Art Imitates Life!

March 15, 2013

A recent article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Laura Carroll features an iconic Vegas established that was used as the basis for the cover of CityLife book, Vegas Knockout. We wonder if author P Moss sat at this very counter as he wrote his stories …

New market may boost long-time Las Vegas locals cafe

Seven days a week, Teddy Pappas wakes up at 2 a.m.

In the early morning hours he prepares the daily soup, meats and sauces for his restaurant, so they’re fresh and ready to go when customers place their orders. At 73, Pappas has owned Tiffany’s Cafe for 10 years, but he’s worked in the restaurant for more than three decades.

On a Wednesday morning the restaurant’s counter slowly filled to capacity, with hungry customers trickling in off Las Vegas Boulevard. But it’s not that way every day.

“The last two or three years, it’s been very bad,” Pappas says of his restaurant’s business.

He cites the economy as the main reason because he says, as tourists tip less in cabs, bars and casinos, the cabdrivers, bartenders and dealers who eat at his place have less discretionary income to spend.

The "real" cafe

The closing of the adjoining White Cross Drugs in 2012 also has had its effects.

“People don’t know if I’m here or not,” Pappas says. “But I’m here to stay.”

His 10-year lease agrees with him.

The adjacent White Cross Drugs closed last March, but White Cross Market is slated to open soon in the same space at 1700 Las Vegas Blvd. South. The latest incarnation is owned by brothers Jimmy and Naseem Shoshani, who also own the Bells Market convenience store across Las Vegas Boulevard and the Bells Market gas station at Owens Avenue and H Street.

Construction on White Cross Market is mostly finished, and the Shoshanis plan to start ordering product within the next few weeks.

Pappas says he’s hopeful the opening of the market will help boost his business.

Tiffany’s has been open for 65 years, catering to a largely local clientele. Pappas never uses any preservatives or additives in his food, which he says is the reason his customers are loyal and why he’s been able to stay afloat through rough times.

Pappas says the restaurant can be extremely busy sometimes, or not busy at all, depending on the day.

At the 1,200-square-foot Tiffany’s Cafe, breakfast is served any time, with classics such as biscuits and country gravy, hotcakes and corned beef hash and eggs on the menu. Dinner offerings include New York steak, chicken-fried steak and trout. A dessert case holds homemade chocolate cake, pie and cheesecake.

On St. Patrick’s Day, Tiffany’s will serve corned beef and cabbage.

When White Cross Market opens, its owners have said they plan to stock it like a traditional grocery store. The new store will have a deli with Boar’s Head brand products, fresh produce with items from local growers and a craft beer section.

Jimmy Shoshani says he expects to hire 15 to 20 employees for White Cross.

The Shoshanis bought the nearby Bells Market, which had been Mighty Mart, three years ago.

“We took a place that was hurt, businesswise, and remodeled it,” Shoshani says.

The convenience store sees about 600 to 800 people come by every day, and its owners stock about $60,000 in inventory to keep up with the walk-up customers who patronize Bells.

“We have a good feel for what’s needed in the neighborhood,” Shoshani says.

And a 6,400-square-foot grocery store, Shoshani adds, may be just what the doctor ordered. The new White Cross is taking more time and money to open than anticipated, but Shoshani says it should be worth the effort in the long run.

“So far we’ve spent over $400,000 and we haven’t purchased inventory yet,” he adds.

Pappas got into the restaurant business after coming to the United States from Greece. He started out by washing dishes, then transitioned to cooking. He’s owned a dozen restaurants between New York, Arizona and Nevada during 53 years in the restaurant industry. He came to Las Vegas to open a pizza shop with a friend, but decided it wasn’t for him.

Then he found Tiffany’s, which he affectionately calls “my baby.”

“It’s my life. I love it,” Pappas says.

Another Rockin’ Review from the Nevada Review!

January 31, 2013

We HOPE you are as thrilled that another CityLife book was chosen for review as we are!

From The Nevada Review Vol. 4 Fall 2012 No.2
by Caleb Cage

The Las Vegas Writes project is a program that builds upon the efforts of groups like Stephens Press and the Las Vegas Arts Council. Every year, they combine to produce linked short stories into a publication set in, based on, and by writers of Las Vegas, their work published in time for the Vegas Valley Book Festival. To use a corporate term, it is a true example of synergy that has produced works like 2010’s Restless City and last year’s The Perpetual Engine of Hope. The synergy that conspired to produce this latest book can also be seen on its pages. Unlike the first effort, which was a serial novel, The Perpetual Engine of Hope is comprised of seven distinct stories by seven equally unique authors that explore the distinctive themes of Nevada literature: the dreams and realities that play on the hopes and fears of all those willing to win big today or lose everything forever.

A unique aspect of these annual works is that they are a catalyst for creating more works set in Vegas, as well as for bringing forth more writers that we may never read together otherwise. To the latter point, The Perpetual Engine of Hope brought together professional writers like Juan Martinez, Alissa Nutting, Megan Edwards, and K.W. Jeter together with talented amateur writers like Dayvid Figler, Oksana Marafioti, and P Moss. The result is a work that could easily be seen as a product of a formal creative writing program that is juxtaposed against a grittier approach from those whose lack of formal training might make them more willing to take a literary risk. Both approaches combine to create a readable and enjoyable book.

The former point, that of this book serving as a catalyst for creating more works on Vegas, this is quite literally true and one of the best aspects of this book. Relying on the old authorial approach of using prompts to inspire an author, The Perpetual Engine of Hope provided seven historic Las Vegas photographs to these writers and asked them to explore them in their short fiction. After selecting the photos from various sources, editor Geoff Schumacher describes the result this way in his introduction: “The seven stories in The Perpetual Engine of Hope are diverse in style and scope, flirting with an array of genres. But more importantly, they are all well written and have something interesting to say about Las Vegas.”

He is right on both points. Juan Martinez’s explores loss and hope in “On Paradise,” which is written in the form of a letter, or letters, from long lost family members. Examining a photograph of a glamorous young lady getting out of her convertible outside of the Sahara, Dayvid Figler writes about a young Midwestern girl recreating herself in Vegas in “Palms.” In “No Time for Betting,” Oksana Marafioti writes a classic diabolical story set in Vegas that is as steeped in the supernatural as Alissa Nutting’s story, “The Sands.” Megan Edward’s “Fallout” tells a plausible story behind a photograph called “Miss Atomic Bomb,” a picture that you have to see and a story that you have to read to fully understand. P Moss’s “Dead Ringer” picks up where he left off in Blue Vegas, telling a gritty casino story about the elite and how they are behind the scenes. Finally, K.W. Jeter produces what is arguably the best story in the collection with his piece, “Will the Last One to Leave Please Turn Out the Lights,” a story about the incredible lows that follow the highs for some of his characters.

This book is effective for all of the reasons listed above. The right people affiliated with the right organizations saw a void they could fill in the Nevada literary scene. They provided the right prompts and boundaries to the right authors to do so. In the end, The Perpetual Engine of Hope is a significant contribution to the literature of our state, combining talented authors and an intriguing setting to develop works that examine the truly unique nature of Nevada and her literature.

Blue Vegas is RED Hot!

January 13, 2013

We knew that P Moss, author of CityLife book Blue Vegas, could write … and The Nevada Review concurs!

From The Nevada Review Vol. 4 Fall 2012 No.2
by Caleb Cage

Not surprisingly, Las Vegas author P Moss’s collection of short fictions, Blue Vegas, is at least in part about people who live sad lives in Nevada’s famous southern city. Men and women from all walks of life who were born there or just settled, surviving away from the glamour, living lives that are never quite what they wanted them to be. The characters of Blue Vegas represent a lot of the reality of the city, the reality that many of the area’s native and transplanted authors have been trying to capture in recent works.

There is a refrain that is repeated throughout the subtext of Blue Vegas, though never quite written explicitly. It is that common phrase that “life is not fair.” While some may say this to mean that one has to accept the good with the bad, Moss seems to write it with an indignant sense of injustice. Life isn’t fair, you can read between the lines, but it should be. Or at least we should acknowledge that fact when we are in a position to judge others, their shortcomings, or their trials.

“Performance Art” tells the story of a convicted murderer who is executed in front of an electrified Las Vegas crowd that cannot understand how ignored he was his whole life. “Snatched” tells of Ben, who has waited for the police to help him when he needed them most, but when he is wrongly arrested, they seem to have more than enough resources at their disposal. And there is Danny in the story “Peace” who contemplates how his life might have been different if he had gone to college moments after being robbed and moments before being killed.

There are many more such examples in Blue Vegas, a short book with too many stories to list here – seventeen in all. In them, he captures Vegas in the same light from many angles. The stories show Vegas as a place where chance brings equal parts hope and guaranteed failure. There is the father who is a successful businessman and gambling addict who has to borrow money from his daughter at the strip club where she dances in order to cover his debts. There is the retired bookie who can’t scrape a meager amount of money to participate in a sure thing scheme that would bring him back into the good life. And there is the past-her-prime showgirl who holds onto her old stories and her faith to help her make it through the lonely nights.

These stories and others capture a gritty side of Las Vegas, which is no doubt Moss’s point. As a writer, gambler, bar owner in Las Vegas, he has an intimate knowledge of many of the things he writes – most of which revolves around gambling, glamour, money, sex trades, and some of the mysteries that tie them together. Set against the backdrop of Las Vegas, many of these themes are reasonably portrayed and believable, often avoiding the clichés that seem to accompany the city’s literature.

The best stories in Blue Vegas – “Performance Art,” “Career Moves,” and “Peace” – are great because of the mystery that Moss builds early on. Nearly every story has an opening line that captures the scene and the reader’s imagination and goes a long way towards building this mystery. “Danny’s shirt was damp with sweat as he sat in a creaky straw-bottom chair, counting to see who had the most chips in a hanging velvet tapestry of Jesus shooting craps with Elvis,” for example.

All in all, this award-winning book represents aspects of Las Vegas that are seldom covered in mainstream literature. Moss is an able storyteller with extensive knowledge of the culture he examines. Blue Vegas is an interesting read, and a worthwhile contribution to the literature of Las Vegas.

Author Extravaganza!

December 3, 2012

Just in case you need a last-minute Christmas gift … join CityLife authors – and other Stephens Press authors – at Barnes & Noble in Summerlin on Saturday, December 22nd.

A book bonanza – signed, sealed, and delivered by the authors themselves!

Season’s Readings

November 23, 2012

A recent review in the Tucson Weekly waxes poetic on P Moss …

For the degenerate sports gambler in your life, here’s a right hook. When he’s not busy running his Double Down Saloon watering holes in Sin City and New York, or touring Japan with his naughty punk band Bloodcocks U.K., P Moss writes funny, ferocious crime stories. His latest tome, Vegas Knockout ($14.95, CityLife Books), is a novel told in stories, and it’s among the finest investigations into gambling-addicted, alcohol-addled, lust-crazed souls you’ll ever read. The big fight is in town, drawing a cast of incredible yet familiar characters like flies on you know what—a hotshot journalist trying to make a bigger name for himself, a millionaire’s wayward daughter and a, um, waffle-jonesing clown. Until you dig into Moss’ demimonde, you’ll never fully appreciate, in literary terms, the darkness in human hearts.

P Moss Celebrates Two Decades of Double Down Saloon

November 20, 2012

As Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jason Bracelin discovered, author of Blue Vegas and Vegas Knockout P Moss’s funky bar is still alive and kicking!

Double Down Saloon: Still serving Las Vegas’ wild side

You drink the place in right along with your booze and neither is meant to go down too smoothly.

Homemade signs scrawled out in magic marker advertise drink specials involving Twinkies and Slim Jims and, it only follows, $20 puke insurance.

The bathrooms look like graffitied subway stops, tattooed with the signatures of hundreds of patrons past.

The walls here used to be white, two decades ago; now even the low-slung ceiling swirls with color.

Murals of skeletons and half-dressed dames cover those surfaces not acned with countless band stickers, which serve as the calling cards of groups from all over the world who have come to this dark corner of Vegas to play the bar that’s become most synonymous with it.

With a four-day party that begins on Thursday, the Double Down Saloon will celebrate turning 20, and in that time, it’s become as much a Vegas totem as Wayne Newton’s frozen-in-place coif, Elvis’ golden shades and Frank Sinatra’s bloated liver.

“I wear my Double Down shirt a lot, I travel a lot, and I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Oh, the Double Down,’ in Tokyo, in Europe,” says Allan Carter, founder of Vegas-based record label SquidHat Records and drummer in Portland’s Attack Ships on Fire. “It is a universally recognized symbol.”

Globetrotting chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain counts it among the top five bars in the world, while fellow Travel Channel staple Samantha Brown has also sung the joint’s praises.

Comedian Dave Attell partied there during an episode of his up-all-night “Insomniac” show, while “Maxim,” “Playboy” and “Rolling Stone” are just a few of the publications who have singled out the Double Down as one of the best dives there is.

Like the B-movies that play on the dented, dated TVs above the bar, the place is a gritty fantasia of knowing, pointed outlandishness.

Its look is chaotic, but nearly every aspect is thought out and deliberate.

Nothing here is happenstance.

The decor may look like it was acquired at Satan’s yard sale – shrunken heads, metallic insects, a Playboy pinball machine – but everything has its place.

This is the actualization of a carefully crafted, highly idealized notion of one dude’s dream dive.

“What I wanted to do was open a bar that I would like to drink at,” says Double Down owner P Moss , working on a vodka tonic on a recent Saturday evening as he sits at his bar. “I took the picture I had in my head and I did this.”

With silver hair descending down to his shoulders, matching goatee and dark-framed glasses, Moss possesses the thoughtful, yet freewheeling air of a debauched philosophy professor or perhaps a particularly sociable mad scientist who’d rather create cocktails than creatures.

He speaks with purpose, his words barbed and frequently blue.

As a young man, he aspired for a time to be a journalist, even getting accepted into Northwestern University’s prestigious journalism school, and to this day, observation and attention to detail figure prominently in his success.

P Moss is certainly a character.

And so he created a home for them.


When the Double Down opened two decades ago, it wasn’t just underground, it was deeply subterranean, buried beneath several strata of anonymity and indifference.

Located on a then-sparsely developed stretch of Paradise Road, it was smack in the middle of nothing.

The Hard Rock Hotel had yet to open to anchor the district.

The bustling strip mall that would be developed across from the casino was then a car rental lot.

What neighboring businesses the Double Down had – the gay clubs of the Fruit Loop – greeted the place like an unwanted houseguest.

The area’s prevailing customer base was comprised largely of vagrants, who would figure prominently among the bar’s first clientele.

“A broker was showing me this place, it had been closed for a year, it was a drug den, the power was off, it was like, ‘You don’t want this,’ ” Moss recalls. “But I go, ‘I’m going to look at it anyway.’

“I open that door to get some light in here,” he continues, motioning toward the west side of the bar, “and the MGM Grand was staring down on me. I go, ‘The Strip is right there. This is a killer location. Maybe not today, but this is a killer location.’ And that was all I needed to see.”

Still, the place got off to the kind of bruising start that brings the 1988 Baltimore Orioles to mind.

“It took me five years until I didn’t have a stack of unpaid bills this high,” Moss says, using his hands to approximate a stack of debt the height of one of those yardlong souvenir drinks. “I was borrowing money. I was selling furniture. We had a lot of close calls. This place almost folded. A lot.”

Back then, the Double Down was a much more hardscrabble kind of joint.

Former doorman Gerry “Turbo” Proctor, a sizable man who drums in bands like The Vermin and the Tinglerz, recalls having beer bottles and pool cues broken over his head.

“When they first opened that bar, it was rough,” he says. “There was a big, big fight. It was a violent place for a minute.”

This anything-goes vibe was mirrored by Alonzo, the mechanical horse that female patrons were only allowed to ride topless, and the pointedly grotesque hard-core porn videos that played on the TVs.

But the Double Down slowly began to build momentum for itself.

A killer jukebox was a big draw, stocked with fierce locals like The Vermin along with punk and R&B subverts such as Andre Williams, The Saints and The Cramps.

And then there was the introduction of live acts to the bar, which Moss initially resisted because he thought the room was too small.

But an impromptu Man or Astro-Man? show, which the Double Down hosted only because the venue where the band was originally scheduled to play closed suddenly the night before the gig, packed the place with 300 people.

From then on, the club attracted a slew of seminal acts such as The Bomboras, TSOL, The Vibrators, The Adolescents and hundreds more, never charging a cover for the shows.

Mostly though, the Double Down became a breeding ground for Vegas bands for whom playing the space became a right of passage.

“It really was the only place for alternative-anything music,” says Jenn O. Cide, a fire breather and performance artist who hosts the monthly Punk Rock Bingo sessions at the Double Down and who first played there at age 14 in an all-girl punk band. “I think there was a huge sense of community there.”

Scads of groups have performed their first shows at the bar, earning 50 bucks, some drink tickets and the chance to play in front of what is usually a decent-sized crowd.

“He was the only person who gave a chance to everybody who didn’t get one,” says Rob Ruckus, Double Down bartender and bassist in The Vermin and other bands, speaking about Moss’ willingness to host eclectic, unproven acts. “He’s opened it for artists to have a chance to explore their art and usually, cool, magical stuff comes out of that,” he notes, before letting loose with a hearty laugh. “Or complete crap.”


P Moss is an accomplished storyteller, having published a pair of books filled with characters who occupy the periphery of Las Vegas – strippers and con men, high rollers and lowlifes, winners and losers – and yet also serve as the city’s lifeblood.

He has plenty of tales to tell, especially when it comes to the lore of the Double Down.

Chief among them is the story behind a pair of signature, inimitable cocktails.

First, there’s Ass Juice, a sweet, often tropical tasting concoction with a stomach-turning origin.

It began with a Jagermeister knockoff called Bekturova that the bar got a few bottles of.

“It was disgusting,” Moss says. “Even bums wouldn’t drink it.”

He made a sign offering shots of the stuff for $3.

Then $2.

Then $1.

Still, no takers.

“So I crossed out ‘Bekturova,’ wrote out ‘Ass Juice’ and I sold out immediately,” Moss says. “I go, ‘I can make my own Ass Juice.’ It just became huge. We’ve sold thousands and thousands and thousands of Ass Juice T-shirts.”

He notes that they also sell around 10 Ass Juice shot glasses, shaped like a miniature toilet, on a nightly basis, though there’s still no set recipe for the tangy, potent libation among the various bartenders who make it.

“It’s all different,” Moss says. “Basically, it has to taste good, it has to be fruity and it has to look like (crap).”

And then there’s the bacon martini, which has made its way onto the “Today” show and the BBC, and which has been written about in the pages of the New York Post.

“My guys said one day, ‘You know what? We need a bacon drink.’ I go, ‘I’ll have one tomorrow,’ ” Moss recalls. “So I went home and made the bacon martini.”

Just don’t ask him to drink it.

“I think it tastes like (crap), but a lot of people love it,” he says matter-of-factly. “Give the people what they want.”


Though the surveillance camera-quality footage of two chicks wrestling in KY Jelly that plays on the Double Down TVs pretty much makes his point for him, Moss still explains himself anyway.

“My tastes were always a little off-center,” he says, and it’s worth noting that he fronts a band, Bloodcocks UK, that features a blow-up doll in its ranks. “I like earthier, grittier things. I was always drawn to the fringes a little bit.”

And yet the Double Down no longer inhabits said fringes.

What’s made the place a success, full most nights of the week, is that it feels like an in-club, a place for brave urban adventurers and people with meticulously curated record collections.

But it’s welcoming to just about everybody – and that’s exactly who shows up.


“See these guys over here? Do they look like they belong here?” Moss says, pointing to a group of gray-haired gents in khakis commingling by a pool table. Well-pressed and proper looking, the opposite of their surroundings, they seem like the kind of fellows who might enjoy a good shuffleboard match.

“But yet they’re here, and they’re going to enjoy themselves,” Moss says, ordering another round, taking visible pride in the scene unfolding before him.

“On any given night, you could have a plumber sitting next to a lawyer next to a movie star next to a bum next to a rock star. And everybody gets treated the same,” he says. “The plumber, he’s excited, he’s going to go home and tell his friends that he got treated the same as the rock star and the movie star. The rock star and the movie star are happy because nobody’s fawning all over them like they do everywhere else and they don’t see their name in the paper the next day.”

To underscore his point, he asks us to think of a dude with a tattooed face.

“If you’ve got the weirdest guy you ever saw, where does this guy go in his life, whether it’s a grocery store or a bar or anywhere, where people don’t just look at him and walk away or make a crack?” Moss asks. “Where does this guy go where he’s treated with any respect at all?”

The bar in which he sits is meant to serve as the answer to these questions.

“He walks in here and all of a sudden he is (treated well),” he continues. “And after five minutes, you’ve got him forever.”

Moss is really just talking about being nice, a simple, easy thing, but he cites it as the root of the Double Down’s appeal, what made his stack of unpaid bills something he now has to mime.

On the Double Down website, the bar is referred to as the “clubhouse for the lunatic fringe,” and there’s truth in the catchphrase.

“There’s not a lot of places for weirdos to go and be weird,” Ruckus, the bartender, says. “That’s what makes it such an inviting room. People who are coming there are looking for that.”

And they found it on a recent Monday evening, when a semibelligerent drunk guy with a white beard extending down past his sternum banters loudly with a couple of offensive lineman-sized 9-to-5ers.

It’s hard to tell whether it’s playful or confrontational, but it doesn’t matter – any tension disappears almost as quickly as the beers before them.

The bartender greets regulars by name as they walk through the door, shaking hands and introducing himself to any unfamiliar faces.

No one seems to fit in, not the table full of tipsy tourists or the square-looking journalist, and no one seems to care.

“You would think that there would be people going, ‘What’s this dude in his suit doing in here? This is a punk rock bar,’ ” says Jesse Del Quadro, guitarist in Vegas surf rockers Thee Swank Bastards, Double Down staples. “You walk in there dressed like anything you want and nobody’s going to look twice at you.”

As such, the place feels inviting despite its gruff facade.

“It’s real. It’s not a scene,” SquidHat Records’ Carter says. “The Double Down just wants to be what it is, and the right people will get it.”

Enough people have gotten it for Moss to open a New York City version of the Double Down as well as popular hang Frankie’s Tiki Room on the edge of downtown.

He could have cashed out by now, says he’s had plenty of lucrative offers.

But he sticks around, practically indivisible from the furniture.

“Hey, Shorty,” he says, acknowledging a regular with a wave.

It’s a small gesture.

This room was built on them.

“You can’t be all things to all people,” Moss says, giving voice to the Double Down’s de facto operating principle, “but you can be an awful lot of things to an awful lot of people.”

More P Moss Madness

November 10, 2012

After the success of his Vegas Knockout book launch, P Moss is throwing open the doors of his Double Down Saloon for another big event …

Local label SquidHat gifting bands on its own birthday

by Max Plenke for Las Vegas CityLife Magazine, November 09, 2012

It survived, it survived!

SquidHat Records, the fresh-faced local punk rock label owned by former Portlandians, is celebrating its first birthday at the Double Down Saloon by hosting a showcase weekend taking place Jan. 25-26 of next year.

The Dirty Panties at The Double Down Saloon (file photo: MAX PLENKE)

And part of that celebration is snatching up a new band to add to the SquidHat family. It’s going to be like The Voice. Or American Idol. Except this is going to be for a full band (along with, like, a million other differences). According to label head Allan Carter, SquidHat is inviting local artists to post their music to the SquidHat Facebook page before Dec. 31 2012 to grab one of the six slots of the showcase. The best — chosen not by crowd popularity, but by the label folks actually deciding which will be a viable addition to the label — will go on to snag a SquidHat Records development deal, and join the ranks of The Dirty Panties, The Gashers and Jenn O Cide.

The page is now open to submissions, and Carter will announce his decisions by Jan. 2.

Vegas Valley Book Festival Fun

November 3, 2012

Not all things literary are somber and studious. Author P Moss, whose CityLife books include Blue Vegas and Vegas Knockout, was seen at the 2012 Vegas Valley Book Festival with fellow writer Scott Dickensheet, editor of the newest Las Vegas Writes project Wish You Were Here, and friend Annie Bloodcock, who preferred to remain silent.

On Air with Wish You Were Here Authors

October 29, 2012

In anticipation of the launch of Wish You Were Here for the Vegas Valley Book Festival, editor Scott Dickensheets and contributing authors Lindsey Leavitt and Greg Blake Miller were interviewed on KNPR’s State of Nevada (News 88.9). Listen in as they share thoughts and snippets from their stories …

Postcards on Parade

October 24, 2012

Feeling nostalgic?

Take a trip down memory lane tomorrow night at the Las Vegas Clark County Library for the release of Wish You Were Here ~ a collection of stories inspired by vintage Las Vegas postcards.

Meet the contributing authors and see the postcards from a bygone era that caught their attention and got their creative juices flowing!