Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve at Melvyn's

Before I forget, I'd like to share a few photos of how I celebrated New Year's Eve in Palm Springs. The plan was to do an early dinner at Melvyn's restaurant, then head to a different restaurant called Blame it On Midnight to catch their lounge entertainment and midnight festivities. However, after dinner we decided to stay at Melvyn's and skip the other place altogether. We had a great time, but decided to call it a night sometime around 10:30 and went home. Dining at Melvyn's restaurant is a classic Palm Springs experience; it has an old Hollywood feel, rich with history. The walls echo the many celebrities of the past (and present) who have made it a favorite. The walls of the lounge are covered with photos of celebrities who have dined on site such as Lucille Ball, Marlon Brando, Cher, Dinah Shore, John Travolta, Liza Minelli, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Barry Manilow, Joan Collins, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rita Hayworth, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor...and so many more (go ahead catch your breath after that long list).

Above: The entrance to Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs. It has such an elegant feel to it, but it is very welcoming and unpretentious.

above left: the entire restaurant ceiling was covered with balloons. It was an incredible festive atmosphere. above right: the lounge, by the piano was packed solid, but there were reserved tables waiting for us after dinner, of course!
above: My idea of a good date. Rich, well dressed ladies who know what cocktail to order, Gin martinis with a twist! Later, we ended up dancing the Cha Cha. I had no idea I'd be dancing so soon in the new year (you may recall my Saturday Seven post about ballroom dancing just last week). I guess that means I can check off that resolution as complete...well, started anyway. New Year's Eve turned out to be a lot of fun, even if I was back home by 10:45 pm!
Xavier Cugat Art: "Dining at Melvyn's"
Above: This print "Dining at Melvyn's", by Xavier Cugat is hanging up inside Melvyn's. First a little background on Xavier: He was a Spanish born Cuban band leader known as the "Rumba King". He made some great music for dances like the Conga, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, and the Twist when each was the rage with the public. He was known for holding his Chihuahua dog while conducting his band with a baton using his other arm. Cugat and Desi Arnaz were good buddies and would pal around together at Lucy and Desi's home in Palm Springs.
In addition to being a band leader, Cugat was an artist. This piece above was Cugat's caricature of his celebrities who dined at Melvyn's. Look closely...how many do you recognize? Here are the ones I figured out:
Kirk Douglas, David Niven, Abe Vigoda, Buddy Hackett, Vincent Price, Liza Minelli, Phyllis Diller, Ernest Borgnine, Clarke Cable, Red Skelton, Sammy Davis Jr, Cher, Sonny Bono, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Alfred Hitchcock, Tony Curtis, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Groucho Marx, Liberace & Tony Bennett. Did you find any I didn't list? I'm guessing that my new blogging friend Naomi (oldladyinthehills) can fill in the ones I missed.
-Rick Rockhill

22 comments:

Lois Grebowski said...

My guesses:

upper left corner.. Charro, of course! (goochy goochy goo!), xavier cugat's ex-wife.

Peter Lorre next to Lucilleball? I may be way off on that one.

wide-faced guy below phyllis diller could be Charles Bronson

dude w/pipe above Sammy Davis looks like Rory Calhoun, but I don't think he's famous enough...could also be aged Victor Mature (sans toga)

Steve Allen in the green jacket (upper right?)

Frank Sinatra bottom right.

Carrie Fisher upper right corner

Barbara Streisand in the red next to Jackie Gleason

If my mom were alive, she'd nail this in 50 seconds!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Lois- You are a GENIUS! Thanks for adding to the list!

Lois Grebowski said...

acutally "charro" is really probably other wife -- Abbie Lane.

I'm having fun w/this. Sad part is I reconize faces, just can't pull up the names!

Lois Grebowski said...

groucho Marx...bottom right corner in the beret.

OK. now I'm obsessed....

Palm Springs Savant said...

ooo you are good at this Lois!

jackie said...

so did you step on her toes while on the dance floor?

WAT said...

Why yes, Xavier trained and helped Desi make it in the U.S. when Arnaz was barely starting here.

Marlupe said...

that's some place there. I had no idea it attracted so many famous people. What a great way to spend new years.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't see some that YOU see...LOL!
But I think I see Katherine Hepburn..(Almost Center) and Sinatra..way over on the lower right....Some of these are not exactly "readable" to me.....But it is a fun drawing...!

curmudgeon said...

I recognize about half, but I don't want to do repeats without reading the other comments. So to hell with it. ;)

Sounds like your hoe-down was more exciting than mine. I stay in on amateur night. But the movies were good...

Happy friggin' New Year!!!

Marc Acito said...

Hi. I found your blog through Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. I think that's Danny Kaye in the red fright wig next to Katherine Hepburn in the center. And it might be Phil Silvers in the upper right (where Lois thinks its Steve Allen). Great party game. Thanks for posting it.

Marc Acito said...

Hi. I found your blog through Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. I think that's Danny Kaye in the red fright wig next to Katherine Hepburn in the center. And it might be Phil Silvers in the upper right (where Lois thinks it's Steve Allen). Fun game. Thanks for posting it.

Mags said...

Just for the record...I totally supplied Lois with all of her brilliant guesses.

PFFT...right. :)

Anonymous said...

This is hanging at a restaurant in Boca Raton. We came up with the following variations:
Back row: Vincent Price, Charo, X Cugat, Liza, Phillis Diller, Ernest Borgnine, Goldie Hawn, Barry Manilow, Phil Silver.
2nd Row: David Niven, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett, Liberace, ??? Jerry Lewis
3rd Row: Richard Burton, Liz T, John Wayne, Sonny & Cher, Hugh Hefner, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, Jackie Gleason, Barbra Streisand
Mid Row: Sammy Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, ???? Frank Sinatra
Bottom Row, ???, Kirk Douglas, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Peter Lorre, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx.


Please correct/re-affirm. We're struggling to figure this out.

Anonymous said...

I have this print. I think the people represented are:
Top Row: Burt Lancaster, Charo, X Cugat, Liza, Phyllis Diller, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, and Melvyn Himself.
Row 2: David Niven, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett, Liberace, Charles Bronson, Jerry Lewis
Row 3: John Wayne, Hugh Hefner, Katherine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, Jackie Gleason, Barbara Streisand
Row 4: Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, Sonny and Cher, Sammi Davis Jr., Hitchcock, ?Charles Laughton?, Sinatra
Bottom Row: Rex Harrison, Kirk Douglas, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx.
Hope this helps solve some of the mystery.
Very cool painting!

Anonymous said...

I too have a signed copy of this print and have struggled to identify the celebrities. On good authority -- Melvyn himself -- the three figures in the upper right are Melvyn, his then-girlfriend and his agent. About eight other figures remain without definite IDs, although we've made some good guesses.
Dan Baker, cdanielbaker@hotmail.com

Jessica said...

Let's hear it from the South (Texas that is)

Top Row: Kirk Douglas(look at the hair, chin and eyes), Charo, X Cugat, Liza, Phyllis Diller, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds(Britt Eckland(gap in teeth), Eddie Fisher(Rod Sterling), and Melvyn Himself(not sure bc haven's seen pic of Mel but looks like Steve Allen to me).
Row 2: David Niven, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett, Liberace, Charles Bronson, Clark Gable
Row 3: John Wayne, Hugh Hefner, Katherine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, Jackie Gleason, Barbara Streisand
Row 4: Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, Sonny and Cher, Sammi Davis Jr., Hitchcock, Anthony Quinn, Sinatra
Bottom Row: Rex Harrison, Cary Grant (chin), Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx.
Hope this helps solve some of the mystery.

Jessica said...

Let's hear it from the South (Texas that is)

Top Row: Kirk Douglas(look at the hair, chin and eyes), Charo, X Cugat, Liza, Phyllis Diller, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds(Britt Eckland(gap in teeth), Eddie Fisher(Rod Sterling), and Melvyn Himself(not sure bc haven's seen pic of Mel but looks like Steve Allen to me).
Row 2: David Niven, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett, Liberace, Charles Bronson, Clark Gable
Row 3: John Wayne, Hugh Hefner, Katherine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, Jackie Gleason, Barbara Streisand
Row 4: Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, Sonny and Cher, Sammi Davis Jr., Hitchcock, Anthony Quinn, Sinatra
Bottom Row: Rex Harrison, Cary Grant (chin), Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx.
Hope this helps solve some of the mystery.

Shari said...

Top Row: Kirk Douglas, Charo, Xavier Cugat, Liza Minelli, Phyllis Diller, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher and Phil Silvers
Row 2: David Niven, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett, Liberace, Charles Bronson, Clark Gable
Row 3: John Wayne, Hugh Hefner, Katherine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, Jackie Gleason, Barbra Streisand
Row 4: Richard Burton,Elizabeth Taylor, Sonny and Cher, Sammy Davis Jr., Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Quinn, Frank Sinatra
Bottom Row: Rex Harrison, Robert Mitchum, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Groucho Marx.

Bruce A. Moss said...

I happen to own two of these lithos and am looking to sell one if anyone is interested.

Bruce A. Moss said...

I happen to own two of these if anyone is interested in buying one.

Bruce A. Moss said...

I own two of these if anyone is interested in buying one.

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