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I left LA for Bai Dai and didn’t look back

JBefore I moved to Los Angeles from New Orleans nearly three years ago, I had heard mostly bad things about living there. The traffic sucks, the cost of living is weirdly expensive, and the people there spend their lives complaining about the traffic and the cost of living.

What no one told me is that 24 miles south of LA, there’s a city where it’s a bit cheaper to live in, the traffic isn’t nearly as terrible, the people are friendly and seem to really like where they live. .

That city, Long Beach, has become my hometown and the latest pick for our twice-monthly series on underrated destinations, It’s still a big world.

If you’re like me, your main Long Beach reference involves Snoop Dogg. For one, he was born and raised there. For two, you may remember that episode on George Lopez’s talk show, where Cameron Diaz said she bought grass from him when they attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School.

Well, it wasn’t until I took a day trip from LA to the port city two years ago that I learned that there were more ways to Long Beach than by Snoop and Cameron. And after my second visit to Long Beach last year, I actually moved there. It’s only been five months but it’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

Sure, it’s a much smaller city than its more famous neighbor, LA. But that’s what I love about it. It’s fairly easy to navigate, unlike many places in LA, although I ended up getting lost on my first visit to Long Beach.

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Cycling at Bai Dai

Melody Davis / Design Pics

One Saturday morning, I got off at the Metro Blue Line stop at 1st Street with my bike. I had to ride to the beach and then go Pedestrian/bicycle coastline as far as I can go. Then I somehow made a wrong turn, but it turned out to be a good thing because I could actually see more of the city.

I walked along the Broadway Corridor, a three-mile stretch of East Broadway between Downtown Long Beach and the Belmont Shore neighborhood.

The rainbow walkways at several intersections immediately caught my eye. I also noticed that many of the shops along this particularly busy stretch of the street had rainbow flags on their windows.

Apparently I ventured into the city’s gay council, which is first area in Long Beach to showcase the roads that cross it. It’s been fun to see hints of LGBTQ friendliness in the city, and it means that when my cousin and his partner come to visit me, we won’t have to travel all the way to West Hollywood to visit. there are gay-friendly spaces.

The corridor is mainly tree line. But not all of them are palm varieties, which I think was the case with all the streets of Southern California before I moved there. Gay-friendly bars and liquor stores are located at several corners of the corridor. Restaurants, sex shops and small apartment buildings lie in between.

This particular part of Bai Dai does not appear to have been affected by progress as much as other parts of the city. For example, downtown Long Beach is clearly decorated, with beautiful apartment buildings and co-working spaces like WeWork.

But along the Broadway Corridor, a few of the older buildings on the Beach are still standing after all these years. Hot Stuff, a novelty store selling games, books, jewelry, and sex toys, has been on Broadway since 1980. The bright pink and black porch and triangular tile near the entrance make the store Hard to forgive.

I don’t consider myself rude at all. But my eyes weren’t prepared for what I saw when I entered the store. Greeting cards have pictures of people having sex on the covers and Dominatrix’s gift options are extensive. If that’s your thing, Hot Stuff is the place you should visit when you’re in town.

And then there’s the Wine Mess Liquor, a Long Beach staple that’s been around since 1935.

Mom and pop stores aren’t like your typical liquor store, with a wide range of liquors, sodas, and snacks. But the mural on the side of the building was definitely one I had never seen before. What looks like the inside of a pirate ship has a drinking pirate, two dancing cats, a woman playing the violin, a man playing the piano, and a vintage scrolled letter content: “A Wine Mess is where the Warriors come to eat, drink, and have fun. ”

After walking down the three-mile stretch of the Broadway Corridor, I finally came to Pedestrian/bicycle coastline. The trail is 4.1 miles long, which runs along the beach for basically its entire length. It also offers direct access to the Pacific Ocean.

It was a perfectly sunny day (like most days in SoCal), which explains why the beach was so crowded. There were people in sweets walking their dogs and women in cycling shorts and sports bras skating and biking with me. Others are lying on the sand or playing in the water. Even with all the people on the beach that day, it still didn’t feel as crowded as the beaches of Venice or Santa Monica.

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Seaside village in Long Beach port

Ron and Patty Thomas

Plus, the view of the beautiful Palos Verdes in the distance makes for a beautiful backdrop on the ride. Basically, just one day trip to Bai Dai reinforced my decision to move there.

When I started thinking about where I wanted to live, I knew I wanted to be as close to the beach as possible, and one of the great things about Bai Dai is that no matter where you live, the beach is just a short walk away. . drive away. Even if you’re in the northern vicinity of Bai Dai like Bixby Knolls, you can still reach the beach in about 15 minutes.

If you’re in, say, North Hollywood, getting to the nearest beach may take longer.

(I’m just saying’.)

But it’s not just near the beach. Those are all things you can do and see near the water at Bai Dai.

Not too far from the beach there Aquarium of the Pacific. A giant metallic green bean, that is The fourth most attended aquarium in the US., and features more than 12,000 animals and over 100 exhibits celebrating the Pacific Ocean.

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Aquarium of the Pacific

Adriana Lopetrone

At first I found myself overwhelmed by all the exhibits and didn’t know where to start. I finally began my aquarium journey in the Tropical Pacific Gallery, which features coral reefs in some of the most splendid colors. The reef exhibit turned out to be my favourite, and I found myself mesmerized by the mesmerizing vibrantly colored live corals. The bright color comes from pigments that act as a form of sunscreen for corals. Corals need sunscreen too! Who knows?

After learning about the reef’s history, I ventured to Shoreline Village, located right near the aquarium. It holds a special place in my heart because that’s where my boyfriend took me on my first date. It’s a great place to shop and eat, or just walk around aimlessly like I sometimes do along the boardwalk.

If you get good outdoor seating at one of the restaurants, you’ll be treated to a stunning view of Rainbow Harbor. I highly recommend visiting near sunset. I’ve only eaten at a few restaurants in Shoreline Village, and none particularly stood out to me. But I’m from New Orleans. Nothing compares to my beloved NOLA when it comes to food.

To be fair to eateries in Long Beach, I haven’t eaten much.

I’ve been cooking at home more than ever in my life. (Thanks, COVID.)

What I did a lot was spend time out in nature.

As a kid in New Orleans, I rarely wanted to do anything outside because it was often too hot or there were too many mosquitoes. So imagine my surprise when I move west and begin to appreciate the great outdoors.

So far, I’ve mentioned what it feels like to be near the water at Bai Dai, but there’s more to do in other parts of the city further inland.

Much of the east side of Long Beach is residential and home to Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. The El Dorado Nature Center, a 105-acre park and animal and plant reserve, is also on that side of town and well worth a visit.

There is a beautifully shaded 2-mile detour and plenty of space to stretch out even when the trail is crowded. You won’t get steep hills or stunning city views like nearby Signal Hill, but El Dorado will still get you in.

If I had to pick one point down to Long Beach, it probably wouldn’t have as many hiking trails as I’d like. That’s about the only downside.

During the last five months I have lived in Long Beach, I have yet to do all that the city has to offer. I’m really excited to visit nun Mary train, a major landmark of the city. In its heyday, it carried 2.2 million passengers. But since it was docked in Long Beach, 50 million people have visited the ship. Visitors can not only tour the ship, but also stay overnight in one of its 367 rooms.

Unfortunately, it’s closed for some repairs. But when it comes back, it will be first on my list of must-visit places.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/i-left-la-for-long-beach-and-am-not-looking-back?source=articles&via=rss I left LA for Bai Dai and didn’t look back

Russell Falcon

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