July 16, 2008
Went to the Grove last night—the Grave, my friends call it—in search of an iPhone, and found that the consumer-spending crisis seems to be leaving this former stand of orange trees alone. (The Grove, an underage Las Vegas, is said to have exceeded Disneyland in annual visitors.) The crowd in front of the Apple Store was too large to contemplate joining, had it even been allowed. “The line is closed,” an employee with an angel wing tattooed on each forearm said.
Rick Caruso, the developer of the Grove and a rumored candidate in next year’s mayoral election, opened a new project in Glendale this spring—the unparseably named Americana at Brand—and is working on another mise en scène for the parking lots next to the Santa Anita Race Track. The Shops at Santa Anita are scheduled to open in two years.
Caruso was in the paper again yesterday, in a story about his plans to renovate the old Miramar Hotel in Montecito. Caruso’s plans have met with some local resistance and the Montecito Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the project tomorrow. Meanwhile, Caruso’s m.o. in winning over Montecito residents might provide a clue to his intentions. From the L.A. Times:
“He’s like a good politician who goes out and walks the neighborhoods and kisses the babies,” said Montecito filmmaker Steve Traxler. “He knows what to do, and he does it the right way.”