At least a couple times a year, Martine and I like to spend a day in Long Beach. We park the car in the Aquarium parking structure and walk on the path surrounding the yacht harbor and along the ocean, halfway to Belmont Shores. Usually, it’s in conjunction with a visit to the Aquarium, but I prefer to go there early before all the strollers armed with ankle-killing spikes show up. Today, we just enjoyed the sunshine and the nice weather.
I always like to see the Queen Mary across the harbor, always remembering that in 1937 it brought my mother back to the United States by way of Cherbourg, France, and Southampton, England. Fortunately, I was able to take her to see the ship docked in Long Beach Harbor, where she was able to tour the luxury cabins which, as a steerage passenger, she and her grandparents never had a chance to see on their passage.
The beach city has been interesting me more and more since I started reading the Long Beach Homicide detective novels by Tyler Dilts, namely A King of Infinite Space and A Long and Broken Hallelujah. (That leaves only The Pain Scale before I’ve read his entire opus.) As I wrote in his review of A King of Infinite Space:
It’s good to think that noir has a future in Southern California, where it was born under the skillful pens of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Tyler Dilts teaches writing at Cal State Long Beach. He comes to the genre with an extensive background and a rich frame of reference. In addition, he has such a good ear for the Long Beach area that I feel like dropping in at some of the restaurants he mentions and checking them out.
Long Beach has some nice areas; it also has some heinous slums. But then, I guess that goes for Los Angeles as well.