All these ideas require lots money, but I can dream right? I don’t think they’re too far fetched. In fact, some of them can be done when the existing needs repair or updating. So without further ado: I give you my City of Long Beach Wish List:
1. A NAUTICAL THEME throughout the city. I have nothing against the colonial look, but leave that for Manhasset or Garden City. Long Beach is a true beach community so let’s embrace it! Nautical style pedestrian lights for the downtown shopping areas. Nautical themed sculptures, artwork, murals. I love the blues used in those “Long Beach Welcomes You” signs and would love to see those colors used more – whether it’s store fronts, more signs, or bus stops (see below on bus stops). Speaking of those signs, I wish they had a small spotlight shining on them at night. When I enter Long Beach, I want to know that I’m no longer in the Town of Hempstead. So yeah, more nautical and less ordinary/colonial.
2. NEW BUS STOPS. Bus stops are a vital part of our transportation system and the current ones look dull and abandoned. Why not make them pretty? As mentioned above, utilize the “Long Beach Welcomes You” color scheme. Give the bus stops tiles, murals and glass patterns. Each section of Long Beach can be identified by what art is on the bus stop! For example: The bay area bus stops can have murals of boats or fish. West End can have a surfers. The bus stop by the train station can have a mural of the train! Make it cute. People will come to Long Beach and say “wow, what a cute town.” I go to Seattle a lot and they do this right (see photo).
3. MORE ART!!!! This ties in with what was already mentioned. I would love more sculptures, statues, murals & art throughout the city. A sculpture garden would be great. I could see the city hosting a contest for all the local artists – commissioning the winner ‘s design to be used as an identity that can be used throughout the city.
4. A “GREEN” centralized park. Not green as in environmental, but green as in trees! Now I happen to think Beach Park is the greatest park in New York, but wouldn’t it be nice to sit in the shade once in a while? A real park! I’m talking Olmsted style; shady trees, paths, benches, the works!. In a much smaller scale of course. Now where can we put such a thing.. hmm perchance Foundation Block? What’s going on with that anyhow?
The potential of a “green” park:
- A seasonal outdoor Ice Skating rink. Port Jefferson does this (see photo) and it’s really cute. We already have the Ice Arena, but I think an outdoor rink would attract more casual skaters and tourists as opposed to the ice arena which is more for sports and recreation.
- A dog run. Dogs get no love in this city, so give them a place where they can stretch their legs.
- A place for the city to display more art work. (Sculpture garden?).
- A gazebo. Who doesn’t love gazebos?
- More vendor options – potential revenue for the city. Hot chocolate and skate rentals anyone? Convenient Bike rentals for the spring, summer & fall?
5. Bike racks everywhere. When the summer time comes, I don’t even want to use my car.
When I want to grab a slice of pizza at Gino’s I have to lock my bike to either a garbage pail or a light pole. That doesn’t make any sense to me. More Bike Racks please!! Why doesn’t the new Walgreens on Long Beach Road have any bike racks? All new commercial development should consider the placement of them. Cycling should be the most encouraged form of transportation in town. Plus it’s good for you and the environment.
6. A redesigned Waldbaums shopping center with more to do in the winter time. This idea was mentioned numerous times during the city council meetings, the city’s master plan and charrettes. That shopping center’s current design just doesn’t work. Too many vacant stores. It doesn’t compliment the rest of the area and it forces you to get in your car and drive around if you want to shop at other stores in the area. The supermarket itself would most likely remain, but the other part has to be brought up to the street. It would benefit all the other stores in the area as well and could bring different retail options to the area:
- I would love a larger book store. Dare I say Barnes & Noble? Even better would be an independent store like Book Revue in Huntington. Sorry small book stores in town. I am always rooting for you, but a bigger store means more books.
- I would love a bigger Lowes or Regal style movie theater. Sorry Long Beach cinemas, but I am spoiled by stadium seating. Unless you want to go through metal detectors at Green Acres, or fight for parking in Rockville Centre, there aren’t any good theaters on the south shore of Nassau county. A new stadium seating venue will attract a lot more folks than the current theater. Trust me. It would be a big boost for the local restaurants and the local economy and more movie goers watch movies at night so it won’t compete with beach traffic. The current Long Beach theater can play more independent movies like the theaters in Roslyn or Manhasset.
So that’s my Long Beach wish list. I really should be punched for suggesting a bigger movie theater and Barnes & Noble ??????? I’m sure I have more wishes, but I can’t think of any right now. Any comments or suggestions? Send me your wish list and I’ll post it right here.
**”Long Beach Welcomes You” photo by Daniel Prisco