As I approach my second anniversary of living full time in Palm Springs, I would like to share the top 10 things I have discovered about my little hot hamlet (in no particular order).
- A combination of vinegar and Dawn (half and half, google for full directions) can solve many of the world’s ills. Palm Springs is infamous for its hard water which leaves annoying calcium residue everywhere (showers, coffee pots, the pet dog). A good soaking or spray makes the chalky mess disappear like magic — I’m convinced every local knows the formula.
- Avoid grocery shopping from Friday through Sunday afternoon as that is when the “weekenders” are in town. Things move at a different pace in the desert, and lest you want to get sideswiped by a frantic shopping cart filled with lemon mineral water and bottles of Beaujolais, it’s best to avoid supermarkets during those peak times.
- Speaking of weekenders… If you are considering moving here, understand the town looks quite “different” on week days then it does on weekends. When I was a weekender, I used to love to people watch all the beautiful, bodacious bods. Now I wonder at times if I moved to a geriatric ward.
- July is my favorite month as the city takes on the appearance of a ghost town and it’s beautiful! Yes, it is hot, but remember, it’s a dry heat. August is my least favorite as we get the overflow monsoons from out Arizona way which bring a thick, soupy humidity accompanied by the smells of sulfur and rotting fish from the Salton Sea.
- There seems to be this preoccupation with coyotes roaming the streets in search of small dogs, cats and children. At certain times, Nextdoor.com lights up with rashes of coyote sightings, oftentimes accompanied by photos and warnings of how they can scale 8-foot walls. “Bring in your babies!” the warnings taut.
- People ask me, “How can you live in that inferno?” I simply respond: “Do you stay outside all day in [fill in name of home city here]?” Well, it’s no different out here, you simply develop a routine of either doing outdoor things early in the mornings or in the evenings (which are really beautiful).
- From April through September, carrying water everywhere is a must. Last year, I took a bike ride without water or my wallet. It got exceptionally warm and I got a flat tire. While walking my bike home, it was so hot I started getting dizzy. Fortunately, I found respite with water and at tree at Ruth Hardy Park.
- People are very particular about their neighborhoods here. When I first moved I was asked by someone: “Where do you live?” I responded, “Movie Colony.” He then retorted, “East or West?” Really? I have since schooled myself on all the neighborhoods as they seem to hold the keys to some sort of secret social society. Hmmm, let’s see, we have Twin Palms, Sunrise Park, Demuth Park, Indian Wells; the list goes on and on.
- That road-rager you just encountered may simply be, well, old. A few months after my arrival, I was turning into the Ralphs parking lot on Sunrise Way. Suddenly a rather large, sedan veered past me and came to a screeching stop in front of me. “Am I getting car-jacked?” I wondered. I waited a minute and the car didn’t move, nor could I see anyone in the driver’s seat. I finally decided to drive around the vehicle, and peering in, I saw a rather small old man who could barely see over the dashboard. He flashed a weak smile as if to say, “sorry”.
- I did save my favorite for last – Palm Springs has great healing powers. I learned this when I first visited 30+ years ago and I still feel it today. There is a great sense of peace, calm and wonder here, and I am grateful each day that a dream I had carried throughout my entire working life came true. I see weekenders, once like me, come and marvel at the same beauty, and each morning, I walk my dog and peer upon the magnificent San Jacinto’s. I take in a deep breath and know all is right with the world.
And, with that, I end this as “Poolside from PS.”