Long Beach, California

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Long Beach, California
Image:LongBeach flag.jpg
Image:150-x-150-pix-line-drawing.gif
Flag Seal
Nickname: "The International City (on flag), Friendly City (in Latin on city's seal), or the LBC"
Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California
Coordinates: 33°48′15″N, 118°9′29″W
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles County
Mayor Bob Foster
Area  
 - City 170.6 km²  (65.9 sq mi)
 - Land 130.6 km²  (40.0 sq mi)
 - Water 40.0 km² (15.4 sq mi)
Elevation Sea Level m
Population  
 - City (2006) 490,166<ref name=e1>Template:Cite web</ref>
 - Density 3,533/km²
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Website: http://www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/

Long Beach is a city located in southern Los Angeles County, California, USA, on the Pacific coast. It borders Orange County on its southeast edge. It is about 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown Los Angeles.

Downtown Long Beach (as seen to the right) has been Showcasing Long Beach as a First Class City within California. The R.M.S. Queen Mary has been located in Long Beach since her retirement in 1967 and now serves as a hotel, convention center, and tourist attraction. The Aquarium of the Pacific, a world-class research facility, is a popular tourist destination. Long Beach also has the largest municipally owned marina in the country with 3,400 slips. Downtown Long Beach also offers cruises to Catalina Island, restaurant and club nightlife, promenade development, and festival entertainment.

As of the 2000 census, the city population was 461,522. By 2006 its population is estimated to have increased to 490,166<ref name=e1/>. Based upon the USA Today's Diversity Index, Long Beach was the most ethnically diverse large city in the United States in 2000 [1]. For example, Long Beach has the second-largest population of Cambodians outside of Asia (after Paris, France), and the area along Anaheim St. is sometimes called "Little Phnom Penh". There are also sizable populations of African Americans, Mexicans, Salvadorans and other Central Americans, Filipino Americans, Vietnamese Americans and other Asians. There is also a diverse gay and lesbian population in the city.

Long Beach is the 34th-largest city in the nation, 5th in California and 2nd in Los Angeles County (after Los Angeles). Long Beach is the largest U.S. city that is not a county seat.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world's largest shipping ports. The city also has a large oil industry; oil (discovered in 1921) is found both underground and offshore. Manufactures include aircraft, automobile parts, electronic and audiovisual equipment, and home furnishings. It is also home to headquarters for corporations such as Epson America, Molina Healthcare, Scan Health Care, and Polar Air Cargo. Long Beach grew with the development of high-technology and aerospace industries in the area.

Long Beach is the location of the second largest California State University, CSULB, and the headquarters of the California State University system. The city also has a Veterans Affairs hospital and is a major healthcare hub for the region.

Long Beach draws 5.5 million visitors annually. Tourists are drawn to Long Beach by the numerous annual events held in the city, which include music festivals, sports competitions, and cultural celebrations.

The Long Beach Grand Prix, an annual Champ Car race, takes place on city streets near the Convention Center and is one of the largest Grand Prix events in the world. It is the largest street race in the United States with an estimated 300,000 people watching the event in person every year over three days.

The second largest event in Long Beach is the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade & Festival. It attracts more than 125,000 participants over the two-day event.

Signal Hill is an incorporated city surrounded entirely by Long Beach.

Contents

[edit] History

The area was originally occupied by the Tongva people who lived in a rancheria named Tibahangna. Along with other Tongva villages, it disappeared in the mid-1800s.

The Rancho Los Cerritos [2] and Rancho Los Alamitos were divided from the larger Rancho Los Nietos, which had been granted by the King of Spain to a mulatto soldier, Manuel Nieto. The boundary between the two ranchos ran through the center of Signal Hill at a southwest to northeast diagonal.

Rancho Los Cerritos was bought in 1843 by Jonathan Temple, a Yankee who had come to California in 1827. Soon after he built what is now known as the "Los Cerritos Ranch House," an adobe which still stands and is a National Historic Landmark. Temple created a thriving cattle ranch and prospered, becoming the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County. Both Temple and his ranch house played important local roles in the Mexican-American War.

Meanwhile, on an island in the San Pedro Bay, Mormon pioneers made an abortive attempt to establish a colony (as part of Brigham Young's plan to establish a continuous chain of settlements from the Pacific to Salt Lake).

In 1866 Temple sold Rancho Los Cerritos to the Northern California sheep-raising firm of Flint, Bixby & Co, which consisted of brothers Thomas and Benjamin Flint and their cousin Lewellyn Bixby, for $20,000. Two years previous Flint, Bixby had also purchased along with Northern California associate James Irvine three ranchos which would later become the city that bears Irvine's name. To manage Los Cerritos, the company selected Lewellyn's brother Jotham Bixby, the "Father of Long Beach", to manage their southern ranch, and three years later Jotham bought into the property and would later form the Bixby Land Company. In the 1870s as many as 30,000 sheep were kept at the ranch and sheared twice yearly to provide wool for trade. In 1880, Bixby sold 4,000 acres (16 km²) of the Rancho Los Cerritos to William E. Willmore, who subdivided it in hopes of creating a farm community, Willmore City. He failed and was bought out by a Los Angeles syndicate which called itself the "Long Beach Land and Water Company." They changed the name of the community to "Long Beach", which was incorporated as a city in 1888.

Image:LongBeach-1907.jpg
Long Beach boardwalk, 1907

Overlooked, but probably even more influential in the development of the city was another Bixby cousin, John W. Bixby. After first working for his cousins at Los Cerritos, J.W. Bixby then leased land at Rancho Los Alamitos, and then put together a group consisting of himself, mega-banker I.W. Hellman and Lewellyn and Jotham Bixby to purchase the rancho. In addition to bringing innovative farming methods to the Alamitos (which under Abel Stearns in the late 1850s and early 1860s was once the largest cattle ranch in America), John W. Bixby began the development of the Alamitos' oceanfront property near the city's picturesque bluffs. Under the name Alamitos Land Company, J.W. Bixby named the streets and laid out the parks of his new city. This area would include Belmont Heights, Belmont Shore and Naples and would soon become a very thriving communty of its own. Unfortunately, J.W. Bixby died in 1888 of apparent appendicitis, and the Rancho Los Alamitos property was split up with Hellman roughly getting the southern third, Jotham and Lewellyn the northern third and J.W. Bixby's wife and heirs keeping the central third. The Alamitos townsite was kept as a separate entitty but it was basically run by Lewellyn and Jotham's Bixby Land Company.

When Jotham Bixby died in 1916 the remaining 3,500 acres (14 km²) of Rancho Los Cerritos was subdivided into the neighborhoods of Bixby Knolls, California Heights, North Long Beach and part of the city of Signal Hill.

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Oil field in Long Beach, 1920

The town grew as a seaside resort (The Pike was one of the most famous beachside amusement parks on the West coast from 1910 until the 1960's) and then as an oil, Navy, and port town. The town was once referred to as "Iowa by the sea," due to a large influx of people from that state and other states in the Midwest. Huge picnics for each state were a popular annual event in Long Beach until the 1960s.

The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that caused significant damage to the city and surrounding areas. Most of the damage occurred in unreinforced masonry buildings, especially schools. One hundred twenty people died in this earthquake.

Long Beach once had a sizable Japanese-American population mostly working in the fish canneries on Terminal Island and small truck farms in the area, but the Japanese and Japanese Americans were removed for internment in 1942, and most did not return after their release from the camps. Due to this, intermarriage, and other factors, they now make up less than 1% of the population of Long Beach. There is still a Japanese Community Center and a Japanese Buddhist Church in Long Beach. The Japanese-American Cultural Center is just over the Vincent Saint Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.

[edit] The early silent film industry in Long Beach

One of the places where the film industry started in Southern California was in Long Beach.

Balboa Amusement Producing Company, also known as Balboa Studios, was located at Sixth Street and Alamitos Avenue; they used 11 acres (45,000 m²) on Signal Hill for outdoor locations. Silent movie stars who lived in Long Beach included Fatty Arbuckle and Theda Bara. The 1917 film Cleopatra, starring Theda Bara, was filmed at the Dominguez Slough just west of Long Beach, and Moses parted the Red Sea for Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 black-and-white version of "The Ten Commandments" on the flat seashore of Seal Beach, southeast of Long Beach.

[edit] The current film industry in Long Beach

Because of its closeness to LA-area studios and its variety of locations, Long Beach is regularly used for movies, television shows, and advertisements. The city has filled in for locations across the nation and around the globe. [3] One advantage that Long Beach has is that the film industry uses a zone that extends 30 miles from Beverly Blvd. and La Cienega Blvd. in the West Hollywood area. Within that zone it is cheaper to film, so Long Beach and other South Bay cities often stand in for areas of Orange County (such as for The O.C. TV show) because almost all of Orange County is outside that zone.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School is just one of the popular filming locations in Long Beach. Another popular area for movies filmed in the city is the Virginia Country Club area. The upscale neighborhood is home to several National Historic Landmarks and is known for its diverse styles ranging from a famous Greene and Greene designed California Bungalow home to modern homes designed by World-Renowned Architect Edward Killingsworth.

[edit] Shipping and transportation

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Aerial view of Long Beach, including Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States . The port serves shipping between the United States and the Pacific Rim. The combined operations of the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles are the busiest in the USA.

Rail shipping is provided by Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway, which carry about half of the trans-shipments from the port. Long Beach has contributed to the Alameda Corridor project to increase the capacity of the rail lines, roads, and highways connecting the port to the Los Angeles rail hub. The project, completed in 2002, created a 20 mile (32 km) long, 33 ft (10 m) deep trench in order to eliminate 200 grade crossings and cost about US$2.4 billion.

Long Beach is the southern terminus for the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line light rail corridor. Blue Line trains run from Long Beach City Hall to Downtown Los Angeles. The Metro Rail Blue Line Maintenance Shops, are also located in Long Beach just south of the Del Amo Blue Line station.

There is an Amtrak Thruway bus shuttle starting in San Pedro, with stops at the Queen Mary and downtown Long Beach, that then goes to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, and ends in Bakersfield. The Blue Line MetroRail connects downtown Long Beach to the Staples Center and downtown Los Angeles where it connects with Hollywood and Pasadena. There is also a Greyhound Lines terminal downtown.

Public transportation in Long Beach is provided by Long Beach Transit. Besides the normal bus service, which charges a fare, Long Beach has free routes, the "Pine Avenue Link" and Passport routes, which use mini-buses to shuttle passengers within the downtown area. The Passport "C" route between the downtown and the Queen Mary, and Passport "A" and "D" buses go East-West along Ocean Boulevard, linking the Catalina Landing in the west with Belmont Shore in the east. (The Passport "B" has been renamed the Pine Avenue Link.) A 90-cent fare is required when traveling east of Atlantic Avenue. Another free route, "Village Tour D'art" in the East Village, visits museums and other points of interest.

Long Beach Transit also operates the 49-passenger AquaBus water taxi, which stops at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, and four other locations; and the 75-passenger AquaLink water taxi, which travels between the Aquarium, the Queen Mary, and Alamitos Bay Landing next to the Long Beach Marina.

There is also limited bus service to Orange County through Orange County Transportation Authority buses. Route 1, from Long Beach to San Clemente is the longest bus route in the OCTA system. Traveling along Pacific Coast Highway for most of the route, it takes 2-2.5 hrs to complete.

Torrance Transit buses go from downtown Long Beach to the South Bay. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has bus service from downtown to San Pedro, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has two regional bus lines that serve downtown Long Beach.

Long Beach Municipal Airport serves the Long Beach, South Bay and northern Orange County areas, but is relatively small, considering the area's population. It is the West Coast hub for JetBlue Airways. It is also the site of a major Boeing (formerly Douglas, then McDonnell Douglas) aircraft production facility, which is the city's largest employer.

Several freeways run through Long Beach, connecting it with the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. The San Diego (405) freeway roughly bisects the city and takes commuters northwest or southeast to the Golden State (5) freeway. The Long Beach (710) freeway runs north-south, starting at the southern end between the Port of Long Beach and downtown Long Beach, and terminating just past the intersection with San Bernardino (10) freeway on the border between El Sereno neighbor or Los Angeles and Alhambra. The eastern border of the city is traversed by the San Gabriel River (605) freeway, which joins the 405 at the Long Beach/Los Alamitos border. The Artesia Freeway California State Route 91 runs east-west near the northern border of Long Beach.

California State Route 1 (more commonly known as Pacific Coast Highway or PCH) runs through Long Beach. Where it intersects with Lakewood Boulevard (California State Route 19) and Los Coyotes Diagonal is the "infamous" Long Beach Traffic Circle.

Long Beach has some bike paths along city streets, plus the Long Beach bicycle path along the ocean from Shoreline Village to Belmont Shore, plus there are bike paths along both the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers.

[edit] Culture

Bikinis and business suits mix along a beach that a world trade center overlooks. Standing next to elegant buildings where commerce takes place, is the Pacific Ocean. Period architecture, beach expanses, unique communities such as Naples with canals and gondolas, historic adobes, ethnic restaurants and a Bohemian feel provide an allure that makes Long Beach a world-class destination. The downtown region of the city has trendy shops, restaurants, an art district, and a picturesque skyline that can be viewed atop many of the towers that dot the downtown landscape. Long Beach offers many sandy beaches and coastline near downtown, Naples, Belmont Shore and Long Beach Peninsula that are enjoyed for their scenic beauty.

[edit] Art

The Long Beach Museum of Art is owned by the City of Long Beach, and operated by the Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation. Long Beach also features the Museum of Latin American Art, founded in 1996 by Dr. Robert Gumbiner. It is the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features Latin American art.

The University Art Museum on the Long Beach State campus (founded in 1973) has a national reputation for its high-quality and innovative programs. [4] Long Beach State is also home to the largest publicly funded art school west of the Mississippi.

In 1965, Long Beach State hosted the first International Sculpture Symposium to be held in the United States and the first at a college or university. Six sculptors from around the world and two from the United States created many of the monumental sculptures seen on the campus. There are now over 20 sculptures on the campus.

Southern California is known for its street art and the Long Beach area has many fine examples. Some of the murals were created in conjunction with the city's Mural and Cultural Arts Program, but many others were not. [5] [6]

On the exterior of the Long Beach Sports Arena is one of environmental artist Wyland's Whaling Walls. At 116,000 square feet (11,000 m²), it is the world's largest mural (according to the Guinness Book of Records).

Shops and galleries in the East Village Arts District, in downtown Long Beach hold their monthly art openings and artists exhibit in street galleries on the last Saturday of the month [7] . The Artwalks in the East Village are on the second Saturdays of the month [8].

[edit] Music

The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra plays numerous classical and pop music concerts throughout the year. The symphony plays at the Terrace Theater in the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. [9]

KJAZZ 88.1 FM (KKJZ) broadcasts from California State University, Long Beach. The station features jazz and blues music exclusively and can also be listened to over the Internet. [10] KBEACH is the student owned and operated web-only radio at CSULB. [11]

Long Beach is the host to a number of long-running music festivals. They include the Bob Marley Reggae Festival (February), the Cajun & Zydeco Festival (May), the Aloha Concert Jam (Hawaiian music, June), the Long Beach Jazz Festival (August), the Long Beach Blues Festival (September, since 1980), and the Brazilian Street Carnaval (Brazilian music, September).

The bands Sublime, the Long Beach Dub Allstars (formed by the members of Sublime after their lead singer Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose) and Long Beach Shortbus (formed after the break-up of the Allstars) are from Long Beach.

New-wave punk band Le Shok hailed from Long Beach.

Rappers Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Zack de la Rocha were born and raised in Long Beach. The city is also home to the VIP Records store which has been featured in music videos by Snoop Dogg and other rap music artists. (The corner of "21 and Lewis" that Warren G mentions in "Regulate" is very close to VIP Records.)

Melissa Etheridge got her start performing at Que Sera, a former lesbian bar in Long Beach.

The Carpenters, a pop group from the 1960s and 1970s, consisted of musicians who were all students at California State University, Long Beach. The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSULB is named in honor of these famous alums of the Music Department.

The Long Beach Municipal Band, founded in 1909 is the longest running, municipally supported band in the country. In 2005, the band played 24 concerts in various parks around Long Beach. [12]

The Long Beach Community Band, including the Shoreline Concert Band and the Blue Pacific Swing Band, is an all volunteer group of musicians that's been performing concerts in the Long Beach area since 1947. [13]

The Vault 350, a music performance nightclub, is one of several bars and nightclubs located on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach. The popular blues club, the Blue Cafe, is located nearby.

[edit] Sports

Long Beach Grand Prix

The Long Beach Grand Prix in April is the single largest event in Long Beach. It started in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race on the streets of downtown, and became a Formula One race, the United States Grand Prix West, the following year. Since 1984 it has been a Champ Car event. During the same week as the Grand Prix, there are also Trans-Am, and Toyota Atlantic races, plus an Historic Grand Prix features pre-1990 cars, and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race.

Baseball

Long Beach Little League teams that included Sean Burroughs were back-to-back World Series Champions in 1992 & 1993. Other noted Long Beach ballplayers include Tony Gwynn and Bob Lemon.

The Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden Baseball League plays at Blair Field. Ex-Major Leaguer Darrell Evans manages the team that features former major league players as well as rookies looking to reach the Majors for the first time.

Blair Field (built in 1958) has hosting numerous American Legion baseball, Connie Mack baseball, high school, junior college, college, minor league baseball and major league spring training exhibition baseball games. It has also been host of six MTV Rock & Jock softball games, and has been the filming location for numerous film, TV and commercial productions. [14]

Ice Hockey

Long Beach is home to the Long Beach Ice Dogs (ECHL) hockey team. The Ice Dogs play their home games at the Long Beach Sports Arena.

Basketball

The minor league American Basketball Association team, the Long Beach Jam, played in the Walter Pyramid (a pyramid-shaped gym) on the Long Beach State campus) from 2003 to 2005.

The Southern California Summer Pro League is a showcase for current and prospective NBA basketball players, including recent draft picks, current NBA players working on their skills and conditioning, and international professionals hoping to become NBA players. The league plays in the Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus during July. [15]

Image:Longbeach pyramid.jpg
The Walter Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus
Sailing

Since its inception in August 1964, the Congressional Cup has grown into one of the major international sailing events. Now held in April, it is the only grade 1 match race regatta held in the United States. The one-on-one race format is the same as the America's Cup, and many of the winners of the Congressional Cup have gone on to win the America's Cup as well.

The Leeway Sailing and Aquatics Center on Alamitos Bay in Belmont Shore is a youth sailing program founded in 1929. It is recognized as one of the premier municipal instructional sailing programs in the country. [16]

Water skiing

In July, there is the annual Catalina Ski Race, which starts from Long Beach Harbor and goes to Catalina Island and back to complete a 100 km (62 mile) circuit. This race has been held annually since 1948 and features skiers from around the world. [17]

Golf

Long Beach has five municipal golf courses, as well as the private Virginia Country Club in the Bixby Knolls area. Recreation Park, built in 1917, is one of the busiest golf courses in the United States. [18] [19]

College sports

Long Beach State's team mascot are the 49ers. [20] The school has had national championships in Women's Volleyball (5), Men's Volleyball (1), Track and Field (1), Men's Tennis (1-Division II), Swimming (1-Division II), Women's Badminton (2), and Women's Field Hockey (1). The school also has had regularly NCAA tournament appearances in Men's Baseball, Men's Softball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men's Golf, Women's Tennis, Men's Water Polo, and Women's Water Polo [21]. Their Cheer Team has also been national champiions in 2003 and 2004. [22]

The sports teams at Long Beach City College have also done well, including national championships in Men's Gymnastics (6), Football (5), Women's Soccer (3), and Men's Doubles and Singles Tennis (1 each). They have also had state championships in numerous sports, including 2006-7 championships in Men's and Women's Water Polo. [23]

Olympics

During the two Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, Long Beach has hosted a number of the competitions, including rowing events in the Marine Stadium, sailing events off the coast of Long Beach, volleyball in the Long Beach Sports Arena, and archery at El Dorado Regional Park.

For the 1984 Summer Olympics, Long Beach hosted yachting, volleyball, fencing and archery competitions. For the 1932 Summer Olympics, Long Beach hosted the rowing competition.

The Belmont Plaza Pool has hosted U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 1968 and 1976. For the 2004 U.S. Olympic swimming trials, a temporary swimming stadium was constructed in the parking lot adjacent to the Long Beach Sports Arena.

The USA Water Polo National Aquatic Center, where the men's and women's US Olympic water polo teams train, is located in nearby Los Alamitos.

Famous Long Beach athletes

Long Beach is the childhood home of tennis legend Billie Jean King and eight-time National League batting champion and longtime San Diego Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn, both attended Long Beach Poly high school.

2004 Summer Olympics gold medal winning beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor graduated from California State University, Long Beach (where she won a national championship and several other awards), and currently resides in Long Beach.

[edit] Parks and recreation

The Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine received a Gold Medal award from the National Parks and Recreation Society in 2002, 2003, and 2004, recognizing the Department's "outstanding management practices and programs." The Department manages 92 parks covering over 3,100 acres (13 km²) throughout the city, including the 815 acre (3.3 km²) El Dorado Regional Park, which features fishing lakes, an archery range, youth campground, bike trails, and picnic areas. The Department also operates four public swimming pools, and four launch ramps for boaters to access the Pacific Ocean.

The 102.5 acre El Dorado Nature Center is part of the larger El Dorado Regional Park. The center features lakes, a stream, and trails, with meadows and forested areas. [24]

Rancho Los Alamitos is a 7.5 acre historical site owned by the City of Long Beach and is near the Long Beach campus of the California State University system. The site includes five agricultural buildings, including a working blacksmith’s shop, four acres of gardens, and a adobe ranch house dating from around 1800. The Rancho is within a gated community, so you must pass through security gates to get to it. [25]

Rancho Los Cerritos is a 4.7 acre historical site owned by Long Beach in the Bixby Knolls area near the Virginia Country Club. The adobe buildings date from the 1880s. The site also includes a California history research library. [26]

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.

[edit] Multicultural events

  • Scottish Festival and Games (Queen Mary, Feb.) [27]
  • Annual Indian Pow Wow (CSULB, March)
  • Cambodian New Year Celebration (El Dorado Park, March or April)
  • the Kaleidoscope Festival (CSULB, April) [28]
  • Cinco de Mayo (at the Museum of Latin American Art, plus several celebrations in city parks, May 5)
  • Long Beach Pride Festival (May) [29]
  • Juneteenth Festival (Martin Luther King Park, mid-June)
  • Tafesilafa'i (Pacific Islander festival, Shoreline Village, July)
  • E Hula Mau (Hula and Chant competition, Terrace Theater, Labor Day weekend) [30]
  • Annual Grecian Festival (Greek Orthodox Church of Long Beach, Labor Day weekend)
  • Brazilian Street Carnaval (Sept.) [31].
  • Annual Hmong New Year Festival (El Dorado Park, December)

[edit] Parades

Christmas boat "parades" are a Southern California tradition, with at least one held every weekend night from December 1st till Christmas. The "Naples Island Christmas Parade" has been held since 1946, and passes through the canals of Naples and around Alamitos Bay past Belmont Shore. The "Parade of A Thousand Lights" is in the Shoreline Village area (near Downtown Long Beach and the HMS Queen Mary). [32] There is also a Christmas boat parade in the nearby Port of Los Angeles/San Pedro area, and another in the Huntington Harbor community of nearby Huntington Beach.

The Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade & Festival has been held in May or June since 1984. It is the second largest event in Long Beach, attracting over 125,000 participants over the two day celebration. It is the third largest Gay Pride Parade in the United States. [33]

Other parades in Long Beach include:

  • the Martin Luther King Parade (Jan.)
  • Cambodian New Years Parade (March or April)
  • Brazilian Street Carnaval (Sept.) [34]
  • Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade (Oct.) [35]
  • Long Beach Veterans Day Parade (Nov.) [36]
  • Belmont Shore Christmas Parade (Dec.) [37]
  • Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane & Parade (Dec.)

[edit] Other cultural events

In October, Long Beach State hosts the CSULB Wide Screen Film Festival, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. The festival started in 1992 as a showcase for movies filmed in the widescreen format, but has since been transformed into an artist-in-residence event. A major film artist (such as former CSULB student Steven Spielberg) screens and discusses their own work as well as the ten films that most influenced their cinematic vision. [38]

[edit] Business

The top commercial businesses in Long Beach, based upon the number of employees, are: Boeing, Verizon, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and The Bragg Companies (crane and heavy transport sales). Several local hospitals are major employers, including: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Mary Medical Center, and Pacific Hospital of Long Beach. Major government and educational employers include: Long Beach Unified School District, City of Long Beach, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach City College, United State Postal Service, and Long Beach Transit.

[edit] Media

The local daily newspaper is the Long Beach Press-Telegram, which is distributed throughout most of the Gateway Cities and South Bay areas of southwest Los Angeles County. The Press-Telegram is part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which has several newspapers in the Southern California area that share some resources and reporters.

Long Beach also has two weekly community newspapers, the "Grunion Gazette" and "Downtown Gazette". Both highlight the city's cultural, educational and political goings-on. There is also an "on-line news agency", the LBReport that covers local stories in depth.

Long Beach also gets distribution of the daily Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and La Opinión newspapers, plus the weekly Los Angeles Sentinel and free OC Weekly. Business news is covered by the biweekly Long Beach Business Journal.

Long Beach is part of the Los Angeles DMA radio and television markets. Although a few radio stations have had studios in Long Beach over the years, including the 80's alternative music and later hard rock station KNAC, the only remaining radio stations in Long Beach are the jazz and blues station KKJZ on the Cal State Long Beach campus, and the Christian radio broadcaster KFRN.

[edit] Education

[edit] Public schools

The primary school district that serves Long Beach is Long Beach Unified School District. It is the third largest school district in California. The district is noted for starting a trend to the return to school uniforms for public schools in the 1990s. It has also won several awards in recent years, including the 2003 Broad Prize for Urban Education, as the best urban school district in the US.

Other school districts, including the ABC Unified School District in nearby Cerritos, serve small portions of Long Beach.

[edit] Private high schools

[edit] Private non-high schools

  • Bethany Lutheran School - K-8 - Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
  • Grace Christian Schools Long Beach - PK-6 - Brethren [42]
  • Holy Innocents Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • Light and Life Christian School - K-6 Methodist
  • Long Beach Adventist School - K-8 - Seventh-Day Adventist
  • Los Altos Grace Brethren School - K-6 - Brethren
  • Nazarene Christian School Of Long Beach - PK-8 - Christian
  • Oakwood Academy - K-6 - Christian non-denominational
  • Our Lady Of Refuge Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Anthony Elementary School PK-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Athanasius Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Barnabas Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Cornelius Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic [43]
  • St. Cyprian Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Joseph Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Lucy's School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • St. Maria Goretti Elementary School - K-8 - Roman Catholic
  • Westerly School of Long Beach - K-8 - Private [44]
List of private schools in Long Beach

[edit] Colleges and universities

[edit] Geography

Long Beach is located at 33°47' North, 118°10' West, about 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 170.6 km² (65.9 mi²). 130.6 km² (50.4 mi²) of it is land and 40.0 km² (15.4 mi²) of it (23.42%) is water.

[edit] Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 461,522 people, 163,088 households, and 99,646 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,532.8/km² (9,149.8/mi²). There were 171,632 housing units at an average density of 1,313.8/km² (3,402.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.16% White, 14.87% African American, 0.84% Native American, 12.05% Asian, 1.21% Pacific Islander, 20.61% from other races, and 5.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35.77% of the population. According to the 2000 US Census, Long Beach is the most ethnically diverse large city in the United States [45]. Among its Asian population, Long Beach is home to a large Cambodian community, the second-largest Cambodian community outside of Asia (after Paris).

There were 163,088 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.55.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,270, and the median income for a family was $40,002. Males had a median income of $36,807 versus $31,975 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,040. About 19.3% of families and 22.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.7% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Neighborhoods of Long Beach

Long Beach is a mosaic of neighborhoods, with some of them well-defined, while others blend into nearby neighborhoods. The most desirable properties in Long Beach are in the Belmont Shore and Naples areas in southeast Long Beach near Alamitos Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the homes near the Virginia Country Club in Bixby Knolls and California Heights in west-central Long Beach, the area near El Dorado Park and Long Beach State on the east side of Long Beach and Lakewood Village (near Long Beach City College & Lakewood Country Club). The downtown area has experienced significant gentrification in recent years.

Pine Avenue and the Linden Avenue area of the East Village in downtown Long Beach, as well as Broadway in Belmont Shore are known for their restaurants and nightlife. The 4th Street Corridor is known for its funky shops, antique stores and vintage clothing stores. The Broadway Corridor between downtown and Belmont Shore has the greatest number of gay-owned and oriented establishments in Long Beach.

References: [46]

[edit] Two Eastsides?

There are two very different "Eastsides" in Long Beach. The traditional Eastside is on the east side of the city. The boundaries are (roughly) Carson Blvd. (N), Interstate 605 (San Gabriel Freeway) (E), The Pacific Ocean (S), and Redondo ave (W). This is the location of the very large El Dorado Park and the Liberal Arts Campus of Long Beach City College.

The second Eastside is an area on the east side of the Los Angeles River. Referred to as Central Long Beach by city officials, it is called the East-side by many of its residents and local gang members. This neighborhood was over 80% percent Black up until the 1980s, but with increased Hispanic and Cambodian immigration that number has dropped to somewhere between 25% and 30%. The area is associated with a number of Long Beach rap artists, such as Snoop Dogg's Eastsidaz. The boundaries for this second Eastside are (very roughly) Willow Ave. and then the Signal Hill city limits (N), Redondo ave (E), 7th street (S), and the Los Angeles River (W).

[edit] Environment

Image:Circle-question-red.svg The factual accuracy of this section is disputed.
Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

The area that is now Long Beach historically included several ecological communities, with coastal scrub dominating [47]. A handful of the native plants of the region can still be found in the city. These include California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), and bay laurel (Umbellularia californica). Some original stands of coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) still remain in the El Dorado Nature Center (see below). California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), a plant native further inland, was introduced to the city as a garden ornamental and is now naturalized. Some indigenous species of birds, mammals, and other wildlife have adapted to development.

Since the arrival of Europeans, many alien species have become naturalized in the area. Introduced plants include yellow mustard, eucalyptus, wild radish, and tumbleweed. Unfortunately, these plants now far outnumber the indigenous plants and spread rapidly in the city's vacant lots and oil fields.

However, the city and its residents have initiatives underway to preserve and reclaim a small part of its ecological heritage. The RiverLink project has begun to revegetate the Long Beach stretch of the Los Angeles River with indigenous plants. Part of the remaining Pacific Electric Right of Way was cleared of nonnatives, planted with indigenous plants, and made accessible with foot and bike paths [48]. The El Dorado Nature Center has changed its original "hands-off" approach and begun to actively introduce indigenous species [49]. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Study Group, state government agencies, and grassroots groups are collaborating on a plan to preserve Long Beach's last remaining wetlands. Long Beach is the first city in California to join the 'EcoZone' Program, intended to measurably improve environmental conditions through public-private partnerships [50]. Such projects seek to reduce pollution, restore native habitat, provide green areas for the city's residents to enjoy.

[edit] People from Long Beach, California

For a list of notable people who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with the city of Long Beach, see List of people from Long Beach, California.

[edit] Miscellaneous information

Wrong Way Corrigan

Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan used to regularly fly out of Daugherty Field (which later became the Long Beach Airport). Before his infamous flight from Brooklyn, New York to Ireland in 1938, he had already flown a transcontinental flight from Long Beach to New York. He was supposed to be returning to Daugherty Field after authorities had refused his request to fly on to Ireland, but because of a claimed navigational error, he ended up in Ireland instead. He never publicly acknowledged having flown to Ireland intentionally.

International beauty contests

The first Miss Universe contest was held in Long Beach on 29 June 1952. The pagent continued in Long Beach until it was moved to Miami in 1960.

The first Miss International contest was held in Long Beach in 1960. The pagent remained in Long Beach until 1968, when the contest moved to Japan. The Miss International contest was again held in Long Beach in 1971 before returning permanently to Japan.

Sister cities

Long Beach's sister cities are (as of December 2005) [51]:

[edit] See also

[edit] References

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[edit] External links

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