FEBRUARY 19, 2018
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FEBRUARY 25, 2018

Mid-Century Mod Architectural Drive-by Excursion Extravaganza

Modernism Week CAMP
230 Museum Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Tour the mecca of mid-century atop a double-decker, open-air bus with Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix. With his unbridled enthusiasm, delightful design expertise, and keen eye for oddball detail, Charles’ spirited tour highlights exterior views of dozens of spectacular classic estates and homes, commercial and civic buildings, retro neighborhoods and other treasures that have made Palm Springs world famous.

Peer over the walls and hedges of landmark homes and hotels in legendary neighborhoods, including Vista Las Palmas, The Movie Colony, Twin Palms and more. Marvel at Elvis’ “House of Tomorrow” Hideaway and famed “Twin Palms” estate of Frank Sinatra. Charles also shares his favorite local restaurants, resorts, bars, boutiques, and other not to be missed local attractions in Palm Springs.

Special Instructions

Check-In: Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your tour departure time.
Seating: Tickets are for upper deck only. Hats and sunscreen highly recommended for sun exposure. Wheelchair accessible for lower deck only.
Prohibited: Alcoholic beverages, smoking, vaping, food, glass containers, and pets.
Comfort Stop: Yes



Questions, Commentary & Conversation with the Amassodor of Americana

Modernism Week CAMP
230 Museum Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Author, humorist and tour guide Charles Phoenix tells stories from his latest book, Addicted to Americana, shares his expertise on what to see and do in Palm Springs, and reveals the backstory of his unapologetic obsession with Mid-Century style and design. Following the talk and Q&A, Charles will sign books, which will be available for purchase. NOTE: This event is NOT a slide show performance OR a bus tour.

For tickets to Charles’ Addicted to Americana Slide Show, Sat, Feb  17, at Palm Springs Museum of Art –


Charles’ Palm Springs Bus Tours are SOLD OUT


Addicted to Americana author Charles Phoenix celebrates classic and kitschy American life and style. He is known for his live retro slide show performances, festive field trip tours, madcap test kitchen videos, and colorful coffee table books. On TV Charles has appeared with Jay Leno, Martha Stewart, Conan O’Brian, and judging on Food Network’s Cake Wars.



Los Angeles Times

Charles Phoenix brings his love of kitsch to cooking

For Charles Phoenix, imagination is the magic ingredient. Hence dishes such as the Astro Weenie Party Tree or Bambrosinana.

By Noelle Carter

August 10, 2013

“The colors need to be bright, like saturated neon,” Charles Phoenix says, describing his Seven Layer Soda Pop Rocks cake. “You can’t have too much food coloring. Think Day-Glo!”

Phoenix is visualizing the elements of an ideal summer party. His ideal summer party. “A pool would be nice, because pool parties are classic summer. And there would be those motorized pool toys with remote controls for the gearheads, so they can fight in the water.” A little something for everyone.

“But I think they should be unicorns. Imagine remote-control unicorns fighting in a pool.”

Phoenix is an entertainer who is all about Americana, exploring and celebrating our kitschy pop culture past and present through his books and tours, historic slide shows and unique culinary creations. “I was born on a used-car lot,” he explains, smiling (his father was a used-car salesman), and he calls himself a child of Disneyland. “I’m very theme-oriented.”

Don’t have unicorns for your summer party? No problem. Focus on the spread.

Read the entire article here


Charles Phoenix

Charles Phoenix is a performer, humorist, chef and author who explores America's classic and kitschy pop culture -- past and present -- and predicts retro-inspired, future trends.


Trailer Family Portrait, Palm Springs, 1955


Meet the Ultimate ‘Retro Daddy’

Americana expert Charles Phoenix relives road trips to Palm Springs, forays into thrift stores and date farms, and calls for the comeback of the chuckwagon.

Interview by Matthew Link

DRESSED IN A CUSTOM-TAILORED SUIT and trademark rhinestone Colonel Sanders bow tie, Charles Phoenix flips through hilarious and sometimes bizarre slides of strangers and their homes and cars and families, taking a standing-room-only audience at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater through a rip-roaring Technicolor look at yesteryear.

Twenty years ago, this self-proclaimed “retro daddy” found a shoebox full of vintage Kodachrome slides in a thrift shop marked “Trip Across the United States 1957,” and his obsession with mid-century Americana was born. Today, he lives by this mantra: “Get in touch with your inner Americana, embrace it, have a sense of humor about it, and proudly share it with the whole wide world.”

Read entire article here


Downtown Denver, 1956


Charles Phoenix on Fried Cereal, the Genesis of the Cherpumple and Molded Gelatin

By Susan Froyd

If you know retro — and particularly mid-century — you know retro geek Charles Phoenix, a child of the endless car lots and fast food restaurants of Southern California who is famous across the nation for his mid-mod slide shows and modernist expertise. And you might even know about his sideshow, the most awesome Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen. In that guise, he’s appeared on Martha Stewart’s show and amazed Conan O’Brien with his spectacular Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree, but at the end of July, he’ll be doing it 24/7 in the Denver County Fair Kitchen Pavilion, where he’ll create such delectables of his own invention as Mr. Meatloaf and Fried Cereal, as well as judge such fair food categories as best Molded Gelatin Dessert and best Cake and Egg Decorating.

We chatted with Mr. Phoenix about the recipes and inspirations behind his unique retro food fetishes, and here’s what he had to say.

Read entire story/interview here

An Interview With America's Pop Culture Ambassador

Knott's Berry Farm 1954

An Interview with America's Pop Culture Ambassador, Charles Phoenix

By Ryan Stabile

Growing up in Upland, California in the '70s, Charles Pheonix was privy to a hub of SoCal pop culture. "It was just minutes to the beach, minutes to Disneyland and Knotts, minutes to the mountains, and minutes from the desert. Everyone in Southern California has an incredible variety of recreational choices." He goes on to joke about how families often plan a week out of their year to do on vacation what locals do on a whim...