Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Au Revoir Palm Springs!

Our last day here so packing up. LA next to see Laura Huxley, then Pasadena, San Diego, Santa Barbara and home mid-March. Jim has some research to do in libraries in these places. It's been a wonderful month and we plan Feb and Mar next year. Last night we went to the Pickford Cinemas to see Brokeback Mountain...excellent film and great cinema. In the lobby they they had quite a collection of Mary Pickford memorabilia including her Oscar and a couple of sketches by Rodin. Also two screens, one playing old silent movies she was in and another giving a bio with clips from films.

Still loads to see and do next time.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Libraries everywhere

Seems almost everyone desert city here has a new library each offering lots of internet access (some with wireless) and concerts, readings, one-act plays,etc. We went to La Quinta's library yesterday for their book sale and got a load of books for $7. The price is right...25 cents for paperback, 50 cents for hardback, DVD's, CD's, videos and can you believe 5 cents for children's books!

Lots of deals around. There's a 10 theatre movie house that offers movies for $2 and $1 before 6pm and Tues. Top run movies too. We saw Pride and Prejudice last night and really enjoyed it. Thought Elizabeth was great and loved the earthy country scenes. One thing about movies this cheap and also with a PG rating is families come with their kids. They were well behaved even though some were very young...it was quite cute really...getting them hooked on Jane Austen early.

Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon

An amazing place...a natural oasis with wild palm trees.

Orange Trees with painted trunks

It seems the desert is just a bit too hot for citrus so they paint their trunks to prevent "sunburn". I couldn't help thinking they looked like a bunch of guys in underwear!

Mimosa branch

Icouldn't resist taking some.

La Quinta

La Quinta Resort - "party room"

Mimosa and cactus

Mimosas in bloom!

I guess they call these acacia here but it's great to see them blooming.

La Quinta Resort

This is an old famous resort (the curator of the museum is upset they now call it a "resort" rather than La Quinta Hotel. Great tile work.


Surprised to see a painting of Sanary-sur-Mer in an artist's gallery in the old town of La Quinta.

La Quinta Museum

Great little museum in La Quinta and really enjoyed talking to the curator who was born in the area.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fountain in Palm Springs

I like these fountains based on the local pots made by natives.

Film: Visions of Utopia

We saw the premiere of this 80 min. documentary as part of Modernism week in Palm Springs. It traced the sotires of the architects behind the mid-century buildings here.It was really quite wonderful to see it here and some of the architects like Donald Wexler were there along with the producers, etc. Very well done and I hope we can eventually buy a DVD of it. The architecture here continues to respect these values of using natural materials, fitting into the landscape and keeping a low profile so as not to hide the wonderful mountain views everywhere. Signs are so incredibly small and poorly illuminated (even Macdonalds) that it's difficult to find things...a small price to pay. The character has been preserved largely because Palm Springs was in a downslide for decades so things didn't get torn down and replaced with montrosities. Now there is a real sense of valuing and preserving the historic.

Another Church in Palm Desert

Mid-century restaurant

Church in Palm Desert

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On Mexican Time

I'm reading a book I picked up at a bookstore here called "On Mexican Time". Tells about a couple who fled LA for San Miguel de Allende about 20 years ago. Very appropriate for reading by the pool. They eventually do the usual and buy a run down house inhabited by all sorts of beasties and initially no inside doors, toilets, fixtures, etc. as the real estate agent took everything that was and wasn't nailed down. Standard procedure apparently.

We're very much on Mexican time here. Jim hasn't taken a real holiday for years so I'm glad he's into holiday mode for at least this month of Feb. March begins the research libraries and looking at papers at Laura Huxley's house. That should be fun too.

We've had a couple of dinners out with my golfing buddy friends and it's great to have people with local knowledge of good deals at restaurants. There are lots of good deals to be had for just about everything. Our dollar is really at par or worth more when you consider the good prices. And it's always fun to get a bargain. It's amazing the places that offer earlybird specials. We were at the Renaissance-Esmereda Resort's restaurant in Indian Wells last night...very fancy and exclusive but we had a 4 course dinner including coffee for 10.95! Even without that deal you can eat off the appetizer menu for under $10 since the portions are so large.

I am now a member of Vons, Ralphs, and Albertson's "clubs"...you do need the cards to get their specials. Free to join. But I made a really great discovery the other day...Trader Joe's...no card needed and very much like Whole Foods in terms of specialty items but quite reasonable. Some excellent wines and good prices...Pouilly Fuisee for 10 bucks. They also had the famous "two buck chuck" which people were carting out in cases. Not sure why since you can get quite a good wine for 5-6. I bought some of the red but it didn't pass the taste test...it got "chucked".

I'm not sure I mentioned it...Jim is now a Costco fan because of all the free samples! Fellow we were dining with last night says Costco decides to do these samplers and sends the company the bill for all costs...guess if you can get your product in Costco you don't complain.

Lots of thrift stores with books so you can imagine we've hit most of those. Great prices...50 cents for hardcover (picked up a great book on historic houses in Wash,D.C.) and paperbacks 5 for a dollar.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Would you believe Macdonalds?

The local Macdonalds has neat prints all over the walls...nice touch.

More from the Palm Springs Museum & other places

A few more things I photographed. I do like it when art galeries let people take photos of their permanent collections. They really have nothing to lose when they don't allow flash or tripods. That way they keep professional photography of their exhibits that they want to sell for themselves.


I'm generally not that attracted to realistic paintings but something attracts me here. Perhaps the bright colours or perhaps those wonderful San Jacinto mountains!

More real people

Now these people actually did fool us. We said excuse me when we passed in front!

Pottery by Picasso

Chihuly Glasswork

Local Native Arts

Artist Palette

Monday, February 20, 2006

News from the Desert

Time seems to fly by here although we don't seem to be doing a lot other than lying by the pool and Jim is golfing 3x a week. I had a couple of great rounds but overdid it and now my arm is sore so I'm taking a break. Gives me a chance to go shopping and browsing in all the shops I wouldn't be able to drag Jim into.

This whole week is devoted to Modernism for the first time. Usually they have an exhibit but this time there are lots of interesting events. We're taking in the premiere here of the first feature length film mid-century architecture. It's called "Visions of Utopia" and sounds like it will be very good. Huxley spent time in this area (he did know how to pick the good places!) so Jim is already figuring out a course he could offer. He has had some encouragement and there is continuing education too which offers some courses we'd be interested in taking like "The Ladies and Gents of American Jazz" and "Picturing the Land: A History of Landscape and Photography". The Palm Springs Art Museum also has weeklong workshops with various artists throughout the season.

We attended the Modernism Exhibit at the Convention Centre. The Convention Centre is a work of art in itself. My photos don't do it justice but it copies the mountain landscape and coming out the mountain are beautifully framed. Goodness...what price they want for some of this stuff. Things our parents threw out are going for thousands. One fellow had art deco radios (not quite mid century but he said they had been encouraging him to come) starting at 1800 - 8,000. They are like jewels.

We also took in the Palm Springs Art Museum this weekend. Some Picasso and Miro and some wonderful Henry Moore sculptures...why do these sculptures seem to fit perfectly in any landscape. At home here as in Paris. Permanent collections had glassworks by Chihuly, lots of native stuff, desert paintings, cowboy stuff, and modern things etc. There was a super special exhibition of photography of the desert. Could only take photos of their permanent collection so can't show you those.

David Hockney

Elizabeth Taylor

Desert Paintings

Henry Moore sculpture

Photo of Painter's shoes

Henry Moore Sculpture

Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Art Museum

Everything seems to fit the landscape here.

Art Deco Radios

Posters from the exhibit

View from Convention Centre

Convention Centre

Convention Centre

Sunday, February 19, 2006


More views from our resort

I don't think I'll ever tire of looking at these mountains.

The Living Desert

Wonderful Cati and desert flowers.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Living Desert- Butterfly Display

Friday, February 17, 2006

PS Night Market

PS Night Market

PS Night Market

Palm Springs Night Market

On Thursdays 6-10pm they close the main street and have a night market with all sorts of interesting things to see, hear, and eat. This fellow was playing the Glass Armonica invested by Benjaman Franklin. Funnily enough this instrument was mentioned last term in my music class.

PS Night Market

desert modernism

desert modernism

Our Morning Newspaper

We get The Desert Sun delivered everyday and it's really a good local newspaper. We enjoy reading it and getting away from Canadian politics. With all the Canadians down here there is some news from Canada. Heard about Harper appointing a parliamentary secretary who didn't speak French to represent francophones.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Amazing what can grow.