First Takes

The Best of the Coachella Valley and Beyond.

Site Staff Arts & Entertainment 0 Comments

Sherri Breyer-Mardones

Felicity Huffman and Willam H. Macy (right) enjoyed the red carpet at the 2006 festival. 
photo by Sherri Breyer-Mardones.

The Party Line
The big draw at the Palm Springs International Film Festival may be movies, but the behind-the-scenes palm-pressing and deal-making are what make this festival tick. From the opening-night bash Jan. 4 at Palm Springs Art Museum to the finale Jan. 15 at Spa Resort Casino, industry icons make deals and careers over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. read more

Everything Under the Sun

A lawn chair became the latest addition to Palm Springs’ public art collection in November. But this is no ordinary lawn chair. read more

Putting On Their Best Faces

It seems counterintuitive to use the word “ugly” on your calling card when you’re a makeup artist, but Judy Twine can be proud of her 12-show makeup job for Ugly Betty, one of this TV season’s hits. In fact, the ABC show purchased Twine’s entire Take 5 Cosmetics line for the cast. read more

Drinking It In
China Forbes, lead vocalist of the sophisticated and internationally acclaimed band Pink Martini, loves our desert. “I had a terrible headache when I arrived here. Then, I stepped off the bus, looked around, inhaled the clean air, and I immediately felt better,” … read more

Thinking Inside the Box
Brian Biedul has been experimenting with theoretical architecture as an art form for 20 years. After creating installations with walls, vinyl, vegetation, light, and fire, he has turned to oil on canvas for his new Space series. read more

Swinging with Bing
When Adam Gash was born in 1970, Bing Crosby had 28 of his 38 crooning albums under his belt. The two men’s lives overlapped for only seven years, leaving Gash’s childhood memories of the legendary talent to consist mainly of listening to Crosby’s White Christmas album each December and catching a few of his family’s Minute Maid orange juice commercials on television. read more


Island Style
Palm Springs apartments with a private beach and marina? It could be yours on Palm Jebel Ali, one of three date palm-shaped islands being built off the coast of Dubai. Made by dredging sand from the Persian Gulf, The Palm Islands will feature luxury hotels (including The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower), exclusive villas, shoreline apartments, water theme parks, and dive sites. Homes on Palm Jumeirah are expected to be completed by year-end. Or buy your own island in The World (300 private islands, five to 20 acres, resembling the world map), also off the Dubai coast. The World should be complete in 2008.   

Happy Tails
Three Coachella Valley dogs reunited with their families thanks to Pet Search and Rescue, a Los Angeles-based service run by Annalisa Berns. Certified as a Missing Animal Response Technician by Pet Hunters International and as a Canine & Feline Specialist by Pet Detectives Inc., Berns works with Lilly, a German shorthair pointer mix trained as a Missing Animal Response Specific Scent Dog. Information: (800) 925-2410,

What the Doctor Ordered
Why doesn’t your doctor ever say, “Take two chocolates and call me in the morning”? That’s what Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby prescribes. The British doctor and nutritionist has developed The Doctor’s Chocolate ( natural dark chocolate truffles with raspberries and an amino acid found in green tea “clinically proven to help reduce daily stress and tension while improving mental clarity and focus.” Each chocolate contains 20 calories and 1 gram of fat, and — with a glycemic rating below 30 — is safe for diabetics . Two a day “puts the joy back in living,” says Scott-Mumby.

A Slick Deal
Couples heading to New York this winter can enjoy an especially romantic offering in celebration of Rockefeller Center ice rink’s 70th anniversary. Skate-A-Date, available Jan. 10 through early April, includes a two-course dinner at the Patina Group’s Rock Center Café and VIP skating on the rink (no standing in line and complimentary skate rental). The package can be reserved for $70 (plus tax and gratuity) at

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