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One night in a village: Long Beach's Belmont Shore

The Belmont Shore section of Long Beach is centered on the length of Second Street that's bordered by Livingston Drive on the east and Naples on the west. It's the home of several annual events including a Christmas Parade, the Bay City Rodder's Auto Show, the Haute Dog Howl'oween parade (pups masquerading as witches, kittens and all the village people), health fairs, a chocolate festival, Stroll and Savors, and Art Walks.

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Most of the shops along this stretch are locally owned and operated. There are a few chain stores, but mostly, if you enter a shop and ask to speak the owner, you'll actually speak to the owner. It's Mayberry RFD circa '68 in a 21st Century city.

Second Street is also a culinary trip around the world with Japanese, Greek, Indian, Italian, Mexican, American, Chinese, Thai, Irish, French, and not one but two, Lebanese Restaurants, dotting both sides of the street.

La Strada

La Strada, a family-owned Italian Restaurant, is located on the south side of Second, just east of Livingston Avenue. It's one of the most beloved local eateries for a number of reasons. In addition to outstanding entrées-Lobster Ravioli, Lasagna Bolognese, Pasta Aurora con Pollo-owner Lisa Ramelow and her half-family/half-friends staff have created a home-away-from home vibe that attracts regular customers every day of the week. The staff also created a gorgeous 2010 Pinup Girls Calendar; ten percent of the profits go to help fight Pancreatic Cancer in memory of a much-loved regular customer who passed-away earlier this year. In addition to raising funds for cancer research, La Strada is sending the calendars to overseas troops. The calendars are a throwback to pre-Twiggy and/or Madonna days, when women had curves and left the special bits covered up. They're tastefully done in nostalgic PG-boudoir style. Stop in for a meal and pick up a calendar.

And, inspired by a less than ideal economic environment, La Strada is hosting $5.00 Tuesdays: 2 for $5.00 beers, $5.00 wine, $5.00 appetizers, even some $5.00 entrées, every Tuesday from 5:00 -10:00 pm.

For More Information: La Strada 4716 East Second Street (562) 433-8100

Legends Sports Bar 

Since 1979 Legends has been the place to go to talk about or watch sporting events. They have countless screens all around the venue, including one that measures 22' across for big-big events that everyone wants to see. The staff is friendly and accommodating and the menu contains every drink you've never heard of as well as the nibbly-bits you need while watching the big game.

The front of the main room opens wide for an indoor-outdoor experience; they have a room upstairs that can be closed-off for private events. And, in the British-pub tradition, every Wednesday at 7:30 PM they hold team trivia contests with prizes.

For More Information: Legends Sports Bar 5236 East 2nd Street (562) 433-5743
 

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