essay-contest-email Thanks to the fine writers who participated in the Long Beach Neighborhood Essay Contest.

We received some really amazing stories. It’s been so much fun seeing Long Beach through your eyes and discovering hidden neighborhood gems.

Thanks also to everyone that took the time to read and rate the essays. Approximately 400 votes were cast!

Many of you also joined in by responding individually to the essays — leaving more than 100 comments and inspiring an additional prize for “Most Commented Essay.”

The Top 3 Rated Essays

  1. The Jacarandas of Los Altos Manor
    By Deana Rodriguez: In the mid-1940’s, Lloyd S. Whaley purchased the Los Altos area for development (an area, “bordered by Stearns, Bellflower, Atherton and Clark,” as mentioned on Facebook’s Los Altos Neighbors group page). Whaley’s daughter loved Jacaranda trees…
  2. The Plaza (East LB Suburbs)
    By Mike Guardabascio: My neighborhood doesn’t have the history of Pine, or the memories of the Pike. It doesn’t have the spark of 4th or the posh of 2nd, the grit of the Westside or the glitz of City Hall—but my neighborhood, the Plaza, does have a story.
  3. La Marina Estates: A Great Place to Thrive
    By Katie Larson: 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.

Essay with the Most Comments

  • Wrigley: Cat in the ‘Hood
    By Shilita Montez: The hot cat wails in the morning sun. She lays low to the ground, her legs gone beneath her, her static-charged pelt splayed out about her.
  • The Winners will receive:

    • Grand Prize: Deanna Rodriguez, The Jacarandas of Los Altos, $100 cash and Fern’s Garden — Jacob’s Musical Cascade Chimes ($49.95 value)
    • 2nd Place: Mike Guardabascio, The Plaza (East LB Suburbs), a V.I.P package at Indulgence Day Spa
    • 3rd Place: Katie Larson, La Marina Estates, a V.I.P package at Indulgence Day Spa
    • Most Comments: Shilita Montez, Wrigley: Cat in the ‘Hood, a V.I.P package at Indulgence Day Spa

    Each of the other finalists will receive a $25 gift certificate from one of these Long Beach businesses:

    Read all 15 essays from the Finalists

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    The Sponsors

    The Long Beach Neighborhoods Essay Contest is sponsored by, and paid for in part by grants from Long Beach Community FoundationLeadership Long Beach Connected Corridor Phase II, and Project Oasis.