Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Desert and dust

Even though it was a few days over a weekend, our trip to Palm Springs was really nice.  It was good that we had a car not just for the concerts but also because this area is massive.  No walking possible at all.  And my goodness was it dusty too?  I had a dry throat pretty much the entire time but I suppose it is a desert and it hasn't rained probably for 100 years.

We stayed at the Hilton in Palm Springs, just short of downtown which turned out to be an inspired choice.  For sure it was pretty much at the other end of the valley (if that's what you call it) to Indio where the polo fields were so a 40 minute drive at the best of times, but at least in downtown we could walk out from the hotel into an area of bars and restaurants.  Some pretty nice ones too.

Really affluent too.  We met a couple of Stu's friends who had a second home in the area -- not Palm Springs, but in one of the communities whose name has escaped me for the moment.  They bought their place at the depths of the recession in 2009 and where it is is near to some of the ultra swankiest resorts around.  Some are so swanky that their gated community has no name -- well it does but it is not shown on the entry/exit so as to maintain its privacy.  The billionaires that live there visit by helicopter or other private means not involving anything to do with the public.  Bill Gates, for example, is in one community whose entrance is within 1/2 mile of Stu's friends place -- of course one never knows how far back it extends as this is a BIG area.

The house itself is really nice too, good and modern.  It was part of Bing Crosby's old ranch which has now been developed.  History has it that it was there that JFK met Marilyn Monroe for specific assignations as their originally proposed meeting place at Frank Sinatra's had apparently been compromised to the paparazzi of the time.  We of course saw no evidence of this but it is nice to know that there is at least some sort of story about the place.

I liked the area.  It feels clean... I know it isn't but pretty well nothing grows there other than cacti and as it is so hot in much of the year apparently, nobody dares to go outside during the day so the trash is manageable.

Palm Springs is not an area for full time residents.  Apparently the entire area of cities has a standing population of 300,000 which triples during the winter when the weather becomes more amenable -- when we visited it was in the 90's during the daytime falling to the high 70's at night.  It falls further to a comfortable 80 in the winter when of course the evenings become a lot cooler too.  So during the summer, nobody goes out much after 9 am as it is simply too hot.  Certainly no golf or tennis, etc.  That would be a killer.  When it is dark or just about dawn are the going out times to do things.

Nice but certainly a curiosity!

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