Shields Date Garden

Shields Date Garden has been on my radar for sometime, but there was always something else I wanted to do in and around Palm Springs more every time I was there! But this time I was hellbent on going and getting my hands on a famous date shake!

Shields Date Garden was founded by husband and wife team Floyd and Bess Shields in 1924. They were pioneers in the field of date farming in the Coachella Valley. They even went as far as to create their own varieties as the “Blonde” and “Brunette” dates. Shield truly believed in date farming and gave presentations on the process, and later created a slide show. By this time the Coachella Valley was filling up with date farms, and the Shields were in need of a new lure, especially with all of the fresh traffic of people traveling to the new resort hot spot, the Salton Sea. So he created a documentary, The Romance and Sex Life of the Date. The word “sex” was pretty taboo to have in large letters across a billboard or building in the 1950s. But it certainly made people curious and Shields thrived. Today, the documentary (albeit a slightly modified version) still continues to play continuously, and people are encouraged to walk the Garden and indulge in a variety of date goodies!

In 1953, in beautiful classic roadside tradition, Shields added their now iconic large knight to beckon visitors.

One of the things the Shields developed the the date crystal, which went into their very own date shake and date ice cream. All of which is still available at Shields today.

Today, Shields Date Garden even has its very own cafe, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We arrived early for breakfast, where Patrick had the date pancakes, before we stepped out to tour the actual grounds. I had initially expected to just roam around the beautiful date palms and take some pictures, but what I wasn’t prepared for were the over 20 relatively life size statues documenting the life of Jesus. Yes, Jesus. Like, from the Bible. Apparently in 2011 William and Lillian Vanderzalm of Vancouver, Canada, had recently closed their Biblical garden, and were looking for a new home for their statues in the Palm Springs area. They called Shields, who accepted them, and the statues were installed in 2013. The presence of the story of Jesus isn’t as random as you would initially think, as dates originated in the middle east, becoming a dietary staple for those living in the area, especially in Egypt and Israel, and palm trees are mentioned multiple times in the Bible. As fitting as it is, I will admit I would have loved to have walked the grounds prior to this change.

I honestly cannot recommend Shields Date Gardens enough! It is a must if you are in the Palm Springs or Indio area. It’s only about a half hour drive from the heart of Palm Springs. It also makes for a perfect stop if you’re on your way to another religions folk art oddity, Salvation Mountain! You can check our our visit from a couple years ago here.

That wraps up my Palm Springs post this spring. Unlike previous visits, we didn’t stay at a nifty old hotel (which I usually do a post about), instead opting to stay where Patrick’s company put him up at, which is free! And seeing as we are still making improvements on the house, we kind of need to save where we can!

Dress: Portland Antique Expo, Portland, Oregon
Copper Belt & Tooled Leather Purse: ???
Copper Jewelry: Here and there…the ring with wee little turquoise stones came from my dad
Shoes: Olvera Street.

Clifton’s Pacific Seas Bar

After much anticipation, Clifton’s (which I have blogged about on several previous occasions, including its grand re-opening, Thanksgiving, and the first Fur & Feathers in LA) finally opened the doors to the newest addition to its cabinet of curiosities, Pacific Seas, a tiki bar inspired by the first ever Clifton’s, under the same name.

The Pacific Seas was the first of Clifford Clinton’s chain of cafeterias, and featured a gorgeous pacific island theme with lots of bamboo, gorgeous faux rock features, both inside and out, and even neon palm trees. It was gaudy, outrageous, and utterly amazing. Honestly, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and experiences it. Seriously, take a look…

Pacific Seas opened in 1939 and closed its doors in 1960s, when it was demolished and became a parking lot, which it has remained since. But now Clifton’s guests can either re-live, or experience for the first time, a small taste of what the Pacific Seas was like with its all new tiki bar. On Friday Patrick and I had the pleasure of going the night before its grand opening thanks to a friend. My eyes couldn’t stop darting around at all of the amazing details, and these photos simply don’t do it justice. One of my favorite details was the original plaque to the outside of the Pacific Seas location that discussed the exterior and gave thanks to the artists behind the creation. Sadly, I failed to get any real outfit photos with the exception of a quick snap at the end of the night.

I can imagine we shall be visiting Pacific Seas as often as possible, as it is nothing short of spectacular, and I highly encourage both locals and visitors to LA alike to visit!

Dress: LA Vintage Expo
Shoes: Re-Mix
Coconut Bangle: ???

Countess Vibes

Last night one of my dear friends celebrated her birthday, and as a fan of the 40s and big band music, she selected one of the big band nights at Cicada to celebrate. As Cicada is house in the oldest art deco building in Los Angeles, the Oviatt Building, many people dress 20s for their visit, and I originally planned to wear a beaded 20s style number I purchased ages ago for an event in April, which was cancelled. But as I thought more about it…the fact the music was going to be more 40s, all the other people in our group were going for a 40s look, and the fact I’m on the tail of a cold, I decided at the last minute to go in a more comfy, yet still glamorous and kind of 40s-ish (but actually 70s) number that I recently acquired. Besides, it also gave me Countess vibes, which was fitting, seeing as Cicada’s exterior was used in American Horror Story: Hotel, and the interior was the inspiration behind the set for the hotel, and when the show was completed, the club acquired the chandeliers used in the show.

So, yes, this gown is 70s, I mean I think it looks it, but also still offer a bit of an old Hollywood vibe, and everyone kept telling me it had a Ginger Rogers feel. It’s also incredibly comfy, and has a cape. So…it’s a win-win. It’s one of the few pieces I kept from my grandmother’s vintage clothing collection (many pieces were too large) when I helped my sister with downsizing our grandmother’s place before her move to an assisted living situation.

Unlike our last visit, where we dined, this time we opted to just sit upstairs and enjoy the music and the bar. I can honestly say that the night ranks among one of my favorites since moving, and in life. I had a complete ball chatting with all of my other glamorous friends, and we even got down on the dance floor joined the conga line there was going for a period of time.

Hope your weekend is going well so far!

Gown: Belonged to my grandmother
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse & Bangles: Buffalo Exchange
Earrings: I don’t remember…

Thanksgiving at Clifton’s

When Patrick and I heard that Clifton’s was doing a special Thanksgiving meal we instantly decided that is what we were going to do for the holiday. I’m not a huge Thanksgiving person, but that could be a post in itself, so I’ll spare you, and let’s move onto what I wore, and more gorgeous details that can be found inside this historic restaurant.


This last photo is actually a miniature of what the very first Clifton’s, known as Clifton’s Pacific Seas, looked like on the outside. Yes, it had an insane cascading waterfall (take a peek at this vintage photo). And inside it was gorgeously themed to the Pacific Islands with lush tropical plants and more water features!

I hope my fellow American readers had a lovely Thanksgiving, if you chose to celebrate, and to my non-American readers, I hope you had a lovely Thursday!

Dress & Purse: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Corn Necklace, Jacket, & Algernon the Fox: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Bangles: Buffalo Exchange
Fox Brooch: Gift
Hat: Portland Expo
Shoes: Thrifted

Clifton’s Cafeteria At Last

When I think about iconic old Los Angeles, a few places immediately spring to mind. The Bradbury Building, LA City Hall, Angels Flight, Griffith Observatory, and Clifton’s Cafeteria. Clifton’s is most certainly an institution in here southern California, and it’s one that was reborn last night, and Patrick and I were lucky enough to attend the grand re-opening. There are three stories that I feel are important to tell, so, this is going to be a longer than normal post.

First I want to tell the story of Clifton’s Cafeteria and its owner, Clifford Clinton. And while at first that may sound kind of boring, I’m telling you it borders on sounding like a James Elroy novel. The first Clifton’s Cafeteria was opened by Clifford Clinton (the name Clifton’s was created by taking portions of his first and last name and putting them together), in 1931, and was called Clifton’s Pacific Seas. The cafeteria was jungle themed, with murals, faux palm trees, waterfalls, and, my favorite detail, a rainfall every twenty minutes. The Pacific Seas location would remain open until 1960. Clinton opened his second cafeteria in 1935, Clifton’s Brookdale as it was called, and it featured a Redwoods inspired interior, rock work and water features. Clinton opened his cafeterias during one of America’s most difficult time periods, the Great Depression, and while other restaurants were turning away customers who couldn’t pay, Clinton had the following printed on guest checks, “Regardless of the amount of this check, our cashier will cheerfully accept whatever you wish to pay – or you may dine for free.” His openness did not end there. In a time when there were separate drinking fountains and much, much more for blacks and whites, Clinton welcomed everyone, regardless of race.

In the same year, Clinton was invited to inspect the food operations at LA County General Hospital, and it was the stepping off point on a crusade against corruption. At the hospital, Clinton made a report siting waste and poor patient treatment, and offered suggestions to trim the budget, but what he didn’t know was that the hospital and its budget had political ties, and Clinton’s suggestions were not welcome ones. In 1937, Clinton found himself selected for LA County Grand Jury, and specifically a jury that would hear offenses punishable by a year or more in prison, and the service would last one year. Shocked by what he learned while serving, and the resistance he met within the grand jury, Clinton created his own group, Citizens’ Independent Vice Investigating Committee (CIVIC). He compiled a report highlighting the relationship between city officials and the criminal underworld, and after the grand jury refused to print it, Clinton printed it himself. After the report, Clinton soon found his own restaurants were being issued violations, and even lawsuits by people claiming food poisoning and more. In October of 1937, a bomb exploded in the basement of Clinton’s Los Feliz home, and just a little while later, another bomb exploded in the car of an ex-cop, who was giving information to Clinton. The bombing was tied to an LAPD Captain, who was soon put on trial. The trial also exposed that the Captain was running illegal wiretaps, and soon the public became aware of the corruption within the city’s government. With the bombing and other corruption now pubic, Clinton with his CIVIC allies then began a recall campaign against the mayor, and they were successful.

After Pearl Harbor and America’s entrance into World War II, Clinton, at 41, joined the army and worked as a mess officer. After the war, he attempted to run for mayor. When he lost, he turned to the problem of world hunger, and teamed up with a Caltech biochemist to develop a food supplement to give proper nutrition, and did so at the cost of five cents per meal, Multi-Purpose Food, as it would be called. He then used this to create Meals for Millions, which has continued to this day in the form of Freedom from Hunger. During his crusades against corruption and hunger, Clinton continued his restaurant businesses, and opened several more locations, however, Clifton’s Brookdale was the only one to survive, being sold in 2010 to Andrew Meieran, who then closed it for refurbishment, and underwent many, many delays, as well as $3 million before it reopened its doors Monday night.

The second story I want to tell is the shortest of the three. As some of you might already know, my dad is originally from the Los Angeles area. He grew up down here, and he can tell you where nearly every business used to be, and recalls stories of his childhood and teenage years before he headed to Oregon for college. It is his stories, along with California’s lush history, that I want to track down and relive, they are stories that inspire me. When he told me about visiting Clifton’s, I longed to go, and Clifton’s shot to the top of the list of places to visit after we moved. But, like many, we found out we had to wait.

And now, the wait is over, and I get to tell you about our experience! Clifton’s Grand Re-Opening was a ticketed event to benefit the LA Conservancy, and Patrick had surprised me with tickets awhile ago. So I had been eagerly counting down the days, while simultaneously trying to avoid looking at pictures from the news articles that were popping up on the internet. Finally the day arrived, and the date couldn’t have been better as it fell on our one year anniversary of moving to California. Seriously, what better way to celebrate? Clifton’s pretty much sums up the reasons why I wanted to move here.

Clifton’s on one level may come across as kitsch to the max, but it is also incredibly charming, and classy. It still evokes all of the fun it did when it opened, while giving the menu a facelift, but there is still mac and cheese and Jell-O. I loved exploring its nooks and crannies, and taking pictures, despite difficulties (seriously, this place was a pain to shoot in, because it is so dark). During the party, the first and second floors were open to the General Admission (which we were), with the next two floors open for VIP admission (which we instantly regretted not purchasing, though they cost double what GA cost). And while the doors might be open, it’s still not completed. Talk of a tiki bar and speakeasy are on everyone’s lips, and I look forward to many, many returns during our visits into LA and exploring it even further.

Dress: Stars Antique Mall, Portland, Or.
Stockings: What Katie Did
Purse & Necklace: Antique Alley, Portland, Or.
Bangles: Buffalo Exchange
Shoes: I honestly don’t remember! Maybe Antique Alley as well…

Patrick’s Outfit
Suit & Hat: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles, Ca.
Shirt & Shoes: Nordstorm
Tie: Not sure…maybe found by my dad…

Burrito King

During the week Patrick came to terms that it was time for a haircut. After being disappointed in his previous cuts around Orange, Patrick finally decided to listen to me about seeing one of our friends, as well as former Portland resident, who is a barber at Manly and Sons in LA (and he did a great job, so seriously, listen to your wife, she knows best). Not only is Manly and Sons a swell barber shop, it also happens to be located just around the corner from a restaurant I had been wanting to visit, Burrito King.

Now, Burrito King may not look like much, but it’s tasty and also plays into my continued Gram Parsons pilgrimage list I have. Parsons aptly posed in front of the burrito stand in his Flying Burrito Brothers tee, so I felt a need to make a trek to the location, in, what else, but my Burrito tee.

I must say, my burrito was amazing. I ordered the California Burrito, which was carne asada, cheese, sour cream and French fries. Yeah, French fries. Speaking of amazing, isn’t this tooled leather purse to die for? It’s my latest addition to what has become quite the tooled leather collection, and was recently shipped to me from my dad (Thanks, dad!) as it was a birthday present from a friend back in Eugene.

Flying Burrito Brothers Tee: Worn Free
Jeans: Thrifted
Boots: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Tooled Leather Purse: Gift, from the lovely Lyndsie of Retro Rejuvenation
Belt: Found by my dad
Turquoise Earrings & Large Thunderbird Ring: Ray’s Ragtime, Portland, Oregon
Turquoise Kachina Ring: Living Threads Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Small Thunderbird Ring & Kachina Bracelet: Expo