005: Walter Pyramid


Long Beach by Bike 005: Walter Pyramid
1250 N. Bellflower Blvd
Built: 1994

The Coronavirus stay at home order for the state of California has transformed my neighborhood. Where just days ago, I saw no one on the streets, outdoors, out of their cars, it now feels like a neighborhood from the 50s. Everywhere I look, with every glance out the window, I see people walking their dogs, pushing baby strollers, riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, playing catch in their front yards, all while keeping a respectable distance from each other. Just last night, after living in this house for a year and a half, I met the neighbor that lives behind me for the first time, we had a short yet friendly chat over the wall that separates our properties.

The parks are the same, filled with people enjoying the outdoors, the sun, the grass, the shade of trees, the paths and trails. I pedal along, dodging pedestrians, little kids cutting across the bike path for which their parents hurriedly apologize, to which I smile and wave – No worries, none at all.

My destination today is the iconic Walter Pyramid, on the California State University, Long Beach campus. Sheathed in cobalt-blue pleated steel, and rising 18 stories, the Pyramid emerges above the trees and houses from quite a distance out.

I ride up to and circle the structure, I have only ever previously viewed it from the front, from the street. Even though the campus and building are quiet, this up-close, 360° view brings a sense of life to the property. Although people generally use the sports-related facilities housed inside daily, I think to myself: I would always be in awe of this building, I could never walk into it without feeling inspired, without taking a moment to take it in again, over and over. That’s what the best buildings do: They stimulate our senses; they energize our being. No one yawns walking up these steps or going in or out of these doors, no way.

Date: 03/21/20
Total Mileage: 16.3