‘If somebody looks like somebody, it’s that somebody.’

One of the things I love about the Coachella Valley is that it can never seem to decide if it's going to be a big city or a small town. Really, it's both all at once. The valley's made up of nine cities, all under 100,000 in population, and some unincorporated communities that all combine to form a pretty respectably sized quasi-metro area.

I could go on forever about all the big-city amenities and small-town politics we have here in the valley, but one that I want to highlight briefly is a distinctively small-town trait: This is a town where you bump into people you know.

Now, of course, this happens everywhere. After living in the Valley of the Sun for eight years, I would bump into people I knew all the time in the pockets of town that I frequented — Chandler, Tempe and downtown Phoenix. But with millions of people around, there were also plenty of times that I could've sworn I saw someone I knew or someone from local TV around town only to find, upon closer inspection, that it was just a lookalike.

In the Coachella Valley, though, there's really no mistaking someone for someone else.

I first learned this back in late July when some friends and I were sitting outside Costas Nightclub in Palm Desert, debating whether or not we should get our dance on and texting other folks who might come. At one point, I see someone walking into the club who kinda looks like Mike, a reporter for one of the local TV stations.

"Hey, look. Is that Mike Daniels? It kinda looks like him," I say to Stacy, who's there with me. But I quickly shoot myself down: "Nah. It couldn't be him. Doesn't he work nights? The 10 o'clock news is just starting right now."

Well, soon enough, we're in the club, and we notice a bunch of other members of the KESQ NewsChannel 3 news team across the bar with the guy who I thought was just a Mike lookalike.

"Of course it was Mike Daniels," I announce after we make that discovery. "This is a small town. If somebody looks like somebody, it's that somebody."

I kept this is mind a few weekends ago when a bunch of us TDSers were out celebrating some birthdays at another nightclub, Zelda's in Palm Springs. At some point, I look over to the bar from our fancy little roped-off party area and see a guy who looks like Mike. It was him, of course, so I went over to say hi. Soon enough, he and Omar, a KESQ photog, had joined the Desert Sun party for the first official #newsgasm, as this particular type of media convergence was later named by a Q reporter who was quite taken with the idea.

And it happened again today when I was shopping at Target in Cat City. I was browsing the kitcheny aisles, picking up all sorts of utensils and appliances, when I caught a brief glimpse of someone who looked familiar. I did a double take, as did my friend Chris, and a split-second later we both recognized one another and then got down to the business of catching up and comparing notes on why each of us was picking up a set of kitchen knives.

Coincidentally, that's the same Target where, just a few days after I moved to Palm Springs last summer, I ran into ASU and State Press alum Katie in the aisles while picking up some just-moved-in essentials.

It's these kind of random run-ins with friends that make the Coachella Valley feel more like its parts than its sum, and it's that type of small-town feel that makes me love living here.

Is it April yet?

Everyone loves a parade – except me

Palm Canyon palms

I live literally a block off of Palm Canyon Drive, one of two main streets that run through downtown Palm Springs. Palm Canyon is the road that carries southbound traffic, plays host to a weekly street fair and also gets blocked off for a variety of parades — not that I've seen any of 'em.

Though I've lived here for more than a year now, I've somehow managed to miss each and every parade that's marched down (or is it up?) Palm Canyon.

Most recently, I missed out on yesterday's Palm Springs High School homecoming parade since I was just rolling back to the newsroom to tap out a story as the parade was kicking off at 3:30.

Here's the rest of my parade-skipping history:

Some day, somehow, I will attend a parade on Palm Canyon Drive.

Luckily, as the city says, we're now in the midst of "parade season." Here's hoping I manage to make it out to see some gay folks, vets and/or holiday ho-ho-hos before the year is done.