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Transcript of interview with Anne Kellogg by Suzanne Becker, July 25, 2007


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Anne Kellogg's paternal family came to Las Vegas in the 1950s. Then in the late 1960s, her mother arrived to teach school. After her parents married, they set up their first home in John S. Park neighborhood and whenever they moved to a larger house it was within the John S. Park neighborhood. And her father's business office was always nearby. Childhood memories include John S. Park Elementary School being a "hub" for all the neighborhood children no matter where they attended school. There was jumping on the Schofield's trampoline, roller-skating to Odyssey Records, and using Strip hotel tennis courts to practice her game. The Strip was not important in daily life, but if she got good grades, she got to play the Midway at Circus Circus Casino. As an adult, Anne still sees John S. Park as a nice neighborhood that holds an important spot in Las Vegas history. In addition, she offers thoughts on the so-called Manhattanization of Las Vegas, Downtown rehab and the birth of the Arts District, and about retail and being a business owner in the community.

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[Transcript of interview with Anne Kellogg by Suzanne Becker, July 25, 2007]. Kellogg, Anne Interview, 2007 July 25. OH-00998. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Anne Kellogg An Oral History Conducted by Suzanne Becker Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas © Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries 2010 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries, Director: Claytee D. White Project Creators: Patrick Jackson and Dr. Deborah Boehm Transcriber and Editor: Laurie Boetcher Editor and Production Manager: Barbara Tabach Interviewers: Suzanne Becker, Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White ii Recorded interviews, transcripts, bound copies and a website comprising the Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Oral History Project have been made possible through a grant from the City of Las Vegas Centennial Committee. Special Collections in Lied Library, home of the Oral History Research Center, provided a wide variety of administrative services, support and archival expertise. We are so grateful. This project was the brainchild of Deborah Boehm, Ph.D. and Patrick Jackson who taught at UNLV and resided in the John S. Park Neighborhood. As they walked their community, they realized it was a special place that intersected themes of gender, class, race/ethnicity, religion, sexuality and gentrification. Patrick and Deborah learned that John S. Park had been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and that original homeowners, local politicians, members of the gay community, Latino immigrants, artists and gallery owners and an enclave of UNLV staff all lived in the neighborhood. Therefore, they decided that the history of this special place had to be preserved, joined with the Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries and wrote a grant that was funded by the Centennial Committee. The transcripts received minimal editing that included the elimination of fragments, false starts and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the narrative. These interviews have been catalogued and can be found as non-circulating documents in Special Collections at UNLV's Lied Library. Deborah A. Boehm, Ph.D. Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar 2009-2010 Assistant Professor, Anthropology & Women's Studies Patrick Jackson, Professor John S. Park Oral History Project Manager Claytee D. White, Director Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries iii Interview with Anne Kellogg July 25, 2007 Conducted by Suzanne Becker Table of Contents Introduction: born Sunrise Hospital in "rural Las Vegas" (1970), growing up in various houses in John S. Park Neighborhood, attending neighborhood schools, playing with neighborhood kids 1 Family background: father's family moved to Las Vegas from Boise, ID (1950s), mother (a schoolteacher) moved from South Dakota date 1960s) 2 What the John S. Park Neighborhood was like growing up in the 1970s and 1980s: children's games, neighborhood activities, Clark County Parks and Recreation summer activities, roller-skating to the neighborhood businesses 3 What inspired parents to settle in the John S. Park Neighborhood: father and grandfather in insurance business, had offices in the neighborhood, mother liked older houses, proximity to schools 5 Awareness of the Strip and burgeoning gaming industry while growing up, activities in the hotels/casinos on the Strip and downtown 6 Comparing Las Vegas yesterday and today 8 Shifts in the John S. Park Neighborhood through her lifetime 9 Mormons living in John S. Park Neighborhood 10 Reasons for moving back to John S. Park Neighborhood: being part of this community, part of positive changes, sense of nostalgia, work with Arts District and First Friday 12 History of Holsum Lofts, its connection to Las Vegas history, and her business, Paper Doll 13 People's perceptions as part of the history of downtown Las Vegas 15 Relation of Paper Doll to John S. Park Neighborhood 17 Influence of Arts District and First Friday on John S. Park Neighborhood and community 17 Requirements and responsibilities for running businesses downtown and for living in older neighborhoods 18 Reflections on Manhattanization of downtown Las Vegas: need for more people living downtown to encourage businesses, arts, culture, infrastructure growth; more positive attitude about development; downtown stadium proposal 20 Talks about success of major projects built in Las Vegas: Fashion Show Mall, the Mirage, MGM Grand 26 Expectation of change if you live in Las Vegas: "temporary mentality" about Las Vegas in early days 27 Thoughts on historic designation of John S. Park Neighborhood, and potential historic designation for Arts District 28 Changes seen and remembered to John S. Park Neighborhood 29 iv Problems with keeping people in the neighborhood (children, schools), desire that people be more receptive to redevelopment and development downtown 30 Being part of the solution : living in and owning a business in downtown community 31 Memories of Luv'It Frozen Custard Inc. and its owner 32 V Preface Anne Kellogg's paternal family came to Las Vegas in the 1950s. Then in the late 1960s, her mother arrived to teach school. After her parents married, they set up their first home in John S. Park neighborhood and whenever they moved to a larger house it was within the John S. Park neighborhood. And her father's business office was always nearby. Childhood memories include John S. Park Elementary School being a "hub" for all the neighborhood children no matter where they attended school. There was jumping on the Schofield's trampoline, roller-skating to Odyssey Records, and using Strip hotel tennis courts to practice her game. The Strip was not important in daily life, but if she got good grades, she got to play the Midway at Circus Circus Casino. As an adult, Anne still sees John S. Park as a nice neighborhood that holds an important spot in Las Vegas history. In addition, she offers thoughts on the so-called Manhattanization of Las Vegas, Downtown rehab and the birth of the Arts District, and about retail and being a business owner in the community.. vi Interview with Anne Kellogg July 25, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Suzanne Becker So if you'd like to begin by just telling us where you're from, when you were born. OK. Well, my name is Anne Kellogg. I was born at Sunrise Hospital. And it's kind of funny because I just looked at my birth certificate the other day and it says, "Rural Las Vegas" on the birth certificate. And it's at Sunrise. So Sunrise, here in Las Vegas, and at that time it was considered [rural]. Oh, yeah. Rural Las Vegas, yeah. Which was in 1970.1 was born May 19, 1970. My parents at that time owned a little house on Fifth Place. Which house? You know, I don't know the address. I should find out. It was on the west side of the street, sort of in the middle. It was the one that was next door to a two-story house and it had a courtyard. I don't know the address. I think it was probably like 12-something, like 1210, maybe. So anyway, we lived there, of course, until my brother was born in 1972, but right before that we moved over to Seventh Street. So we lived on Seventh and Park Paseo, on the corner, and I know the address there was 1200 South Seventh Street. And then when I was about eight years old, I guess we outgrew that house and we moved over to Eighth Street. So you guys just kept moving streets over. Yeah. [Laughter] I guess we liked the neighborhood. But we moved over to Eighth Street and we lived at 1390 South Eighth Street until I was sixteen. So I mean my whole childhood experience is all really largely in that neighborhood, and with that and all, we, the neighborhood kids, like we all like gathered at the school, at John S. Park 2 [Elementary School], That was our hub, you know. I went to John S. Park as a kindergartener, but I didn't go there for grade school. I ended up going to St. Joseph's [Catholic School], which was down the street on Maryland Parkway. But after school, it was still like our school, you know. We would go there and play and whatever it is you do, like whatever season it was, it was like softball and we were playing, you know, softball, or kickball. We had a funny game that we used to call Butts Up, that we used to play, and it was so silly but we would throw the ball at each other, and try to hit each other with the ball, and there was like this whole elaborate craziness. But, yeah, so there was a lot of us. There was probably about twenty or thirty of us, you know, different age groups, but we'd all kind of play together, all from the neighborhood. And so there were a lot of families, a lot of kids in the neighborhood, and everybody played together, basically. Oh, yeah. I mean it was, you know, you got home from school, got some food, and then, you know, just tried to make a beeline over to the school, just to, you know, see what was going on and play and just do whatever, you know. I mean it was great, you know. And are your parents from Las Vegas? My dad's family moved here in the 1950s. My grandfather was from Nebraska and he kind of jumped around. He was in Salt Lake [City, Utah] and then he went to Boise [Idaho] and then they came here. My dad was, I think, about seven? So that was in the 1950s, so he's, for all intents and purposes, a native, although he wasn't born here. And then my mother actually is from South Dakota, and she moved here in the late sixties when the [Clark County] school district, you know, needed teachers, you know, which they've never stopped needing teachers since then. And they met and fell in love and had I 3 my brother and myself. My brother is a couple years younger than me. His name is Larsh. Actually my grandparents lived on Bracken [Avenue] when I was growing up, too. So I mean we were always [living in the neighborhood]. That's very cool. So what was the neighborhood like when you were growing up? Oh, it was great. I mean I had a great childhood growing up in that area. We had so much fun. We just would do, I don't know, I mean every kind of neighborhood thing, like we'd play, you know, Hide-and-Seek. There was this funny guy, I guess he was probably a veteran of one of the wars, and he lived in this house, and he used to yell at the trees. Every once in a while, if we'd get bored, we'd like do some kind of top-secret spy operation and go see what he was doing. We called him Crazy Joe. And we would like go spy on him. I don't know, I mean like, I don't know what you mean. We'd ride bikes around, we had sort of like ongoing kickball and Softball games, you know. It sounds like there was a lot of camaraderie, I guess. Were there a lot of neighborhood activities that happened, like block parties and that kind of thing? Yeah. You know, I don't remember any block parties where like all the parents came out and had potluck or anything like that, but I mean we all knew each other and there were certain people who were closer than others and so if they were having a pool party, then we would go over there. You know, birthday parties, obviously, that was a big deal. As far as organizing, every summer I think it's the Clark County Parks and Recreation, they used to do this thing called recreation, at John S. Park, in the recreation rooms, and they would just open it up. I guess it was sort of like an early latchkey program, for the kids in the neighborhood whose parents worked and they needed someplace to go all day, so that was kind of the most organized thing. That was kind of fun because we'd be able to go on 4 field trips. They came up with all these activities in that environment, but then we also did field trips, like we went to Lake Mead, went hiking up to Mount Charleston, and they'd come and take buses and take us up there. You know, this was before the Boys' and Girls' Club. It wasn't as strong as an organization, as it is now, so I don't know if they do those kind of programs anymore. So what was the geography of the area like? Because I've heard people say that it's just expanded so much. With Las Vegas? Well, yeah, with Las Vegas but with John S. Park in general. I mean, I suppose Las Vegas Boulevard wasn't quite as busy as it is now. No. No. I mean, when I was little, and roller-skating became really big, when, in 1976, you would roller-skate all around. I was able to roller-skate like up to Odyssey Records. I don't know if anyone told you about Odyssey Records, but it's sort of this legendary record store. Actually it was on the corner of Wyoming [Avenue] and Las Vegas Boulevard. And I mean it was just this phenomenally cool record store, even by sort of national standards, because you know Las Vegas was a small town, really, until recently. And so I'd roller-skate up there, you know, some of my friends would roller-skate up there, and it would be fine, like our parents wouldn't necessarily worry that we were too young to roller-skate to Odyssey. And we'd go to 7-Eleven. Like I remember we'd go to this 7-Eleven, which is now Mighty Mart. It across the street from Luv-It [Frozen Custard Inc.], I'd go there and buy candy and comic books. And then sometimes we'd decide to go the other, we'd decide to go east, and we'd go over to like Huntridge and go to the drug store [Huntridge Drug Store] and buy nail polish or whatever it is you do when you're a little girl. Yeah, just different things like that. At one time there was kind of like a little sandwich diner in the comer of Tenth [Street] and Charleston [Boulevard] that became what is now Dona Maria' s,[Tamales Restaurant] because Dona Maria's actually started in that little strip center that's on Charleston and Tenth Street, and then they kind of kept expanding and expanding and then they moved over to where they are now on Las Vegas Boulevard. But I mean, you know, it was different. Like all those motor inns, those funky old motels were a lot nicer then, obviously. You know, but the neighborhood, I mean it was always such a great neighborhood. Like, I don't know, it just seems like, to me, it's home. To me, like I like that part of Las Vegas, the mature landscaping and all that kind of stuff. Do you know what it was that inspired your parents to settle in that part of town? I don't think there were any other parts of town [laughter]. Well, I don't know. I mean, you'd probably have to ask my dad about that. Well, my dad's in the insurance business, and my grandfather was in the insurance business, and my granddad's office was actually on the comer of Sixth [Street] and Sahara [Avenue], and so I think they just lived in that neighborhood. And so when my dad opened his agency, he opened it on Charleston. His office was on Charleston between Tenth [Street] and where you go into Eighth [Street], like that block of houses across from where the Pioneer Citizens Bank was. It's U.S. Bank now. So that's where his office was. So I think probably it was just easier for him to just have an office close to home. I mean there weren't that many choices—you were either basically in the numbered streets like downtown Las Vegas. Rancho [Drive] and 6 that whole area was probably just starting to get established. Because this was in the 1970s, or late sixties when they bought their house and got married and all that. Yeah, and like you said earlier, I mean Las Vegas was still a fairly small city at that point. But I think that ultimately they just liked it. I think my mom liked the older houses versus like the new subdivisions. You know, we were at school at St. Joseph's so I think she liked the idea of us staying close to there because she didn't want to drive a lot. But I think, you know, like I say, she just liked the neighborhood. I suppose, you know, the Strip wasn't quite what it is today, but do you remember having any thoughts or, you know, thinking about the Strip being right there or was that ever an issue? Like what was your awareness of that whole burgeoning industry that was really taking root when you were a kid? Right. You know, we didn't really spend a ton of time in the casinos, but we would go there for special occasions and, you know, obviously for shows and all that kind of stuff. My parents aren't big gamblers. I mean they do entertainment things. We would go eat there. But I don't know, I mean I think that it's always just been sort of just a constant presence, like the gaming and the gambling has always been a kind of a constant presence. When I was little, when we lived on Seventh Street, I was probably about five or six and we got a new neighbor, and it was a young woman, and her daughter who was my age, and she was actually a showgirl, at the Tropicana [Hotel and Casino], like in the Folies Bergere show where she had to like sing and dance and do all that stuff, and I mean that was pretty glamorous and cool, like it was kind of like, wow, you know. The neighbor's name was Anna Schiave and then her daughter's name was Claudette, and she's been like a great friend of mine for years and years and years. But it was wild, I mean because, you know, my family obviously, like my dad's an insurance agent and my mom is a teacher, so, you know, like having this showgirl next door and she had the parties and there would be all these like great people around. Yeah, it was great. And they had a foosball table, you know, I hadn't seen a foosball table before, which now it's like a huge popular thing. But I mean as far as awareness of the gaming, I mean if we got good grades we were able to go to Circus Circus [Hotel and Casino], like that was our treat. If we got good grades, we could go and play on the Midway at Circus Circus, so that was always kind of fun and interesting, like with the trapeze artists and the spinning bar and all that kind of stuff. I remember my dad took us to the Sundance, which is now the Fitzgeralds [Hotel and Casino], when it was first built, then when they first built the tower, just because it was so new and interesting and all that. When I was like a teenager, like I was eleven, twelve, thirteen, I'm a big tennis player, so they started this tennis league for the kids, and so all of us played. You know, there were no country clubs really back then, that had tennis courts, but the hotels all had tennis courts, so I played on the Sands [Hotel and Casino] tennis team, so that was my home court, so that was kind of cool. And we'd go play the Tropicana or we'd go play the Hacienda [Hotel and Casino], because I mean there just weren't many [places to play tennis]. Now, the public parks have tennis courts and all that, but they didn't really have that so much back then, so it was kind of cool. So do you remember what the city was like, you know, compared to what it is now, in general? I love Las Vegas. You know, obviously there were some times when you're a teenager and you get really cool and you just don't think anything of it [laughing]. But Las Vegas, I don't know, it was always just really interesting to me. It was always home. I was really lucky because my parents really sort of valued travel and traveling and so we traveled a lot, during the summers mostly, and we'd meet other people or I'd go visit my family in South Dakota or Nebraska and they'd say, oh, you live in Las Vegas? Oh, my gosh. Like everyone had this awareness of Las Vegas. And to me that was always really interesting because they always wanted to talk about that: Well, what's it like? Who do you see, movie stars all the time? Dan Tanna? [Note: Dan Tanna, played by actor Robert Urich, was the lead character in the television series Vega$ which aired from 1978-1981. Vegas also starred actor Tony Curtis, a long-time Las Vegas resident, as Philip Roth, owner of the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino. Vega$ was filmed on the Las Vegas Strip.] I think that was interesting. There was always a conversation "in" when you traveled, even as a child: What do you do there? What do your parents do? Well, what's it like? Because there's this appeal just because of the Strip, and then it just kind of falls off after like. Right. Like you live in a casino or something. Right. Right. So, you know, I mean that was a pretty typical question as a child growing up in Las Vegas, like, oh, do you live in a casino? The funny thing is, is when I got to high school I actually became friends with a girl, and I'm still friends with her now, who did live in a casino for like two years. It was just funny. [Laughing] Some people do. So it does happen. 1 9 Yeah. Yeah, they lived in it, her and her mom and her mom's boyfriend at the time, like that's where they [lived], they lived in a casino. I didn't know you could do that. Why not? Yeah. If you own it. [Laughing] That's true. [Laughing] That's true. So many thoughts in my mind right now. So you basically did grade school through high school here and then went to Reno for college? Right. Do you remember at all, because it seems like the neighborhood has gone through so many shifts, you know, starting with just post-World War II when people started building homes here, up through the seventies when it seems like maybe it sort of started to deteriorate a little bit, do you remember those shifts happening? Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I mean, well, the John S. Park Neighborhood has always been pretty much in the same state of flux that it is in now. It's never really, truly gone totally down the hill, and it's never probably been as nice as it was probably in the Fifties. Do you know what I mean? I drive around there now and it's nice, you know, I mean it still looks and feels like the neighborhood that I grew up in. I mean there's some changes that have happened, some positive, some negative, but I think for the most part like John S. Park has really held its ground as a place in Las Vegas. You know, it sort of sits in the center point between Fremont Street and the Las Vegas Strip, and it's a nice little shortcut for all of the pedestrian traffic, and that's always been that way. That's always been the case. So, with that just sort of geographic location of the neighborhood, there's always going to be this cross-town traffic that's going to get tempted, if a bike is left out or 10 maybe somebody, they've left their window open, you know, like these kinds of things, which is unfortunate but it's just the way that it is. But as a kid, obviously your family felt it was pretty safe. Oh, yeah. I mean we got robbed, but like who didn't, you know? [Laughing] What's funny, we had a few burglaries but nothing, thank God, like, knock on wood, any major [thefts]. But when we lived in the Eighth Street house, we had an alarm, we had all this stuff, I remember we didn't even lock our door. Which is stupid, probably, but we didn't. Like, we always had dogs. We never really locked our door. You know, we sort of had an open-door policy for all the neighborhood kids, if they wanted to come over, you know. Right. And so you were pretty good friends with your neighbors. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean we were always pretty active in the child community of John S. Park. [Laughing] My brother, both of us, you know. Now there's a pretty significant Mormon [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as LDS] presence in the neighborhood. Particularly growing up, I mean was that ever an issue or were there ever issues between families or Mormons and non-Mormons? No, 1 don't think so. I mean my Eighth Street house was directly across the street from the church. You know, we're Catholics and there's Mormons but other than just kind of the awareness of, OK, this is their day to go to church, you know, and this is where they go and they go all day, I don't really recall any tension. In fact, we had pretty positive relationships with our neighbors growing up. I don't know if you know Jack Schofield. Have you talked to Jack? I haven't. He's on my list of folks to talk to. 11 Yeah, he should be on your list. He's a great guy. I mean he's obviously like a long-time lover of Las Vegas and he's lived in that same house—I think he still lives there—on Eighth Street. It was like two, three houses down from where I lived. But he was always so fun. He had a trampoline in his back yard. So, of course we all knew that he had a trampoline in his back yard, so we always wanted to go jump on his trampoline because, you know, every once in a while, if we got bored like playing tag or whatever it is we were doing, we were like, oh, let's go see if Mr. Schofield will let us jump on his trampoline. So, like every year we'd always have to get a note. You know, this is an attorney, so he'd always make us get a note from our parents that it would be OK for us to jump on the trampoline. So, you know, it was this big process, we'd knock on the door, can we jump on the trampoline? OK, OK, but you need a note, you have to get the note. But yeah, he was a great guy. And then, you know, there were times when they would invite us to play softball or play volleyball or whatever, and we went, you know, we just kind of learned about it and it was kind of like, OK. My mom was very Catholic so that's the way we were. But I think, if anything, it's been a good thing to have so many LDS people in that area because they take care of their houses, they care about the neighborhood, they keep an eye on things, they keep an eye on other people's kids, you know what I mean? I think that's not bad to have someone at home kind of [watching over things]. So what brought you back to this area? You know, in my experience, there's been so many people who I've gone to school with in my whole life, people who I went to high school with and some of the people who I went up to college with in Reno, and it just seems like they've all kind of scattered away 12 from Las Vegas. And it's unfortunate because, for whatever reason, they have this negative impression of Las Vegas or whatever. I don't know what happened to them. But, for me it's important to be a part of this community, and I like the idea of being part of positive changes, because Las Vegas is in need of love, and so, if you don't have people around who love the community, then it's not going to thrive and prosper. A city is an alive thing, and it needs care, and if you don't have anybody who cares, living in the city, then it's just going to end up dying. So, for me, with being here at Holsum [Lofts], which was always a big part of our experience living in the John S. Park Neighborhood, like driving back and forth, you know, wherever it is we were going, you know, always like seeing Holsum and seeing the neon and smelling the bread and all that stuff, I mean this place, when they redid it and I saw it, I knew that I had to be here with my business. And then, as far as the neighborhood goes, though, we never really left. My dad's insurance agency was at mid-Charleston at Tenth and Eighth. He was there forever, and then he moved over into Lawyer Land [Lawyer's Row], across Charleston—I call it Lawyer Land—which is good. I think they've actually saved a big part of that neighborhood. What they've done with those buildings is great. Yeah, I mean because if the attorneys didn't like it down there, then that would be in a shambles, I'm sure. So he was over there for a long time and then he moved the office to the comer of Fourth [Street] and Charleston, and so that happened in like '92, '93. And then I came back in '97. My background is actually in journalism and history and marketing. I studied 13 journalism and history in college. So I have this like sort of odd sense of nostalgia that either makes a ton of sense or it's crazy. There's no two ways [about it]. So I did that and I worked for different agencies in publications for a while, and then he talked me into working for him at the insurance agency. So I did that, and as kind of a part of that, the Arts District neighborhood asked me to serve on the board of that neighborhood. So I did that, and that was in 2002 that I started serving on the neighborhood association. I've been sitting on the board for five years. (That's actually crazy.) But, as part of that, I got to know some of the people in the neighborhood, and the whole First Friday thing started, so I've been helping with that whole effort. So you've been in on it since the ground level of First Friday. Right. So I kind of drank the Kool-Aid on the whole Arts District redevelopment thing and sort of ended up over here, too, but it was in my heart forever, you know, to do that, so it was just a matter of finding the right fit for what I wanted to do. And so, I guess tell me a little bit about the history of your business [Paper Doll] here. OK. Well, I've always been a big paper person. Like I love stationery and paper and all that stuff. My grandmother, Maxine Kellogg, who lived here in the 1950s, she was a big paper person, too. She used to correspond all the time with her sisters who lived in other communities, and she was just a big believer in that, and so she kind of, you know, pounded that into my head, that that's an important thing, and as an extension of that I think I became, you know, sort of hyper-aware of like stationery and all that stuff. When I'd travel I'd ultimately end up in stores like this, with gifts and stationery and paper. So, you know, it's always kind of been like a passion of mine to do that. 14 And then, as a journalist, you know, I was a daily newspaper journalist and then I went to the weekly situation and now I freelance. And when I started first freelancing, I did a lot of Las Vegas guidebook publications, and sort of what happened is I developed a niche for writing about retail in Las Vegas, and so I was kind of the go-to [person] for various publications whenever they needed any kind of coverage of retail in Las Vegas. So I really know more than the average bear about what's happening in this market. So I started meeting and really getting to know all these different entrepreneurs and independent businesspeople and, you know, I was always thinking, gosh, I could do that, I could do my business, I really want to do it, I really want to do it. And, you know, I never really had the guts to pull the trigger. And then, when I first visited this project in May of 2005, the stars kind of lined up and I saw it and I was just like, oh, my God, this is perfect. I mean I think Holsum is really one of the most special places in Las Vegas, because I think that it captures a lot of the history of the city. And I think, you know, the concept that they were baking bread for people in the very beginning of Las Vegas, I mean bread is the sustenance of a meal and the sustenance of a community maybe. I mean because there was a time when everything was coming in, maybe on trucks and trains, you know what I mean? But when the bread factory opened it was like, OK, now we can at least always have bread, you know. And then, you know, I knew that it was going to be this really amazing project, just in the concept stages, but then when I saw it, and they did such a good job of rehabbing the buildings—there's three buildings—that really it just felt special to me, and it felt like a place that I wanted to at least make a go of it for my business. 15 So, you know, a lot of people probably think I'm crazy for opening here because they always ask me, oh, you should be in Summerlin, or you should be in Green Valley, and it s like, my heart's not there, so I shouldn't be there. My heart is here, like my heart belongs to downtown Las Vegas, and there's so many different components of downtown Las Vegas, that it gets kind of confusing, I think, for people who don't understand what downtown Las Vegas really means. Because there's like the Fremont Street downtown. Now there's East Fremont Street downtown. There's this sort of like North Las Vegas downtown stuff, you know, like Cashman Field, and then there's the really east, like where the old Fox Movie Theater used to be. You know, these are all to me like considered downtown. It's just such a convoluted concept, really. What do you think people's perception of downtown is now, aside from, you know, folks that actually live down here because, even to this day, it seems that the John S. Park Neighborhood, or you say you live downtown, it really has ce