Dream Hotel approved in Palm Springs

A model of the proposed 171-room Dream Hotel in Palm Springs. In the foreground are raised planting areas and a "farmhouse" to serve as a special event space and greenhouse. (Photo: Skip Descant/ The Desert Sun)

A model of the proposed 171-room Dream Hotel in Palm Springs. In the foreground are raised planting areas and a "farmhouse" to serve as a special event space and greenhouse. (Photo: Skip Descant/ The Desert Sun)

Compliments of The Desert Sun

After years of redesigns, neighborhood negotiations and other delays, the Dream Hotel in Palm Springs is on its way to becoming a reality.

“I think this project is outstanding,” said Doug Donenfeld, a member of the Palm Springs Planning Commission on Wednesday when the body voted unanimously to approve the large, luxury hotel project to be built next door to the Palm Springs Convention Center.

“I think this is an incredible project. You’ve done a terrific job,” Commissioner Randy Lowe told developer Laurie Kibby.

The Dream is planned as a 171-room convention hotel just north of the convention center on what is currently a parking lot. The project has a long history, with planning and development going back a decade. It was most recently approved as a Dolce Hotel project in 2013. That proposal would have built a 200-room hotel with 50 condos. 

Read more about the Dream Hotel here...

At Melvyn's, steak Diane is a staple and the dining staff spans the decades

The front of Melvyn's restaurant in Palm Springs. (Stuart Palley / For The Times)

The front of Melvyn's restaurant in Palm Springs. (Stuart Palley / For The Times)

As a teenager, growing up on the other side of the mountain in Hemet, I used to drive to Melvyn's on the weekends to model in their lunchtime fashion shows, then hit Saks for a bit of shopping before heading back home and to high school. The desert has really changed, but Melvyn's is still the same! - Sheri

By diana.marcum@latimes.com for the LA Times

In most places, the past four decades have been a time of dizzying change.

But at Melvyn’s restaurant, Frank only means Sinatra, Coachella headliners go unrecognized, and a steady patter of one-liners trumps talking politics.

Bobby Bolduc, 81, a dining room captain, has been working here for 42 years. He has seniority over waiter Manuel Castaneda, who’s worked 41 years, and maitre d’ Brian Ellis, who’s been here 42 years but started off as a backroom waiter under Bolduc.

Chef Juan Castaneda said he is in awe over the way “these gentlemen keep doing what they are are doing.” He’s been in charge of the kitchen for only 38 years.

The front of Melvyn's restaurant in Palm Springs. (Stuart Palley / For The Times)

Stories? They’ve got stories

“Nothing bothers Bobby. The place could go up in flames, and he’d keep cooking his steak Diane,” said Ellis, shaking his head of still-thick hair.

“Let me tell you about what happened right over there at Table 32.”

In 1990, John Compton Harvey — a man police later would describe as silver haired and distinguished looking — was having dinner at his regular table.

Suddenly, undercover law enforcement agents planted around the dining room jumped up and drew their guns. Bolduc was table-side, cooking. An agent held a gun to his head.

The way Ellis tells it, Bolduc kept cooking.

“I was pouring a glass of Dom Perignon when they put a gun on me because they didn’t know what I would do,” Bolduc corrected.

He said he was cooking the steak while they handcuffed and took away Harvey — who turned out to be wanted in 10 counties on a variety of fraud, forgery and embezzlement charges.

Bolduc boxed up the steak Diane and ran after them.

FBI agents paid for the dinner. But they didn’t tip.

Harvey always tipped $100, Bolduc said.

Read the rest of the story here...

To Heck With Coachella: An Old-Timer's Trip to Palm Springs

By Tony Mostrom from LA Weekly

LAPL Photo Collection/Herald-Examiner Collection

LAPL Photo Collection/Herald-Examiner Collection

The desert is a good litmus test of personality types, isn’t it? A certain kind of person loves the desert emphatically; another kind “hates” it emphatically. One finds it “empty” while the other takes to the bleached, tan-colored expansiveness of it all as inspiring, a place that encourages free-associative thinking and calm reflection…(you thought I would say something else, but I’ve always been a drug-free person, you see). Not to mention it’s the perfect place to listen to drone music (I recommend anything by either the Hafler Trio or Soviet France; maybe Terry Riley). Basically, the verdict is in: artists and other interesting people love the desert, so deal with it.

Some of my earliest memories are those of the desert areas in and around Palm Springs. My grandmother (Mona Eastley, 1902-2000) lived most of her life in Encino, but when I was a kid, she owned a second house down there, not far from Palm Canyon Drive. My brother and I loved the family trips to that house. My old aunt Nellie lived, throughout the 1960s, in nearby Yucca Valley, at the northern edge of Joshua Tree; thus one of my earliest memories is of waking up in a sleeping bag on the living room floor of her Yuck Valley bungalow, watching the blinding sun rise. That and, on the same trip (I think), taking a burro ride with my mother in Mexicali.

My grandmother’s Spanish-style house in Palm Springs (which her mother always pronounced as “Bum Sprinn”) had a big, delicious swimming pool, so for my brother and me, a weekend there was a case of oh-boy-and-hot-damn! The walls of the house were lined with oil paintings by my uncle, the artist Charles Mureau, very Mexican-flavored they were, with a touch of ‘60s kitsch about them, in retrospect …

LAPL Photo Collection/ Herald-Examiner Collection

LAPL Photo Collection/ Herald-Examiner Collection

Read the rest of the article here...