Tuesday, November 25, 2008

They Paved Paradise

Dear City of Long Beach,

I totally forgot to tell you that you're dead to me. I meant to tell you a week ago but I completely forgot. I went to Utah for a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with my fam and I had squishy nephew cheeks on the brain. But don't think that because I've been distracted by their cuteness means that I've forgotten what you've done. I have not.

So, what did you do that was so horrible? You bought out Acres of Books and are planning to tear it down and build a parking structure. I just got a little ill when I typed that, and I'm not going to lie, I welled up a little when I heard. If Joni Mitchell were dead she would rise from her grave and shake her guitar at you.

Maybe you haven't been to Acres of Books. Because how could you have gone inside and done what you did? It would be impossible. This means you haven't seen the fluffy cat and cranky old man that greeted you at the front. Or the worker buried behind stacks and stacks of books in the back. You haven't been in the War Room and stared in wonder at how many people have written about the War of 1812. You haven't seen the children's section with old Dick and Jane hard covers and countless copies of Hardy Boys. You haven't come across a beautifully bound copy of Tennyson poems or an endless row of PG Wodehouse. You couldn't have had the thrill of going through a tiny door in the back and finding a warehouse full of floor to ceiling aisles of books stacked up in old orange crates. And then the thrill of going through that room and another tiny door into another warehouse of the same. You haven't gotten lost in the rows of books that dead end into other rows of books. You haven't spent a few hours looking at names of authors you have never heard of. You haven't smelled that sweet mixture of dust and old book glue.

So instead of seeing what a amazing place it was you decided to get rid of it to make room for people to park when they come for a movie or over-priced iced-coffee. I guess that's the way things go these days. But that does not change your status in my book, which is "DEAD". You're no longer Long Beach, place where my grandma grew up, where Lindsay lives, where Dad works, home of the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific. You are now That Dumb City That Tore Down Acre of Books to Build a Parking Lot. I'd like to see you attract tourists with that new name.



Tammy said...

I don't understand how they could do that , wasn't marked as a historical landmark !? It is just outrageous.

Mr. Hall said...

Faustus: "What might the staying of my blood portend? / Is it unwilling I should write this bill? / Why streams it not, that I may write afresh? / 'Faustus gives to thee his soul'. . ."

Apparently, the city of Long Beach has not learned from that ancient tale that it is not wise to sell one's soul to the devil! Repent, Long Beach! Repent!

colleeeen said...

That's it, I'm boycotting Long Beach. My list of Stupid Cities is getting longer and longer. I'd like to boycott my own city for changing its name from the perfectly wonderful El Toro to the totally insipid Lake Forest. I mean, how many other El Toros are there? Blech.

Rach said...

I am so sorry. I never had the pleasure of visiting Acres of Books, and I love used book stores. And now Long Beach has lost another tourist. That is, I will be a tourist in California again someday. When I can leave my house for more than 2 hours at a time. So, what will they do with the millions of crates of books? Don't you think they'll need to build another store? I hope they do, so I can see it.