Photos courtesy of Brian Addison.
There was something about Beach Streets that was inherently different than its northern CicLAvia counterpart: community.
CicLAvia becomes bombarded with mostly cyclists invading a typically-iconic stretch of road. It makes for a difficult walk or run since stepping onto the street would result in you very easily getting hit. In other words, the cyclists reigns supreme at CicLAvia. (Even our former editor and writer, Brian Addison, discussed how more walking needs to happen at CicLAvia and why he chose to walk the entirety of the Wilshire CicLAvia.)
Beach Streets, however, was thoroughly Long Beach—and probably because local organizations like the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and Uptown BID were involved. There was a sense of connectivity, chillness, and camaraderie that seems lacking in CicLAvia events. Businesses were happily open, providing entertainment, offering free things, and enjoying the passersby whether profit was involved or not. (Or so it seemed.)
Then the thousands of people. Walkers. Runners. Dancers. Bicyclists. Lycra-ists. All were welcomed. There were more kids, more people of color, more human energy. There was no hierarchy. There was no pretense. (Or, for lack of a better way of putting it, less hipsterdom and more realness. C’mon: the Pharcyde performed.) Long Beach lived up to what it has always exuded, that is, that Long Beach has its own vibe, with its own character and sense of identity that only a handful of cities can claim.
You hit it out of the park, Long Beach. Downtown Long Beach, you ready?