004: International Tower

700 E. Ocean Blvd.
Built: 1966

I need to get out of the suburbs. The neighborhood I live in has large lots but no sidewalks. It appears this community was planned only to accommodate the automobile, for people to enter and exit their homes via their cars. No sidewalks make taking a walk, going on a run, or pursuing errands on foot a dangerous proposition. And these days, with everyone looking at their phones while driving, every passing car is a more significant threat.

We love our backyard for our dogs, our garage for our business, and we use our home as a live/workspace, but most of our immediate community seems to be a place where people sleep and shop. Most of their lives and living takes place away from here via their cars. Few people in this neighborhood walk; no one seems to ride a bike or use any other alternative forms of transportation.

Even though the City of Long Beach has built, designated, and developed an extensive system of bike lanes, paths, and routes, except for the Shoreline Bike Path, I do not see very many daily users. Many times, while bicycling throughout the city, I do not see another person using a bicycle for transportation purposes.

On this day, my ride takes me in a circular route around the city, through Heartwell Park, down the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, along the shore and into Downtown Long Beach to today’s destination, the International Tower.

I’ve never thought much of the International Tower as it sits across the street from one of my favorite buildings anywhere in the world, the Villa Riviera. And so, I always viewed it, and now I realize unfairly, in comparison to the Villa. As I take in the 32-story circular structure on its own for the first time, I finally see it for its merit, and I am impressed with this building.

I snap a few photos, and then I’m back on my bike, it’s Sunday, people are out and about, besides the closure of the Aquarium, one wouldn’t know quite yet that there is a pandemic. The sun is out; I’m on my bike; it feels good. I pedal up along the LA River and back to the burbs.

Date: 03/15/20
Total Mileage: 25.7