The Vincent Thomas Bridge, connecting San Pedro and Long Beach, opened 50 years ago today. Scott Harrison at Framework has the story: Vincent Thomas Bridge turns 50
Photos: (Top) With catwalks in place, workers begin spinning cables for the 1,500 foot span of the Vincent Thomas Bridge. This photo was published in the Sept. 20, 1962, Los Angeles Times. Credit: Los Angeles Times file. (Bottom) Evening traffic streams across the Vincent Thomas Bridge at dusk. This photo was published in the Nov. 6, 1988, Los Angeles Times. Credit: Alan Hagman / Los Angeles Times
test reblogged from latimespast
Bixby, the first seal pup born at the Aquarium of the Pacific, was moved to her permanent home in the seal and sea lion exhibit in Long Beach. Nearly 4 months old, she now weighs approximately 50 pounds.
Photo: Bixby explores her new habitat for the first time Tuesday. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Southern California loves its amusement parks: Even in 1911, amusement-park rides were a big deal in the L.A. area. (This photo of a spiral ride at the Pike in Long Beach accompanied a July 23, 1911, story.) The Times reported that “upwards of $4,000,000 has been invested within a few years in various amusement devices at the beaches near Los Angeles.”
This sum covers only the roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, Ferris wheels, pier attractions, houses of mirth and similar contravenes to give a thrill or produce a laugh, and does not include hotels or institutions of that sort. Of this vast sum at least one-half, or $2,000,000, has been expended within the past year.
At no point on the Pacific or Atlantic coasts has there been a parallel of such lavish outpouring of money for outdoor entertainment of the masses …
Disneyland wouldn’t open for another 40-plus years, but Southern Californians already had a taste for “outdoor entertainment of the masses.”
Penguin love in Long Beach: The 13 Magellanic marine birds, in an Aquarium of the Pacific exhibit opening this week, have been busy courting, with one chick and a clutch of eggs added to the colony.
Photo: Natalie Wallis, 4, left, holds her stuffed penguin as she and her mother, Marina, view the Magellanic penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s new exhibit in Long Beach. Credit: Christina House / For the Times
'Master growers' cultivating a higher grade of marijuana: A new breed of connoisseur is producing pot that is potent, tastes smooth and has a pleasing aroma — the kind of product now expected by ever-more discriminating consumers who frequent medical cannabis dispensaries.
Photo credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
World Famous VIP Records in Long Beach struggles to stay relevant: The record store, key to the birth of West Coast rap, retools amid technological changes in music.
Now owned by Kelvin Anderson, VIP in Long Beach midwifed the careers of some of America’s best-known hip-hop stars. Rapper Snoop Dogg filmed parts of three videos on the VIP roof, next to its landmark sign, which featured the cartoon image of a black man in a baseball cap walking toward an enormous vinyl record.
But that was years ago. Anderson’s siblings have long since closed their stores. Today, in the age of Internet downloads, Anderson remains in music — barely.
Photo: Kelvin Anderson, owner of World Famous VIP Records, sits in his new downsized store, just a few feet down the street from his former location on Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Long Beach joins the national ‘parklets’ trend: Three restaurants have won city approval to convert a few highly valued parking spaces into green space. In some cities, the parklets are open to the public, but these will be for patrons’ use only.
Photo: Berlin bistro owner Kerstin Kansteiner and architect Michael Bohn hold his design of a parklet to be built in front of the restaurant. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
A delicate border dance between Long Beach and Signal Hill: For businesses straddling the sometimes mysterious border, confusion can arise at tax time or when Long Beach police respond to a drunk driving crash in the Signal Hill side of a parking lot.
Photo: Dancers Megan Wilcox and Ben Majors rehearse at the Long Beach Ballet Academy, where the dance floor is in Long Beach and the restoom is in Signal Hill. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Jenelle Hutcherson will make history as the first openly lesbian contestant in the Miss Long Beach and Miss Southern California cities pageant this weekend:
The 25-year-old master hair artist will also be the first to be rocking a Mohawk, tattoos, a pierced nose and small black ear plug-ins.
"I’m not a down-in-heels type of girl," Hutcherson said in a phone interview.
For the swimwear competition, Hutcherson will be flaunting her handmade boy shorts and tank top inspired by 1930s men’s and women’s swimwear. And for evening wear, she’s ditching the gown and heels for a royal purple tux.
Photo: Jenelle Hutcherson, a master hair artist in Long Beach, will be the first openly lesbian pageant contestant. Credit: Jenelle Hutcherson
With free wedding, church removes a hitch to getting hitched: Parkcrest Christian Church in Long Beach provides a group wedding and reception for four couples whose plans for getting married kept getting stalled.
So it was a godsend for them when the pastor at Parkcrest Christian Church, Mike Goldsworthy, announced during his sermon two weeks ago that the church would throw a free wedding and reception for any unmarried couples in the congregation who were living together.
"If your only barrier is the cost of a wedding, we will remove that," he said.
Photo: Christopher and Angel Woodbridge, right, have their first dance as husband and wife along with three other couples after a church-financed group wedding and reception at Parkcrest Christian Church in Long Beach. Credit: Christina House / For The Times
Overheard at a Long Beach Coffee Shop
Man on Bluetooth, drinking coffee with a Quran spread open on the table: I had an auntie once, she lived in Bakersfield, I called her Dirty. My grandma, she hated me for that, and one day she heard me call my auntie Dirty and she went ballistic. The problem is, my grandma, she don’t speak at all—I mean she literally couldn’t speak—so she had to write everything down. So she had all this paper she write stuff down on. And when I called her Dirty she started writing it down all angry like. It was like all caps and it say: BOY I TELL YOU — Page 2— YOU BETTER WATCH—Page 3—WHAT YOU SAY—Page 4—OR IM GONNA—Page 5—WHOOP YOU. Only thing was, see, I couldn’t read no good back then, so I’d always have to ask my cousin and say ‘hey cuz, what’s grandma tryna say to me.’
test reblogged from onlyinlongbeach
Run-DMC’s Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels perform in Long Beach, California, in this photo published in The Times on Dec. 10, 1984.
Our Vintage Times series is presented on Tumblr with photography from the Los Angeles Times archives.
Elmer McCurdy, a rather unsuccessful train robber, was thought to be a wax dummy at Nu-Pike amusement park in Long Beach until his arm fell off in 1976, prompting an investigation that eventually identified him.
During his carnival career, folks sometimes forgot that he had been a real person, not a mannequin.
On one occasion, a prospective buyer of wax figures “turned down Elmer because he said he wasn’t lifelike enough,” Basgall said.
Photo credit: Associated Press