Rose Park is Coming Up Roses

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By Daniel Brezenoff

A simple circular park is the perfect symbolic center of one of the most diverse, attractive, and exciting neighborhoods in the world – Rose park. From the historic craftsman and Spanish-style bungalows, to the endless ethnic cuisine and funky thrift stores at its edge; from the creative-class twenty-somethings newly arriving to the long-time families who have remained through thick and thin, this enclave of every race, religion and class continues to grow and offers everything an urbanite could want – food, art, community, green space, history, diversity, and easy access to every part of the city.

The Park itself is a constant sanctuary for teenagers, parents with children, locals and visitors – a quiet oasis just blocks from dense urbanity but itself suburban in appearance and pace. Bicycles, dogs, soccer balls, and books are the typical accessories. Musicians appear and share their art with whomever happens by. Naps are unavoidable. Friends old and new encounter each other on the shady grass or in the quaint gazebo, surrounded by architectural treasures, and built with plans found in an old drawer of our very own City Councilwoman’s stunning home across the street.

Time was, this neighborhood was shunned by all but the most daring city-dwellers, but a rejuvenation has taken place over the last decade, providing a model of urban renewal and creating a uniquely Long Beach circumstance: The best of city life, but with backyards, quiet side-streets, and tall trees trying to convince you that this is just a small town. And it feels like one, because it’s easy to know your neighbors, and easy to smile at the neighbors you don’t know…yet.

How can you not smile when you live here?

There are sections that struggle, but with patience and love of place we can be sure everything will come up roses.


2 Responses to “Rose Park is Coming Up Roses”
  1. Fab, lovely and he says is all so graciously. Thank you.

  2. Wasn’t there a movement in the early 90s to make every neighborhood like Rose Park? If only …