Tag Archives: Long Beach Bridge

Watch local actor “The Long Beach Bridge” in NBC’s The Blacklist [TRAILER]

James Spader and the handsome Long Beach Bridge star in NBC’s The Blacklist, a new criminal drama that’s coming this fall to a TV near you. Yes, I am talking about that show that temporarily closed off northbound-bridge traffic last March for a day for filming (read – Fire, Smoke, Actors Rappelling off the Long Beach Bridge, Gunshots, a Car Collision & James Spader).

The trailer is now available. It’s a lengthy 4 minutes, but you do get to see local, handsome actor The Long Beach Bridge for a mere two seconds (depending how fast your eyesight is).

View the trailer here: nbc.com/the-blacklist/?vid=n36728

The actual bridge scene starts at around the 01:50 mark. Below are some screenshots for the slow-eyed and lazy. When asked about the trailer, the local, handsome, debonair actor Long Beach Bridge said, “no autographs, please.”

Thank you to our friends at Long Beach, NY Hurricane Information for the link!

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Fire, Smoke, Actors Rappelling off the Long Beach Bridge, Gunshots, a Car Collision & James Spader

NBC will be filming “The Blacklist” this Saturday on the ‘Michael Valente’ Long Beach Bridge. James Spader, who recently had a stint on NBC’s The OFFICE will be there. No word on whether or not he is the one repelling of the bridge.

Anyway, Northbound side of the bridge will be closed from 5am to 11pm this Saturday. Southbound will accommodate two-way traffic. Expect to hear and see special effects during filming.

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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.

(CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR LARGER IMAGES. All OF THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN BY ME)

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.

A bike-laned bridge over troubled parking

Most of you have already made up your mind on the whole DecoBike fiasco:

  • Worried about the extra 400 bikes.
  • Don’t want our boardwalk sold to private companies.
  • Just don’t want more people coming to Long Beach.
  • Just don’t want more bicycles on the boardwalk and around Long Beach.
  • Worried about the DecoBike racks taking up much needed parking spots.
  • The impact on Buddy’s Bikes.
  • The impact on Long Beach Bicycle.
  • The impact on Local Cycles.
  • Etc.

Like it or not, we are stuck with DecoBikes for the next 5 years. Will it work? Well, none of us went to school for bike sharing and its impact on small barrier Island cities, so I don’t think any of us really know that answer. Only time will tell. Our city officials are billing the ‘DecoBikes plan’ as a way to solve our parking problem, but it can’t and won’t.  Out-of-towners still need to drive and park their cars here in Long Beach to use the service. One way we can solve our parking problem is to bring less cars to Long beach, but we can’t because our current infrastructure doesn’t support safe bike travel from other parts of Long Island.  There are no bike lanes between Long Beach and Island Park, Lido Beach, Point Lookout, Atlantic Beach & even Oceanside.  Heck, I would even go up Loop Parkway though the Meadowbrook to Merrick.

A lot of residents from these neighboring towns, especially Island Park, park in Long Beach to use our beaches and spend money at our restaurants. Maybe some of these folks would love to leave their cars at home and take a bike! Why take a bike when it’s so much easier to drive? Well, it’s simple: there is comfort knowing you won’t have the frustration of finding a parking spot near the beach. Exercise and fresh air are always good too! (Some people, like myself, actually like exercise and fresh air).

This, of course, brings me back to the bike lane over the Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge proposal (see – Bike Lanes by the Sea).  How many cars come over the bridge from Island Park and park in our spaces?  I’m sure it’s a lot – especially on a hot Saturday in July.  If we can offer them a safe alternative – some will bite.  As of now, bike travel over that bridge is freakin’ dangerous & downright scary. Between the Harbor Island Condos & a redeveloped Island Park downtown, we are going to see an influx of folks coming to Long Beach and that only means less parking spaces for all.

Similar to my bike lane proposal for Long Beach (see – Bike Lanes by the Sea), I propose bike lanes for :

  • Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge
  • E. Park Avenue & Lido Blvd to Point Lookout
  • Loop & Meadowbrook parkways
  • West end connection to the Atlantic Beach Bridge (which already has a bike lane, by the way).

They say that no man is an Island. Well, lets put those words to good use.

Bike Lanes by the Sea

Ok, so the LB Patch has the full scoop regarding bike rentals and bike lanes. I suggest you read the article before you read the rest of this post. (See: City Council Approves Bike Rental-Sharing Program).

(No really, read the article)

You’re back? Ok, good. The idea of bringing bike lanes to Long Beach isn’t a new one. The following is from the City of Long Beach, NY 2004 Master Plan:

Bicycle routes – The layout of Long Beach, and the existing problems arising from traffic and parking, has encouraged bicycle travel throughout the city.  Special efforts, which could be implemented to improve the safety of bicyclists, will be noted as these could also yield major benefits in reducing auto travel.

Here we are seven years later and this issue is finally being addressed. The way I see it, the following roads are where bike lanes will be needed:

  1. E. Park Avenue: the downtown corridor.
  2. E. & W. Broadway: where bike lanes sort of exist already.
  3. Long Beach Blvd: from boardwalk to bridge.
  4. Grand Blvd & Neptune Blvd: connecting the northern & southern bike routes.
  5. Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge: a long shot, but a bicyclist and pedestrian deathtrap.

Other areas, such as the West End, obviously needs better bicycle safety.  W. Beech Street is so narrow, but I’m not sure if bike lanes can even fit!  Besides, you can’t take away street parking in the West End and turn it into a bike lane; all the businesses will revolt. The appropriate thing to do with the West End is to figure out how to slow down traffic. (I’ll save that one for a future article).

1. E. Park Avenue:

Bicycles and sidewalks don’t mix, which is why E. Park Avenue is a problem. I’m guilty of riding on the sidewalk in front of the stores. I’m sure most of you are too. It’s because we have no other choice!!  The few times I road my bike on E. Park Ave felt like playing russian roulette.

I personally would love to see E. Park Avenue reduced to two lanes each way because the three lanes are way too much. That extra space can be used for bike lanes on both sides of the street. We’ll then have room for a wider sidewalk with planters, benches, curbside seating; the sort of stuff that gives a downtown some class. This idea is similar to what was presented in the City of Long Beach Charrette Notes from September 27, 2005, but with bike lanes (see photo below).

I know what you’re thinking: “E. Park Avenue to be reduced to two lanes each way? Are you crazy?” Well, no. It should be two lanes each way.  I drive on Old Country Road in Mineola a lot and that’s only two lanes each way. And there are far more businesses & automobiles in that area. Traffic through Mineola builds up during rush hour, but we’re talking about a lot more cars than what we get here in Long Beach.

2. E. Broadway:

E. Broadway almost already has a bike lane. The lines are painted, you just need to insert the ‘bike lane’ graphics. Don’t forget to trim the trees that line the street! Cars don’t park where these lanes would be, so it’s as easy as pie.

 

3. Long Beach Blvd:

The main gateway to our city, and it’s only safe for automobiles.  LB Blvd north of E. Park Ave doesn’t get much pedestrian traffic, so the sidewalks can be a tad narrower to make room for bike lanes.

The photo below shows LB Blvd south of E. Park Ave. where the street lanes are pretty wide. I’m sure we can squeeze a bike lane in their somewhere.

 

4. Grand & Neptune Blvd:

We need bike lanes on both ends connecting the E & W Broadway and E. Park Ave bike routes. Grand & Neptune are just two roads that I pulled out of a hat.

5. Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge:

This is a stretch and would be way too costly, but this bridge will eventually need to be retrofitted with bike lanes. Last week my wife and I bicycled over the bridge to check out Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill. Climbing over the bridge hump on the narrow sidewalk (note: bikes aren’t supposed to be on sidewalks, but we had no other choice) while speeding trucks are zooming right by you was an absolute horror.

Believe it or not, Island Park is going through a transformation. Between the Harbor Island Condos, Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill & King Kullen Shopping center, more pedestrian and bicyclist traffic will be utilizing the bridge. For that, a safer bike & pedestrian passage needs to be added. Heck, NYC recently did this with most of their east river bridges, why can’t we do it here?  Unfortunately, this is a situation where it’s going to take a tragic accident for any local politicians to act.  “In the name of safety” makes a great photo op.  (see  – Community Pushes for Safer Area Between Bike Path and Wantagh Parkway.)

 

In my opinion, those are the streets where bike lanes are most needed. That’s not to say you aren’t allowed to ride your bike on lane-less streets.  Bike lanes exist to make the busier streets safer. That’s all!  We should feel safe when we choose to save gas, save the environment & get some exercise while riding our bikes to local spots.

Now back to the LB Patch article (City Council Approves Bike Rental-Sharing Program), which states:

But Decobike has agreed to pay for the creation of bike lanes, possibly by next year, but the city will conduct the necessary work to determine their locations. 

 I will be interesting to see just where these bike lanes will actually be….

 

King Kullen is coming to Island Park

800px-Barnum_Island_SignIt’s official.  The Island Park Herald is reporting that King Kullen is officially coming to Island Park. This will have a MAJOR impact to our local Long Beach Waldbaums, as it should.  I’ve had nothing, but bad experiences at that Waldbaums.  Yes, King Kullen is pricey, but they have a great produce, deli, meats and bakery section.   As I posted in the past: I, for one, welcome our new supermarket overlords.  Another shopping center though? hmm.. not so much.

Just a few thoughts:

  • Due to the nearby restaurants, parking has been an issue. I actually think this center will solve that problem.  Most people shop during the day and early evening.  Those restaurants get crowded at night.  Since John Vitale owns all of it, the shopping center will add more parking to the restaurants.
  • It’s just another shopping center. Hmm… I was hoping Island Park would try to rebuild their downtown, but this will guarantee its demise (see – Imagining a new Island Park).  This new center is going to add, along with a supermarket, nine retail stores. That’s a lot for an area that already has a vacancy problem.
  • Another shopping center just adds to the suburban sprawl disease that plagues Long Island. It would have been nice to see the Barnum Island Wharf redeveloped. Make it more walkable.   Maybe add next-generation apartments similar to Art-Space in Patchogue and try to keep some young adults from leaving. Create a more walkable community. The Island Park train station is nearby and Long Beach is a bridge away – that area screams for transit-oriented development.  All new development on Long Island should encourage walking over driving. Instead, this shopping center will bring that area an even bigger problem:
  • Traffic. Shopping centers bring a TON of traffic. Expect your drive over the soon-to-be-renamed “Michael Valente” Bridge to be a lot busier.

Read: BZA gives Island Park King Kullen the OK

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