A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Reno As Hip Travel Wonderland?"

So asks the Advocate about the city that has been - according to the Advocate's Neal Broverman - "the Randy Quaid to Las Vegas's Dennis—less sexy and sophisticated but silly and fun nonetheless".

However, things are changing:
Lately, Reno has been growing up and showing off a profundity Vegas lacks, attracting queer residents and tourists who like their $3 surf and turf with a side of Warhol.

The town once known for quickie divorces and cheap slots is now hosting “Andy Warhol's Dream America,” a thorough retrospective of the pop artist's legacy being held at the striking four-story Nevada Museum of Art (160 W. Liberty St., (775) 329-3333, www.nevadaart.org). The NMA's wide-open spaces, designed by Will Bruder, invite lengthy observations of Warhol's soup cans and Marilyn worship. The multiroom exhibit lasts until May 27, with films, parties, and lunches complementing the art. But even if you find your way to Reno after Andy leaves town, a visit to NMA—the only accredited art museum in the state—is essential.

After all that culture, it's time for a drink. The NMA, only four blocks south of the city's downtown casino district, is in a delightful arts hood a world away from neon and showgirls. Cute bars, restaurants, and shops are cropping up, and the delicious Chocolate Bar (475 S. Arlington Ave., (775) 337-1122) is the neighborhood's piece de résistance. Like something out of nearby San Francisco, the tasteful café/bar serves up cocktails spiked with exotic touches like German cocoa and lavender essence. Staff and patrons are dressed sharply, and the bar is bathed in soft lighting and muted neutrals. Adding a nice touch are small televisions running old cartoons and classic films on a silent loop.

Hey, Myrna, watch out. I think I just might be coming around for some German cocoa and lavender essence cocktails. Mix 'em up!

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