Thursday, September 8, 2011

Riding the Rails: Long Beach to Los Angeles

I lived in Long Beach for two years so it was a bit of a homecoming for me this summer when my friend picked me up at the Anaheim Amtrak station across from Angel Stadium. We drove to the LBC and straight to a park near Long Beach State University where we were treated to classic hits from the Long Beach Municipal Band. There were lots of families and couples spread out on the lawn making picnics and listening to good music.

One reason I like Long Beach is because it is the fifth largest city in California but still manages to maintain a small-town, family-oriented atmosphere. That small town spirit was alive and well that day at the park with the Long Beach Municipal Band.

The next day I rode the L.A. Metro Blue Line light rail train from downtown Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles. The line is the oldest ( opened in 1990) and busiest (26.6 million boardings per year) in the system and has become notorious for its high number of incidents involving pedestrian and motorist fatalities -- to this date over 100 pedestrians and motorists have been killed and there have been more than 800 accidents at level crossings.

The Blue Line passes through some of L.A.'s poorest and most crime-infested neighborhoods in South L.A., including Watts and Compton.

My experience riding the line however has been incident-free and positive. And I encourage anyone visiting L.A. to not be afraid to ride the Blue Line during the day (night might be a bit sketchy). Yes, you will see stereotypical gang members and mentally unstable people, but you will also see Hispanic, African-American, Caucasian and Asian families, children on their way to school, elderly people on their way to the doctor and men and women on their way to work. In other words, everyday people living their lives like anywhere else.

Los Angeles is much more than Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. It is an educational experience to ride public transit through the working class black and immigrant neighborhoods of the City of Angels.

Photos of my ride from downtown Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles:

And here is video riding the Blue Line train from downtown Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles via Compton:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this useful stuff. It will really help me alot for increasing my business further.
    Bikini Beaches