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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!

Did you know that the Latin root for October is “octo” which means … yep, eight. So, why is it the 10th month? Who cares, let’s get going on what’s happening in Palm Springs this month!

Ya Get One Chance This Year, And This Is It

Oct. 6-8: Power Trip featuring Metallica, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Tool, AC/DC, and Judas Priest. The festival is being described as the “sequel to Desert Trip.” Ozzy Osbourne was scheduled to perform on Oct. 7, but canceled his appearance less than three months prior to the event due to ongoing health issues.

Oct. 13: Wine & Dine Around The World. Yes, it’s a fundraiser, however Wine & Dine Around the World is a wine-tasting event featuring hundreds of wines from multiple countries, paired with regional hors d’oeuvres. The culmination of “Wine Down Wednesday,” general admission for the event is 6 to 9 p.m.; VIP has early entry at 5 p.m. with an after party ’til 11 p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefits your choice of one charity per ticket. The dress code is desert casual.

Oct. 15: Alohana at Palm Springs Cultural Center. All things tiki — market, movies, and mai tais.

Oct. 19-22: Modernism Week October. 50+ events. See article posted here.

Sunnylands tours. These are part of Modernism Week, but I’m putting them here because if you’re gonna spend some $$ on something, think about a Sunnylands tour.

Oct. 28-29: Taste of On The Mark Fall 2023. A variety of delicious foods and drinks from our favorite vendors — savory to sweet, and everything in between. 111 N. Palm Canyon Drive (at On The Mark). $70-95

Oct. 29: Halloween is such a big deal in Palm Springs it has its own website. From 4 to 9 p.m., if you’re into Halloween, it should be on your bucket list. It’s a scare with flare.

Recurring

A man hikes on a mountain in Palm Springs

There are trails everywhere to explore in Palm Springs. Courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Hiking with T. If you’re an enthusiast, she has the scoop about what’s going on with all the hiking trails.

Mid-Century Moderns, last year’s hit show, will be playing at a brand new theater, The Revolution Stage Company. Besides it being a fun and funny jukebox musical, the theater itself has a full bar, 128 gorgeous blue cushioned theater seats, and an ice cream bar!

Sunday Tea N’ Shade with Sabryna Williams and the Luchettes. “Prepare to sashay into the most fabulous Sunday afternoon experience in Palm Springs!” Every Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Boozehounds dining room, Sabryna Williams and The Lunchettes will host a drag lunch extravaganza, with two guest queens joining in on the fun every week. If that’s not enough, know this: you can order bottomless drinks!

Desert Tasty Tours. There are six restaurants on this terrific tour of Palm Springs that touches on all things iconic along downtown’s three most buzzy blocks. There’s a little booze, a lot of food, and some fun facts to take home with you.

MOGO Silent Disco is back! All you need to know is in their motto: “Shut up and dance!” I’m definitely going this year.

Jazzville. Always a great time with an eclectic mix of music from around the world.

PS Underground. Truly an experience to remember. The food, the entertainment, and the sheer creativity in the heads of Producer Michael and Chef Dave is nothing short of astounding.

The Purple Room. A classic Palm Springs experience, the ambiance at the Purple Room is Rat Pack heaven. During the week you can expect to be entertained by some of Palm Springs’ finest performers and musicians, and the ticketed shows on the weekend are worth way more than the price of admission. The food and drinks are also superb. And lordamercy book a ticket for The Judy Show and do it well in advance. What a show!

VIP Lounge at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Formerly known as “Come On Up,” they’ve got the same terrific acts as they had when it was Come On Up and some new things too!

Reforma. Modeled after a supper club, guests enjoy their dinner in a dramatic environment. After dinner, the space is transformed into a large dance floor with a state-of-the-art sound system and light show. A private lounge and bar offer additional environments to have a meal or late-night bites with a unique craft cocktail. Entertainment will include DJs and live performances. (They had very cool drag show themes this past summer, but that seems to have fallen off the schedule. Hope it’s back soon because a Taylor Swift Drag Brunch? Yes please.)

Three In The Pink. Drag show at Trixie Motel. This is brand new.

New Restaurant/Bar Alert

A row of chairs lined up at the bar at Maleza in Drift Palm Springs

Share a toast with friends at the Maleza bar. Photo courtesy of Drift Palm Springs

Maleza — In the new Drift hotel. That hotel has got it going on!

Sol Agave — I’m seeing rustic yet fancy Mexican. Looks divine.

Mickey’s Mexican Cuisine — Located in Shamrock’s Irish Pub.

Low Desert — In the Smoke Tree Village shopping center. Not far from downtown, and if you’re staying in one of our boutique hotels on the south end, you can probably walk.

Impala Bar and Grill — Next to Reforma, it’s more of a bar that serves Mexican fare, but it’s cool.

Zadie Cafe — Not named after one of my local heroes, Zadie Bunker, the flying grandma. But it is actually the Yiddish word for grandma.

Cafe Mon Amour — I hear it’s very French. They don’t have a website. Make your own joke.

The Evening Citizen — Easily the most fun website entrance; click on “subscribe” to get it. I also can’t tell you where it is. You’ll have to make a reservation at the 30-seat bar to find out. I have a hunch it is on or near Arenas, as it seems to be owned by the former head bartender from Blackbook.

Coming soon: Play Lounge with games, a bar, and food. I hear they’re going to have a pool table too!  

November Alerts

Participants in a Pride parade in Palm Springs

Pride is right around the corner. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Nov. 3-5 is Pride! 

Starting Nov. 8, Cabaret6: Desert Stars will take place every Wednesday for six weeks at the Revolution Stage. Full bar and ice cream station. All of Palm Springs’ favorite performers — Keisha D., Francesca Amari, Tod Macofsky, Brian Scott, and Rose Mallett — will be doing shows they’ve performed in the bigger cities and rarely in town.

And finally, from timeanddate.com: As we established earlier, the meaning of October comes from the Latin word octo meaning eight. The old Roman calendar started in March, so October was the eighth month. When the Roman senate changed the calendar in 153 BCE, the new year started in January, and October became the 10th month.

Which reminds me, the latest trend on TikTok is to ask a man how often he thinks about the Roman Empire and see what happens. Tell me about it when I see you.

Ciao!

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.