The people who make Palm Springs like no place else
The pandemic has made our lives worse in many ways. We’ve suffered with an endless stream of horrific headlines, the loss of loved ones, the loss of work, the constant state of fear that we will be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and confusion as rules put into place intending to safeguard us are different depending on which side of the street we walk. For the massive amount of creatives throughout the Coachella Valley, and in Palm Springs in particular, they lost their outlets overnight. Theaters, music venues, art galleries, even coffee houses all were closed, some never to reopen. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and some of those creatives found that way on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other sites. They may not have been able to see the back of the room, but they still discovered ways to connect with their audience and give them a momentary distraction.
For the local trio producing Palm Springs Point of View on YouTube — first created by Alan Kraemer and Claudia Ried, and later joined by Conrad Angel Corral — pressing “Go Live” on Facebook was risky, but also invigorating. When they did go live for the first of 200 times, they found their audience was more than ready to be there with them to celebrate the “eats, arts, and culture” of Palm Springs. The best part? When performing arts venues reopened, they were ready to reimagine what they offered. That meant Conrad, Alan, and Claudia were presented with options. They chose to launch “Martinis and Moxie” at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The series is part cocktail party, part movie night, and full-on homage to The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, who graced the desert with his presence, to the delight of us all. Sinatra’s birthday is the focus of the third and final performance of the year, planned for next Sunday, December 12, starting at 6 PM. Get to know this terrific trio below.
AGES: 62, 70, and 68
OCCUPATION: Alan and Claudia: Impresario and chanteuse, and also hosts. Conrad: Aside from an entertainer, he is currently doing on-air special events for the city of Cathedral City, movie reviews at Mary Pickford Theater, and serving as desert liaison for Entertainment Plus Productions in Los Angeles. Among many, many other things prior to arriving in the desert, he worked for decades for the city of West Hollywood.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Indian Canyons (Alan and Claudia), and the Cathedral City Cove (Conrad).
WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? Alan and Claudia: We’ve been coming here for years from Orange County and in May of 2017 decided it was time to settle here. Conrad: My husband and I met at a White Party here. I was in West Hollywood and he was in San Diego. We traveled back and forth deciding whether I should move to San Diego or he should move to West Hollywood. He moved to West Hollywood, but like many people, we went back and forth between West Hollywood and Palm Springs.
DO YOU HAVE FAMILY HERE? No.
HOW DO YOU BEAT THE HEAT? Alan and Claudia: There’s a pool about 12 feet away from our living room. And last year we went on a 2,800-mile electric vehicle trip in the summer. Conrad: Air conditioning and getting out of town.
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY BY WHICH YOU LIVE? Conrad: If if, shoulda shoulda. I don’t ever want to say, ‘If I only would have I really should have.’ If no one is hurt along road, I’m in! Alan: My guiding principle is integrity. Claudia: Always try to do something that scares you to keep from going into a rut. It pushes you.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT? Alan: The Indian Canyons South Golf Course restaurant for lunch. It’s so beautiful and the food is fantastic. Claudia: Bar Cecil for cocktails and dinner. Conrad: Escena. The view is just beautiful. I’m also a big fan of 1501 Uptown Gastropub.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING OUR COMMUNITY?Alan and Claudia: The corporate takeover of Palm Springs. The Riviera is gone and now it’s a Margaritaville, and there’s not a real Melvyn’s anymore. Conrad: I think moving forward is important, and looking at the history is important. I’m a tour bus driver for Modernism Week, and I enjoy showing people both sides of the streets where one side is older and one side is newer. I think the city has done a good job of at least trying to hold on to places like the Movie Colony neighborhood. But the city is only so big. I just hope that the city, the whole Coachella Valley, will look at what they are doing. Let’s not overpopulate it. Let’s not lose that feeling that brought us here.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO OR PLACE TO GO IN THE DESERT? Claudia: The Cultural Center! Because now we have Tuesday night jazz. The place just gets transformed. Alan: Hiking into these mountains. I just love these mountains. Conrad: Going to the Mary Pickford Theater. It’s a truly great theater. It has some of the best screens and the best seating. I like that I can always escape to a movie.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL PEOPLE ABOUT PALM SPRINGS THAT THEY MIGHT NOT ALREADY KNOW? Conrad: We have real seasons here. People think it’s just hot all the time. But winter is winter and summer is summer.
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?Alan and Claudia: At least once a month, we go over the mountains to the wineries in Temecula. It’s great that we can sneak into the backcountry without taking the freeways. Conrad: We have a casita which is an Airbnb. The fact we have guests at least every weekend, sometimes for a week or two weeks, from all over the world, it’s so much fun meeting people who are here to have fun. It’s a fun guilty pleasure.
Interested in attending the December 12 “Martinis and Moxie”? Tickets are available on Eventbrite here.