Yellow Water

A friend of mine in Long Beach has allowed me to share the photo below with the following caption:

From left to right. Poland springs, our filtered water, water straight from our kitchen faucet. Hmmm….

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My personal LB-water experience: The water in my house was so yellow, it was actually borderline brown. A few years ago I got a filter for my entire house and it was the best home-decision I’ve ever made. I feel healthier with it and my skin looks better too!  We are told that Long Beach water is safe, but who wants to drink yellow water?

My friend did post a followup photo (below) which shows a much improved looking glass of filtered water. Filters do take a while to kick in. If you get one that filters your entire house, the pipes will actually get cleaner over time. I highly recommend you get one.

But getting back to the real issue: Our water in Long Beach has been yellow for years. Most deal with it, but should they? Is this water really safe to drink? Discuss…

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Casablanca: Saturday @ 7:30PM Lafayette Blvd Beach [Long Beach Movie Nights]

995064_322419891264830_1053492907178924816_nBogart, Bergman and Long Beach

Please note: This movie has been rated PG for Mild Violence and Pervasive Smoking.ratedPG

Gripping, beautiful and genuinely moving, this espionage thriller has become one of the most celebrated films of all time. Bogart’s cool demeanor belies a heart of gold when he encounters an old flame in the war torn, exotic city of Casablanca. Ingrid Bergman is never more ravishing, desperate and courageous, and romance never more delicate, than in this timeless classic. See it under the stars and on the big screen! Continue reading

I really appreciate this twitter hashtag: #longbeachnynotcalifornia


“All Our Energy” Event: Interconnected with The Sierra Club [LB Library this Wednesday @ 7:30pm]

All Our Energy’s “Interconnected” series is a monthly forum on environmental / renewable energy / sustainability / policy and related issues and ways the public can get involved. That is all interconnected. We are all interconnected..

August 2014: “Interconnected with The Sierra Club” The National group are organizing to get everyone they can to People’s Climate March in NYC on 9/21/14. 200,000 people are expected to March, representing 550 national and international organizations (and growing). The March is during UN Climate Week to let worldwide leaders know action on climate change has massive public support at the level of being a demand.

The local Long Island Sierra Club chapter will present their initiatives and ways to get involved on a local level, as well.

EVENT DETAILS

Group: “Interconnected with The Sierra Club”.”
Date: August 20, 2014 7:30pm
Where: Long Beach Public Library
AD: 111 Park Ave. Long Beach, NY 11561

Event on Facebook: facebook.com/events/665136486903925
Websiteallourenergy.com

allyourenergy

Boardwalk Phase II Sessions are this Week!

Boardwalk Phase II Community Meetings 7:00-9:00pm :

Aug. 18th: LB Public Library for Central City Residents
Aug. 20th: West End Rec Center for West End Residents
Aug. 21st: East Elementary School for East End Residents

Take the survey if you haven’t already:

This 20 Question survey is being administered to identify how people use the boardwalk and what amenities are important to residents and business owners for consideration in Phase II of the Boardwalk redevelopment. [Click here for Survey]

So what are you looking for? Bump-outs? Piers? Places to pee? More food? Shade structures?  I just want my old ramp back!!

A Grassroots Re-route of the Trolley route. I’m really rooting for this!

I was going to work on this post next week, but after just texting it over with local John McNally, I believe we came up with the best way for our trolleys (that’s plural) to be utilized in Long Beach.

Unlike the normal bus system, which is an Island-wide people mover, the main purpose of the trolley is to get folks to and from the transportation hub and commercial districts. For that reason alone, the trolley route needs to be frequent and simple.

Here is the current route:

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 10.04.21 AMHere is the SeabytheCity/John McNally proposed Route (neither official, nor city endorsed):trolleyroute2

The SeabytheCity/John McNally Route would utilize both city-owned trolleys (open air and closed “shoppers special”). With the LIRR station as the main hub, one trolley goes east on Park Avenue (East Loop), while the other goes west (West Loop).

The West Loop trolley would stop at the LIRR station and go directly to the West End before finishing its loop. I nominate the open air trolley for the West Loop. It’s the most fun and best incentive to get those LIRR visitors to go west. The East Loop Trolley will go east to Roosevelt Blvd and will cut down to Shore Road ,etc. Follow the lines on the map above (West Loop is red, East Loop is blue).

This route would cover more of Park Avenue, making the trolley system more accessible.Those in the northern WestHolme section would have better trolley access than what they currently have.

Right now the open air trolley takes an estimated 50/60 minutes to complete the full loop. With both trolleys in circulation, this time would be cut in half, giving you more opinions for your overall destination.

Again, this is just something we came up with for fun. How would you folks fix the trolley route?

Related Story: MY RIDE ON THE OPEN AIR TROLLEY

How about we brand the boardwalk with bike stencils. Moooooo!

brandOn the topic of bike lanes and safety on the new boardwalk, our city placed signs that tell us where to be, but many folks still don’t see them and walk right into the bike lane without looking.

Our old boardwalk had painted lines, but the ipe wood apparently won’t hold paint. We had a suggestion by Rob Rothman to stain lanes which sounds great, but is there an upkeep? cowbrand2And how much stain are we talking about here? What about forgetting the lines altogether and just brand the boardwalk with bike stencils? You know, the same way one would brand a cow. What do you folks think?  Udderly ridiculous or fantastic? 

Rocky Horror Picture Show [New York Ave Beach @ 7:30PM]

10576967_320063898167096_8899534846457853993_nOnce again coming back to the originators of movies on the beach in Long beach, this weekend’s Saturday Nights on the Beach is hosted by the West End Neighbor’s Civic Association.

This Saturday night’s show: Rocky Horror Picture Show will be shown on New York Ave beach staring at 7:30PM

Parking will be extremely tight, if possible please walk or ride your bicycle.

Why not get together with some friends and make it a night? Make reservations at a restaurant who is a member of the West End Business Owners or Billy’s Beach Cafe or “The Laurel” stop by The Barn or Key Food East End for snacks and beverages and head down to the show (Shameless plugs for our sponsors). Continue reading

Q: Do you think the bike share stations should be on the boardwalk or Street level?

socialbicycleslongbeachA very interesting conversation as sprung up on Project 11561 regarding Social Bicycles (SoBi) bike sharing stations, which I would love to share with you all:

SoBi Long Beach the Bike share company that is coming to LB next year posted a question on the City of Long Beach, New York (OFFICIAL)Facebook page. 

Do you think the bike share stations should be on the boardwalk? Street level? What do you think??? [PROJECT 11561]

I have no idea how to actually share a specific facebook thread, but the majority of the folks seem to feel that street level is the way to go. You know what? I agree! With all the food carts and people on the boardwalk already, perhaps the bike sharing stations would work better street level. Like what somebody wrote, “Bikes on the Street, Signs on the boardwalk.” What do you folks think?

For more information on Social Bicycles, I  recently posted an update a few weeks ago: SOCIAL BICYCLES: BIKE SHARING IN LONG BEACH UPDATE

 

Breakfast Talk with City Manager Jack Schnirman

This morning I had some breakfast with Jack Schnirman, our City Manager. We talked all things Long Beach: Ways to make it better, safer and more resilient, house shopping, kale, plus dispelling rumors around town.

I asked Jack if I could post some topics we discussed on this blog. I didn’t take any notes, but here is what I remembered:

  • (A seabythecity exclusive!) Billy’s Way will now be called Crystal Way. It will be off Neptune Blvd, near where Billy Crystal grew up. The actual location of where it will be is still unclear (off the street as a boardwalk extension. Or just extended from the boardwalk towards the ocean).
  • We talked about other bump-outs for the boardwalk and the conversation as to what we want our boardwalk to be. Hence the PHASE II meetings. Bathrooms cannot be rebuilt on the beach, as per DEC. So you will see bathrooms, piers, bump-outs on the boardwalk. If you want to learn more or partake in the conversation, visit Long Beach Listens on how you can be involved (that totally sounds like a commercial).
  • Army Corps of Engineers project to build dunes, extend the beach and rebuild the jetties is still happening. No concrete time frame of when it will start.
  • I failed to ask Jack about bay protection, but he said he would love to see the bay better utilized with the rest of Long Beach. We talked about our love and dream for a marina, amphitheater and other fun stuff.  Jack talked about how it would need to be better connected to the main part of the city. Just stuff the city is thinking about. Nothing concrete at all, just fun talk.
  • The city would love to see our downtowns beautified:  repaved sidewalks, lighting, planters would be great. Grants would pay for improvements. They are working on this.
  • Other improvements to Park Avenue includes Complete Streets.
  • Jack doesn’t like to eat kale, but he will drink it when blended with berries and coffee. That’s what he ate for breakfast.
  • Residents vs. Visitors plus finding balance between the two is a big conversation. I will bring this topic up in a later blog post.
  • Said Greencorners are important for Long Beach since recycling saves the city money. This was a way for us to dive into city-wide recycling, paid by the advertisements on them. I told him how some of these containers are right next to regular garbage cans, which didn’t make sense to me.
  • iStar/superblock/wayfarer is not dead as far as he knows. Rumors were pointing that it was, or that they were selling assets. I keep hearing conflicting things on this..
  • Haberman building (Kitty Condo) we gently brushed on this. The city but doesn’t want to see 19 story buildings. We agreed that these empty lots are going to eventually be developed, but should be something that fits in with the community.
  • On driving around the city: LB is currently working on ways to sync the traffic lights. The hope is to get a perfect speed limit where you can drive Park Avenue without getting stuck at every light.  This will get cars off residential streets and more onto the main road. I have personally seen this work in other towns, the closest in Garden City. It works and Park Avenue needs major help on this front, so i am glad the city is looking into it.
  • Once these lights are in sync and the traffic flows better, other stuff will follow. Something that I love, but I don’t want to bring that conversation up yet.
  • I asked Jack how come Point Lookout has the mentality of driving slow, but here people are very aggressive. He agrees that it’s an issue that they are working on.
  • Downtown resilience, beautification and safety are main issues the city would love to tackle in the coming year. Beech Street and Park Avenue. Would love to see new sidewalks, benches, sidewalk bumpouts- the whole nine yards. Always looking for grants but it’s something they have been working on.
  • I told Jack to please consider beautification on every single purchase the city makes: including signs, traffic signs, poles, etc.
  • I told Jack that the city needs to buy new ICE ARENA and LONG BEACH REC signs that are displayed on Park Avenue. (I am obsessed with signs). I actually told him how I would buy the signs. I wonder if the city will hold me on that? I was half-serious.. lol.
  • On the issue of safety, sidewalk bump-outs are something the city would love to see in Long Beach. I wrote about these a long time ago, so I agree. They extend the sidewalks a little wider at the crosswalks, so crossing the street is a shorter distance.
  • Crossfit coming back to LB to Kings and Things Toys location (1079 W Beech St).
  • The City will look into ways to improve the Open Air Trolley service and maximize the way it’s used in Long Beach. I personally took this trolley for a spin the other day and loved it.
  • Billboards: Said the city is learning and will improve on what is displayed. I am also tired of this topic, so I’m glad to see some maps and business guides on them.
  • I ate a western omelet with a ton of bacon.
  • Other topics such as tree replacement and how I hope Quiksilver Pro comes back were brief, but after chatting for a few hours, we ran out of time.
  • Bungelow West is awesome, by the way. An excellent place for breakfast!

My Ride on the Open Air Trolley

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“Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding, went the bell
Zing, zing, zing, went my heartstrings
As we started for THE CITY OF LONG BEACH”

I saw it coming down the street. It was fifteen minutes early, but I anticipated that. I also anticipated it not stopping at the designated stop. With a giant wave and a scream, the driver slowed down and I hopped on. That’s right, yesterday I took the new open air trolley for a joyride around Long Beach. With no destination in mind, I road the full loop and I loved every single second of it.

trolley3There is no denying how quaint this trolley is. Along with wooden benches were leather straps for you strap-hanging fans plus lots of brass to complete the old-fashioned look. The rear row of seats face forward while the others to the sides. The ride was very airy, comfortable and I felt safe.

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Don’t pay attention to the posted schedule on the brochure (City of Long Beach Trolley Schedule & Local Business Guide.) I followed this trolley for much of the day and it definitely runs by its own clock. It also doesn’t automatically stop at the map-marked stops. If you want a lift, you’ll have to wave it down. The full loop is supposed to take one hour. My ride was around 50 minutes. Of course, everyday will be different.

Riding on Beech Street through the West End was a bit of a blast. I felt like a tourist when passing establishments such as Shines, Minnesota’s & Swingbellys with their patrons pointing, smiling, waving, laughing.

trolley4One thing that struck me as kinda odd was that it doesn’t stop directly in front of the LIRR station. This trolley is primed to pick up the ‘bridge & train crowd” (NYC folks); Didn’t Newsday just say 14,000 come to Long Beach on a typical hot summer weekend day? Let’s bring these ‘bridge & train’ folks to our local businesses and get them spend all of their money here! Unless there is a reason why it can’t stop at the station. Anybody care the chime in?

trolley5The trolley also doesn’t stop at the Rec center, which I always figured to be an important part of our city. Perhaps that’s not the point of this trolley, as it does hit almost all the beach entrances and downtowns. Of course, we always have our normal bus system for those other stops.

Another minor note is that the trolley doesn’t seem to run that late. If you’re taking it out for dinner or drinks, chances are you’ll have to find another way home. That is, unless you enjoy senior specials or like to go out early. Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 10.04.21 AMThe city provides a map with all the stops and a local business guide. Each stop has a number assigned to it. You can view all this online at the official City of Long Beach website: City of Long Beach Trolley Schedule & Local Business Guide.

Bravo, Long Beach! Minor kinks aside, If this trolley takes off, it’s going to be great for our local businesses. Also for us residents as well. Being that I’m in the east, I’ll definitely take this trolley for a ride to the west when I don’t feel like dealing with parking. I really enjoyed the ride and loved being carried around Long Beach while feeling the fresh air and sun. All you debbie-downers can say what you want, but I am an open air trolley convert.

Seriously, if you haven’t tried it yet, you should. Just remember: if you want a ride, make sure the driver see you. Waving it down is part of the charm, after all. The base fare is $2  and $1 for persons with disabilities, seniors & students; children under 5 ride for free! Wanna go for a ride? Get all your info here: City of Long Beach Trolley Schedule & Local Business Guide.

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