The hidden paradise

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By Raven Romero

As three movies were filming in town last month I came to realize that the world has discovered our secret, and how great Las Vegas really is.

When I drive down Seventh and Eighth streets, I see rows of Victorian homes. On the west side of town there are hundreds of traditional southwestern homes, which show off the architecture of the original Las Vegas. I am told that the same houses in another part of the country would cost five to 10 times as much and that the Victorians would be priced at least $1 million.

From the Google Earth website, you can look at the United States from a satellite, to see that Las Vegas is protected by natural barriers, like the Rockies to the west, and plus, we are in a location which seems to be just right. Not too far to the freezing north and not too far to the boiling south. From the satellite, Las Vegas appears as a tiny river running through our forest of pines, cottonwoods, and shade trees. There is something religious about the stature of a tree and its forest. The original travelers appreciated our look and named us after the great meadows that surrounded the area.

Las Vegas is like a big family and we seem to be much alike in attitudes and philosophy of life. We don’t have a separation of the races they have in Los Angeles. We don’t have a place where the rich live and a different place for the poor like the heights of Albuquerque vs. the valley.

I was in Raton and Clayton recently and was thinking about how the young people have to travel long distances just to get to a college. We have Highlands, Luna, and the World College and their facilities and resources. We can stay with our families and get an advanced degree, if we want.

I like the idea that there are not many people here. Our small community gives a person the chance to be a big fish in a little town. Even though our skill levels may not be great, we can be stars on our YABL team or recognized for our achievement regardless of their national importance. With our families cheering us on, we all feel better about ourselves.

In Albuquerque and even Santa Fe, one has to travel at least 20 minutes before they get to where they are going. Here, I can be anywhere in 5 minutes. Everything we need seems to be located here in town.

Maybe because I have traveled a bit, I have started to see how I take a lot of things for granted. But unless I had never left home, I wouldn’t know how lucky I am to live in paradise and to have the simple but important things such as blue skies, red chile, and family.

Raven Romero , a Robertson High School senior, is an intern with the Las Vegas Optic. She can be reached at ravenromero@gmail.com