The Desert Dawg Blawg

All things California desert: Travel, politics, environment, adventure, offbeat experiences, local hotspots, insider's tips, people and commentary about life in Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley and the California desert region.

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By Morgan Craft

Ever wanted to swing into the chic desert abodes of Frank Sinatra, Liz Taylor and Steve McQueen? How about reliving the fight scene in the James Bond thriller “Diamonds are Forever”? Then slip on those vintage slacks and take in the desert’s coolest international architecture gathering.
 The Elrod House, seen in "Diamonds Are Forever"
The Palm Springs Modernism Week, the only event of its kind in the country, has become one of the desert’s main events, and with over 40 stylish and educational events around the city, this year’s 5th annual week is expected to be bigger than ever.   (Click to read more...)
by Morgan Craft
One of the reasons we desert dwellers extol the virtue of living in our arid environment are the many choices we have to get away from it. Idyllwild has always fit the bill, and it’s only getting better.

With its many art galleries and the Idyllwild Arts Center (, this funky mountain hamlet has been named as one of the top 100 small art towns in America. The town hosts regular art and musical events like Jazz in the Pines, numerous Art Walks and festivals, and Idyllwild's Adult Arts Center attracts adult students, drawn by its diverse offerings in contemporary arts, theatre, and creative writing.
Park in the small town square, and most of the town’s offerings are within walking distance. Idyllwild tried for decades to cash in on a Swiss Village theme, and much of the downtown architecture reflects this. And while there’s a dearth of touristy knickknacks and high-calorie temptation, a new generation of hip, enlightened businesses has taken root. The community now offers yoga, pilates, an organic market, watsu (floating) massage, spiritual and meditation retreats, and of course, thousands of acres of contemplative wilderness. (Click to read on...)