Universal Love takes over First Fridays in Bixby Knolls

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“Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow go…” or at least the Knolls Ranger will do so on February 5 at the Bixby Knolls First Fridays event. “Universal Love” will be the theme woven throughout the participating venues this month.

First Fridays comes out of holiday hibernation with plenty of art, music, and the opportunity for you to show off your performance skills.

Long Beach’s own Held2Gether will provide the improv troupe for “Tea Room Comedy Night” taking audience suggestions and participation. Stop in at Elise’s Tea Room to enjoy some laughs or you can show us what you’ve got.

While you’re at it, come take the stage at the Back Room Theatre @ Expo where the Long Beach Shakespeare Company will give you the stage for one-minute monologues in anticipation of their opening weekend of The Exonerated.

The Sultans Car Club will flex their car muscles at Melinda McCoy’s Flowers with 10 custom cars ranging from a 1940 Chevy to 1962 Chrysler. Automobile Art and man’s love for his vehicle.

When the businesses start to close, after hours begins at Nino’s Italian Restaurant for community eats, drinks and merriment accompanied by The Sit-Ins creating the fun vibe.

Dine on Art-Lantic Avenue at one of our tasty restaurants then grab the Big Red Bus to be whisked out of the rain and safely from venue to venue on Atlantic Avenue between Bixby Road and San Antonio Drive. (Click through for a complete list of venues!)

Averyboo Arts (3908 Atlantic Ave) [Artist] Whitney Hannah Hill, jewelry designer, will showcase her work and demonstrate how she makes her designs from 6-8pm. http://www.belkaidesigns.com/www.belkaidesigns.com
[Activity] Make a wooden heart pendant necklace for Valentine’s Day for only $2. Adults & kids welcome while supplies last.

Café Bixby and Pizza (3900 Atlantic Ave) [Musician] Omar, renowned pianist, will be playing world music.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (4105 Atlantic Ave) [Philanthropy & Music] It’s all about the “Love for Lending a Helpful Hand”. We are dedicating this First Friday to those who are in need of a helping hand in Haiti. We will be collecting donations from food to clothing to hand off to The Red Cross. We are also opening our floor to four musically talented singers: Mary Denk, country singer from CSULB; Matt Rivera, Jaime Carcamo and Arvi Lapuz from LBCC all sharing their magical voices with you and setting the tone for a great First Friday. Also, enjoy samples of our handcrafted drinks and delicious pastries while supplies last.

Elise’s Tea Room (3924 Atlantic Ave) Got laughter? Tap into your funny bone by joining the Held2Gether for some Improv Comedy. Long Beach’s own will be creating outrageous 3 minute scenes based on your suggestions!

Everyday Zen Relaxation Studio (3740 Atlantic Ave) Bixby Knolls poetess Nancy Johnson; local cookie-baking extraordinaire, Justina Fenton of Shortnin’ Bread; color consultant Sharon Johnston; As always, we will be offering free Reiki, healing and massage sessions.

FreeSpirit Yoga (3910 Atlantic Ave) [Art] Hughes Middle School will proudly display the talent, hard work and dedication of eighth grade students enrolled in Mrs. Joyce Thursby’s Advanced Art classes.

Gallery Expo (4321 Atlantic Ave) [Art] Daniel Quinonez will be exhibiting his work in the Main Room of the EXPO while painting live. Rudy Torres will be featured in the Gallery. [Music] Angel Laurie. www.galleryexpo.net

Historical Society of Long Beach (4260 Atlantic Ave) [Art] Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit entitled: Produce for Victory, Posters from the American Home Front 1941 – 1945. HSLB’s Collection, an exhibit entitled: War, Work & Women: Long Beach in the 1940s and excerpts of David Kelley’s film, Long Days Working Hard; Long Beach During WWII.

Jammin’ Music (3972 Atlantic Ave) [Music] You can’t stop the music at Jammin’ Music, we’ll be showcasing piano, vocal, and guitar students followed by a pro jam featuring Jammin’ Music instructors, surprise guest artists, and audience participation on drums!

L’ Exotique Appeal (3932 Atlantic Ave) [Fashion Artist] Kristin Brady, will be presenting a live art installation with real life models wearing her designs and will have garments on display.

Nino’s Italian Restaurant (3853 Atlantic Ave) [Artist] Joe Devinny [Music] Porter Singletary [After hours music] The Sit Ins

Roy Robbins Gifts & Stationery (4244 Atlantic Ave)[Art] local jewelry designer Vicki Williams. Vintage Vinyl’s collection from Howard Benenson. [Literature] book signing: “The Nightmare Navigator: When Shadows Lurk” by Billy Bonsangue. The book offers a fresh and unique approach to conquering nightmares for children.

Salon Medusa (4232 Atlantic Ave) [Art] Classic movie posters reminiscent of romance and glamour will be on display.

Vangie Ogg Photography & Pixie Toys (3930 Atlantic Ave) {LOVE} is what it’s all about… [Activity] free craft activity for kids: Decorate a Valentine’s Mail Box. Fun Photo Booth: wear something red or pink! Free downloads the next day.

It’s A Grind Coffee House (4245 Atlantic Ave) [Music] Lars & Friends: Piano & Vocal Ensemble 7p-10p

Long Beach Shakespeare Company @ EXPO (4321Atlantic Ave) For the LOVE of theatre….[Activity] open stage monologue night…come and take your one minute shot at a monologue…the stage is yours. Also, tickets will be available for purchase for THE EXONERATED by Jessica Blank & Eric Jensen. (all activities in the backroom theatre)

EXPO (4321 Atlantic Ave) [Art] Live Painting with Cora Ramirez-Vasquez, Ray Vasquez, Alex Rios, Jonathan Bueno, Peter Buchan, Daniel Quinonez, +some.

EJ Malloy’s (4306 Atlantic Ave) [Music] TED Bluegrass.

Milana Jewelry: Gold Party, bring in your gold and get an estimate with an option to sell. Refreshments and possible entertainment/music.

Melinda McCoys Flowers: Car Art! 1957 Chevy, 1956 Chevy, 1964 Riviera, 1938 Chevy, 1962 Chrysler, 1955 Chevy, 1957 Pontiac, 1961 Cadillac, 1957 Cadillac, 1940 Chevy

Long Beach Church of Christ (3707 Atlantic Ave) will open its doors to welcome the community and we will serve free refreshments. We’ll also have a Jumper for the kids and music for all to enjoy.

Georgie’s Place (3850 Atlantic Ave) will be hosting a car show of modern car art.

Additional businesses staying open late offering their hospitalities:

Baba Ghanouj’s Lebanese Restaurant (4276 Atlantic Ave)

Bella Cosa (3803 Atlantic Ave)

AlsaceLorraine(4334 Atlantic Ave)

Marina Mitri Spa (3848 Atlantic Ave)

The Factory (4020 Atlantic Ave)

Coran Interiors (4240 Atlantic Ave)

Eat. Play. Grow. (4228 Atlantic Ave)

District 8 Boutique (4242 Atlantic)

The mission of First Fridays in Bixby Knolls is to promote and support local artists and musicians by providing them with an outlet to showcase their work. Every first Friday night of the month, participating Bixby Knolls businesses will unite to promote local artists and musicians through extended operating hours. In doing so we hope to encourage a dialogue between businesses, artists and the community. For more information, check the First Fridays website www.firstfridayslongbeach.com.

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