We came. We saw. We Painted. [One Booth is Done]

Today, as a community art project, we painted one of the ticket booths on the boardwalk. For the history of how this came about, please read the following seabythecity posts:

The Victim: The Magnolia Blvd Ticket Booth

The goal of this project was to just see what we can do, get some feedback and hope it kick starts something bigger. If feedback is positive, then perhaps next spring we can organize a volunteer Paint-A-Booth day. If you don’t like what we did, please give us constructive criticism instead of just saying “I don’t like what you did”. We worked hard and volunteered several hours of our time (and some money) to do this. So please be nice and tell us what you think 🙂

WHO ARE WE? I would like to thank Allison, Bob, Tricia, Arnie, Sherie / Ree,  Jamie and a few others whose names I didn’t get. I think we all did a wonderful job! Also, a big thank you to those who came by and said hi! I want to write more, but I can’t seem to get the paint off my fingers and it’s getting all over my computer keyboard!


Ticket booths Will Be Painted. Let’s Pick The Guinea Pig! [Boardwalk Makeover]

Last week I did an article regarding the idea of painting the beach pass ticket booths (read – Somebody Please Paint These Damn Ticket Booths!). Since then I’ve been in conversation with Bob Piazza, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, and he’s in agreement. Bob told me it’s been a priority of his to beautify the booths; my blog post kickstarted the idea to actually get it done. So we went back and forth discussing various ways to go about it; some of them include:

  1. The use of  local artists (contest?).
  2. A makeshift painting party; paint them all the same color and call it a day.
  3. Mary Ellen of the West End Beautification Association’s wonderful idea that involved the art department of the
    Long Beach high school and with an annual booth decorating contest.
  4. ‘Adopt a Booth,’ similar to the boardwalk benches with plaques and all.
  5. Get local Businesses to sponsor a booth, which would place advertisements on them.

These ticket booths are a mess. While many still don leftover Quiksilver wrapping, the majority need to be repaired or rebuilt. Any work would have to be long lasting. Bob suggested they would use material called Texture 111, which is an industrial grade plywood; it supposed to last long and holds paint fairly well. The bottom line is this: It will be a long process, but the city wants to get it done at a minimal cost. That being said, the ‘adopt a booth’ would be the best way to go. All of this would be done via a two part strategy:

Part 1: This summer/fall: Pick one booth as the guinea pig. The Parks & Rec. department will repair, paint and place a sign that says “adopt me next spring.”

Part  2: Next Spring – Execute and finish. All new freshly painted booths with plaques similar to what’s on the benches.

This is where we come in. Bob has asked me to ask you, the readers, to pick the guinea pig booth. The color which has been suggested is a blue that was used for these booths years ago. Not everybody is excited about that color, but will we ever find a color that satisfies everybody? I say, let’s just keep it nautical looking. Nantucket gray? Santa Monica Blue? Pantone 19 4050? Either case, that beige has to go. I have nothing against the color beige (yes I do), but I just feel like it’s a color that’s overused because it’s least offensive and people have no imagination [/End Beige Rant].

So what booth should be the guinea pig? I’m thinking center of the boardwalk; between National & Riverside. What do you folks think?

UPDATE: Following the suggestion of copying the booth at this link. I did a horrible 5 minute photoshop to try to match it, so please bare with my work. Oh yeah, I took out the ticket window by accident.


Somebody Please Paint These Damn Ticket Booths! [Boardwalk Makeover]

Rumor has it, several years ago the city was all set to paint these ticket booths a nicer color, but one cranky, anti-fun person raised their voice and it was put on hold.  Painting these ticket booths would be a really inexpensive way to beautify our boardwalk. I know the colors I picked in my images aren’t ideal, but you get the idea.

Who else thinks these babies should be painted? (The garbage gives these images a lovely touch, doesn’t it?)

Concerning the Boardwalk (PART II): Splinters, Nails and Raised Boards

In yesterday’s post concerning the boardwalk & thugs, many of you suggested that the real thug was the boardwalk itself. It comes in the form of splinters, loose nails & raised boards. So what’s going on? How long are we going to have to live with this state of the boardwalk? And is it really that bad?

The new gang fancied themselves as the Boardwalk Party during the last election with the sole purpose of fixing the boardwalk. Here we are 7+ months later and the boardwalk is still a mess. Yes, the repairs HAVE been quicker, so I give them credit for that, but there is no chance in hell we’re going to see an entirely new boardwalk anytime soon. That is, unless the city gets some sort of grant or wins the lottery. Does Long Beach have a rich relative who is on their death bed? Perhaps all what Long Beach needs is a sugar daddy? The point is, our city just has no cash to replace the entire boardwalk. I still don’t understand why they can’t just use a harder wood and screws. Can somebody please explain that to me? Whatever…

There is a positive spin to all this, as Allison in the comments of yesterday’s post puts it:

[quote]The way it is now it’s like speed bumps and I’m ok with that. It’s kind of like my street that’s all gnarled up but somewhat slows down people. The boardwalk should be a slow experience, not high-speed and I do believe that could potentially happen with a new one.[/quote]

I have to admit… I kind of agree. Maybe these imperfections are actually keeping it safer. Half the people who are walking on the boardwalk don’t even realize there is a bike lane there to begin with. Can you imagine how dangerous it would be if cyclists road even faster? And about  those raised nails; flat tires keep our local bike shops in business. Those raised nails are good for our local economy!

HA! So yeah, let’s just use a harder wood with screws and call it a day.

OPINION: The boardwalk is like an old car (and why I want to screw the boardwalk).

We already mentioned this LB Patch article last week regarding ‘fixing the boardwalk (read @ LB PATCH – Letter to Editor: Coalition Fixing Democrats’ Infrastructure Mess). The author of that article was rightfully expressing his opinion, so here I am expressing one of my own. There are tons of comments and I personally haven’t had the time to skim through them. I’m not sure if the analogy you’re about to read was already used (sorry in advance if it was). This is how I interprete that opinion article: (Please note: Before a Sally starts harassing me, the Sally in this story is a fictional character).

Sally has this really old car that constantly needs fixing. The older the car gets, the more money Sally puts in to fix it. Sally spent a lot more money fixing this aging car than the previous owner, so she is better than them.  

Does that make any sense? Am I missing something here? Read the article yourself and please correct me if I’m wrong. I mean, there comes a point when the car can’t be fixed anymore. Sally has to stop spending money on it and get a new one!

Back in June of 2009 the City of Long Beach approved a Capital Improvement plan and mentions rebuilding the boardwalk. (LB Herald June 2009 – City approves capital improvement plan). As I have constantly stated since 2008, this blog is not a news organization (hence, all of our opinions), so I could be missing some pieces to this puzzle. It appears to me that there hasn’t been any movement with replacing the boardwalk since that June 2009 article. Please let me know if I am missing any followups and I will correct this part of this post.

I never built a boardwalk, but I am guessing it takes a lot of coordinating between many people: The Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal engineers, probably the DEC, The City of Long Beach, maybe Nassau County or New York State and a whole lot of other people that I don’t even know about. Oh yeah, and it probably costs a lot of money with the possibility of a storm wall, new foundation and a new type of board (wood or synthetic). But enough with these quick fixes and let’s come up with a plan and make sure it gets built the right way.

If you elect me under the Transparency Party ticket, I wouldn’t do any more quick repairs. This is how I would fix it:

MESSAGE TO THE BOARDWALK: SCREW YOU!!! No more nails and 2X4s, I would use screws and a harder wood. Screws stay in better and won’t come out with all the vibration. No cars over 3000lb would be allowed on the boardwalk and the LBPD will be issued Gem cars for patrolling.

Below are images of the boardwalk over in Fire Island – harder wood and screws. Yep, somebody screwed the Fire Island boardwalk.