LBC By Bike 007: Long Beach Airport

Long Beach by Bike 007: Long Beach Airport
4100 E. Donald Douglas Dr
Built: 1941

I’ve been through the Long Beach Airport more times than I care to recall. Although I’ve always preferred flying out of Long Beach when feasible, I’ve rarely paused to appreciate the airport for its architecture or decorative art; it’s just been a necessary means to an end; a place I pass through. Riding my bike up to the airport was an entirely different experience, no stress, no apprehension, my focus was wide open.

The airport was quiet, almost sleepy, very few people around. Just a few weeks ago, I found myself on 12 different flights in 11 days, hurrying to, from, and though busy airports. And then, with one text message from home, concerns about the pandemic came into my life, and I was back in California with all future travel on hold or canceled entirely. In a way, it was poetic for me to pedal up to the white curb, not to be loading nor unloading, to have nowhere to go, to just be.

I sat on my bike on the center median and breathed in the building. Is it supposed to be a ship? There are implications of sea travel incorporated into the Streamline Moderne design that I guess makes sense with Long Beach’s identity as a port and beach town. Whatever the inspiration, it is a spirited structure.

It was surreal to snap photos of the airport without any people or cars in the frame. No hustling and bustling, not even a cop around to ask me what I was doing or tell me to move on. I simply rode away, unharassed when I was good and ready. Uncommon times indeed.

Date: 04/01/20
Total Mileage: 4.9