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Well, we made it. We got a good scrub down from Tropical Storm Hilary, and some scattered palm tree exfoliation in yards and streets that will be gone by the time you read this.

September is just the warm up — maybe it’s the cool down — to season, so bargains are still in the offing. Consider booking a getaway and take advantage of those pre-season rates. The weather is being a real mensch.

Here’s what’s going on to help you decide when you’re coming, but first, some reminders: Modernism Week October is in … you guessed it, October; Halloween in Palm Springs, specifically on Arenas, needs to be experienced; and Pride is in November. This just in: Adele Dazeem will be headlining! (That’s a John Travolta Oscar joke, folks … for those of you who don’t do the Oscars, in 2014 that’s how Travolta intro’d Idina Menzel singing “Let It Go.“) 

Let’s go!

Looking for something to do over Labor Day weekend? Check out DJ ModGirl pumping out the party at various venues over the weekend and dance the day and night away.

The Dinah is the largest lesbian/queer/non-binary party in the world, and it’s happening Sept. 20-24. I’ve got all the places to stay neatly offered here. DJs and dancers not yet announced, but they ask that you follow their Instagram for all the deets.

Hundreds of women in the audience at a concert at The Dinah in Palm Springs

The crowd at The Dinah. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Acrisure events in September include Cirque du Soleil Corteo and monster trucks.

Reforma has a lot of fun events on top of dining and dancing. Saturdays they have (IMHO) the most creative drag shows around. Beyoncé, Barbie, Taylor Swift, and Britney Spears have all had their drag moments here.

Pretty Faces Nightclub is described by owner Michael as a Pee Wee’s Playhouse kind of club, due to the decor of fairies and mushrooms. Dancing and events.

Cinema Diverse at Palm Springs Cultural Center is in its 16th year. You can read all about the LGBT+ film festival here. That first link gets you tickets. As of this post, the films have not yet been announced.

Mondays are for PS ukulele club @ Hits. It’s a local get together, but I happen to know some out-of-town enthusiasts. Plus, it’s a weed shop, so …

Chill Bar — Not Your Grandma’s Bingo on Saturdays, Varsity Fridays.

Mondays: King’s Highway & Amigo Room give us a double feature with Bella da Ball’s Drag Bingo, followed by her Trivia Night in the Amigo. $30

Sept. 17: Into old Hollywood and new plays? Confessions of a Starmaker is happening at 2 p.m. on the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg stage. Tickets are $100 with a cocktail reception to follow.

PS Underground is back and coming in hot with Light. Check out all their shows, including returning favorites like Dirty Bingo.

The Purple Room has reopened after its summer hiatus with Debby Boone and The Judy Show. There’s free entertainment on weeknights from local favorites Rose Mallett, Sharon Sills, Michael Holmes, Charles Herrera and Darcy Daniels. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Check the website for future ticketed shows.

PS Air Bar — Even if they didn’t have great entertainment, and they do, it’s worth going just for the ambiance. And their California Caesar is unlike any other you’ve had. Delish!

Old airplane seats inside the PS Air bar in Palm Springs, California

Welcome to PS Air. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

V Wine Lounge is a great place to have a glass of wine, beer, or craft cocktail. I had the  specialty blueberry mocktail invented by the lounge’s owner, James, and it was so good! Also, we learned it’s become a lesbian hangout on Mondays and Tuesdays when Leanna and Keisha D take the stage (respectively). It was a learning bonanza for this blogger, because karaoke nights are big with the lesbian crowd, and those ladies can sing! Minimal cover of $10. Check schedule for mo’info mo’events (In Living Color, anyone?).

One of our desert’s most talented and philanthropically inclined songbirds, Keisha D, has four residencies right now. We’ve got V Wine on Tuesdays with her full band of phenomenal players, PS Air Bar on Wednesdays, The Roost (with band) on Thursdays, and Sundays are an intimate evening at Palm Springs Cultural Center (her band will be back with her come October). I cannot encourage you enough — GO! And if you see that she’s doing her Tina Turner show? Grab that ticket ASAP. You don’t want to miss it.

If I don’t see you on the street, I’ll see you in October!

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!

It’s February, which means it’s Humpback Whale Appreciation Month in Palm Springs!

Okay, so that’s a bit misleading. Yes, February is Humpback Whale Appreciation Month, but we’re not celebrating this year (we never have). So whales, you’re on your own (but please do live long and prosper.)

What we do have are Modernism Week and two national celebrations: Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. And there’s enough to fill two blogs on the whos, whats, and wheres on those last two, so that’s what we’re going to do.

This blog entry is about you coming to Palm Springs during the month of February and whatever event/holiday/getaway/vacation you’d like to plan during the shortest month of the year.

Side note: Ever wonder why there are 12 months, and some have 30 days, others 31, and poor old February gets a deficit of three? According to “math” and some random dude on Quora: “There are 13 lunations, each with 28 days — that is the moon’s phases around the Earth, but it doesn’t fit exactly in the rotation of the Earth around the sun, which is 365 days, not 364, so calendars have never matched.” Thanks, random dude. No wiser.

Let’s move on to all the things to do in Palm Springs in February 2023, and let’s show some appreciation for the city’s fabulous mascot, Mister Splashy Pants, the humpback whale. (It’s not. But there is a humpback by that name!)

One and done-ish

Feb. 3, 4, and 5: 7th Annual Taste of Jalisco Festival: Cathedral City

Feb. 4: Gregory Douglass, one of our very own bloggers, will be appearing at Palm Springs Cultural Center, joined by some very special guests. $20 (includes your two-drink minimum). Tickets here.

Feb. 5 and 19: Palm Springs Vintage Market. One of the kitschiest and crazy fun retro markets you’ll ever have the delight of shopping. And it’s twice this month! Yay! It’s mostly mid-mod, with everything from clothes to furniture to home furnishings, a.k.a. tchotchkes.

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

Feb. 9-12: Intersect Palm Springs Art and Design Show, Palm Springs Convention Center. An art and design fair that brings together a dynamic mix of modern and contemporary galleries, activated by timely and original programming.

Feb. 15: Different Drum: The Music of Linda Ronstadt, Palm Canyon Theatre. My favorite cabaret performer Francesca Amari sings the story of the life of Linda Ronstadt. I’ve seen this show and it’s terrific! Francesca won the 2022 BroadwayWorld Palm Springs Award for Best Streaming Concert/Cabaret for her Gilda Radner tribute show, and was nominated Vocalist of the Decade by BroadwayWorld Palm Springs in 2020 and Best Jazz Vocalist in the 2020 & 2018 Coachella Valley Music Awards.

Feb. 16-26: Modernism Week. Event tickets.

Feb. 18: Party Gras — New Orleans-inspired celebration on President’s Day weekend at Agua Caliente Palm Springs.

Feb. 18: Desert Woman’s Show & Greater Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival, presented by the Desert Vein and Vascular Institute. Now in its 15th year, the indoor Woman’s Show offers daily fashion shows by local boutiques and shopping. The Greater Palm Springs Food & Wine outdoor event offers a cornucopia of tasty bites, wines, craft beers and spirits from the Valley’s best. Limited free general admission tickets are available courtesy of Desert Care Network (available online at Desert Woman’s Show only) and are valid for one ticket per person. DOES NOT include the food and wine tasting area. Tickets here for the food and adult beverages.

Feb. 25: The L-Fund Gala 10th Anniversary — 5 to 9 p.m. at the Margaritaville Resort. This red carpet event supports cis and trans lesbians in the Coachella Valley.

Feb. 25: Boots on Arenas — Join Bella da Ball and Nancy Sinatra for These Boots are Made for Walkin’, Modernism Week’s penultimate night street party. Wear your big hair and miniskirts and go-go down to Arenas Road to join the party. Details and tickets here. Prize for Best Dressed provided by Nancy’s family. Free, all ages. 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Get those boots on and get ready to party! Photo courtesy of Boots on Arenas

Theater

Feb. 10-26: Scarlet Pimpernel, Palm Canyon Theatre.

Feb. 17-19: South Pacific, RM Amphitheater — Desert Theatricals puts on near-perfect productions of musicals from all eras. Always a great time, with many local entertainers stepping into various roles. Dinner show tickets are available, but go fast. General admission available as well. (Maybe there’ll be a humpback whale!)

Feb.21-March 5: Once at CV Rep. A love story reminding us of how the language of music is universal. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Tickets here.

Feb. 21 and 22:  Mid Century Moderns returns to Oscar’s.

PS Underground is a dinner theater, musical hybrid with unique shows and delicious food. Check out their schedule for something completely different.

Fridays from 4:30-7:30 p.m., DJ ModGirl at the Rowan Kimpton lobby bar. Always a good time and a great start to your Friday night.

Clubs with entertainment:

Oscar’s — Home of the T Dance also has name entertainment.

Palm Canyon Cultural Center — List of performers for weekly entertainment. February brings The Mod Squad on Wednesdays, a very fun “audience participation” show with local entertainers Wayne Abravanel, Francesca Amari, and Jeff Stewart.

PS Air Bar calendar — So many fun shows, including in-flight movies.

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Palm Springs — Home of Jazzville and additional music and comedy shows.

Illusions Drag Queen Brunch, Pete’s Hideaway — Saturdays and Sundays

The Purple Room — Rat Pack feel, a variety of entertainers, big names in jazz, cabaret and Broadway on the weekend, and The Judy Show is back!

“The Judy Show” is back! Courtesy of The Purple Room

V Wine Lounge — Very Mad Men with a multitude of seating options in a variety of set pieces, nice sized bar for cross talk, great wine and cocktail selections, and a lot of entertainment options, including karaoke night.

Fridays: Ranch Dance — DJs spin country music for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and its friends.

Restaurant news

El Patio — I haven’t talked about it before, so I am now. Owned by the same family that gave us local favorites Felipe’s and Salsa Restaurants in DT PS. About a year old, so it’s ready.

Low Desert — Modern Mexican on the south end of Palm Springs. Brand new. Replaces the BBQ restaurant in the Smoketree Plaza.

For the first time ever, the Michelin Guide has included Palm Springs restaurants. Those in the “first” category are: Bar Cecil, Boozehounds, Workshop Kitchen and Bar, Cheeky’s, 4 Saints, The Barn at Sparrows Lodge, Colony Club, and Tac/Quila.

Breakfast to go from Cheeky’s. Photo by Mary Farah

Reforma Nightclub is now open for dinner and dancing

The Heyday (best burger and mushroom burger in town) is leaving their space at the Hilton and moving to a new spot at 1550 N. Palm Canyon. This was once occupied by JJ’s Mexican Oasis, now permanently closed.

Oscar’s Privado opening soon. 127 E. Tahquitz, #108.

And sadly, downtown’s Brickworks American Bistro + Pizza has closed.

Coming soon

Dave & Buster’s at The River in Rancho Mirage.

Have fun in our desert playground, and don’t forget to shop and stay local so we can invite you back again! See you next time.

April is packed with goings on, and with all the rain (now called a hydrologic event on my weather app) we had in March that means color — aka March showers bring April wildflowers!

No superbloom, they say, but the mountains have been celebrating St. Paddy’s Day the entire month of March by turning green! I have lived here for nine years and this is only the second time this has happened. The last time was 2019 and that year we were lousy with wildflowers. We also flooded, but that’s so 2019. Those rains that brought the superbloom came in February. This year they came in March so April should be bursting with color. And pollen. But they have pills for that ish.

Let’s get started on the rest, shall we?

The main events

April 1: Palm Springs Cruisin Association Car Show

April 1: AmDocs Festival at Palm Springs Cultural Center

April 1: Palm Springs International Dance Festival Nickerson Rossi Dance Studio

April 1 – May 7: Desert X. That link describes and shows photos. This link gives you options for a map and an app. (Learn more about a few of the art installations here on our blog.)

April 1: Desert Mountains Art Show. It is art in the mountains, what more can I tell you?

April 2: Palm Springs Vintage Market. Great market for vintage everything. You’d think they’d have run out of clothes by now, but not so much.

April 14-17: Coachella (Weekend 1). Waitlisted. Listen, if you don’t know what Coachella is, you’re never going to go. But here is my favorite YouTube clip from Coachella.

April 21-24: Coachella Weekend 2. Tickets still available at the time I am writing this.

April 23: South Palm Canyon Art Collective Sunday Soirée, 1500 South Palm Canyon. Work on display from five resident artists and several guest artists. The soirée is free.

April 28-30: Stagecoach. The country version of Coachella. Less drugs, more booze.

Saturdays and Sundays: College of the Desert Street Fair. If you’re down valley for Desert X or a music festival you have to stop here. It’s huge. I accidentally drove past it one weekend and was blown away by the size of it. I just made a plan to go.

This year’s Coachella lineup.

Repeat contenders

Hockey games and big name performers at Acrisure. April has Reba McIntyre and John Mayer. Concerts are pricey, but the hockey games are affordable.

Dinner and a show

Ticketed 

Oscar’s

Purple Room 

PS Underground 

PS Air Bar

Come On Up at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (Mildred’s small menu)

Come on up to Come On Up!

Reservations

Melvyn’s – Piano man.

Yaas Queen

Mondays: Bella da Ball, Palm Springs’ 6’4” Drag Mother at King’s Highway for Bingo, followed by Trivia in the Amigo Room.

Drag me to brunch

Great drag roundup article here

Roly China Fusion

Oscar’s

Chill Bar

PS Air – Mile High Boozy Brunch 

Reforma (Saturdays) Different date, different show. And in You Need To Calm Down news, the last one was a Taylor Swift drag brunch.

Nightclubs

Reforma (nightlife and dinner)

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge

Hunters

Pretty Faces

Cascade Lounge — Mixed entertainment, all A+, and home of Jazzville.

Sammy G’s Upstairs Bar — Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The Evaro Brothers. Great pop dance music you can sing along to while dancing.

Theater

Dezart PerformsThe Garbologists

CVRepHand to God

Desert Ensemble TheaterFuture Thinking

Desert TheatricalsJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Musicals Under the Stars). Act fast and you can snag a dinner seat too.

An iconic Palm Springs windmill farm. Photo: Nadine Conger

Just for fun

Windmill Tour — You’re driving, someone else is talking, but they aren’t in your car. How do they do that? 

Desert Tasty Tours — Eat your way through Palm Springs history on a walking food tour.

Red Jeep Tours – San Andreas Fault, Jeep-y stuff 

Celebrity Tours

Cannabis Express Tours – April is National Cannabis Awareness Month. Get yourself educated on everything cannabis. It’s fun and educational too. 

PS Historical Society Walking & Biking Tours — There are 14 to choose from.

MOGO Silent Disco — Their tagline? “Shut up and dance.”

Pro VR — Virtual reality gaming, including escape rooms.

Escape Room — Actual escape rooms.

Movies in the Park — Old-timey movies under the stars.

Hiking: Indian Canyons is closed April 1-8; Tahquitz still open. Here’s a great article from Visit Palm Springs on where to go. Keep in mind numbers 1 and 6 are part of Indian Canyons.

That’s it for me this month. As always, please shop and stay local. And that includes cannabis because it’s National Cannabis Awareness Month. I might have said that already. I’m hungry… 

See you next time!