On the Racked: Third Street Promenade Turns 25, LA’s Best Organization Stores, Anine Bing on West Third

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SANTA MONICA: Third Street Promenade turns 25 years old next month. To toast its quarter-life anniversary, Racked shares before and after photos of the groundbreaking outdoor shopping center and reveals the Promenade's KCRW-powered birthday plans.

CITYWIDE: Here's a handy guide to LA's best organization stores. Highlights include the Original Farmers Market's new Container Store, MUJI in Hollywood, and Poketo in DTLA.

BEVERLY GROVE: Danish designer Anine Bing has opened her first boutique on West Third Street. The former model's debut store features timeless basics, boots, leather jackets and lingerie.
· Racked LA [Official Site]

New to Market: Pioneering Cinematographer’s 1920s Spanish House in the Hills on Market For First Time in 50 Years

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Here's one of those listings that manages to be extremely intriguing and insanely frustrating at the same time. Perched atop Hilltop Road in Hollywood Heights, at the end of a long driveway guarded by two stone lions, this 1929 Spanish-Mediterranean Revival was once the home of pioneering cinematographer Carroll H. Dunning, who "developed the first processing method for filming actors in a studio and later adding background that was photographed elsewhere." The 4,300-square-foot residence was originally designed as a single-family dwelling, but at some point got converted—legally, per the description—into a duplex.

It's now on the market for the first time in 50 years, and that mournful sound you hear is the property crying out for the services of a professional photographer and stager. Or AT THE VERY LEAST for someone to pick up the damn towel and Pabst Blue Ribbon box off the floor of its tragically bastardized kitchen. As of this writing, the listing contains a paltry 19 photos in its gallery, one of which is a Google Earth overhead shot, and few of which showcase the seven-bedroom, three-bath house to its best advantage. Which is both a shame—because despite the amateurish pics, the old gal still looks to offer plenty of character and craftsmanship—and shameful, given the steep asking price of $2.8 million.

· 1951 Hillcrest Road [Estately]

Duck Down: See the World’s Tallest Rubber Duck All Deflated and Sad

This looks bad, but the deflation is only temporary and it's for the duck's own protection from high winds. They've let the air out of what's known as the World's Tallest Rubber Duck because the six-story novelty item had begun listing to one side recently, ">says CBS LA. The winds got the blame, though the fan that keeps the duck inflated also needs to be repaired. The duck will be back on Tuesday in a different location, at the Downtown Harbor in San Pedro; the popular selfie background moved into the Port of LA earlier this month for Tall Ships Week—a festival to celebrate large, old-timey sailing vessels. Ironically, the duck "has been described as having healing properties." Not this time, it seems.

· 'World's Largest Rubber Duck' Deflated To Prevent Damage [CBS LA]

Development Battles: Luxury Condos Will Just Never Please Windsor Village NIMBYs

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[Image via Larchmont Buzz]

Sixty Windsor Village residents stormed City Hall on Tuesday to appeal the approval of a 32-unit condo/apartment conversion on Lucerne Boulevard. They lost, reports Larchmont Buzz. The Central Planning Commission approved the development, called Morumbila, rejecting the claims that it conflicted with the guidelines of the Windsor Village Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. The architect Peter Wilson, also representing the developer, sounded exasperated over what he claims were repeated attempts to placate the neighborhood, most notably by shrinking the project.

At the meeting this week, Wilson showed off the various iterations the design went through (the Spanish Colonial look was switched to Streamline Moderne and the taller part of the building was moved to the back); the redesign of the adjacent James Terrace Apartments, which is incorporated into the project; and more green space.

Unsurprisingly, locals say they wil not give up their fight against the project. Meanwhile, LA's supersized NIMBYism and its effects on housing prices are now making international news.
· Windsor Village Loses Appeal on Large Scale Lucerne Blvd Project [Larchmont Buzz]
· Proposed Hancock Park Condos Shrinking Post-Pitchforks [Curbed LA]

Video Interlude: Browse the Famous Sunset Strip Tower Records Back in 1971

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[Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

Though there's no hard-and-fast demolition date for the Sunset Strip building that housed the most famous Tower Records, its days are likely numbered, as a developer has been trying to get a huge retail project built on the site for years now and West Hollywood has declined to landmark the building. Tower hasn't occupied the space since 2006 (when the company went bankrupt and the store closed), but this footage of an average day in 1971 at Tower Records, from Dangerous Minds (via LAObserved) brings us all the way back to its salad days (in 1974, Guinness named it "largest record store in the world"). Shot by Sacramento City College professor Darrell Forney, this video is a time capsule that takes viewers back to the days when LPs were king, they cost about $3, and everyone was allowed to smoke inside.

There's also this perfectly preserved Tower Records flashback, an ad for the store starring none other than John Lennon, and reportedly filmed during a 1974 in-studio appearance at KHJ. In the promo, he tells listeners that Tower is the "largest record store in the known world" and promises they'll find "more rock LPs than you ever thought existed." While Lennon's announcement plays, a montage of old ads for the store (as well as shots from the previous video) streams across the screen. Thanks to these, we can remember Tower Records in its yellow and red prime instead of as the weird, out-of-place, white building it is today.


· FANTASTIC FOOTAGE DOCUMENTING THE TOWER RECORDS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE OF 1971 [Dangerous Minds]
· John Lennon for Tower Records on the strip (video) [LAO]
· Flagship Tower Records On The Strip Won't Be Landmarked [Curbed LA]

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Richer: Holy Cow, Balboa Bay Club Members are Hilariously Insane

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[Image via Balboa Bay Club]

The Balboa Bay Club is an expensive private club in Newport Beach that once attracted stars like Natalie Wood and John Wayne, and hosted rallies for Kennedy and Nixon while they were on campaign tours in the Southland, but a new lawsuit says it's more like a moneyed frat party these days, complete with bathroom sexcapades and people "stuffing $100 bills into waitresses' blouses." The lawsuit was filed by now-former lifetime club member Steve George, who says club management discriminated against him by looking the other way for other members, but "kick[ing] him out after one incident when he accidentally mixed painkillers and alcohol" (italics ours), reports the Daily Pilot. Lucky for us, the lawsuit "spends at least five pages" listing hilariously awful behavior at the Bay Club that has gone unpunished.

George alleges that workaday events at the exclusive club have included:
· The host of "a popular reality show" and her husband doing shots by a pool while their daughters, strapped into a stroller, rolled into the water. (The girls were saved by the lifeguard on duty.)
· A member and his wife having sex on a boat dock. (Actually this was not a normal event, because they usually do it in the club's bathrooms, the lawsuit claims.)
· Club members or children of club members "setting a basketball court on fire."
· Members embarking on a drunken cruise but drunkenly leaving behind a three-year-old.
· Members hurling racial insults (ok, that one is not hilarious).
· And of course stuffing large bills into waitresses' blouses.

These people we not reprimanded, says the lawsuit, and yet George's lifetime membership was taken away just because one time he had an "adverse reaction" after mixing alcohol with Percocet for a broken arm and got in an argument with club staff. "Mr. George honestly didn't do anything," George's lawyer says. "He didn't hit anyone." If anything, he's the victim here, as he was totally "Unaware of the problems associated with mixing alcohol with the medication" he was taking. Since he was injured, the lawsuit says, he was disabled, which makes his banishment from the club a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Not surprisingly, a lawyer for the Balboa Bay Club sees it in a different light: "We just don't think the ADA was created to protect people who have Oxycodone and then drink to excess." They add that this was actually George's third strike and that there were two other times when George became bellicose in the bar, including one when the cops were called. As for George's allegations that everyone at the club is a gropey drunk, the club says through its lawyer that its members are "ladies and gentlemen."

George's lawyer is requesting a jury trial and also hopes to get an injunction that would make the club take George back and allow him to keep paying his $15,000 a month to keep his two yachts at the club's marina.
· Lawsuit alleges bias, fights, public sex at Balboa Bay Club [DP]

Rent Check: Rents at Ktown’s The Vermont Start at $2,365 For a 1-Bedroom

Earlier this week we took a tour through The Vermont, the 464-unit, two-tower rental complex that opened in Koreatown this past May. Located just across the street from the Wilshire/Vermont Red and Purple Line station, the complex offers residents everything from dog-romping space to a flashy gym and sparkling pool, as well as giant windows, stainless steel appliances, and bamboo floors in the units. Billed as luxury apartments, they are definitely on the pricey side. See the rates right this way:

· Take a Tour Through Ktown's New The Vermont Rental Towers [Curbed LA]

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