Welcome to Palm Springs, Miss Monroe!

Drawing of Kate

I began my day with Marilyn at my favorite coffee place on Palm Canyon Drive. After procuring a scone and a dark roast latte, I settled down with the paper in the flower-laden courtyard. I was enjoying the sun and the incomparable mountain views (while flipping through the various fates of IPOs and European nations) when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A silver-haired gentleman apologized for interrupting me and then presented me with a beautifully executed drawing. Unbeknownst to me, he’d been sketching me while I sipped my coffee and read the paper. I was flattered and charmed and said so.  My Marilyn weekend was off to a most auspicious beginning!

Next, I had the pleasure of hearing Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack speak at the Palm Springs Hospitality Association event at the Hilton Palm Springs Resort. Afterward this informative and delicious luncheon, I checked in at the mid-century modern gem, Del Marcos Hotel, in the Palm Springs historic hotel district located just one block off Palm Canyon Drive.

The Del Marcos Hotel

The Del Marcos was built in 1947 by famed desert architect William F. Cody.  This 17-room hotel faces the San Jacinto Mountains and is situated around a sparkling saltwater pool and landscaped courtyard. Laura, the general manager, gave me a warm welcome and showed me to my very sizable room with private patio. The Del Marcos has been undergoing renovations and I found it to be comfortable, immaculate and serene. I later enjoyed chatting more with Laura who is extremely knowledgeable about Palm Springs history and architecture. In fact, the owners of the Del Marcos recently acquired the historic La Serena Villas next door and are planning on restoring this sister property to its 1920s and 1930s glory. I can’t wait to see what they do with it!

After enjoying a complimentary glass of wine while gazing out over the beautiful pool and courtyard of the Del Marcos, I dressed in a suitably festive frock and donned bejeweled flip flops (what does one wear on a trek to meet a Hollywood legend?).  Thus suitably prepped, I set out on my mission—a mission to meet Marilyn Monroe.

“Forever Marilyn”

“Forever Marilyn” stands at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. The 26-foot-tall statue is a replica of Marilyn’s famous subway grate scene in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” and recently arrived in Palm Springs after a 10-month installation in Chicago.

Marilyn’s unveiling—impossibly long legs, iconic flowing white dress held down by plump, pale hands, perfectly coiffed blond locks silhouetted against the setting sun—was thronged with well-wishers and celebrated with much pomp and circumstance. I visited her again the next day and the crowd was just as enthusiastically gathered around the emerald lawn, gazing up at her shining visage—snapping photographs and sharing memories of Marilyn. Welcome to Palm Springs, Miss Monroe—we hope you enjoy your stay and we hope it’s a long one!

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