The lost America of Palm Springs

California was once home to a certain vision of the American dream; Mamas & the Papas records, grinning surfers, chrome bumpers. Now LA and San Francisco are full of glass and steel and petty criminals. Escape their sketchy downtowns and you’ll find huge copy-and-paste estates of identical homes. Urban sprawl has choked off California’s charm in everywhere but Palm Springs, a desert valley city to the east of Los Angeles.  Kirk Douglas lived here, alongside Rock Hudson, Janet Gaynor and Frank Sinatra. Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned in the city for the whole of 1967. Producers would often oblige their stars to remain within a two-hours drive of their LA studios.