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"You have to be grateful in Vegas. It's the great lesson of the city, the thing I'm taking as a souvenir," says J.R. Moehringer. (Jared McMillen)

Las Vegas: An American Paradox

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist J.R. Moehringer rolls the dice on life in Sin City

The question hovers.

“Negative,” the man says.

“We’re both fine,” the woman says.

I sigh. We all smile, with relief, with gratitude.

You have to be grateful in Vegas. It’s the great lesson of the city, the thing I’m taking with me as a souvenir. If you can live in Vegas, or visit Vegas, and leave in one piece, still loving it and somehow laughing about it, you should spend at least part of your last night in town doing something that will serve you well no matter where you go next: thank your lucky stars.

J. R. Moehringer wrote the best-selling memoir The Tender Bar.

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