An Industrial City

Recreation in Long Beach


A thin veneer of beauty is painted over the harsh industrial landscapes that dot Long Beach. In a place where land use is maximized you often find parks and public use spaces squeezed in between sewage treatment and power generation facilities.

This is a place so far removed from nature that attempts have been made fully contain it. The rivers that flow from the mountains to the ocean have been cemented to prevent flooding for more than 70 years. A purely utilitarian rusted metal truss bridge allows cyclists and joggers a means to cross the cement channel. In this case some rather overweight men on small mopeds were crossing.

Its not hard to imagine the scenic wetland that used to exist here. There are many species which still occupy this space but they must share it with a maze of high voltage power lines and tall transmission towers.

Here two men fish in the discharge water stream from the power plant.

The view from the beach is of oil infrastructure that is dressed up with palm trees and a queue of dreary cargo vessels waiting to enter the port. A break water was installed here around the same time that the river was being cemented. This was to provide deep water access to the port. The calm waters caused by this created a mecca for kite surfers.


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