I lucked out by ending up in Long Beach. After many years freezing our nethers off in the Northeast, the wife and I moved out to the West Coast to try my hand at the whole screenwriting thing. We knew nothing of Long Beach at the time, only picking it out on the map because it was halfway between LA and my wife's work.
Thank God for that, because I could not think of a better town to cool our heels for the last five years. There's loads of things to love in the LBC, from the nearby beach and free bluff yoga to the many, MANY bars I've availed myself to, but love is a funny thing: It may be the obvious attributes that attract you to something/ one, but it's the little things that you end up enjoying the most. And the idiosyncratic Long Beach I've fallen in love with is chock-full of little things you'd have to live here to catch, and I treasure these tiny encounters each day.
Yet, alas, the latest addition to our family necessitates our retreat to the suburbs in search of more space. So, in an ode to the town I've grown to love, I'd like to take you on a photo walking tour of the weirder and nerdier sights around my neighborhood.
I believe I shall curate this tour based upon when I encounter these sights throughout the day, which mean I need begin with my morning constitutional with my four-legged friend. Right out the door we encounter my neighbor's odd, Cthulhu-looking lemon, which created the groan-inducing joke
Q: What did HP Lovecraft name his yoga clothing brand?
A: Cthu-lu Lemon!
Turning the corner, we discover this logo for what I'm assuming is a band. Being as I'm still unsure, it's probably not the best branding. But considering it's on the side of a dumpster, perhaps a great metaphor.
Still a damn cool image though.
There's a grocery store at the end of my street, and not a week back this was the sight that greeted me:
Yes, those are two grown turkeys on an apartment roof lording over a fallen decoy owl meant to scare off birds. Apparently not turkeys though.
My next excursion is my run down the beach. You'd think this spot is for the musclebound crowd, but apparently a Star Wars fan with a penchant for graffiti frequents this space too.
There are more murals in Long Beach than you can shake a stick at, and I considered including the Cheech and Chong one on the side of Chronic Tacos, where I turn at my run. Instead I present to you, the greatest mural of all times, bar none:
I can't... I can't even begin with this thing. The white tiger/ angel/ mermaid/ unicorn hybrid ought to be enough, but then you have the birds bursting from another angel's bust and you just have to wonder what the artist was on when s/he painted it.
And where you can get more, obviously.
The gods of Long Beach blessed me extra that day, because when I went out to photograph that mural a man(?) in a ghillie suit rode past and was kind enough to stop for a picture.
No, he (?) didn't speak, but I did get a fist bump.
It's a ghillie scoot!
Not a block further down the street, the wife and I encountered this gem. To this day, I wish I had taken it home. This is something worthy of museum walls in my opinion.
The best part, the part so good that I still can't think about it without breaking into giggles, is that they're only the 8th best team. Of one.
Homeward bound, there's a firehouse with a sheep statue out front that changes with the season. I asked them about it once, and they said it's a chore for the rookies, which I wholeheartedly endorse. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of the Christmas themed one this year, which I believe was inspired by the grinch, so Thanksgiving and a rather creepy New Years will have to do.
My next excursion is again with the dog, where I usually pass this car and its ironic license plate for sunny SoCal:
There was a better vehicle along my route, a Jeep someone had painted to look like the Jurassic Park jeep, but I haven't seen it in several weeks.
It's right down the street from a guy who has at least a half-dozen real gold records up in his living room from his time as a bass player. I won't post a picture of that one because he probably wants to keep them records, but it's still pretty cool.
I despise the word "cute," but there is no other applicable word for this little library in someone's front yard. Probably should have put my own book there...
Turning the corner, I come across this bunny that has existed in this sad state for well over a year. Again I think there's a HP Lovecraft theme at work for some reason.
Further down that same street we come across this rather odd statue/ monstrosity. Sometimes it holds a broom. Sometimes a beer.
The rainbow crosswalks aren't anything too weird, but they're another little sign that reminds me Long Beach is a great place to live. And drink.
Rounding the last corner on the way home, we find a District 9 fan in one of the oddest places.
A bit further down the street he has another "lust," but this time in Pickle Rick form. Unfortunately, I did not get a photo when I noticed it, and by the time I went out to capture it, someone had pasted over it. With a Star Wars pun no less.
I wonder if pasting over someone's decal/ sticker means the same as painting over someone's tag. Could we be witnessing the beginning of a nerdy gang war?
One can only hope.
And finally, upon returning home, this sticker from my upstairs neighbor, who EVERYONE in Long Beach seems to know. If not from his jerky that occupies every bar I've ever been in here, then his frequenting of every bar I've ever been in here.
I hid a spare key to my apartment in that box, and it's probably still there, so if anyone ever finds it, feel free to break into apartment #202.
All the previous images are a part of my walking tour, and I thought about not including this next one that I came across in my car, but please allow this Always Sunny fan a little cheat:
And let me tell you, this sign is no easy catch. I've known it's on Atlantic for years, but it exists in some sort of Bermuda Triangle-esque space that you (meaning me) can only catch when coming from a specific angle and are not looking for it. Sort of like love, I guess.
So with that, I thank you for this little excursion down the streets I adore. And though I leave Long Beach, it will forever remain in my heart.
And on my website. Apparently.