Paradise Road Show

Tall palm trees, rocky desert mountains, beautiful motorcycles, and vintage cars. These were what greeted me when I visited the Paradise Road Show in Palm Springs, CA. The journey to Paradise Road Show actually started the day before when my boyfriend and I headed to HWY, a motorcycle-inspired clothing store in Echo Park. When we got there, the store was closed with a note on the door that said that the staff were at the Paradise Road Show in Palm Springs. The next day, my boyfriend and I headed out to the desert.

Paradise Road Show was not my first motorcycle/car show. I had been to a few motorcycle shows with my boyfriend already and went to a lot of vintage car shows when I modeled for a pin up clothing company. What I really liked about this show was about how laid-back it was. There weren't expensive tickets to buy or sponsors plastered everywhere.

Located on the grounds of the Ace Hotel, the front of the show was right in the middle of the courtyard and pool area. Antique and show bikes were parked wherever they would fit on the sidewalks and grass areas instead of neatly-lined rows. There was a DJ actually playing rock n roll instead of mainstream radio crap. A taco stand was set up next to the pool. The people were friendly and relaxed motorcycle-lovers, not trying to put up a front to look cool to others.

Under a covered area were various vendors. While I recognized a couple names, most of them were smaller stores like HWY who sold hand-printed tees, custom-made rings, and vintage leather jackets. This is where we found the HWY booth and my boyfriend was finally able to get his tee.

After wandering around the motorcycle portion of the event, we made out way to the vintage car area, which was located in a lot behind the hotel. Unlike many of the car shows I had been to before that were filled with "rat rods" and "rust rods" decorated with gaudy leopard fur or tacky tiki heads, most of these cars were subtle, beautifully restored, and clean examples of vintage cars. Many of the cars were owned by old-timers looking to bring back the beauty of old cars, not young guys in their 20s looking to create the next Greased Lightning knock-off.

Overall, I had a really nice time at the Paradise Road Show. I was happy that it was simple, free, and genuine instead of being a sponsored money-making event full of pretentious tattooed twenty-somethings that would sell their "precious" motorcycles once the mainstream popularity waned and the magic of Sons Of Anarchy dissipated.

Photography: myself and Nathan Jelenich