New York Times – Where the Young Singles Live

There are plenty of articles in Newsday, The Herald and even the Long Beach Patch about all the young adults moving away from Long Island. The NY Times has an article talking about the ones that decided to stay. I can relate to this article because I am one of them. I actually moved back to Long Island after living in the city for so many years.  I wanted a backyard and the beach, but city-like features like a walkable downtown and train were very important too.   To be honest, if Long Beach didn’t exist, I’d still be in the city.  Long Island, as a whole, has a long way to go.

From the article:

Long Beach has already made it, said Joe Sinnona, the multiple listing director for the Long Island Board of Realtors and an associate broker with Verdeschi Realty in Long Beach. Beaches, bicycles, restaurants and bars are among the main attractions, said Mr. Sinnona, 42. In the last five years, he said, he has seen an influx of singles emerging from their parents’ “big nest into their own nest.” Monthly rents, he said, are $1,000 to $1,100 for studios, $1,200 to $1,500 for one-bedrooms and $1,600 to $1,800 for two-bedrooms.

Read – Where the Young Singles Live

Is Long Beach is a cemetery? (And why I applaud Gloria Febrizio)

The LONG BEACH PATCH has an amazing piece written by Gloria Febrizio titled  “Is Long Beach America’s Healthiest Cemetery?”  Gloria writes that the city has a lot of different memorials all throughout town and more could be on their way. From the article:

I totally respect the idea of remembering our departed loved ones in whatever way we deem appropriate. However, I must ask: Have we gone too far? Did we change the adage of Long Beach from “America’s healthiest city” to “You are entering the Long Beach City cemetery”?

I think she is 100% right. Simply put: Long Beach is in some ways a graveyard. Before people start blasting me for saying that, please hear me out. First of all, I love this city; that is why I live here and that is why I’ve been writing this blog for almost three years.  BUT there are way too many memorials around town:  the benches on the boardwalk, memorial gardens & benches in the medians, statues for fallen heros, bricks at Kennedy Plaza, and whatever else is on the bay side. We are overflowing with memorials!   I can actually see two from my living room window!  To top it all off, the city is possibly looking to add more! Signs under trees? Sounds like a mess!  All due respect: I really do think these memorials give our town a soul and character.  I’m not asking for anything to be taken away, but do we really need more?

I think it’s about time we start to think outside the box. We have plenty ‘of stuff’ that reminds us of the dead, but what about the living?  Lets also celebrate life!  Why does every single statue, median, square & park space have to be a dedication? Can’t we have some fun here too?  Why can’t we have a statue for the sake of art? Something that will give us a smile. Something that will give this town a new kind of character that it sorely lacks.

I have an idea: How about a statue of that sand mermaid that everybody loved so much last summer? Somebody give that sculptor a rock and lets pick a spot!  Lets do something that will give our great city by the sea an identity for a change. All due respect to the memorials, can we leave some space for some fun too? I’m sure we have room for both.

Thank you Gloria for writing that wonderful article. I am not sure if you 100% agree with my take on it, but I applaud you for having the guts to write about something that some people might take the wrong way.

Read: Is Long Beach America’s Healthiest Cemetery?

PS, Event Reminder: Don’t forget that the ceremony for the renaming of the Long Beach bridge is on March 25th.

🙂

 

E. Broadway “Improvements”

I just wanted to highlight some of the changes that are happening along E. Broadway between Edwards Blvd and Long Beach Blvd.  The city is seriously doing some beautiful things along this strip, including: new curbs, street lights and new blue street signs! Here are some photos that I took that show some of these “improvements.”

  • This first photo shows you the new blue street signs on the NORTHEAST corner of Long Beach Blvd & E. Broadway.  Although, the only reason why I know it’s Long Beach Blvd is because of the older green sign.  The blue sign in this photo says “LONG  EACH blvd,” but I guess that’s due to where they placed the sign.  It’s obstructed by the way they placed it:

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  • The next photo shows you the SOUTH WEST corner of Long Beach Blvd & E. Broadway. Again, obstructed view.  This is a similar view that you would see if you were driving east on E. Broadway.  Please note: Some meathead actually bent the new sign. I guess they felt threatened by the color.

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  • This next photo below shows the new blue signs at Riverside Blvd & E. Broadway. Sorry that the light pole is in the way. Same obstructed view. Do you see a pattern here?

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  • Yeah, here are a few more obstructed views of the new blue signs.  Mr. Magoo did a great job putting these up….

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I hope I’m not coming across as a wise ass. I just don’t understand why or how these expensive, beautiful, brand new signs got put up that way. And I am not talking about one, I’m talking about all of them.  Please go there and see for your yourself.  I just don’t get it!!  I never installed a sign post in my life, but it’s not rocket science.  Didn’t they think of the readability-factor when they installed them? As of now, those expensive, beautiful, brand new signs are completely worthless!

Well, at least the new light poles are nice, which I’m guessing will eventually populate all of E. Broadway.

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The Allegria: a love/hate affair

First of all, I want to say that I am tired of doing posts about the Allegria… haha.  I just hope that out-of-towners don’t think this is the only thing going on around here in Long Beach.  Here I go:

Screen shot 2010-08-04 at 10.39.41 AMIt makes me wonder why the Allegria Hotel gets so many mixed reviews.  People either love it or hate it. Some can’t wait for it to fail, while others welcome it with open arms as something this community desperately needed.

Something just isn’t right. Usually after 86 reviews, an average is created.  If the place really sucks, then the majority of the reviews should reflect that, but they don’t.  According to Trip Advisor, 43 people think the Allegria is poor & terrible, but 43 people think it’s average to excellent. I would be such a confused out-of-towner looking at these numbers wondering If I should even bother!

So what’s up?  Does it just boil down to consistency?  Is the Allegria really just that inconsistent?  I would love to hear from people who have been there multiple times.  Has it been the same every time you went? Speak up!

The following are my experiences:

  1. The first time it was just for coffee & dessert – awful service. overpriced & small dessert.  This was a month after it opened, so of course I’m going to give it one more chance. You need to let the dust wash off the pans.
  2. The second time I went for dinner at the restaurant. I thought the food was fine; pretty much on par with the majority of restaurants that I’ve been to. Of course I have my favorite restaurants and those are the ones I visit all the time and there are some restaurants I would never return to.  My experience wasn’t that horrible that I would never go there again. I did like the organic menu and the service was better.  Not perfect,  but a big improvement over the first time.
  3. The third time I actually stayed there for a night and ate at the restaurant again.  The hotel staff was friendly and helpful when we needed them for a few things regarding our room.  Dinner had much better food. Was it the best food I ever had? No, but I did enjoy my meal.  The service was actually too fast.  I would say it was the same type of service that you will find at most restaurants anyways.  Some will expect better service since the meal is so expensive.  I’m fairly easy going, so what works for me might not work for somebody else.

For me, the Allegria gets 3 1/2 stars: 4 stars for the room & 3 for dinner – with hope that it improves, because I do think this hotel is a great addition to our community.  I also know that it takes time for a new business to find its groove.  Maybe the Allegria just needs a little bit  more time than normal.  A lot was invested in that place. If you absolutely hated it, wait a year or so. Give them a second chance.  That saying,  I wouldn’t discourage people from going there to try it out themselves.

The Blame Game

Regarding the tragedy that occurred the other day,  Newsday is running an ‘opinion’ piece that happens to be on the second page of the printed paper. The article, written by Joye Brown, is basically laying all the blame on the City of Long Beach.  I already gave my opinion and I plan on emailing it to Joye. Feel free to do the same: joye.brown@newsday.com.

Why am I so adamant about this? Well, the incompetence of the few involved (namely the teachers) could potentially stop me from taking my after work dip when the lifeguards aren’t on duty. I love my afterwork dip. I can swim & I assume all responsibility when I do swim.

Newsday: Brown: Long Beach backed off policy

Two years ago, after a spate of drownings during a season of strong rip currents, the city of Long Beach drew a line in the sand.
Officials moved to a zero-tolerance policy midseason and aggressively moved people out of the water when lifeguards went off duty.
What happened to that policy? What happened to the police and code enforcement officers whose job it was to keep people out of the water?

June 24, 2010 By JOYE BROWN joye.brown@newsday.com

Two years ago, after a spate of drownings during a season of strong rip currents, the city of Long Beach drew a line in the sand. Officials moved to a zero-tolerance policy midseason and aggressively moved people out of the water when lifeguards went off duty. What happened to that policy? What happened to the police and code enforcement officers whose job it was to keep people out of the water?

In other news, somebody got shot in the Wyandanch. How come a police officer wasn’t there to stop this from happening? What’s that? The police can’t be everywhere all the time? Oh….

ok, so I had a few minutes to think about this..

First of all, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to the little girl’s family. This is such a terrible story – one that I absolutely hate to hear. Unfortunately, this story gets told and repeated every summer.

I just want to say this one thing & I am saying this after reading comments on various news pages: The School is at fault 100%. People can say things like “the beach should have lifeguards on duty 24/7”, “not enough signs”, “it’s the ocean’s fault”. The fact is, this school had the class trip.  Now, I’m not sure how many ocean beaches there are in Harlem, but the ocean is a dangerous place and it should be respected. You should not be allowed to swim in the ocean, unless you know how to swim in the ocean. Sure, you can say that lifeguards should have been on duty, but guess what? Lifeguards cannot be on duty 24 hours a day! They do their best job when they are, but we still need to be responsible whether they’re on duty or not. This tragedy could have happened anytime! You must respect the ocean and understand that it’s a lot different than swimming in a pool. The ocean is unpredictable. I’m not saying that a 12 year old girl should have this responsibility – kids will be kids. The adults that brought her to the beach should. They should have known that the waters could be dangerous and made sure these kids are going to be safe – whether that’s lecturing them beforehand on water safety or working it out with Long Beach to have a few Lifeguards on Duty for this trip.  That is why I think the school is at fault 100%.

Comments? BRING IT ON!!

I’m Back. Let’s talk about the Allegria….. again.

Sorry  for the lack of updates. I’ve been busy working – paying off my $300 a plate Caviar addiction over at the Allegria….. j/k.

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Speaking of the Allegria (and we all know how much we love to talk about that place), here is a recent review for your reading pleasure: Post.gazette.com –  Hotel Review: The Allegria in Long Beach, N.Y.

My Take: I agree that the rooms are small, but I lived in a tiny apartment for five years, so I can’t complain. Wi-Fi for $12.95 a day IS insane.  Any room at has even the slightest view of the ocean is an ‘ocean view’ –  even if you have to climb outside the window and stretch your neck to see it.  $32 for a room service omelet sounds about right – that place is expensive! The review says nothing about the beach, boardwalk or Long Beach itself.  Oh wait, correction. From the article: “The nine-story hotel, which was a nursing home until its recent exhaustive makeover, is flanked by several ugly condo buildings.” Gee… thanks.

Newsday – DEC cites City of Long Beach for illegal dumping

A state environmental agency has cited the City of Long Beach for illegal dumping of construction debris on public land, state officials said.

The city deposited an estimated 1,000 cubic yards of dirt, cement, bricks and other material without permission alongside the edge of Reynolds Channel west of Long Beach Boulevard, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which issued a notice of violation on May 7.

Read the full story @ Newsday.com

Come on Long Beach, this is a disgrace! I don’t want to live in a city that just dumps garbage along the shore line. There are other ways of controlling erosion or flooding and this isn’t it.  Charles Theofan, I don’t want MY city property (yes, I am a homeowner/taxpayer) protected by garbage. It makes MY property look like garage.  What’s wrong with a few bags of sand? Or better yet, construct a bulkhead.

Illegal Dumping PHOTO FROM NEWSDAY.COM

a few updates – vacant Stores, Chase, Lazy Days, West End meeting, East End Neighbors

Wow, I got a ton of emails… more than usual. Sorry if I haven’t gotten back to anybody; I’ve been away for the last few weeks. Here are some updates:

  1. A reader named Craig send me this real estate listing regarding the new stores at 118-134 East Park Avenue.  It will be interesting to see what new stores come to town and which old ones will move back into their old spots.
  2. Regarding the deal between Chase Manhattan Bank moving into Blockbuster video, I haven’t heard that that deal was dead, but I could be wrong. If I hear anything, I’ll post it.
  3. The vacant Lazy Days book store has a sign outside that says that an Optical Store is coming soon.
  4. Tonight is at 7pm is the West End Neighbors meeting @ the West End Community Center on Maryland Avenue.
  5. Speaking of civic associations, it looks like the East End Neighbors startup is dead. In his article titled Goodbye Long Beach,  Matt points out his reasons for disbanding the association and why he is leaving Long Beach. Sorry to hear it. Matt raised some good points, but unfortunately for him, his parking issue with the Allegria really only effects the people that live right near the hotel.  The more Matt posted on his blog, the more it seemed like this parking war was the only reason why he wanted to form the East End Neighbors in the first place.  That isn’t a knock against Matt. We emailed a lot and he seemed like a really nice guy, but we live in Long Beach. Parking is only going to get worse.  Regarding his issues with the roads, It’s easier said than done. When the city repairs the roads, they are also upgrading the sewage & drains.  Simply repaving would not only be a quick fix, but cost us the tax payer, more in the future. Besides, I heard that the crappy roads are great for controlling speed – something we have a problem in Long Beach with our drag race-style layout.  I definitely agree with Matt regarding the commercialization of the Boardwalk.  I definitely don’t want our boardwalk to be overrun with billboards and I don’t want it turned into a stripmall.   It’s really nice to escape all that every once in a while and we should do our best to preserve it.  Anyways, I wish Matt luck with whatever he does.  I really appreciate his effort for at least trying.

I want a Whole Foods Market in Long Beach or close to it.

I’m going to ask you all for a big favor.

I am not a big fan of Waldbaums. I try to stay with “organics” & “free-ranges” when it comes to my food and Waldbaums just doesn’t cut it. I love Trader Joe’s, but it’s really only great for snacks and specialty stuff – not for real shopping needs.  Oceanside has  Wild By Nature, but it’s extremely expensive and not as “natural” as it claims, plus it’s extremely expensive. Did I mention that it’s extremely expensive?

Well, I want Whole Foods Market. It’s a great supermarket with great prices and I think they would be very successful here on the south shore. We only have two on Long Island: Jericho & Manhasset. Both are extremely busy because everybody loves going there! Well I don’t because they’re too far. I want one in Long Beach or close to it.

If you agree with me then please go to their store request page and request a store for Long Beach! Go to this link.  Under CONTACT US VIA EMAIL / CHOOSE TOPIC select Store Location request. It just takes a second. They just want your name, email address & zip code (11561).  They won’t add you to any mailing list (at least, I hope they won’t).

Whole foods currently has no new stores in development for Long Island, but maybe we can change that. Please, I beg you. Please let them know that we want a Whole Foods on the south shore. Please!!