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Long Beach Neighborhoods: La Marina Estates

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In 2009 I wrote an essay about the La Marina Estates neighborhood that was featured on the “Everything Long Beach” website. Here’s an updated version of that essay.

Tucked between the CSULB campus and the flood channel, La Marina Estates is an enclave of mid-century tract bungalows fringed on the south by three blocks of large, custom homes. When entering the neighborhood you are impressed with the pride of ownership shown in the many homes that have been renovated and those with beautiful landscaping. What you can’t see right away, what is more a feeling you get when you enter the neighborhood, is the sense of belonging and caring in these 263 homes.

The community of La Marina Estates is filled with every generation and demographic: a few original owners, who have raised their children and grandchildren here, remain. There is a family in their 20’s, just starting out in a rental home, owned by a neighbor down the street. There is the retired college president who participates in one of the neighborhood book clubs, the Buddhist monk who gives Saturday morning mediation classes and the stand-up comedienne; the university art history and math professors, a famous author who has lived in the neighborhood more than 50 years, the fire fighter and the retired actress whose grandsons are famous on the Disney Channel and beyond. A hairstylist who grew up a few blocks away on Bixby Hill works just half a mile away and another neighbor commutes on the Blue Line to downtown LA every day. The retired school librarian gets together with the active city librarian; there is a pet therapist and a VA nurse, a former city manager, many small business owners, sales professionals, marketers, corporate managers, engineers and stay-at-home moms.

Neighbors know not only the names of the many dogs that live here, but their human companions, too. You can hear them greet each other in the evenings, as they go for their walks. The empty-nesters bring in the trash cans of their neighbors who are busy working full time and taxiing their children from school to soccer, tennis, theater rehearsals or water polo. A neighbor in the hospital or a coyote sighting in the neighborhood has the keyboards of La Marina buzzing to get the word out via email or nextdoor.com to the book clubs, the Bunco group, the golf groups and the parents, organizing meal deliveries or making sure small pets are protected. Women in the neighborhood meet monthly to play Bunco and collect an annual donation for local charities. There’s the group of women that meet at 6:30 a.m. every morning a walk before heading off to their jobs. Neighbors embrace the “think globally, act locally” mantra by supporting local charities like the neighborhood schools, Campfire, Cameo, Pathways to Independence, Long Beach Basket Brigade, local church missions and various cancer research organizations.

In the last year the neighborhood has pulled together to form La Marina Estates Community Action, a group that has had a Community Watch meeting, planted 125 trees along Palo Verde and sponsored a Candidate Forum for the 3rd District of the City Council, attended by all 5 candidates. 2014 activities are still in the planning stages.

La Marina Estates is a caring enclave that is as pretty inside as it is outside, another wonderful neighborhood that makes Long Beach a great place to thrive.

Houses do not come up for sale very often in the neighborhood and some of the sales are done privately, off the market. There is almost a waiting list to get in. I am working with buyers who want to move here by knocking on the doors of those houses that fit their wish list. Sometimes there are not any houses for sale. At this moment, there are two. Few people want to leave La Marina Estates.

How may I help you get into the neighborhood of your dreams?

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