Starbucks: Magnolia Ave : Long Beach
Eric and I headed back to downtown Long Beach because there was so much to see the last time we were down there. So we hit up another Starbucks across the street from the courthouse. We grabbed a coffee and the top paper on the rack. Seventh page, second word: western.
The time started and even though we knew what the word meant, we sat and brainstormed a little. Situated in the west. Facing west. Living in or originating in the west. An entertainment genre about cowboys. Even our last shoot, once, said “western” – if only we could have had that word when we shot that photo. Oh well, no dwelling in the past.
Well we couldn’t get any more west than we were. after all, the Pacific Ocean was only blocks from where we were. But we had to think of what showed western to us. We looked around us and knew we had to start walking to find more.
As we took to the streets, there were interesting people who showed western to us – business people with tattoos, interesting fashion statements and the like. We went further and found other signs that we were in the west: apartments with bicycles and surfboards perched on balconies. We even took photos of arrows pointing in a western direction.
All of these things said “western” to us in one way or another. But when we came across the old Long Beach courthouse being demolished, we stood transfixed for a while. Large dinosaur-like machines ripping apart the floors, dropping heavy chunks of metal to the ground. For some reason we knew this said “western” to us… Where else in the United States do we regularly rip apart buildings instead of preserving them for future generations like they do back East? And the amount of rebar sticking out of the concrete is totally reminiscent of a building that could be subject to earthquakes like they might be in the West.
Eric and I knew this had signs of “western” all over it. After we shot and went back to edit what we found, there was one photo that looked very map-like. The blue of the sky against the jagged demolished concrete wall seemed like blue ocean against the western land of the United States. It may take some imagination, but to us, this says western: