Then again, the whole City Center development is quite a departure from what was once the Neon Oasis, lending Las Vegas urban sophistication. The LV monogram on the Libeskind sums it all up: commerce is no longer crass, architecture can play the tables, and dreams, whether in the form of handbags, Venetian lagoons in the desert, or jutting architectural peaks, become weirdly real.

Critic, curator and museum director Aaron Betsky curated the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, ran Rotterdam's Netherlands Architecture Institute from 2001-2006 and these days, helms the Cincinnati Art Museum. See his previous blogs HERE and check back next Thursday for his next post.