Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day at Long Beach

If you look at a map of LA, you have the "valley" to the north, Beverly Hills and Hollywood just south of that, a lot of urban jungle in the middle and then you have Long Beach to the south.  Today I decided to go to Long Beach to see what it was all about. 

There were a couple of options for my transportation.  Walking was definitely out of the question because nobody walks in LA even if the distance is only a couple of blocks.  Driving was considered but then I would have had to think and signal and pay attention to the road and avoid cops and it just seemed like too much hassle.  I settled on the metro.  Yes, LA does have a metro system and I'll explain how it works. 


That's right.  Absolutely free.  Oh sure you can buy a ticket but really what is the point?  Nobody checks to see if you have one.  You can pass through the turnstiles without inserting it.  You can exit the station and no metrocop will bother you.  It's an HONOR SYSTEM.  I swear to God that is the truth and that is so dang funny, it is cracking me up right now.  There is no honor in LA, everyone knows that.  I recently read that the metro lines are losing over 5 million a year in lost revenues due to their trusting nature.  Is it any wonder why LA county is broke? 

So go ahead.  Ride for free.  Apparently a lot of other people do so why be left out?  Save up your money for that Beemer you've always wanted. 

And there is an added bonus when travelling on the metro.  You get to come in close contact with crazy people; people who scream and shout and make sudden movements for no apparent reason.  These people don't frighten me.  I'm more concerned about the quiet types with their hoodies and their oversized sunglasses and their earphones who look as if they'll get up and slit some one's throat on their way out the door.  I'm pretty sure that kind of behavior would carry a fairly stiff fine but nothing was posted so I'm really not sure. 

Anyhoo ... 

The first stop was Anaheim street.  The reason why I wanted to stop here was because it was the gateway to Cambodia town.  (Yes, I am a little obsessed with Cambodia right now ...)  Long Beach has the largest population of Cambodians outside of southeast Asia. 

Wherever you are, you are here. 

I ate at the Siem Reap restaurant which, as the name suggests, is Cambodian.  It was a pretty cool restaurant; the service was friendly and attentive, the food was great and all those pictures and paintings on the wall made me feel like I was back in the shadows of Angkor Wat.  

They serve pig's blood soup.  I am not an adventurous diner.  I opted for the chicken and beef skewers.  

For desert, they served a free bowl of sticky rice and coconut milk.  Yum. 

I like taking pictures of murals for some reason.  This one says, "How would it feel if your mother cried every day?" 

This is not a very happy mural.  And I'm a little confused why Queen Nefertiti is hanging out with Jesse Jackson and basketball players . 

Weird.  The symbolism is lost on me. 

And here is a deal.  A tooth extraction for $49.  I'm pretty sure the technique involves a door and piece of string so buyer beware.   

Truth in advertising? 

This is just some building which is photoshoped into oblivion.  Viva la digital age! 

And here we have the Long Beach lighthouse ... 

And this is the Queen Mary.  This ship is now permanently docked and functions as a hotel.  Some say it is haunted.  I'm thinking this is a good way to reel in the tourists. 

This is an awesome picture of blurry grass.  I pride myself on my picture taking abilities. 

Self-portrait time.  Yep, that's me sucking back on my iced coffee.  I needed the energy for the long trip back home. 

Overall, Long Beach was an interesting place to visit.  I hope to go back and tour the Queen Mary.  And maybe the Aquarium. 

Next time, I take the car.  Travelling on the metro during rush hour with all those crazy non-paying passengers was just not as much fun as I had hoped.

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