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Living in Long Beach: Neighborhood connections

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How do you connect with your neighbors? The organization We Love Long Beach has been trying to answer – and promote – that question for several years now. This year one of the ways was with a Citywide Pumpkin Carving and Chili Party, with hosts in 30 different neighborhoods around the city.

We sponsored the one for our neighborhood, La Marina Estates. I used both NextDoor.com and the La Marina Estates Facebook page to get the word out. I supported one of the young neighbors by paying him to distribute 263 flyers to the neighbors. Phone calls, emails and street conversations ensued, showing lots of interest. Signs were put up the week of the event, reminding neighbors to come on over. Pumpkins were donated through We Love Long Beach, as well as others purchased for the event at Pa’s Pumpkin Patch.

On the day of the event, October 25th, we had more than 40 neighbors join us for a couple of hours, with children as young as 2 years old and neighbors well into their 80’s who attended. The turkey chili was a hit, with some toppings and cornbread available. Several neighbors brought desserts to share, many pumpkin themed. Two representatives from the LBPD East division stopped by to tell us about a recent rash of burglaries in the area and how to stay connected, safe, and informed.

Although pumpkins and carving tools were supplied, neighbors also brought their own, taking advantage of my plug “make the mess at our house”. Neighbors shared tales of when they first moved in the neighborhood, back in 1956, with neighbors who moved in 6 months ago. We talked about Long Beach real estate, then and now, about former home owner associations and what we can do moving forward with Community Watch.

All the while, pumpkins were being carved, children were playing and connections were being made. There was even talk about next year’s event, and what else can we do to stay connected. Next up? A Community Watch meeting, which we’ll host at our home. I love living in Long Beach and being part of a thriving neighborhood. How do you connect?

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