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backyard travel… #2

March 14, 2011

A few months back I posted about wanting to explore more of the city that hashi and I live in.  Well, this morning we did just that.  In a sad attempt to skip out on time at the gym we decided to enjoy a little walk around downtown Long Beach.  We didn’t venture very far but spent a good hour exploring the East Village artsy district where we  found a few interesting back alleys, a new record store / expansion of the popular Portfolio Coffee House, and enjoyed the general people watching that living in an urban environment allows us experience.

Downtown Long Beach actually has what seems to be a pretty busy public transportation network.  Not that we’ve tested it for ourselves yet (oops).  We have plans to take the metro into downtown Los Angeles, but haven’t had a reason to head that way just yet.  In addition to the trains there are free buses which travel throughout downtown as well as to some of the beach neighborhoods of Long Beach.  The most recent development around here happened  just outside our window.   The city has taken away two traffic lanes (one in each direction) and replaced them with two protected bike lanes.  Bikes are fairly popular in the area and I’m actually excited to see that the city is attempting to do something that seems so out of the norm’ here in the u.s.  The lanes are  just a test run, but my hope is that it’s the beginning of a larger effort to make the city even more bike friendly.  Hashi and I don’t quite see eye to eye on this idea of possibly creating more street traffic during the morning & evening commute, so we’ll see what happens!

One of my favorite things about Long Beach, or at least the older downtown districts is that there are still a lot of “mom & pop” type places… shops and restaurants that are single establishments or small locally owned and operated chains.  I don’t have anything against Starbucks and I think it’s great that you can always find one when you need one, but I love that on nearly every other block in the neighborhoods downtown you can find a coffee shop with it’s own personality.  It’s nice to feel like you can sit all day and enjoy your coffee from a real cup, have your free wi-fi, and be supportive of small business owners.

I suppose this backyard travel post turned into a bit of a sales pitch for the city.  Oh well, it makes me happy to share the place I call home!  Has anyone else done any backyard travel in your own hometown???

*s

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 3:56 pm

    Love the photos of that coffee shop! What a gorgeous interior. *swoon!*

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