You know Beverly Hills's reputation is on the decline when the New York Times piles on. Over the holiday weekend, the paper chronicled the mallification of the 90210 and an accompanying evacuation of celebrities to more private Brentwood. The city is desperate to get some cachet back now that overzealous efforts at tourist friendliness have turned Rodeo Drive into just another Beverly Center and paparazzi have "driv[en] even B-list celebrities and studio executives behind the walled compounds and 10-foot shrubs of more secluded communities like Bel Air, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades." But the LA Conservancy's Adrian Scott Fine suggests another reason Beverly Hills is falling out of favor these days--it's tearing down all its best buildings: "Every place has an identity and a story to tell, and Beverly Hills is about celebrity...You can’t tell the story if you don’t have buildings to portray it."
New mayor Barry Brucker says BH is trying to recruit "one-of-a-kind, superclassy stores" back to Rodeo and is introducing the Beverly Hills credit card, which perhaps will offer 3% cash back on all subway-fighting lawsuits. And at least a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills will defend her city. Kyle Richards told the Times "It is a glamorous town. Beautiful people. Houses. Cars." [Image via bitchville]
· Beverly Hills: Still Elite, but ... [NYT]