For $100,000, the government in Long Beach, in search of a creative purpose, hired a consultant firm from San Francisco to suggest ways of putting this old burg on the map. It was a wise choice.
I might quibble with the spokesman for the group when he says that Long Beach's task "is not unlike the scale of Disneyland," but I could not agree more with his suggestion that the downtown area should have commercial mixed-use development: offices, hotels and civic, cultural, entertainment and recreational facilities.
The recommendations of the San Francisco firm suggest that Long Beach should attempt to recapture exactly what it had in the immediate postwar years (and before), when it had something to offer everyone, not only visitors, but residents and local taxpayers as well. I think the recommendations are inspired.
People who would like to see what a city like Long Beach can offer of a positive nature should visit their public library and peruse "An Invitation from Long Beach, California," a brochure that was put out by the Convention and Publicity Bureau, circa 1932, to lure conventioneers to the city. The brochure captures the essence of a beautiful, non-world-class place to live in and visit.
--DOUGLAS A. KERMODE