Thursday, March 09, 2017

Desert Highlights

If you follow my Facebook page, you know that we spent a long weekend in Palm Springs celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. There are TONS of photos on my page.
Here are some of the highlights of our visit. We missed Modernism Week, but we were lucky enough to view many beautiful mid-century modern masterpieces while we were there. Around every corner is another great building!
Lobby at Palm Springs Art Museum

On Friday, before dinner, we visited the Palm Springs Art Museum to see the excellent show, Women of Abstract Expressionism. Many of my favorite artists were exhibited. This show is a must-see if you're interested in modern art of the 40s, 50s and 60s.
I'd heard about the restaurant, John Henry's, for years. It's a hidden place and a favorite of the locals. I was lucky to get a reservation at the last minute for our anniversary dinner. We LOVED it here! We didn't get a table on the patio, but there are huge windows looking out to the patio. The food was yummy and the service was friendly and excellent. I can't wait to go back.
Saturday morning we headed out to Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. This is the estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg, publisher, statesman and all-around power couple. Many presidents and dignitaries have stayed at this palatial home. The home, itself is not open to the public except for special tours. We walked through the Visitors Center and the surrounding gardens. 
Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage

The day before we'd learned about the Desert X exhibit at the PS Museum. One of the installations was on the grounds of Sunnyland. This one is by Lita Albuquerque and it is called "hEARTH." A blue, female figure is reclining in the center of an area in the garden of Sunnylands. You can read more about it here
Lita Albuquerque's "hEARTH" at Sunnylands

We managed to tour around town some more on Saturday with a stop at the movies on Saturday night. We rarely have the time to go to the theater at home! We saw "Hidden Figures." It was excellent.
"Mirage" by Doug Aitken, Desert X 2017

The desert landscape reflected in the house

Sunday morning we stopped at another Desert X installation called "Mirage." This is basically a tract house, mirrored inside and out, just sitting on a hilltop in an undeveloped tract in Palm Springs. It's the coolest place! When you're driving up to the house, it just looks white. When you walk closer, you can see the desert reflected in the mirrors. Inside the house is almost like being in a fun-house!
The side of "Mirage" by Doug Aitken

Sunday, late morning, we visited our friends, Steven and John at their home in the Deepwell Estates section of Palm Springs. They left Los Angeles and moved here almost a year ago. They are in the process of restoring their home, designed by Herbert Burns. They've already done SO much work, that's it's already a showplace! 
Steven's and John's Home, Deepwell Estates, Palm Springs
John, Steven and Blanca

Steven and John are maintaining their color palate that they had in their Los Angeles home, so I knew EXACTLY what color dishcloths / trivets to crochet for their home. Blanca seems to like them too!
Blanca likes the new trivets!

We stopped by the NEW Eichler homes a few blocks away. This company bought four different home plans by Joseph Eichler, from the 1960s and built new versions of them in Palm Springs. Three of the four homes have sold!
Desert Eichler
On Sunday night we ventured out to the newest tiki bar in the desert called Bootlegger Tiki. The bar is attached to a coffee house and fronts vintage apartments. 
Bootlegger Tiki 
The design is fab! However, the place is rather small and not really conducive to having a great tiki-time, so we fled to downtown Palm Springs and the Tonga Hut. Now THAT'S a tiki bar! The Tonga Hut's drinks are authentic, the decor is historic, they serve appetizers and the vibe is friendly. We had a great time here and will definitely visit again!
Cocktails at the Tonga Hut

Monday morning we said our fond goodbyes to beautiful Palm Springs and made the obligatory stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs and Hadley's. It was a great weekend!

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