Frank Sinatra's Palm Springs: From Eating to Sleeping and Everything In-Between

image credit: John Diminis via Life

image credit: John Diminis via Life

Interested in living like Mr. Palm Spring’s for a weekend?  You can still visit many of the locations where Sinatra drank, ate and slept in Palm Springs!

Frank Sinatra, aka “Mr. Palm Springs,” called the desert his home for more than 50 years. The Chairman of the Board and his Rat Pack buddies lived, loved and partied pretty hard here from the mid 40’s to late 1990’s. He has left imprints on the Palm Springs community that are still visible today.

His generosity was legendary, there are stories of him doing everything from “dropping” extra tip money on floors for unsuspecting busboys, to singing Happy Birthday to random restaurant patrons.  He helped fund many of the city’s institutions, a church, synagogue, a medical center but his real generosity was in the kindness and assistance he’d show to Palm Springs resident’s who had hit hard times.  “He is said to have read the Desert Sun newspaper every morning and if there was a story of someone who needed help, he would pick up the phone and have his people “take care of it.” Whether that be a busboy’s medical bills or replacing a single mother’s mobile home that had been destroyed by fire overnight.”

Check out the list below for some of Sinatra’s favorite local jaunts!

  • Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge - a well known favorite, Sinatra was famous for handing out $100 bills to the waitstaff requesting that his friends drink never get below half empty.
    200 W Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, CA

  • Twin Palms Estate - Sinatra’s personal residence, commissioned in the 40’s - he originally was interested in a Georgian-style mansion but was thankfully convinced otherwise - giving birth to the modern California Desert Style we know and love today. The estate can be rented out to vacationers for the true Sinatra experience.
    1148 East Alejo Road, Palm Springs, CA

  • The Purple Room - One of Sinatra’s favorite bars in the town, the Purple Room was frequented by the Rat Pack during the 60’s and was well known for its party vibes with giant pictures of Sammy Davis Jr. and Sinatra adorning the walls today. Book tickets for shows, and make reservations in advance! The Purple Room is known for filling up quickly.
    1900 E. Palm Springs Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA

  • Michael S. Wolfson Park - This small city park burrows between Frank Sinatra and DaVall drives. It was a famous oasis for Sinatra and Dinah Shore, the tiny green island near Whitewater Wash has multiple picnic benches and a single fountain in the middle and is the perfect place to find some shade and escape the desert sun.
    DaVall and Frank Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA

  • Riviera Palm Springs - Still in existence today, Sinatra used to perform benefit shows in the hotel’s ballroom alongside business pals and performers like Bing Crosby and Jerry Lewis.
    1600 North Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA

  • Lord Fletcher Inn - Boasting English fair and decor, Lord Fletcher’s was one of the singer’s favorite places to eat. You can find Frank’s traditional spot near the fireplace relatively easily—a portrait of Sinatra hangs above the chair.
    70385 CA-111, Rancho Mirage, CA

    If you are still craving more Sinatra goodness you can visit some of his additional residences around town, The Compound, located at 70588 Frank Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage and Villa Maggio located at 70300 San Lorenzo Road, Mountain Center. You can also see his star on the Walk of Stars at 123 N. Palm Canyon Drive! And last but not least, don’t forget to check out the 2018 documentary, Sinatra in Palm Springs - which takes a deep dive into Sinatra’s life in our beloved city.

Mid - Century Modern - A Style That Never Left

From hosting its own biannual Modernism week to inspiring shows like HGTV’s Desert Flippers, Palm Springs has become well known for its love affair with Mid-Century Modern design and for good reason.

Abernathy Residence by William F Cody, 1962 // image credit: Jake Holt

Abernathy Residence by William F Cody, 1962 // image credit: Jake Holt

Historically, Palm Springs has attracted a huge range of stars, including Liberace, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Walt Disney, Leonardo DiCaprio and more. It’s warm weather, palm tree lined streets and close proximity to LA make it the perfect getaway for celebrities looking for some peace and quiet.  The frequent celebrity visitors helped make Palm Springs fashionable during the 1950’s and attracted visitors from all over the world.  Today, tourism is the leading industry in Palm Springs, generating $1 billion in tax revenues in 2017.

Early celebrity visitors stayed at the Desert Inn, and El Mirador Hotel, opening in 1909 and 1927 respectively.  During the 1930’s and 1940’s celebrities began building second homes in Palm Springs, creating what has lovingly become known as The Movie Colony.  This tranquil neighborhood was home to Cary Grant, Dinah Shore, Van Johnson, Tony Curtis, Gloria Swanson, Jack Benny and Frank Sinatra.  Today the Movie Colony is a sought - after neighborhood known for its hip, vintage-glam hotels and cozy restaurants.

Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms - built in the 1940’s, designed by E. Stewart Williams

Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms - built in the 1940’s, designed by E. Stewart Williams

During the 1950’s we saw the development of the Alexander House and the Twin Palms Estates neighborhood.  These developments more than doubled the housing capacity of Palm Springs over a 10 year span.  The aptly named “Alexanders” were spearheaded by architect William Krisel.  His use of standardized building elements, non-traditional rooflines and footprints while integrating indoor with outdoor living, made the “Alexanders” affordable, appealing and highly sought after, even today! 

According to the Independent, “Inspired by the stark desert landscape and modern schools like Bauhaus and the International Style, the architects of the 1950s created in Palm Springs what is now called Desert Modernism - today it's the highest concentration of mid-century modern architecture in the world.”  During the mid 20th century era (1940-1970), there were several notable architects and builders who brought these concepts to life in Palm Springs including, Albert Frey, John Porter Clark , William Cody, David Wexler, E. Stewart Williams, William Krisel, John Lautner, and Richard Neutra just to name a few.

Frey House II, built in and around the natural environment of the San Jacinto Mountain foothills

Frey House II, built in and around the natural environment of the San Jacinto Mountain foothills

Albert Frey, (October 18, 1903 – November 14, 1998) was a Swiss-born architect is largely attributed with establishing the desert modernism style that Palm Springs is known for.  In partnership with John Porter Clark, some of Frey’s most famous buildings include The Cree House II, Frey House I and II, Loewy House, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station, Palm Springs City Hall, Salton Bay Yacht Club, and the Tramway Gas Station with its iconic flying wedge canopy at the foot of the entrance to the tramway, now used as a visitors center. Frey died in Palm Springs at the age of 95 and leaving behind a legacy and design style that has not only never left, but turned the city into the Mid-Century mecca that it’s known for today.



Sources

Desert Sun // Palm Springs History // Albert Frey // The Independent


Local 622 @ BIRBA-April, 2019

APRIL, 2019 LINE-UP

Courtney Chambers (Soulful Singer Songwriter)  Courtney Chambers is a diverse artist who continues to push the boundaries and explore new musical territories. Her ability to seamlessly play across genres makes it hard to pigeon-hole this singer/songwriter.   https://www.courtneychambers.net/home

Courtney Chambers (Soulful Singer Songwriter)

Courtney Chambers is a diverse artist who continues to push the boundaries and explore new musical territories. Her ability to seamlessly play across genres makes it hard to pigeon-hole this singer/songwriter.

https://www.courtneychambers.net/home

4/11- Symara Stone (Smokey Blues, Jazz, Singer Songwriter)   Born in Sunny Palm Springs California in early 1986, singer/songwriter Symara Stone was a born a performer! Known for her incessant humor, deep direct raw lyrics, & jazzy motown bluesy croon this girl has been taking the stage since she was a youngster. Her passion for writing songs fueled with her life experience has created an ongoing self-taught creative process that she can't stop. Writing a song per day is common in the Stone residence. Symara loves people, animals, music, art, dance, self-expression of all forms, & yoga! Her songs deal with death, love, heartbreak, nature, sobriety, & addiction. She is said to channel all the bad & good she feels into song, and uses songwriting as a way to heal herself with sound. Open to all genres, Symara's songs never are catapulted into one box. When a country song appears in her heart, a country song she will write. Electronica, Downtempo, Ambient, Indie, Indie pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Techno, Dub-step, Tribal, Folk, Mantras, Gospel, Ska, Dixie, Reggae, Funk, Motown, & Soul are just some genres that leap into her fingers when plucking her Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitar. Piecing together the melody and lyric in her head, her songs come to life and even more so when she's on stage singing in front of you with her big smile & big soul.   https://www.facebook.com/SymaraStone/    www.soundcloud.com/symarastone

4/11- Symara Stone (Smokey Blues, Jazz, Singer Songwriter)

Born in Sunny Palm Springs California in early 1986, singer/songwriter Symara Stone was a born a performer! Known for her incessant humor, deep direct raw lyrics, & jazzy motown bluesy croon this girl has been taking the stage since she was a youngster. Her passion for writing songs fueled with her life experience has created an ongoing self-taught creative process that she can't stop. Writing a song per day is common in the Stone residence. Symara loves people, animals, music, art, dance, self-expression of all forms, & yoga! Her songs deal with death, love, heartbreak, nature, sobriety, & addiction. She is said to channel all the bad & good she feels into song, and uses songwriting as a way to heal herself with sound. Open to all genres, Symara's songs never are catapulted into one box. When a country song appears in her heart, a country song she will write. Electronica, Downtempo, Ambient, Indie, Indie pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Techno, Dub-step, Tribal, Folk, Mantras, Gospel, Ska, Dixie, Reggae, Funk, Motown, & Soul are just some genres that leap into her fingers when plucking her Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitar. Piecing together the melody and lyric in her head, her songs come to life and even more so when she's on stage singing in front of you with her big smile & big soul.

https://www.facebook.com/SymaraStone/

www.soundcloud.com/symarastone

4/18 - Desert Rhythm Project Acoustic (Soul, Funk, Reggae)    Desert Rhythm Project Is A Neo-Roots, Reggae, Funk, Soul Band From California's Mojave Desert. Fronted By Desert Natives Michael Reyes And Bryanna Evaro Who Have Created Their Own Unique Style Comprised Of Soulful Harmonies, Effortless Melodic Guitar Techniques, And Smooth Elemental Bass Rhythms. Michael Reyes' Dynamic Presence On Lead Vocal And Guitar Is Reminiscent Of The Soulful And Energetic James Brown Combined With The Appreciative Ethereal Consciousness Of Reggae Legend Bob Marley. Bryanna Evaro's Timeless Velvety Folk-Roots Presence On Bass Guitar And Vocals Lends Herself As The Crowning Essential Counterpart Of This Celebrated Divine Duo.    http://www.desertrhythmproject.com    http://www.facebook.com/desertrhythmproject.com

4/18 - Desert Rhythm Project Acoustic (Soul, Funk, Reggae)

Desert Rhythm Project Is A Neo-Roots, Reggae, Funk, Soul Band From California's Mojave Desert. Fronted By Desert Natives Michael Reyes And Bryanna Evaro Who Have Created Their Own Unique Style Comprised Of Soulful Harmonies, Effortless Melodic Guitar Techniques, And Smooth Elemental Bass Rhythms. Michael Reyes' Dynamic Presence On Lead Vocal And Guitar Is Reminiscent Of The Soulful And Energetic James Brown Combined With The Appreciative Ethereal Consciousness Of Reggae Legend Bob Marley. Bryanna Evaro's Timeless Velvety Folk-Roots Presence On Bass Guitar And Vocals Lends Herself As The Crowning Essential Counterpart Of This Celebrated Divine Duo.

http://www.desertrhythmproject.com

http://www.facebook.com/desertrhythmproject.com

Don't Miss Out On Cheeky's Grab n' Go!

Don't miss out on our Cheeky's Grab n' Go pop up for Modernism Week!  Located next to Modernism Camp at 515 North Palm Canyon Drive, Cheeky's Grab n' Go has you covered all day long!  With freshly juiced smoothies and croissants in the morning to salads, light sandwiches, cocktails and more in the afternoon, there is a little something for everyone!  Here are the details!

THE DETAILS
When - Thursday February 12th - Sunday February 22nd 
What Time - 830am - 7pm
Happy Hour - 4pm - 7pm

Where - 515 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA (next to Modernism Camp!)

We know Modernism Week can be grueling, between the heat, parties and home tours, so come relax and recharge with us at the Grab n' Go or swing by for a quick bite on the way to your next event!  With happy hour from 4-7pm, it is the perfect spot to get your afternoon buzz on before heading out for the evening!

I hope everyone has been enjoying their time at Modernism Week because I know I have!  If you are need of a morning espresso before you hit up the town our coffee cart is now located in the Birba gardens and will be open all weekend from 8am-2pm!  Serving delicious Vittoria coffee, it's the perfect place to relax while waiting for your table at Cheeky's or to grab a cup of joe on your way by!  If you are looking for more information click here! Have a fantastically Modern weekend everyone!! xo sarah

A Look Into Birba's New Pasta Menu

Making pasta by hand is a time honored Italian tradition, one that is lost in most modern day households as it is so readily available and inexpensive to purchase.  In an effort to honor their Italian routes and pay homage to this tradition, Birba launched a new pasta menu a few weeks ago featuring a variety of hand made pasta dishes!  I had the pleasure of going into their kitchen and photographing a little bit of the process of how their ricotta and mint raviolis are made.  I've never been to Italy, but chatting with Joe, Birba's sous chef about life and our roots, as he rolled out the dough and formed each little square by hand, made me feel as if I was in Italy chatting with an old friend around the kitchen table.  You can truly taste the time, love and care that goes into each of these dishes.  For me, knowing that someone took the time to fill each of the raviolis on my plate individually, really made me sit down and not only taste but appreciate each of the components in the dish, out of respect for the food and for the person who made them!  Well?  What are you waiting for!  Head on over to Birba with some friends and try out a few (personally I love the raviolis and the pappardelle but they are all great!) xx sarah

Gingersnaps

I know most of you probably think I'm ludicrous for posting a cookie recipe directly after the holidays, but for those of us who decided to not add, "get in shape," to our list of resolutions this one is a must!  Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies!  They are spiced, simple, and are so perfectly dunkable it borders on not humanely ok (my fave is with a cup of coffee.)  So if you are like me and have solemnly sworn to avoid the gym then I invite you to join me in devouring this deliciousness!  And for those of you who are trying your hardest to avoid stuff like this remember life is all about moderation!!!! ;) ;) xx sarah

Yield 50 thin cookies
Ingredients
2oz unsalted butter
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
.65 oz ground ginger
1.25 oz fresh ginger
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp cloves
8 oz sugar
1 oz brown sugar
1 1/4 oz molasses
4.8 oz all purpose flour
4 oz pastry flour
1.5 egg whites

Method

1. Place butter, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, sugar, brown sugar and molasses in mixer, using the paddle attachment cream together.
2. Add all purpose flour and pastry flour and mix again. 
3. Add egg whites and mix one more time. Place in refrigerator and chill over night
4. Roll out the dough using a generous amount of flour on the work surface, roll out to ¼ inch. 
5. Use cookie cutter to make cookies and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
6. Bake at 350 degrees in a standard oven or 325 degrees in a convection oven for 12 minutes.
7. Let cool for 10 minutes and lightly dust top of cookies with an extra fine sugar let cool for another 20 minutes and serve.

No time to make your own? Order a dozen from Cheeky’s for a delicious treat!!!

Home Inspiration - Bright and Airy Kitchens

Happy Monday!  I went to a photography conference last week in Portland, OR and I'm still coming down from the high of being surrounded by so many amazing creatives.  It was truly inspiring!  To keep the day dreaming going I have rounded up a few bright and airy kitchen spaces that I love!  Although mine looks nothing like these, it is easy to incorporate elements you love from one space into your own.  I love the bright whites and mixing of hard and soft textures.  Wood with metal and leather and slight pops of color!  One day I'd love to have a little breakfast nook in my kitchen with a bookshelf next to it where I can keep magazines and cookbooks!  xo sarah

images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 /