The sun bleeds out across the sky, its light diffusing across the sand and over the twisted bodies of the Joshua Trees. There’s a coolness in the air; the passive touch of a desert winter. A car pulls up at an almost empty hotel, dispensing 3 Australians before the expanse of the land. So this was Twenty-nine Palms. A road trip through the Mojave and the fleeting day-warmth leaves stomachs empty, but even more so, hearts. Hearts, longing to continue drinking in something beautiful, something comforting; to continue being lulled by sheer experience. And they were not disappointed, for down the bare road lay a true treasure, a bastion of culinary culture and the ultimate classy dining experience: Dennys. And that is the story of how an Australian girl met America.
In some parts of the country, cold weather is threatening crops. Meanwhile, California has been so unseasonably wet that its deserts are experiencing what’s called a “super bloom.” After years of drought, the normally arid desert is lush.
But in California’s largest state park, in the desert south of Palm Springs, nearly four-hour car drive from Los Angeles, visitors are coming from as far as Europe, Africa and Asia to see the “super bloom.” This event is so rare, so special, that looky-loos are causing traffic jams, getting lost in the hillsides and fainting from dehydration — just to take in the beauty.
American artist Doug Aitken has built a small house-shaped structure, clad top-to-bottom in mirrors, in the desert outside Palm Springs. The Mirage sculpture is modeled on a ranch-style suburban American house. But it is composed of mirrored surfaces, which reflect the surroundings and camouflage the structure.
“Mirage distills the recognizable and repetitious suburban home into the essence of its lines, reflecting and disappearing into the vast western landscape,” said Aitken. The artists created the installation for the Desert X art festival, for which 16 artworks have been installed across the arid landscape of the Coachella Valley.
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