Bad news on shopping streets

Boutiques and other small shops are closing like mad on Montana Avenue and on West 3rd Street, Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard, the L.A. Business Journal observes in a front-page (free) story in this week's issue. On Montana, "about 30 shops have 'sale' signs in their windows...[and] an additional 31 boutiques have closed or are closing." I couldn't help but notice the empty windows over the weekend on 3rd Street, where The Cook's Library is closing at the end of April — store after store vacated despite the foot traffic generated by a few hot spots like Joan's on Third, where my lunch partners spotted Joan Didion. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard also were observed browsing leisurely over Italy guides at Traveler's Bookcase.

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