Having lived in downtown Long Beach (near Broadway and The Promenade) for just over three years I have seen the City take great strides in creating a world class destination for visitors, as well as a more livable place for its residents. It’s been exciting to see so much change in such a short period of time and I can’t help wonder where Long Beach is going next.
Within a stones throw of my apartment I’ve seen several improvements: a redesigned half-acre park that is now a popular neighborhood gathering spot; new restaurants with outdoor seating adjacent to a newly landscaped pedestrian promenade; a new iconic building for BikeStation, a bicycle rental, repair, and storage facility; a redesigned transit mall; and the transformation of a three-lane thoroughfare into a two-lane street with a dedicated lane for bicycles. New landscaping, lighting, and signage, as well as new bicycle lanes can be seen in other City neighborhoods as well.
These public improvements are already seeing a response from the private sector. On the heels of Wokano and Congregation Ale House, the Seal Beach eatery Beachwood BBQ will be opening shop along the promenade this year. The fledgling East Village Arts District recently got a boost with the opening of the legendary music shop Fingerprints, and Berlin, a new cafe from the owners of the popular Long Beach coffee house Portfolio.
And the changes are not only physical in nature. Several community groups and business organizations have invested both time and money in bringing the community together. We Love LB continues to bring our diverse city together through its “Breakfast in the Park” events. Lyons Art Supply is taking advantage of its new larger home in the East Village to host Lyons at Night, a monthly gathering of artists and musicians, in conjunction with the ever-expanding Second Saturday Art Walk.
I can’t help but notice that the perception of Long Beach is slowly changing. We are no longer being identified solely for the Long Beach Grand Prix. In 50years when someone says Long Beach what will come to mind? My intention for this blog is simple. A place where I can offer ideas and opinions on the future development of Long Beach. I hope you will find it enjoyable and informative!