Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

CP: The supercool Palm Springs airport is all indoor-outdoor-sy. Nothing beats watching as a planeload of pallid, fretful, hunched-over and overdressed Minnesotans first emerge into the desert heat, shaded by those white tents.

 

RN: The collective exhale of relief is a sight to behold.

 

CP: And the 1966 airport, like many other significant Palm Springs buildings, is by Minneapolis-raised, University of Minnesota-educated architect Donald Wexler.

 

RN: Goldy Gopher to the rescue once again.

 

CP: At 88, he still lives in town. Rumor is that Wexler’s 1965 Dinah Shore house just sold for about $5.4 million to an actor who’ll be at the Oscars tonight, since he’s nominated.

 

RN: I’m hoping you’re going to say Minneapolis’ own Barkhad Abdi, but I’m guessing that that pile of sun-soaked real estate probably went to Mr. DiCaprio. How very “Wolf of Wall Street” of him.

 

CP: Someone said Palm Springs is a “strange paradise.” And discuss.

 

RN: I get that. Weird twist of geographic fate creates ideal winter weather, and proximity to Los Angeles fosters incredible cache of midcentury modern architecture, much of it faithfully restored by the Gays.

 

CP: Who also are busy restoring themselves, if the near-constant TV ads for lifts, fills, peels, tucks, hormones, veneers and rejuvenations are any clue.

 

RN: That’s the California way. My version? Liberally applying the SPF 70. That Palm Springs sun is brutal to my pink Scandinavian people.

 

CP: Yes, but the Palm Springs warmth is ahh-inspiring. So are the extremely nearby mountains. Now I know why you can’t twirl a man bag there without hitting a retired game-show star. Or a snowbird, often from Minnesota.

 

RN: Every time I dropped into Jensen’s for a quick grocery run, I thought I was in Byerly’s, that’s how many Minnesotans are in the Coachella Valley right now. And I stopped counting the number of Minnesota accents I overheard at Tyler’s, my favorite burger joint.

 

CP: Where I was, it seemed that every third Canadian was parked poolside till Memorial Day. They all thought it was so cute to say, “Sorry about that Olympic hockey game, eh.”

 

RN: One of the most depressing moments of my adult life was when I returned to Wexler’s sleek toy airport for the flight back to this winter wonderland. At least I got a whiff of a freshly mowed lawn. I’m going to live on that scent for the next three months.

 

CP: On my return flight, I sought solace in the bottle. Or can, actually. Sun Country has begun stocking Surly beer in its rolling carts.

 

RN: Score one for the hometown team. If Sun Country flight attendants start selling B.T. McElrath chocolate bars, I’ll never fly another airline.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib