About Town: Sharon Montrose
Southern California-based photographer Sharon Montrose spends her days coaxing reptiles, birds, and furry friends from llamas to lemurs to pose in front of her lens. Once she’s captured the desired chic yet nonchalant look, her digital images are archived on The Animal Print Shop where prints can be ordered in varying sizes. Just as the reptiles she shoots love to bask in the sun, Montrose also favors warm climates, so it’s a good thing she divides her time between L.A. and Palm Springs. Here she shares her favorite desert haunts.
by Alisa Wolfson
NORMA’S I wouldn’t feel right writing about Palm Springs and not mentioning the Parker. The cafe, Norma’s, serves up a mean breakfast. The sample smoothie that gets passed around is always good. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the restaurant’s back patio is one of the most mellow spots in the valley. After brunch, I always stroll the grounds to check out the beautiful landscaping and usually find myself taking a quick nap in one of the hammocks.
PAPPY & HARRIET’S Okay, not exactly in Palm Springs city limits–it’s about 30 miles out of town, but well worth the drive into Pioneertown–a quaint authentic western town that was used to film cowboy movies and feels like it’s stuck in time. They book music acts large and small in their intimate and relaxed setting. We generally try to go early enough to eat on the back patio before the shows start. It’s always a good time there.
FREY HOUSE II TOUR I’ve become somewhat of Midcentury Modern enthusiast. I’ve gone on many house tours, but none affected me as profoundly as the Frey House II. I think it’s only open to the public via the Palm Springs Art Museum during Modernism week every February (make your reservations well in advance). Never has 800 square feet been so well utilized and with such phenomenal views of the whole Coachella Valley.
PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM Located just off Gene Autry Trail, the Palm Springs Air Museum has one of the best collections of WWII Planes and memorabilia. Do not miss the video in the Allied Hangar about the WASPS (Woman Airforce Service Pilots)–amazing, strong women who served a vital role during the war.
PEREZ ROAD DESIGN CENTER Again, just a bit east of Palm Springs in Cathedral City, behind the car dealerships, this small arts district always tempts me. From the brilliant finds at Hedge, to the Danish standbys at JP Denmark, and the multitude of offerings at Spaces, I would say easily half of my furniture and art has come from one of the vendors here.
THAI SMILE This is probably my favorite go-to restaurant in Palm Springs! Noi, the owner, is a charmer and local fixture. She’s been serving up amazing Thai food since 1996. I order the Tom-Kha-Gai soup (it’s the best) and the various curries. I also never skip desert here–there are amazing house-made coconut ice cream.
VICTORIA PARK Just a few blocks from my house, I love this sweet little park. It’s super relaxing, has great views of the mountain range, clusters of mature olive trees, picnic tables, and lush grass. And my dogs love it almost as much as I do.
VICTORIA’S ATTIC ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES Victoria’s Attic in Cathedral City is my favorite antique mall. They must have at least a few dozen vendors specializing in everything from Midcentury Modern to turn of the century sports memorabilia, and from ’70s funk to nostalgic decor from the Googie diner era. I could spend all day there.
THE GOAT TRAILS My favorite hiking trailhead can be found behind the Vons on 111 and Gene Autry Trail–great views of the city in just a few minutes from hitting the trail. Be sure to bring lots of water!
Pictured: Sharon Montrose
Photo by Ana Wolf