Falling In Love With Long Beach: One Mural At A Time

September 2, 2019 marked 50 days from my 50th birthday. To celebrate the milestone, I created 50 random things for myself to do and placed them in a mason jar to pull each day until my actual birthday. Turning 50 feels like it warrants fanfare so for three weeks before I started writing what came to mind -pay it forward, tweet favorite celebrities wishing them a good day, plan next solo retreat, etc.

This past Saturday, I shook up the jar and drew out three notes instead of one. (I’ve been traveling and missed picking out of the jar) The first note read to unplug for 8 hours. The second was sending me off to go on a self-guided mural tour, and the third told me to visit a museum.

This in my eyes was a Trifecta! Not merely was I allowing myself a day off (I’m a blogger social media is my office) but I was giving myself permission to experience the world via the backyard.

My relationship with Long Beach is new arriving from the East Coast. I’ve lived here fewer than 6 months and I’m still becoming acquainted.  The art is an aspect of the city’s personality that provokes me to reflect outside my regular habit to rush by what I may see. It draws me into the community making me introspective and obliging me to be present. Isn’t that what art aims to accomplish?

I pass at least three of the murals daily in my neighborhood. My favorite is on 7th Street painted by Detroit artist Sydney James (mural featuring the black woman). I didn’t get to them all during this one trip so seeing them will be ongoing until complete.

My museum journey took me to the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA). The museums art was rich and thought provoking. I spent quality time there. I deliberated about the themes and I practiced Spanish as I read the placards that outlined the work. 

 This self-prescribed adventure reminded me you can find destination love right in your backyard. You need not leave behind your area code to encounter something different. Adventure awaits those who pursue it-no matter where you are.