Category Archives: Opinions

$17,849.00 for fluted street poles and decorative double sided street signs?

At the June 2nd city council meeting, The City of Long Beach unanimously approved the purchase of fluted street poles and decorative double sided street signs. I guess we are getting new street signs for every single street, right? Am I right? or are we getting $17,849.00 worth of DO NOT ENTER Signs? That would really cut down on traffic and fix the parking problem. What’s a fluted street pole anyway?

Well, in any case, check out the Brandon Industries website. They have lots of signs to choose from and $17,849.00 is a lot of money to spend on just a few signs. It has to be for every city street. Can somebody clarify?

Going back to my Long Beach Wish List post, I called for a more nautical theme, or at least a more utilization of the blue in those “Long Beach Welcomes You” signs. So I am hoping we’re going to be getting some blue signs that will somehow match those old blue signs along Broadway.

Breaking away from the industry-standard “green” street sign will give us an identity that will further separate us from Town of Hempstead and the rest of Long Island. Well, unless they do the same thing and buy the same stuff… haha. Anyways, So what do you think? Are we going nautical? Colonial? Ye Olde Street signs?



READ: City Council Proceedings for June 2, 2009

5. Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Purchase Fluted Street Poles and Decorative Double Sided Street Signs from the Lowest Responsible Bidder.

The City Manager is authorized to purchase fluted street poles and decorative double sided street signs from Brandon Industries, Inc., McKinney, Texas at a cost of $17,849.00.

Long Beach is a "Cool" Downtown

What is cool?
Nassau County is trying to figure that out.

This is actually sort of old news. I thought it was funny so I wanted to post it. Nassau County is trying to win young adults back and it’s doing so by trying to establish “cool” downtowns. What is a cool downtown and why does it matter? Well, according to Nassau County’s Cool Downtowns Conference:

  • Major purpose is to expand our tax base
  • Foster ideas, culture and education to attract young people and empty nesters
  • People living near the train station
  • Residents living and working in multi-story buildings
  • Walking distance to fantastic restaurants and small shops

The study found Long Beach being all of the above! Pretty groovy, right? Mint!


As for the other potential cool downtowns. How can you be cool like Long Beach? Well I can’t offer any help. I thought the Fonz was cool, but he proved us wrong after he jumped the shark. Maybe Poochie from the Simpsons can help. Just don’t try so hard.


learn more about Cool Downtowns and what Nassau is trying to do to bring the young adults back from Nassau’s website.

All most there… but not quite there yet

I actually feel bad for the Allegria. The season is near, but completion doesn’t appear so. The Allegria website says it’s opening June 16th; that is almost a month from when this photo was taken. I really want them to succeed. I know a lot of locals are against this type of development – it will bring tourists and traffic and blah blah blah. But you know what? I don’t care. It’s silly for Long Beach to not have a really nice hotel. Very silly. I like how bold the design is. It’s not just another beige building on the boardwalk. It will bring some life to the area and some money to the local businesses. I know one thing, I definitely want to stay there for a night just to check it out. Anybody at Allegria want to give me a discount?

Bits & Pieces

  • That new healthy California-style restaurant Monterey opened last Friday. I went there last night. Look for my review later in the day at LBfoodie.com
  • Parking Study Public meeting this June. This meeting will focus on the commercial district. See the full public notice below if you don’t feel like downloading the PDF off the official Long Beach site which can be found here.
  • The Kennedy Plaza Farmers Market kicks off its second week today between 11am to 7pm. Stop by for some cheese, bread, fruit & veggies.
  • The bayside development is being held up by the economy. I’m guessing you can say the same about the Superblock.
  • This summer we will see two new things on or near the beach: Pedi-Cabs & Umbrella/Chair Rentals (cha-ching $$$$$). Oh wait, I mean three new things; more tourists.

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE – Taken from the City of Long Beach site

The City of Long Beach will be holding two public meetings to discuss:

Long Beach Parking Solutions

Over the past several months, the City has been working with Level G Associates, a nationally recognized parking consulting firm, to explore solutions for Long Beach’s chronic parking problems, including parking meters. Level G’s most recent studies have focused on the central business district along Park Avenue — between Long Beach Road and Magnolia Boulevard. As part of the study process, we are inviting local citizens and business owners to share their concerns about parking in this area of Long Beach.

The meetings are open to the public and will be held in City Hall, 6th Floor on:

Tuesday, June 16th from 10AM to 12 noon
And
Tuesday, June 23rd from 7 PM to 9 PM

The two meetings will be identical in format but are being held at separate times of the day as a convenience to our residents and business owners. Meetings will commence with a brief presentation outlining the study results and will be followed by questions, answers, and public comment.

Super blocked?

So what is the deal with the Superblock? Those six oceanfront acres of restaurants, shops, a conference center, condos, catering hall, hotel & spa – all packed inside two 10-story buildings. There hasn’t been any news for over a year. Developed by Shore Development, construction was supposed to start sometime at the end of 2007. The only thing they’ve done so far was installing a fence around the perimeter.

This development has been 15+ years in the making and it seems like it will never get started. Are we for it? Against it? When done, will it be the end of the sleepy beach community and be the beginning age of annoying tourism? I will post whatever news I get as soon as I get it.

Lido Boulevard transformation

Written by Michael Kleinert of insidelongbeach.com

What does everybody think of the Lido Boulevard transformation?

Do you think that the County actually got it right? Or do you think that they just caved to appease the residents by slamming together any ole plan that cosmetically looks like something is being done, but may not have the intended outcome?

Personally, I believe that the intentions were good – and the overall concept might be the best one presented thus far – but there are too many errors and oversights that might actually make the roadway more hazardous than before.

For example –

  • 1. The turn lanes are not long enough – vehicles will back up into the traffic lanes and this presents potential hazards – particularly so when pedestrians will now be crossing at these locations. If a vehicle is rear-ended, a pedestrian could get injured.
  • 2. The usable roadway area was narrowed more than necessary. This increases the need for greater precision in people’s driving and thus leaves less room for error, more room for bad judgment – thus greater likelihood of accidents. And again, the turn lanes are particularly narrow.
  • 3. The turn lanes were not placed where needed – there is no break in the barrier to turn for any of the local businesses. People will be trying to make illegal u-turns or will be trying to find creative ways of crossing and that will create new hazards, in addition to backing up traffic.
  • 4. The basics on the remaining length of Lido still have never been addressed. There are two intersections which still have old antiquated traffic lights that cannot be seen well from sufficient distances. One of these is at Donna Lane. My ex-girlfriend’s father died in that intersection.
  • 5. More people, likely kids, will decide that the barrier is a great place to walk along the road – thus placing pedestrians now in the center of the roadway and thus in a very dangerous situation. I’ve already noticed this on a couple of occasions. You never want to have pedestrians walking down the center of the road.
  • 6. The old road surface is obviously about to be paved over with the cheap stuff that requires frequent repaving for maintenance. The old road surface holds up forever with little maintenance. This is expensive and inconvenient.
  • 7 . They are adding a crazy amount of traffic lights. This is a great irony, since the planner of the project from Nassau County previously stood up in front of all of the residents and told them how more traffic lights was not a good solution. He emphasized that traffic lights are only to be used for traffic control (ie. right of way) and not for speed reduction or safety improvement. Every expert – the LB Police and Fire Commissioners – then proceeded to talk about the added dangers of increasing the number of traffic intersections, because these are always correlated to car accident locations. They add new decision points and thus introduce additional driver error, which equates to more accidents.

So, I continue to be puzzled as to how this project improves the safety of the road.

It merely *changes* the road, and it is naive for people to assume that all change is good. Only the *right* change yields the desired result. The only good things I can say is that the project has been run very smoothly, which is refreshing to see. And, it does appear to slow the flow of traffic – but it’s yet to be seen whether or not that will be a good thing or a bad thing.

Your thoughts?

Continue this discussion here at the insidelongbeach.com forums

The local diner scene

One thing that I worry about here in Long Beach is the fact that some of these restaurants survive based on “location” and not by “quality.”

For example, I lived in Manhattan and a pizza / bagel place opened up right down the street on the corner of 3rd ave and St marks. It had what was possible the worse pizza and bagels I’ve ever had in my entire life, but the place was always crowded because the location.

Some of these restaurants in Long Beach seem to survive because they get the same crowd going to them year after year and it’s just good enough. Their locations make them the only game in town and they have no incentive to improve or make their place nicer or better. I am speaking mostly about the diners.

I love diners and have been to a ton of them across the Island and the metro area. The diners we have here in Long Beach are below average.. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Now I just moved to the area about a year and a half ago and I still haven’t found a diner that I love and want to visit when friends come into town. So far the only decent local ones I found aren’t even in Long Beach – Jo Jo Apples in Point Lookout and Dee’s in Island Park. What’s it going to take to get the local Long Beach diners to step up their game?

I’m sorry if any local diner owners are reading this and get offended. You are probably thinking “what does he know? he just moved here.” Well eating food and time spent living in an area have nothing to do with each other.

Discuss here.

My Long Beach Wish List

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

Here comes the sun!

Spring! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, to me it is. I’m pretty tired of snow and cold weather. It’s time to dust off those lungs and get some fresh air for a change! I love the spring and spending it here in Long Beach makes it so much better. Sorry television, but I’ll see you in the fall. I have a boardwalk to visit.

Attention fellow Long Beach neighbors:
Got any news, dirt, reviews, community updates, stories, art or photography that you would like to share? Please contact me by filling out the CONTACT ME window on the right of this page. I’m looking for more writers and contributors.

-Anthony
(photo by: me! email me your Long Beach photos and I’ll post them)

Random Updates

Well the winter is almost officially here and all is quiet here in this sleepy beach town.

I went to Sugo Cafe and liked it. The owner was really nice and they have live entertainment and comedy on the weekends. It’s not your typical Italian food that you would find at Gino’s or Mulberry Street. Being an Italian myself it was pleasantly surprised and not bored. Mulberry Street was a little too boring for me (sorry).

Green Cactus has been open for a few months and I suggest everybody to try it if you haven’t already. It’s a local Long Island franchise and one of the better ones.

Five Guys Burgers is also open. I love the checkerboard / old diner look. I wish them success. Unfortunately I probably won’t eat there that much. When I want a burger, I usually just throw it on the grill.

The Allegria Hotel & Spa (King David Manor) website claims that they will be open for business this March and they are already taking reservations.

No news on the Bayfront development or the Superblock, but it looks like city might consider using Meter parking on the West End of town.. As if parking there didn’t suck already…..