[Daina Beth Solomon contributed to this report.] Angelenos headed out en masse for some “shopping-tainment” Sept. 10 during second Fashion’s Night Out, a celebration that reverberated from Newport Beach to the Valley and beyond. Designers, retailers and shoppers revved up for an evening centered on style and spending that seems to have paid off. Venues were crowded, sales reportedly brisk. More than 20,000 people went through the doors of the Beverly Center, the night’s official Los Angeles hub, where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addressed the crowd, telling people to “shop until they dropped.”
“Fergie! Fergie!” cries a young boy in a fringed leather jacket clutching an iPhone in one hand and a Fergie CD in the other as he runs toward the escalator where she has appeared. Dressed in a short, tight, sky-blue dress, Fergie hugs the boy and poses for a photo. About 200 people have gathered at Nordstrom at the Grove, where the Black Eyed Peas singer signs autographs for shoppers who buy from her newest shoe collection.
Varoom! There goes another candy-colored streamlined Vespa zooming through downtown Los Angeles — this one in a tangerine hue. Oh, and there’s one in cherry red. And pastel blue. Did you see the mint-green one with the white daisy decals buzz by?…
Within the concrete heart of downtown Los Angeles, an area three blocks long and two blocks wide fills with daily shipments of blossoms in every color, size, shape and fragrance imaginable. Bold sunflowers. Delicate baby’s breath. Boisterous red roses. Pastel snap dragons. Golden orchids flecked with red. Fluffy white carnations. This is the Los Angeles Flower District…
“What brings you downtown?” the waitress asks as she seats me on a patio shadowed by the skyscrapers on Bunker Hill.
I hear this question often. “Actually, I live here,” I say, trying not to sound smug. “Just down the hill.”
“Oh!” the waitress chirps in surprise. After all, most of the restaurant patrons work in the neighboring office buildings on Grand Avenue or Hope Street. They may stop in for a drink before heading home to a house on a grassy lot fringed with oleander and bougainvillea, but they don’t live here….