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.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cactus Garden

Now how's this picture for some color contrast? Don't you just love it when a daily photo site finds some matching colors!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Matt Bamberg Photographs

Ah ha. Here's my work as it's displayed at Palm Springs Consignment. The prices range from $65 to $150 for a print in a white frame. Palm Springs Consignment is at 2100 N Palm Canyon Dr # B 10 in Palm Springs.

And...of can buy any print on this site. Just email me at, let me know what print you want and how big. I can print 8x10, 11x14, 11x17, and any other size under 44 inches.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shredder Lady

There's this lady who runs around town shredding paper for people. Quite a novel idea for a business.

"Some very frustrated people call me," shredder Diane Forsythe says. "They have years of personal information that can't be thrown away. There at a loss of what to do, so they call me."

The shredder is in the back of her truck. It'll shred everything including plastic (CDs and credit cards) into criss-crossed pieces that not even a rocket scientist could put back together. She powers it from the engine of her truck.

Anybody in the Valley who's paranoid of identity theft can call Dianna anytime at (760) 808-7444 to have their worries shredded.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Modernist Building

This is a modernist building on Tahquitz. I can bet it was built in the 80s. I say that because the windows are made of smokey glass.

I shot this from just the right angle so that you can see the three-dimensional shape of the structure.

I sure wish I knew who designed this cool place. Does anyone out there in cyberspace know?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Frank Bogert's Not Sorry

Cowboys, indeed as this tiny town wrastles its demons. There's controversy in the air in Palm Springs from "hypersexed gays" to mayors who won't apologize.

First the gays. Robert Julian who's lived here for two years decided he'd delve deep into the gay community here by joining organizations and acting in plays. He became well-known in some circles and well-liked. Then he wrote a book about it all. Some parts of the book were not pretty, so not pretty that the L.A. Times picked up the story, a story which describes elder gays married to lurid sex. much for gay marriage and a sneaky gay spying on other gays.

Next--the mayors who won't apologize. Way back when in the 1960s about 1000 African Americans were forced out of their homes right in the center of Palm Springs, an area of Indian owned land called Section 14. Some of the blacks relocated to the north end of the city and are scared that they'll be moved again because the high brow people are moving in. A few of the blacks who were displaced in the 60s want an apology from a couple of mayors.

Frank Bogert is one. He's in the picture above. Right now he's 99-years-old and still going strong. When asked if he'd apologize for what happened to the blacks under his watch, he won't budge.

And...the big news...the current mayor, Steve Pougnet, won't even comment on the matter. Come on guys an "I'm sorry" for past wrongs is at the very least civil and at the very most, a tiny bit of acknowledgement that, yes, indeedy, Palm Springs was a Jim-Crow-kinda place. And it might still be.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Aruba on the Wash

The Aruba apartment building is in a fine neighborhood and it's right on the wash. Right now the wash is a small stream with crystal clear water in it.

The snow is melting up the mountain so the water comes down into the wash in Palm Springs.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Palm Springs Walls

There's something that I'll never understand about Palm Springs homes. Many have walls surrounding them. A gate is usually attached for entering and exiting.

This house, which is in an upper class neighborhood, has the above said wall and gates. If you look closely a seventy-year-old probably could get over the wall. In fact, just about anyone could get over the wall.

I surmise then that the wall is not there for security.

The second possible reason the wall is there is for decoration. Hmmm. It's just not that pretty (although the baby blue fence is somewhat attractive).

Many houses in upper, middle and lower class neighborhoods (well, there's really no lower class neighborhoods in Palm Springs) have walls or are building walls around them.

One reason might be because within the city limits there are few gated communities like there are in the rest of the Valley. Perhaps people want a little piece of a gated community without being in one.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Hummer in Palm Springs

Did you ever think that the Republican party should change their symbol from an elephant to a hummer? Outside of Palm Springs in the rest of the desert cities of the Coachella Valley, Republicanism is alive and well. However, here in Palm Springs it's the Democratic party that rules.

These days you're seeing fewer and fewer Hummers (the one in the picture above is an older model, one of the really big ones that drinks gallons of gas per ride). Drive out of Palm Springs and the SUVs rule from the Orange County-like parking lots of the big chain stores.

Now, mind you, I'm not prejudiced against people who drive SUVs (some of my best friends have one); I've even ridden in one. However, I've never been in a Hummer.

What's it like? Just curious, you know.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian tribe sometimes perform at the Village Fest.

The ancestors of these Indians date back to well before white men settled here.

The tribe owns the Spa Casino in downtown Palm Springs.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Old Highlander Lodge

Caught this sign on film (real live film) in Desert Hot Springs about 5 years ago. It's the Highlander Lodge, which has changed its name to the Highlander Resort. I don't know if the sign is still there. Please let us know.

You just gotta love DHS (Desert Hot Springs) because it's reputation is so "bad" that it's "good."

I love the desolateness of the place, the wind, the mystery of almost abandoned hotels and apartment houses.

There's also a couple of mid-century modern structures of note. More about those in future posts.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another Taste of Tiki

Now here's a cool piece of Polynesia, a kind of modern art Tiki atmosphere house with angled steel beams.

Palm Springs Daily Photo is a celebration of Tiki.
Please stop by often and click on those ads. There's some cool stuff out there!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Massage at Village Fest

Every Thursday night, our street fair, Village Fest, offers art, food...and massage for sale.

There are two massage booths both at the north end of the fair and at the south end.

Usually the massages run a dollar per minute.

The booths are always crowded.