. Jin became a chocolatier for Ethel’s chocolates where, for six years, she provided product innovation direction for Mar’s Chocolate Inc.

Jin started her own business JinJu Chocolates in 2011. Jin uses only fresh ingredients and no preservatives. She is one of the “exclusive chocolatiers” to offer Fortunato No.4 Peru Nacional Chocolate. Jin has a simple philosophy, “exceptional chocolate should be an experience of all five senses and treasured for simplicity of ingredients.”

FullSizeRenderEach chocolate is hand crafted and absolutely beautiful. Once you’ve experienced the Berry Mascarpone or the Tropical Fruit, you will understand why JinJu was voted Best Chocolate Shop in Las Vegas in 2015 shortly after opening. You can order directly from the website or pick up a collection at one of the luxury properties on the strip such as the Bellagio, the Wynn, Caesar’s Palace, the Palms, and the Cosmopolitan.

JinJu means treasure and we are sure that you will discover many treasures when you walk through the door. Visit JinJu Chocolates on the second floor of Container Park 707 Fremont St. To help you on your treasure hunt, Jin is offering a 15% discount to all followers of the Adventurist Guide! Make sure you mention that you read the Story on our website.

Art of Flavors 3.O That Is Amazing Gelato

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What do you get when a former executive pastry chef with exceptional food knowledge takes over a storied gelato joint? Frosty dessert experiences that border on the orgasmic that’s what. On my first visit I tried 20 Art of Flavors seasonally crafted gelatos and nearly had a meltdown. Toasted honey, sweet potato caramel-pecan, spicy chocolate, roasted pistachio strawberry, red wine hibiscus. All were exquisite yet not oversaturated. The 70% cacao chocolate gelato approached a level of sensory overload, but if that’s a flaw it’s easy to forgive. The sorbet flavors were excellent too with fresh mango, passion fruit, and guava sparingly sugared to perfection.

artOfFlavors3Among his list of qualifications, the shop’s new owner, Doug Taylor oversaw the creation of dessert menu items at Mario Batali’s Las Vegas restaurants and assisted the celebrity chef in opening a San Diego property too. He taught agriculture classes for University of Nevada’s Cooperative Extension and grew an urban orchard with 50 fruit-bearing trees in the front yard of his downtown Las Vegas home. Yes, he’s a chef who can also farm. Moreover, he acted as a liaison between local commercial farmers and chefs at fine dining establishments on the LV Strip. Taylor is a food expert with a passion for sourcing produce. He employs a food-science perspective to highlight his ingredients natural qualities. The chef bears a great respect for the fruits and other food products he uses and it shows.

artOfFlavorsGelato flavors presently in the works include pine nut, sugar free China Ranch date, brown butter pecan-brittle, cold infused espresso bean, as well as a raspberry sorbet. My expectation is that offerings will ever be evolving at Art of Flavors. Paying a visit really is like taking in a sublime exhibit at a fine art gallery. It’s an experience I’m looking forward to enjoying again and again.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours Downtown

restaurantsLip Smacking Foodie Tours is an exciting way for visitors and locals alike to get a taste of some of the most notable restaurants in Las Vegas. While the immediate draw of sampling food in a few of the trendiest eateries in town is enticing, guests also have the opportunity to see some of the iconic places that make Las Vegas great. On the Downtown leg of the tour, guests will see the famous El Cortez, pass by Emergency Arts which is located in the former Fremont Medical building, and visit the beautiful Carson building. Guests will avoid lines while the guides take them right into the acclaimed Carson Kitchen, brainchild of the late celebrity chef Kerry Simon. This venue has an open kitchen which gives visitors a unique experience as they prepare to sample Americana fare made with garden fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Tour guests will also visit Glutton. This is a new, upcoming spot that features elevated comfort foods and American fare. Glutton showcases locally sourced produce, housemade pasta, and seafood from the Pacific Northwest. Chef-Owner Bradley Manchester has created a place with a neighborhood vibe featuring craft cocktails with a concise menu of small and large plates.

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Guests will also venture further north to Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whiskey located at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Ogden. Don’t let the name fool you, the flavors here are far from small! This restaurant features create-your- own ramen bowls and rice bowls as well as hand rolls and more than a dozen Asian inspired dishes.

The tour will continue through the multi-use venue, Container Park. This unique space provides small shops and restaurants in repurposed shipping containers. There is a large stage with different entertainment such as live performances, movies, and activities for children and families. There is also a large play area open until 9 pm for children to enjoy.

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For tour participants who are over 21, there is an opportunity to visit Banger Brewing where you will be able to see how small batch craft beer is made and sample some unique brews.

If you are looking for a unique way to spend an evening and taste some of the best of Downtown, visit www.vegasfoodietour.com for more information.

The Las Vegas Ballet School Keeping Downtown on Their Toes

Las Vegas Ballet School

schoolsThe Las Vegas Ballet school is the brainchild of dancer Welthy Silva. She began the school five years ago on Main Street. She started the school because she didn’t like driving all over town to teach at other dance schools and having her own school means teaching her own way. Living downtown she saw the need for a ballet school in the neighborhood. Ms. Silva has been dancing since the age of 3 and credits dance for helping her through some tough times in life. She says that she “feels very lucky to be doing what I love and hopefully adding some sunshine to people’s lives, especially to the lives of children.”

Las Vegas Ballet SchoolMs. Silva danced with the Children’s Ballet Theatre in Durham, NC. She went on to dance professionally in venues all over the world. She has danced in shows in Berlin, Beirut and even small cabaret theatres in Tokyo and Las Vegas. She is a certified American Ballet Theatre teacher having completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She has experience teaching students ages 3 to 83 and hopes to share her knowledge and love of dance and to inspire happiness and beauty in life through dance.

The school offers classes for dancers of all ages and all skill levels. There are movement classes for dancers as young as three. The studio also offers classes in classic ballet, beginning ballet, pointe, and jazz. For more information please visit www.downtownballet.com.

Dancers and young performers from the school will be performing at the community event Santa in the Circle on Saturday December 5th 10:30am in Huntridge Circle Park.