Nevertheless, a trip to Vegas with steadfast focus on the latest in consumer electronics, (most importantly Paradigm/Anthem and The New American Home) with a dash of the local culture is just the penicillin one needs to throw all their worrisome thoughts and New Year’s resolutions away.
According to complex algorithms, CES ranked highest in its inter-exhibit transportation efficiency, delivering me and a constant flow of electronics enthusiasts with a great deal of expedience to our intended destinations. Not once did I wait more than 10 minutes to board a bus between the Sands/Venetian and LVCC and I even caught the Monorail back to the Flamingo one evening without even having to jostle. I did witness many shivering and sore-footed soles strung together for resort shuttles and taxi lines but I can only walk in my shoes so the algorithm doesn’t apply to them.
If you managed to avoid convention center food and opted for the outside barbecue, complimentary fare and restaurant cuisine as I did, you were probably OK. However, one anonymous industry colleague of mine described a chicken ceasar salad he ordered from the convention center concessions as, “a sliver of soggy gray meat, over wilted romaine with spongy squares of bread made edible by overly seasoned dressing.”
Despite Bababooey’s presence, the top culinary experience of the trip had to be the evening of the New American Home event. After unswervingly holding a sign for two hours directing potentially misguided guests to a waiting shuttle, I arrived to a luxury home with no less than 18 different kinds of cheese, crabcakes, hummus, salad caprese, boursin-stuffed mushrooms and other apertifs that made the gold-flaked wine and ice cold Heineken go down smoother than a fur-lined bowling alley.
The pulse of the show seemed upbeat but slower than usual. In the Venetian, elevators were still crowded with curmudgeonly audiophiles, manufacturers and other A/V players taking in demos and discussing whose fidelity is higher.