A Little About Palm Springs

Do not confuse the desert with Florida. Totally different. The palm trees threw you off.

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I am in Palm Springs. Most people have heard of it, probably don’t know a lot about it.

First, it’s the desert. Less than six inches of rain a year. We’re under an inch since October and this is the rainy season!

We are in the Coachella Valley. It’s a very well defined lowland with the San Jacinto Mountains on one side and the Little San Bernadino Mountains on the other. Peaks exceed 10,000 feet. Much of the valley floor is below sea level.

The northern edge of the valley funnels into San Gorgonio Pass, making it consistently breezy. It’s home to nearly 4,000 windmills, most 160 feet tall to the hub. Huge.

Winters are mild. Summers are unbelievably hot. It once hit 100 in February! July’s average daily high is 105.

Humidity is very low, which does diminish the effect. It’s still searing heat.

“Gays and grays,” said a co-worker. This market is loaded with both.

Google MapsThe Hollywood crowd hung out here in the 50s and 60s. Sinatra, Crosby, Dinah Shore, Gerald Ford all have streets named after them. I ride on Fred Waring to get to my hotel. A casino is located off Bob Hope.

Lots of retired show biz types live here. Some active too. Easily recognizable names. People I’d go out of my way for, just to say I met them. Legends in music, pictures and TV. Comedians. Stars I grew up watching on TV.

It became a very nice place to retire, especially if you had some cash. There is a large community of well-to-do people in the region. We’ve had a bunch of stories on-the-air mentioning local philanthropists. Philanthropists live here. Lots of them.

Bill Clinton was here last weekend. He is attracted to philanthropists as a moth is to light.

There is a large gay community here. 60% of Palm Springs proper is gay, I’ve been told. I enjoy the vibe. It’s a great city for visitors and the residents love it.

There is also a large Hispanic community. Lots of my co-workers come from Spanish speaking or multilingual households. We are close to the Imperial Valley which has been a magnet for Mexican workers. The Southwest in general has always attracted families from Mexico looking for a better life.

The Palm Springs area has a “season.” During the winter, our season, we consistently have America’s best weather. Humidity is always low. The mountains usually protect us from nearby storms.

Do not confuse the desert with Florida. Totally different. The palm trees throw you off.

During summer the population shrinks. It’s tough to go outside.

IMAG2213-w1200-h1200This is a small television market. We’re a small television station. It’s like Home Depot, we help in all departments.

I have focused cameras and set up shots. That’s Thalia Hayden, our late news co-anchor during a commercial. Everyone wears many hats. I like that. I touch things and push buttons. It’s all the stuff that got me into broadcasting in the first place.

KMIR is, by-and-large, a station of happy people. I don’t want to Pollyanna it, but I’ve worked at places that seemed ‘grudge powered.’ I’ve yet to hear an angry word spoken.

I’m doing my first public appearance February 14th. I’ll be in Cathedral City for the Balloon Festival. Psyched. I’m looking forward to it.

10 thoughts on “A Little About Palm Springs”

  1. Geoff – loved the remark about the palm trees … Somehow that tickled me! I always tell people when the subject of heat in the desert comes up, that almost anywhere you live, there are 3 months of the year when it is better to stay indoors. In most places those are in the winter months, but in the Southern California deserts, they are in the summer months. Makes more sense when you look at it that way!

  2. I tried to reply on the earlier post where you had told us about your dad’s joke going viral but it kept telling me there was an error because it was spam. Huh? Anyway, this is what I wanted to tell you about it:

    I know this has gone viral but imagine my delight to see that George T (Sulu from Star Trek for those not in the know) shared it on his FB page.

  3. Heh, looks like it gets just as hot there as it does in Victorville, where we spend some of our time. I can get a lot done in the dry heat, but the humidity in Alabama just wore me out. I like it a lot better in SoCal…climate, not weather.

  4. Geoff, Palm Springs is nice in winter – but to be fair, I would have to say that it’s a bit misleading to say they that “During the winter, our season, we consistently have America‚Äôs best weather”:

    Palm Springs has cool to cold nights in winter. The average low in Palm Springs is 44 F in January, much better than many areas of the northern USA, but not really pleasantly warm. Also, while the sun angle is better in Palm springs (near 32 north) than in the northern USA, in Dec/Jan the sun angle is still low. One really has to get below at least 30 north to feel the power of the winter sun.

    I think central and south Florida has the best winter weather in the USA: Average lows are above 50 F from central Florida southward (places like Miami, Naples, Ft. Lauderdale…etc have lows in winter closer to 60 F !), daytime highs are warmer, it’s sunny and dry (low humidity)…and the biggest benefit is the much stronger winter sun angle in Florida. Add in the warm Atlantic and the beaches and I think coastal Florida is still the best place to pass winter in the USA.

  5. Sigh. I grew up in south Florida.

    Given a choice, I’ll still stay in SoCal. The bugs and stuff in Florida drive me nuts, and the summers more than overload the decent winters, IMHO. We won’t discuss the sinkhole hazard in the north/central part of the state–I’d rather the occasional earthquake.

    My dear mom still lives in Palm Beach County, but my brother and I bailed out of the state years and years ago. I do enjoy Orlando in the fall, however…as long as I am at DisneyWorld (grin).

  6. Well I spent 9 years in San Diego….and let me tell you if you like warm weather and beaches…Florida is the place to be! The ocean in CA is FREEZING anytime of year, winters in SoCal are cool and often overcast on the coast, and the May Gray, June Gloom…etc bring a late start to the beach season on the lower West Coast.

    I live in Maryland now, and go to Florida when I want to really escape the winter. Southern Florida has the best winter fun/beach vibe in the USA.

  7. ….and I forgot to mention that the nuclear fallout from the Fukushemia reactor in Japan has reached the waters off California. Add that environmental hazard with the worst air quality in the USA that gets trapped especially in Socal…and I would be an irresponsible parent to rise my children in California.

    Ironically, Atlantic Florida has some of the cleanest and clearest ocean waters in the USA, and beyond Sahara dust occasionally – some of the cleanest air in the USA, having travelled thousands of miles over the vast tropical Atlantic…

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