I am a week or two behind updating goings-on in California while I struggle to find a routine and lack internet access at my palatial, ocean view estate.
The first week was a whirlwind; learning the commute to work and the layout of Los Angeles freeways, and exploring the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment. Basically, I was doing anything possible to NOT spend time in my unit since I was sans furniture and it was a dark and lonely without a place to sit and gather my thoughts. I was still living out of a suitcase from my cross-country adventure and frequented Target for minor necessities while I waited for the movers to deliver. Thankfully I packed a pair of Asics for comfortable urban exploration.
I should have followed everyone’s advice and splurged for an air mattress as one or two nights without a bed quickly turned into a full week “sleeping” on a hardwood floor.
Monday the 17th was the first possible day in the delivery window; I was then told to expect delivery Friday or Saturday… Then the status was for “the weekend…” Then Sunday… Then Sunday morning at 10am… Then 11am… The crew finally showed up just before 12noon Pacific Time in a full 53-foot trailer and immediately dreaded the project at hand. They were to navigate through three security points then up to the seventh floor using either an ancient, diminutive freight elevator or the winding stairway.
The term “crew” should be used loosely as the movers were a middle-aged, average-sized father and his twerp son who teamed to do an impressively efficient job. The only casualties were a box of broken glass(es), the entertainment stand hardware, kitchen table support posts, and a missing bar mirror. I unpacked and arranged for the balance of Sunday evening before succumbing to the idea of pizza take out.
Here is a brief run down of where I went my first week in Long Beach while avoiding my barren apartment:
The Pike and Shoreline Village
is where all the chain restaurants are and there are good choices… PF Chang’s, Yard House, Chili’s, etc. Its near the convention center and there is a Laugh Factory and Restoration Hardware in the area that probably attracts more tourists than locals. Rumor has it that a high-end outlet mall is going in here somewhere. Downtown is in the opposite direction, further inland. I walked a lot of that neighborhood Thursday night, and there is a lot of places to choose from. I haven’t yet figured out why Rock Bottom is ALWAYS crowded.
Monday: Hooters (The Pike): My bartender was pretty friendly having just moved back to Long Beach after going to school in Michigan. For some reason, this is an official bar for Nebraska and San Francisco 49ers Football. I haven’t been back to ask the waitresses what they think of the Bo Pelini situation. This place will probably be in the regular rotation since its an easy walk and Hooters wings always sound good, especially the all you can eat variety on Monday and Tuesday. I wasn’t able to go to the Bulls/Clippers game at Staples Center, so this was the next best thing.
Tuesday: Leo’s Mexican Grill (Downtown): Actually not as divey as it should have been for $1 beer and $1.25 tacos. I stuffed myself on six tacos and chips and salsa and Tecate. The service was kinda bad, but I paid like ten bucks for tasty little tacos. Sadly, on a recent walk back through this neighborhood, it seems Leo’s is no more. It is currently going through a total renovation and its yet to be determined if I’ll need a new venue for Taco Tuesday.
Wednesday: Beachwood BBQ
(Downtown): This place was at the top of my list and I wanted it to be good… The food was pretty great, though not the Kansas City style BBQ I prefer and their sauce choices were not to my liking. The carrots and sweet potatoes and cornbread were really tasty… Service wasnt so good. I sat at a table for almost 10 minutes without any service, then moved to an open seat at the bar. I think they are most well-known for their beer and someone told me there is plans to build a full-on brewery/distribution nearby.
Thursday: The Stave
(Downtown): This was probably the highlight of the week. The place was full of K-State and Oakland Raiders fans watching Thursday Night Football. It is more of a wine bar than a full-service restaurant. It serves meat & cheese platters and food from other nearby restaurants. I sat near a friendly couple who sparked conversation and got the dudes number! I guess I’ll meet up with them again for some Sunday fun day football.
Friday: Agaves (Downtown); Rebel Bite
(East Village): Agaves was kinda weird. The food and drink menus were bizarre. I planned on eating here after walking around all night, but audibled and ended up at Rebel Bite. The place would be a fantastic lunch spot off Sixth Street in Austin, but I’m not sure what RB is trying to be. I was flummoxed and ordered Hawaiian Pizza and some bizarrely named local brew. I needed help making better decisions.
Saturday: Tilted Kilt (Anaheim); Islands (The Pike): TK is right near Honda Center and is the Official Orange County home for Oregon Ducks Football. I thought it would be a livelier atmosphere for the game, but maybe that was because of who they were playing. Islands was good enough, though I think I had enough dining out by this time Saturday night
Long Beach is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the United States and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. In addition, Long Beach is the second largest city within Greater Los Angeles Area, after Los Angeles, and a principal city of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area.
The city is a maritime center of the United States. The Port of Long Beach is the United States’ second busiest container port and one of the world’s largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a large oil industry with wells located both underground and offshore. Manufacturing sectors include those in aircraft, car parts, electronic and audiovisual equipment, and home furnishings.
Downtown Long Beach is located approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of Downtown Los Angeles, though the two cities border each other for several miles on Long Beach’s southwestern portion. Long Beach borders Orange County on its southeast edge.