The chairman of the board lives on-A A +A
By Noel Iligan
Friday, September 5, 2014
FRANK Sinatra that is.
And not only him but his infamous rat pack buddies (Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and Peter Lawford) as well. Confused yet? Anybody and everybody who have had the pleasure of visiting Palm Springs, a city 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, would be remiss not to notice the ever-present reminder of how these icons influenced this desert oasis.
Everything from the mid-century architecture that dot this city to the kitschy knick-knack shops scream 1950s and 1960s chic, glamour and decadence that defined this irreverent watering hole of the Hollywood elite.
Retirees who have decided to make Palm Springs their home join long-time residents in an effort to preserve the charm of this desert jewel.
Tucked by Ramon Avenue and Belardo Street which is parallel to Palm Canyon Drive (the Main Street cutting across downtown Palm Springs), is Ingleside Inn which houses one of the city's best restaurants - Melvyn's.
Although the overgrowth of shrubs and trees surrounding this property whispers silent nothings and reverberates a longing to its past grandeur, its food is simply a gastronomic delight.
The moment I tasted the warm cranberry bread, I was in cloud nine! Never have I salivated for more. I thought that was it until the chicken pot pie I ordered arrived. It was to die for. It simply transported me to a place close to heaven. This restaurant is a must-stop for everyone planning to visit Palm Springs.
Although the Museum of Modern Art was not due to open until September 2nd, a full two weeks after I have gone home, it was evident that the city's love affair with everything modern is hard to ignore.
Eclectic shops abound, too. Where else can you find a mishmash of baroque art displayed beside avant garde pieces? This place is where you will probably find Rembrandt rubbing elbows with Murakami or El Greco sipping tea with Gaudi.
Summers can be brutal in Palm Springs. Temperatures can reach a blistering 116 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the weather becomes very pleasant and mild around mid-September (when autumn begins) until end of May (end of spring). This is also about the same time when the city is bustling with more events as snowbirds (people from the North escape the brutal winter and head down south) make Palm Springs their home for the next nine months.
Many would say that Palm Springs have seen its glory days as many of its affluent residents have decided to make Rancho Mirage (a city next door) their home. But Palm Spring's reputation oftentimes precedes everything else—keeping its charm afloat and its mystique vibrant. It helps that some Hollywood stars, whether A-listers or otherwise make the city their home.
It helps that Leonardo Di Caprio recently decided to buy a house in Palm Springs. And rumors that Barack and Michelle Obama had been house-hunting in nearby Thunderbird Cove is a welcome news, too. That would certainly add on to the celebrity factor the city has, thereby making property prices high.
While every city has its ups and downs, the over-the-top chic and decadent glamour that is Palm Springs will remain. I am sure Sammy, Dean, Peter and the Chairman of the Board would raise their martini glasses in approval.
So would Marilyn until she was untimely transported to New Jersey (a 40-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe once made Palm Springs its home until a company from New Jersey bought and shipped her back east). Oh well....bottoms up!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 05, 2014.