In any case, while in the waiting room, I came upon an odd rag – Palm Springs Life. This was their Homes issue, showing the latest, bestest, up-for-sale Richie Rich properties.
Why would anyone here be interested in buying homes there? This is Boston not L.A. – ya know, other side of the country and shit. Don't we New Englanders retire to Florida or the Cape or some other East Coast-y kind of locale?
Ah but Palm Springs is Hollywood’s Playground or was. There's a sparkly, Tinsel Town veneer!
Since the 1920s, Palm Springs has been Hollywood's desert playground for celebrities to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of showbiz.It was a getaway locale for stars of the crusty past. OK. Here’s something cool though – those glittering celebs of yesteryear had the buckos and smarts to hire some amazing modern architects.
Several celebrities stayed and purchased hideaway homes in Palm Springs, such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., George Hamilton, Bob Hope, Albert Einstein Bing Crosby, Kirk Douglas, Cary Grant, and Jack Benny. Several ladies were frequent visitors including Marilyn Monroe, Dinah Shore, Kitty Carlisle, Lily Tomlin, Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Sommers
Modernism Week, which begins Thursday and actually lasts 10 days, is when this city gets all dolled up and revels in its mid-century chic, goes on a civic three-martini-lunch bender and pretends the Rat Pack never left.
Scores of tourists, and quite a few residents, will tramp through open-beamed ceiling, wide-windowed homes that typify the era and give this desert oasis its retro charm. They will do drivebys of examples from the “star-chitects” of the period – Richard Neutra, William Krisel, Donald Wexler, George and Robert Alexander – oohing and ahhing at the arch construction. (source)
Besides historical star-fucking and brill architecture, there are surely other reasons why someone would move west, into sand and cacti-land. Maybe a New Englander’s just sick to death of the cold winter weather and fancies retiring to a nice arid desert? Lawn mowing has become intolerable? Plant cactus instead! Maybe the very interesting art museum’s calling to you? (That there is a museum – and a decent one at that – was a shock to me. I thought all Palm Springs had were golf courses populated by homely men in ugly pants. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) Perhaps the relatively reasonable, compared to Boston and New York, home prices (average $319,800) along with the obscenely hot summer temps beckons?
The place is still a resort town and, yes, the ultra rich still in the environs BUT…
During 2009–2013, Palm Springs had a median household income of $45,198, with 18.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.So then, real people reside here now and there's art – a lot of it. I think I just talked myself into a new, unexpected vaca spot.
Though celebrities still retreat to Palm Springs, many today establish residences in other areas of the Coachella Valley. The city's economy now relies on tourism, and local government is largely supported by related retail sales taxes and the TOT (transient occupancy tax). It is a city of numerous festivals, conventions, and international events including the Palm Springs International Film Festival. (source)