Long Beach Needs This is a series that addresses two things: Long Beach’s infamous “Manhattanitis,” where our people tend to stick to all-things-Long-Beach while rarely stepping outside and two, highlights great accomplishments, spaces, restaurants, and ideas fostered by our worldly neighbors. It is meant to encourage exploration—from taking a step into the the city next door to visiting other parts of the world—and look at how they successfully implement things, create great food and community, or just view life through a different lens. To see all the Long Beach Needs This posts, click here.
It looks like a black-and-orange rocket and though it may not fly, it has its own wonders within it: thousands of stories, with a reading length ranging from 1 to 3 to 5 minutes, spit out on receipt-like papers at your disposal, all for free.
Short Édition is a company based out of a small city in France, Grenoble, and came from the brain of Christophe Sibieude, worried about the omnipresence of smartphone screens across the globe.
For Sibieude (and myself), the smartphone has blurred the distinction between personal and professional lives—just ask My Dude or family when I am on vacation or eating lunch or waiting in line for coffee, my phone up to my face while they look at me irked. And the seemingly archaic paper format? It is a true break that screen.
The machines, initially distributed throughout Grenoble in 2015, grew in popularity with stealth speed: ten-thousand were printed in the first month alone from their first machine. Then, Hong Kong wanted one. Then Australia. Then Francis Ford Coppola, who scored the first English version at one of his restaurants. Then Boston, which became the first city to score a public version through a partnership with Boston Properties.
Perhaps most brilliant? What it does for writers: offering a competitive platform to submit stories, Short Édition has published tens of thousands of authors who submit their work under a user base of hundreds of thousands of readers who vote for the best stories through Short Édition’s app. The most popular will find their way onto the machines while Short Édition’s connections with larger publishers have also prompted authors to score audiobook, e-book, and tangible book deals.
So imagine, standing in a line at LGB or sitting at Bixby Park or meandering pointlessly along Atlantic Avenue, caught up on your phone or maybe not caught up at all, and for a few minutes, you can put down the phone, take a trip into another world, and then move on.
Long Beach, we need this.