charles-phoenix

Man about Town

Charles Phoenix promotes Palm Springs wherever he goes, and he's a fixture at Modernism Week.

Janice Kleinshmidt Modernism

charles-phoenix
Charles Phoenix recommends: “I love to relax poolside, which is the ultimate ‘there’ there.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINA FRARY

The Tale End

Charles Phoenix
Modernism Week Bus Tour Guide
Author, Addicted to Americana
charlesphoenix.com

Admittedly “obsessed” with Americana, Charles Phoenix promotes Palm Springs wherever he goes. Though he lives in Los Angeles, he knows the intricacies of desert lore better than many residents. That and his penchant for design serve him well as a double-decker bus tour guide during Modernism Week.

“It’s like a petting zoo of architecture,” he says. “I explain the city’s culture, style, and history. I tell stories about icons of the past like JFK and Marilyn Monroe. This is a city with stories to tell, and it plays well to people who come from all over the world.”

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In February, Phoenix, an author, foodie, and kitschy showman, shares Kodachrome slides from his latest book, Addicted to Americana, in a staged comedy performance and book signing Feb. 17 at Palm Springs Art Museum. He also hosts the annual Super Duper Double-Decker Bus Tour of Palm Springsland — so popular it sold out in December.

It’s difficult to pin him down to a single favorite attraction in town.

“I like to shop at the Galleria on Palm Canyon Drive for furniture. I like to have a date shake at Palm Springs Fudge & Chocolates. I tell people to go to the historical society to see the layers of time. I love to go in search of classic architecture and drive around looking for interesting homes,” Phoenix says. “You can do 900 things or do nothing — and both are wonderful.”