Have I mentioned how much I love it here in Palm Springs?
Here's yet another reason why. This weekend is Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend. It is so not fabulous, humongous, exciting, and and exhilarating. It's basically a half block of Sunny Dunes roped off and filled with vendors and such. The most risque thing going on is consumption of alcoholic beverages. It's pretty easy to spot the sanfranciscans and angelinos in the crowd: they're all dressed up like it's something special going on. As I've noted so often here, in the desert, we don't try too hard.
Today on the phone, I was bemoaning to Nephtali how there's no good bookstore here in the Coachella Valley, just Barnes & Noble and Borders. Naphtali responded that "well that sounds like an opportunity for some enterprising entrepreneur to just walk into."
"Right," I said, "And the key word in that sentence is 'enterprising.' If there's an enterprise happening here, I'll be out by the pool. Let me know when it passes. That's sort of how the gemeinschafft works here."
[Gemeinschaft: That's a fun word to know. It's usually translated from the german as "community," although it has more of a sense of living in close companionship with. Thus, it evades the problem with the way the word "community" is tossed around in English to mean a demographic group. And also, it sounds like ge-Mine Shaft, so certain ears tend to prick up when you toss it out.]
'T'is true, our Leather Street Fair is a laid-back, humble little affair. It probably wouldn't be worth the trip even from Hemet were it not for the fact that today, like most days here, was a spectacularly beautiful sunny day, and down at the western end of the street Mount San Jacinto rises majestically making for a beautiful backdrop while you enjoy your sausage sandwich and watch the many hot men.
Last night, friends of That Cowboy were in town, and the two of us were treated to dinner at Wang's Of The Desert. I hadn't been to Wang's before. It's one of the most popular places here. When we arrived, the place was packed. Just swarming with the gays. Wall to wall. We were seated--reaching our table by walking across this little bridge over an indoor koi pond which brought to my mind the Three Billygoats Gruff and that troll so I said "trip-trap trip-trap trip-trap" as I crossed--and the food arrived, and it was wildly disappointing. I mean, it was just like the food served at chinese restaurants throughout this great land of ours, only greasier and with less flavor. In my newyorky way, I wondered it that was the whole point ("they do this incredible recreation of take-out chinese food!!!"), but duh, it's just the Palm Springs Way. As in, "Gosh, what kind of food will we serve at our restaurant? Oh I know, people like chinese food, so let's serve chinese food. Now that that's settled, I'm going to lay out by the pool."
That Cowboy's friends are house-flippers, and they were in town looking for places on the market. This morning, we went driving around La Mesa and Las Palmas and North Palm Springs looking at what worked and what doesn't. My eye is getting a little bit more discerning, I think. It used to be that anything moderne totally put lead in my pencil, but any more, that's not always the case. There are a lot of "great-lines-bad-design-decisions" out there. Also, there's the whole trap of "LOOK-AT-ME!-I'M-MODERNE!-SEE??!!-SEE??!!-YOU-CAN-REALLY-TELL!!!". The best places seem to have been renovated with minimal effort, so subtle that you could drive right by them and not notice. But if you do look, you slowly come to appreciate the interesting materials and finishings used, albeit from a restrained palette. Places that would just bring a slight smile to your lips as you pulled into the driveway after a long day at work.
And now, I'm gonna put on my leather pants and get ready to meet up with That Cowboy for dinner tonight, after which we'll wander aimlessly around the Leather Pride Street Festival until we decide we've seen enough for one day and head home to watch some telly-bision before heading to bed.
I really like it here.