Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Foxborough Casino

Will Foxborough become Reno East?

The juggernaut of Steve Wynn and Bob Kraft are pressuring poor little Foxborough to accept a large casino/hotel/resort/spa complex in the area of Foxborough stadium.  So far the arguments have been less than convincing.  The word "bucolic" was bandied about.  Now Route 1 (the highway that meanders from up north here to Florida) is not now and never will be bucolic unless you consider shopping centers, strip malls, biker bars, no tell motels, and 3rd and 4th rate restaurants "bucolic."To me, Gold's gym and Guardian storage are not "bucolic."   The immense Ziggurat of the stadium looming over the acres of paved parking puts "bucolic" to rest.
We're on the other side of town with the Highland Scottish cattle, the rooster, the fox, the slough and various other wildlife species.  Did I mention the wild turkeys?  We are bucolic.  We would like to stay that way, too.

The thing is, the juggernaut is hyping the spa and the hotel facilities and downplaying the casino.  Now I ask you this:  If you had the money to spend at a nice resort and wanted some spa treatments, would you go to Route 1 in Foxborough?  I think not.  I know not.  I'd head for Wine Country or Palm Beach. Mohonk Mountain House.  Even the Berkshires.  But not Route 1 in Foxborough. No siree, Bob.

Someone mentioned turning the World Trade Center in South Boston into a casino.  That got my vote right away.

I watched an advance preview of the HBO show "Luck," set at a California race track (Santa Anita, not the upscale Del Mar).  I have never seen a better portrayal of race track characters.  And Dustin Hoffman was great.     I would be happy to watch "Luck" every week and not take my chances on any games of chance. 

I have a scene from an as yet unpublished novel, Promiscuous Mode set at an Indian Casino in Wisconsin.  It was one of the saddest places I've ever been.  Senior citizens with oxygen sitting at the slots.

In Reno, we used to stay at the Hilton, now the Grand Sierra.  On weekdays the rooms were cheap.  Have you ever noticed how there are no slots called, "Losers Weepers?"  Funny about that.   Slots don't seem to take actual coins anymore.  You have to put bills or a credit card in.  No more dumping all my quarters on a "game or chance" on the way to the gate at the airport anymore.  Just as well. One night we left the Hilton restaurant and passed a group in the bar.  Maybe it was 10:00 p.m.  The next morning, I kid you not, on the way out to get coffee before our flight left, the very same people were still at the bar.  Stamina. Or maybe too drunk to move.  I do not consider this a recommendation for casinos.  And nobody has ever called Reno bucolic, although it does have a certain funky charm with its 50's motels and down-on-your-luck western ambiance.  I set some scenes from my just finished novel in Reno, too.
Does Route 1 have that funky "eastern" charm?  I think not. It's call urban blight.  What do you bet that the odds are still in favor of the house?  Even in "bucolic" Foxborough.
Dare I say, "let the chips fall where they may."  Nope.  Not anymore.  And please Bob and Steve, stop insulting my intelligence.

The discreet charm of Reno, another small town with casinos


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