Archive for July, 2011

LB Post Articles Highlight “Urban Revival” Aspirations

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Urban revival. The term is thrown around about as frequently, and with as much weight, as the term “fusion” is in the culinary world. Both phrases seek to say something very simple in a fanciful way. Essentially, urban revival refers to the recent movement to re-make our cities more pedestrian friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally sound.
A couple of news articles in the July print edition of Long Beach Post provide an interesting perspective on how this concept is applied in Long Beach.

In her article “The 10 Worst Decisions in Long Beach History”, writer Allison Jean Eaton provides a voice rarely heard in Los Angeles County- one that looks to the mistakes of the past to learn how the future can be made that much better. She is willing to look lovingly at her city and admit that we’ve messed a few things up.

I was surprised to see problems caused by The Queen Mary on her list. When I moved here, I thought of it like I do the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The Arch is a historical monument to Westward expansion and the exploits of Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea. For many, the view of the Queen Mary evokes the same sense of history and desire that the Arch does. Maybe The City of Long Beach just needs to rethink the use of space, much like St. Louis is doing with the Gateway Arch.

Also appearing in the July edition is an article called “The Future of the Long Beach Civic Center” by Brian Ulaszewski. In it, he highlights the problems with the current center, and the possibility of a new use of space to bring about the activity it was meant to bring to downtown.

I recommend picking up a copy of the paper or visiting them online. Resources like the Long Beach Post are invaluable.

The Articles from
The 10 Worst Decisions in Long Beach History
The Future of the Long Beach Civic Center

Categories: tourism, Uncategorized

What “Carmageddon” Says About LA County

July 15, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s virtually impossible to avoid hearing about this weekend’s shutdown of I-405, as the media has been hyping “Carmegeddon” for weeks, but the fact that there is such a big deal to be made over the closure of such a short stretch of freeway (only 10 miles) over a mere 52-hour period, highlights what the rest of the nation has long criticized L.A. for: extreme auto dependency.

Hopefully, the right people are taking note and regarding the weekend freakout as reason for something to be done about L.A.’s auto addiction. Providing Los Angeles county citizens with the transportation options of other comparable cities would be a step in the right direction toward solving multiple problems in the area, including the infamous smog issue. In addition, wider freeways will probably just mean more cars, and not less traffic. In fact, a University of Toronto study recently found exactly that.

In all likelihood, enough people will be too afraid to use a car this weekend that the traffic situation will be no worse than any other weekend in L.A. Carmegeddon will probably be laughed about years later, and we’ll all feel foolish for worrying about nothing. Fortunately for those of us living in Long Beach, there’s plenty to do without needing to leave the city anyway, including a college volleyball tournament, free movie on the beach, and motorcycle festival at the Queen Mary.

Amidst all the hype however, the situation might encourage people to explore their immediate neighborhood. My advice? Take a walk! Ride your bike! Take advantage of free rides on Metro rail! Do something that doesn’t involve driving. You might find something really cool nearby that you never knew was there.