Monday, February 15, 2016

Modernism Week 2016

Eichler home: poolside detail
We bought tickets for this year’s Modernism Week as soon as we decided to retire. We don’t go every year; but when we do, we always have a great time. Fascinating architectural tours, fabulous fashion, and sunny Palm Springs weather—what’s not to love?

A ten-day-long celebration of everything mid-20th-century, Modernism Week has become quite the popular annual event, with enthusiasts flying in from all over the country. Most tickets have to be purchased well in advance and hotels booked months ago. We made our reservations in October.

Although we’ve attended many different tours and lectures over the years, no two years are ever alike. This time we went on four architectural tours, Saturday and Sunday, and danced the night away on Friday. No wonder we’re so tired today! (Click on images below to enlarge.)

Our first event of the weekend: a tiki cocktail party
fundraiser, hosted by our favorite artist Shag. Tim
drinking something tropical.

A live band, the Martini Kings, provided hip retro
dance music. (Album cover designed by Shag.)

Breakfast the next morning at Sherman's deli, one of
the most famous restaurants in Palm Springs

The 8 o'clock rule: if you want to be seated right away
for breakfast, you've got to get there by 8AM. Totally
worth it!

And the desserts are outrageous, too

The first tour of the weekend: Sunmor Estates, so-called
because in the winter the neighborhood, located east of 
downtown P.S., gets an hour more sunshine. The 1600-
square-foot homes were built in the 1950s/60s on a former
WWII airbase. Today, many of them are vacation rentals.
(Interior: living room.)

Fabulous vintage mirror

Wall art: retro design

Poolside—turquoise, chartreuse and orange were all the rage
this year.

Backyard kitsch—I want one!

Second tour: new homes built from old Eichler
blueprints. Highly controversial, but, boy, would 
we love to own one! Does anyone have a spare
million dollars to loan us?

Vintage cars added to the fun. Cherry 1960 Ford Falcon 
wagon (like my very first car) in front of an Eichler reboot.

Cool Mad Men exhibit at Modernism Week HQ 

Props and costumes from the TV show

The highlight of the weekend: Merito Manor tour. A
small complex (10 units) of downtown apartments,
recently renovated as condos—absolutely fabulous!

Many of the units are vacation rentals

Exterior: distinctive folded roof-line

Original space-age (1961) front doorknob—love it!

Yet another turquoise interior

Although most are now gone, each Merito unit was built
with its own stone-covered wet bar. This one remains in 
tact. Glorious!

No trip to P.S. is complete without stopping

Nat Reed now has a gallery, too. After 
years of dithering, I finally bought this
amazing rendition of Disneyland's 
Monsanto House of the Future.

A long-forgotten hotel, designed by mid-century
architect John Lautner, was recently rediscovered and
lovingly renovated in Dessert Hot Springs, Palm
Springs' far less affluent neighbor community. Each
one-room unit includes a kitchenette and stylish

Exterior design

As soon as we pulled into town, we stopped at Lulu, one
of our favorite P.S. eateries, and made dinner
reservations for Sunday night, Valentine's. And lucky, too,
because the joint was packed last night!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

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