An aspect of Palm Springs i like very much is the street fair they have on Thursday afternoon and evening. They close to vehicular traffic something like eight blocks of Palm Canyon Drive, the main shopping street, and fill it with a double row of stalls selling everything from kitchy crafts to fresh vegetables to fast foods to various services. All the shops and bars and cafés and restaurants are also open, so it’s quite festive. The closest thing to this i’ve experienced is the Albert Cuyp Markt in Amsterdam, although i don’t recall a climbing wall for little kids to clamber on in Amsterdam.
In any case, though, the vibes at this market are superb. The majority of the people attending are pretty clearly tourists, but tourists are by and large having a good time, so they bring their own fun with them and share it with the natives. Not that the natives are incapable of a bit of humor:
Palm Springs also fascinates me in a different way because it’s the only retirement community i know. So what’s a retirement community like? Well, basically the population seems to consist of retirees plus their waiters, bartenders, car washers, housecleaners, gardeners, property managers, retail clerks, pool cleaners, air conditioner repairmen, and security guards.
Especially security guards. The level of paranoia is breathtaking. Think i’m exaggerating? Here’s a little photographic essay i took this morning in the space of half an hour:
I’m speculating that part of the reason for the paranoia is that the typical retirees here are folks who made a good deal of money and got a lot of nice things, which they enjoy admiring and displaying. And now that they’re retired and their income is reduced, replacing My Precioussss would be between difficult and impossible.
So they’re prisoners of their possessions, afraid to leave their houses for fear that somebody might break in and get some of their stuff. Thus, the layers and layers of security.
Not that the paranoia is groundless. I was astonished when a reader sent me a link to a crime rate site indicating that Palm Springs enjoys a burglary rate more than double the national average. Looks like i’m not the only person who’s surmised that those houses are chock full of choice items.