Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fire in the Mountains Near Palm Springs

Fire rages in mountains above Palm Springs
Imagine the horrific scenario. Southeast winds blowing up to 50 mph.  Fire in Palm Springs moves swiftly through the Indian Canyons and spreads northwest up South Palm Canyon, ending with spotty flames deep into the neighborhood of homes and condos all the way to Smoketree Shopping Center.

Can't happen. Firefighters could handle the spotty flames that would occur in the light brush on the desert side of the mountain. They're ready to move in at any sign of the fire reaching Palm Springs.
Our heroes today are the the vast number of firefighters who are needed to overcome raging flames and smoke.

Here's to the firefighters!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tiki Art from the Old Tiki Spa in Palm Springs on Sale Now

Click on Tiki to purchase the Tiki Spa Tiki--60s Tiki art
This Tiki art is from an image I took at the Tiki Spa years ago. It was another one of those jump-the-fence affairs. I spotted this while jogging behind a fence in the once fashionable Tiki Spa, which at that time was abandoned.

After shooting the Tiki in three parts (top, middle and bottom) and stitching it together, I copied and pasted the stitched image onto a blank background and started a new background from scratch. The color of the background matches part of the Tiki.

Of course you can purchase this bit of Polynesia by pressing the captioned link.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Airstream at Sunset--So Light You Can Attach them to a Bike

Tiny Airstream trailer, the silver classic shall never die.
Airstreams are in. The 1930s trailers are more hip than ever. To be sure, the Airstream still makes them, but they aren't like they used to be.

In Palm Springs we are fortunate to have many opportunities for seeing the originals. After all, Palm Springs is Mid-Century Disneyland.

The Airstream trailers were popular because of the Airstream's light weight. As you can see they were built so a bicycle could tow them. That certainly would be the case with this tiny Airstream that I caught at sunset a few evenings ago.

Getting this image wasn't easy because I had to climb a wall and take the image while I was hanging on it.

There's no doubt about it that this Airstream is a gem.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Photograph Palm Springs Fireworks

Palm Springs fireworks in 2006

Before I get to the technical aspects of photographing fireworks in Palm Springs, first let me give you the information about the fireworks show at Palm Springs Stadium.

You don't have to go to the Palm Springs Stadium to see them. The image above was taken on Farrell across from Palm Springs High School. It's a great spot to photograph because there are lots of grassy areas in front of the buildings to set up shop. 

Here is the basic information you need in order to photograph fireworks in Palm Springs--

What you need: A good tripod and dSLR or mirrorless camera (cameras with large sensors).

When to go: To get a good spot near Palm Springs High School on Farrell, get there at 8 p.m. The show starts later about a half-hour after sunset. The sunset is at 8:10 p.m., so the show should get in motion at about 9 p.m.

How to shoot fireworks in Palm Springs: If you have a camera that lets you shoot manually (meaning it has a manual mode, a shutter priority mode, and an aperture priority mode), you can fine-tune just how much light you let into your lens. 

First, set your camera to shutter priority mode (Tv or S mode). 

Then, set a shutter speed value. On a good dSLR camera, the values will run from 1/8000 second (the camera will display just the denominator of 8000) to 30 seconds (the camera will display the number followed by a quotation mark, such as 30”). The lowest value indicate the shortest time the shutter stays open, and the highest value indicates the longest time the shutter stays open. 
When your camera is in shutter priority mode, it determines the aperture according to what shutter speed you’ve chosen to give you the best exposure. The shot of fireworks pictured here required a long shutter speed of 4 seconds. When you photograph fireworks, you must experiment with shutter speeds in Tv mode. For brighter fireworks displays, you need a bit faster shutter speed, and for dimmer displays, you need a longer shutter speed.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Take Photos in the Morning or Evening during Summer in Palm Springs

 by Lisa Pell

With its, “Sizzling Desert" landscape, Palm Springs offers an opportunity for photo enthusiasts to capture a variety of native low desert plants and expansive desert vistas. Shooting in the Sonoran Desert offers some challenges such as the heat which reaches an average high temperature of 108.1 degrees in July and a record high of 123 in July and August. One way to beat the heat is to schedule time in the early morning or the evenings to take your photos. The advantages of taking photos at these time is in the light. Finding out what time the sun rises and sets will make it possible to take advantage, not only of cooler temperatures, but also making the most of the lighting conditions. Also keep in mind that the quality of natural light varies not only during the day but also throughout year which can add variety to your work.

Evening doesn't come until 7 pm

Temperature and Color: The Basics of Setting Your White Balance
The temperature of color has a wide range between the early morning and late evening. The average noon daylight temperature is 5000-6500k although a clear cloudless sky can reach temperatures of 10,000k. Morning and evening light can vary between 3000-4000k. It is important to understand that that the color temperature varies because getting the white balance right can be a challenge when working with a digital camera. Setting the white balance correctly on your camera will make your colors look the most realistic, allowing you to capture the nature beauty of the sometimes subtle other times dramatic variations that natural lighting can present. Color temperature is often referred to as warm and cool and if it isn't adjusted for properly can result in unnatural blue, orange and sometimes green hues in photos. Whereas a 5000k temperature creates a neutral light, a 9000k temperature will result in more blue wavelengths, while a 3000-4000k temperature will produce an orange hue. A good way to remember this is that as the temperature rises, the color hues tend towards the blue end of the spectrum. Think for instance of a fire, where the hottest part of the flame is the blue at the center. Most digital camera have a white balance preset which makes the selection of an appropriate color temperature easy. What you may not know is that using the auto white balance offers a limited range between 3000/4000 to 7000k. Using the Kelvin option will allow you to select the temperature you need manually over a much broader range. The other setting available, such as tungsten, fluorescent, daylight, cloudy etc., offer an approximate value for the lighting conditions under which they will produce the best images.

Advanced Techniques – Capturing the Best Color and Insuring your Work Against Loss
Another option is to set a custom balance on your camera. This setting provides you with the most control while insuring the best results for your photos. You will need to invest in a 50% grey reference card which is available at most camera supply stores. Using this card you simply take a picture of the grey reference under the particular lighting conditions. This way the camera can set the white balance using this information. The first few times you might need to keep your camera manual on site as there are a few steps involved in programming the camera to use the data. Although a bit more involved this is the best way to ensure you get just the right balance of color in your shot.
While there is also an option to adjust the color balance afterwards using Photoshop, you want to avoid this if at all possible as it can reduce the number of colors in your image. This is known as bit depth. Bit depth is a term that describes the number of 0's and 1's otherwise known as “bits” that hold information about the colors in your image. The selection of standard file formats can will impact the number of bits available in your image. For example, a jpeg file uses 8-bits, while a TIFF file can capture 16-bits per channel and RAW give 24. Setting your camera for 24 bits per pixel (bpp) will give you the best possible color results. The JPEG setting produces 16 million possible tones, which is 6 million more than the human eye can detect, so it is perfectly suitable for most shots. However, it is when you start adjusting your photos on Photoshop that you will be thankful that you've used a higher setting. Even it you are simply adjusting for brightness and contrast, you may find that the colors begin to separate. This can be seen for instance in a blue sky which can begin to show patterns of uneven gradation, known as posterization. Shooting in a RAW format will give you way more room to work once you've brought your image home. Once you've made your adjustments you will need to consider whether to save your image as a 16 bit or an 8 bit file. If you are sure that you've made all the edits your going to make then go ahead and save as a smaller file. If there is any chance however, that you might need to go back in the future then you will want to select the higher format to protect your work and ensure the highest possible quality. Now that you've got all the information you need to secure the quality of your images you may also want to make sure you have the most up to date protection for your equipment. For many photographers, protecting their equipment from damage or theft is just as important as protecting the quality of their images when it come to long-term planning.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Too Hot--Misspelled Church Sign

I always love it when people misspell words on public signage. What word needs an extra "o."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lucy at Thunderbird

Lucy with her two Cocker Spaniels at Thunderbird in Rancho Mirage
Palm Springs loves Lucy. A statue of Lucy sitting on a bench next to the Coffee Beanery is a constant draw for tourists. They just love to be able to sit with her bronze self to get their picture taken.

This photo, taken back in the days when diving boards weren't law-suit bait, has Lucy, hair up in a scarf, sitting on one with a towel draped over it and her pointed toes dangling over the water.

From the looks of the photo, Lucy is more akin to her movie days when she acted in dramas than her television days when she was a comedy superstar. From I Love Lucy to The Lucy Show, this woman never missed a comedic beat.

Just so you know, Lucy and her husband Desi did not live in Palm Springs. They lived in a ranch house designed by architect Paul Williams in the Thunderbird Country Club, which is located in Rancho Mirage.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Elvis-like Singer at the Hyatt in Downtown Palm Springs

Is this Elvis?
With moves like you see in the above image, the dark hair and the hard grip he has on the microphone, you might think that this guy is an Elvis impersonator.

He was caught singing at the Hyatt. As I walked by, he saw my dSLR camera, viewfinder attached to my eye and pointed at me, a perfect pose for singer a-la-Elvis.

Summertime is cheap time in Palm Springs. You can get a room during the week at the Hyatt for $80 in June compared with $219 on the weekend. Quite a price differential.

Don't let that price fool you, though, There are additional resort fees, taxes and parking fees, which can be upward to $60. 

After all the hotel needs the money to pay the entertainers, not to mention hundreds of other staff members and the big execs of the Hyatt chain.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Car Cut-Out

50s car cut-out
This car had been sitting in the Warm Sands neighborhood of Palm Springs when I noticed that there was a rocket taking off from its tail light to the door. Fascinating. Most certainly a photo op.

To be real, this is for my upcoming book about fine art photography on the Internet, more appropriately referred to those print on demand websites that let artists upload their work so that buyers can shop for it.

Have any idea what the are?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Phone Booths on Palm Canyon

These phone booths that remain on Palm Canyon are almost to the point that an antique dealership or consignment shop can pull them out to hawk as a relic of a the mid-twentieth century.

I mean, look at them--they're classic. The color--bad brown--fits in perfectly with the 1970s and the text written on them could have been lifted out of a 1958 issue of Look magazine.

Finally, there's the idea of the booth itself as a nook to escape the noise of busy Palm Canyon in order to talk on the phone. The concept is ingenious and could be applied today.

Why not offer mobile device users a booth in which to talk so they'll stop walking while talking, putting them at risk of getting run over or hogging the sidewalk?

Actually if you look around, you'll find that cell phone users do use these booths--to escape the hectic street so they can talk and hear the guy at the other end.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Second Sunday is Free at the Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Art Museum is not only free on Thursday night, it's also free on the second Sunday of each month. This week they had a guy demonstrating silk screening.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Air Force 1 in Palm Springs

Who doesn't know by now that President Obama is talking with the president of China, Xi Jinping, at the Annenberg Estate, Sunnylands,  in Rancho Mirage.

The biggest attraction, though, is not Obama or Xi Jinping. It's Air Force 1 at the Palm Springs Airport.  After all, you can't see either of these guys. There's no way you can get within miles of where the two men are located. Such is security these days. One thing is for sure, he isn't going to be out on Palm Canyon or El Paseo shaking hands.

The plane is sitting on the runway of the airport, a spot where you can get as close as a block away (if you walk through a bit of undeveloped desert land). You'll see people snapping images with all kinds of devices, including some dSLR cameras.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Elton John Impersonator Takes to the Stage in Palm Springs

Elton John impersonator plays piano and sings on stage in downtown Palm Springs
The air, still and warm, let the music slip by, music played by a Las Vegas performer who came to downtown Palm Springs to play a few tunes to mostly local Valley residents. His demeanor and looks are strikingly similar to those of John.

Dogs lapped up water out of plastic bowls, children ran around the Marilyn statue, and, best of all, there was a Marilyn impersonator working the crowd. Still can't say if it was a woman or man! 

The crowd roared like a lion when it was announced that Marilyn's to stay put in Palm Springs until August. "Marilyn has made Palm Springs come back," said one celebrant standing near the stage. "And she's only going to get more popular."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dog with sunglasses
The blazing sun of the desert is signature Palm Springs, and summer is when it's at its peak. Every person should wear sunglasses so the ultraviolet light doesn't hurt their eyes.

Damaged eyes can lead to floaters, macular degeneration and eye cancer. The dog in the above image will have none of this. Its eyes will be healthy for a lifetime.

This wonderful dog with sunglasses is the epitome of life in the low desert. From frivolous face lifts to gay parades, life in Palm Springs means one must look good and be fashionable. Pets should too.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Splitsville--Mary Bono No Longer a Mack

Mary Bono and Connie Mack     Courtesy of SESAC
Sad to say that it's marriage no more for Mary Bono Mack, 51, and her husband Connie Mack, 45.

The handsome couple has called off their vows, but according to KMIR-TV  "still remain on friendly terms."

Both are former Republican members of Congress, and both were defeated in the 2012 elections. 

Mack, from Florida, and Bono, from California, were one of Washington's hottest couples, being seen together, most notably on the red carpet of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Mack was defeated by Dr. Raul Ruiz, who currently represents Palm Springs, other desert cities and a bit of the gerrymandered Inland Empire.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

View of Palm Springs from Museum Trail

A sliver view of Palm Springs from the Museum Trail
If you want to exhaust yourself on a hike, go to the Palm Springs Art Museum, walk into western parking lot and head straight toward the mountain. You'll run into the Museum Trail trail head, which is the beginning of a hike that's just about as vertically up as you can get. Of course there are switchbacks to help you navigate your way up.

Don't hike this trail on a summer afternoon, as it's bound to kill you within a few hours. I kid you not. Again, do not hike this trail on a summer afternoon, no matter what the weather is. It's always well above 100 degrees at that time of year and if you walk upward for just a few minutes, you'll find yourself passing out.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cathedral City Fountain is Hopping with Fun

Summer's almost here and the kids are out at the Cat City fountain in full force
To get to the Cathedral City fountain, just drive down Dinah Shore to Cathedral City Canyon Road, then take a right. Keep going forward until you get to Highway 111. Look to your left and the fountain will be visible in the center of the downtown plaza .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower
All of the desert it's happening--yellow, blue, red and purple. The cactus flowers are blooming. After the first few 100+ degree days, the cactus flower first puts out a gnarly bud, which opens up to a fascinating flower filled with pollen and petals.

The cactus flowers are blooming mostly in people's desert gardens with a few blooming out in the desert itself. Take a walk in Palm Springs and you'll see the cactus flowers everywhere.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Streamlined Mid-Century Modern Building Design of Steel and Concrete

Palm Springs Unified School District mid-century modern building
Lovely streamlined building on El Cielo near the Palm Springs Resort Port. Note that this is a scanned film image. It was shot over 10 years ago.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Zig-Zag Roof--Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Roofs

A zig-zag roof in Palm Springs
As I prepare for a roofer to arrive, I contemplate the type of roof I want. In less than an hour, I'll have an idea of the cost to redo the roof of my ranch home (home built in 1960s) in Palm Springs. This is my second estimate. One more to go.

Currently my roof is bad shape. It's got two flat portions and one arch, a quirky combination of slopes and plateaus, that is, to be honest, annoying.

The zig-zag roof appears every so often as you drive the back streets of this mid-century modern city, and could be an option for my home--at a cost.

The zig zag form is signature mid-century modern. After the sloping butterfly roof, this is the coolest roof style in Palm Springs.

The zig zag roof can flipped up and down as can be seen in this image. If I decide on this type of roof it will be the first in the residential part of this neighborhood.

However, there is one in the industrial part of the Dumeth Park neighborhood, currently occupied by Vendome Editions on S. Vella Road, northeast of the big park that identifies the neighborhood.

Zig-zag roofs can be seen in many cities in the United States. You'll know when you've seen one because of its awe factor, an architectural element that hipster tourists love to see.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

White Horse in the Morning at Indian Canyons in Palm Springs

White horse with lens flare on body taken with an iPhone camera
It's bright and early in the Indian Canyons, a great bike ride away from the hustle and bustle of the Palm Springs.

If you get there early enough (this image was taken at 7 am), you might catch these friendly horses.

Do stop and say hello to them, They'll say hello back.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Eat, Drink and Remarry

Zsa Zsa Gabor's former Palm Springs home
It's been over three years since I've written about Zsa Zsa Gabor and her lovely sisters. Now in her 90s and in ill health, people speculate daily if she's dead yet. The once-beautiful Hungarian celebrity married 8 or 9 times, depending upon who you talk to, hence the title of this post--Eat, Drink and Remarry.

In 2011, one of Zsa Zsa's legs was amputated leaving her wheelchair bound. The problem in her leg started after hip-replacement surgery a few years earlier. Today she keeps on keeping on, a vastly different-looking Zsa Zsa than she was in her glamor days.

Be that as it may, Zsa Zsa's association with Palm Springs is long and deep. If you want to see where she lived--at 595 W. Chino Canyon Road--drive down South Palm Canyon for a couple of miles and look up the hill.

As recent as last month, Gabor's LA home made the news, the social butterfly's primary residence was turned over to her husband to sell. 

It wasn't Zsa Zsa who moved to Palm Springs first, it was her sister Jolie who owned a busy jewelry store on East Palm Canyon downtown. 

For those of you who are too young to know what I'm talking about, Zsa Zsa was the world's greatest socialite in the mid-twentieth century and star of a few B movies who ran around in expensive fur and shimmering diamonds saying "dahlink" a lot.

You can thank Iconic Palm Springs for the image of Zsa Zsa Gabor's Palm Springs home and rent Zsa Zsa's former home through them for as little as $160 a night.

Go 'head have a vacation with the Zsa Zsa spirit. Don't forget your fur and diamonds.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spa Casino Garden with Star Lens Filter

Classic 50s architecture at entrance to Spa Casino in downtown Palm Springs
The Spa Casino, built in 1960, is truly a Palm Springs landmark with its mid-century modern entrance and tribute to the local Agua Caliente tribe. The image above was taken with a star lens filter to add extra drama to the frame in a nighttime shot.

What's remarkable about this image is the star lights up the Indian woman's face so much so that it's clipped (blown highlights or all white area). The effect, although not technically savvy, is stunning, bringing a spiritual effect to the image.

This is perhaps one of the most beautiful monuments in Palm Springs, even though little is written about it online and hardly anyone even knows where it is (at the corner of Indian Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon Way).

The monument is a tribute to a spring that once flowed through the area. Long before downtown Palm Springs was built, there was a spring that ran from the top of the mountain into the downtown area at that very spot. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Palm Springs Neighborhoods--Movie Colony

Palm Springs has a wide assortment of neighborhoods. Realtor Dave Stukas has put together quite a video collection of Palm Springs neighborhoods, all of them available on YouTube.

If you want to get to know the city, these videos show you quite a bit as the camera moves along the city's side streets.

Today's neighborhood is Movie Colony. You'd think with a name like that that movie stars lived there. Indeed, they did and still do.

Some of the stars who lived there are Tony Curtis and Cary Grant. If you're old enough, you probably remember these guys. If you're not, Tony Curtis is the father of Jamie Lee, the Activia woman.

In addition to the two aforementioned stars, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Marilyn Monroe and Al Jolson also lived in the Movie Colony neighborhood.

Back in 2011, Marilyn's house in the Movie Colony was for sale for $700,000, quite a deal because it was on the market at the height of the Great Recession.

The Movie Colony has two parks: Ruth Hardy Park and the Wellness Park. In the former you can play tennis; in the later you can exercise on a vita-course.

Finally, The Movie Colony is within walking distance of the Palm Springs Uptown Arts District, an area where there is a plethora of mid-century modern furniture and accessories stores, many of which supply the LA movie set directors with furnishings and accessories that are featured in first-run Hollywood movies.

Other Palm Springs Neighborhoods:
Old Las Palmas
Indian Canyons
Warm Sands

Friday, May 3, 2013

Man with Red Hat in Palm Springs

Man with red hat
Could this be the Red Hat Society? No, guess not. That's for women.

I got to talk to this chap for a moment while taking his image at the Wells Fargo Bank ATM.

He likes hats--red hats. And, as you can see, bright red shirts.

People in Palm Springs can be so festive. Great place to live!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lens Flare in Palm Springs Garden

Flowers and lens flare in Palm Springs

Walk around anywhere in Palm Springs and you'll see gardens. Just about every piece of exposed land contains a garden from the medians that break up the streets to the front and backyards of most of  single family housing.

No where will you find better gardens--colorful annual flowers among water features and Washingtonias--than the golf course.

Gardens range from drought tolerant sandy spaces filled with flowering cacti to tropical rainforests under a canopy of banana leaves.

Now that summer is coming, we'll once again attempt to figure out how flowering gardens survive temperatures that approach 120 degrees.  Any ideas?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mid-Century Angles

Building at south end of Palm Springs with angular architecture above rock bed.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tahquitz Canyon Way--Prettiest Street in Palm Springs

Tahquitz Canyon Way looking toward downtown and San Jacinto Mountain.
Extending from downtown to the airport is Tahquitz Canyone Way, Palm Springs most beautiful thoroughfare. The wide street, lined with washingtonias (palms) is divided by a median strip, which shows off Palm Springs wide assortment of flowering plants.

As you can see there is no traffic. The image was taken at around 8 am, a time when the traffic hasn't started to build up on many avenues and freeways.

The distance between the corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon Drive to the airport is about 2 miles. For joggers, a jaunt up and down this street can be a non-challening hike over flat Coachella lands covered with Indian reservations.

Tahquitz is an Indian name that refers to a monster who plays game with light and sounds; the former related to the changes in daylike and the later to the rustle of tr

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

John A. Williams Field in Demuth Park, Palm Springs

John W. Williams Field in Demuth Park, Palm Springs in the early morning
Talk about obscure names--John W. Williams. Who was he? I mean if they name a field after someone, why not someone whose name you recognize a little bit--say Pearl McCullum, one of the first hotel owners in the city of Palm Springs.

Just who is John W. Williams? The obscure figure can be found in Frank Bogert's book Palm Springs: First Hundred Years. Evidently, Williams was a councilman from one Palm Springs "wards," or neighborhoods. My guess is he lived around Demuth Park, though back in 1938, I can hardly fathom that anything was built in the neighborhood.

I had heard the Demuth Park neighborhood was built for "The Help," service people who worked for the rich, then living very close to the mountain (Mt. San Jacinto) near the Las Palmas neighborhood. Supposedly a few stars lived here, but I have to wonder why, since few of the homes are very elaborate.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Palm Springs Rabbit

Rabbit in Palm Springs
If you're a resident of Palm Springs, surely you've seen this type of rabbit. If you live near an area that has any vacant land near or around it, including golf courses, then you know this type of rabbit.

They're especially plentiful on the golf courses that extend from Golf Club Drive near Cathedral City to Sunrise in Palm Springs.

Perhaps your first guest as to what type of rabbit this is was a jackrabbit. We have those to, but the rabbit in the image above is not a jackrabbit. Its ears and body are too small. Jack rabbits live further into the desert. You might see one in South Palm Springs near Indian Canyons.

How about a cottontail rabbit. Were you thinking that? Well...if you were you're close. The rabbit in the image above is a desert cottontail rabbit, pretty common in the Colorado Desert (not Mohave) where we are located.

Desert cottontails like to be near golf courses because they eat grass. Their main predator is the coyote, which also can be found in Palm Springs.

If you want to see these animals, take a hike at Indian Canyons in South Palm Springs.

You might also catch a glimpse of them near downtown by walking southeast  on Palm Canyon  towards Sunny Dunes.

Look for roadrunners too. They're beautiful. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Party Weekend Over--Get Ready for Next Week's

Bella Da Ball and Mrs. Barone at Palm Springs Art Museum fundraiser party
This weekend you probably saw parties everywhere, even attending one or two, a party weekend in Palm Springs, indeed. At the new Hard Rock hotel the younger generation was having a pool party upstairs in connection with Coachella, while the older one was having an art party fundraiser down below.

The place lived up to its name. It was rockin'.

The art party was a bit of a disappointment.  Crowds of people gathered around small canvas art pieces that were hung on the wall, each for sale at $99 a pop.

The artists who created the pieces were anonymous, except for a list of their names on the program.
You had the chance to buy a piece painted or photographed by Suzanne Sommers and the like or from an ordinary, everyday artist.

The pieces that shouted out the maze of small squares on the wall, were those with the brightest and boldest colors. Hmm. Would that be a hint a celebrity made it?

Crooner Tony Bennett painted one too. Don't know who got it. Don't know what it'd be worth.

Have any guesses?

Can't wait for next weekend when Coachella's second week of acts comes to town. Anyone know of any other parties in Palm Springs? 

Friday, April 12, 2013

2013 Coachella Poster

2013 Coachella Poster

It's that time of year again--The Coachella Fest is jamming up Highway 10 East for miles and miles. The poster certainly is not rated G for General Audiences, but that won't stop the young ones from coming.

Just who are these acts? Is the place family-friendly? Who can go?

Everyone has heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers

And what about the Stone Roses? Never heard of them? Leave a comment. Let us know who they are. I mean they have 500,000 fans on Facebook.

Family friendly? Yeah, I guess. I've known some 40-somethings going with their 20-somethings children.

Coachella is for all ages. Under five? You can get in free.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

William Krisel's Butterfly Roofs

Palm Springs home with a butterfly roof
This isn't the first home with a butterfly roof on this blog. One architect renowned for butterfly roofs was William Krisel. The style, as you can see from the image above, is one where two slanted parts of the roof meet each other in the middle.

Some of  Krisel's homes, which were built in the 1950s, came with butterfly roofs. The architect designed different roofs for some 2000 homes, many with unique slants that made the homes look similar to to one another.

His homes were some of the first mass-produced modern homes in Palm Springs. Before the 1950s if you wanted a modern home, you'd pay a pretty penny for it. Krisel made homes with butterfly roofs affordable. 

Homes with butterfly roofs built by Krisel are often called Alexanders after the name of the developer of Krisel designed homes, Bob Alexander. Krisel didn't design individual homes, but preferred working with developers to build tracts of homes because these types of developments offered him steady work designing many homes.

The homes originally sold for about $20,000, but today go for nearly a million for some of the higher-end ones.

If you notice, the architecture of many of the new shopping developments contain buildings with slanted roofs. It's become a design that has a Palm Springs trademark.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Women's Weekend

Palm Canyon on an April weekend
After last weekend's guys of the White Party, this weekend we have the Dinah Shore.

At this time of year, you see more than an ample supply of young women ready to party and shop among many other women and men promenading Palm Canyon in downtown Palm Springs.

While Palm Springs is a premiere gay destination, attracting thousands of gay men an lesbians year-round, it's also a hipster paradise, a retirement community, a golf destination, a place for families and a film festival hotspot.

On any weekend, you'll see a wide selection of people downtown, but on some weekends women outnumber men. This past weekend was one of those weekends.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

No Green Mountain This Year--Rainfall 40 Percent of Normal

The San Jacinto Mountain isn't green this year

Dry year, indeed in Palm Springs, but how does it compare with other recent years? Here's the scoop on the rainfall this year compared to others in this century.

Season ending July 2013       2.19
Season ending July 2012       2.27  
Season ending July 2011       5.74
Season ending July 2010       6.65  
Season ending July 2009       5.07
Season ending July 2008       5.40

The past two years have been dry, 40 percent of average, which is 5.23.

Anyone for a rain dance?