Cover photo courtesy of Linda Blacker.
Most of us have pretty OK jobs. Some of us have shitty jobs. Some of us also have awesome jobs. And then there are the jobs that make you go, you do what??
Maggie Zakri, is one of those people. A Las Vegas local, Maggie works as the Collections Manager at the Neon Museum, but we prefer her ~unofficial~ title, which is keeper of signs and stories – a role that could definitely exist in Westeros.
In partnership with Visit Las Vegas, here’s what Maggie had to say about all things neon, Vegas, and more…
What brought you to Las Vegas?
My husband is in the Air Force, so we moved here for his work.
What’s it like living in a 24 hour city?
Amazing, but exhausting. The vibrancy here is contagious – you feel like you’re living your life in fast forward sometimes. It’s interesting to work at a museum in a town like this – most museums aren’t open seven days a week, day and night. I will say it’s great being able to get what you want whenever you’d like it. You get spoiled with what’s available here.
What makes Las Vegas special to you?
Working at the Neon Museum. I was lucky enough to start working here as soon as we moved to Las Vegas, which happened to be less than a year after the museum opened. Being part of something so important (and fun!) has made my time here in Las Vegas incredibly gratifying. That arts community that the museum lives in is an essential part of Las Vegas culture. I feel like I’m part of something way bigger than me, and that I’m doing essential work to ensure the people who visit the museum understand where they fit in within our community.
Can you tell us some of your favourite Las Vegas memories and stories?
There are always incidents where we’ll say…only when you live in Las Vegas. For instance, Mike Tyson lives in my neighborhood (although I haven’t met him!). Staying at the Riviera right before it was closed, and also getting to go through there and dig around for things for the museum before the casino was imploded.
If a friend asked you for your top Las Vegas recommendations, where would you tell them to go?
For cultural fun, the Neon Museum. Of course. And all of the other incredible museums we have in our city. People forget we have a deep history full of all kinds of unique characters, and all of us museum professionals take great pride in surprising our visitors with our awesome heritage.
For outdoors fun, Red Rock. And all of the other excellent hiking and nature preserve locations around town. This is such a beautiful part of the world.
For food, Bachi Burger. Because it’s so delicious. Also, explore the amazing restaurants in the downtown area. I’m trying to make my way through all of them. Carson Kitchen is one of my favorites.
Can you describe your life in Las Vegas in three words?
Full of vitality.
Think the Neon Museum sounds like an Instagram playground of dreams and want to visit ASAP? Go there with Contiki.