Beverly Hills is known the world over for its magnificent homes, glamorous celebrities, luxury hotels, restaurants and shopping. In the heart of the city is Rodeo Drive. This famous street is recognized internationally as the destination for haute fashion and deluxe shopping, with luxury stores such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
“The city has all the wonderful aspects of glamour that you see in the media,” says Dr. Willian Brien, Mayor of Beverly Hills and a physician. “There’s also the tranquility of our parks and many diverse restaurants, aside from the vibrant shopping scene.”
“We have one of the best police and fire departments in the country. The response time is two-and-a half minutes from when the call is placed. I can’t give enough credit to the dedicated staff we have working in Beverly Hills,” says the Mayor. I met with the Mayor at his City Hall office. Dr. Brien, a lifelong Beverly Hills resident, is the Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery and director of the Cedars-Sinai Orthopedic Center. He was elected to the City Council in 2009, and became the Mayor in March 2012. Photographs of his wife, Connie Agnew, also a physician, and their four children (Willie Jr, Brent, Kelly and Ashley) are all around his office. On one wall is a prominent photo of Dr. Brien’s grandfather, Chief Justice Earl Warren, a former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and a former governor of California.
“Beverly Hills is also a safe and lovely place to walk around anytime of the day,” says the Mayor.
I could not agree more. After work, I often take leisure walks around my neighborhood for exercise and fresh air, even sometimes after dark. I have always felt safe and peaceful strolling along the tree-line streets. When friends visit, we walk to our favorite dining spots on Canon Drive and Beverly Drive, or enjoy browsing the luxury boutiques on Rodeo Drive. Beverly Hills is 5.7 square miles and has a population of 36,200, with a median annual income of $81,726, according to City Hall. The city attracts a daytime population of about 250,000 guests, many of whom love to indulge in high-end shopping, catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities or enjoy elegant dining such as Spago, Avra and Jean-Georges, to name a few.
Dr. Brien points out that shopping on Rodeo Drive is a special and memorable experience where every guest is treated like royalty—far from the image in Pretty Woman where the store clerks were snobby to the movie’s heroine, Julia Roberts.
“Everyone should come visit and you’ll see for yourself,” Dr. Brien says. “Beverly Hills offers something for everyone, for different tastes and budget. You can buy a ten-thousand dollars Chanel suit, or find something for $20 at many wonderful shops on Beverly Drive and self-owned boutiques that have a lower price point. There is no better place to walk around and experience a beautiful and vibrant city like Beverly Hills.”