By Ina and Mike Levin
One of our favorite routes walking in the Heights is 5th and 6th Street from Ximeno to Loma Avenues. If you walk out one street and back on the other, it is about 1.2 miles—perfect for a leisurely stroll in the afternoon or early evening. It is completely residential without one stoplight. (However, do be careful crossing streets, especially on 6th as you look for cars coming around the traffic circles.) The two streets are amazingly flat considering that
they are part of the Belmont Heights Historic District. If you are starting the walk on Ximeno, be sure to see the three-story mural on the apartment house on the East side of the street at 5th.
You’ll walk in a beautiful and cohesive neighborhood with many Craftsman-inspired, Spanish and Mission-style residences. We guess that at least 40% date back more than 100 years. It is a Long Beach area that obviously prides itself on history. While there is renovation, new construction is rare. Your attention will be drawn to the front porches—a feature that, we feel, makes a house a ‘home.’ Try counting all the rocking and Adirondack chairs, gliders and swings! During Halloween and Christmas seasons, many porches are colorfully and cleverly decorated.
Enjoy the many tall, mature trees that shade the sidewalk. Those of you who can recognize species will be amazed at the variety. There must be five or six different palms alone. Because of these trees, this route is a good one to take on warm summer days. Many of the grounds have undergone lawn-to-garden renovations. You might get some good ideas for changes to your yard. Check out the crafty mailboxes along the curbs. Some match the architecture of ‘their’ houses. And there are two or three little libraries along the way with a good stock of adult and children’s books.
Do you have a favorite walk in the Heights? Let us know what you would like us to cover in our column.