Sunday, December 28, 2008
Our adventures traveling on Christmas didn't stop with the gas-starved zombies of Grapevine. After escaping a wild rainstorm driving east on Interstate 10, Palm Springs felt like a perfect oasis, calm and mostly dry, though my partner was thoroughly shaken after driving for ten straight hours in hellish conditions.
I offered to treat him to a fancy Italian Christmas dinner, so we walked four blocks through our downtown neighborhood, and were eating delicious appetizers when a wind storm suddenly arrived and knocked the power out, closing the restaurant. We ran back to the condo, dodging palm fronds, trees, and sections of carports sailing through the air while marveling at the star-studded sky which was blessedly free of ambient light.
Most of the housing in the "historic tennis club" neighborhood consists of single-story homes and small hotels, but a faux Olde Spanish Days monstrosity was built in 2005 over most of a block by the local real estate developers Wessman Gonzales. It's called "St. Baristo," which is not the name of an actual saint. but the Santa Barbara style "signature appointed attached villas" are on Baristo Road, so they must have thought, "why the hell not?"
The multi-story units must be impossible to cool off in the summer and the 38 units don't seem to have attracted many buyers at their approximately $1 million price since the place always looks empty. It will be interesting watching how the development fares during the current economic wind storm.