We love Long Beach.

I'm a huge fan of the historical portion of Long Beach.

I love the old stories, the homes and the winding neighborhoods.
Of course, many things have changed and people view some of the neighborhoods as "less desirable" then they once were.  Honestly, I think much of that is in peoples minds and they aren't truly aware that the crime rate is very similar in their own tract, but we all choose to believe what we want, right?

I love the city of Long Beach and Sean and I have said that as long as we live in Southern California, we won't live anywhere else.  In fact, when we were shopping for houses the first time {when you could buy a million dollar home with $25.00 as a down payment} we looked in several other neighborhoods and it just didn't feel right, to us.  We are Long Beach through and through.  Something about the people, the list of amazing historical landmarks that are steps away from us and the rich diversity of residents.  In all three of our dwellings, we have had amazing, salt of the earth, neighbors and we enjoy the many benefits of community outreach projects, numerous neighborhood events and a general feeling of welcomness.

We love Long Beach.

While we have zero plans to move in the near {or distant} future {fret not, Mary}, I do like to dream, just a little bit.  God is calling me to pursue a more simple life and so I'm not really sure how that plays into the constant and revolving "let's just buy a new one" pattern that I see our society constantly trapped in {and this doesn't just pertain to houses, truly}.  And to be honest, I won't fib....I walk around our house and think...."My oven is about to break and the handle won't even open and our electrical work is horrible. All our outlets are original and don't work and the doors have brass doorknobs and there are nails in the floor and our closets smell like mothballs and the paint on the outside wasn't finished and our garage door is broken!  Let's REMODEL ALL THE THINGS!"
I'm asking the Lord to break me of that soundtrack and make me genuinely and daily appreciative for the amazing blessings we do have, when I feel that often the go-to response of mine and my generation, is to just go out and fix it/get a new one/buybuybuy.
It's hard for me but the first step is observing the tendency.  It's easier when I say out-loud..."Just because the garage door is broken doesn't mean we HAVE to fix it."

Learning I have a choice and also learning that just because the money may be accessible, doesn't mean I have to spend it.   It's difficult to get into that routine, but boy.  It's a nice change.

That being said, I do love certain neighborhood tracts and the amazing architecture of the homes and will, at times, drive through and think...
"I wouldn't mind living there."

The beautiful part about sections of Long Beach is that the homes don't look like every other home on the street.  Each is different and they aren't so stacked on top of one another and squeezed so tightly that they are encroaching on each others lawns. When I drive through some neighborhoods and you can lean from your window into the window of your neighbors home, I feel like it's "property muffin top".  There's just too much, in too small a space. Am I right?  I think it's also lovely that very few {almost none} of the homes have been remodeled, in the historical portions of LBC.   They are all original, which is unlikely and rare, in most neighborhoods. It seems my generation has become very good at ripping down entire structures and rebuilding.  Much to the chagrin of purists, that loved the original models.

Last evening, we went to CONCERT IN THE PARK at Los Cerritos Park, in the Virginia Country Club.  I had a lovely time with friends and family and as we were driving away {much past the children's bedtime}, I said to Sean, "Can we just drive down a few streets?"
"Of course!", he answered.  Because we both share the same taste in homes and adore the long and wide streets of the VCC, I already knew what His answer would be.

Sidenote: My friend Andrea lives in there and the first time I visited her home, I'm not sure I spoke for the first 10 minutes.  It was that lovely {what else is lovely is that she never mentioned she lived in that neighborhood or bragged about it, which made me love her 10 fold}.

Back to last night.....

As we were driving, I snapped a few shots {very sloppily and quickly and on my cell phone}. One of the houses that is my favorite looked extra beautiful last night, with the sun setting behind it {it's pictured, in the middle}. I thought I would share so that we can wonder what is going on, within the windows and perhaps make up a story about a sweet old couple, named Leon and Eliose, who are sitting by the fire and sipping their evening cup of Earl Grey.




And who knows.....
Maybe if Sean and I ignore the garage door long enough and don't fix the shotty electrical wires and maybe don't get new tile in the bathrooms and stop fussing with the hollow, cheap doors....

Maybe we will save enough pennies to buy one of those houses, someday.
Or maybe not.

What I do know is driving down the streets will always be free and that's good enough for me.

8 comments:

  1. I love those houses. I had a friend who lived over there growing up and I used to day dream about one day having a home in there. It also reminds me of the older homes in south pasadena where the hubs and I dream of moving "one day" and just relaxing on our back porch as daylight starts fade and the evening is just beginning to stretch it's limbs.
    those houses have so much history it seems you can see the very texture of them just driving by.

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    1. Texture-yes!
      It's like there are layers of history. So true.

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  2. i am also one for peering in windows.ha ha..not like a peeping peering..but as in an admiration peering...does it matter really? ok..moving on...
    i never go by an "open house" that i don't want to stop and look into ....
    there is something about old world charm that is always going to pull at my heart strings!

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    1. I feel like things were just different then. So much more thought through. You can just feel it. I guess I can't explain it, correctly.

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