Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Palm Springs Snowline

A little over a week ago the snow level was a couple of thousand feet. Anyone want to place a bet that it will fall in Palm Springs proper this winter. It has in Las Vegas. Palm Springs has gotta be next!

Oh, by the way, the above pic came out without any blasts of white because I used a polarizing lens on my camera (a 5D).

Feel free to email me at matthewbam@aol.com if you have any questions about photographing in Palm Springs or about getting my book The 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Palm Springs Christmas

Freshly fallen snow is the backdrop for this year's Palm Springs Christmas tree at City Hall. The snow juxtaposed against the Christmas tree and palm trees are perfect together, just what the tourist board loves. Come to Palm Springs and you get to look at snow without a feeling its cold reality.

MY NEWEST BOOK IS 50 GREATEST PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES IN SAN FRANCISCO. Please preorder this coffee table and how-to photography book for some stunning photography of the City by the Bay.

Carnie Ride

A few weeks ago the carnival came to town. I pulled out my tripod and Canon 5D and headed downtown where the carnies set up shop.

In this exposure I left my shutter open for several seconds.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Palm Springs Green Energy

I've always wanted to get a picture of the windmills around here with their fans moving. I got it. It wasn't easy cause first I had the shutter speed too fast and you couldn't see the fans at all. 

Do the math. It doesn't take all that long a shutter speed to get these moving. You light has to be just right. In this shot the light could have been better. 

Please pick up a copy of my book! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Palm Springs Christmas Parade

I'm back! More about that in my next post. At any rate, the Christmas parade, formally called the Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade, was a hoot. More than 8,000 people lined the streets merry-making. 

The pic above was part of the parade's finale. Imagine that, a tractor covered in Christmas lights rumbling down the street in all directions. 

Don't forget to pick up a copy of my new book, "50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco."

The book comes out in about 2 weeks!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Boyd Wins Hopalong over Bogert

William Boyd retired in Palm Desert. He had been Hopalong Cassidy in the movies. Rumor has it that Frank Bogert wanted the part of Hopalong, but lost out to Boyd.

Please if you have any juicy tidbits about Palm Springs, drop a comment or two.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Horse, and Stuff about DHS

Out in DHS (that would be Desert Hot Springs) there's a horse to greet you at one establishment. I took this picture a couple of months ago and for the life of me, I can't remember where it was.

Maybe Palm Av? Or Pierson? At any rate, the city of DHS is looking for businesses to set up shop on Pierson Blvd (that would be DHS's main drag.

That street's recently been upgraded to include:
Pierson Blvd. has recently undergone a $4 million renovation including:

Widening from two lanes to four with parking on both sides, including biking lanes
Installing landscaped center medians with stamped concrete designs, river rock features, antique lighting, lush and efficient desert flowers
Adding stamped concrete intersections with decorative colors

Here's the link.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Michael's in the Desert

Now this store, which is coming to Palm Springs, is exciting. We'll actually have an art supply store. Everyone loves art!

Michael's Art has--
Craft Painting
Fine Arts
General Crafts
Home Decor
Kids / Teachers
Paper Crafts
Seasons & Celebrations
Yarn & Needlework

What fun!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bye Bye Mac Magruder

Mac Magruder Chevrolet had been a Palm Springs landmark for many years. Dumb me didn't notice when it closed down. Anyone know?

What's happening to all the car dealerships in Palm Springs, anyway? Well, for one, they've moved to Cathedral City. Gone are the days when you'd roam Palm Springs and look through the floor to ceiling glass at the latest Chevy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bit 'O Country

They're drawin' up a new mural at Bit 'O Country in Palm Springs.

Bit 'O Country is one of my favorite breakfast haunts. I love the place cause they cook their bacon well-done and they have grits. I love grits. I put sugar on them.

They also have biscuits and gravy, which I don't like. I've gone with people, though, who've ordered them and said they're some of the best.

Doncha just love breakfast restaurants.

Friday, May 9, 2008

$4 a Gallon Gas

What's all this that I hear that gas is isn't yet $4 a gallon. We're paying that here in beautiful Palm Springs.

I have a hybrid and it's still $40 to fill my tank here. I shouldn't complain though--a Hummer owner probably pays nearly $100.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Street Fair Musician

Playing the guitar on the street has to be bliss. This street fair musician's pretty good. You can hear him on Thursday nights at Palm Springs Village Fest.

He's located at the east end of the fair near Baristo.

I wish they had more entertainment on Thursday nights, maybe a band or jazz. Justin Blake used to do an event right in the middle, but I can't remember what it was for.

The fair needs some spicin' up. It's kind of stale.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Curved Sidewalks

I never appreciated the curved sidewalks we have here in Palm Springs, until my partner's mother pointed out how much she liked them.

If the Coachella Valley had a sexual orientation, it'd be a gay man, it's so well-groomed. Everything here is meticulous, every vacant area of most of the desert cities is landscaped with plants, that with a little water, thrive in the desert.

I guess we have to get the tourists here as it's our livelihood.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mid-Century Modern Architecture

This type of building has always been one of my favorites. It has everything mid-century--the concrete soaring into a overhang and the floor-to-ceiling glass. Notice, too how the occupants put clay pots outside each doorway. Clever!

This building is located on Indian near Ramon. When I took the picture I tried to line up the roof line with the left edge of the frame. I'm thinking of cropping out the sky. What do you think?

Monday, May 5, 2008

400-Count Sheets Waiting for a New Home

Ahhh, verrrry interesting. Here in Palm Springs we have a new strip mall coming in, which will include a Linens-n-Things.

Only last week Palm Springs Daily Photo noticed that Linens-n-Things is bankrupt and closing stores.

My only question is why is this one opening? I'd like to think Palm Springs as a special place where bankruptcy doesn't exist, but with so many empty storefronts here, I find it difficult to believe that a chain would open a new store here of all places.

Is it because a high population of gay people are here to snap up the latest 400-count cotton sheets?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Purple Flower

Isn't the purple flower against the blue background lovely. These flowers are in bloom now, and I haven't got a clue as to what they're called.

I'm so glad there are people who lend a hand out there in helping me identify the plants of Palm Springs.

The desert has so much more than just tumble weeds.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fire Good

Here's what the Apache fire in Idyllwild last night. It was still burning early this morning, but now the mountain is coated with the marine layer (that would be fog) from the Pacific.

What a difference a day makes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Longing for Good Air

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Well, not really, but near.

See the picture above. It was taken a few years back when Palm Springs had good air. Seems now day after day the air here looks as if it came from a coal factory.

Come on now, if you're in Palm Springs and would like air like you see in this picture, write a line here and let me know about it.

I rode my bike today on my regular 20 mile route and all along the horizon all you could see was a mucky gray. You could see all of LA's air flowing here through the San Gorgonio pass.

What's with that. Has the U.S. government eased on air quality rules so that the desert has a future of day-after-day smog.

What do you think????

Monday, April 28, 2008

Trees Lettin' Down Their Hair

The trees are letting down their hair. As the weather heats up, the trees are dropping their flowers.

I have an issue with this type of tree, though. They seem to be blooming everywhere as they do when the weather gets hot in late spring.

The only place they're not blooming is in my front yard. I don't know what kind of tree this is, but I only know that their flowers aren't working for me.

Anybody know the species of this plant?


Friday, April 25, 2008

Hair vs No Hair

What a contrast I have going here. Can you tell me what the contrast is? Sometimes if you look at a photo long enough, you notice things that you wouldn't have if you just glanced at it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Circle Architecture

Don't ya just love it when architects make round buildings. This is one of a few round buildings in Palm Springs. There's a cool one, too, near Demuth Park. It's a pet hospital. Speaking of pet hospitals, there supposed to build a beautiful new dog pound at the end (or beginning of Demuth Park) on Highway 111 and Mesquite.

Some neighbors are up-in-arms about it because they don't want to hear dogs barking all night. City officals have assured people that it won't be noisy.

How do they plan on getting the dogs not to bark? Maybe, give them steaks every night?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dr. Smith/Dr Peppers Office

According to the plaque on this building it's a Spanish eclectic structure that was the northernmost residence in the village of Palm Springs when it was built in the 1920s. As the city grew there was an increasing need for community services, especially along "Main Street" and Dr. Smith converted the residence to a medical office in the early 1930s. Dr. Peppers occupied the building from 1940 to 1958. The building continues to be used as office space with a change from medical to real estate in 1972.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Palm Springs Consignment Closes

After more than 10 years in business, Palm Springs Consignment is closing.

No more shopping for those mid-century modern items that, over the years, have been consigned at the store--everything from Eames chairs to Hayward-Wakefield dining sets.

No more sign photos from the photographer Matt Bamberg (that would be me).

If any retail outlets are looking for a great photography product (mid-century motel sign photography by Matt Bamberg) that sells, contact Matt Bamberg at matthewbam@aol.com.

Shopping in Palm Springs just won't be the same without Palm Springs Consignment.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Museum Party

Palm Springs Art Museum had their membership drive last night. The drive occurs during White Party Weekend.

For you people who don't know what a white party is, it's actually a slew of parties in Palm Springs that happen every year in April. Everyone wears white at the parties, which take place all over town during the weekend.

All kinds of locals were there including the new mayor Steve Pougnet was there as were many from the local media.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Naked Sculpture in DHS

Now I wouldn't have a statue like this in my front yard, even though I think it's harmless. Here in the Coachella Valley, statuary plays an important part of landscape architecture.

Naked men come in all shapes and forms, but when their sculptures they usually possess perfect physical attributes.

I'm just wondering if anyone out there would have a statue like this in your yard. I mean, like, it's art after all, but...

maybe it's not just within the realm of your decorating tastes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Model Home for Development that Never Happened

This house in Desert Hot Springs was a model for a development that never happened. Look at the overhangs, that's where people parked their cars when they came to at the home.

The home was built in the 50s and has all the bells and whistles of modern--clean lines, natural materials and huge windows. The home also appears to have sloping walls, very unique in modern homes of the era.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More New Modern Architecture

Lots of materials go into the houses built in Palm Springs today, everything from stone to wood.

The materials are natural, but I'm not fond of wood mixed with stone. I think metal's a better match.

Monday, April 14, 2008

O'Donnell Golf Course

The grounds of the O'Donnell Golf Course are simply gorgeous.
If you like playing a 9-hole course, this is the place.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ginny Foat Participates

Hello to Ginny Foat. My neighborhood in Palm Springs, the Dumuth Park area, is forming a neighborhood association.

City council member Ginny Foat (third from left in picture) showed up at our first meeting. Thanks Ginny!

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Early 21st Century Modern

New to the 21st century from Palm Springs is the geometric chair (that's what I call it, anyway). This chair and others are on display at on the gallery walks in South Palm Springs.

You can't tell which part is the front or back of this chair. Just in case you wanted to know this is a picture taken from behind the chair. The back of it is painted with colored, geometric shapes.

Fifty years from now people will look at this chair and call it early 21st century modern.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Weird Cloud Formation

No Photoshop on this one folks. This weird cloud formation is for real. I observed it yesterday while walking to the park by my house in Palm Springs, CA.

Something like this cloud formation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After I left my house I had to run back again to get my camera so I could shoot it.

The formation held together for about 20 minutes just before sunset.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kidney-Shaped Swimming Pool

Back in the 1950s, they had style. They built kidney-shaped coffee tables and swimming pools.

This is a swimming pool (a neighbor's) that was built in the 1950s. It's totally original without one spec of remodeling done to it.

As far as swimming is concerned some brave people are. I even took a dip. The weather's been windy and cool so that the swimming pools haven't heated up yet. They're cold as ice, but refreshing, nonetheless.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Photo Printing Options

I can remember just not too long ago when I had all my photography printed out by a lab. Now that the digital age has arrived, I find myself with no hard copies of my work. Sure, I print out some of my work, but it's expensive and time-consuming.

There's just something about having your photos touch your hands that gives them more meaning. I've got hundreds of photos sitting in my computer that I want printed out.

When I print out the best photos of Palm Springs Daily Photo using my printer, I know I have a cheaper and quicker option available to me at photofun.com. I can get images printed out for just 5 cents apiece.

Do you have images in your computer that are waiting to be printed? Have you found that there just aren't enough hours in a day to print out all of your travel photos?

You too can get photo prints for as little as $.05 a copy.

It's not too late, either, to get a 2008 photo calendar with your own photos printed on it. It's great to know that you can publish your own work in the form of a calendar.

Having your photography printed on canvas is another option offered at photofun.com. Imagine having your photo printed on canvas and stretched over a frame. Photofun.com offers a photo canvas for any of your images starting at $13.95.

Digital Photography Gallery

See the faint image of the Western Landscape through the glass that's reflecting just about everything around it? It's digital photography by Gary Dorothy.

Opening up a gallery like that is a lot of work. It's really nice inside and I think he does well. His images are beautiful.

Here's the info for this shopping locale--

Imageville Gallery -
128 La Plaza on Indian Canyon Drive, (760) 416-9825

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Bottlebrush

The bottlebrush tree is one of the few plants that grows both in wet and dry climates.

The lovely red blooms are soft and furry to the touch. The plant is a favorite among golfers because it drips heavy blooms over the course.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kim Chasen Art

Kim Chasen (left) is a modern artist. Her paintings include a variety of colors and shapes that take you back to another time.

Chasen's work is perfect for many Palm Springs homes. Many homes here have white walls, begging for color.

Chasen's paintings add not only color but textures. That's what makes her work unique.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gallery Walk

This is the scene in front of Dezart One Gallery in Palm Springs last Saturday night. It was one of several galleries that open at night for art walks and/or shows.

Dezart One Gallery is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. This gallery is located at 2688 Cherokee Way in Palm Springs. There are several others in the modern mall space on Cherokee Way.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Women

The movie trailer for "The Women" says, "it's all about men," or more specifically, "135 women with nothing on their minds but men." The movie was made in 1939 and has an all-female cast.

Now it comes to the Palm Canyon Theater in Palm Springs. Oh boy! Or should I say, Oh girl!

With lines like "jungle red" and "there's a name for you ladies not used in high society--outside of the kennel," you just can't go wrong.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Center of Warm Sands

This would probably be the center of the Warm Sands neighborhood in Palm Springs. This is the neighborhood where the gay resorts are. My guess would be that the Mirage is the most popular, but that could be debated.

At any rate, the Mirage was the first gay resort in the neighborhood. It started back in the 80s when the owner wanted to open up a place where gay people could go to socialize. He not only wanted a hotel that catered to visitors, but also a spot for locals to hang out.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Renaissance Festival Palm Springs

Today was the Renaissance Festival in Palm Springs. Many people dressed up as if they were in the Middle Ages. They were wondering the streets and had no problem agreeing to have their photograph taken.

The Renaissance Festival emulates 1450-1600 Europe in Spring. People dress up like nobles and peasants and perform in acts ranging from juggling to singing and storytelling to magic.

Artists sell their wares--pottery, jewelry, leather, clothing and crafts

And, of course their are people eating giant turkey legs and drinking beer.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Turquoise Driveway

Parked in this driveway, casting turquoise shadows, is an Imperial. It's amazing how many cool cars are in Palm Springs. It's like the place was made for them.

My guess is the car in the picture was made after 1955 because there are no Chrysler emblems on it. Also, Chrysler did not own the Imperial brand after 1955, the year the brand went solo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teddy Bear on the Porch

This Teddy looks as if he'd be happier in the house. He lives on the porch of a house in a Palm Springs trailer park.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Suites for Lease


Lots of "for lease" signs in Palm Springs. There's retail space everywhere from where the old Desmonds use to be downtown to where Blockbuster used to be on Sunrise and Ramon.

With respect to art, I just love these kinds of signs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Drugs at the Parker


Everyone who watches Bravo loves the Parker in Palm Springs.

Even if you haven't watched Welcome to the Parker on Bravo, you'll get a kick out of a visit to the hotel, perhaps seeing a star or two or roaming the beautiful gardens with stunning views.

Or you could just sit in the lobby and make conversation about the giant "Drugs" sign on the wall.

Cast member, John Federbusch says of an episode of Welcome to the Parker: "it's filled with wannabes, couldabes, and shouldabes."

Sounds like I'd fit in really well.

How about you?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Are You Over 55?


Are you over 55 and in good shape, perhaps having been a dancer or gymnast? If you are, why not try out for the Palm Springs Follies?

The Follies are a singing and dance troupe who'll have you thinking it's 1944. If you like entertaining the 70-something set, then this is a job for you.

...And if you haven't seen the show, it's a Palm Springs must, especially if the Swing was part of your youth.

Just in case if you haven't seen a Follies girl all dolled up, take a look at the world's oldest working showgirl. She's pretty amazing. I met her once...and at 86 or 7, she looks and moves about as if she were in her 50s.

All the more reason to become a showgirl (or boy as there are men singers and dancers too).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Is This the Desert?

It's been a good couple of years since the hills have been this green in Palm Springs.

Precipitation in Palm Springs has been slightly above normal. Between July 1, 2007 and March 20, 2008, 5.39 inches of rain has fallen. Average normal rainfall for this time period is 4.91 inches.

For the season which lasts from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 the average is 5.23 inches. We probably won't get any more rain this season so that our rainfall totals will still be below average.

Last year, we only had .47 inches of rainfall. The hills did not get green like they are this year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wrought Iron Table and Chair Heaven

The last time I wrote about wrought iron furniture, I had been in Yucca Valley where I found a wrought iron sofa for sale.

Yesterday I found this furniture in front of a trailer house. I liked the furniture next to the number of the house. Text and/or numbers always look so good in a photo.

With our great weather during this time of the year (it's gettin' up near 90), sitting in this little delicate space, reading the paper and having a glass of iced tea sure is inviting, especially if you're still puttin' up with old man winter.

Wrought iron furniture can be pricey because it takes a welder to make it. You can find it, though, everywhere here--in the thrift stores and in the antique shops.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


What's ubiquitous in the desert right now, growing on many vacant spots of land throughout the Coachella Valley? Hint--it's purple and grows in bunches.

Why, it's the verbena plant. You can drink it as a herbal tea or use it to ward against vampires, or so says an article about the plant.

I've heard that our valley floor is one of the only places these purple-flowered desert wildflowers grow. (They truly are wild as they only pop up during some springs, those which have followed rainy winters).

There's a Verbena Street in Desert Hot Springs in honor of the plant.

If you know anything at all about this plant, comment away.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Springs Tropicale

The new club in town is the Tropicale. Rick Rockhill has a decent review of the place, which also includes a lounge called "Coral Seas."

The place serves pizzas and salads and is open late, competing with Matchbox and Azul.

Tropicale is located at 330 East Amado Road near the Spa Casino.