Overheard In the City (redone and expanded)

Posted: August 22, 2010 in roads and streets


Lakewood Village is in Long Beach, not in Lakewood.

Homes in LV were marketed for farmland opportunities.

In Long Beach, Eastsiders are in the better neighborhood.

In New York, London and L.A., the east side is not a desirable district.

North Long Beach doesn’t like that name, wants to be known as Top of the Town.


Most north-south routes are avenues; most east west are streets.

Numbered streets are east-west from 1st St in downtown to 70th St. north of the 91 Freeway.  In contrast, numbered places are all south of Ocean Blvd. from 1st Pl. near Alamitos Ave. to 15th Pl. near Cherry Ave.  Places then pick up at 36th Pl. to 38th Pl. east of Redondo Ave.  There are no known 16th Pl. thru 35th Pl.  Places pick up once again at 54th Pl. to 72nd Pl. both north and south of Ocean Blvd. at the end of the Peninsula.  There are no known 36th thru 53rd Pl., but several unnamed side streets on the Peninsula.

Lois Lane near Park Ave. was invented  by Robbie Russell, whose real name is Mike “Ruby” Rubin and has an Internet radio show, “Garagemania” on http://www.wpmd.org.

Virginia Ct. is north-south

Bellflower Blvd is north-south

Wardlow Rd. is east-west; Studebaker Rd. is north-south; Anaheim Rd. sort of meanders.

There are less Studebakers on Studebaker than when it was named.

Dodge Way could also be named after a car, but Falcon Ave. wasn’t.

Broadway is just a way that’s broad, just like in L.A. and NYC.

There used to be a bridge linking the Peninsula to Seal Beach.

The bridge was demolished by Yacht Club Commodore Loynes in the 1950s so yachts could enter inland waters.

Loynes Dr. is moving landfill, killing people and wrecking cars.

At the Loynes family’s estate sale, all photos of the man were found ripped up.

There must be coyotes on Los Coyotes Diagonal.

Until 1958, Long Beach Blvd. was American Ave. south of Willow.  North of Willow it was Long Beach Blvd. It changed when councilman and hardware store magnate Charles Dooley, whose Dooley’s Hardware was on Long Beach Blvd. north of Del Amo threatened to cede from the city.  Apparently city hall took him seriously, because shortly after this threat, the avenue became Long Beach Blvd. all the way to Ocean Blvd., which never threatened the city over an issue like this – at least.

American Ave. was sandwiched between Atlantic and Pacific – get it?  As on any globe, Pacific is west of Atlantic and California is east of Atlantic and Pacific.

When MLK hits Signal Hill, it becomes California, its original name, which it remains when it returns to town in Bixby Knolls.

Atlantic and Pacific end at Ocean as did American.

Many other area streets are water based:  Ocean, Artesia, Lakewood, Spring, even Willow.

There is only one really upper crust route from the Eastside to Downtown.  It involves Bellflower to the Lagoon, Park Ave. to Ocean to Downtown.

There are several routes named after explorers: Livingston Dr., Coronado Ave. and Balboa Pl.

The Traffic Circle isn’t, it’s the Long Beach Roundabout.

There was a planned Los Alamitos Diagonal from Norse Way to about Palo Verde and Anaheim to mirror Los Coyotes Diagonal with the two diagonals intersecting at about Spring and Woodruff with another Traffic Circle, which doesn’t exist.


Many north-south avenues on the Shore are named after Inland Empire cities like Pomona, Corona, LaVerne, Covina, Glendora and Monrovia, which is also the capitol of Liberia.

Some aren’t (Argonne, St. Joseph).

St. Joseph is a saint and/or a town in Missouri, and so is Saint Louis, which is also an avenue near Cherry.

Argonne is a laboratory in Illinois.

Park Ave. is probably named after Park Ave.

Clark Ave. is shown on Google maps as Columbia, after it was renamed such in Downey, a town about five miles north.

Ohio, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia, Maine and Oregon all have an avenue home in Long Beach; Virginia has a court.  Michigan does not have an avenue, but Flint does.

Latin American capitol cities like Havana and Santiago have avenues.

Terraine is on hilly terrain.

Even though Long Beach was once known as Iowa By the Sea, there is no Iowa in Long Beach…street or avenue that is.

Linden Ave. is not a contraction of Lynyrd Skynyrd and John Denver.

West side alphabetical avenues start at Adriatic and end at Gale.

Downtown alphabetical avenues start at Alamitos and end at Ultimo, which I supposed makes it the ultimate alphabetical avenue.

Several of these avenues like Lindero, Umatilla, Senesac and Snowden defy sourcing.

Orizaba is a volcano in Mexico.

Molino is a town in Florida; Miramar is an AFB near San Diego.

The spelling picks up at Ximeno, which is east of Termino, which terminates at Livingston.

In Lakewood (and parts of Long Beach), the alphabetical streets start at Adenbrook and end at Stevely, which is the eastern border at the San Gabriel River.

The only way to bypass the Traffic Circle from Kaiser and Community Hospital traveling north and not detouring west to Redondo or south to Anaheim is to go out Hathaway and circle went around a furniture store parking lot off an alley to Stearns.

There is only one street in Long Beach that starts with a Z and it’s a court.

There is no Juan in Junipero.

The way you pronounce Junipero separates the locals from the tourists – just as San Pedro does.  Some folks don’t like that.

“L” fruit trees like Lemon and Lime are supplemented by two “O” trees: Olive and Orange as well as Myrtle and Walnut between Cherry to the east and Magnolia as well as Eucalyptus, Elm, Pine, Cedar, Chestnut and Locust to the west.

Flowering among the avenues are Rose, Gaviota and Gardenia, which is spelled differently from Gardena the city.

Palo Verde Ave. is apparently not named after Palos Verdes, though some locals have been known to confuse them.

Redondo and Hermosa have their counterparts in South Bay; Newport is on the south O.C. coast, each is suffixed Beach.

Cerritos was an avenue before it was a town, which was Dairy Valley until the dairies moved to Chino (they began in Long Beach, then were removed to Dairy Valley).  Cows still come up on Hathaway, which is a drive.

Both Long Beach CA and Long Beach NY have a main Magnolia.

Temple, Stearns and Bixby was all early settlers and each have their own street.  Local businessman Don Temple is not of that family.


There are several state streets.  California isn’t as long as it used to be: Colorado is.  New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts are short.

Southern states are not found in Long Beach, except for Florida.

Anaheim goes from Anaheim Rd. to Wilmington, incorporating some of the swankiest homes and businesses in town to some of the least swanky.

Cambodia Town is on Anaheim St.

Anaheim is named after the town where the Angels play.

Anaheim replaces 13th St., just like Pico in L.A.  Few 13th Streets are known.  Do you know of one?

Anaheim Street could benefit from streetcar activity.

In Long Beach, South St. isn’t.

Cover St. is a little known, privately owned straight street in a business mall (Douglas Park) between Lakewood & Cherry, which is literally covered (blocked) at night, probably to avoid drag races where cops aren’t apt to hide.  So don’t try it.

Cover St. has the town’s only other traffic circle, which isn’t named.

There is a presidential ghetto on the far northwest side of the city (zip code 90810), however it’s not clear whether it’s in Carson or in Long Beach.  From Carson St. on the south and Dominguez St. to the north along Santa Fe Avenue on the east and Alameda on the west, there are nine three-block streets named after Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison and Tyler.  Other than this area, there are no presidential streets or avenues in Long Beach.

Brittain St. has existed since the 1940s, not to be confused with Britton Dr., which was named after actress Barbara Britton (the original Laura Petrie before Mary Tyler Moore and Pamela North on TV’s Mr. & Mrs. North) so she’d make an appearance at the opening of the Los Altos Shopping Center in ’55.

The extension of Cherry out of Long Beach is Garfield; the extension of Carson out of Long Beach is Lincoln.

There is a Nixon and was a Mamie in Lakewood.


In the 1920s, Long Beach set a record for a KKK rally with 20,000 attending at Recreation Park in about 1922.

El Dorado Park was named by contest.

The Angels were about to build their stadium at what’s now the Towne Center in 1962, but balked at being the Long Beach Angels, which the city insisted on.

The park curfew excludes ducks.

Heartwell Park was unofficially known as the Shotgun Strip.

There’s a beach curfew.

Few obey the beach curfew.


If you have to name a place art district, art loft or art exchange, the only thing you don’t have is art. The Art Theater is named after a guy named Art…actually Art was part of his name.

If oil hadn’t been discovered on Signal Hill, Long Beach might be the world’s movie capitol.

The NuPike was just the Pike until 1947, when it was renamed.

Buffum School was named after a retail magnate.

Unlike Italy, Naples waterways have gondoliers, but Venice waterways do not.

Long Beach is the biggest city in the U.S. without a locally originating TV station and nobody seems to care.

In the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Long Beach was divided into four phone prefixes:  Belmont Shore and the Heights was GE (Geneva).  Two were presidential, North Long Beach was GA (Garfield) and the East side was HA (Harrison).  Downtown was HE (the ever popular Hemlock – the only local phone prefix named after a poison).


Long Beach was dry before Prohibition, thus Zafaria.

With Prohibition, Zafaria ceased to exist.  It wasn’t needed

Long Beach fielded the Prohibition VP candidate.

That candidate, a woman, did not win.

There is a Brittain and a Britton, named after an famed actress of the day who agreed to appear for a ceremony opening Los Altos Center, in exchange for the name designation.

A gate used to separate heavily Hispanic Hawaiian Gardens from upscale El Dorado Park Estates and became a bone of contention on the Donahue show.

You can’t give a garage sale without getting a license, and only for two a year.

You have to license your cat in Long Beach.


For about five years, L.A. County Sheriff took over patrol in the northern sectors of town.

Don’t use the elevator at the Long Beach Courthouse.

The elevator in the police dept. HQ ends at the jail.

Don’t use the underway passage between the police building (jail) and courthouse, which means you’ve been arrested.

Will that passageway go the way of the Jergins Tower passageway under Ocean when the court is relocated and rebuilt (we suppose)?

We is me.


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