LA Stories


Designer Death

Versace-mania swept the nation last week, with shoppers scrambling to buy up anything bearing the label of Gianni Versace, who was gunned down outside his Miami Beach mansion.

Clothing and even hangers bearing the Versace name became collectibles overnight, as shoppers vied for the last remaining true Versace originals on store racks and shelves. The Versace store on Rodeo Drive, which closed last Wednesday in remembrance of its namesake, was no exception.

Upon reopening on Thursday, frantic shoppers were flooding into the store, so much so that a testy-sounding manager barely had time to field a reporter’s call. “I can’t talk right now. We’re swamped,” she snapped, before hanging up to return to the chaos.

Bargain in the Sky

Looking for the top commercial real estate bargain in Los Angeles?

It could be the top two floors of the 72-story First Interstate World Tower recently renamed the “Library Tower” for its proximity to L.A.’s Central Library and because the bank was taken over last year by Wells Fargo & Co.

The offices which feature striking floor-to-ceiling glass and 360 degree views of the entire L.A. basin once housed First Interstate’s top brass. First Interstate leased it for $67 per square foot per year. Now, it’s being offered for sublease and could go for as little as $24 a foot, said industry sources.

That’s a 64 percent discount, but wait there’s more. The suites come furnished with the high-end furniture and artwork that outfitted the offices of former CEO William Siart and his top lieutenants.

Split Personality

Inglewood Assistant City Manager Norm Cravens is having a bit of an identity crisis these days. He’s splitting his work duties between City Hall and as a marketing executive for Hollywood Park.

It conjures up the classic “company town” line, as Hollywood Park goes, so goes Inglewood.

Cravens has been one of the key negotiators for the city to help get Hollywood Park a professional sports team.

“Sometimes I forget which hat I’m wearing,” said Cravens, who will actually take an early retirement from Inglewood next month to work full-time in his new job.

Westwood Beaches

People from around the region and around the world flock to Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, Manhattan Beach and Playa del Rey to surf, sunbathe, swim and play volleyball.

So it comes as no great surprise that the inaugural World Championships of Beach Volleyball in which volleyball players from around the world compete for a $600,000 purse would be held in L.A.

But is it being held on the sands of State Beach? Will Rogers State Beach? Hermosa Beach? No, it’s being held at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus.

Last time we checked, you can’t even see the ocean from there.

Forget Waldo, Where’s Hal?

KTLA-TV anchorman Hal Fishman might know how to fly a plane, but don’t ask him to navigate the World Wide Web.

America Online was promoting that Fishman would be on hand one night last week to answer questions from cyberspace. He didn’t show up to the chat room, and after about a half hour of waiting, Internet users became annoyed.

One user even went so far as to write, “Where the HAL is he?”

No posts to display