For lunch yesterday, my bride and I ventured into the new neighborhood sensation "The MGM Grand at National Harbor." I was...underwhelmed. But that's the bottom line, there were some neat things. The building is cool, looks sort of like a spaceship and from across the river like a huge cruise ship. Parking is free but the places where normal people enter is not clear...we ended up going into a place that was for "special people" but there weren't signs to that effect until we actually walked to the elevator lobby. The casino itself is circular and enclosed so that only gambling and bars are in the "controlled area." When we approached the security station at the casino entrance, I reached for the strap on my camera bag since I thought they were stationed at the entrance to check bags, etc. As we reached the station I realized they were only there to check IDs for minimum age. They told me that when I'd reached for my camera bag, they'd gotten on edge, they were armed, I was not. I think that shows a little how nervous our nation has become.After we walked through the casino and then through the surrounding circle of shops, we went back through security. But this time my camera was in my hand and not in my bag. I was stopped and told not to take pictures in the casino. Whoops. I put my camera away.However, the FIRST time we were inside the casino I had taken out my camera and began to shoot. Openly and a couple of times while I was standing right next to a casino employee. I was careful not to get any people in the shots because I thought there might be some sensitivity. The first two shots are of some of the slots...and I found a stat that said there are 3,300 slots in the space...and the space (just the casino) is 135,000 square feet. We got to the casino before noon so the place was not at all full. (There are more shots and story below)____________________ ___________________________The decoration and design and architecture (is that all one thing?) was cool and there were artsy-crafty dodads throughout. The first one below is a room divider between one part of the casino and another. I don't remember what was on the other side of this one...perhaps it was the "high roller" section which was viewable by commoners like me but access into that place was controlled by a casino employee. The second one is a shot through the glass ceiling (and there were oh so many of those) in the lobby in the center of the hotel, the convention center, and the casino. ___________________________________________________Sarah Jessica Parker has a line of shoes...SJP...who knew? Probably everyone but me. (I wonder if Carrie would have worn them in the series.) In the shops outside the casino there is a SJP store. I admit that I was attracted to the place and compelled by the colors. I also admit that when I entered the store, I felt like I was in Disneyland, Busch Gardens or some other not quite real place; the colors were amazing, like being in the center of a rainbow. I took a picture! Nay! Nay! Nay! said a voice. Well not actually, nay, nay, nay, but more like a "you can't take pictures here." Except with your phone. So I started talking into my camera.