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Not only does Palm Springs beckon one to come to visit for its countless sunshine days, but there is also a new reason to plan your vacation to this increasingly hip town. At least once a week, contemporary public art is being unveiled.

Palm Springs is quiet and has crispness in the air as one ventures out to get a cup of coffee on Palm Canyon at our downtown Starbucks. Clamoring for your attention is the PS I Love Letters, with its brilliant red color glistens in the filtered sunlight through the palm trees. It’s the perfect place to take an Instagramable photo.

Nona Watson, CEO of Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, conceived the artwork. She enlisted the design talents of Maru Palmersheim, and Palm Spring Canyon Print and Grit Development provided the space.

(This particular morning, a family of three was standing near the sign. The little girl was having fun frolicking around the sign, so we thought she would be the perfect model. The mother later sent us an email requesting a copy of the photo. She is pianist Jeewon Park.)

Unity, a mural with Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman’s portrait, graces one of the “art pit” walls at the corner of Belardo Road and Museum Way.  This temporary art installation will be there through December 2021.

MisterAlex, a Los Angeles-based artist, depicted Amanda surrounded by butterflies. “During my research of Amanda, I discovered she overcame a speech impediment. In addition, during her young life, she dedicated her many hours of hard work to bring people together; thus, I chose Unity for the theme.”

The Fault Line Meditation

Curator and artist, Jevpic considers himself a fortunate man. During the pandemic, he received his largest commission ever. While digging in the “art pit” to create this art installation, many local people supported him. They picked up shovels and helped him develop his vision, which looks entirely different during the day than it does at night.

In Jevpic words, “The path in the shape of the San Andres Fault is a metaphor for the faults we encounter in our life. Faults have existed before us and will be after us. Just learn, grow and move on.”

Guadalajara Artist Gonzalo Lebrija‘s temporary creation, History of Suspended, is directly in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum. The Palm Springs Art Commission worked with the museum to prepare the space and erect the art installation referred to as “A Moment for the Impossible.”

Lebrija wants to encourage thought “suspension of the passage of time – focusing on the precise moment of stillness and impact. This installation encourages one to walk around and even visit at different times of the day. The reflection in the pool also calls one to reflect on the time and space around them.

MIDABI, a Palm Springs artist who has his art in front of the Desert Center Art Center, now came up with another relevant sign. WOW on Indian Canyon Drive, near Andreas, cannot help but make you smile.  When is the last time you saw art that says, “Wow?”

His metal, esoteric sculptures are created using his thought process:  a. Always be a student b. Have a heart of a child and c. Remember you are a human being first and foremost before any other identity.

Popsicles is a temporary art installation near Townie Bagels on Sunny Dunes by Salina, California artist John Cerney. John is known as the “cutout artist” for his larger-than-life creations along California and Midwest highways. This a great place to capture selfies for your social media.

John started as a portrait artist, then began drawing. He noticed barren walls and old barns with expansive walls and convinced owners murals would enhance their spaces. The next step was designing a way for more people to see his figures. At first, he made the life size, but they realized they were not big enough for people to see as they whizzed by on the highways. Thus, these plywood cutouts are now bigger than life.

Besides a vibrate art scene, retail shops are thriving, and new restaurants are popping up everywhere. If you haven’t been to Palm Springs, you are sure to see lots of changes, including constructing the 1.5 acres of new City Park being built steps away from the Palm Springs Art Museum.

So find your stay, maybe even take advantage of a summer special and make your reservation today.

A large table bought at an estate sale and rejection of a lease for space changed the trajectory of two Palm Springs restaurant owners’ lives. Mindy Reed, owner of Zin Restaurant, and Willie Rhine, an owner of Eight4Nine and 1501 Uptown Gastropub, prove it is important to pay attention to the little things.

When Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels asked me to interview these two prominent people in our community, I jumped at the chance. Here are their stories:

Mindy Reed 

Mindy was born in Michigan but moved to Alabama, where she lived for 18 years. When asked how she ended up in Palm Springs, she replied, “I got married, and we left Alabama and moved to Joshua Tree on acres of land surrounded by the beauty of the desert. I happily was a stay-at-home mom and raised my children, surrounded daily by the stunning landscape.”

Working in Palm Springs

When her children went to school, “I wanted something to do, so I headed to Palm Springs,” Mindy said. “I found a waitress job at what was then known as Chillers, recently called Moxie.” She enjoyed the work and appreciated the people, and ended up staying there for five years. When a casino job came along, Mindy applied and ended up being a cocktail waitress there for 10 years, before moving on to the Chophouse and then AJ’s.

“Located next to Sammy G’s was a small space that became available,” Mindy said. “After thinking about it, I made a plan to open a sandwich-to-go shop. By mortgaging my house, I had all the paperwork done. Then, much to my disappointment, the owner turned me down. He felt I did not have enough experience to make it work.”

The urge to own a place didn’t go away

Directly across the street, another space, once occupied by Jimmy’s Kitchen News Café, became available. “With a location on the corner of Arenas and South Palm Canyon Drive, I could see it was a great location,” Mindy said. “This time my offer went through, and work began while I maintained my position at AJ’s.” The origin of the name has a nice twist — they had no liquor license, so only wine could be served. The name decided on was Zin American Bistro, since they wanted to keep an American bistro feel, and Zinfandel grapes thrived in the United States.

Mindy Reed. Photo by Gregg Felsen/Visit Palm Springs

Expanding her empire

Zin flourished, and when the beauty supply store next door closed, Mindy started thinking about expansion. “I got the space,” she said. “The wall was knocked down, enlarging the restaurant. Then by 2009, the itch began. I wanted to do something different. The space next door opened on Memorial Day 2009, under the name Zini Café Mediterraneo, Aliante, and finally we settled on Revel House, painting the picture of fun and partying.”

Before heading to Europe for a trip, Mindy received an offer for Revel House. She turned it down, but “reconsidered when I came back,” she said. “I was delighted to accept his offer, which was exactly the price I determined would entice me to sell.” She kept the chef, and was able to start offering catering services. That’s not the only change, she added. “With the help of my partner, we are expanding Zin’s wine list and looking forward to doing wine dinners and adding beer pairings,” Mindy said.

I asked Mindy, “You are known for your generosity to the community. What compels you to be such a supporter?” She replied, “Kathy, this community supported me when I just starting out, and they haven’t stopped. Without people helping at every stage, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you in Zin, which became part of my reality in 1992.”

Willie Rhine  

With an 8th-grade education, Willie Rhine learned to listen to his intuition long ago. After years of construction work, Willie took his skills and developed 100 Top Hats Playhouse, where he served as director and producer for 13 years. Then he realized he had to close it, facing the fact that he had run out of money.

Needing work, he applied for a job at Cheeky Monkey, on the corner of Sunrise and Ramon. He stayed there for two years, serving mainly fish and chips and cider. He left for Le Vallauris Restaurant, and within five years, he moved up the ranks to maître d and head of catering at this fine-dining French restaurant.

His next stop was Piero’s Acqua Pazza in Rancho Mirage, where he was hired as manager and moved up to general manager within two months. When Barbara and Jerry Keller decided to open Lulu’s California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs, they asked Willie to go with them.

A catering gig changed his life’s path  

Lulu’s does many catering events, and was hired for the wedding of John Paschal. John took notice of Willie, and later approached him about opening his own restaurant.

With a partnership agreed upon, the search for space began. Willie had learned through his positions what the need was in Palm Springs. Each place he worked served a different client. What if they had a space large enough to put all of these needs — corporate meeting spaces, weddings, intimate dining — under one roof?

It wasn’t an easy place to find, so it took a while. Then, Willie walked into a building serving as a consignment shop, originally built as a post office, at 849 N. Palm Canyon Drive.

John believed in Willie’s vision, and the space was named Eight4Nine after its address. This was a huge place to furnish, and once again, Willie’s vision not only seemed practical, but was also a great idea and inexpensive to implement.

Willie Rhine. Photo courtesy of Willie Rhine

Remember at the beginning of this article, I said a large table bought at an estate sale changed the trajectory of Willie’s life? Willie said, “Let’s buy furniture at estate sales and paint it all white and use it throughout the entire restaurant.” Thus, that large table he stored for years was painted white, and now serves as a communal space for dining.

All the white furniture in the other rooms is a result of Willie’s enjoyment of perusing garage and estate sales, with the exception of the white furniture seen when entering the restaurant, which was made per Eight4Nine’s specifications.

Today, Willie oversees the restaurant operation, and John is running the kitchen with no executive chef. They continue to ensure that each one of us who dine there can get the same quality food and service we have come to expect when we bring guests to Eight4Nine.

Not enough to do? Let’s start two new restaurants 

Willie had been working with Chad Gardner, who owns 533 View Fusion and Roly China Fusion, at various catering events. They saw that the space at the defunct Draughtsman next to Arrive was vacant, and after a tour of the place, they were enthralled with the walls that opened to the outside and views from the outdoor patios. They decided to form a partnership and start another restaurant, again named after its address: 1501 Uptown Gastropub.

Today, the restaurant is thriving and equally attracting lunch and dinner guests, who come for the ambiance and once again the outstanding cuisine.

Willie and Chad’s partnership went so well that they recently opened Willie’s Restaurant in Rancho Mirage. When I smiled and asked, “Why was it named Willie’s?” he laughed and said, “We thought we were so smart we could name all the restaurants after their addresses. Then we learn that the new building’s address was 69830 CA-111. Thus, that wouldn’t work, so since we just kept calling it Willie’s, the name stuck.”

Willie believes he would not have accomplished what he has without the community supporting him in his theater days, during his serving jobs, and now at his restaurants. “I don’t look at giving to the community as an obligation,” he said. “It gives me great pleasure to give back to the community that supported me.”

Mindy and Willie are the spirit of Palm Springs 

After thinking about these two interviews, there are some things very clear in my mind. These are wonderful individuals who use their skills and intuition to build their businesses versus relying on educational degrees. Both Mindy and Willie learned from their own serving days what good customer service looks like and make it clear to all under their employ that the highest serving standards must be upheld. Without excellent food, people will not come back — I can assure you will not be disappointed in a meal at any of the restaurants mentioned above.

Finally, don’t you find it interesting that Mindy Reed and Willie Rhine’s thriving restaurants were created by people who have lived and worked in Palm Springs for many years? Their generosity, including to the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, is impeccable. Next time you are going out to dinner, we encourage you to support these restaurants by making a reservation and dining at places that firmly have their roots planted in Palm Springs.

Sometimes, a girl just needs to shop. And sometimes a girl only has a few shekels to spare (at least that has been this girl’s experience.) For me, nothing is more satisfying than finding a treasure at a bargain price. And to-be-found treasures abound in Greater Palm Springs. Take it from the groaning rod in my closet. (That is lowercase “rod” and not a euphemism, people; eyes up here.)

There are some very tony enclaves in our little valley, and those fashionistas will donate items that have often only been worn once, and sometimes not at all. They write it off and you get to score. The old win/win.

Add to that, repurposing is the new green. Instead of purchasing so-so made items from foreign countries, buy well-made, time-told, one-of-a-kind items that no one else will have (you’re an original!). This is good for the planet, and we’ve only got one of those.

First up are the thrift stores, the real bargaineers out there. With the exception of Revivals, most of them are not label checkers, so if you do some digging, you can often find some fashion items on the cheap.

Second, and aptly, we have the second-hand stores that know what they’ve got. And they’ve got some pretty cool stuff. Almost all of them are an eclectic mix of everything, but some (like Iconic Atomic) are mostly retro fashions.

And finally, vinyl. Because you just bought an old-timey turntable and you need some 33s. At least that’s what I did. Just a cheap suitcase turntable, but it sure does take me back to the angst of my youth. Ah…memories. Better to listen to them on vinyl, and evoke good memories than wait for bedtime when all those bad decisions you made in your 20s flood your dreams. Just me?

Revivals. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Thrift stores:

Revivals

For the past 13 years, Wil Stiles has donated its unsold seasonal stock to Revivals Thrift Store. They’re savvy and know what they’ve got, but it’s still a bargain — I once got a Kate Spade coat here for $75. Sales benefit DAP Health, which was originally for those living with AIDS. It’s a terrific institution that also sees IEHP patients. Great cause, great doctors, great services, great items including some new furniture.

The $75 Kate Spade jacket. Photo by Kay Kudukis

Palm Springs
611 S Palm Canyon Dr

Cathedral City
68-401 CA-111

Palm Desert
72-885 CA-111

Goodwill

I have found some great clothes here. I generally don’t purchase used shoes because feet, but just recently I found some Bass loafers with chunky heels for $8.99 in pristine condition. People don’t expect much from Goodwill, but they’re missing out.

Cathedral City
67-555 E Palm Canyon Dr

Rancho Mirage
72014 CA-111

Angel View

I have found fashion labels here for under $10 with tags. Angel View’s mission is helping children and adults with disabilities reach their maximum potential. And the stores are HUGE.

Palm Springs
462 N Indian Canyon Dr

Cathedral City
67625 CA-111

Desert Hot Springs
64669 Dillon Rd
66389 Pierson Blvd
12840 Cactus Dr

Rancho Mirage
72747 Dinah Shore Drive

Palm Desert UCR
37023 Cook St

Palm Desert
72705 CA-111  (in Palms to Pines West Shopping Center)

Bermuda Dunes
77898 Country Club Dr, Ste. 91

Sun City
78395 Varner Rd

La Quinta
79400 CA-111
77975 Calle Tampico

Vintage resale:

You’re going to pay a lot more here, but they’ve done the digging for you, and the items are pristine.

Gypsyland
2675 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs

Iconic Atomic
1103 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs

Little Shop of Treasures — I want to live here. Seriously cool store.
616 E Sunny Dunes Rd, Palm Springs

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall — has everything from everywhere. Many stores combined into one.
507 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Palm Springs

Pre-Loved — a collection of currently pre-loved labels for the fashionably conscious
668 N Palm Canyon, Palm Springs

Vinyl:

Don’t forget to check at all of the above stores as well — I bought two albums at Gypsyland.

Gre Coffee House

Palm Springs Vinyl Records 

Winzer Records

Music Heals

Oh my goodness, October’s weather was exceptional, and it’s just going to be better in November. Unlike the majority of the United States, November in Palm Springs brings bright, bright, bright sunshiny days. Everyone is riding bicycles and walking because it’s just too gorgeous to be inside a car. The nights are cooler, but can also get a tad chilly, so make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater just in case. I don’t want you to catch cold — we’ve had enough catching things!

Of course, Pride is this month. The parade is on November 7, but there are tons of activities the week leading up to it. Really hope you booked earlier in the year, but if not there may still be some openings at our boutique hotels and resorts, so scurry on over to Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels to see what’s still available. Good luck!

And now, in no particular order, November’s events and happenings:

Courtesy of Hunters

Hunters is taking their entertainment, literally, to the sky. Airotic Soirée is a brand-new sensual burlesque-style circus cabaret combining the best of burlesque, cirque-style entertainment, and astounding acrobatics. Shows are scheduled every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. through the end of the year. It’s gonna be so hot you can leave your sweater at home.

The Best Shows in Town

Purple Room — Sunday is The Judy Show! Squee!

Melvyn’s at Ingleside Inn   Sunday Jams are back. $10. Make a reservation…it’s a hot ticket.

PS Underground — Rouge, Ami Kumar, Dirty Bingo, Cavern, and Bacon are the shows and dinners scheduled for November. A big congratulations to owners Michael and Dave who, after 25 years together, tied the knot. Mazel!

Oscar’s — Great Pride lineup: Bruce Vilanch and Poppy Champlin, Priscilla Presley, and more.

Toucans Tiki Lounge — Everything is dragtastic!

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs has Jazzville, Latin nights, and comedy all month.

Keep your eye on Copa Nightclub. I hear Lipstick may be returning this month, along with Jason Weber in his 5:30 to 7:30 show Thursdays, replacing Mod Squad (which had replaced Jason Weber!). We’re hoping Mod Squad finds a new home…it’s a great show!

November 19 to 21: SoCal 356 Club’s Palm To Pines road trip for those with the need to…never mind, it’s a leisurely trip, no speed necessary.

Courtesy of Palm Springs Air Museum

For those with a need to speed, purchase a ticket for a warbird experience at Palm Springs Air Museum, where you get to ride in the warbird of your choice! Follow it up with the F-117 Stealth Fighter Experience in late November. This is your chance to see an F-117 Stealth Fighter #-833 up close and personal at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Each day will feature a 90-minute speaker engagement to enlighten the crowd on the historic aircraft. Purchase your tickets in advance from their website as space is limited. Note: these fighters are not usually on display.

Theater

November 4 to 21: Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Desert Rose Playhouse. I’ve got my tickets!

Tuesdays at 7 p.m.: Electricity at Oscar’s – I’ve see this two-man play, and it’s very good.

November 7 at Chill Bar: Jennifer Holiday — the original Dreamgirl. 

For car lovers: The 25th annual McCormick’s Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction on November 20, 21, and 22 will feature over 500 classic, exotic, sporty and high-end cars. Admission is free all day Friday; Saturday and Sunday are pay days.

Palm Springs Cultural Center

November 18: Get dressed in your best circus costume and head over to the Greatest Showman interactive event. Join us for cocktails at 6 p.m., with the DJ spinning the hits at 7 p.m. (We will DANCE!) Theater doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the singalong starting at 8 p.m.

November 19: Martinis and Moxie, a musical salute to Sinatra with special guests…some of whom had first-hand experience with the Chairman himself.

Photo credit: Lani Garfield

Pride

Above photo by Palm Springs resident Lani Garfield

Learn more about Palm Springs’ rich gay history, and the origins of Pride, here.

Have questions about this year’s big event? The official website has all the answers.

Some stand out events include:

November 5: Coming Out Celebration – A Night of a Hundred Stars

November 6: Skater Girlz Jam presented by Lesbo Expo. Cool event featuring women skateboarders with some great talent. 5 to 7 p.m. at PS Skate Park.

Third Eye Blind, Jody Watley, and A Flock of Seagulls are among the performers who will hit the stage at Pride — this great article from Palm Springs Life has the details.

All indoor venues require a vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test, so be prepared and be safe. A mask is like a condom — it helps contain the spread of disease. And because life is a bit weird in a mask, it may help prevent pregnancy, too.

See ya in December!

You’re a smart cookie — you’ve decided to spend the December holidays in Palm Springs at one of our famous boutique hotels and resorts! Clever you, because we’re bringing all the cheer to the yard. Go here to book your hotel stay, read on for your itinerary…

Holiday events

Dec. 1 Jingle Mingle Tree lighting at Downtown Park

Dec. 1: Charles Dickens Writes a Christmas Carol at Revolution Stage Company — Based on a short note in Dickens’ own journal, this adaptation puts Dickens himself centerstage as the characters in the story argue, debate, and cajole him into writing his most famous work.

Dec. 2: Festival of Lights Parade — Bella da Ball, a Palm Springs community sweetheart, social ambassador, and hostess with the mostest, and John Taylor, radio personality at KGAY 106.5, will be parade announcers from Granvia Valmonte.

Dec. 3: Santa at Marilyn 

A Christmas tree made of lights above Palm Springs, California

The view from the top after taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Dec. 3, 6, 8, and 10: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway — Take the tram to the top of the mountain and enjoy some holiday music with local chorales.

Wild Lights at The Living Desert in Palm Desert

Magic of Lights at the Empire Polo Club

Don’t forget about Village Fest every Thursday. Shop street vendors, try new food (many current P.S. hot spots got their start at Village Fest), and enjoy a cocktail and some great music on every corner. Pro tip: Bring a jacket and wear good shoes. Maybe take an Uber or stay in one of the downtown boutique hotels and walk. Parking is free but hard to find.

Dec. 13: Drew Sebastian and Ethylina Cannes: Cozy Little Christmas Variety Show at Reforma

Dec. 19-23: Snowtopia at the Palm Springs Air Museum — For the little ones: Santa Claus and a playground of 40 tons of real snow, craft making, hot chocolate, s’mores and more. 6 to 9 p.m. Kids 3 and under get in free.

Dec. 20: Deserted Films presents Holiday Oddities II, a unique look at the past through the eyes of home videos and specially curated content. It’s a blast reliving the past.

Stage, theater, film, and concerts

Dec. 6: Kenny Cetera’s Chicago Experience at the Downtown Park. Concert admission is free.

Dec. 6: For Cabaret6: Desert Stars #5, Rose Mallett presents Songs of Sarah, a Sarah Vaughan Tribute at Revolution Stage Company. Nationally known entertainer and local gem in her final local performance of this show set to go on tour.

An ad showing images of Ella Fitzgerald and Keisha D on a purple background

Keisha D will sing Ella Fitzgerald at the final Cabaret 6: Desert Stars show. Courtesy photo

Dec. 13: The final Cabaret6: Desert Stars show is Keisha D Sings Ella Fitzgerald at Revolution Stage Company. She’s a local treasure with big pipes and her own spot on our Walk of Stars.

PS Cultural Center — Formerly Camelot Theaters, the Center is a bastion of entertainment with movies, live theater and music, and special events. It’s off the strip and a favorite of locals. Full bar.

The Bent

Desert Ensemble Theatre

VIP Lounge

Sand, Stars & Guitars

Jazzville — At Cascade Lounge in Agua Caliente Casino

Sunday’s Jazz Jam at Melvyn’s — At Ingleside Estate (née Inn) on Sundays they’ve got the best jazz vocalists in the Valley sitting in with an all-star band. Very Palm Springs.

A list of the different tribute bands playing at Rock the Park in Palm Springs, California

You won’t want to miss any of the free Rock the Park concerts happening over the next several months. Courtesy photo

Dinner clubs

Here’s where you’ll find dinner and a show, each with its own unique spin on the concept.

The Purple Room 

PS Underground

Oscar’s 

PS Air Bar

Entertainment

V Wine Lounge — They’ve got a deliciously unique menu and live entertainment in a mid-mod atmosphere. 

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill — There’s music in the restaurant, but there’s a party up the stairs in the lounge.

Drag Bingo with Palm Springs icon Bella da Ball, Mondays at 7 p.m. at Kings Highway. Trivia follows in the Amigo Room at 9 p.m. Make a reservation — it’s a hot ticket.

New in town

Canopy Wine Lounge — Quite possibly the newest spot in town, Canopy Wine Lounge opened its doors in late November.

Play Lounge and Cafe — Breakfast, lunch, coffee, cocktails, and old school games that don’t require an Xbox, including a pool table. 

Christmas Eve and the big day dinner

Christmas Eve at Copley’s — Enjoy a delicious three-course dinner, with options including Scottish salmon, sesame ahi tuna, and charred prime filet. View all of the offerings here.

Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner at Lulu California Bistro — Christmas dinner plans this year are made easy at Lulu California Bistro. Reserve your spot for a delicious Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner and make your choice between multiple courses.

If you’re looking for the traditional Chinese restaurant food for Christmas Day, I’m afraid I’ve failed you. At this time, I have no recommendations. 

I couldn’t find much for you on New Year’s Eve, since it’s still a bit early for a sleepy little town, but here’s a quick rundown of what’s planned as of now. 

That’s it for me for December! Wishing you the happiest of holidays and I hope you come spend them in the happiest little town in America (fight me!). We’re the nation’s record holder for merry and gay. There’s no such thing, but if there were, we’d win by a landslide!

Ho, ho, ho, ya’ll!

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
– Coco Chanel

Named after Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers, epileptics, and beekeepers (weird three to lump together, but whatever), Valentine’s Day somehow took on the persona of the Greek god of love, Eros, which then morphed into Cupid, the god of desire. So now Valentine’s Day is symbolized by a chubby baby flying around with a magical bow and arrow shooting people in the heart with expectations of a lusty outcome. Fun!

The expectations and nerves leading up to Valentine’s Day are also (à la Gwen Stefani) B.A.N.A.N.A.S. Candy, a card, flowers, a fancy dinner, and perhaps a piece of jewelry are de rigueur, and while those are nice, why not do something different? Something that shows the object of your affection your creative streak. Here are some ideas to make the day a little easier (I got you!):

Date One: The Outdoor Adventure Date

What you’ll need: hiking shoes, a backpack, and dress in layers

Breakfast: Cheeky’s for breakfast. It’s very popular and it’s busy. 

Coffee: Koffi is great, but try something new, like Ernest Coffeehouse

Lunch to go: The Sandwich Spot. Pre-order your sandwiches and put them in your backpack. Or try On The Mark for a fancier fare.

Adventure: The Tram. Take it up the mountain (wear your mask, you are in an enclosed gondola). Once you get to the top, there are great views, telescopes, and two places to eat. Explore the manmade stuff and then hike your trail. You can see all of them here, and make your choice with your date.

Alternative adventure option: Replace the tram with a hike in either Indian Canyons (so  many trails!) or a lazier sexy hike at Tahquitz (tah’quits) Canyon to Tahquitz Falls. Once you get to the falls, it’s lunch time. Dangle your feet in the clear pool and enjoy. Don’t forget to pack up everything (no littering please) and hike back to civilization.

Dinner: The Rooster and Pig is only doing takeout at the time of this typing, but check the website. Things are opening back up. In keeping with the Asian theme, we have Fusion Five for pho, and 533 Viet Fusion on the south end of Palm Springs. If you want the best burger in town, head over to The Heyday. They also have a delicious magic mushroom burger (the magic is it tastes like beef, it doesn’t get you high). If you choose the Heyday option, you can go to the casino after and try your luck! 

Date Two: Bagels, Antiquing, Thrifting, Smok’em If You’ve Got’em

What you’ll need: A sense of adventure and a car. This date takes you to the south end of Palm Springs.

Breakfast: Townie Bagels — a very busy breakfast spot, but it gets you across the street from your first stop.

Cannabis?: If you’re cannabis friendly, there are three dispensaries in this area. Have an edible and let’s get on our now merry way.

Antiques, thrift stores, trading posts are across the street from Townies, and all along Industrial Place.

Antique Galleries, 505 Industrial Place gets you to the Antique Galleries and you can use your eyeballs from there.

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall, 507 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Sprawling shop featuring antique dealers selling vintage furniture, jewelry, and other collectibles.

Little Shop of Treasures, 616 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Unassuming store selling an array of antique furnishings, collectibles, clothes, and dishes.

Q Trading Co., 606 E Sunny Dunes Rd. Get your car and go to Sun Center Mall (turn right on Palm Canyon, then it’s less than half a block on your left).

Revivals, 611 South Palm Canyon Drive. This is a great little thrift store that benefits Desert AIDS Project.

Lunch options at Sun Center: 

Palm Greens Cafe — Organic and vegan

PS Air inside Bouschet — Yummy salads

Spaghetteria for pizza

Lunch options at The Plaza (near your next stop):

Farm — Outstanding lunch selections, French inspired

More antiquing and thrifting:

P S Trading,140 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Bon Vivant, 766 N Palm Canyon Dr · Near Trio Restaurant, (760) 534-3197

a La MOD INC, 886 N Palm Canyon Dr · Near Trio Restaurant, (760) 327-0707

Deja Vu Vintage Finery, 664 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Flow Modern, 768 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Mohave Flea Trading Post, 383 Indian Canyon Dr..

Angel View Resale, 462 N Indian Canyon Dr.

Dinner: Birba — New wave Italian American fare. Sit on the twinkly patio.

Date Three: Spaaaah Date

Yoga in the Park

Breakfast: L’Atelier in the Plaza. Pastries, quiche, salads, and champagne.

Spa options: 

Our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels have some exceptional spa options in gorgeous settings.

Palm Springs Beautiful Spa Massage, 109 S Indian Canyon Dr. (760) 656-1028

Palm Springs Spa Massage, 471 E Tahquitz Canyon Way #226. (760) 808-4205

Lunch: grab and go eat in the new park (on Museum Way down from Marilyn). 

Haus of Poke

Stout Burgers

After the spa, check out the Palm Springs Art Museum, Marilyn Statue, and art installations. Behind The Block on Museum Way.

Dinner: It’s been a nice relaxing day, and dressing up and going out to dinner might be a bit much. If you’re a planner, a few weeks in advance you can order a custom dinner from Three Queens Catering. I recently went to an event they catered and the food was awesome! Plus, I know two of them, and they are some of the funniest people on the planet.

Bar Cecil (pronounced Sess’-ill) — Super fancy and the trendiest place in Palm Springs right now.

John Henry’s — Off the beaten path on Tahquitz on the way to the airport. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Date Four: Classic Palm Springs and the Rat Pack

Breakfast: Spencer’s, Grand Central, Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn

Coffee: Gre Coffeehouse — Great cup of java and vinyls to peruse and purchase.

Adventure: You’ll need a car. Download the Palm Springs Life tour app. It will take you on three different tours. That should take up most of your day.

Alternate plans: Open houses! This site tells you where they are the day of.

Lunch: Holiday House

Drinks: Del Rey inside Villa Royale or Melvyn’s

Dinner: Johnny Costa’s is super old school Italian fare with a Rat Pack vibe. The chef was one of Frank Sinatra’s favorites. Try the chicken parm.

Date Five: Traditional Valentine’s Day

Toffee from Brandini’s

Flowers (in advance) from Jensen’s (a beautiful plant will remind them of you year- round)

Valentine’s Day card from Just Fabulous

Dinner at Tropicale, Copley’s, Roly China Fusion (by the pool)

Finish up your evening at Dead or Alive Wine Bar or Seymour’s (inside Mr. Lyons) on the south end of town. Both are quiet and great before sexy times — if that’s your goal.

Happy Arrow-Slinging Chubby Baby Day everyone! I hope you’re with someone you love, and as the song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

In Chicago, St. Patrick’s Day is such a huge deal — they dye the Chicago River green and have a huge parade, then everyone does a pub crawl, downing Jameson shots with green beer chasers, before going home and calling in sick the next day.

At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Palm Springs loves a good parade, which is why, on St. Patrick’s Day, we don’t have one. No parade worth its floats wants to follow Pride. (Yes, Pride was in November, but it was a party!)

So, no parade, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pubs to celebrate that 2% of Irish your DNA results revealed. We’ve got Shamrocks Irish Pub, and … that concludes our tour of Irish pubs in Palm Springs.

Inside Shamrocks Irish Pub. Photo courtesy of Shamrocks

We do, however, have a few places where you can chow down on corned beef and cabbage (C&C), the Americanized version of the meal the Irish consume on the day (in Ireland, it’s all about pork and potatoes).

Here are a few definite hits for the boiled delight, and a few that have celebrated in the past (a.k.a. may or may not this year).

Hits

Sherman’s Deli — The corned beef is always tender, and there’s not much you can do to hurt a cabbage.

Manhattan in the Desert — Located on the south end of Palm Springs, these guys make corned beef and cabbage on the regular menu.

Welcome to Manhattan in the Desert. Photo courtesy of Manhattan in the Desert

Village Pub — This multilevel party place has had some pretty swinging St. Paddy’s days in the past. This year the party goes from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Palm Canyon Roadhouse — On Palm Canyon just southeast of Ramon Rd., this rock ‘n roll old school playground will have corned beef and cabbage on 3/17, as well as entertainment. I am not linking their website because they’ve been hacked, and unless you have a need for OTC Viagra, it’s currently useless. Link takes you to FB (which, in the grand scheme of things, is not much safer).

Agua Caliente Casino — Check with the steakhouse for C&C (not yet listed) but they DO have music in the form of Lee Rainey and the Midnight Players.

Near hits

Paul Bar — This little gem is a local treasure. Hidden in a not-so-tidy strip mall on the corner of Gene Autry and Vista Chino, they have served C&C in the past. Don’t let the lack of curb appeal fool you, the inside is as classy as you can get.

Paul Bar. Photo: Kay Kudukis

And that, my friends, pretty much covers it, unless you want to make your own celebration; then, try some karaoke where you can belt out “Danny Boy” or “My Wild Irish Rose” until the other patrons throw shamrocks at you.

Don’t forget to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, though; it’s worn to keep you safe from those pesky, pinching leprechauns Palm Springs is known for (they’re not).

Happy Irish Day everyone!

The Wesley is all about the fun. From giant Jenga and Connect 4 to the splashworthy courtyard pool, guests make memories here that will last forever.

The Wesley is essentially a gated community, ensuring privacy

The Wesley is a mid-century modern micro resort, where the flats are fully-stocked and the pool is always the perfect temperature.

The property, managed by AvantStay, has nine flats, and each one has its own kitchenette, toaster, refrigerator, and microwave, with Flat 10 equipped with a full kitchen, complete with a stove top and oven. The flats range from studio to two-bedroom, two-bath, and most have gas grills and private patios with views of lush gardens.

Thought went into every aspect of the property. There are complimentary bikes and board games for guests to use, a common grill area, and fun activities around the beautiful pool and spa area, including giant Jenga and Connect 4 and corn hole.

“You feel really invited to just relax and unwind when you get there,” AvantStay Customer Experience Specialist Dylan Perese said. “There’s robe to pool appeal — literally you can wander out with your morning coffee and take a dip in the pool. It’s right there and completely available to you. It’s your pool, it’s your pool house.”

Guests rave about the low-key vibe and how private the property is — The Wesley is essentially a gated community, and in order to gain access to the grounds, guests must have a code to put into the lock pad, and another code to enter their room. There isn’t a front desk, which gets guests to their flats faster, but assistance from hotel staff is just a phone call or text away.

The hotel attracts guests from all over the world, as well as locals looking to have a staycation. “We see a lot of overseas guests, and it’s really exciting that they get to experience the magic of Palm Springs,” Perese said. The Wesley also offers buyouts — families can rent all of the flats for a reunion, while corporations can have their own private oasis for team building.

“That’s when people can really relax and unwind and stretch out on their own time,” Perese said. “This is a place for you to create memories.”

The Wesley is what you make it, Perese added, and they are always looking for ways to make the property “more spectacular.”

In Palm Springs during the summer months, we sing a little ditty, and it goes like this: “Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my mister,” but we’re not talking boyfriends like Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen are in White Christmas no. It’s those wonderful inventions that are de rigueur in downtown Palm Springs, the ones that provide a light zhuzh of moisture to your skin. And while the first part isn’t true in any sense of the word, we do have fabulous water misters cooling everyone down while they walk down the street. We just don’t sing about it.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, how about a little humblebrag on the weather so far this year? It’s been damn near perfect, that’s what it’s been. A better season has not been had. The ratio of cool to heat, and dry to wet, produced a gorgeous array of desert flowers, and gave everyone a chance to wear a cute vintage jacket or a treasured designer sweater, and what girl doesn’t love fashion?

Now we’re moving into another season (more fashion!!) and if you compare Palm Springs to the peppers on the Scoville scale we’re going to be nearing Scotch Bonnet by the end of June. But right now, we’re at a very do-able Thai pepper.

So, now’s a great time — day or evening — to stroll down Palm Canyon and pop into local watering holes and eateries for a well-earned cocktail and a nosh. If it’s hot, those misters we talked about earlier will be zhuzhing. Caveat: this is not a good time for any hairstyle that requires a hold. That will not happen with misters, so leave the hairspray at home. You look gorgeous au natural.

A beautiful aerial view of Palm Springs. Photo by Chris Miller

For those that would prefer eating rather than drinking their sugar, you must try some of our award-winning toffee at Brandini’s (they give out samples). They’ve also got a great variety of items including popcorn, milkshakes, and ice cream, and can even make you an espresso, with toffee. Enjoy it outside while you check out details for the restoration they’ve got planned on the historic Plaza Theater located next to and slightly behind Brandini.

My favorite date shake is at Tutti Frutti, made entirely with local ingredients. It is heavenly, and I am not usually a fan of dates unless they’re stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon. If you’re not willing to risk your status as a disliker of dates, try the yogurt. It is also made entirely from local ingredients. I am particularly fond of the sorbets (sour apple ZOMG) and of the non-produce options, the salted caramel runs a good race against the chocolate. I have never had a loser here, and I may have tried them all.

If you are a fan of pizza there is only one place and you must go there, I insist. Bill’s Pizza is in La Plaza on the Indian Canyon side, next to Tyler’s (great burger joint, closes for summer). The crust is award-winning sourdough, house recipe, and I am partial to the all-veggie Elton John pizza. They’re all incredibly good though. The pizzeria is super busy all the time, but they’re friendly and efficient. The bathroom is a trip. It’s located outside, then through a coded door, and down a couple of hallways in what feels like a basement. Outside of that, they’re fine. They work.

Back on Palm Canyon, right next to Sonny Bono’s statue, is Maracas Restaurant, and not only do they serve one helluva margarita, the street tacos and salsa are outstanding. The fajitas smell so good they might as well have a smoky cartoon aroma finger wafting out of them leading you inside. The staff is magnifico, and if you see a tall blonde-ish guy with a beard hanging around, drinking a beer, that’s the owner. Todd. Nice guy — say hello.

A luxurious evening dip at your boutique hotel’s sparkling blue pool is a great way to end an evening outside your room. That’s where my involvement ends. You’re pretty much guaranteed that there’s never going to be a mob at your pool like there can be at the larger hotels, so at the end of the day you won’t be hanging around with strangers, but possibly new friends.

For those with grander aspirations than eating, relaxing, and shopping, see the list of events and clubs below and get cracking on a plan. Or just make a plan to come and wing it from there. There’s plenty to keep you happy. Read on…

June 1-4 and June 6-14: Scavenger Hunt (June 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 are for lovebirds), departing at various locations. 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Read all about it in the link.

June 2-11: Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants valley-wide. Menus are often set, as are the prices. It’s a great way to get to know the Coachella Valley! Mangia!

The entrance to Melvyn's

Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn is participating in Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

June 9-11: Splash House: Passes, Lineup. Might I suggest a hotel room away from the bustle? Then just use a rideshare to venue hop. If you’re done for the night, but the party’s still going, you’ll get a good night’s sleep because you were smart enough to book a room at a locally-owned resort or hotel.

June 10: Diana Ross at The Show (SOLD OUT — I just put this in here because I am humblebragging again. Our little valley got Diana Ross!! #sorrynotsorry)

June 2: Lizzo at Acrisure. Our little valley got Lizzo! But unless you’ve already got tickets… (see parentheses above)

June 19-24: Native American Arts Festival, Idyllwild. It’s art in the mountains!

June 20-26: Short Fest. Great option for people who love movies but have short attention spans. I’m kidding (am I? Isn’t that why we like cartoons?). Sometimes a story can be told succinctly and with an impact in a shorter span of time. They know when to stop writing, which is on my list of things to learn.

Clubs

Reforma – Ticketed events, great dancing, and some very fun Saturday brunch shows like Disney Villains Drag Brunch on June 3. Regular menus here.

Cascade Lounge — Located in the Agua Caliente Casino, they have comedy nights, Jazzville, blues reviews, and Latin nights. They occasionally have late night concerts too, so check the website, and definitely check out the new Séc-he spa. It’s pricey but I’m told it’s worth it.

P.S. Underground — No longer underground, they’ve had their own fabulous space since 2019. Highly original, themed dinner theater (or brunch) where the food is as big a draw as the entertainment.

The Purple Room — Weekends are ticketed events with traditional music acts that lean more toward jazz, but they’ve got a mix. The Judy Show is my favorite show in town.

Palm Springs Cultural Center — This space has so much going on, it’s crazypants! They’ve got movies, concerts, plays, weeknight entertainment with snacks and adult libations, and film festivals galore. They’ve always got something cool going on, so make sure to check back often.

PS Air Bar — Like no other bar in Palm Springs, it’s decorated as the inside of an airplane complete with airplane windows. It’s a must see, for sure. The place has a terrific sense of humor about itself, and the entertainment always flies first class local, and so will you. The wine shop below not only has terrific choices in beer and wine, there’s a small “deli” serving delicious salads and sandwiches.

A bar cart at PS Air Bar

All aboard PS Air Bar. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

If you’re planning on a hike, please go early early early, and take a lot of water with you. The best hike right now is Tahquitz Canyon. The waterfall is flowing merrily down the stream, and it’s about 45 in and 30 out (I don’t know why it is, stop asking me!).

And lastly, we have a brand spankin’ new hotel in town called Drift Palm Springs, and it has a restaurant called Maleza.

That’s it for June, everyone. Don’t forget the sunscreen and the hat, or even an umbrella or a parasol if you’re fancy (and we are!).

See you under the misters!

With its tropical courtyard and mature palms, BelleVue Oasis is a hidden paradise in Palm Springs.

A mid-century modern property dating back to the 1950s, BelleVue Oasis officially opened for business in September 2019. Formerly Escape Resort, it is no longer a men’s clothing-optional hotel.

Located in Tahquitz River Estates, the 13-room, 21-and-over hotel has undergone some renovations and updates, including to the bathrooms. It has a retro yet modern feel, with pops of orange and turquoise standing out against the clean white walls and linens. The rooms come with kitchens or kitchenettes, plus furnished patios that let guests enjoy the sunshine.

The lush grounds are what inspired the hotel’s new name, with senior hotel manager Charles Zalepeski saying once you walk onto the property, “it’s kind of shocking, you don’t expect it to be as beautiful and as big as it is. The pool is beautiful, and the mountain views are ridiculous.”

The San Jacinto Mountains are visible across the grounds, but are most spectacular when spotted from the spacious and sparkling pool and invigorating jacuzzi. There are loungers and umbrellas surrounding the pool, offering shade during the day. Once guests are ready to explore the town, they won’t have to go far — places like the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium and Palm Springs Art Museum are just a short walk or drive away.