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Posts Tagged ‘Long Beach’

Lunch Truck It Brings Food Trucks to Long Beach

April 29, 2011 3 comments

Beginning May 4, a new weekly gourmet food truck event will kick off in a location where food trucks are rarely seen: within the city limits of Long Beach. Lunch Truck It, which will take place on Coronado at Aneheim on Wednesdays, is a joint effort of Councilman O’Donnell and  the 4th District, and The ZaSo Design District.

Recently, I spoke with Jennifer Jones, administrator of the Lunch Truck It Facebook and Twitter accounts, and a key organizer for the event, to discuss the origin and potential for bringing gourmet food trucks to Long Beach. The following comes from our short e-mail interview.
For those who don’t know, “The ZaSo Design Destrict is made up of a number of creative firms on Coronado Ave. at Anaheim in Long Beach. It has become a collaboration of businesses that want to be more involved in the local Long Beach community and unify the efforts for our district’s creative growth and redevelopment.” Situated on Coronado Street, North of Aneheim Ave, the area will host 3 or 4 trucks every Wednesday for Lunch from 11:30 to 2:30.

Current Long Beach municipal code only allows Food Trucks to operate in construction zones and imposes different regulations and fees than most municipalities in Los Angeles County. This explains why Long Beach residents see trucks operating just outside, but rarely in, The City of Long Beach.

Lunch Truck It will bring a rotating lineup of food trucks to Long Beach (currently 12 trucks are planning on serving in the coming weeks) including Buttermilk, Vizzi Truck, Cool Haus, Global Soul, Ahn Joo, Mandoline Grill, Greasy Wiener, Crepe’n Around, and Grill ‘Em All.

The 4th District and Councilman Patrick O’Donnell was instrumental in getting the ball rolling for the idea of Lunch Truck It to come to fruition. Jones says the Councilman was excited about the idea and the initiative coming out of the area. Vizzi Truck was also a huge help as “the first truck to take a chance on [them] a year ago, they have been immensely helpful with the brainstorm and launch… giving [them] advice and tips from the trucks perspective.” Jones hopes the new event will bring more people into the ZaSo Design District to stick around for more than just lunch. As for her hopes for the impact on local law, Jones said “It is our hope that the City’s regulations will become more flexible and accommodating for gourmet food trucks. We are optimistic that Lunch Truck It will become a hot spot in Long Beach for gourmet food trucks and their patrons from all over L.A. and Orange County.”
I am equally optimistic that bringing gourmet food trucks into the area can spur interest in the area and cooperation with the local organizers, in addition to the fun and spontaneous community that food truck events already bring. Since I come from a city where food trucks are latecomers to the scene and face insane scrutiny and regulations, it’s comforting to see events like this work toward acceptance. I’m enthusiastic that Lunch Truck It will be successful in it’s first weeks and I hope the city comes out to support it. I encourage Long Beach residents to give props to Councilman O’Donnell and Jennifer Jones for having initiative  and vision. Unfortunately, I will be working in San Pedro during the first Lunch Truck It event, but I look forward to stopping by and enjoying some of the best GFTs in LA County sometime soon. Maybe I can convince someone to stop by and take pictures? The kick-off event will feature Great Balls on Tires, KutnSow,  Rosa’s Bella Cucina, The Sweets Truck, and Vizzi Truck. Trucks interested in participating in future Lunch Truck It events can contact info@lunchtruckit.com.

Lunch Truck It
Launching Wednesday May 4th, 11:30-2:30
Coronado Ave at Aneheim
Twitter: @LunchTruckIt
Facebook: facebook.com/lunchtruckit 
Also, feel free to spread this flyer.

Signal Hill Din-Din a Big Success!

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

After a rain delay pushed it back a week, the first ever Signal Hill Din-Din-A-Go-Go took place this past Monday. The lineup was comprised of industry favorites Lomo Arigato, Grill ‘Em All, Mandoline Grill, and Tropical Shave Ice, who catered to dozens (hundreds?) of hungry customers form the Long Beach/Signal Hill area.

Since the line for the Great Food Truck Race winner Grill ‘Em All was so long and constant, I saw a lot of people, myself included grabbing some delicious Hawaiian shave ice or Vietnamese tacos to eat while waiting. There were a few lawn chair circles,  plenty of conversations with new friends, and a few unfortunate parking tickets. It’s hard to gauge the attendance of this kind of event, as patrons come and go freely, but the long steady line for burgers and small crowds in front of every truck were an indication that the night was a success.
I’m definitely looking forward to next week’s lineup, as well as more food truck events in the Long Beach area. (Stay tuned!!)

Thanks to everyone involved in making this happen- it was a lot of fun and will hopefully show Long Beach that their municipal code regarding food trucks could use some tweaking.
A big thanks to Sarah for the pictures! Check out her work at sarahsbecker.com!

 

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Signal Hill Din-Din on Twitter: @SHDinDinAGoGo

SR-710 Conversations asks about Transportation in your town

February 20, 2011 1 comment

First off, I apologize for the lengthy, unannounced hiatus I’ve taken. I know I don’t have many followers right now, but nevertheless, I’ve been away for too long.

If you are following Metro’s SR-710 Conversations on Facebook, you probably will have seen this morning’s post:

 

SR-710 Facebook Post 2/20/11

SR-710 Facebook Post 2/20/11

 

Regardless of your opinion on the 710 Gap project itself, this presents an interesting opportunity to tell Metro what can be made better by by explaining what you like about existing transportation in your area.

Since I’m in Long Beach, at the very South end of the 710 Freeway,  I have mixed feelings about the project: Do we really need to be investing more money in an already absurd highway system? Will the benefits of extending the 710 to Pasadena outweigh the cost, environmental impact, and inconvenience of the affected neighborhoods? Who are we really trying to please with this project, local commuters or the trucks coming from the port? Would this money be better spent expanding light rail and freight rail?

To address the actual question SR-710 Conversations poses, there’s a lot to be said about transportation in my area. For the most part, the streets of Long Beach are mapped out on an easy-to-navigate grid system, which makes the time it takes to get from home to the store considerably less than if we had winding suburban roads.

Right now, construction is underway on a project that would add to the bike friendly reputation of Long Beach. We are adding protected bike lanes downtown on Broadway and 3rd Streets, complete with separate stop lights and sidewalk planters, to make bike travel easier and considerably safer. This is in addition to our miles and miles of bike paths, the sharrows in the Belmont Shore neighborhood, and the downtown Bikestation.

Public transit here is something to be proud of. In addition to it’s stellar service, Long Beach Transit operates four bus lines that are free to ride downtown which benefits locals and tourists alike. The Downtown Transit Mall, also under construction, will provide a central commuting hub for the LBT fleet, Metro buses, Metro Rail, Torrance Transit, and LADOT.  I love taking the Metro Blue line in and out of Long Beach whenever I can.

As far as freeways go, I’m somewhat pleased with the way they connect Long Beach to the rest of the Los Angeles/Orange County area. In St. Louis, the freeways cut right through the heart of the city, and in many cases, restrict new development. In fact, there is a large movement in St. Louis to remove and reroute a section of I-70 through downtown, replacing it with a pedestrian and vehicle-friendly “boardwalk.” Traffic in the LA area may be bad, but we also have things like HOV lanes to help alleviate the congestion. Perhaps the traffic problems on the 710 would be partially alleviated if the trucks had a separated express lane like St. Louis has on I-70 North of downtown.

If you live in an area affected by the SR-710 study, you are only doing yourself and your community a favor by responding to their social media outreach.
http://www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/