Purple Room to re-open Oct. 24

The Purple Room in the Club Trinidad Resort re-opens Oct. 24


Is purple the new orange in Palm Springs?

Earlier this week, the Hard Rock Palm Springs was given the go ahead to paint the porte cochere — the pyramid-topped structure where cars pull up to unload passengers and luggage — in front of the building the same lively aubergine hue seen in other parts of the building.

And now the Purple Room at the Club Trinidad Resort is re-opening with a new look and new management now that’s its under the very successful (and very orange) umbrella of the guys behind the restaurant Trio. Tony Marchese will be operating the Purple Room with his Trio partner Mark Van Laanen.

The Purple Room at the Club Trinidad in south Palm Springs is not going to change colors, but it will have a new look when it opens Oct. 24. Club Trinidad Resort was built in 1960 when the Purple Room first opened its doors. The still-popular venue is
considered to be one of Palm Springs’ original Rat Pack hangouts, where Frank Sinatra brought his friends to eat, drink and play. The Purple Room re-opens with its pedigree legacy in mind, featuring swanky updated décor, an enlarged performance stage, and state-of-the-art sound, say operators in  a press release.

“This place has such a colorful history, and our goal is to provide top quality entertainment six nights a week,” Marchese said in a statement.

For foodies, the Purple Room will offer an $18 nightly dinner special from 3–6 p.m., $3 well, $5 call and $8 premium drinks during Happy Hour and half-price small plates.

“We will be featuring an amazing cocktail menu,”  said Marchese.

“Friday and Saturday food will be available until 2 a.m.,” Van Laanen added in a statement. “Our Continental menu will have a mix of everything from deviled eggs and Sloppy Joe sliders to fresh seafood and steaks. We’ll have delicious options for every palate.”

“We promise there will always be an exciting energy in the room, whether we have a DJ or a live act,” said Marchese.

Gary and Joan Gand, of the popular local musical act The Gand Band, will be part of the venue’s music team.

“Teaming up with Tony and Mark is a dream come true,” Gary Gand said in a statement. “Desert hipsters, you’ve been notified.”



Farm for sale

Farm, the new French-inspired bistro in downtown Palm Springs, is for sale.

Yes, it just opened.

So why is Farm — the uber-cute and decidedly demur little French bistro in downtown Palm Springs — already for sale? BizBuySell, which is listing the restaurant at $395,000, simply listed “other business interest” as the reason for selling.

But lets hope the place stays open as a charming little find that’s sort of off the beaten path in the historic La Plaza shopping area off of Palm Canyon Drive. Farm serves up simple delicious stuff like French pressed coffee, omelets, croque-monsieurs and salads in rustic charm.

Yes, wondering down the little path past the Enchanted Garden Wedding Chapel, to a garden wall that I can’t recall having an actual sign displayed starts to feel a little like Provence, which is part of what makes this place such a cool find. In only a couple of months it has already racked beaucoup comments on TripAdvisor and Yelp, nearly all of them fawning.

“Overall, this restaurant is a ‘must do’ when looking for a high quality place for breakfast/lunch in downtown Palm Springs,” wrote one reviewer going by the name mmmfoodie. “It is planned to be open for dinner sometime in the near future and I hope I am one of the first patrons.”


WestJet flights authorized to have fewer attendants

WestJet, the Canadian airline, has been granted an exemption by Canadian air officials to fly with fewer attendants.


WestJet flights may be a little less crowded. Though the extra room will probably be because of fewer crew members, not passengers.

WestJet today confirmed it has received an exemption from Transport Canada to the requirement for one flight attendant for every 40 passengers on board. The exemption, which is effective immediately, allows for one flight attendant for every 50 seats on board the aircraft.

“One flight attendant for every 50 seats is the accepted international practice and has been in place for decades around the world, said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO, in a statement. “This exemption will place us on a level regulatory playing field with U.S. and international carriers who fly in and out of Canada every day under these rules. Safety is a core value at WestJet and we commend the government for recognizing that there is a consistent level of safety operating under this ratio.”

WestJet is the popular — and profitable — Canadian airline flying daily flights into and out of Palm Springs International Airport to cities like Calgary and Vancouver.

Mint Juleps and wine for the hatted at the Viceroy

The poolside patio at the Viceroy Palm Springs. Courtesy photo.

May is a great month for millinery.What with the Kentucky Derby coming up and Mother’s Day around the bend, the month is just begging for a topper.

The Viceroy Palm Springs is riding this trend with complimentary mint juleps and bubbly for men and women in hats.

Come watch the Kentucky Derby over lunch and mint juleps on May 4, wear a traditional derby hat — fancy and bright for ladies or simple straw bowlers for gents — and receive a complimentary mint julep or chocolate mint julep with your prix fixe lunch. Citron at Viceroy Palm Springs will be serving hand-crafted mint juleps and chocolate mint juleps all day long and with chocolate mint grown and picked fresh from the hotel’s herb garden.

Or, come down for Mother’s Day for brunch and wearers of fine millinery will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or a mimosa with brunch. The brunch buffet has numerous selections ranging from organic omelets to smoked salmon and prime rib.

Sunnylands opening up kitchen and locker rooms for summer tours

The pink walls at Sunnylands were built in anticipation of Margaret Thatcher?s visit in 1996. Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun

With the weather getting hot — and it will get blazing — Sunnylands is scaling back its outdoor tour of the grounds at the Annenberg estate and introducing a few rooms not seen during the regular season.

From May 1 through September, tours will include the kitchen, the locker rooms, and the projection room. Tours will still include a drive around the property but on a more limited scale. Previous visitors to Sunnylands are encouraged to see this new side of the estate.

Visits to Sunnylands Center & Gardens are free. Tours of the estate can be purchased online at www.sunnylands.org at a price of $35 each. Children under ten cannot be accommodated on these tours but are welcome to explore the Center & Gardens. Approximately 1,000 tickets are released on the first and fifteenth of each month at 9:00 am but they sell out very quickly. Those interested in purchasing tickets are strongly advised to be on the Sunnylands website at 9:00 a.m. on May 1, May 15, June 1, August 15, and September 1 to make reservations for this new tour. Sunnylands Center & Gardens will be closed during the months of July and August. There will be no tours during these two months.



Movies and more planned for the ‘Forever Marilyn’ park in downtown Palm Springs

The "Forever Marilyn" statue is seen on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in Palm Springs, Calif. Crystal Chatham, The Desert Sun

Ideal evening weather and that 26-foot-tall likeness of Marilyn Monroe is making the next two months in the “Forever Marilyn” park a perfect setting for great stuff like outdoor movies, concerts and oh yeah, a bike race.

On Sunday, April 28 come out to see Golden West Pops, a community concert band from Orange County performing a wide selection of music ranging from big band favorites, television and show tunes, patriotic music as well as top 40 classics. The group will perform from noon until 1:30 p.m.

The popular Forever Marilyn Outdoor Movie Series returns in May where folks come out to see free Marilyn Monroe movies. This year PS Resorts, the local group of hotels sponsoring events in the downtown park, will partner with Palm Springs International ShortFest with a short film screening before each Marilyn Monroe movie. Then on June 7, come out for ShortFest at Forever Marilyn with a presentation of short films in celebration of ShortFest, June 18-24.

Here’s the line-up:
“Pretty Little Doggie” and “Monkey Business”
Friday, May 3, 8:30 p.m.
ShortFest screening: “Pretty Little Doggie,” USA, 7 minutes, ShortFest 2010
A restaurant employee is offered the chance to make some rapid righteous bucks in this amusing tale featuring a scheming blond, a hapless dog and a whole lot of mistaken assumptions
“Monkey Business” (1952) is a screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and written by Ben Hecht, which stars Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, and Marilyn Monroe.

“Yours Truly” and “Niagara”
Friday, May 17, 8:30 p.m.
ShortFest screening: “Yours Truly,” U.K., 7 minutes, Shortfest 2007
Film Noir takes an animated turn when classic movie footage is remixed into a new stop-motion-fueled story.
“Niagara” is a 1953 thriller-film noir, starring Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Casey Adams (Max Showalter), and Marilyn Monroe. Unlike other film noirs of the time, Niagara was filmed in Technicolor and was one of Fox’s biggest box office hits of the year.

ShortFest at Forever Marilyn
Friday, June 7, 8:30 p.m.
In celebration and anticipation of ShortFest, the annual festival of short films in Palm Springs to be held June 18-24, a special selection of shorts will be shown outdoors at Forever Marilyn. Films to be announced.

Amgen Tour of California — May 13

The famed California professional cyclists race will make a swing through the desert, before heading up the Tram Road to finish this leg of the race at the Valley Station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. There will be plenty of spots to catch the race which is expected to swing through downtown Palm Springs some time between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Other locations to catch the race include the Shops on El Paseo, Gardens on El Paseo and The River at Rancho Mirage.

Random Haus to contribute to Desert AIDS Project

Random Haus, a new hotel-condo development, is now open in Palm Springs.


A stay in Palm Springs’ most recent new hotel project not only ensures a good night’s sleep, but also contributes to the Desert AIDS Project.

Random Haus, a 12-unit newly remodeled hotel-condominium development targeted toward the gay market, will contribute 10 percent of the room rate to the Desert AIDS Project when visitors use the code DAP when making the reservation for dates in 2013. In addition, Random Haus will contribute 30 percent of the room rate to the AIDS service organization for rooms reserved on April 25, which is Dining Out for Life night. And if a traveler books Thursday, Friday and Saturday of next week, Random Haus will contribute 100 percent of Thursday’s rate and 10 percent of the Friday and Saturday rate to Desert AIDS Project. Guests must use the the promo code DOFL to make the contribution.

“We wanted to make sure that we gave back,” Tom Bauer, of Joseph Allen Agencies, a Palm Springs public relations and graphic design firm, told a crowd of several hundred Tuesday night during the hotel’s open house. Bauer also serves as sale director for Random Haus.

And since these units are also available for what’s known as “fractional ownership,” where the purchase price is divided up into portions allowing the condo to have multiple owners, Random Haus will contribute $500 from each fractional sale to Desert AIDS Project. Each unit can have up to 12 owners.

Each of the 12 pet-friendly Random Haus condominiums, ranging in size from 1,100 to 2,100 square-feet, has two to three bedrooms and two to three spa-like baths, along with completely equipped kitchens. All units are furnished in a sleek, modern style and have stunning views from private patios and balconies, as well as concierge service for gourmet grocery and liquor delivery. Just a short walk from downtown, on San Lorenzo Road, the mid-century boutique property is stocked with amenities including a centrally located pool and spa with cabanas and an infrared sauna, a koi pond that wraps around the property, and a social gathering area with a fire pit and barbecue.

Rates for the condos range from about $400 to $900 a night for weekends in May. As of Thursday afternoon, only two units were still available for next weekend. The Hudson, with its two large bedrooms and baths, as well as dining area other amenities was listed at $915 a night. The McDowell, with one master bedroom and bath was listed at $575 a night.

American flights still grounded.

Two American Airlines jets were still standing by at Palm Springs International Airport about 2 p.m. awaiting departure clearance from company officials after the airline grounded flights nationwide due to “network outages.”

American hopes to have the problem cleared up by later afternoon, the company said in a statement.

American offers daily non-stop service out of Palm Springs to Chicago and Dallas. The airline advises it will work closely with passengers to get them to their destinations.

“If your travel plans are flexible, there will be no charge if you would like to change your reservation and we will provide full refunds if your travel plans are not flexible,” wrote American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagen in an email. “However, we are unable to make changes to current travel plans until we have resolved this issue.”



The Bumbys at the Viceroy

Jill, from The Bumby's edits a "fair and honest appraisal" of this writer's appearance.

Were there celebs at the Guess party at the Viceroy?

Not sure. I’ve always been rotten at tracking these mortals.  But there were free Guess beach towels, and head phones, and heart-shaped sunglasses. And did I mention the water pistols and free drinks.? It was all enough made-in-China-swag to sink an ocean-liner.

But perhaps what grabbed the most attention — at what may have been one of the more exclusive Coachella parties in Palm Springs — was the attention garnered by The Bumbys, a set of costumed  figures in dark glasses, headphones and face-masks offering a “fair and honest appraisal” of appearances, ready to peck these impressions out onto lined index cards while sitting at plastic Brother typewriters. (Truly, a technological fun and ironic play on what’s surely archaic by now.)

One of the Bumbys, either Jill or Gill, slides a lined index card into the typewriter, looks you up and down for a few seconds, then starts typing. The findings are nothing long or overly verbose. All you get is one index card.

Jill – don’t ask for last names in this setting – found me “a little sophisticated for the scene.” I was wearing a white Locoste polo and seersucker shorts. Really? Sophisticated? And she imagined I might make be more comfortable in a wine bar in Manhattan making jokes about Senate candidates. Well, OK. No shortage of comments there. (Oh, and I was also perceived as a ‘foodie’ planning a trip to Portland.)

Based out of New York and LA, The Bumbys offers a “A fair and honest appraisal“ of what your appearance says about you. There are no questions, and no judgements, we are told.

Perhaps what makes this exercise so alluring is it needles that endless question about how much of what’s on the inside of us, shows on the outside? Just how self-referential is our choice of hair, clothing or for that point — eye-wear?

So it’s no surprise that most of this obviously LA crowd — can you get more image-conscious? — was on a search for more depth in those 50-word – yet bizarrely succinct “appraisals.”

Shelle Mannion, 37, an attorney in Venice Beach, noted her grandmother passed away only a few days before. Her analysis mentioned her mother, which seemed to make a connection.

Dominika Kasta, 36, who works in advertising in LA, said, “This is so me,” of her report, which noted that this part-time model is “not full of herself.”

“That’s me,’ said Kasta.

“It’s a fun setting, but we’ve been through every type of event at this point, and we enjoy writing about any people who are kind of diverse and having a unique look,” said Viranda Tantola, a spokesperson for The Bumbys. “And that can happen at a fashion event. But it can also happen at like a business event, an art event, you know what I mean?”

Was The Bumbys a sorta in-your-face-message to this (assumed) vacuous crowd to not take itself too seriously… Well, maybe. Did it work? As the free drinks and Guess swag keep flowing, that jury’s still out.


Hard Rocking at the Zoso

Hard Rock Music Lounge gets going at the Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs on Friday afternoon.

Hard Rock Hotel couldn’t possibly let Coachella go by without making its stamp at the new digs Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs.

Hard Rock recently announced plans to take over the Hotel Zoso, with a substantial renovation starting soon and to be complete this fall. Billed as an “exclusive three-day lounge for artists, celebrities, media, VIPs and taste-makers,” the Hard Rock Music Lounge will take over the entire hotel and feature live music performances as well as drinks, food and more from noon to 7 p.m. April 12-14.

In keeping with the pattern of Coachella-inspired product-laden parties, Hard Rock opened up the Hard Rock Music Lounge on Friday afternoon (in association with the BMF Media Group,) with swag from everyone from Clearsil to Corzo. There were great baseball caps from Gents, a maker of “men’s luxury baseball caps.” ($48.50) Say that without smirking.There was also something called Owl’s Brew Tea. And Hint water, which is water flavored with natural ingredients. Think, Raspberry Lime or Cucumber.

Vinnie Morey from The Proper Barbershop in Los Angeles had placed his old (and very heavy-appearing) barber chair in the middle of the room to offer up haircuts. On Friday, he was working for tips, foregoing his usual $25 rate. A.J. Parker, from North Lake Tahoe, Calif. took him up, and had his 8-inch tresses shorn away.

“I didn’t like my last haircut,” said Parker, which he described as a “crooked fade.”

“So I didn’t get another one,” he added. “But I thought, why not.”