The windmills of Palm Springs on a sunny day

We’re rolling into summer, which means hotter days with evenings in the 70s (we’re leaving it a surprise as to whether it’s high or low 70s). 

So far, we’ve made it through the International Film Festival, Modernism Week, the BNP, Coachella, Stagecoach, and in June we’ve got Short Fest. This month we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but the rest of May is all about a chill vibe desert style. 

The snowbirds are leaving, which also means Palm Springs is less crowded, and the streets are less congested. The rest of us (who I like to call Desert Warriors), we stick around through it all. And when the weather is like this, we trot out our coolest and most fashionable outfits. 

Speaking of which, The Block has all of the latest fashion, and the boutiques have their own unique styles. You can curate your look for summer way before the rest of the world, where summer is a few more months away. And you know what? You don’t have to shop. You don’t have to do anything. Maybe you just “want to be alone” like one of our OG movie stars, Greta Garbo. In that case, live in swimwear by the pool at your boutique hotel, and order in from Postmates. The options for a good time are endless, but you know what won’t be? The drive. No special events to bottle neck the roads, or the airport.  Smooth sailing all the way. 

For those who are not choosing to only hang out by the pool, here are some fun things to consider:

Ongoing weekly events in Palm Springs

Thursdays is Village Fest. At 6 p.m. we shut down Palm Canyon so you can walk those blocks, listen to buskers, buy things from vendors, have a cocktail and a nosh or two. Some of our brick and mortars started here: Brandini Toffee and The HeyDay. PS Art Museum also has free hours from 5 to 8 p.m. 

Fridays at 7:30 p.m. you can get two-stepping at Dance Ranch. Straight couples, gay couples, non-couples — who cares, it’s a dance class followed by dancing. $5

Saturdays are for the PS Farmer’s Market (Townie Bagels kinda got started here). Although the certified market will continue throughout the year, May is the last month it’s outdoors.

Belico Party happens every Saturday at Reforma Night Club.

Sundays at Chill Bar: Amazing Sundays Drag Brunch

Also, Churrasco finally opened. Recent reviews are 10 out of 10, no notes! Sorry, Arby’s they’ve got the meats, Brazilian style!

Special events

May 1: First Wednesday Art Walk at Kee Gallery, 5 to 7 p.m. It’s about 15 minutes from downtown, but it’s a cool little area.

May 1: PS I Love You Scavenger Hunt. From their website: “Embark on an extraordinary journey with a twist! This is not your typical scavenger hunt; it’s a creative and immersive departure from the ordinary.” $35 (multiple dates)

May 4: Entertainment Convention. There will be comic books, collectibles, cosplay, toys, cards, live panels, celebrity guests, food, and fun for the entire family. Kids nine and under are free with a paid adult. At PS Convention Center.

May 5: Cinco de Mayo brunch at PS Underground.

May 7: Vintage Market. Last one until October.

May 8: The Gand Band The Beatles and Beyond at Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Downtown Casino.

May 9 to 12: Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. Shady guys, shady dolls, and coppers. You know the drill. They’ll never take us alive.

May 14: Movies in the Park, Jurassic Park, at Downtown Park next to Marilyn. Free.

May 15: Gregory Douglass at Palm Springs Cultural Center. He’s an amazing singer, and he’s a blogger here at Boutiquely Palm Springs!

May 25: Daddy/Pop at Reforma. The event will feature retro go-gos, flaggers, and fan dancers, plus a guest DJ, drink specials, and photography. Tickets are $10–$15 in advance and $20 at the door.

May 27: Memorial Day Flower Drop, PS Air Museum. It’s not the only thing happening at the air museum, tool around the website for some fantastic exhibits, opportunities, and events.

May 28: Movies in the Park, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Downtown Park

May 31: Restaurant Week begins in the Valley.

The beat goes on…

These are live entertainment venues with fantastic talent. Most are ticketed events, and worth every dime. 

The Purple Room

Revolution Stage Company

V Wine Lounge

Palm Springs Cultural Center

PS Underground

Play Lounge

PSAir

Last call before summer

If you’re missing Modernism Week, check out Modern Tour. They have a few options to tour inside some of Palm Springs most iconic homes.

And if you’re itching for something to do, the Palm Springs Historical Society has some groovy tours including walking, biking, and private vehicle tours.

Desert Tasty Tours offers a very fun, very tasty, three-hour food, booze, and history “tour.” It only covers two blocks of downtown so it’s not at all vigorous, with some delicious food at each destination.

No, I didn’t forget — how could I forget the mothers? Palm Springs was built by them, and guess what? It’s still a great place to bring Mom for an indulgent spa weekend. So, get cracking on those Mother’s Day plans.

Cheers to all the moms past, present, and future! 

P.S. I didn’t mention how gorgeous it is out here right now. It’s gorgeous out here right now. (There!) All that rain gave us green mountains and bright, cheerful flowers. You don’t need to go anywhere specific — it’s everywhere you are in Palm Springs. Come see!

Participants in a Pride parade in Palm Springs

October was fabulous, but it was just the opening act to what we call “season” in Palm Springs. Not “the season,” just “season.” Batman knows.

November days are sunny but not too hot, and the nights are cool, but not cold. Not only is it great hiking weather, it is also excellent pool weather — the sun is warm and the air is cool, kinda like Hawaii without getting spit on by rain. Our streets are bustling day and night, and you’d be wise to make a reservation before going out to dinner at one of our many restaurants. It’s the weather that puts what we call “season” here in Palm Springs into full swing.

We’ve got BIG events, theater, music, tucked away places to try, and some brand new exciting night clubs and restaurants. I don’t want to keep you all day, so let’s go!

Events

Nov. 4-6: Pride — This link takes you to Gay Desert Guide’s links to Pride events. If you enjoy being confused and confounded, you can go here.

Nov. 6: Pride Parade

Nov. 11-13: Women’s Jazz Festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center

Nov. 18-21: JOGS Palm Springs Gem & Jewelry Show — The JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show is one of the largest jewelry trade shows in the Americas, bringing together a variety of manufacturers, wholesalers, and brands. IYKYK.

Nov. 19: Props and Hops Craft Beer Festival — At the Palm Springs Air Museum, from 1 to 6 p.m. Get buzzed on land and buzz around in the sky in a warbird. Tons of food and entertainment.

Pride brings everyone out to Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Ongoing music and libations

Melvyn’s — At the Ingleside Inn … so old school Palm Springs you’ll squee. Celebrities often sit in at the piano bar. There’s GREAT music from Mikael Healy all through the week, and the Sunday Jam is not to be missed, with all of the best musicians P.S. has to offer.

Palm Springs Cultural Center — It’s not just movies! Upstairs (I think they’re calling it Come On Up?) during the week expect an eclectic mix of styles from local musicians.

V Wine Lounge 

The Purple Room — Open every day except Monday (and who knows, maybe they’ll open on Mondays again during season).

PS Underground — It’s pricey, but definitely a one-of-a-kind experience and totally worth every simoleon.

Oscar’s — Some great shows coming up, and if I can urge you to go see at least one thing there, please let it be Mid-Century Moderns.

Theater

Dezart Performs (Choir Boy is an official Pride event)

Desert Ensemble Theatre (at PSCC, good yet unusual theater)

Palm Canyon Theatre

Hooch-y hideaways  

Small and intimate spots to get away from the crowds.

The Tailor Shop

Seymours

La Boisson (at Fleur Noire Hotel)

Le Fern, 411 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (4-9pm 7 days a week)

The Front Porch

Del Rey (at Villa Royale)

PS Air

Welcome to La Boisson. Photo courtesy of Fleur Noire Hotel

Outdoor activities

Modern and More Bike Tours — You need your own bike, but if you’re staying in a boutique hotel, chances are they’ve got one for you. This is not for kids, it’s all about history and architecture and is operated by Brennan, one of our Modernism Bus Tour guides. All quiet streets, no hills, constant sunshine, and very little traffic. Even novices will enjoy this educational ride — however, people with back problems may not. Know thyself before you book.

Historic Walking Tours from the Palm Springs Historical Society — Good luck trying to figure out which one to book. I want to go on ALL of them.

MOGO Silent Disco — Dance like nobody’s watching down the streets of Palm Springs. Everyone gets their own headset and is jamming to the same tune on this dancing tour. Outrageous outfits are encouraged, and a little stamina (60 minutes of boogie is a workout!) required.

NEW!

Sancho’s — 411 E. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs.

Coming soon

Reforma Night Club (Nov. 4)

Clandestino

Churrasco Brazilian Steakhouse (December 2022)

Thanksgiving

Alert! Apparently there’s a turkey shortage, which I find weird. Have you ever been to Wisconsin? They’re all over the road. OpenTable put together a great list of every restaurant in the Coachella Valley serving up the remaining turkeys. Most of the Palm Springs options are on page 2, and include Melvyn’s at Ingleside Inn, Azucar at La Serena Villas, and Del Rey at Villa Royale.

See you next month!

The elegant dining room at Melvyn’s. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Two rows of tall palms in Palm Springs

Holy Ned, October is jamming! We’ve got Modernism Week Preview plus Palm Springs Leather Pride. If neither of those float your boat, there’s HALLOWEEN! It’s a huge holiday here in Palm Springs, and Halloween on Arenas is sick (in the best way possible). Costumes are off the charts creative, and the whole town is one big party.  

And now that it’s cooling down, all of our venues are heating way up. Keep in mind many indoor events require a vaccination card and a mask. Hey, the world is a bit of a horror show these days, but Palm Springs knows how to be safe and party. 

So now, without further ado, say hello to October events:  

Jazzville Shows at Agua Caliente Casino Cascade Lounge  

MFUO Featuring Jacques Lesure — Thursday, October 7, 7 p.m. 

Rumproller Organ Trio at Jazzville Palm Springs — Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m. 

Dan Delgado Sextet — Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m. 

Agua Caliente Casino Caliente Comedy 

Craig Conant  — Friday, October 1, 8 p.m. 

Pablo Francisco Comedy — Friday, October 8, 8 p.m. 

Brian Scolaro — Friday, October 15, 8 p.m. 

Tom Arnold — Friday, October 29, 8 p.m. 

Lalo Guerrero Tribute Show — Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m. 

Cultural Center – Camelot Theatres 

Drag O Rama featuring Rosemary Galore
Sunday, October 3, 2:30 p.m. (repeating Sundays)
Tickets starting at $15

 

Presenting Drag O Rama

 

REPO! The Genetic Opera — special screening of the cult horror film
Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m. social hour, event at 7 p.m. 

Chip ‘N’ Dru: Our Favorite Sings
Saturday, October 9, 6 p.m.

Multi-talented singer Dru Rutledge and veteran Broadway pianist Chip Prince present Our Favorite Sings. Featuring a multi-genre selection of songs in the style of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Debussy, Puccini, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Broadway, Opera, Top 40 chart toppers, and more!  

Martinis and Moxie: A Society Social
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m.

A “My Way” society revue celebrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra.  

2021 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival
Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2000 by the late mystery author and Palm Springs community leader Arthur Lyons, the popular Film Noir Festival includes an eclectic mixture of prestigious and obscure black and white B movies from the classic film noir period. The festival is known for unearthing and screening rare films, restored classics, and for the special appearances of the stars who were in them.  

The Purple Room 

Tuesdays: Rose Mallett 

Wednesdays: Michael Holmes and Darci Daniels 

Thursdays: Sharon Sills 

Fridays and Saturdays: Ticketed events 

Sundays: The Judy Show   

PS Underground 

That’s Amore, an Italian feast set to music.
Saturday, October 2, 7 p.m. 

Gospel Brunch featuring great music and Keisha D.
Sunday, October 3, 11 a.m. 

Ovation! A Jazzed Up Sunday Brunch
Sunday, October 10, 11 a.m. 

Death by Cheese, a ghoulishly cheesy Sunday brunch.
Sunday, October 24, 11 a.m.  

420 Bank Dispensary and Lounge 

Cheech Meet & Greet
Friday, October 1, 3 p.m. 

Kottonmouth Kings with DLOC
Saturday, October 23, 9 p.m. 

Rabbit Country
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m. 

Open Mic Night
Thursdays — October 7, 14, 21 

Oscar’s House Parties 

Saturdays: Mimosa Men (Brunch) 

Sundays: Bitchiest Brunch 

Sundays: World Famous T-Dance  

Oscar’s Special Events 

Edie Las Vegas Showgirls: Unleashed (ticketed event) — Saturday, October 2, 7 to 9 p.m. 

Sandra Bernhardt — Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5

Remembering The Golden Girls — Wednesday, October 6

An Evening With Cameron Ross — Thursday, October 14

Melissa Manchester outdoor concert — Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22

Theater 

Desert Rose Playhouse Presents Xanadu 

Thursday to Sunday, through October 17 

(Note: So far their season has been spectacular!)  

Palm Canyon Theater 

Sordid Lives — Through October 3 

Shrek The Musical — Beginning October 22 

More options 

Wind and Wine Paint Party
Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours
Wine glass painting class and Windmill Tour  

Paint Splatter at Superbloom Studios
Thursday, October 14, 6 p.m.
Starts at $150.00  

The Gem Show at Palm Springs Convention Center
October 21 through 24   

Modernism Fall Preview
October 14 through 17
 

Halloween 

Palm Springs Cultural Center 

Jazzville Creepy Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 3 p.m. 

Cinema Bizarro: Best of Retro Cartoon Halloween Specials
Sunday, October 31, 1 p.m.  

Jazzville Presents The Jazz Cartel Halloween Special
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m. 

Hocus Pocus hosted by the Sanderson Sisters
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m.

A screening of Hocus Pocus with special guests the Sanderson Sisters. Kids receive a (kinda) real magic wand from the spooky woods of Salem.  

Zombie Burlesque Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 6 p.m.  

The Three Michaels playing the Halloween score live, plus private party
Sunday, October 31, 8 p.m. 

An ode to John Carpenter’s Halloween with the musical score, scares, and skits performed live in front of an abbreviated version of the film projected on the big screen. 

Dirty Little Secrets Presents Shock Theater Spooktacular
Sunday, October 31 8 p.m.

California’s longest running burlesque and variety show. From zombies to fire performers, this eclectic shock theater of sensational striptease will keep you laughing and howling all night! 

PS Underground 

BITE – a bloody vampire dinner
October 26, 27, 28, 31, 7 p.m. 

Halloween on Arenas Road – The Queen Of All Halloween Parties
The party starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m.. Take an Uber/Lyft, parking will suck, and you’ll likely get pretty boozy. There’s too much to talk about, so I’m just sending you to the link. Prizes up to $1,800! 

For Gay Men Only

The Dirty Show with Skyler Gentry
Wednesday, October 6, 7 p.m.

$25 includes complimentary booze, snacks, pre-show and post-show party after every performance. The venue is outdoors with spaced seating. 

Hot Uncle at the Barracks
Saturday, October 16, 9 p.m.  
 

Palm Springs Leather Pride 2021: Unlocked: Full Release
Begins October 26 and runs through October 31. Multiple venues, starting at Eagle 501 bar.  SO MANY EVENTS! Event packages (too easy) here. Need some leather? Try Gear and Rough Trade Gear. 

That’ll do it for October. Don’t forget to shop and stay local. See you in November!  

A sign that reads "Welcome to Palm Springs"

I hope you all made it through 2022 as unscathed as possible. No matter the reason, you absolutely deserve a getaway vacation to Palm Springs. The late night temps are in the low 50s, while it’s in the mid-70s by noon and the sun is warm on your skin. Perfect tanning weather, and a heated pool will bring all of the aaahhhs.

Whether you want to keep the party going, or you’re looking to unwind from party season, Palm Springs is a cure. Have a look at our boutique resorts to find your particular jam. There are A LOT to choose from, each one unique in its own way — on the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website, you can use a filter to narrow down the choices. I’d do it for you, but you didn’t tell me what you were looking for, so I’m stumped. It’s pretty easy to navigate, so unless you’re a single cell organism, you’ll do fine.

The biggest thing going on this month is the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and I’m going to tell you about that in a different post, but you should get tickets yesterday if you want to attend. Other than that, we’ve got a lot of the usual suspects, a few one-offs, and a brand new nightclub. I’ll do a post about my favorite restaurants before Valentine’s Day so you can make a plan. But first, January 2023. Ready? Let’s go.

One and done

Jan 1: Vintage Market at the Palm Springs Cultural Center — First hour is $10 to get in (first pick!), $5 after 9 a.m. Vendors from all over the country.

Jan. 4: Leslie Jordan: Gone Too Soon. At Quadz Palm Springs, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Jan 5-16: Palm Springs International Film Festival Cruise the website yourself, or you can read about it here.

Jan 19-22: Palm Springs Winter Break — Line dance party.

Items for sale at the Vintage Market. Photo by Katy Carrier

Recurring tours

Historical Society Walking Tours — 14 different tour options, all spectacular.

Architectural Bike Tours — Your guide, Brennan, is all about mid-century modern. He is also a bus tour guide during Modernism Week. Many of our resorts have bikes available, so snag one for a few hours and book the tour.

Desert Tasty Tours — Get a taste of downtown Palm Springs with this fun walking tour. You get some great history, some adult beverages, and some delicious food from our locally owned spots. It’s a great mid-day adventure. Get $5 off when purchasing your tickets by using promo code “PSPHotel.”

MOGO Silent Disco — Get your boogie on with this dance tour. To be clear, you are the dancer. Curated music is pumped through your headset as you disco down Palm Canyon Boulevard. You won’t look weird — you’ll bring friends and make new ones. Use code “pspsh10” at checkout for a 10 percent discount for our readers!

Dance your way through downtown Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of MOGO Silent Disco Tour

Clubs with entertainment

Caliente Comedy at the Cascade Lounge on Fridays

Jazzville at the Cascade Lounge on Thursdays

The Purple Room — Rat Pack styled club with top notch entertainment from all over the country.

PS Underground — If you’ve read this blog before, you know I love this experience. Everything is spectacular, from the venue to the entertainment and the food. One of the most creative and fun events you will ever witness. Everyone becomes BFFs forever, including your hosts and creative team, Michael and Chef Dave.

Oscar’s — There’s a lot going on here, so peep the calendar. If you’re gay (or wanna hang with your gays), the T Dance is the best recurring party in town. If you’re straight, stay away from the bathrooms.

Oscar’s. Courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

PS Air — One-of-a-kind “speakeasy” masquerading as an airplane; it may even have a cockpit, I’m not sure (I mean, it is Palm Springs). But there is in-flight entertainment, and often a naughty stewardess.

Toucan’s — A drag queen institution and dance club on the north end of town near the very popular Boozehounds.

Come On Up Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly known as — or concurrently, I’m unclear — the Camelot Theater) is stepping it up. They still show movies, and there are two theater companies during season (which is now), as well as Come On Up, featuring recurring musical acts on different weekdays. There’s a lot of parking, so you can bring a crowd.

Nightclubs

Reforma (brand new) — Right next to BevMo. It just opened, and I mean just, like yesterday.

Pretty Faces (fairly new) — I haven’t checked it out yet. LMK if you go.

Theater

Jan 20-29: Palm Canyon Theater: Palm Springs Getaway

Jan 13-22: Dezart Performs: A Bright New Boise

Jan 17-29: CVRep: Dirty Blonde

Jan 27-29: Desert Ensemble Theater: Kill the Editor

There’s a new theater company in town, The Bent. I’m not sure if they’re doing anything in January yet, but peek their website. There are rumors that their very popular show, The Lincoln Debate, will be back in February. For those of you not in the know, Lincoln shared a single bed with another man for four years. The show uses that information as a jumping off point.

If you’re new to PS and you are a gay man looking for the action, you’re looking for East Arenas Road (fun article), two blocks of gay Shangri-La. Pair that with a men’s clothing optional boutique resort, and you’ve reached nirvana.

Okay, that’s it for January. Hope to see you around town enjoying our delicious weather. And as always, please shop and stay local, have a blast, and I’ll see you next month.

If you’re reading this, YAY! You made it to the other side of 2023, also known as 2024! Here’s a roundup of all the good things that happened in 2023:

Scientists discovered that hitting the snooze button on your alarm has positive benefits.

And that concludes our roundup of good things in 2023! 

There is, however, one thing that can soothe a beast of a year away, and that’s a visit to Palm Springs. That’s right, we’ve pretty much got the market cornered on sunshine, and we’re showcasing it 350 days out of 365. And not to brag or anything, but Palm Springs was named one of the top 10 most culturally vibrant cities in the U.S. in 2023. Take that other cities, we got all the culture right here. Don’t believe me? Line up, culture. Let’s go!

Culture roll call

Theatre? Yes ma’am! 

The Bent, Desert Ensemble Theatre, Dezart Performs, and Revolution Stage Company 

Music? Yes ma’am!

The Purple Room, PS Air, PS Underground, PS Cultural Center, Jazzville

Concerts? Yes ma’am!

Acrisure Arena, and the casinos

Museums? Yes ma’am!

Palm Springs Art Museum, PS Air Museum

Hiking? Yes ma’am!

Indian Canyons, Palm Springs Tramway

Art? Yes ma’am!

Desert Arts Center

Michelin Guide restaurants? Yes ma’am!

We even have two places with “Cultural Center” as part of their names, for crying out loud. 

Star power in Palm Springs

We’ve got other stuff, too — in fact we’ve got all the stuff and we’re not wasting any time rolling it out for you, because we’re starting off 2024 with an explosion of star power at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). You can check out the entire schedule and more here. That’s Jan. 4-14, and there is a lot to do. Folks being honored? Well, there’s Colman Domingo, Cillian Murphy, Greta Gerwig, Billie Eilish, Emma Stone, and Carey Mulligan, just to name a few. You might see them out and about town too. 

I mentioned cultural centers a nano ago, and PSIFF actually got its start at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly known as Camelot Theaters). Built in the mid-1960s, Camelot was the first cineplex in Palm Springs, and has morphed into a home for all sorts of cool stuff. It’s not only still home to PSIFF, but abounds with other film festivals throughout the year. And it’s home to two theater companies. Plus there’s live music at least five days a week; just last month, the PSCC was lousy with Broadway stars singing their little hearts out. Yes, you could have seen Megan Hilty had you booked a wee vacation to our little slice of paradise.

The other cultural center is brand new, and it’s pretty exciting. It’s the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (okay, not center, but close enough), and it’s recently opened to rave reviews. Built on an ancient hot mineral spa that was the foundation of the tribe for years, there are indoor and outdoor permanent exhibitions as well as some that will be ever changing. It’s definitely worth your time. Plus, it’s right next to the Spa at Séc-he, an extravagant indulgence you won’t want to miss. Sometimes an experience is worth every single penny, and this is one of those. 

News and reminders

If you’re not into spas (what?), films, or movie people patting each other on the back, the long awaited Palm Springs Surf Club has opened! Catch a wave, or lunch, or just float down a lazy river — it’s a thrilling new addition to our little city that’s almost 10 years in the making.

We are also saying goodbye to Antigua restaurant, but are welcoming Alice B’s, Minerva’s, and Toucan’s — it’s now under the ownership of the same folks that brought us Chicken Ranch (yum!). A local newspaper tells me that Skylark Hotel is opening their own little eatery, but that’s all I can find. I’ll keep you updated on that as I know. 

Reminders: Modernism Week is in February, and if you haven’t booked anything yet, good luck to you. There may be a few things left to do, but some of the local theaters and venues are rising to the occasion with their own non-Modernism Week mid-mod activities. 

Don’t forget every weekend Crystal Fantasy has their psychic fair, so pop in and see what 2024 holds for you.

Just a reminder of how fun we are, there’s an entire new TV series set here. Palm Royale is an Apple production á la Slim Aarons with Kristin Wiig. She’s always a great anti-hero. The linked article talks about Palm Beach and Palm Springs, which confuses me, but I’m not worried — that’s fairly normal. 

Don’t forget that the first Sunday of every month is the Palm Springs Vintage Market, but if you miss that, we’ve got scads of places off Industrial for you to get your mid-mod fix on (Antique Galleries of Palm Springs, 505 Industrial Pl.; Sunny Dunes Antique Mall, 507 E. Sunny Dunes Rd.; Little Shop of Treasures, 616 E. Sunny Dunes Rd.; Aida’s Antiques, 401 Industrial Pl.).

And then there are the tours:

Desert Tasty Tours — Three hours of foodie fun with a little bit of history thrown in for good measure

Palm Springs Historical Society (and museum!) — Many options here

Red Jeep Tours

Cannabis Express Tours — Call 310-467-6677

Five Star Adventure Tours

The Best of the Best Tours

And just in case you weren’t aware, the folks here are so nice that you just might think we’re Canadian. But we’re not (well, some of us are) — we’re just happy you’re here so we can show off! We’re kinda proud of us, and want to share the love. Plus, it’s more fun when you’re here too. See you soon!

A little tequila, a little dance, a little party in your pants. — Kay Kudukis

It’s Cinco de Mayo again, happens every damn year — and we’re very happy about that. Before we get into where to go and what to do, let’s clarify a few misconceptions about the day.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That date is actually September 16 (someone needs to get on that right away, we always need another reason to drink tequila).

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of one, count ’em, one battle. And that battle was the Battle of Puebla. The players in the battle: 6,000 French troops vs. 2,000 ragtag, poorly supplied but determined Mexicans. The battle raged from daybreak to early evening, and when the smoke cleared, the French had lost nearly 500 soldiers, while fewer than 100 Mexicans lost their lives. Viva la Puebla!

In 1863, the first Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in southern border states like California, and always ready for a reason to break out the tequila, in the United States it’s been a jammin’ party ever since. That bolded part is important because the only people in Mexico that celebrate the day are the Pueblans. No banks are closed, the mail still comes, no parades, and no parties.  

But thankfully we’re hedonists, and our own worst enemy (have you ever experienced a tequila hangover? Death seems preferable at the time). Here’s a list of all of the local spots for great Mexican food and getting your tequila on in moderation:

El Mirasol — there are two locations in Palm Springs (one at the Los Arboles Hotel), try the jalapeño margarita and the stuffed pepper 

Dinner is served at El Mirasol. Photo by Kim Munkres

Azucar — fancy, downtown, with a rooftop bar (at La Serena Villas)

Las Casuelas Terraza — expect a Mariachi Band, and much more

Las Cazuelas Original — the food is terrific

Felipe’s — great food and margaritas, family owned

JJ’s Mexican Oasis — family owned and delicious Cadillac margaritas

Loco Charlie’s — off of Sunrise near the Albertsons, it’s a “joint” but the food is fabulous (and the drinks are, too)

Tac/Quila — upscale Mexican seafood, and the design is super

La Bonita’s — haven’t been, but I hear it’s good

Maracas — great people watching

El Patio — run by Felipe’s

The poolside view of Azucar. Photo courtesy of La Serena Villas

La Perlita — way off the beaten path, but it’s got some great food and drinks

El Taco Asado — authentic Mexican food and full bar

Blue Coyote Bar and Grill — right downtown

Rio Azul — on Indian Canyon, and I hear it’s terrific

El Patron — best for people watching

Sancho’s — breakfast and lunch, brand spankin’ new

El Mirasol at night. Photo by Kim Munkres

And here are the only two places, right now, that are having full-blown, advertised Cinco de Mayo celebrations:

Cinco De Mayo at Hunters Nightclub

Margo Rey and an All-Star Latin Jazz Band at Jazzville (Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs)

If you don’t drink, you can alway eat, and all of the above have terrific food. Those who celebrate events with cannabis should jump on the Cannabus for one of their Express Tours. Dispensaries now have beverages for consumption, as well as powders to put in your soda water (never ever put it in an unsuspecting person’s drink or meal, or you might end up in jail like these ladies did. Rude!). Make sure to read the dosage labels, like I didn’t — I ended up riding a light beam into the deepest recesses of my mind. It was fun, but not for everyone.

As always, consume everything responsibly, and grabs some Beano before you go! 

Art by Paloma Contreras Lomas on display at Desert X

You know your idea is successful when locals and visitors alike ask if Desert X is happening in the Coachella Valley again this year. With fanfare, we can proudly say the fourth Desert X is not only alive and well, it once again has produced some outstanding art installations definitely worth planning a weekend trip to check them out.

Many of our terrific Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels said their occupancy rate increased immediately after Desert X announced it was taking place March 4 through May 7, 2023. Our boutique hotels, with all their different vibes, are helping people find the perfect atmosphere to launch their journeys to discover the art installations.

What is Desert X? 

This biennial event is an exhibition of 10 art installations throughout our desert landscape. Through a juried process, international and local artists were selected from their portfolios and invited to participate. Desert X identified a theme for 2023 that focuses on how we design our environments and live, which may or may not serve our world well. With the theme in mind, the selection committee hosts the artists and takes them to locations across the Coachella Valley that are accessible to the public and suitable for art to be installed.

How do you find the art installations?  

Physical maps are available at the Ace Hotel. You can also download a map from the Desert X website. If you want to rely on your phones, here are the apps for Desert X for both iOS and Android.

Pro tip: From experience, I can tell you the GPS to these installations may not be totally accurate. Just keep an eye open; sometimes, the art is just on the opposite side of the road that GPS tells you.

Photo by Kathy Condon

What do I need to explore the area? 

Now that you have the map or app, you should know a couple more things. First, you will need a car to explore Desert X — the installations are too spread out for walking.

Even though it feels like 70 degrees is perfect for exploring, our desert sun can be deceiving.  Make sure you apply suntan lotion, take your sunglasses, wear a hat, and have plenty of water. Some of the artworks are located out in the open desert with nary a bit of shade to be found.

In fact, the best way to look at it is to prepare like you are going on a hike in the desert, and you will have all that you need. Oh, and wear closed-toe shoes. Trust me, you will be glad you did, for some paths are loose sand, filled with little spurs that find their way between your toes.

Pro tips: Desert X, upon request, will make reasonable accommodations to ensure people with disabilities have access to the art — email info@desertX.org with inquiries.

Also, take note: there are no restrooms available at the sites.

Desert X is a family event 

Each time Desert X is held, I marvel at the laughter of families who have chosen to explore this free event together. Teenagers seem to relish being the directors to the various locations, while the younger ones frolic on the grounds surrounding each piece of art.

If you have been meaning to come to Palm Springs with a group of friends, Desert X provides the perfect daytime activity. Then, you have the whole evening to enjoy some of our patio restaurants, which offer a variety of cuisines.

What will I see? 

That is the great thing about this exhibition. Every stop is different and is open to interpretation by the person viewing it. I was at the event’s opening and met some artists. Interestingly, most of them were reluctant to explain their art. They want you to experience and come up with your own interpretation.

My experience at an installation

With a friend and a map in hand, we decided to head out to see London artist Rana Begum’s “No. 1225 Chainlink” in Palm Desert. Once we found the site, we parked the car and headed down the pedestrian path to the enormous chainlink fence structure.

To our delight, Rana was onsite and being filmed, so we listened in on the interview. What struck me was that she said, “When you are walking through it, there is a sense of openness and then a sense of things closing in on you, and even a sense of panic for some.”

Rana Begum’s “No. 1225 Chainlink” art installation. Photo by Kathy Condon

I entered the maze, and as it narrowed, I ended up in the middle, where round metal poles allowed me to feel the openness of the space. Then the task of finding my way out was not that easy. Admittedly, I sense panic for a moment — just like the artist predicted. The panic was short-lived, and I was smiling as I walked out.

I stood back and marveled that while the structure was massive, the lemon-colored fencing was somehow at home in its spot. Since it is going to remain in place through May, I can see taking visitors to Palm Springs out to experience it.

Sunnylands hosts an installation  

Frankly, I never need an excuse to visit Sunnylands. Since one of the installations is there — “Amar A Dios En Tierra De Indios, Es Oficio Maternal,” by Mexican artist Paloma Contreras Lomas — we headed out to see it.

It was opening day, and I was once again blessed with the ability to meet the artist, perched on one of the many benches that grace the grounds of Sunnylands. The weather was beautiful, after a couple of rare rainy days in Palm Springs, and we discussed how her art contained several fragile touches and how they were created. 

Desert X certainly does not disappoint. With eight more installations to visit, I am fortunate to live in Palm Springs and able to take off whenever I want to see them. If you plan to visit, I suggest you head to the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website to make reservations for your accommodations. Word is spreading about this quality and often provocative art scattered throughout Coachella Valley, which adds the adventure of a scavenger hunt. Join in the fun and experience our lovely spring weather while taking in the beauty of our valley, surrounded by our majestic mountains.

The Palm Springs International Film Fest (PSIFF) is a very big deal, and not just to Palm Springs. It is, in fact, true to its name, international. Filmmakers and cinephiles come in from all over the world to see the showcased films.

And there are movie stars. So many movie stars. We are lousy with movie stars. (That’s an expression meaning “we have a lot,” we treat them great, not to worry.) You might run into one at a restaurant, because they have to eat, even if it is just a tiny bit. And we have some pretty great restaurants. They’ll be all up and down the valley, just like in the old days. Ah, the old days…

“Picture this: Palm Springs, 1958, Desi driving the latest model Cadillac convertible down Palm Canyon Drive, Lucy in the passenger seat, a pink polka dot scarf keeping her red hair in place, which is good, because the fire department might have thought her head was on fire without it and had to take action. And she had these big white sunnies that made her look like a movie star. Because she was, you know.” — Sophia Petrillo (IYKYK)

PSIFF turns 34 this year, and she’s grown into quite the boss — last year, there were around 1,000 entries from more than 60 countries, with only 130 films making the cut. For 2023, some big names will be receiving awards from the festival. Here’s the rundown:

Colin Farrell, Desert Palm Achievement Award, The Banshees of Inisherin

Sarah Polley, Director of the Year Award, Women Talking

Cate Blanchett, Desert Palm Achievement Award, Tár

Michelle Yeoh, International Star Award, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Steven Spielberg, Vanguard Award, The Fabelmans 

Austin Butler, Breakthrough Performance Award, Elvis

Viola Davis, Chairman’s Award, The Woman King

Bill Nighy, International Star Award, Living

Danielle Deadwyler, Breakthrough Performance Award, Till

Brendan Fraser, Spotlight Award, The Whale

Also, I think I missed a memo — and I don’t even know how one might put this in a memo — but one category is Talking Pictures, which appears to be studio backed films with sound. Is that new? Is that because…why is that? Someone forward me the memo, I need the memo! 

There is a category of Gay/Queer Culture films, which is pretty self-explanatory. And then Fully Subtitled Films which is probably where the “International” part comes in because they’re not in English. Just thinking out loud here, but …you know what, you can figure it out. I gave you the links. You may not even care. But if you got the memo, still forward it, please. 

If you’d like to see a schedule by day go here. If you’re curious about the venues, click here.

Some considerations, from the website: All patrons must provide proof of full vaccination and photo ID in person at our vaccination checkpoints to receive a vaccination wristband. The vaccination wristband must be worn throughout the festival to attend all screenings and events. Those checkpoints can be found here.

If I sound like I’m a little bitter, you got me. It’s one of the biggest international events in Palm Springs and I’ve never been. But you can go! Get your tickets here. Then you can blog all about it and tag us so I can live vicariously through you! Plan?

That’s @PalmSpringsPreferredSmallHotels on Instagram, and me @kaykudukis.  

Be sure to take lots of pictures, and if you see a UFO at night, for heaven’s sake, zoom in and hold the camera steady. Tag me in that one, too.

Don’t forget to shop and stay local, and happy 2023!

The stone front of Del Marcos Hotel

Did you know that Palm Springs is internationally famous? Well, it is. Since 2006, people from all over the planet have been coming to Palm Springs during the month of February for the banging party we call Modernism Week. It’s like the United Nations all up in here.  

Before the big event, Modernism Week holds a four-day preview in October called Modernism Fall Preview (a.k.a. Mini-Mod Week), running from October 14 through 17. It’s jam-packed with loads to do — over 50 events!  

Modernism Week and Mini-Mod Week are so popular the best events sell out the same day they go on sale. So unless some fabulous bit of wizardry transpires (it might, Palm Springs is magical), forget about Sunnylands and Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate Tour. There’s plenty left to see though, from significant mid-century modern home tours to architectural double decker bus tours. 

You can dress as you like, but a lot of people choose to pull out their pedal pushers and fedoras — whatever it takes to achieve that retro look. During Mini-Mod Week, the town takes on that old-timey feel of the ’50s and ’60s.

There are some cool cocktail-style events, but those sell out pretty fast. One of my very favorite supper clubs, PS Underground, has a brand new show for this year called Beatnik. Hurry and book, their shows are always outstanding. 

Even if you miss out on your favorite events, there’s still the main event at the Palm Springs Convention Center where you can browse everything mid-century modern, including art, furniture, and lighting. You can find a list of exhibitors here. 

If you’re the curious type like me, or a little iffy on modernism, this article breaks down mid-century modern art for you. The same with architecture here. 

Friday night is the big opening night party for the Modernism Show and Sale. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door. A purchase to the opening night party gives you access to the show on Saturday and Sunday. 

Skipping the party? (You’re gonna say “no” to a party?!) You can still buy a ticket for Saturday and Sunday that will cost you one Jackson (soon to be Tubman!) and gets you in both days so you can shop ‘til you bop later on that evening. 

Whether you do or don’t plan on going to the Modernism Week preview, but love the vibe of the mid-mod experience, we have mid-century modern hotels for the complete experience. There are 25 of them, all with great amenities — learn more about these fabulous spots here. 


The Purple Room, a Rat Pack-inspired supper club, has some of the finest entertainment in town. Here are the weekend shows during Modernism Preview:  

October 14: Sharon Sills (every Thursday) 

October 15: Branden and James — vocals and cello performing the Lady Gaga songbook 

October 16: Branden and James  — vocals and cello performing the Lady Gaga songbook 

October 17: The Judy Show (my favorite show in town! Every Sunday.) 

Also, check out V Wine Lounge, where the vibe is so retro you’ll squee. 

By the way, the bus tours are hella fun. I am a tour guide assistant and even from my view (I sit in the bottom of the bus, you’ll be on top — bring sunscreen and hold onto your hats!) it’s a fun and informative 2-and-a-half hour ride. 

Hope to see you there, and let’s go retro! 

Kay Kudukis Paints Palm Springs Red

Glorious September in Palm Springs, often offering the perfect balance between sun worshipers and those preferring a more sun-kissed look. With the lower temps and evenings cooling down substantially, the nights are delightfully dreamy. Leisurely strolls down Palm Canyon are back in style, and dining al fresco is de rigueur.

VillageFest courtesy of VillageFest

With the evenings cooling off, the VillageFest is definitely heating up! Our Thursday night street fair/party partially closes Palm Canyon Drive to traffic. Vendors are usually scattered from Amado to Baristo. Palm Canyon Drive is filled with buskers; pop-up restaurants and stores; and artisans of every ilk. Palm Springs is home to a ton of incredibly talented artists and crafters. Downtown businesses remain open, so it’s scads of fun. Even though it’s outdoors, it’s a large event and masks are required. More about that at the end.

And now, onto some most excellent adventures. Some big, some small– you can have it all in Palm Springs:

Dinah Weekend

This is for all the Sappho Sisters who have been waiting for their turn to throw a party. And this is a great one. I will talk more about it in my article All Gay, All Day. It has been my observation that lesbians are underserved in Palm Springs. Although everywhere is all-inclusive, gay bars mean mostly for men. I’ll tell you more about it in the next blog. But

If you’d like to skip my next article, you can go straight (“Never!” said every lesbian) to their website here.

Desert Rose Theater Upcoming Shows and Venue

Theater

Desert Rose Playhouse is just off its massively successful run of The Great American Trailer Park Musical (TGATPM). I saw it, and I laughed uncontrollably throughout the whole show. Those who hadn’t stopped at a dispensary prior laughed just as hard. The Rocky Horror Show will be up on stage until September 12th. Trust me when I say that this LGBTQ+ friendly theater company is full of surprises (the leads of TGATPM were in drag) so I’m looking forward to meeting their Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Latin Nights at The Cascade Lounge courtesy of Cascade Lounge

Entertainment

Jazzville is back at The Cascade Lounge. If you wear the name jazzbo proudly (as you should) this is where you want to be on Thursdays. Book in advance. Their shows sell out pretty quickly and start at 7:00 PM.

Sunday nights get steamy at Cascade with Nacho Bustillos and Quinto Menguante’s Latin Nights. Their music ranges from salsa, cumbia, banda, bachata, reggaeton to pop. Dancing shoes are highly encouraged.

Melvyn’s Sunday Jams at the famous Ingleside Inn begin at 3pm on Sundays and go until the musicians get tired, aka dinner time. Led by Mikael Healey, it’s a lineup of the best of the best players in PS and beyond. It’s a $30 cover, it’s in Melyvn’s Casablanca Lounge, and – oh no! It’s only running through 9/26! Once again, calling all jazzbos. Also, it’s a pretty fun experience. You get to do a little bit of dress up, and drink martinis just like in the Rat Pack days.

Oscars has some special shows coming up, including evenings with Linsday Wagner and Sandra Bernardt – not together, that would be a bit “too too” even for Palm Springs. Heads would explode from nostalgia overload if the Bionic Woman and Madonna’s ex-bestie shared a stage.

Me and some of my favorite Queens

Drag Shows

Toucans – OM Stars, far too many shows to list. Check the website, prepare to stay out late, and prepare to dance your “katushies” off.

Roly China Fusion Sadly, the Drag Brunch ends on 9/5 (as of this typing). HOWEVER they have a great party planned for Pride, so give it a look-see. More in my next blog.

Bitchies Brunch at Oscars – Like you need me to tell you anything at all about this event.

PS Air Saturday Night Flight – Naughty stewardess, drinks, while you “fly” the friendly skies. Special experience.

The Judy Show starring Michael Holmes at The Purple Room

Dinner Shows

Guys– The Purple Room is back! That means The Judy Show is back! I may have just peed a little. Upcoming guests are Jane Monheit, and Lee Squared: Liberace and Ms. Peggy Lee Coming Out (of covid). Keep checking the website for updated acts, and if you’ve never been, go to The Judy Show. If you’re like me and gained the COVID ten-ish, you’ll laugh a few pounds off.

There are some returning shows and some new forms of musical and culinary insanity from the wildly creative minds of Michael Fietsam and David Horgen of PS Underground. They, too, keep adding shows, and sell-out fast, so you’ve gotta be fast on the click.

Fun and Games

Monday nights Wilma and Frieda’s turns into Ethyl’s Place and Atomic Bingo! Doors open 5:30pm, Bingo! Starts at 6:30pm.

420 Bank and Dispensary Lounge has some events coming up, so check out their events. They also have a sort of “Palm Springs’ Got Talent” show with a recording contract at Melrose Recording Studio here in PS. Hosted by Derek Jordan Gregg, you can email JayBirdBookings@yahoo.com for more info and to sign up. Every Thursday, 5:30pm-8:00pm.

Summer Sing Along is still happening at the PS Cultural Center.

Don’t forget about The PS Tramway. Super fun ride to the top of the mountain with plenty of trails to hike. Speaking of hiking, don’t forget to check out our great preserves at Indian Canyons. Tons of trails and they’re all absolutely GORGEOUS. Take water, and wear hiking shoes and socks. We got rattlers.

Scavenger hunts. I know. You were not expecting that. But what fun! It’s a bit more of a group activity, so if you don’t work and play well with others, earbuds by the pool! There are two here in Palm Springs, Viator and Let’s Roam. They are a fun addition to a walking tour, so you get to stroll through history and Palm Springs landmarks while playing a game.

In October, there’s one to support our fantastic, no-kill, Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Here’s the info on the Scavenger Hunt. If you can’t play, a small donation goes a long way. I was going to put a team together, but I only have one friend–and they’re mad at me.

Comedy

Oscars is bringing Last Laugh Comedy to the last Wednesday of every month. Comedian and host Max Mitchell is bringing his funniest friends to entertain us. I’m a comedy ho, so – see ya there.

Upping their Friday game, Cascade Lounge has Cascade Comedy. Presented by Comedy Madness, each show is 90 minutes and features a roster of comedians with past appearances on Tonight Show, Conan, Netflix, America’s Got Talent, Comedy Central, Showtime and more.

One-Off Event

Dîner en Blanc – COMING IN OCTOBER

You really need to do some planning for this one. Everything except your skin color needs to be white. Your outfit, your table and chairs (which you bring) – and your picnic basket (which you also bring…with food in it). You will not know where you will be dining until you get there, but you will be eating your own food – so no allergy issues there. You can learn all about it on their website (which I believe might also be white) where you can also sign up,

Now that our lights are back on, we’re doing our best to keep them that way. The City of Palm Springs requires that all of the clubs require proof of vaccination, so you can either whip out your card, or show them your QR code from the State of California. And, at the time of this writing, masks are required indoors, so when you put on your shoes and your shirt, stick a mask in your pocket. And then–you know what? I’m not your mom, and you’re a responsible adult, right? You know what to do.

Viva Palm Springs!