Forget Paris. The supposed City of Love, aside from too many clichés, is simply noisy and hectic. If love really is to be found in the air, then certainly not in a place that seems to be made only of stone and steel. No, it needs to be another place, a place that is freer, more easy-going and romantic in a very typical way. Better yet: sublime. And there’s no place in the world that combines all these qualities more perfectly than Palm Springs.
The great thing about Palm Springs, as anyone who has ever been there will tell you, is that it has a bad reputation. Blame it on the big Hollywood names of the 1950s: Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Howard Hughes, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Newman, Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe all lived here. They all settled in the Coachella Valley because they were contractually bound to the major studios and were not allowed to travel more than a hundred miles or two hours from Hollywood while filming. That was the heyday of Palms, as locals still call it today. And it was the beginning of the end. Because more and more people followed the stars there, mostly older people. By the late seventies, the city had aged so much it was considered a retiree’s paradise. A sort of luxury version of anti-gentrification. And somehow, with the young people staying away, this city of stars held its breath and stood still in time.