By Neena Strichart
Signal Hill’s Wednesday evening “tree lighting” event was such a festive way to kick off the holiday season. Lots of friends, neighbors and local dignitaries were on hand, as was Santa and the Wilson High School Chorus. Standing at Discovery Well Park waiting for the “tree” to actually be lit, I found myself arm in arm with longtime family friend, college-aged Tyler Hawkins. Suddenly, I started getting a bit nostalgic and quite tearful– blaming it at first on the holiday spirit when it hit me– I was truly in the midst of community at its finest. There standing next to me was young Tyler, the grandson of Betty Rodriguez, the woman who used to babysit me when I was in elementary school. What a sweet moment.
This time of year will be full of sweet moments, except maybe for all the shopping. To keep in the holiday mood while saving dollars, please do your best to shop locally. It saves gas, keeps your budget in check, and supports local merchants who work so hard to meet all of our needs. Tonight’s First Fridays in Bixby Knolls is a great way to shop and mingle with locals while keeping your money close to home. While you’re out, make sure to stop by the areas two newest shops: About “U” and Long Beach Clothing Co.
About “U” is a darling little store with cabinets chock full of new and previously owned merchandise such as religious items, TV memorabilia, comic books, vintage housewares, jewelry and some beautiful art. Located at 4342 Atlantic Avenue, just north of Alsace Lorraine Bakery, About “U” features dealer spaces with an upscale mini antique-mall ambience. When I first stepped in, I knew I wanted to be part of it, so I too have rented a space for some of the treasures I have collected over the years. Stop in and take a peek.
Newest to the area is Long Beach Clothing Co., which re-located from downtown Long Beach to 4218 Atlantic Avenue. Although not officially open for a few weeks yet, the purveyors of high-quality merchandise featuring original Long Beach art are inviting the public to come by Friday night for a preview and a few surprises.
For those of you who will be out and about this Saturday looking for a unique shopping opportunity, go by the “Just in Time” one-day holiday boutique at Nino’s Ristorante, 3853 Atlantic Ave., from 10am to 3pm. They’ll be featuring quality local artisans’ crafts, jewelry, candies, candles, soaps and so much more. Bring a friend and double the fun! While you’re there, make sure to have a holiday drink or a quick bite.
See how easy it is to shop just around the corner?