Downtown Long Beach is currently in it’s crucial renaissance stage. I should know, LBC is my hometown. Back in the day we knew which areas to avoid and which streets were safe…at least during daylight. A similar story is mirrored with big cities across the US that have established groups fighting for their turf. I have so much love for the city and will continue to be surprised by its forward momentum. If you had told me at 18 years old that gastropubs and high end clothing stores would take over Pine Avenue, I wouldn’t believe you for a second. Think of the LBC as Echo Park or Highland Park before gentrification made them a hipster’s haven. The change in the neighborhood is definitely on the right/wrong direction depending on which side of the coin you’re on. Personally, it feels great knowing people around Hollywood have seen the “110 -91-710” route which gets them to Downtown LBC. Flashback to roughly six years ago, when a cashier at Amoeba Records had no clue where Long Beach was even located – a city that has the world’s largest shipping port and where many of the CD’s in the store most likely traveled from.
A few months ago, we were invited by the Renaissance Hotel for their “Business Unusual” pop-up concert series. The Navigator Live was filming and we got to see A-Trak and DJ Kittens get down on the turntables. The show followed well known musicians in popular cities and filmed them exploring that city. Luckily for A-Trak, this was the same week as Pow! Wow! Long Beach. During then, the co-founder of Fool’s Gold Records met with the internationally recognized artist Fafi and streetwear veteran Jeff Staple. Watch the video above and gain some visual knowledge of the city I once called home. Pro tip: Proper on 1st Street is a destination must when visiting Downtown LBC.