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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!

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!

If you’re looking for a one-stop cultural shop for film festivals, a farmers’ market, live performances, arts programs, theater productions, lectures, food, libations, and more, look no further than the Palm Springs Cultural Center. 

Since its grand opening in 2019, the Palm Springs Cultural Center has been dedicated to offering diverse programming, and is certainly catching its stride this year with an impressive 2023 lineup and experiences. The center truly feels like the cultural heartbeat of our community here in the Coachella Valley.

The Camelot Theatre. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

The Palm Springs Cultural Center was founded in 2007 by Palm Springs philanthropists Ric and Rozene Supple. In 1999, the Supples bought and refurbished the historic Camelot Theatres building, and operated it as a three-screen complex with a full bar and restaurant. They introduced a list of prestigious events to the community, including Cinema Diverse and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. When the Supples gifted the Camelot Theatres building to the Palm Springs Cultural Center in 2017, they instilled their legacy and lifelong dedication to culture and the arts here in Palm Springs.

Ric and Rozene Supple. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

The newly-minted Palm Springs Cultural Center opened its doors in January 2019, and the PSCC team set out to “incubate, produce, and encourage arts and cultural programs in order to leverage the unique power of creativity to open minds, bridge what divides us, and discover what connects us.” Its diverse programming aimed to inspire learning and deepen the relationships with the local community, and recognized the interconnection between the cultural arts and food culture. After introducing its first theater company and producing its first show, COVID took the world by storm, and like so many others, the Palm Springs Cultural Center had to close its doors. 

Welcome to the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

However, the Farmers Market continued to operate throughout the pandemic, being deemed a necessary business. A little over a year later, the Palm Springs Cultural Center re-opened, reignited its theater program, and brought live music to the mix. After speaking with Palm Springs Cultural Center Executive Director Michael Green, Nunzio Sisto entered the picture as music program director, introducing classical music and further diversifying both the music and theater programs.

Gregory Douglass performs at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Photo courtesy of Gregory Douglass

The PSCC team’s ongoing mission for the Farmers’ Market is to serve the community as the only one in the Coachella Valley that matches dollar-for-dollar (up to $15 per person) for those who are in need of food and part of low-income and/or senior food programs. For instance, a family of four may be entitled to $60 worth of matching funds every week. This program echoes the Palm Springs Cultural Center’s dedication to making its programming as accessible as possible for all income levels.

What’s more, the PSCC team also aspires to remain a good community partner, offering its space to organizations in need of a place to gather for meetings or rehearsals, like the Sunrise Park Neighborhood Association, The L-Fund, and the Youth Training Orchestra.

The radical shift to home box office streaming content has changed the game for movie theater-goers over the years. Even major theater chains have suffered, but the Palm Springs Cultural Center has pivoted its focus to revival films and special event screenings, making for more integrated, memorable experiences. A recent Valentine’s Day screening of Moulin Rouge featured curated grazing boxes of special love-themed treats to enjoy throughout the film. In addition, local gay organization Among Friends presents ongoing gay cult classic films that are as immersive as they are entertaining.

The “Moulin Rouge” snack boxes. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

If you’re curious about all that lies ahead, check out the Palm Springs Cultural Center’s 2023 lineup. Highlights include the Glenn Miller Orchestra in music (March 13), Martin Sherman’s GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM in theater (through March 4), Jimmy Dore Live in comedy (March 25), the American Documentary Film Festival in film (March 30 – April 3), and the Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market (each Saturday). There’s also weekly live music upstairs in the lounge, featuring local musicians like Keisha D, Mon Petit Salon with Jeremie Levi, and Leanna & the Jazz Collective.

Leanna & The Jazz Collective. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center

Of course, all this diverse programming costs money. The Palm Springs Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which means that it relies on the ongoing support of the very community it serves. You can help PSCC by becoming a sustaining member in exchange for enjoying complimentary screenings, member-only discounts, and pre-sale opportunities. You can also make a tax-deductible donation, sign up for the PSCC’s newsletter, and even ​purchase a seat (or several) for yourself and to honor someone else in the community.

The Modern Men’s Gay Chorus performs on stage. Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Cultural Center