The Pike

I took a field trip to the Pike last semester on September 2, 2015. I enjoyed this trip very much; mostly because there is so much history in the Pike that I never knew about. I am not from Long Beach but living here for two and a half years now, I have been to the Pike quite a few times, and would have never imagined its history. It was amazing to learn about what used to be there and what has remained. There is a big white building just above Seaside Way that we focused on. It is very old and has no purpose, so I though it was a peculiar aspect to keep. It’s interesting that it is not used for anything and it has never been changed, yet it just sits on that block as an artifact it seems. I thought it was neat that the street named Seaside Way was where the tide used to reach, and now the water is about a mile away. The Pike used to be an amusement park. For someone who does not know that, it would not be obvious to him/her. The Pike is now filled with businesses, hotels, apartments, restaurants and shopping. What was once called the Walk of A Thousand Lights has now become just a street sign in an apartment complex. I wonder why they decided to keep that piece of the old Pike. For one, it is something so small and hidden now that many people will not notice it. Also, the “Walk of A Thousand Lights” does not even have any lights on it. It is peculiar that someone decided to just make it a small detail in an apartment complex. I enjoyed this trip because I noticed details that I have not before and learned a lot about a place that I visit often.

2 Comments

  1. Katarina Stiller

    It’s crazy how much that area has changed over the decades. My mom was never allowed to ride the rather rickety Cyclone roller coaster (this was shortly before the park shut down). There’s some great pictures of it in its prime at Ruby’s Diner. The boardwalk did used to have a string of lights along it, starting way back when “the Pike” referred to a wooden boardwalk and later to an entire amusement zone. Now all that’s the same is the name. I guess there was too much competition from Disneyland, Knott’s, and the Queen Mary.

  2. Kirsten Miller

    The street sign for a Walk of A Thousand Lights was kept in the Apartment complex as a small artifact that represents what was once there, a way to commemorate the past. Everything may have changed, but this one piece of what used to be is still there to remind people of the history of the site.

    This street sign parallels the bells of the El Camino Real. They used to mark the path along the dirt roads that connected one mission to another. Today they can still be spotted along the highway near the location of a mission. Obviously, the freeways and urban settlements that surround those bells today are nothing like the dirt roads and open lands that surrounded them in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but we still keep them as a reminder of our history, a way of marking what used to be.

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