Areas to Avoid / Crime, Long Beach
Be forewarned about what you may read into the understanding of Long Beach. Don't get the impression that it is completely a ghetto city! As a young woman who comes here frequently, I have felt fine here- without carrying a weapon!
Long Beach has just as much appeal in being a fun and unique town like Hollywood. Also, L.B. rivals the beach life of Santa Monica and Orange County's Huntington Beach.
There are really two sides of Long Beach as seen by those knowledgeable of the city. It is a paradise and a kind of hell all in one. What's delightful in L.B. is the beach view, as well as the downtown charm that is growing. That which is hellish of course is the typical big city predictament of pollution- not just environmental but that of human crimes and tough ghetto life.
Generally, the places to avoid in Long Beach are towards the north-east, by the border of Los Angeles. Though, riding on the Metro through here is not so bad and is a very good way to get to the better part of L.B. for both locals and those visiting L.A. as a major destination spot.
So, yes, there are some rough neighborhoods here but as a tourist, one usually stays clear of the really bad parts by visiting major tourist points of interests like the Queen Mary, Shoreline Village, the main beach area, The Pike, Belmont Shore and Naples.
GANGS, MURDERS, VANDALISM - ECONOMY HAS TAKEN A TOLL ON THIS CITY AND SECTION 8 WAITING LIST IS CLOSED. THEY FINGERPRINT HERE FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, SO CRIMINALS ARE HAVING A HARDER TIME. BEWARE OF THE FRIENDLY PEOPLE WHOM TRY TO TALK TO YOU AT THE STORES AND RESTAURANTS FOR MONEY BECAUSE THEY MAY ACTUALLY BE A CRIMINAL UNABLE TO QUALIFY FOR HELP BECAUSE OF THEIR ACTIONS. MOST DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING TOO.
I REALIZED A LOT OF ONCE DECENT PEOPLE ARE NOW HOMELESS AND THE YOUNG FOLKS SEEK AN OUTLET. NAIL EVERYTHING DOWN, LOCK UP EVERYTHING. LIVE LIKE THE WAGON DAYS, EVERYONE MUST PULL TOGETHER AND IF IT SOUNDS OR LOOK SUSPICIOUS, CALL THE POLICE. DO NOT TRY TO HANDLE IT YOURSELF BECAUSE IT WILL ONLY ESCALATE AND YOU COULD BE A VICTIM.
RENT IS HIGH, NOW THEY WANT TO INCREASE THE UTILITIES AND THIS WILL ONLY IMPOUND THE HARDSHIPS OF MANY. IF YOU HAVE EVER SEEN ANIMAL HOUSE AND BEEN TO EAST ST. LOUIS YOU WILL SEE IT IS POSSIBLE TO END UP LIKE THAT. NO POLICE, TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND STREET LIGHTS DO NOT WORK AND IT IS A GHOST TOWN. WHAT A SHAME.
SEE CHAIN OF EVENTS AND SIMILARITY - READ BELOW ABOUT EAST ST LOUIS
The city was dramatically affected by mid-century deindustrialization and railroad restructuring. As a number of local factories began to close because of changes in industry, the railroad and meatpacking industries also were cutting back and moving jobs out of the region. This led to a precipitous loss of working and middle-class jobs. The city's financial conditions deteriorated. Elected in 1951, Mayor Alvin Fields tried funding measures that resulted in raising the city's bonded indebtedness and the property tax rate. More businesses closed as workers left the area to seek jobs in other regions. Crime increased as a result of poverty and lack of opportunities. Brownfields, areas with environmental contamination by heavy industry, make redevelopment more difficult and expensive.
Street gangs appeared in city neighborhoods. Like other cities with endemic problems by the 1960s, East St. Louis suffered riots in the latter part of the decade. In September 1967, rioting occurred in the city's South End and the following summer there were some sniping attacks. The violence added to residential mistrust and adversely affected the downtown retail base and the city's income.
The construction of freeways also contributed to East St. Louis' decline, as they cut through and broke up functioning neighborhoods and community networks. The freeways made it easier for residents to commute back and forth from suburban homes, so more people moved out to newer housing. East St. Louis adopted a number of programs to try to reverse decline — the Model Cities program, the Concentrated Employment Program and Operation Breakthrough. The programs were not enough to offset the industrial restructuring.
In 1971, James Williams was elected as the city's first black mayor. Faced with the overwhelming economic problems, he was unable to make much of a difference. By the election of Carl Officer as mayor (the youngest in the country at that time at age 25) in 1979, many said the city had nowhere to go but up, yet things grew worse. Middle-class whites and blacks left the city. People who could get jobs simply went to where there was work and a decent quality of life. Because the city had been obliged to cut back on maintenance, sewers failed and garbage pickup ceased. Police cars and radios stopped working. The East St. Louis Fire Department went on strike in the 1970s.
In the 1980s the state imposed a financial advisory board to manage the city in exchange for a financial bailout. State legislative approval in 1990 of riverboat gambling and the installation of the Casino Queen riverboat casino provided the first new source of income for the city in nearly 30 years. In 1991 Gordon Bush was elected mayor.
During the last decade, the city has completed several redevelopment projects: in 2001 it opened a new library and built a new city hall. Public-private partnerships have resulted in a variety of new retail developments, housing initiatives, and the St. Louis Metrolink light rail, which have sparked renewal. Some observers have questioned whether access to the Metrolink from the East Side has increased crime in the Saint Louis Metro Area.
The city, now small in terms of population, has drastic urban blight. Sections of "urban prairie" can be found where vacant buildings have been torn down and whole blocks became overgrown with vegetation. Much of the territory surrounding the city remains undeveloped, bypassed for growth in more affluent suburban areas. Many old, "inner city" neighborhoods abut large swaths of corn and soybean fields or otherwise vacant land. In addition to agricultural uses, a number of truck stops, strip clubs, and semi-rural businesses surround blighted areas in the city.
In 2010 the East St Louis community gardening movement began to develop plots for "urban farming", as has been done in North St. Louis. Inspired by Detroit's planned use of vacant land for green development, community associations, nonprofits and universities collaborated to spark green development in East St Louis.
Everyone's other posts seem paranoid. Yes, avoid the beach water at all costs; no one that is native to Long Beach EVER goes in the water (we know better). Head south down PCH (pacific coast highway) to seal beach or huntington if you want to swim. The Wrigley area (the wriggs) on the west is dangerous [high auto theft & crime also seen on Bait Car]. I can honestly tell you many people living on the west of Pacific are criminals or ex convicts. North Long Beach itself is a no no (definitely at night) so once you've hit north of del amo either keep going until you hop on the 91 or U-turn but do not stop there or walk around. The first 3/4 blocks by the beach are always fine but after that it gets really sketchy. Don't make yourself a victim! Don't flash money or valuables and don't talk to any questionable people. Long Beach police also don't like to follow up on crime reports so if something happens to you you're basically screwed and on your own. Signal Hill is really nice and so is Lakewood, however the Lakewood mall is not the best mall to shop so you might want to go east on south st until you hit the Cerritos Mall. Bixby Knolls is one of the best neighborhoods (Long Beach Blvd -Orange Ave, 36th-San Antonio areas), also near the Virginia Country Club, Naples and Belmont Shore (2nd & broadway-2nd & PCH). You can never go wrong on 2nd street (bars, restaurants, boutiques). The best movie theatre is the Edward Cinema 26 at the Long Beach town center which also has a big food court and restaurants (Islands, Lucille's, El Toritos) or the Marina Pacifica which is AMC and has some food restaurants nearby (Hoffs Hut, In N Out, Tantalum, Joe's Crab Shack, Ruby's, etc.). PCH (pacific coast highway) is known for it's hookers, pimps, and crime so I wouldn't suggest strolling down it at night. The traffic circle (PCH and Ximeno area) is pretty nice with its small little shopping center with Chipotle, In n Out, Panda Express, and our only Krispy Kreme (they stopped making fresh donuts though). The Pike and Shoreline Village are other areas to check out (the aquarium, the lighthouse, Hooters, etc) however I wouldn't suggest watching a movie at their theatre, it gets pretty ghetto in there.
OK--I'd say the worst part of LB is bounded by Cherry on the east, PCH on the north, 7th street on the south, and the Los Angeles River on the west. Very grimy and gritty, although pretty interesting part of town--lots of Cambodians, good eats. Low income, no doubt. North Long Beach is overrated for crime. It's very residential, and it's probably the minority-ness of this part of town (Mexican/Black primarily) that turns off the Caucasians among us. Also, it's lower middle class and there are no big shopping centers in NLB. West LB is a bit gritty (thinking west of the LA River here), quite industrial, lower middle class, but generally it's citizens that live there. Again, there's not a lot of shopping/tourist attractions, and you're getting toward the port and Wilmington, so it's not really aesthetically pleasing, let's say.
Long story, short, Long Beach is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, and I think that's where the "ghetto" impression comes from, frankly. That said, I know LB is not Brentwood or Laguna Beach, but it really is a lovely city with beautiful weather, down-to-earth people, and is centrally located between LA and OC
My mom used to ride the RTD (now called the Metro bus service) from Hawthorne to CSULB (Cal State Long Beach), one of the best California State Universities. She said she never carried a purse. She said an young woman once advised her to carry a knife with her if she was going to ride that route regularly.
I'm not sure if the bus ride is still dangerous (my mom went to school in the late 1980s). My mom, even though she is mentally tough, is one of the most delicate people I know, and she never got robbed or mugged. But, the fact that she was advised to carry a knife is scarry. My mom never did carry a knife to school and it goes to show that even the most delicate lady can be tough.
SInce RTD has merged with Metro, there is a very modern rail system that goes from L.A. to Long Beach, the Metro Link Blue Line.
Living in a beach community should be picture perfect. Not if you reside on the west side of long Beach. Particularly on West 9th Street between Chestnut and Cedar. If you like dog owners who allow their dogs to roam the streets freely, dog poop left in the common areas, chicken bones and other trash lying around, flies, m-80's all year round, drug deals, bipolar and mentally ill neighbors - than West 9th Street is for you. We carry bear mace and a stun baton every time we go out. My landlord told me that this was a "transitional neighborhood". I guess you could say it is a short transition to imprisonment. Do not go to the west side of L.B. Limit your travels to the east side only if you would like to remain living.
In response to a prior post about moving to the 1000 E Ocean Bl area:
I'm a Long Beach realtor and a 35 year resident. Was just recently looking at condos on Ocean for friends who want to buy. The downtown area is a popular area if you can afford it. I just learned that 2 new condo buildings are going to be built at Ocean and Alamitos, which will likely increase property values. You can't beat being very close to the water too!
North Long Beach and West Long Beach are considered high crime areas and are canvassed with seedy motels and hotels. Take care to ensure that your hotel is located in a safer area. Your safety is worth the few extra dollars.
Anything North of 7th Street is not safe. Stay away from the West side of the 710 Freeway also. You may not get rolled but it is an industrial area with no amenities and very few people. Not well lit either.
Please be careful and alert. The usual safety precautions should suffice. Some parts of this city at night can be deemed dangerous. Really. For female tourists/travelers, DO NOT walk around alone at night.
Do NOT venture away more than 7 blocks from the beach (stay south of 7th Street) because from thereon, the neighborhood gets a little tougher. All the cute little areas (sections) are pretty close to the water.
i'm a 19 year old girl, and i grew up in long beach. i visited not too long ago and i noticed there were actually bullet marks on the glass at Cherry Ave Liquor, so it's probably a good idea to avoid stopping on cherry. this is where most Cambodian gang activity goes on, and while it's unlikely for a tourist to get caught up in gang scuffles, cherry avenue simply isn't worth the risk, no matter how small that risk may be. all cherry is is a long stretch of liquor stores anyway. and also, what they say about north long beach is true, definitely more dangerous then the south side. still not south central, but too close too Compton for most people's comfort.
This is an area to avoid and it is criminal! when we walked along the beach, we seen a massive road all the way along it, we thought it was odd and wondered what it was about. When we got down there, we realised why... There was massive signs everywhere saying that humans shuld stay out of the sea because they pump that much sewage into it that the sea contains toxins and poisons that can cause... death! There was still people in the sand and goign upto the shoreline, but I can tell you now, after what I spotted on the beach I got off the beach as soon as I could.
It was a shame as the areas that we passed through of this town seemed really nice... The beach lets the area down.
I can not believe how long it is taking the Long Beach Police, too arrest and detain the individual responsible for physically attacking, beating and raping this disabled person as well as other women within this area. Its very heartbreaking and too know that not only have these incidents have not been published in the Press-telegram, this attacker continues too roam free and other women have been victims as well really disturbs myself and their family.
I'm thinking of relocating to Long Beach from down south and was thinking of taking up residency around 1000 East Ocean Blvd, would greatly appreciate if someone could shed some light on the crime profile of that area.