Posts Tagged ‘Long Beach’

Kickin’ it with Kapn’ Kula

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Originally used to describe any sort of nautical ne’er-do-well from antiquity, the pirate has made a cultural metamorphosis into the rum-swigging, peg-leg wearing, Jolly Roger flag waving, ill-mannered darling of our collective imaginations.  You can blame the mouse house with their multi-billion dollar movies and “yo-ho-ho”-ing robots in Anaheim if you’d like.  Or the masterful musings of literary icons like J.M. Barrie, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  You could blame Gilbert & Sullivan or Hallowe’en costume companies.  You could even blame that team of bat-and-ball fellers down Pittsburgh way.  But in the end, no matter who the culprit is (what are we going to do to them anyway?  Make them walk the plank?) the fact remains that the booze-stinkin’, lice-ridden, pirate replete with greasy beard, smelly eye hole, and Capn’ Crunch style bicorne hat, is here to stay.  And if said pirates are in everything from Saturday Morning Cartoons to internet memes than you’d better believe that Bixby Knolls, in all it’s splendor, has some too.

Our pirates are none other than Kaptain Ray Kula and his crew of crooning cut-throats!  The good Kaptn. is the front-man of a band that plays on authentic hundred year-old mandolins, accordions, and ukuleles and will throw you a Calypso or Hawaiian beat just to get your attention before growling into a 300 year old shantie about man’s love for manatees.  They play all over the sea’s of Southern CA mind you entertaining in cruise ships, watering holes, and private parties.  They’ve been honored to perform before the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at their 2004 National Conference and alongside the Hollywood elite during Disney’s red carpet premier’s of Pirate’s 2,3, & 4.  They’re also frequent guests to Bixby Knolls and First Fridays, filling the night with their raucous cries and merry music!  With their odd looks and demeanor they fit right in with Bixby’s eclectic crew of characters which includes your’s truly: the official super-hero/greeter/pod-person, Annie the beloved English Bull-dog, the ever-classy Duke and Duchess, and Mike Mora of the beard coalition (we can’t get enough of it!).

I recently sat down with Kaptn. Kula over a delicious Blair’s special pizza at one of my favorite fine dining establishment, Nino’s Italian Restaurant to ask him a few questions about life at sea and what makes him tick.

Knolls Ranger:  Howdy ho Kapn’ Kula!

Kaptn. Kula:  ARRRRR me matey!

Ranger:  What wonderful Nino’s menu item are you devouring today Kaptn.?

Kula:  I’m having the Chicken PARRRRRRmigian.

Ranger:  Heavenly.  Now most people don’t know this about you, but in addition to being a dreaded pirate you are also a fan of the stage, what is one of your favorite plays?

Kula:  I’d have to say ARRRRRsenic and Old Lace.

Ranger:  Hahaha, and your favorite 1970’s folk song?

Kula:  PARRRRRsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme by Simon and GARRRRRRfunkle.

Ranger:  Favorite Greek Mathematician?

Kula:  ARRRRRRRchimedes.

Ranger:  Beloved Don Knotts television character?

Kula:  BARRRRRRRney Fife.

Ranger:  Favorite Tuscany province in Italy?

Kula:  The eastern province of ARRRRRRRRRezzo.

Ranger:  Former Bodybuilding State Governor recently under fire for adulterous child fathering?

Kula:  Listen, do we have to keep doing this?  The ARRRRR jokes?  It’s a little demeaning, I mean I may be a pirate but I’m not just a simple, monosyllabic archetype.

Ranger:  Not just a what?  I’m sorry.

Kula:  An archetype.

Ranger:  Gee, I still couldn’t make that out.  Could you speak up a little.

Kula:  (Sighs) An ARRRRRchetype.

Ranger:  Ohhhhhh, an ARRRRRchetype!  Hehehe, Kula you crazy.

And then we danced

You can catch performances of Kula and his crew coming up at the Fun Draiser birthday show for Alive Theatre company members, Jasper Oliver and Aurea Tomeski on June 10th at The Farm, 555 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, CA, 90802.

Feeling Foolish on a Friday First

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The First Friday of every month, Bixby Knoll’s and it’s manifold businesses are open late and inviting artists to come play!  Truly a unique event in Long Beach First Fridays is second only to the LA Art Walk in scale and magnitude, and it’s growing every month.  What follows is but a mere peek into April’s First Friday!

As a legally ordained minister, I renewed the vows of Wade and Laura Ashley at Melinda McCoy's Flowers

The Potential Lunatics played to stunned street crowds

A Youth from Long Beach Clothing Company wrangles a reptile from Reptile's Unlimited

Khmer dancer's wow audiences at the Long Beach Historical Society

Live Artists find their muse at the Expo Furniture Warehouse

Hua Dancers outisde Hawaiian BBQ Festival

And multiple Elvii (the plural of Elvis) roamed the streets. The one pictured here was the one not on stilts.

Be sure and join us on Atlantic between Del Amo and Wardlow, May 6th from 6 to 10 PM for imporv comedy, jazz musicians, bluegrass, pirate book readings, Marx Brothers film screenings, the ranger’s antics, and more.

March of the Mardi Gras!

Friday, March 4th, 2011

A Mighty Mardi

Greetings and salutations from your favorite community noise-maker, The Knolls Ranger!  (Cue tumultuous fanfare)  Happy to offer a tell all exposé on another successful First Fridays.  In addition to the usual bands of Bohemians, costumed characters and Bixby lovers First Fridays was happy to welcome the Jazz-funk ensemble The Gumbo Brothers who joined me and the neighborhood in a Mardi Gras parade of epic proportions!  We weaved in and out of all of my favorite Bixby businesses before making one last splash to an unsuspecting consortium of consumers in Bixby’s very own Trader Joe’s!  Could we dig it, yes we could.Parading with the Neighborhood

The Gumbo Brothers Serenade Trader Joe's

The Gumbo Brothers Serenade Trader Joe's

Make Way for Tuba!

The Potential Lunatics & I

3 Year old Maise Debeck makes a Mardi Gras mask at Averyboo Arts

Connie Hope takes a trip with Lewis Anderson's infinite mirror box dsplay at the Expo Furniture Warehouse

The First Friday of every month finds us taking the streets of Bixby Knolls in unadulterated majesty, celebrating life, art, and discount slices at Porky’s Pizza!  Hope to see you next month!  Huzzah! Photo’s courtesy of Daniel DeBoom and 562 City Life.

The Ranger Models!

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

A Ranger Ready for the Runway

The sound waves buzz with the whirr and click of a million hungry cameras raving for captured souls, the runway is slick with the glandular unrest of the other models, my own nerves swim within my skull in artful synchronized patterns of beauty.  “You can do this champ,” I affirm firmly.  I step out onto the runway wearing my Boyer, Taper, and Weingart designer duds, shamble forward like a sultry simian, and strike a pose…

Or something like that.

Truth is I was tickled pink, purple, and a whole lotta other colors too, that I was invited by the legendary Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster to model for their weekly Catalyst (no, not THAT catalyst) art classes.  I struck my contraposto, I did my best interpretation of a bowl of fruit, and I inspired local Westminster artists with the ranger form.

Now granted, the Art Supply Warehouse is a fair distance outside of Bixby Knolls, but this may be one of those rare places outside of beauteous Bixby that’s worth your attention!

Not only does the Art Supply Warehouse provide good deals on pastels and hobby brushes, but their Catalyst location (just a few doors down!) has regular gallery hangings, and life drawing sessions every Wednesday and Sunday night!  They’re also doing something for the month of April with those bulbous headed, opaque Munny characters you’ve seen in skate shops and art magazines!  Check back here for more info!  And check out these sweet pics of the ranger getting his portrait done!  Yeee-ha!

Displaying my Good Side

Displaying my Good Side

Stretching out the hammies

Stretching out the hammies

A Ranger's Many Looks

A Ranger's Many Looks

Sweepy Time

Sweepy Time

The Art Supply Warehouse is located at 6672 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683. And their Catalyst space is less than a block away at 6630 Westminster Blvd. Call 714-891-3626, or e-mail them at catalyst@artsupplywarehouse.com for information on their Munny contest or registration for classes like the one the ranger modeled for.

A Felicitous First Friday For February

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Epidermis Canvas on display at LB Clothing Co.

Like the energy conserving metabolic depression that occurs in hibernating woodland mammals, First Fridays needs an occasional bit of repose to strike back fresh and re-invigorated.  And strike back they did!  After taking January off in order to digest December’s figgy puddin’, First Fridays was a veritable  galestorm of energy, art, passion, and community engagement on Feb. 4th!

Of course, yours truly, the Knolls Ranger was there all decked out in my cherubic finest!  I was launching wayward love arrows into the Bixby breeze and arresting the hearts of the neighborhood with thoughts of romance and bonhomie!  Yee-haw!

Watch out Vangie Ogg, cupid's arrow's comin' for you!

I spotted some of my very favorite Long Beach citizens such as Evan Kelly of LB Creative, and Logan Crow of Mondo Celluloid.

Evan Kelly and Logan Crow:  Friends to the End

The Poly bunnies
were seen in the Long Beach Historical Society and the Long Beach Clothing Company where they were enjoying the hip hop music.  You get it?!  Hip Hop?!  Because they’re bunnies!  Hahahahahahahaha!  Wooooh!….I slay me.

Polytechnic High School, they don't cotton much to bad puns

There were four different jazz bands playing in locations as diverse as Georgie’s Place, It’s a Grind Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, & the BKBIA office!

Blow daddy blow!

And for those who liked things a little more experimental, Sander Wolff and co. were turning heads and blowing minds with their systems-based improvisation immersion sound art in a former furniture expo.  Say that five times fast!

Drones so good

And for you shop-o-holics there was baked goodies, crafts, chocolatey things, live art and more made fresh by local artisans included these super swell Dia de Los Muertos style skull pillows from Belleza Muerta!  Death never felt so cushy.

Death never felt so cushy

One of the craziest sights of the evening was the window display at Long Beach Clothing Company where my commander-in-chief, Blair Cohn, and local contest winner Somatra Sean got public tattoos!  Ouch!

Blair Cohn gets Inked at Long Beach Clothing Company

In addition to all that there were improv actors, jewelry designers, doggies from the LB animal care unit, city council members, Tarot card readers, punk rockers, mandolin crooners, classic cars, and Hawaii Hula dancers!  Truly a bohemian experience!  For those of you who feel left out by all the fun, fear not!  For First Fridays will be back next month on March 4th from 6 to ten pm on the Atlantic Cooridor between Wardlow and Del Amo!  See you there Bixby Buckaroos!  Peace out.

Straight up Bixby y'all

Photos courtesy of Vangie Ogg, 562 City Life, and Daniel DeBoom.

First Friday Fun Around the Corner!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
City Councilmembers' Rae Gabelich & James Johnson of the 8th and 7th districts share a special moment with BMX founder Scott Breithaupt and Mayor Bob Foster at the last Friday First

City Councilmembers' Rae Gabelich & James Johnson of the 8th and 7th districts share a special moment with BMX founder Scott Breithaupt and Mayor Bob Foster at the last Friday First

Yippi Kai Yay Bixby Boomers!  It’s your old pal and eponymous blogger of thissy here website,  The Knolls Ranger!  (cue tumultuous fanfare)

Knolls Ranger: Lover

Knolls Ranger: Lover

And boy george, am I ever excited right now!  “Why is that?” you respond with obligatory interest.  Because dear internet chum, another First Friday is soon to be upon us.

First Friday:  A Hat-Swappin' Good Time For Everyone!

First Friday: A Hat-Swappin' Good Time For Everyone!

“Holy Cats!”  Come the cries from the other ends of screens snaking infinitely outwards from within the nebula that is the information superhighway, “You really mean it Knolls Ranger!  You mean that my beloved Bixby Knolls (located just North of the 405 around the Cal heights region of Long Beach) is gearing up for another one of their slam-dunk epochal arts and community events lovingly dubbed First Fridays wherein there will undoubtedly be potent potables, merry-making musicians, live art, and colorful characters!”

To which we at Knolls Ranger Dot Com, nod once, close both eyes contentedly and utter our favorite word, “Yes.”*

Hooray!

Hooray!

Last month’s First Friday was a palpable potpourri of community engagement and artistic expression.  Our wonderful Mayor Bob Foster showed up at the Dana Branch Public Library with City Councilmember James Johnson to crack-wise with the kids and impart valuable lessons on the import of reading.

De Mayor und Ich

De Mayor und Ich

Tiny tots gettin' their learnin' on!

Tiny tots gettin' their learnin' on!

A bunch of roving bands took to the streets like bohemian buskers playing everything from smooth jazz to death metal.

Much Merriement

Much Merriement

Drumming and dancing!  Looks like community engagement to me!

Drumming and dancing! Looks like community engagement to me!

There was lot’s of live painting from local practicing artistes!

Don't.  Move.  A Muscle.

Scott Breithaupt, the founding father of BMX bikes was on hand at the Expo Furniture Warehouse for their display of 40 Years of BMX History.  Which featured classic collector bikes, old jersies, National Champion Trophies, and historical clippings.

Bicycle Moto Cross got it's start in Long Beach after all.

Bicycle Moto Cross got it's start in Long Beach after all.

And I was of course there to see, taste, experience, and document it all!

Check out my 180 Barspin Y'all!

Check out my 180 Barspin Y'all!

So the question is, how do we match it this month?  Can lightning strike the same place twice even though conventional logic stubbornly maintains it cannot.  Well; with a tree and Menorah lightning ceremony, Christmas carolers, rock-a-billy rovers, the eagerly anticipated return of the Long Beach Clothing Company, and special appearances by both Kris Kringle and Harry Potter; it certainly seems like it will.

Some Special Guests to Bixby Knolls

Some Special Guests to Bixby Knolls

* Here is a partial list of other words we very much like: Shin-dig, hootenanny, lugubrious, and cheese-wheel.  Thank you for your time.

Introducing… The Naples Superhero!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Naples Island

Your local Bixby Knolls superhero, The Knolls Ranger, has long known he wasn’t the only civic minded masked man in existence.  That in fact, his own frenetic heroicity was merely one consumation of a great taciturn tradition of REAL PEOPLE ducking furtively into alleyways and phone booths with garish capes and tights in hand, in order that they might do their own community some greater good.  (And make a really stunning fashion statement holus bolus).

In the past we at Knollsranger.com have sought to build public awareness of the existence of these fashionable philanthropists.  Introducing you blog-smiths to the likes of Captain Prospect and his Capital City Supersquad, Terriffica, Angel-Grinder Man, and more!  But when it came to LBC heroing the ranger thought he’d cornered the market as the old bears and bulls say.  After all, Captain Prospect is kickin’ it old skool in DC, Terriffica hangs her cape in New York, and Angle-Grinder Man is a vigilante Londoner for Kee-ripes sake!

It wasn’t until a mysterious letter was Fed Exed to the Bixby Knolls Business Office that the ranger realized not only the error in his ways, but just how capacious the hero racket had become!

Ladies and Gentlemen we bring you:  The Naples Super-hero!

An unheralded letter

Disregard the spelling snafu’s this my friends is evidence of another hero in our midst!  But who is the Naples Superhero who both writes and signs his name as simply Superhero and what are his intentions?  Is the letter meant to be received as a call for collaboration or a challenge of super-hero dominance?  Could the “grate” Mr. Huntington in fact be the late Samuel Huntington?  And if so does that mean the former Political Scientist had faked his own demise in ’08, or that he is an undead zombie?

This letter, which is noteworthy for it’s brevity as well as it’s typographical errors offers no indication.  And the accompanying photo of he and former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neil raises more questions and relieves no answers.

Beverly O'Neil and Super-hero

Naples Superhero, if you read this, know that we received your letter and are very interested in meeting up with you to discuss future collaborations.  Might you by chance be able to attend the next Bixby Knolls First Friday?  If not, then we will continue to keep our eyes peeled for a man dressed like Mark Twain.

Brenda’s Hair By Design: A Great Place for Snips and Clips

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Too much hair!

“Holy heretic javelinas hissing handsomely! I need some hair help!” Cried the Ranger on a particularly pleasant June morning. Being un-accustomed to human grooming habits however (remember the Knolls Ranger is half pod person and has slept away the better part of 50 years in a fruit crate) he found himself at a loss for the best way to rectify his rapidly regenerating follicles.

“I can’t be in want of a cut,” he reasoned, “The good Gorgon gals over at Salon Medusa just snipped my stuff last January. Is this a result of my plant genes? Am I converting carbon dioxide into organic compounds too rapidly? Should I stay out of the sun or water myself at less frequent intervals?”

Thoughts of vegetation reminded the ranger of Natalie Gutenkauf and The Factory Gastro-bar, whose mission is to constantly serve the finest freshest food from free-range beasts to community veggies! Perhaps she might know a bit about proper pruning techniques. So he rushed over to 4020 Atlantic Avenue to assimilate her knowledge base!

Natalie Gutenkauf knows vegetables

Natalie Gutenkauf knows vegetables

After having a chat or three with the local neighbors, the ranger saddled up to the bar and asked the hard hitting questions.

“Greetings meal merchants! The Knolls Ranger here, champion of Bixby!”

“Hey guy, still wearing the cowboy get-up huh?”

“Indeed, let me ask you local business-peoples a question. You and Ms. Gutenkauf seem to know a great deal about produce, correct?”

“Sure Will Rogers, whatever you say.”

“Terrific, well my foliage is getting a bit funky.”

“Sounds like a personal problem to me.”

“What I mean to say is, I think I’m in need of pruning.”

“I think you’re in need of a CAT scan myself, but being as this is a modestly priced, gourmet food and bar and not a doctor’s office, the best I can offer you is a rib eye sandwich with crispy baked onions, roasted red peppers, le leyenda, and horseradish mayo on a french roll.”

“The Longfellow Legacy Sandwich?”

“That’s the one.”

“By Jonah you’re onto something! What does a sandwich do? Hold things together! And what needs holding together the most right now? Our human legacy in the face of planetary unrest! And who holds the key to our continued legacy? The children! The children of Longfellow Elementary School! They’ll know what to do about my hair!”

And before you could say, “You owe me still for that Sarsaparilla.” the ranger was out the door, running down the Atlantic Cooridor as fast as a mouse at Christmas! (Which is quite fast, for the record)

The Fastest Creature in the Land

The Fastest Creature in the Land

And a mere forty five.8 seconds later, (not including a five minute gatorade break at the ampm) The Knolls Ranger crashed through the pastoral entrance to Longfellow Elementary at 3800 North Olive avenue and immediately set about addressing all the children he saw.

“Children, kid’s, young people.  Lend me your ears!”

“Eeeeeww, I can’t take my ear off.”  Said one little girl and clutched her hands to her face adorably.

“You’re silly.”  Said a boy of six beaming and bouncing around.

“I guess that’s right.”  The ranger warranted after some reflection, “You would be unable to part with this extremity.”

Everybody laughed.

“But you are the hope for the future, and it is your creative energy and foresight that I throw myself at the mercy of now! What, oh what, future world leaders, do human people do about their hairs!”

“You’re a weirdo!” A boy of five exclaimed, climbing onto a desk, pointing his finger towards the ranger, and grinning ecstatically.

“You smell like fish.” Chimed in another precocious tot.

This caused the whole lot of them to begin chanting, “Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish.” And jumping up and down.

Mistaking their fun frolics for oracular crypticness  the ranger at once departed, heading for the fishiest North Long Beach shop he could think of, H. Salt Fish and Chips at 3545 Atlantic Avenue.

H Salt Fish and Chips

But no sooner had his gold boots touched down upon the hallowed grounds of H. Salt when the ranger heard the fry cook bragging about a settlement his cousin Tony’d just received, in the sum of 2,000 dollars.

“I tell ya, Maurice.  Tony had it right, you want something in this world you gotta sue ta get it.  It’s dog eat dog eat dog out there you know.  Tony had it right.”

“Excuse me brave fish mongers!  But a sue, what is this?  Besides a popular ladie’s name in southern rural areas.”

“Aaaaw, kee-ripes it’s that hero kid again.”

“Might you by chance help me with my folicle frenzy?”

“Listen ranger, you want your usual hush puppy salad or what?”

“I would like to know the definition of a sue.”

“Kee-ripes Maurice would ya get a load of the ranger?!  Alright kid listen, when something in this world don’t go your way often the only resource ya got left to ya is to sue and bleed the other guy dry.  You find yourself a lawyer, and you sue.”

“Thank you ever so much dear friend.  I will never forget this kindness you have bestowed upon me.”  Proclaimed the Knolls Ranger clasping the fry man’s hand in a symbol of good will and rushing out the door.

Catching a bus to find a lawyer

Catching a bus to find a lawyer

“What the heck was that?”  Maurice asked, mid bite into a vinegar soaked cod.

“Oh, he’s like some local mascot superhero thing.”

“Like Batman?”

“Well he ain’t got the batmobile and I never seen him fight no crime, but yeah, I guess, sorta like Batman.”

“Kee-ripes Murray, who’da thunk?  Bixby Knolls gots it’s own Batman.”

“Yeah, that’s right.  The Bixby Batman.  Hey listen, you want fry’s with that fish?”

Meanwhile back on the ranger trail, our hero was reading up on lot’s of influential court cases at The Dana Neighborhood Library.

The Dana Neighborhood Library

“Roe v. Wade, court rules in favor of Wade.  Brown v. Board of Education, court rules in favor of Brown.  King Kong v. Godzilla, court rules in favor of Mothra.  Wow, that’s an ironic twist.”

Thus, sufficiently prepared, the ranger trekked over to the law offices of Larry H. Parker on 350 San Antonio Drive, determined to win a lawsuit in the case of The Knolls Ranger v. The Knolls Ranger’s Hair.

The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker

“Larry baby.”  The ranger said as he sauntered into the door, attempting to walk the walk and talk the talk,  “You gotta help me out.  It wasn’t me man, I swear.”

“The Knolls Ranger, what a pleasant surprise,” said the celebrated personal injuries lawyer rising from his chair and shaking the hero’s gloved hand.  “It was so nice to see you at Il Poggio at the last first friday.”

“Mmmm hmmm, mmm hmmm, I understand where you’re coming from Lar, but this isn’t just a rights to privacy issue, this is a human issue.”  The ranger said, trying in vain to utilize the lawyer rhetoric he had just recently memorized.

Larry H. Parker scrunched up his brow, and his face frowned slightly.  “I’m not sure that I follow you Mr. Ranger.”

“If the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit.”

“Did you come to me seeking some sort of legal advice pertaining to a personal injury.  Say, a dog bite, or a motorcycle accident?”

To this the Knolls Ranger collapsed into a chair, weary from his travels and sweating under the weight of his massive head growth.

“No Mr. Parker, it’s my hair.  I’d like to take action against my hair.  It grows too fast you see.”

“Ah, I see. Well I’m afraid that’s not entirely my area of expertise. As far as I’m aware no legal action can be taken against rampant hair, this is just something human mammals have to deal with. But there are always barber shops and hair salons. And it can be quite fun getting your hair sculpted in a new and interesting way. Personally I would advise you to visit Brenda Gutierrez right over here on 4144 Business Street, she’s been in the business for over 20 years and crops mops with a smile.”

To this The Knolls Ranger brightened visibly, sprung from the chair, embrace the people’s lawyer, and took off.

Brenda's Hair By Design

Well after all that trouble, a mere twenty minutes was all it took to weed the ranger’s head back to a presentable shape.  True to the lawyer’s word Brenda delivered professional quality barber service with a huge smile.  The locals in the shop were interested in the goings on of the world and discussed with the ranger at length everything from local policies to the ancient city of Petra.

Brenda, formerly a soldier in the US army, and a welder for the Long Beach naval shipyard, has been specializing in men’s hair for well over twenty years.   She’s trimmed, shaved, and clipped in Hollydale and Gardena but has been practicing right here in Bixby Knolls (where she grew up) for the longest amount of time.

Help me Brenda!

That's what I call satisfaction

Can't Expose the Secret Identity

All done!

The service was excellent and I would highly recommend it to anyone with rampant follicles like myself. Brenda’s Hair Design for Men is located at 4144 Business Street in Bixby Knolls (between San Antonio Drive and Carson Street). Walk in or call ahead at (562) 997- 8700

Introducing…The Knolls Kegger!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Two Rangers?!

Hot hopping horned toads of Havana, the Ranger had a wonderful Wednesday!  It all started at 7 PM over at The Factory Gastrobar where residents of Bixby Knolls, local congressmen, and business leaders all gathered to talk bikes and sip brews!

The Ranger as Beer Keg

Bixby’s favorite music man, DJ Neon Hunter played the party hits we all wanted to here and Long Beach City Mobility Coordinator Charlie Gandy outlined his plans for transforming Long Beach into “the most bike friendly city in the United States.”  Yowza!

Gandy and the Ranger!

These plans included using $17 million in federal and state grants to improve the bike system in the city and painting twenty new miles of bikes lanes on all your favorite streets!  Also on the docket was the value of incentives to local cyclists such as the Lunch Breaks for Cyclists system already in place wherein bikers receive meal discounts from a plethora of Long Beach eateries for lunch on the first Friday of every month, including Bixby businesses like Nino’s Italian Restaurant!  (And speaking of First Fridays, please do click here to get in the know’lls)Bike Racks at High Schools!

Natalie of the Factory kept her patrons well fed during this Happy Hour of two-wheeled delight with the Gastrobar’s usual assortment of excellent free-range meats and organic vegetables!  And the New Belgium Brewing Company showed up with their own ranger to promote and serve their new brew: Ranger IPA!  Yee-ha!  I donned my beer keg duds for the special occasion!  We rangers need to stay together you know!

John Royce, Jim Hanson, The Beer Ranger, The Knolls Ranger, and Kim Peterson's Progeny all listen intently.

John Royce, Jim Hanson, The Beer Ranger, The Knolls Ranger, and Kim Peterson's Progeny all listen intently.

Only in Long Beach would you find a melding of minds this exciting and progressive!  And only in Long Beach would they be both discussing and actually enacting change on this large level.  It makes me proud to be a ranger.  Later that night The Factory continued the party with their weekly Wednesday open mic night!  Check them out at 4020 Atlantic Avenue, or call ahead for great bites: (562) 595-4020.