I Heart Long Beach

I Heart Long Beach: Birdcage Coffeehouse

Birdcage Coffeehouse 1

This little coffeehouse first caught my eye sometime last year but for the longest time, I couldn't remember what street it was on. That is, until last month when I was finally able to set foot in the sweet little place. 

Birdcage Coffehouse 4

On the outside, it looks like an Ivy covered house and this little fact is why I find it so charming. 


As soon as I stepped inside, I felt as if I was in a small Mexican house. As you can tell, there are metal lizard decorations on the ceiling which immediately reminded me of Mazatlan during the summer. If you've ever been during the summer, they're crawling EVERYWHERE! It freaks me out. So did the decorations. It took me a minute to get over the uneasy feeling it gives me (I don't like reptiles/amphibians/insects. They creep me out). 

The tables and chairs are pulled leather and actually, are quite comfortable. There's a flat screen TV which usually tends to have something playing on it. One day, I spent an afternoon watching 'River Monsters', another watching 'Up'. They serve the standard drinks that are offered at most coffeehouses, as well as pastries and Mexican desserts. A lot of the interior is exposed brick and it strangely makes me feel at home which is a nice surprise since it's the complete opposite of what I was expecting this place to be. 

There are small interesting vignettes all over the place that carry the same theme of birds and birdcages. There's also small Mexican trinkets all over the place. The fun thing that I like is that the owner is constantly changing something. So every time that I've been in there, it hasn't looked the same twice. Something is ALWAYS different.

 The outside is covered and provides some nice shade, especially since the Ivy is growing. There's a small fountain to enjoy and a beautiful tiled mosaic out there as well. I like to sit out there on sunny days. 

Bircage Coffeehouse 3

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The birdcage has easily become my favorite coffeehouse. I love the small charm and the fact that it's an independent coffeeshop. Since I've started going to the Birdcage, I've ceased going to Starbucks, The Coffee Bean and It's A Grind and I have no intentions on going back. Another small detail that makes me like this place is that this has become the meeting spot for people of the deaf/mute community and the owner knows ASL. You can always find people signing. It kind of makes me wish I knew what they were saying but the ones I've encountered all seem SUPER nice. So if you're ever in Long Beach, I think you should give it a try! 

-Owner: Eleno Machuca

-Cash Only

-224 W. 4th Street 

-Closed:  Monday

-Open: Tuesday-Sunday 7am to 7pm


Amanda ❤

I Heart Long Beach: Movies at The Beach

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  One of the new Summer traditions I started last year was going to Moonlight Movies at the Beach. It's something that I thoroughly enjoy. I started going last year after the break up with Art because I needed something to distract me at night, and it's been fun ever since.

    It's in it's eighth year so I'm a little behind on the bandwagon but I love going. It's hosted by Charter Communications and Alfredo's Beach Club, which is primarily three different restaraunt locations along the beach, but they also host a myriad of fun beach activities throughout the year thanks in part to the gorgeous California weather all year round. 

    It takes place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at three different locations. (Read: where the three different restaraunts are). Monday is Cherry Beach, Tuesday is Granada Beach, Wednesday is back at Cherry and Thursday is Marina Green Park. The Movies usually start at 8pm but between 7pm and the movie starting, they have giveaways, and contests and all sorts of other stuff. 

    They set up this giant inflatable screen and tons of people show up. It gets packed pretty much. Oh, and did I forget to mention that IT'S FREE! There's always lots of parking but make sure to get there early for a prime spot. Usually everyone is respectful of your place. Picnic-style-sitting-on-blanket usually sit up front and tents (yes, some people bring tents) and chairs go toward the back.

    Even though there's a restaraunt for food and even snacks, most everybody brings their own food. Dinner on the beach while watching a movie? Sure, why not! Just remember there's no alcohol on the beach *wink*. It's perfect for a date night, family time or just hanging out with friends. Also, don't forget to bring a blanket of some sort cos it can get windy. 

    Depending on what movie is playing you'll get a different experience. Last year they played 'Little Rascals' and had a look-alike contest. For 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory', (Learn you're titles folks, that's the original) Every one was pretty much singing along to the songs and cheered when Charlie found the last Golden Ticket. (We also cheered when Veruca fell down the egg-dicator.) I'm telling you it can be loads of fun! Also, they always end the season with 'Jaws' and your back against the ocean. Ha! 

    If you're an observant Long Beach Native, you'll know that we're famous for conventions. There's one practically EVERY WEEK or so.  So, if you're from out of town and are looking for something to do Monday-Thursday night, you should definitely check it out. 

Here's the website: Moonlight Movies at the Beach

Amanda ❤

I heart long beach: billie jean king

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    Billie Jean King was born in Long Beach on November 22, 1943. She learned how to play tennis on the public courts. Her high school days were spent at Long Beach Poly and soon she attended college at CSU-LA. 

    She married Lawrence King in September 1965. After some controversy in their marriage, where King realized she was interested in women,  they divorced in 1987. 

    The U.S. public knows her most for her win over Bobby Riggs in 1973 in The Battle of The Sexes. Riggs had been a top player in the 30's and 40's both professionally and as an amateur. In 1973 he claimed that the woman's game was so inferior to the men's game that even he, at 55, could beat the current top female players. He challenged and defeated Margaret Court. The Riggs-King match was played at the Houston Astrodome in September of '73. King beat Riggs 6–4, 6–3, 6–3. Of that match King said, 

"I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn't win that match. It would ruin the women's [tennis] tour and affect all women's self-esteem."

    Her tennis career includes 39 Grand Slam Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles and 20 titles at Wimbledon.

    She was one of nine players who broke away from the tennis establishment and accepted $1 contracts from tennis promoter Gladys Heldman in Houston.  The revolt led to the birth of women’s professional tennis and the formation of the Virginia Slims Tour and Women’s Tennis Association.

    In 2008 she was names Global mentor for Gender Equality by UNESCO. She has also been awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, The nations highest civilian honor, in August 2009, presented to her by President Barack Obama. Also in 2009, she received the NCAA president's Gerald R. Ford Award recognizing her contributions to improving higher education and intercollegiate sports.  She currently serves on the boards of the Woman's Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS foundation. 

Billie Jean King
[Image via Google Images]

Amanda ❤

I heart long beach | the lone sailor

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    In the 'I Heart Long Beach' series, I try to show things, places, events, and people that are specific to Long Beach and unlike anywhere else. I wanted to make an exception with this edition because Long Beach is a city who has a rich history with the Navy and I wanted to pay tribute to that. Some of my classes in High School were in the actual bunks that the sailors would sleep in. 

Lone Sailor
    The Lone Sailor was created by Stanley Biefield, the Navy Memorial Official Sculptor. He served in World War II but like many other artists was assigned as an illustrator for Navy training manuels. He never went into battle but helped train those who did. 

    The entire process of conceptualization, modeling, sculpting and casting went through 5 initial images, 4 different models and over a year of work before being unveiled at the formal dedication on October 13, 1987-the anniversary of the Navy's birthday. 

    Former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Billy C. Sanders of The Lone Sailor

"You would want this guy at your battle station when it's not a drill. He is the classic American sailor. That statue looks like bronze, but there is plenty of salt, paint, sweat, fuel oil and courage stirred in." 

    What I like about this statue is that even though it's bronze and it's a menacing 7 feet tall, there's something about it that has a human quality. But I guess that's the point of a good sculpture. To not feel as if it's a sculpture at all. There's a warmth about it that resonates with everyone. It's tough and protective but gentle at the same time. Sort of the way a girl feels about their dad. This particular statue was dedicated on December 11, 2004 with a committee of Navy veterans, local individuals and organizations and the local Fleet Reserve Association branch 43. The statue is located at Bluff Park on Ocean Blvd and Paloma Ave. overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

There are currently 12 Lone Sailor statues in the United States. 

Bremerton, Wa

Burlington, VT

Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Great Lakes, Il

Long Beach, Ca

Norfolk, Va

North Charleston, SC

San Francisco, Ca

Washington, DC

Waterloo, Ia

West Haven, Ct

#12  the U.S. Navy Memorial Website Says there's 12 statues but only lists 11.

EDIT: By coincidence I found out that my ex was at the dedication of this particular statue as the only Navyman as part of the colorguard. Ha. Oh the things you find out. 

Amanda ❤

I Heart Long Beach: Everyone is Ghetto, No Matter What You Think

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I literally just had a conversation with a friend where I told him "Everyone who's a Long Beach native has a little ghetto in them. No matter what you think they have some ghetto in them. The little white girls by Wilson and Poly. Everyone." Case in Point: Cameron Diaz on the Lopez Tonight show. 


As soon as she did the head roll/LBC/accent, I laughed. George Lopez got the ghetto to come out. You can get the proper, civilized talk but mention Long Beach and you get attitude. 

Find the other 'I Heart Long Beach' posts here

Amanda ❤

I Heart Long Beach: Setting The Record For Longest Rally Car Jump

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So I've been putting off this series because I wanted to start it out with the breaking of a world record. Precisely one year ago, Travis Pastrana broke the world record for rally car jumps. Of course this took place at Long Beach's own, Rainbow Harbor, and then he procedes to do a back flip into the marina. (which, honestly, no self-respecting LB'er would EVER do) 


XOXO Mandakinnnns

Amanda ❤

Introducing: I Heart Long Beach

Raised in Long Beach, California, I've learned that my little city has an awesome history and is steeped in culture. I've only realized this over the course of the last 2 years and I've come to love my city more and more. With this growing appreciation I'd like to introduce a series on my blog that can hopefully grow to become something more. 

In this series I hope to shine a light on Long Beach's history and culture. I hope to spotlight shops,resturants, boutiques, artists and attractions that are all located within this wonderful city. So without further ado

I heart long beach

Amanda ❤