Publisher's Letter

Live your fantasy.

Tom Brewster

Welcome to the Palm Springs Life Desert Living Edition — our annual celebration of the bright, colorful California desert lifestyle.

This hefty volume is loaded with information for visitors and serves as an indispensable reference for the ballooning number of year-round residents of this idyllic valley of desert resort cities. A veritable user's guide to the desert, Palm Springs Life showcases the good life, serving up page after page of celebrity sightings, sophisticated fashion, luxurious homes, fine art and dining, world-class shopping, and attractions.

Palm Springs has a long and close history with Hollywood, a subject our magazine explores with fascinating frequency throughout the year. In this issue, we have a story for the whole family: “The Desert of Oz." Howard Johns, author of the popular book Palm Springs Confidential: Playground to the Stars, reveals that the Yellow Brick Road started right here in Palm Springs — in the fanciful mind of a little man named Mervyn LeRoy. The jovial film producer was one of many members of The Wizard of Oz cast and crew of who lived here. Johns, a longtime Palm Springs Life contributing editor, goes behind the dusty scenes and finds that Oz could well be a metaphor for the beautiful desert. We think this story is particularly timely since the American Film Institute in June named The Wizard of Oz — winner of five Oscar awards — as the best fantasy film of all time.

Logically, Palm Springs must be a special place. Some people visit and never leave. That’s what happened to me more than 50 years ago. I fell under the spell of the mountains. Likewise, Tom Brewster, a landscape photographer who has a long and impressive shooting history with Palm Springs Life, has a mighty appreciation for the desert’s extreme environments. His knowledge of so many mountain trails reaps great rewards when he hikes — sweeping panoramic views and fresh perspectives. He shares recent treasures and reveals a few accessible vantage points in “Views from the Trails."

Over the summer, as the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles opened its landmark exhibition surveying the architecture of John Lautner, Palm Springs Life Fashion Editor Susan Stein and photographer Eric Scot took a crew up to the modern icon’s world-famous Elrod House, recognizable to James Bond fans as the house in Diamonds are Forever. In this spectacular photo shoot (“In Perfect Form"), we showcase new and traditional styles in compelling fashion — another “only in Palm Springs” experience.

The desert’s relaxing and spiritual nature makes it a perennial favorite among spa lovers (“Ready, Set ... Relax”). Day spas, resort spas, and medical and dental spas offer a world of healing and rejuvenating treatments that promise to put you in a tranquil, feel-good state of mind.

And don’t miss the 2008/2009 Desert Guide calendar and Great Restaurants sections, included in this valuable edition. Desert Guide also features listings to all the area’s best attractions, spas, galleries, shopping, and much more. For a deeper and always up-to-date look at what Palm Springs Life and Desert Guide have to offer, please bookmark our Web site,

It’s a lot to take in — as is the desert itself. We hope you will want even more and subscribe to our monthly edition. By doing so, your order will include the 2009/2010 Palm Springs Life Annual Desert Living Edition and a variety of resource-rich supplements to maximize your desert lifestyle.

Enjoy your Palm Springs Life!

— Milton W. Jones

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