Tag Archives: Palm Springs

Halloween 2008

For Halloween this year, I desperately wanted my boyfriend and I to dress up like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.  I know, total shocker.  🙂  It all ended up coming together quite perfectly, too, as earlier this summer I found a white dress a la Marilyn’s subway grate ensemble, that was super inexpensive.  I also happened to have an appointment to get my hair cut on Halloween morning, so I asked my amazing hair stylist, Martina, if she could do me up Marilyn style.  She happily obliged and even offered to do my make-up for me.  Without even looking at a picture of the starlet for reference, she was able to whip my hair into a full-on Marilyn ‘do and apply my make-up perfectly!  I was shocked!  When I asked her how she did it without using a photo, she said “Honey, that’s what I do!”  LOL  I actually think the effect may have been too good, though, because I had FIVE people stop me and say “Has anyone ever told you that you look EXACTLY like Marilyn Monroe.”  Even though it was Halloween, no one seemed to realize I was wearing a costume – they thought I just looked like Marilyn naturally.  LOL  That actually might be good news, though – as maybe someday I’ll get to play MM in a big screen biopic of the star.  🙂  

Anyway, since we couldn’t find anything to do in L.A. for Halloween (we were literally all dressed up with no place to go!), I dragged my boyfriend to Downtown Palm Springs.  We spent the evening walking around Downtown, barhopping, hanging out, and watching all the other people in costumes.  We had a blast!  And I even got stopped by a Japanese tourist who wanted her photo taken with me.  🙂 

We ended up spending most of our evening at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa – a legendary Palm Springs hot spot from back in the 50s and 60s.  The resort recently underwent a complete rennovation and has been closed down for the past year.  It only just reopened two weeks ago and it is a very cool, very hip spot to hang out.  The hotel has a 50s-modern style vibe to it, made complete with a large picture of Marilyn made out of Guatemalan coins hanging in the lobby, so, of course, I had to snap a photo of it. 🙂   And the Riviera is even a filming location!   It was featured as the hotel where Connie Stevens stayed in the 1963 flick Palm Springs Weekend.

 

The poolside Bikini Bar, where we hung out all night, is fabulous with its large firepits and ultra-comfy lounge chairs.   While there we ran into 90s actor Jeff Prettyman, who is currently retired and living in Palm Springs.  Jeff acted in the movies Young Guns  and Cheerleader Camp, so of course I had to take a pic with him.  🙂

The following morning, I was reading a Palm Springs magazine in our hotel room and I happened to spot a photograph of Marilyn Monroe posing at the Racquet Club of Palm Springs (pictured above), a place I had never heard of.  So, of course, on our way out of town I had to drag my boyfriend to stalk it.

 But unfortunately, when we arrived there wasn’t much to see as the area is currently a large constuction zone.  The once legendary resort and Hollywood playground is currently closed and undergoing a $50 million rennovation with the surrounding land being turned into luxury condominiums and lofts.  That was the plan, anyway.  In 2004, architect Van Scott Jones and financial handler Michael Mueller purchased the land with big plans to restore the resort to its former grandeur.  However, just a few days ago the property went into forclosure and the fate of the Racquet Club is now left up in the air.  I truly hope someone comes in to rescue this piece of Hollywood and Palm Springs history.  Oddly enough, for some reason the construction area was not entirely fenced in, and since there weren’t any “no trespassing” signs posted, my boyfriend and I ventured in for a little looksie. 

It was very, very cool to be walking around a piece of property that holds so much history.  While there, I could just imagine the screen legends of the day lounging poolside under the desert sun.  You can see the now empty pool behind me in the above photograph.     

The Palm Springs Racquet Club was opened up on Christmas Day of 1933 by actors Ralph Bellamy and Charlie Farrell, who wanted a place in the desert where they could play tennis.  The resort became enormously popular with the celebs of the day – a playground to the stars, compete with tennis courts, a large swimming pool and a legendary bar named the Bamboo Lounge.  The bloody mary cocktail was actually first concocted in that lounge.  Apparently, Racquet Club guests needed a little “hair of the dog” each morning to cure their budding hangovers, so the Lounge chefs mixed together a few ingredients and, voila, the bloody mary was born.  The owners of a New York bar named the 21 Club often stayed at the Racquet Club and fell in love with the new cocktail.  They ended up bringing the drink back to their New York bar and the rest, as they say, is history.  The Racquet Club didn’t fare quite as well as the cocktail created there, though, and due to dwindling profits, it was sold several times and quickly fell into dilapidation and disarray.  

Among the stars who hung out at the Racquet Club in its heyday – Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Jane Russell, Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield, Gregory Peck, Errol Flynn, John Kennedy, Bing Crosby, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Ronald Regan, and, of course, my girl Marilyn Monroe, who spent New Years of 1948 there with her agent Johnny Hyde (pictured above).  Rumor has it that Marilyn was actually discovered by photographer Bruno Bernard while lounging poolside at the Club, but I am not sure how true that story is. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Raquet Club of Palm Springs is located at 2743 North Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.  The Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa is located at 1600 North Indian Canyon Drive, also in Palm Springs.  If you need your hair styled like Marilyn – or if you just need a new ‘do in general – you can visit Martina Maina at T-Birds Salon, located at 1808 West Olive Avenue in Burbank.  You can visit T-Birds website here.  T-Birds is located right across the street from an oft used filming location – the Safari Inn – which was featured in True Romance  and Apollo 13 .

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Armando’s in the Desert

This past weekend, while vacationing in Palm Springs, I dragged my boyfriend and my parents to Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s fave Mexican restaurant in the Desert called Armando’s Dakota Bar and Grill.  I’ve heard from several friends who live in the Palm Springs area that the Hollywood couple dine at Armando’s every Sunday evening during Palm Springs’ high season.  I’ve blogged about Armando’s once before, but at the time had yet to eat at the restaurant.  So this weekend I was determined to hit the place up. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any celebs while lunching there this past Sunday, but according to our super-friendly waiter Jeffrey, aka “Duke”, anyone who’s anyone has eaten at Armando’s.  Besides regulars Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, who always eat outside on the restaurant’s front patio even though people constantly walk by and gawk at them, Duke also recently served Nikki Hilton who came in to grab a bite to eat, while her sister Paris sat outside in the car the entire time talking on her cell phone.  LOL  Heiresses are so strange!   According to Duke, during the “Season” in Palm Springs, Armando’s turns into celeb central.  So if you want to dine next to a celeb, your best bet is to hit up Armando’s during the months of October through February.

Every since discovering Don Antonio’s Restaurant in West LA  (much thanks to Speidi!), I have fancied myself something of a Mexican food connoisseur.  But I can rarely find a restaurant that is even on the same playing field as my beloved D.A.’s.  I must admit, though, that Armando’s was really, really yummy!  I would say that it ranks a very close second to Don’s and is the perfect place to get your Margarita on if you can’t make it out to West LA.  I highly recommend stalking Armando’s if you ever find yourself in Palm Desert – as much for the food as for the celeb sightings.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Armando’s Dakota Bar and Grill is located at 73-260 El Paseo in Palm Desert.  If you get a chance, also hit up She She, an adorable little boutique across the street at 73-999.  I picked up a fab shirt on their “Super Sale Rack” for $9.99 and a super cute Hamsa bracelet for $10.

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Celeb Dining in the Desert

Got a tip from a good friend who lives in Palm Springs that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell often frequent the Mexican restaurant Armando’s Bar and Grill when they are in the Desert.  So I just had to go stalk it this weekend.  Armando’s is a really cute little Mexican restaurant located right in the heart of the El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert.  We didn’t get a chance to eat there this weekend, but we did a quick walk-through and neither Kurt nor Goldie was anywhere to be found.  😦   Oh well, maybe next time!  The same friend also tells me that Goldie and Kurt now own a home in Ironwood Country Club, located just a few miles away from Armando’s.  Sadly, Ironwood is a guarded club and you can’t enter the property without an invite from a member.

While stalking Armando’s I happened to discover a store that I think is now my new favorite place in all of Palm Springs!  It is called Heiress and I don’t think it sells anything that is not pink or sparkly.  🙂  My boyfriend said it looked like a Pepto Bismo bottle threw up inside.  🙂  According to the lady working there, Nikki Hilton and Britney Spears have both visited the store.  They sell really cute clothes and jewelry – all of which are reasonably priced.  I bought an adorable “Carrie” style necklace that says “Blonde” – I love it!

 Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  Armando’s Bar and Grill is located in Palm Desert at 73260 El Paseo.  Supposedly Kurt and Goldie dine there every single weekend.  El Paseo is similar to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and is a fabulous place to shop.  I HIGHLY recommended visiting there if you are in the Desert.  Heiress can be found directly next door to Armando’s, on the corner of El Paseo and Lupine Lane.  Ironwood Country Club is located at 73735 Irontree Drive, but if you don’t know a member, you can’t get on the property.  😦

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Stalking Barry Manilow, Part II

Last time I was in Palm Springs I did a little stalking of Barry Manilow’s house, but thanks to Richard, who posted a comment on my previous Barry post telling me that Mr. Manilow’s home actually has TWO addresses, I was able to stalk the other side of his house this weekend while I was in the desert.  Barry’s house is so ginormous that it apparently fronts two roads and therefore has two addresses!!  Unfortunately, though, there isn’t a whole lot to see from this side of the house either.  😦 

While we there Barry’s gate opened and a Porsche SUV with Nevada license plates drove out!  It wasn’t actually Barry driving, but I am pretty sure it was his car, as he is now performing regularly in Las Vegas.  We followed the car (only because we had to drive in that same direction – honest!) and the person drove into the local car wash.  My guess is that it was the personal assistant out to get Bar’s car washed.  🙂  The pic to the left is a farway shot of the car that came out of his house.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  Barry’s house can be found at 200 W. Camino Encanto in Palm Springs.  The back side is located at 2196 S. Camino Barranca.  Even though you can’t see much of the house thanks to large gates and trees, being that I am a HUGE Barry fan, it was still pretty cool just being there.  🙂

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Liberace’s House

This weekend, while visiting the desert, and thanks to my friend EJ at the Movieland Directory, I got to stalk Liberace’s former Palm Springs manse.  His home is an absolutely beautiful Mediterranean estate and there is no doubt whatsoever that it once belonged to Liberace.  Besides the large candelabra located in front of the house, there are several “L’s” strategically placed throughout the exterior of the property – including on the garage doors, in the driveway, and in mosaic tiles in the cement in front of the side door. 

Before becoming Liberace’s home, the estate was a Palm Springs motel.  Liberace named it “The Cloisters” as it reminded him of a monastery.  The home was quite ornately decorated in Liberace’s day – he even had a “Safari Room” – and you can see pictures of the interior here.  While you can’t tour this home, if you are dying to see the inside of it, you can see a re-creation of Liberace’s bedroom at the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas.  Sadly, this Palm Springs home is where Liberace lived his final days.  He passed away on February 4, 1987. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  Liberace’s Palm Springs house is located at 226 W. Alejo Road, right on the corner of Alejo Road and North Belardo.  The house is just a few blocks away from Frank Sinatra’s house.

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My Kind of Town

While in Palm Springs this weekend, besides stalking Mr. Barry Manilow, I also got to do some stalking of Frank Sinatra’s former desert retreat.  I was given Frank’s address courtesy of my good friend EJ over at the Movieland Directory.  According to EJ, not only did Marilyn Monroe have her very own special bedroom at Frank’s pad, but this is the same house where Old Blue Eyes once reportedly threw all of Ava Gardner’s belongings onto the driveway after she tried to catch him cheating on her with Lana Turner.  That’s life!  Franks’s house is a definite desert classic – it has that old 50’s style look to it and an old Palm Springs vibe.  I would definitely recommend stalking this house – it’s gorgeous!!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  Frankie’s place is located at 1148 East Alejo, just east of Palm Canyon Drive.  After stalking Sinatra, head to nearby Downtown Palm Springs – there are some really cute shops along Palm Canyon Drive, including Bella Fashions (114 N. Palm Canyon) which sells fab shoes, Shoe-La-La (275 S. Palm Canyon) which has awesome clothes, and of course no shopping trip is complete without my fave – Starbucks (101 S. Palm Canyon)!  🙂

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More Desert Stalking!

Barry Manilow\'s HouseThanks to my good friend EJ over at the Movieland Directory I was able to do some more Palm Springs stalking this weekend while visiting the desert for a wedding.  EJ was so kind as to give me the address of Barry Manilow’s desert home which I was just dying to stalk!!  I do love me some Barry!  Unfortunately, aside from the massive “No Trespassing” signs and security cameras you can’t see much of Mr. Manilow’s house from the road. 

When I got home I did some Zillow stalking of Barry’s place- and WOW!!! – the house is ginormous!  I guess writing the songs that make the whole world sing pays really, really well!   🙂 

 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Barry’s house can be found at 2196 S. Camino Barranca in Palm Springs.  The home’s address is unmarked, but you can see it by driving to where Camino Barranca ends and looking uphill to the left.  You can’t miss the “No Trespasing” signs.  🙂 

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