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Long Beach

Tell us what Long Beach means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


LBC. Gangs. Over zealous police. Good weather. Noise. Lots of sirens. Drugged up people. Loose dogs and stray cats on the beach. Tatoos stores. Pot dispensaries. Not the suburbs. No sense of community. Culture is absent. Dirt. Acrid smells from the port waft through daily. Reminds me of London depicted by Charles Dickens in the 1800's. Terrible expereince as a vacation spot apart from the Queen Mary which was very enjoyable.


Carmel, CA

— Alex
June 3, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.

As a resident of Belmont:

Unfortunately East Long Beach is deteriorating in terms of quality of life. Downtown, Belmont Shores, Belmont Heights is plagued with transients, drug addicts, anti social behavior.

The property prices are falling and rent prices too because of these problems. I am moving my family out. Sadly there is 'white' flight occuring in the Belmont Heights neighborhoods unfortunately.

The rental properties do not care for their properties and let deadbeats move into what were once beautiful proud areas. I can not bring my family to Starbucks or Target in Bellflower without being plagued for a dollar by heroin addicts. It is unsafe.

The police are doing a fine job but they are restricted in time and resources. Perhaps pulling people for speeding is easier for them.

The mayor of Long Beach, Mr. Foster, spends more time on local TV promoting environmental issues when he should sort out the crime issues first.

There has been an uptick in murders, violent robberies, shootings, property crime in the 90803,04 neighborhoods since 2009.

I am amazed that once beach communities now have an influx of transients and other trouble makers.

Thank you city of Long Beach for lowering our property prices with non thought through social affordable housing next to million dollar homes.

June 3, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.

Long Beach is a large and very diverse city. Each neighborhood has it's own personality just as L.A. county does, and it even has a downtown. You can't really draw any conclusions about any particular area based on the entire city's data. Based on the fact that the L.A. Times hasn't broken down the different communities, tells me that Long Beach is still flying under the radar, which I feel is not a bad thing, because I like the unpretentiousness of the area. It is a casual coastal community, and while it has neighborhoods that rival the tony West Side, it doesn't draw the snobby and pretentious people. We also like that it is not as commercialized as some of the beach communities in So. Cal. and so doesn't draw as much of the wild and rowdy partying crowds but rather just the local families with children to our beaches. It still retains an old-time feeling, and that is what we like about it.

— Happy Camper
December 12, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.

I was born and bred in Long Beach. My family came here after World War 2, finding few cities that would accept Japanese Americans. Still, even in post war Long Beach, there was still plenty of anti-Japanese sentiment (east side). The Long Beach I remember most is the city that had the Pike, a Coney Island style amusement park by the sea. The Navy Base. The McDonnell Douglas plant. The original Pierpoint Landing. They're all gone now. Both my mom and I graduated from Poly. Long Beach's oldest and greatest high school. Long Beach is a large city. For a beach town, it really isn't. West side. East side. Bixby. California Heights. Belmont Shore and Naples. Each area is different. And diverse or in some ways segregated. There are large gaps in economic levels depending on where you live. The lower income people inhabit the West Side, North side and parts close to downtown. The affluent live in Bixby Knolls, Naples and along the coast near Belmont Shore. Because Long Beach is one of the largest cities in LA County, it has its share of big city crime. There are three faces to Long Beach: the touristy Shoreline area, the huge Port of Long Beach, and the suburban neighborhoods. I still enjoy Long Beach over the rest of Los Angeles. The people here are less pretentious. Long Beach still has a somewhat "sleepy" beach city quality to it, despite its size. The port is noisy, and the truck traffic is annoying. But it provides much needed income for the city. The city has been good about "keeping green" (they banned plastic grocery bags) and have actively promoted planting native drought tolerant plants (the city monitors, and limits water usage.) The schools here are good. But like all big cities, the LBUSD faces budget problems, laying off teachers and larger class sizes. The transit system is pretty good. And you have the Blue Line that will take you from downtown LA to downtown Long Beach without a hitch. Easier than fighting the 710 or 405. The Long Beach Airport is nice: with Jet Blue and Alaska Airlines, it's an easy flight out, rather than braving LAX.

— Dave
September 27, 2011 at 8:58 p.m.

I was born and raised in Oceanside, at that time it was a quiet little beach community. I moved up to Long Beach to attend CSULB and never moved south again. Work moved me further north to LA, but that's just too much concrete and pretentiousness for this beach-loving girl. I've moved back to downtown Long Beach and bought one of the new condos around Pine Avenue. Long Beach is unique in that it is the perfect mix of urban and beach culture. Downtown is very laid back, but has plenty of great restaurants, wine bars, theatres, bike paths, and museums. And Long Beach must be doing well because I see new buildings going up, roads being repaired and bike paths springing up everywhere. They even have official street sweepers walking around downtown in red polo shirts, picking up trash and sweeping the sidewalks. I get a kick out of thanking them—it totally takes them off guard, like they are used to being invisible. Sure, we have our share of homeless and poor, but that’s reality, it doesn’t scare me and I don’t want to be insulated from that, they have a right to this great weather, too! Diversity is everywhere, which is important to me; I like being surrounded by different cultures, hearing Spanish, Farsi, Japanese, Vietnamese or Chinese right along side the slang and skater-speak as I walk around downtown. Walking and biking are popular ways to get around and everyone seems comfortable making eye contact when you pass them by, most will nod or wave too. I love living here, I can smell the ocean breezes and still take advantage of my urban setting, and if I want more concrete, I’m right off the 710 or I can take the Blue Line and be right back in the concrete jungle. Check out this website, it's the Downtown Long Beach Associates, they sponsor all kinds of cool downtown events, most of which are free!

— Maria
July 6, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.

Quite, but still alot a gang activity.. I love it here and would not think of moving.....have seen increase of children in my neighborhood.

— Ray
July 3, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.

I lived in Long Beach for most of my adult life and feel that it is my adopted home. It's got a little something for everybody and a little everything for somebody like me. I loved paying $795 a month and being able to walk to the beach...can't do that anywhere else in SoCal. I loved having Cambodian, Mexican, Black, Filipino and Samoan neighbors all in the same apartment building all getting along and being a real community. I loved the great old architecture and the way it juxtaposes with the new high-rise developments that have sprung up in the last decade or so. I love going out on Pine on a Saturday night. I recently moved to Culver City and I miss Long Beach every day, I still go back on weekends to get my hair cut and go buy t-shirts and get my car washed, all right there on Anaheim and Redondo. I miss the Liquid Lounge and I miss Second Street. I love the hipster stores on 4th and I loved walking to get Sushi on 7th and Walnut. Long Beach was where I courted the woman I'm marrying in ten days, and I'll always see the LBC as my real hometown. It's a real city, it's dense, parking is a pain, but you can use public transit to get anywhere, it's diverse, it's a bit rough around the edges, and you can't sit safely in your bubble and not see those rough edges. It's a great place to find out what America and California are all about. I'll always love the LBC!

— Matt
June 20, 2011 at 11:55 p.m.

Long Beach is a diverse yet segregated city. The schools of Long Beach are good. The majority of the people are amicable. The low economic class neighborhoods are better than Los Angeles ones (access to good schools, grocery stores, crime, ect). Long Beach has some incredible nice residences and luxury neighborhood too (big houses, nice cars, nice views, ect). The public transportation of Long Beach is phenomenon More funding to North Long Beach. Although I do not reside in the city nor do I plan in the future, Long Beach is a great city to live or go to have a nice time!

— JJ
April 13, 2011 at 10:37 p.m.

On 2/10 & 2/11 I called LBPD to report the homeless camp on the banks of the LA River. I was advised that this was NOT a responsibility of LBPD butm that they had advised the County of Los Angeles and that once the County saw for themselves & posted the site for 24 hours, the camp would be removed. LBPD could not tell me when the County would get around to checking the area and that even if they checked on the 11th, they would do nothing on the weekend.

I just saw the report about the rescue of 3 men from this homeless camp, which was inundated by the river due to the rain, which had been forecast for over one week. Long Beach Fire performed the rescue As near as I can tell, my tax dollars have been totally wasted as this could have been avoided completely with timely response by whichever agancy is responsible.

There were several hundred people, including police, reporters, council persons within 1 block of this camp from 2/10 through 2/12 due to building a 'park' along the river. Why this camp was allowed to remain along the river with storms in the forecast is beyond me. It is the same common sense used in placing a park in an area that cannot be viewed from local streets and in fencing off the SCE right-of-way between the park and the homes which back up to the area, making it impossible for the police to patrol this area.

— Judith Bailey
February 16, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.

Long Beach brings back some good and mostly bad memories. I hate LBUSD. I can't wait to move out to escape the past. Has some good restaurants though.

— Long Beach Resident
December 18, 2010 at 2:15 a.m.

Long Beach is a tolerant and friendly city. It's very diverse, and yet feels generally safe, at least in our neighborhood. It's not entirely clear how well the city is run. At times it seems that all is well; at others, well, you wonder.... The schools seem a strong point.

December 10, 2010 at 12:19 a.m.

The police do a good job of "coastal defence"for tourists and well off residents. There are smaller pockets of civility inland (e.g. parts of Lakewood and Signal Hill). The only caveat- walk in safe zones at night (e.g. 2nd street in Belmont Shore). The urban poor suffer, as always. Be aware and try to at least empathize with the good people who must endure in this environment.

— Candid
November 10, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.

I was born at LB Memorial in 1982--Went to Burnett, Hughes, and Poly schools--Also a couple of years at LBCC-- Im now 28 years old...Long Beach is a cool place to live to me cuz--LB is so big--you can do your own thing in the city--each part of the city have their own feeling--so if youre in a poor part like I am--(poly area)--you can travel to more civilized spots of the city and go eat or shop and not have to worry about getting shot.---thats a downside...a lot of gangs in the city--a lot of hate---these kids who are so called gang bangin---they dont know what the hell they are doing--they have no cause to fight for---its just petty things they shoot each other for---and they cycle continues---I know the police can only do so much--so I blame the poor uneducated parents of LB---Illegals from south of the border flooded LB like crazy over the last 12 years---TOO MANY PEOPLE IN AREAS OF THIS CITY THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT OUT SINCE THE 1920's!!..But the left wing illegal alien welcomers that run the city, county and state--they love them..but they dont live next to them like I do..overcrowded a big problem..the other down side is CITY HALL...them clowns down there cant run a city if you paid them...oh wait---we do...I will mostly likely buy a house in the wrigley area of Long Beach---when I can finally clean up my finances and maintain steady full time work at the Ports of Long Beach and LA--as I am a casual longshoreman---im glad I live close to my work..

— Foclipz
October 23, 2010 at 9:14 a.m.

long beach is a great place with tons of diversity. lately the downtown to belmont area has been getting more shady. my garage has been burglarized 3 times in the past year; the laundry room is regularly broken into; homeless sleeping and crapping in the stairwells; much more graffiti; just general sleaziness creeping in.

the police laugh when called and don't file reports; no report means no crime reported.

it's unlikely that the d-bags that ruin a nice neighborhood are reading this, but pass the word to your homies and relatives to watch out in my neighborhood. we're getting pretty tired of your poor asses ruining an otherwise nice place.

clean up your garbage when you and your family of 20 party in bixby park, have some respect.

— sardonicus
October 11, 2010 at 5:23 p.m.

During the early 1960's, the 7th Street Park was the place to be on weekends. Waxing your car and just hanging out. Really enjoyed LB, lived in Los Alamitos and have great memories of the entire area back then.

— Gary
September 2, 2010 at 7:08 a.m.

I've lived in Long Beach for 30 yrs off and on and what I've seen is the slow, gradual but amoebic mexicanization of the city. The emergency rooms are overcrowded with undocumented and uninsured aliens, the schools are overcrowded with their children and the latino gangs presence seems to continue to grow. In the shops more often people approach me asking me questions in Spanish, signs in the malls are now bi-lingual in Spanish and English. It seems that Long Beach is now simply a northern province of Mexico, which it probably once was. Now if the Mexican government can start funding some of the public services that are consumed by their citizens.

— Frankie
August 7, 2010 at 12:47 p.m.

I used to live in Alamitos Beach and miss it. I liked the diversity, walkability and the neighborhood feel of the LB. It isn't flashy, but the parking and traffic aren't too bad and I'm a low key person who likes to ride my bike. I had great neighbors but a very disreputable sober living in the building behind ours. Really just a money making flophouse. It can be a grimy place with car dwellers and fast food trash on the street, but I have live and let live attitude. I hear Venice is creating overnight parking areas for homeless people living in their cars and think that is great idea for Long Beach.

— Debbie Kupinsky
July 31, 2010 at 8:14 p.m.

I was born and raised in LB. One of the many things that makes LB distinct from other SoCal cities is its walkability. You can walk/bike to pretty much everything (market, nightlife, coffee shop, park, etc.).. Also, LB folks have a special type of pride not seen in many other CA cities (think Brooklyn of the West Coast in terms of neighborhood pride..)

— Downtown LB
July 30, 2010 at 3:19 p.m.

Hi, I am a second generation Long Beach Gal. I have grown strong here. there is a very diverse population that can be interesting to deal with in this community as a youth. The good, the bad, the odd, to the "norm" we have it here. As in any community, we must communicate with our children..."what did you do and see today" if something seems to be bothering your children. find out what or who is the cause. Parents work. Children go back and forth to the schools...let's not forget the adventures of the "walks" to and from school. There was a program that had Lg. red dots in the corners of front facing windows for kids to know which homes had enrolled in the "safe home program" to make it known that we could knock and be safe doing so if there was a threat to us. hmm...Any way, I was in the generation of the "No Skating Signs" being put in place... 2nd St. and the hills leading to it. FYI...even I felt it was a necessary evil in some places. And the enforcements were fair. Elders walking should be protected. Other than that SKATE-ON!!!!. Recreation Park was filled with Peace loving folks playing Frisbee or sitting in groups enjoying our exceptional weather. I must say this; “it is a glorious time to live here.” "Our city Gov" has done such an extremely wonderful job of making almost all of Long Beach better! Thanks to all of you!!! Keep Thinking Green! And God Bless our community with their continuing tactful and painstaking effort to calm the people with the promising elements of good natured enforcement during these controversial but beneficial changing laws. We should all be in agreement that this is a historical time in the acceptance and realization of the proven but still skeptical medical needs of "Green"

— J Boughner
July 24, 2010 at 12:48 p.m.

I've been skateboarding in Long Beach for 2 decades. This area has made and continues to make important contributions to skateboarding culture and history. The skateboarders of the area comprise a who's who of skateboarding's past, present and future...Long Beach is one of the main skate scenes globally. Some of the best skateboarders in the world live here...

— Los Angeles Skateboarding
July 4, 2010 at 9:48 a.m.

just one area to name a few....

— Cal Heights
July 2, 2010 at 1 p.m.

I first saw Long Beach when I was about 7 yrs old during WWII. We would go to the beach or up to L.A. on the Red car and school was only half day long. We lived in Truman Boyd Projects and then when the war ended on the west end of Hill St in those little trailers. I am old now and wonder if anyone else remembers those days and places.

— Charles VanScoy
June 25, 2010 at 12:16 a.m.

When I first moved to Long Beach (actually, when I first started looking for an apartment, before moving from San Diego) I looked for a map of the neighborhoods. Unfortunately, there is no complete map for the city. Real Estate sites like Zillow have incomplete and inaccurate neighborhood listings, while the city only has some historic districts and a few vague markings on the map (as posted by another commenter below). Clearly, someone needs to dig up the history behind the development of Long Beach in the early 1900's and find the missing neighborhood names. Almost everything was settled before the second world war, back when people walked to took the streetcars and interurbans, so neighborhoods were smaller, and more prominent.

LA Times could start out by dividing Long Beach into several large regions, at least. North Long Beach, Westside, Downtown, Uptown (Bixby Knolls, etc) South-East, North-east, and Central Long Beach would be a good start.

— Joseph E
June 8, 2010 at 12:20 a.m.

Dave: Thanks for the link. That map, unfortunately, does not include the lines we need to draw the shapes, but we've been in touch with Long Beach planning department officials about getting a better starting point. We might consider opening the discussion up to readers, like we did to create neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles early last year. [ See:,0,1763711,full.story ]

Do readers think they'd be interested in submitting their own takes on the neighborhoods of Long Beach?

— Megan Garvey/Los Angeles
June 7, 2010 at 6:52 p.m.

I think you could start with a semi-official map from the City of Long Beach.

Does this link work?

— Dave in Alamitos Beach
June 7, 2010 at 4:07 p.m.

Note to readers: The Times realizes that Long Beach needs to be broken down into its actual neighborhoods (Cal Heights/Belmont Shore/Eldorado Park Estates/Wrigley and so on).

We consider this a high priority and will keep you posted on when the revised Long Beach maps will be available. If anyone has a comprehensive map of the city's distinct neighborhoods to share, it would be much appreciated: or

— Megan Garvey/Los Angeles Times
June 7, 2010 at 2:13 p.m.

this project as a whole is awesome... but Long Beach REALLY needs neighborhood breakdowns at almost half a million people and 50+ square miles plus catalina.

— steve
June 7, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.

Long Beach is a very large City with many different parts. Each neighborhood has it's own data

— nick
June 7, 2010 at 9:06 a.m.

Long Beach is considered a large American city in its own right, so to lump the entire city together as one neighborhood is useless data. You could have at least gone down to the city council district level, that data could not have been difficult to obtain. There are parts of Long Beach that rival the tony West side neighborhoods, and parts that are steeped in poverty and crime. A more granular breakdown would have been far more useful.

— JM
June 7, 2010 at 6:19 a.m.

Long Beach

is a city in the Harbor region of Los Angeles County.
This neighborhood includes Unincorporated Long Beach-North in its area and statistics.
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About This Project
Long Beach is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.