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Food Festival

This weekend, June 27 and June 28, 2007, will be a great time to sample the delicious cuisine of many of Belmont Shore’s popular restaurants. From 5:30 – 9:00 P.M. you can stroll as you dine at Stroll & Savor on 2nd Street between Quincy Ave. and Bayshore.

Ticket books are sold for $10 and can be purchased this week at Caffe La Strada, Archibalds or Mail Boxes Etc. During the event, tickets will be available to purchase in front of Washington Mutual Bank on 2nd. St. You must have tickets for participating in the sampling of Shore restaurant’s wonderful and unique cuisine.

Other events taking place in the Shore this Summer include:

  • Family Fun Fest – Sunday, July 29th from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. between Corona and Nieto Aves on 2nd St. $5 will buy a child’s wristband that will allow them to spend the day romping in a bounce house, climbing a giant slide, face painting, sport demonstrations, games and more. Both the police and fire departments will be showcasing their vehicles and some of their special talents. Complimentary hot dogs will be provided by the Long Beach Fire Department.
  • Sidewalk Sale – Friday -Sunday, August 17th from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
  • Another Stroll and Savor – August 22 and 23 from 5:30 to 9:00 P.M.
  • Car Show – September 9, Sunday from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Over 700 pre 1975 classic cars on 2nd St. and 14 other side streets. One of the largest on the west coast!
  • 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off – Sunday, October 21 from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 P.M. – $5 wristbands will be sold in front of Washington Mutual Bank, which will allow you to taste all the chili entries and vote for your favorite. Live music will be performed (also in front of Washington Mutal.)

For more information regarding these events, go to the Belmont Shore Business Association website. 

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As an update to a recent post titled Mansionization Concerns in Many Areas of Long Beach, I wrote about a specific property at 181 La Verne Ave. in Belmont Shore. The owner was looking to the city’s Building and Planning Commission for a height variance to forgive the already built, third-story storage room adjacent to the roof-top deck.

At the time of my last post, the city Planning staff was of the opinion that the owner be given the varience due to the fact that the building had already been done and that it was at the back of the home, far away from the street.

Thankfully, a group of neighborhood residents noticed the code violation (city inspectors had not) and then strongly opposed the variance as part of their  concerns for “mansionization”  and over-building in Belmont Shore.

Low and behold, the Planning Commission, with a unanimous vote, did not approve the owner’s petition for a third-story variance.   The builder must now make corrections to the home to bring it back into code. Hopefully this will bring a very positive light to the need for keeping the historical value to a wonderful beach community of Long Beach and let other builders know that the city is, perhaps, not going to allow a “build it now and forgive later” policy for those who try to exceed code limits.

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Erika

Now that my still slightly shy, but adorable canine has become much more socialized, she is a magnet for every dog-loving fanatic that walks by my house. Erika loves to hang out and bask in the sun out front. Half a block from Starbucks and tons of other shops and restaurants on 2nd St., there is a lot of foot traffic past her yard.

With all the love and affection that abounds in the Belmont Shore neighborhood for “man’s best friend,” comes some pretty hilarious behavior, not so much from the canines, but from their human companions. I am witness to it on almost a daily basis.

It’s no secret that the majority of Belmont Shore residents love dogs. Just take a stroll down 2nd St., night or day, and you’ll find a very diverse group of people with a colorful array of furry friends. Twice a year (Easter and Halloween) the Shore is host to the Haute Dog Parade. Some 300+ pooches are in costume with owners in tow. It’s a real hoot to see, if you’ve never been. The once temporary dog beach between Granada and Roycroft Ave. has been given permanent status and Shore dogs are digging it.

A year ago, I adopted a very freightened, full-bred, 5-6 yr. old Border Collie named Erika. Poor thing had been abused and then abandoned in the desert. She had two litters of pups that were rescued but Erica was too fast to be caught. A very tenacious neighbor was finally able to coax her into his yard and keep her coralled until the wonderful volunteer adoptees could pick her up. Erika was reunited with her latest litter of pups until they were all adopted and then I was the lucky recipient of a wonderful companion, but scared she was!

I learned the meaning of “afraid of your own shadow” on one of my first walks with Erika. She would freak out and try to run away if the sun or moon was casting her’s or my shadow on the pavement in front of her. She didn’t eat for 5 days and was afraid of every noise, person or dog we encountered. Forget about tall men dressed in black!

Little by little Erica came out of her shell and started to trust. First it was me, obviously because I was the one feeding her and walking her. With a lot of socializing and reassurance, Erika now enjoys the dog beach, loves her walks and allows people to pet her when were on our walks. She is tolerant of other dogs, although she seems to be wary of some still. Cats don’t seem to phase her (never did.) It’s really quite amazing how far she’s come in a year.

Erika’s breed is in the “herding” catagory of dogs. She doesn’t bark unless some one she is not sure of is invading her space; usually her favorite spot on the front porch step. Even then she rarely gets vocal about it. As herding dog’s temperaments go, they are usually very high energy dogs, love to play and do very well in agility exercises. They are extremely smart.  True to her breed, Erika has been very easy to train. I taught her how to walk on my right side only and how to shake (paw to hand) in two days, not at the same time. I don’t even have to ask her for her paw now, she puts it up, lightening speed!

Un-be-known to all of Erika’s admirers and advocates, I am sitting at my desk just behind the front security screen door. From the outside, they cannot see through the screen door. I cannot believe the things that these people say and try to do with my dog!

One woman, I now know as Stephanie, has 2-3 minute conversations with Erika almost daily on her way to and  from Starbucks. Yesterday she brought dog biscuits back and tossed them over the fence to Erika, who was staying as close to the door as possible on the top step. After she sent the treats flailing over the fence she said “I hope your mom doesn’t care.” I  moved closer to the door to see what was being thrown at my dog. I decided to let it go, as I’m familiar with Starbuck’s dog biscuits. Erika didn’t make a move for them. Didn’t even flinch. Next comes “What’s the matter? Don’t be afraid. Aren’t you hungry?”

Later, Stephanie returns and I decide to poke my head out the door to let her know that my beloved pet is not left outside all day on her own. (I’m thinking that Stephanie could be the one that I heard a week or so ago, chastising Erika’s owner for not having water outside for her.)

I say “Hi, I just want you to know that I work from home and that my dog is not left outside without water and food all day. She loves to be outside and watch everything that is going on, but she comes in and out several times a day.” The look on Stephanie’s face said it all. Busted! I continued with “The dog bowl that you see overturned is for my upstairs neighbor’s Bull Mastiff , known as Buzz, when he is outside.”

Stephanie then introduced herself; told me that she owns two dogs and is thinking about getting another; said she adores Erika and wanted to know what breed she is. We had a 10 minute conversation and she departed with a new understanding of Erika’s past and present care.

Today when Stephanie came by with a friend, Starbucks cup in hand,  she stopped at the gate and explained Erika’s complete history to her friend. Then in a voice meant only for little children and adored pets, told Erika to “enjoy your day in the outdoors” and “I’ll see you again soon.” Like don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Throughout all of this attention and admiration, Erika sits on her step and just looks as if she has no interest whatsoever. I’d love to know what she’s thinking!

 My neighbors know my dog better than they know me, as I recently found out while I was holding an open house two houses down from mine. People would tell me they lived in the neighborhood and I’d say “I do too.” Then came trying to explain exactly where I live. It soon became clear that describing my dog was the quickest way to an understanding of where I lived. Only in Belmont Shore!

I would like to get a video camera to record and share all of little Miss Erika’s daily visitors. It’s an ongoing comical interlude to my day when I’m officing from my home. 

Too be continued……..

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Here is the latest real estate market trend report from June 8, 2007:

Long beach currently has 1,920 active listings for single family homes and condos, an increase of 23% over last year this time and 433 properties in escrow, constituting a 4% decrease as compared to last year.

The current statistics by zip code as of today’s date, June 8, 2007, are as follows:

Single-Family & Condo

Zip Code      Active     Pending       Sold (2 mos)    Attrition Rate

90803              184            47                   64                6 mos.

90804              181            37                   32               11 mos.

90807              192            37                   53                 7 mos.

90815              153            47                   46                 7 mos.

90802              343            72                   66               10 mos.

Residential Income (2 units or more) – combined totals for zip codes above:

                         179             32                  28                 6 mos.

*This information provided by the SOCAL MLS

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