Exclusive: “Transformers” Sequel Secretly Being Filmed in Downtown Las Vegas

Remember, you heard it here first!

Filming of the next installment of the blockbuster “Transformers” franchise has been kept top secret, until now. We recently caught an exclusive glimpse of the “Transformers” set in downtown Las Vegas.

Transformers Las Vegas

The latest “Transformers” film is rumored to be targeting a more mature demographic.

Few details are known about the “Transformers” sequel, but rumor has it the film’s title will be either, “Transformers: Age of the Rascal” or “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Who Can’t Get Up.”

As for details about the film’s storyline, director Michael Bay refuses to comment officially, but has been quoted saying, “We haven’t had any scripts up to this point, and we have no intention of changing that just because we’re in Las Vegas.”

Siren’s Cove is Back at TI, Sans Sirens, But With Some New Industrial Park Flair

The “Sirens of TI” lagoon has experienced some shrinkage in recent months, but it’s looking good, and even boasts a few modest water features. It’s no Bellagio, but it’ll do in a pinch.

TI lagoon

Since the closing of the “Sirens of TI” show, the Las Vegas Strip has 91% less siren.

Treasure Island closed its popular “Sirens of TI” show back in November, 2013.

While the show attracted crowds of visitors, it apparently didn’t attract the kind of visitors that stick around and spend money.

Here’s a hastily slapped-together video of the downsized Sirens Cove at Treasure Island.

Given the high cost of producing the pyrotechnic-heavy “Sirens of TI” show, with little to show for it, TI decided to drain its Buccaneer Bay and lop off a third of it to make room for a three-story, 48,000-square-foot shopping complex.

TI’s new shopping mall has all the glitz and glamor you’d expect from a Las Vegas hotel, as long as you define “glitz and glamor” as “looking like something you’d find in an industrial park.”

TI shopping mall

We’re pretty sure TI is trying to make this blog weep openly in public.

We’re having trouble thinking of another development project on The Strip that’s inspired more “meh” than this architectural tumor.

TI shopping

Please, just push us into traffic, already.

The proposal for the project may have oversold it, as the original proposal said, “The facades of the building show varying geometrical shapes and depths, with exterior colors consisting of vivid hues.” Define “vivid.”

The new shopping complex will presumably host a pharmacy, retail shops, restaurants and possibly an auto dealership. This is the point where most people yawn so powerfully they come close to dislocated their jawbone.

TI show

All hope is lost.

The shopping area at TI follows a recent Las Vegas trend, using shopping to generate revenue where there previously was none. Other shopping developments are happening at Bally’s Las Vegas (Grand Bazaar Shops), New York-New York and Monte Carlo (The Park promenade) and Tropicana.

While the lagoon appears to be finished, TI’s shopping mall has a long way to go, at least according to this photo we snapped during our security breach.

TI shopping mall

It appears tenants are as excited about this as we are. Cue the crickets.

We can’t help but pine for the TI’s over-the-top pirate show, an iconic Las Vegas attraction ever since TI opened in 1993. The story was paper-thin and the dialogue was so bad it seemed to have been written by dropping a wet cat on a keyboard, but still, it was free, it was loud and fleshy, and about as Las Vegas as Las Vegas gets.

TI lagoon shopping

Behold the precise place where Las Vegas past and Las Vegas future intersect.

TI’s new shopping complex is expected to open soon, followed almost immediately by what we assume will be a dramatic increase in reports of dislocated jawbones.

 

Like Anyone Turning 21, the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival Will Do It Up Big in Las Vegas

The Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival is one of the most colorful, convivial and cringe-worthy events that takes place in Las Vegas, and this year the annual event turns legal.

Dust off your codpiece because the 21st annual Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival happens at the city’s Sunset Park, Oct. 10-12, 2014.

renaissance fair las vegas

Blameth this blog not if thou dost contracteth a communicable disease. ‘Tis a renaissance faire, verily.

The festival features knights, maidens, minstrels, wenches and the largest collection of horrible English accents you’ll find anywhere in the continental United States.

The event features more than 50 shows per day, including awkward historical enactments, with more than 100 artisans on-hand to make things you’ll never in your life use.

Renaissance fair

Now you know what Trekkers do on their days off.

Oh, and there are perfume blenders. Which is an actual thing.

The only thing you’re unlikely to find at the Chivalry Renaissance Festival is dignity.

Age of Chivalry Las Vegas

It’s like being in Elizabethan England, but with better personal hygiene for the most part.

One of the highlights of the Chivalry Renaissance Festival is the abundance of cleavage.

Age of Chivalry Las Vegas

Falcons. Abundance of falcons. That’s what we meant.

And don’t miss the medieval barber demonstrations, another thing we’re absolutely not making up.

The festival is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $13 per day in advance for adults, $8 per day for seniors 60 and older, and children 5-12. Kids four and younger are free. Day-of tickets are a couple of bucks more.

Age of Chivalry festival

Best not to giggle and point around certain costumed characters. We’re just saying.

While we lovingly kid about this event, it’s always a blast, and there’s a whole subculture of people who are really, really into this stuff.

Each year, we make a concerted effort to just get over ourselves and revel in the peculiar spectacle of it all.

Learn more at the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival’s official site. See you there! We’ll be the one leering at the falcons.

Yong Kang Street Opens at Paris Las Vegas, Plus a Bonus First Look Inside Martorano’s

A new restaurant, Yong Kang Street Dumpling & Noodle House, has opened at Paris Las Vegas.

Yong Kang Street

According to the Internet, “Yong Kang” translates as “Yong Kang.” The Internet can be a real smartass.

The new dining option was inspired by a restaurant district in the Chinese city of Taipei. Taipei, we have learned, is the capital of Taiwan. Which we thought was its own country, until we learned Taipei is in China, which we’re pretty sure is also a country. China, of course, can refer to the Republic of China or the People’s Republic of China, two separate things.

This is just one of the reasons we are a Las Vegas blog and not a political science or geography major. Learn more.

Yong Kang Street

There’s a chance these were inspired by Chinese sky lanterns. If not, just play along.

Geopolitical issues aside, Yong Kang Street comes from the same folks that brought the F.A.M.E. Asian food court to the Linq shopping promenade, HIG Management.

Yong Kang Street

In America, we play “Where’s Waldo?” In Asia, they play “Where’s Bruce?” Unless that’s culturally insensitive, then nevermind.

The menu features dim sum, dumplings, Taiwanese noodles, noodle soup, congee (rice porridge), barbeque and roast dishes as well as a variety of vegetables.

We have very thoughtfully provided you a way to see both the front and the back of the menu, because that’s how we spring roll.

Yong Kang Street

Yong Kang Street is intimate, but if it’s a hit, we suspect it will expand. Never look a gift dim sum in the mouth, we always say.

Yong Kang Street at Paris Las Vegas sits in what was part of Café Ile St. Louis, between the hotel’s buffet and what remains of the Café Ile St. Louis, pictured below.

Cafe Ile St. Louis

The French cafe is just around the corner from Yong Kang Street, proof all nations can live together in harmony. Probably.

The photo below shows the former cafe entrance, before it was Yonged-upon.

Paris cafe

We took this photo in 2010, figuring it would go away some day. If you wait long enough in Vegas, you’ll always be right about things changing.

The decor at Yong Kang Street isn’t lavish, and the restaurant’s retooling was clearly done on a tight budget. (In casino parlance, it’s known as “value engineering.”)

Yong Kang Street Paris Las Vegas

This photo shows the Yong-Kang Beef Noodle Soup Restaurant, open since 1963. You get to the original Yong Kang Street by getting off at Dongmen Station. We repeat, Dongmen. We would make a joke, but would prefer not to cause an international incident.

The restaurant boasts an open kitchen, filled with a good number of actual Asian people busily making delicacies by hand.

Yong Kang Street Paris Vegas

Many Asian gamblers are superstitious about the number four, so customers should know only one item on the menu has a price with a four in it, the Japanese Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.88). Disaster averted.

Yong Kang Street’s hours will be Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Friday, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to midnight.

We’ll be back to try some food as it looked tasty as hell.

Yong Kang Street

Our favorite anagram of Yong Kang Street? Tong greets Yank.

A few steps away, the new Martorano’s Italian restaurant appears to be nearing completion.

Martorano’s comes from Steve Martorano, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Italian American Cooking,” whose other Las Vegas restaurant (of the same name) is at Rio Las Vegas. Try the meatballs.

We decided not to wait for the unveiling of the new Martorano’s, so a security breach ensued.

Martorano's Paris Las Vegas

What’s Italian for “We’re not invited to media night”?

Martorano’s is expected to open at Paris Las Vegas later this month (September, 2014).

We love us some Vegas newness, and there’s obviously a lot cooking at Paris Las Vegas. Let us know what you think.

A Fresh Batch of Discoveries at The Linq

Las Vegas is a newness machine, and we’ve gathered a few new offerings at The Linq shopping promenade, including girthy public art, a free museum, Chinese tacos and more.

First up, murals! Apparently, the Linq has partnered with a group called I.S.I. Group (Industry Supporting Industry), and they’ve arranged for a number of murals all along the Linq’s promenade. While it’s likely they were commissioned to make unoccupied storefronts more appealing, they actually add a nice element to the district.

Linq murals

Proof that public art is sometimes polarizing.

I.S.I. Group is a local arts collective, whatever that might mean. Here’s an interview with one of the founders of I.S.I. Group if you’re into that kind of thing.

Linq mural

This is as close as you’re going to get to a political statement in The Linq’s mural collection, and we’re not even sure what the statement might be.

There’s nothing too edgy about the murals at The Linq, but middle-of-the-road is probably best given the vast swath of humanity that meanders its way down The Linq to see, and sometimes even ride, the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Linq Las Vegas murals

See all the murals we could find in our photo gallery, below.

As we were doing our own meandering, we stumbled upon another new offering at The Linq, a sort of Caesars Entertainment fun book. Caesars Entertainment is the company that owns The Linq and the surrounding hotel-casinos.

The coupon book has offerings from The Quad, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Flamingo and The Linq. The deals range from 2-for-1 and other cocktail discounts, match play and even a free admission to the Auto Collections at The Quad, an attraction that’s highly recommended for people who love cars or the people who love car lovers.

Linq fun book

Maybe we should have put “fun” in quotation marks.

If you don’t see people distributing the fun books, stop by The Linq’s concierge office. They seem to know everything.

Speaking of free museum admissions, because “segue” is our middle name, the Polaroid Fotobar store at The Linq has made the wise decision to drop the fee for its upstairs Polaroid Museum.

While we couldn’t recommend this lightweight exhibit when there was a charge (even at five bucks), we can heartily recommend it for free.

Fotobar Museum Las Vegas

Sorry, but Fotobar has no actual bar. Insert sad trombone here.

The museum has several classic Polaroid cameras and some history of this formerly-popular form of photography.

Polariod camera

There’s also this big-ass camera. It’s a Polaroid 20×24 camera, and if you try to lift it, you will get an instant hernia.

There’s also some weird enclosure with foil balloons floating around. We are a blog, not an art critic.

Polaroid Museum

Do not head scratch anywhere near this installation. It will telegraph the fact you failed art appreciation in college.

Here’s more information about the Polaroid Museum.

Moving on, there have been some changes to F.A.M.E. (Food, Art, Music, Entertainment), the Asian food court. Apparently, some of the Asian food wasn’t going over all that well, so F.A.M.E. now serves up pizza and tacos.

In an Asian food court.

FAME Asian food court

Quite possibly Sin City’s first Asian taco stand.

We’ve tried both the Chinese food at F.A.M.E. and the pizza, and we actually recommend the pizza. Las Vegas doesn’t live by society’s rules.

Pizza Buddha

Damn tasty stuff. You go, Asian pizza chefs.

Check out our photo gallery to see the menus at Pizza Buddha and Gangnam Taco Bar. We are not making those names up, and we really, really hope they’re being ironic.

Pizza FAME

Note: Serving pizzas in woks doesn’t make it Asian fare.

Also on the food front, there is absolutely nothing new to report at Tilted Kilt. We just needed to mention Tilted Kilt so we can share this photo.

Tilted Kilt

The aforementioned kilts.

Newness at The Linq often takes the form of street performers. You never know what you’ll see. There are often Taiko drum performances outside F.A.M.E., as well as random dancers and musicians who appear to have no set schedule.

Linq dancers

This Las Vegas blog does love it some free.

Our final find during our most recent visit to The Linq wasn’t actually at The Linq.

At the south end of Flamingo (that’s the Cromwell side), we discovered a young woman, Timmea, selling High Roller tickets. While the lines aren’t especially long at the High Roller a lot of the time, when they are, this is a convenient way to skip the ticket line at the High Roller ticket office.

High Roller tickets

We’d much rather get our High Roller ticket from Timmea than stand in line, any day.

Timmea said there are remote ticket-sellers outside Flamingo from noon to 8:00 p.m. Handy, and a great way to market the wheel to folks who might not necessarily turn into The Linq.

The Linq seems consistently filled with visitors, so we trust it’s been successful overall (albeit with a few unfortunate hiccups in the mix).

If you haven’t been to The Linq yet, check out our walk-through. There’s a lot to see and do and drink. And especially that last thing.

Murals at The Linq and More

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