Downtown Zen

We are still tweaking the homepage, but I can’t resist sharing a few pieces from the new Downtown Zen magazine. Here’s a wonderful story by Chris Molnar, former co-host of The Beat’s open-mic night, with beautiful pics by Danny Mollohan (who shot my book Beneath the Neon).

Las Vegas squatters

I’m working with a national TV crew on a story about squatters in Las Vegas. We are hoping to interview people who squat in abandoned homes, buildings, underground flood channels, etc. We are also interested in interviewing former squatters. Part of our goal is to get the perspective of the squatters, which has been largely absent from this whole story.

If you have any leads or suggestions, please let me know ASAP. (Filming starts Thursday.) Thanks!

Rick and Cyndi

Caught up with my good friend Rick yesterday. Rick and I met about five years ago in a storm drain near Eastern and Trop. We worked with a few TV crews, one of which (“Dr. Phil”) helped him and his significant other, Cyndi, get out of the drains. They have been clean and housed for three years and now help others through the recovery process.

Congrats, Rick and Cyndi, on all of your success!    

CrowdRise follow-up

You all may recall Billy, who was featured in the CrowdRise video a few months ago. He said he wanted to get a job and reunite with his family. It appears both of those things will happen. Billy’s ex-wife saw the CrowdRise video and recently offered him a place to live, a car and a job in Houston, Texas, Billy’s home state, where many of his family members still live.
Using money from the CrowdRise fundraiser, we took Billy to Walmart (his choice) and bought him clothes, snacks and toiletries. We then put him up in a hotel. The next day, we bought him a one-way bus ticket to Houston (he doesn’t have an ID, so he cannot fly) and saw him off the station.

Thanks again to everyone who donated to the fundraiser! I’ll continue to keep you updated on his progress. 

Josh Ellis’ podcast

You’d think that my Vegas muse would be a beautiful and broken woman, but, in some ways, it’s Joshua Ellis. He’s featured in Beneath the Neon, co-wrote two stories in My Week at the Blue Angel, and one of the characters in my (in-the-works) fictional memoir is based on him. He’s among the more interesting and brilliant people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting … and now he has a podcast.

Check it out—I found the last seven or so minutes particularly poignant—and, if so inclined, leave him a tip.

http://edgeoftown.org/