The Forbidden Zone of Long Beach: A Photographic Journey.

Makeshift homeless shelters, Igloos, vibrating sand, the sweet smell of gas, garbage-by-the-bay. Yep, that’s right. I’m talking about the Forbidden Zone, but not the one on that planet where apes evolved (You mean that was Earth? Damn them all to hell!). I’m talking about the bay area of our beloved city of Long beach. More specifically – between the LIRR tracks and Long Beach Blvd, as illustrated on the map below:

I don’t even know where to begin…  let’s just say this is the creepiest part of town and with good reason. This forgotten land is very easy to visit: Just take Park Place to Riverside Blvd; Or right off Long Beach Blvd on that weird road past McDonalds and True Value. There really is no reason to go there, but I am hoping these photos are enough to convince you that this area needs to be redeveloped.


This first photo is looking west at the water towers and LIRR bridge. I do realize that these utilities are essential for living, so to simply redevelop won’t be an easy thing. Still, it’s nice to think about it. Could this broken paved road be the future home of a promenade and marina?

Looking South East from Riverside Blvd.

Looking East at the Long Beach Bridge. Old dock pylons – remnants of a forgotten past.

A gallery of debris. If you enlarge these next few photos, you can really smell the garbage.

I have no idea what’s in this photo below. I see a cyborg.  Please keep in mind: We swim and fish in these waters…

Below is a wider shot of the photo above. THIS IS WATER FRONT PROPERTY IN LONG BEACH!!! 

Below is a wider shot looking at the bridge. You have Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill in the upper left & A nice view of cinder blocks and broken cement in the foreground.

I wanted to walk closer to the bridge. For this, I had to go back to the paved path. You really get a feel over how much land there is here.

On my way to the bridge and to the south of the above path I found this little shelter community:

I’m not sure if these shelters are for the homeless or for animals. I am dead serious when I say that… I didn’t see that much garbage, which makes me believe homeless people aren’t living in them. I’m hoping one of you can shed some light on these shelters.  Below are a few more photos, including an igloo!

A plastic igloo; not a bad little bay side bungalow. There are those of you in the West End who wish they had this much square footage…

Below is a photo of a haystack shelter with the LIRR bridge in the background. This shot should give you a better idea where this little community is.  While looking at this photo, think of how much property your house is on… What is an average size lot in Long Beach? 40 x 80? That’s just a guess, but I’m sure I’m not far off…

Below is another shot looking west towards the water towers. Again. you really get an idea just how much water front property there is here. Primed for development with ample parking. 😉

So here I am at the bridge. I’m guessing that rusty foundation had something to do with those pipes that are there. This area reeked of gas. Perfect for getting high, if you’re into that sort of thing. I was definitely feeling lightheaded and I didn’t stick around much longer.

In the Master Plan of 2005, the city talked about building a promenade that went east along this water front, under the bridge to the tennis courts.

Below is the same spot, but looking west. LIRR train caught in action. That lounge chair really makes this little beach seem like a perfect getaway…

This last photo is looking south. With the smell of gas and a vibrating ground, I decided it was time for me to go. Yep, the ground was vibrating. I guess they really mean it when they say “No Trespassing”.

So that’s it! I took so many more photos that I will eventually post on this blog. There is really no reason for any of you to visit this part of our lovely seaside community. These photos basically tell the whole story. That is, unless you like to stand on a vibrating ground, get high off gas while feeling creeped out at the same time.

Taking cue from the original Planet of the Apes, I call this area The Forbidden Zone: it’s deserted, dilapidated & creepy with remnants of a forgotten past.  I would love to see this area cleaned up, but it’s just going to get dirty again, unless some real development happens. With all the essential utilities such as gas, electric, and water, it makes me wonder if this land will ever get redeveloped. All of these utilities would have to be relocated. That could cost a bundle and it’s going to take one heck of a strong economy to do it…

SITE NEWS: I plan on going on more of these urban-by-the-sea excursions, if anybody wants to join me. That is, if you don’t mind scaling barbed wire fences, running from attack dogs and dodging bullets. Contact link is at the top of the page.

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6 thoughts on “The Forbidden Zone of Long Beach: A Photographic Journey.”

  1. Amazing post. This should be sent to the city manager and the rest of the city council as a call to action. Even less grand then a massive development – why not a simple lit walking path like on the Bayside between Magnolia and Washington (not sure if that’s where it ends).

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