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The Pike’s Not Dead!

June 13, 2011 4 comments

This past weekend, I finally had the chance to ride the Ferris Wheel at the Pike downtown. I had been to The Pike several times before, and each time I went seemed more dead than the last. It always amazed me how many empty storefronts there were and how few people were out on a given night. The closure of Borders seemed like it would be a huge blow to the area, and I was worried I was witnessing The Pike’s death as a possible casualty of the economy. But this weekend was different- I was surprised and excited to see so many people out enjoying a beautiful Long Beach weekend downtown.

As many already know, The Pike of today is much different from the original one. Opening in 1902, and shuttering in 1979, it hosted several roller coaster and amusement rides, the original Loof’s, now on Long Beach Blvd., and even a bath house. The newer, modern version seeks to pay homage to the past by incorporating a ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and pedestrian overpass that looks like a roller coaster. The fountain outside of The Laugh Factory on the corner of Pine Ave. and Shoreline tells the stories of some of the Pike’s former main attractions.

The views of Long Beach and the Port are definitely worth the $3 ferris wheel ride. For those coming down for a movie or dinner, there’s plenty more to do before or after. A One Dollar Book Store has even moved into the old Borders location. At the very least, The Pike and nearby Pine Avenue Pier are excellent for a relaxing walk.

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