Posted: Monday, April 3, 2017 – 11:22 AM
By Victoria Talbot
Hundreds joined Mayor Lili Bosse for her Mayoral Debut Walk with the Mayor today, including Beverly Hills City Manager Mahdi Aluzri, newly-elected Councilmember Bob Wunderlich, City Clerk Byron Pope and Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli.
The site was quite the spectacle, often blocks-long, with walkers bearing orange tee-shirts and hats with the #BHHealthyCity logo spread out along the route. Several Beverly Hills motorcycle and bicycle cops performed traffic control and followed the crowd with a truck.
Beverly Hills Director of Community Development Susan Healy-Keene, Planning Commissioners Andy Licht and Lori Greene Gordon, Human Relations Commissioner Annette Saleh and Fine Arts Commissioner Zale Richard Rubins also joined the walk.
One special walker was 91-year-old Francis Rhodes, who was ever-present three years ago when Bosse was mayor. This year, she walked the entire distance, about 3.5 miles, with her walker.
The group stretched out along So. Santa Monica Blvd., down Rodeo Drive to Wilshire Blvd., and headed west to the new Waldorf Astoria, where owner Beny Alagem greeted everyone with hugs, smiles and a sumptuous breakfast spread.
Walkers were treated to an array of croissants, muffins and pastries, breakfast yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit, bottled water, coffee and tea. Served al fresco at the new Wilshire entry, they also received gift bags with Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills visors, pens and other logo gifts.
Alagem graciously posed with enthusiastic guests for selfies, which are probably searchable under the #bhhealthycity moniker on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Alagem and Bosse were joined at the new entrance to the Hotel at the Wilshire/Santa Monica Blvd. intersection by Waldorf Astoria Managing Director Luc Delafosse, who has overseen the building for the past two years, and is looking forward to the June 1 opening.
Over 500 workers are preparing the hotel for the big day, which will eventually feature all the palm trees saved from the old structure. “They have a lot of history,” said Alagem, who preserved the trees because of the many guests who have celebrated and photographed key events in their lives beside the palms; they can return and still find these trees at the new Waldorf Astoria.
Walkers are encouraged to add their photos.
The walk inspired an estimated 350 walkers to join for the debut, a number certain to grow as more people seek the experience.
“It is excellent networking,” said Eric, a first-time walker, who plans to come back next week.
Walk with Mayor is part of Mayor Lili Bosse’s continued commitment to a Healthy City Initiative and will take place every Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Crescent steps of City Hall. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Next week – Nerano and Ladurée Beverly Hills.