Palm Springs Pandemic Vacation — Aria Alpert Adjani
“It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings. “
- Our Real Work by Wendell Berry
We needed to go on vacation. To clear our heads, take a break, and figure out where we wanted to move next. As I mentioned in my last blog, we didn’t quite know where we wanted to land. If we weren’t amid a pandemic, we imagine we would be traveling through Europe, renting a rustic villa somewhere along the Adriatic Sea of Italy. Living in Europe has always been a dream of ours for a while. But alas, that dream will have to wait a wee bit during these COVID times.
It’s a curious and challenging question to ask yourself; where you want to live. Especially when it is not directly based on a job or career or family or friends. Where on this planet would you like to live? Raise your family? Enjoy your life adventure. What town or city or state or county do you desire? Cause I am here to remind you, my darlings, NOW is the time to be asking yourself this very thing. We live in this new virtual world, where you can be anywhere and bring your office/job with you. Or heck, recreate the job you want to fit your lifestyle of your choosing. I am speaking to myself as I type this, you realize. I am at a crossroads, with a destination unknown. Motherhood being my sole job title.
When I was young, the only place my LA-born and breed ass ever wanted to live was Manhattan. After high school, I auditioned for a handful of colleges. Two of them were in NY. But my SAT scores were terrrrrrible, and I was not an academic type, so, shockingly, the IVY league all-girls school I desperately wanted to go — passed. I was a dancer at the time. Not sure if you knew this about me, but I studied dance since the age of three. Jazz dance was it for me. My dream was to be Cyd Cherise in Singing in the Rain dancing with Gene Kelly.
Anyway, I ended up as a dance major at Emerson College in Boston. I didn’t want to go there, but the only other college I got accepted was Oregon — and that was a way to far away from NYC. So, I went, and only lasted a few months before dropping out and (shockingly) moving to NYC to enroll in the school of life.
I was 19 years old and didn’t really know anyone or had any family there. But I didn’t care one bit. I was fearless, apparently, and I finally moved to the only place I wanted to be. I rented a tiny run-down apartment on the Soho and Little Italy border. My bathtub was in the kitchen, the entire apartment on a slant, so anything I put on my kitchen table slid off to the floor, and the second bedroom was a small windowless closet in the back next to the toilet. I had an incredible landlady, Gina, who wore a cheap black shoe polished colored dyed wig, endlessly smoked skinny cigarettes, was “friends” with John Gotti, treated me like one of her own and made me baked ziti once a week. I slept on a fold-out futon couch in the living room, sat on my fire escape, day dreamed and watched the people walk down the bustling streets below. The rent was like $923.50 a month, which I split with another friend I met in college who decided to drop out. It was heaven.
I got a job as a waitress and went to dance class every morning on Broadway. Then a friend suggested I start taking acting classes at an iconic acting studio in the west village called HB studios. As far as my dancing career went, it was super short-lived as I quickly discovered it was the acting part that I loved more and did not have the strict discipline to be the brilliant dancers that I met all around. I loved walking those streets and every bit of my life in that city and never thought I would leave. I spent 15 years, on and off, living and working and hustling as an actress in NYC. And I still danced, but it was just in class. I got deep into Haitian and Afro Cuban dance classes for years at Djoniba Drum and Dance Center. But alas, I digress and completely went down memory lane on this post.
Anyway, my point: I haven’t found a place that I wanted to move to as profoundly since. Not to mention, many more environmental and political factors have to come into play when deciding where to move in this new apocalyptic world. The simple, ignorant days are long gone. Though I bet we could find a fabulous brownstone in the west village right now for cheap!
At any rate, we longed for a much-needed break before we could make any sound plan and, though it was hawt as f**k, Palm Springs was the perfect place to land for a bit. We rented a house with a pool, I cooked a bunch (a few highlights below), ordered fabulous take-out, saw the local sites that were open, and thoroughly enjoyed the A/C as the temperature was in the 110-degree zone each day. I thought I would put together a list of my favorite spots in Palm Springs if you wanted to plan a desert escape. Many places were closed due to pandemic (of course), but I could still locate some great finds. Stay safe out there and remember, wear a damn mask!
Palm Springs Favorite Joints
Originally published at https://ariaadjani.squarespace.com on September 18, 2020.