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  • I made a mad dash to the Long Island Railroad to catch a train bound for Long Beach. I'm not sure why it took me so long to find my way to the perfect staycation, but suddenly I found myself visiting twice in two days. Forty minutes from Manhattan and I could be almost anywhere. The drama and buzz of city life couldn't quite reach me anymore; the farther from Penn Station I traveled the more it seemed to fade. How do we forget time slows down when we arrive at the shore of our favorite beaches? Native to Southern California, I couldn't help but beam upon arrival. The late afternoon sun was so bright and the water sparkled. There was a wedding party taking photos on the boardwalk and from a distance I could see the ruffled cream dress amass a group of giddy family members of all ages. I'll drink to that, I thought. The sanguine carpet against the aged, dusty umber wood planks seemed exciting to passers by. The Carry Grant and Marilyn Monroe statues enchanted locals who spoke about their favorite movies although they guessed the generational gap left little space for old time movie enthusiasts. They didn't seem to mind. Some stopped and chatted asking if the old fashioned Hollywood motion picture camera was real, others cruised by too absorbed in the days end ritual to pay much attention. The wind picked up forcing people to lean closer when they spoke as guests arrived and photographers began snapping shots of local founders and sponsors. I snapped photos of an elderly couple promising them a copy. They quickly went from shy to camera ready. In the spirit of the event everyone was a star - Long Beach had never had a film festival before.

    Like the magic of the music that echoed as the sun went down, the masses that snuggled in with their loved ones to watch films under the stars and the films that left lasting impressions perhaps the old landmark knew, even then, it was time to retire.

    In the wellness tradition of indigenous cultures for every death there is a rebirth. Time is the final element that bridged the boardwalk from her hay days, to her worn and tattered state and finally to her own demolition. This is as perfect a reason as any to celebrate her life.
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