Day 27 - Palm Springs - California

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
1
27
38
Trip End Nov 19, 2012


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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, November 8, 2012

This morning it rained, giving me a valid reason to leave the pool and head to downtown Palm Springs (every place I've been has called their town/city centre downtown, with the exception of New Mexico where downtown is the plaza). Anyway it's downtown here so that's where I went.

I went to see the walk of stars and discovered why Palm Springs was such a hot spot for actors and performers. Back in the day the studios used to write a 2 hour clause into their contracts meaning their performers couldn't be any further than 2 hours away from the studio in case they needed to do a re-take. With less traffic and congestion than there is now Palm Springs was the perfect distance for the stars to get away but still be within the terms of the contract. So there you go, a clause in a contract is responsible for the Hollywood a-listers bringing this sleepy part of the desert to life.

I searched for Frank's star as he's one of the biggest names here (they say he used to hoist a Jack Daniels flag at his home here each afternoon to signal to his fellow celebrity neighbours it was time for happy hour) but I couldn't find it, I know where it was supposed to be, but still couldn't see it. There's hundreds of stars in the pavements, I found his wife and his son, but not him. I did, however, find the Ingleside Inn and Melvin's restaurant which was a favourite hang out spot for the Rat Pack.

Then around the corner, 26 feet (nearly 8 metres) in the air, was Marilyn. She's popped in for a visit for the next year (she moves about the country, hope she doesn't squash anyone Godzilla style as she goes, but for the moment she's here). Marilyn was "discovered" by a talent scout in Palm Springs in 1949, and continued to visit here throughout the 50s and early 60s.

No sooner had I left the 26 foot tall Marilyn that I rounded another corner to find a much shorter gay-pride Marilyn sporting a couple of very lovely rainbow flags outside a fun little cafe/restaurant called Pinocchio's.

Both Marilyn's were very lovely.

After a few hours at the pool I headed back downtown for the night life. On Thursday nights they shut down the downtown area and have a big arts market with live entertainment at the end of each block. It's like a big Queen Vic summer night markets. After strolling around the stalls I stopped to look at some pretty silk scarves only to find the artist and her husband were Aussies. The first thing I think I might want to buy and it's from a fellow countrywoman. What are the odds. They've been here for about a year and will be here for another year for his work, but they're eager to get back home. I would be of the same mind I think, it's great to visit but it would take a bit of adjusting to live here. They were a bit excited to see someone from home so I was there for about half an hour with them chatting and swapping stories.

I spent a few hours downtown but finally decided to call it a night when, for about the 10th time, I ran into the same weirdo carrying a gigantic snake around his neck. Seriously?! What the? And he wasn't with any of the stalls, just wandering around. I nearly walked straight into the snake's face the first time and it just about took my breathe away, naturally as I wasn't really expecting to walk into a snake in a crowded art market. What some people will do for a bit of attention!
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