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Long Beach Blanket Bingo!: An LBC Native’s Guide to LB, LI

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OK, so I’m not technically a Long Beach, CA native, but I did go to school there for 4.5 years, so i think I might have some authoritwahhh, as they say.  Also, this is primarily based on my experience this past weekend.

Step 1:  Get someone to drive your ass, or live on the south side of Williamsburg and get really yummy falafel to go from this one place on Broadway by the JMZ

Clearly, I did the latter, just because of a lack of car.  But, goddammit, I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of the goddamn Israeli falafel place on Broadway, right under the JMZ train.  It was really good!  The falafel was the kind that’s green inside!  Though I guess you can technically do this while in a car, and it’s probably easier, way faster, and more efficient.  But, whatever, I took the high road.  And by high road, I mean the JMZ to the LIRR.

Step 2: Get a beach pass from someone passing by instead of paying $10 per person

OK, I guess I didn’t technically do this either.  But we got there at a good and early time, so there weren’t many people leaving the beach at the time.  But, it’s definitely a good idea to try (note: it’s best to approach the sex you feel most comfortable flirting lightly with), because, honestly, coming from somewhere where going to the beach is basically second nature, it seems totally insane to pay.  And remember to “pay it forward” (like Haley Joel Osment!) with your beach pass when you’re leaving the beach, because there may be other Southern Californians there who may be too in shock to muster up the wherewithal to pay for the beach.

Step 3: Don’t park it too close to the water or stream internet radio on your iphone for too long

Apparently, high tide is serious business when you decide to be semi-ballsy and situate yourself precariously close to the ocean.  Who knew?  Also, streaming internet radio the entire duration of when you’re there will make your iphone die.  Whoops!  The station of choice?  Surprise, surprise, I can’t remember the name!  But, my beach companion has officially declared it THE soundtrack of summer, what with its 50s/60s/70s  soul jams and 90s hip hop.  He’s the one with the iphone anyway, so my ignorance has somewhat of an excuse.

Step 4: Situate yourself between clusters of 50-somethings, bring a recording device, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

My beach companion may not have realized what a veritable goldmine of quotes I seemed to have prospected my way into, but, Jesus Herbert Christ, I sure did.  The 50-something crowds of Long Beach, Long Island are like no other on this planet we call earth, and I wish to god I had brought something to record the evidence.  Two choice quotes that really don’t do the intonation/experience any justice whatsoever:

1. “Christie Brinkley is NOT youngahhh than me, that is BULLSHIT!  Isn’t that funny that her dawwtahh Alexa is so NOT pretty?  She is really not aging well” — spoken by a particularly leathery lady in a leopard print bikini

2. “Who ahh you to tell me when I need a snack?  When I need a snack, I need a SNACK!” (this and variations on this went on for about 20 minutes)

Step 5: Be in the mood for sushi or a diner

Because that’s pretty much all you’ll find in Long Beach, Long Island by the LIRR train station.  No, the Ay Carumba! Mexican restaurant does not count as a real place, much less real Mexican food, which I’m sure I don’t have to tell any Californian twice.  Though, if you like burgers, I guess Five Guys is the hotspot.

Step 6: Get back home in time for Mad Men

I think I almost had a heart attack trying to get back to my apartment in the hopes to catch the season 3 premiere of Mad Men in real time.  I mean, this is just something you should keep in mind for summer.  Just sayin’!

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.


  1. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    August 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    That’s crazy that you have to PAY to go to the beach!! Whoever thought of that racket was a genius!

  2. Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe
    August 28, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I used to run into the water when the tag checkers came round then if that doesn’t work try fake drowning as a distraction. Works every time!

  3. P
    August 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    A++ Post!

    So here are the details that were forgotton….

    The Falafel place is called Falafa Pizza or Falafapizza, the logo is a rip off from the Godfather logo but still rules…

    The internet radio station is WeFunk and it’s a show from Montreal, who knew Canada was so funky…

    Hope this filled in the gaps…

  4. Alexi Lawless
    August 28, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’m glad you got to experience Long Island in all its glory and the insane folks that live there. You really reminded me of why I don’t live there anymore… unlike practically everyone I went to high school with.