Connect with us


The Sunset Strip Stirs Again



Few patches of America have had a greater influence on pop culture than a storied 1.7-mile stretch of Los Angeles, where movie stars, mobsters and musicians all went to blow off steam. From Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe’s first dates to John Belushi and River Phoenix’s final speedballs, the Sunset Strip saw it all.

But every party eventually ends, and now Los Angeles’s most notorious revelry zone is focusing on the morning after. A crop of new luxury developments is cleaning up the Sunset Strip.

Some of them are rising from another era’s ashes. At the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Olive Drive, on the same lot where the corrugated-metal House of Blues stood before it faced the wrecking ball in 2017, The Pendry West Hollywood and Pendry Residences West Hollywood by Montage Hotels & Resorts, a $500 million complex that will include a 149-room hotel, 40 private residences, a music venue and seven Wolfgang Puck-led restaurants, is scheduled to open in the coming months.

The Pendry Residences are designed by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, executed by Cuningham Group Architects and have interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. An initial sales campaign was put on hold in the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the property is now open for letters of intent on a limited inventory release, and several units were sold over the summer, said Paul Stukin, head of sales for the project.

He expects significant interest this winter when a mix of featured residences will be released before opening.

“There are certain iconic places in Los Angeles that are grounded in the nostalgia of Hollywood,” said Mr. Stukin. “You stand on site, and you see the Chateau Marmont, the Sunset Tower, the Griffith Park Observatory. And it gives you that feeling that is very rare.”

During a site visit in March, just before the pandemic hit, the Pendry was little more than a construction site.

We were standing in the central gallery of the Pendry’s sales office, where a scaled architectural model of the project gleams inside its plexiglass case. Each guest is handed a coin to insert into a Moët Champagne vending machine, and a sliding door can be opened, with a flourish, to reveal a full-scale staged kitchen, bathroom and sitting room, complete with white oak floors and an Italian granite bar the color of fresh cream.

The appeal of the Pendry Residences, said Mr. Stukin, is in line with a larger movement happening not just in and around the Sunset Strip, where five major residential projects are in development, but across all of Los Angeles. It’s a rejection of the far-flung, car-dependent lifestyle that contributed to this city’s notorious sprawl and once sent its residents literally running for the hills.

“Hollywood is a company town, and I’ve spoken to buyers that when they started out here, they were either part of Hollywood or they were feeding Hollywood, so to speak, with their work,” said Mr. Stukin. “They had this rock and roll Hollywood fantasy and then, like everyone else, they moved to Brentwood, or the Palisades, or Malibu or Calabasas. But now we’re seeing that people want to move back into town. They want to be in a walkable area. They want to be in the center of everything.”

In cities like New York or San Francisco, real estate interest in the suburbs has surged since the pandemic erupted in March as residents have sought out more space. Los Angeles is different, said Stukin. “Compared to New York or London, we’re a low-density major metropolitan city. So we don’t have people fleeing here for space.”

The Pendry West Hollywood will roll out its opening, starting with the hotel, in late 2020, followed by the residences early next year.

It will be followed by the Four Seasons Private Residences Los Angeles, a 12-story tower of 59 custom homes just across the West Hollywood border in Beverly Hills; a Frank Gehry-designed mixed-used project at 8150 Sunset Boulevard, whose plans include 229 apartments, including 38 low-income homes; a condo project by Olson Kundig architects at 8899 Beverly Boulevard where developers are rumored to want as much as $100 million for the penthouse unit; a members-only social club from Gwyneth Paltrow on Sunset Boulevard; and a space-age looking mixed-use project at the site of the Viper Room, the notorious Hollywood nightclub where River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993. That project, from Morphosis Architects and Plus Development, will bring 115 more hotel rooms to the Sunset Strip, plus 31 condos and 11 affordable housing units.

Residential units at the Pendry Residences start at 2,300 square feet and $3 million. The penthouse will run in the $30-million range.

All units will feature custom kitchens, private elevator access and floor-to-ceiling windows, and several will have private terraced gardens, the largest clocking in at 3,400 square feet of outdoor space. Eight units will have outdoor Jacuzzis and private outdoor pools, and all residents will have access to the private rooftop pool across the piazza at the Pendry Hotel, as well as perks including housekeeping, room service, a wine locker, bowling alley and gym.

In addition to the hotel and condos, the Pendry’s developers are also counting on a third income stream — a large LED billboard, hoisted up on the project’s Sunset Boulevard-facing facade.

“Outside of Times Square, the Strip is the most valuable outdoor advertising in America,” said Warren Wachsberger, managing director of Aecom Capital, which is developing the project. “Having that large-format digital signage on Sunset Boulevard really gives us an edge.”

It’s not just Mr. Wachsberger who thinks so; Netflix does, too.

In 2018, Netflix snapped up 35 billboards across two dozen structures along the Sunset Strip, reigniting interest in traditional advertising in the process and reminding Los Angeles that the allure of a name in lights and the power of old-school eyeballs were both still very relevant in this town.

“There are a lot of influential people on that thoroughfare, going from Hollywood to the West Side,” Mr. Wachsberger added. “It’s created a demand, and now it’s the billboard to have on the West Coast.”

The Pendry team’s ongoing optimism for sales is most likely derived from the success of a similar project that opened in November 2019.

The West Hollywood Edition — a sleek, sexy complex comprising 190 hotel rooms, 20 residential apartments, a basement nightclub and a rooftop pool — sits at the corner of West Sunset Boulevard and North Doheny Drive, at the site of the former Scandia restaurant, a midcentury icon that opened in 1947 and served extravagant fare to Hollywood’s most powerful players for decades.

The Edition, from Steve Witkoff, a New York developer, was the first new project to open on the Sunset Strip in two decades. Behind it is the hotelier Ian Schrager, whose earlier projects include Studio 54, the Palladium and some of the world’s earliest and most influential boutique hotels.

John Pawson, the London-based design architect, oversaw the Edition’s stark, minimalist aesthetic. An original Sterling Ruby mobile, “The Scale,” greets visitors as they enter the lobby. The hotel reopened to the public on Oct. 1.

The residences at the Edition, only a few of which now remain unsold, are priced between $4 million and $30 million and range from 1,600 to 6,400 square feet. All offer views of the Hollywood Hills and the Pacific Ocean.

Mr. Pawson said he once partied the night away himself on the Sunset Strip, many decades ago.

“I can’t say I remember my time in those clubs well, but I did go to the odd one or two, a long time ago,” he said in a phone interview from his London studio. “The Strip has changed hugely, hasn’t it?”

All new developments in West Hollywood are required to set aside 20 percent of their units for affordable housing, and they may also have to pay a fee.

The Edition paid a fee of $2.2 million, and at the Pendry, developers paid a fee of $3.5 million and are also incorporating five units of affordable housing, which will be one-bedroom rental apartments.

By: Debra Kamin
Title: The Sunset Strip Stirs Again
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 05 Oct 2020 10:18:34 +0000

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?




People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by Daniel Tanner on via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?




The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?




There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.

Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading