If, from the title, you are expecting a blog about Palm Springs’ cocktail culture, you are in for a surprise. The “twist” refers to the delightful “Twist” Airbnb where we stayed AND our “twist” on how to get around when visiting Palm Springs.
First off, neither the Twist owner nor Airbnb sponsored our stay so we are not “obligated” to say nice things. But we will because it is true.
Upon our arrival, as were getting out of our Uber car, we immediately loved its ultra clean, two-story white mid-century motel-like architecture. Our love was heightened when we opened the gate to see the crystal blue water of the pool with funky orange lounge chairs and giant unicorn, swan and whale pool toys floating in the pool inviting us to come play with them.
Then when we opened the door to our apartment, we immediately loved the space, colours and playful furniture and art.
The large west-facing windows gave the spacious, open living room, dining room and kitchen lots of light (often desert architecture, because of the heat, avoids letting the sun shine into the house, resulting in interior rooms often feeling dark and dingy). The windows and generous balcony offered a great view of the mountains. I immediately thought I could live here and as the week progressed that thought was confirmed over and over again.
Hot Tip #1
Our apartment #207 was at the back of the building so it was super quiet.
The fact we could walk out the door and be immediately in the Design District with its mix of new and vintage furniture and home accessory stores as well as art galleries, was great.
We did a window walk-by the first afternoon, then a stroll the next day and another walk-by at night as some of the well-lit windows are like art installations.
A 15-minute walk via the Design District gets you downtown with more boutiques, restaurants, cafes, museum and art galleries.
Hot Tip #2
Admission for the Palm Springs Art Museum (PSAM) is free every Thursday night and second Sunday of the month. It is a “must see” with its always entertaining and enlightening exhibitions. It’s an easy and short walk from The Twist on the back roads through the charming Old Las Palmas community to get there.
This exhibition is the first in-depth examination of the pioneering role played by South American artists in the international Kinetic Art movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
Grounded by scholarly research into experimental art movements of the late 1940s and early 1950s in Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Rio de Janeiro, Kinesthesia begins its survey with the layered “vibrational” works created by Jesús Rafael Soto for the historic Le Mouvement exhibition at Galerie Denise René in Paris (1955) and goes on to explore more than fifty examples by nine artists.
The works of internationally well-known figures, such as Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gyula Kosice, and Julio Le Parc, along with Martha Boto, Horacio García-Rossi, Alejandro Otero, Abraham Palatnik, and Gregorio Vardánega, will be a discovery for most viewers in the United States.
Kinesthesia makes a compelling case that although Paris remains the indisputable capital of Kinetic Art, much of the Latin American work thought to be in that category did not come into being as a consequence of the movement, but often anticipated, and unfolded in tandem with, the better-known European developments.
We loved the Twist’s bright orange cruiser bikes that allowed us to explore the residential neighbourhoods nearby and further afield. Old Palmas and the Movie Colony communities just west and east of The Twist are full of classic mid-century modern homes – it’s like cycling through a copy of Architectural Digest.
We did the Palm Springs Mid-century Modern Architectural Self-guided Tour on bike:
Treasure Hunting Twist
Then another day we took the bikes and headed to the Antique District just south of Downtown where we found amazing treasure hunting at Revivals Thrift store, ECHO Vintage Furnishing (good prices, professionally curated), Antique Galleries of Palm Springs (huge) and Sunny Dunes Antique Mall.
Hot Tip #3
Check out Peninsula Pastries in the same outdoor mall as Revivals. It is a little bit of Paris in Palm Springs - the chocolate tongues are to die for.
Everybody told us we needed a car in Palm Springs. Nobody told us public transit can work just fine for tourists. While the buses don’t run every 5-minutes, Google Maps can tell you when the next bus is so you just plan for that. Bonus: the cost is only 50 cents for seniors (60+) and youth (5 to 17 years), $1 for adults while kids under 5 are FREE. Ten-ride and 31-day passes are also available. We were able to take the bus to Cathedral City to check out the Goodwill and Revivals thrift stores, as well as Target and Trader Joes.
Link: Sunline Transit
Hot Tip #4
There is also a free trolley service Thursday to Sunday, 11 am to 1 am called Palm Springs BUZZ. Hop on and off as much as you wish. The BUZZ serves the City of Palm Springs by travelling down Palm Canyon Drive to Smoke Tree, and up Indian and Palm Canyons Drives to Via Escuela (that’s the simple description—there are some small detours off the main streets.)
We can hardly wait to get back to The Twist and Palm Springs. It could easily become an annual visit.
Hot Tip #5
For those really hoping this blog would be about cocktails, we have recommendation on that too. Checkout Melvyn’s Sunday Afternoon Jam. It is right out of the ‘50s, you would swear the Rat Pack is somewhere in the building. It is the perfect spot to order your favourite cocktail and enjoy some live music from the ‘50s. I had a Black Russian for probably the first time in two decades. FYI: I think there were still some patrons as well as the staff, have been hanging out here since the ‘50s. Great people watching!