Intelligencer - August 2013

The Tropicale’s Wild Child, Homegrown Skin Care, Modernism Week Preview, Clean, Sober, On A Mission


The Tropicale’s Wild Child
This fall, Palm Springs gets a cool, sophisticated new nightlife venue: the Copa Room ( Located on Amado Road, adjacent to The Tropicale Restaurant and Coral Seas Lounge (and created by the popular restaurant’s owners), the nightclub boasts a bar area, a dance floor, and a stage that transforms into a fashion show runway.

“I have a feeling we’ll get some pretty good acts,” says co-owner Tony Di Lembo, suggesting that music will be key to the Copa Room’s success. “You control [the vibe] based on the type of DJ you bring in.”
— Ebony March

Homegrown Skin Care
David Parker and Margaret Skarin of The Body Deli in Palm Desert have launched a Palm Springs-inspired collection of fresh, raw, organic skin and body care products.

“Since moving to the Coachella Valley in 2001, I have come to love the Palm Springs lifestyle — the vibrant colors, midcentury architecture, and poolside living,” says Parker, a Northern California native. “Margaret and I came up with the idea of a collection using desert botanicals.”

The Las Palmas blend, for example, is handmade with locally grown Medjool dates and aromatic grapefruit and blood oranges from the Coachella Valley, with vanilla, ginger, and a hint of evening jasmine.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs and the Greater Palm Springs CVB hosted a launch party for The Body Deli’s Palm Springs Spa Collection, offering artisanal Desert Facial cocktails, date-inspired food, and classic ’50s music, and mini treatments at the Ace’s Feel Good Spa using products from the new collection.

The collection — offered in lotion, oil, perfume, scrub, and body wash varieties — is available at The Body Deli in Palm Desert and Raymond | Lawrence in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs.  Visit

Modernism Week Preview
Can’t wait for Palm Springs Modernism Week next February? Clear your calendar on Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 11-14) for a series of kick-off events, including architecture tours, a retro “yard” sale, a cocktail party, and double-decker bus tours.

“We hope that desert residents and visitors will enjoy this opportunity to experience the same quality of tours and events, but without the larger crowds of our main event,” says Lisa Vossler Smith, executive director of Modernism Week, which takes place Feb. 13-23, 2014.

Tickets go on sale Aug. 1. Tours leave from the Hilton Palm Springs on East Tahquitz Canyon Way. Visit

Clean, Sober, On A Mission

David Wambaugh — the 48-year-old son of Rancho Mirage resident Joseph Wambaugh, the former Los Angeles police detective turned best-selling crime novelist — has penned a book of his own. The Last Call, his personal memoir, traces the younger Wambaugh’s story, from his adoption when he was 6 months old to the abyss of alcohol addiction when he was a teenager to the streets of Los Angeles, where he hit rock bottom.

No rules, no accountability. That was the life he lived for 20 years, being just smart enough to stay ahead of law enforcement and knowing exactly what to say to get his parents to help him when he needed it. Eventually, his luck ran out, and he landed in state prison.

The book chronicles his every step toward finding himself at the age of 40, taking readers through his tragedy, loss, righteousness, hope, and miracles.

Wambaugh now lives in San Diego and has a son, Jake. He is director of Interventions for Teensavers, which specializes in chronic pain/chemical dependency interventions for families that need to rescue their teens and place them in treatment programs.

He also wants to raise awareness of mental health issues. “I think the best fit for me would be to go on a national speaking tour,” he says, noting that he was scheduled to speak about mental illness and addiction in July at a National Alliance for Mental Illness event. “I’m bipolar and an addict, so my problem is far more difficult than your average garden-variety drunk. I think I could save a lot of lives because you can’t treat a person who has mental illness and addiction with AA alone. My goal in life is to teach people that ‘crazy’ is not a bad word.” — James Powers and Steven Biller

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