I witnessed my first domestic abuse on the corner of Broadway & Linden while walking home from what was then Sipology, the local coffee shop. Before hip and trendy coffee shops plunged their way into gentrified neighborhoods, this was the place to get your mediocre coffee while supporting the neighborhood and “living like the locals”. Not to mention, I didn’t have to pay for internet because my place was just so damn close.
Sipology has since changed ownership a couple…or few times and now, I couldn’t be more unsure what that cursed corner goes by these days.
Back to the domestic abuse; I would be exaggerating if I said I witnessed it. I’m totally exaggerating when I just said I witnessed it. I would also be lying if I said this was the first domestic abuse I’ve “witness”. Certainly not the last. All that was left was a half naked woman weeping to desensitized cops from the curb as I walked by trying not to make eye contact.
It was shocking then, but now…well now, it’s just a part of the background noise and you can never be too sure who’s hurting who.
Sounds: couples arguing, dogs barking, loud bass from passing cars.
3rd & Bonito
I never wanted to be home. Never hung up any art, built any swedish furniture I knew I couldn’t disassemble in a day; never settled in because I simply did not want to be there. I took my cheap rent and designated parking spot for granted until strangers started parking on my behalf. This didn’t last long and since a lease was not a threat, I was out in heartbeat.
Belmont Heights was a luxury, though all I really did was drink, make coffee, and got deep into collecting. When I say “collecting”, I mean everything. I would spend the next year trying to get rid of all those things. “I want a minimalist lifestyle”, yet I couldn’t let everything go.
I got a cat because I figured it would make me a better person. I really wanted things to work out because I had been alone for so long, I could hear my thoughts so clearly, I knew I was losing my mind. I suppose that was why I wrote and drank so much. All that time alone with myself made me realize I really wouldn’t be my friend if I weren’t me.
Sounds: Neighbors fucking (and I don’t mean couples “making love”).
Cherry & Poinsettia
“You’re three exits from Compton, but the drive to DTLA was less than 15 minutes away”.
My goal here was to save money, and that I did. It was a very cute house full of even more charming knick-knacks. I don’t have much to say besides the fact that this little house became a home that was just too far from work for me to handle. I do miss it from time to time; I will never forget the fragrant coffee and cigarettes.
Sounds: Bike locks being cut off with an electric saw.
8th & Rose
Certainly the poorest neighborhood I’ve ever lived in but I had never happier. Always surrounded by neighbors who became friends, I was the most irresponsible during my stay here.
True inner city, though we were convinced this was a promising neighborhood. I didn't stick around to observe the change.
Sounds: Ice cream trucks, soul records from neighbor’s balcony, motorcycles, oh and the occasional rejected lover pleading over the phone for all of Long Beach to witness. No shame.
6th & Alamitos
At 25, I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t live without. I wanted 2 things: a place to myself and lots of light. I got both.
There are a lot of smells in this apartment building. I didn’t sign up for this and didn’t realize until I had already signed my 1-year commitment.
I fought hard to give my studio that familiar lavender undertone many visitors would then point out. But as you leave my apartment you’ll soon be enveloped in the stench of stale weed; walking down the stairs will lead you to the unforgettable smell of Top Ramen, then out the door to the most noise polluted neighborhood in Long Beach.