(updated June 4, 2015)
Here is another lesser known, but neat thing to check out while in Las Vegas. The Art-o-mat machines located around the Cosmopolitan. I have seen two by the Wicked Spoon buffet on the 2nd floor. one on the 3rd floor by the sitting area at the top of the escalator (not far from the Secret Pizza place), one in the heavily trafficked area on the 2nd floor in front of Stitched and one on the ground level by the Lucky Cat exhibit.
The Art-o-mat machines are reconditioned cigarette machines that now dispense art and jewelry in cigarette pack sized boxes for $5. The inventory does rotate and everything appears to be handmade, so it is worth checking out on every trip as far as I am concerned.
Here are a few examples from a recent trip. On the left is a hanging “mosaic whimsy” piece made by Janie Reavis-Cox from Stigler, Oklahoma. On the right is a pair of earrings made by Crystal Ladd, who has additional pieces available at deflora.etsy.com. We also found painted wood blocks, necklaces, and merit badges.
You can’t see the exact item you will get before you put your money in and pull the handle, but you can see a basic description. Each item is only $5, so give it a shot. It might just be the best gambling deal in Vegas.
To see a machine in action, check out this YouTube video.
Note that the machine in the video takes tokens and the machine that are at the Cosmopolitan have bill acceptors.
There are a few plaques at the shrine with additional information. This one reads:
“The Brahma Shrine is renowned throughout the far east, to people of all faiths, as a place of prayer which in turn bestows prosperity and good fortune on those who come to visit and make their hopes and wishes known.
The casting ceremonies for the four-faced, eight-handed statue of the Brahma were held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 25, 1983 and many important religious authorities and international dignitaries participated.”
I visit the shrine for moments of self-reflection, contemplation and centering.
Visitors can light incense sticks at the shrine and on occasion I will do that, too. It is not the kind of thing you would expect to see in Las Vegas and does seem a little out of place. That makes it all the more notable to me. The shrine is being stumbled upon by more people now that Hell’s Kitchen is open. Ultimately, that is a good thing, but it makes it a little more difficult to have a private moment.
The next time you need to slow down and take a break from the action of Las Vegas, stroll over to the shrine.
You may have heard the rumors about a secret, unmarked pizza place at the Cosmopolitan. Everything that you have heard is true, although when you get there you realize that they aren’t really trying to hide it or keep it a secret. It just doesn’t have a sign or a name.
It is located in the 3rd floor restaurant zone and is down the hallway immediately to the right of Blue Ribbon Sushi. They offer good, basic, readily foldable New York pizza by the slice for about $5. You can also order a full pizza, but that takes a while. There are stools and a ledge that can accommodate half a dozen diners, so you are probably not going to be able to eat there. The Cosmopolitan has a lot of open space as well as a few very comfy sitting areas on the 3rd floor, so the lack of space at no-name pizza really isn’t a problem unless there is a long line to get into the Marquee nightclub (which is also on the 3rd floor). If you go on a club night, be prepared for long lines to get into no-name pizza, too. It does stay open late and is becoming the place to go after a night of partying at Marquee.
Of course, if you just want to visit the shop or sell an item without being on TV you can do that any day. Gold And Silver Pawn is at 713 S Las Vegas Blvd between the Strip and Downtown. Half of the store is Pawn Stars merchandise, but if you like the show you will probably like the store.