Special Event: Richard’s 48th Birthday Bus Tour of Long Beach & The South Bay – Saturday, November 26th

Bus Tour Description

Hotel Stillman Nu-Pike

For Richard’s once-a-year birthday bus adventure, we ask you to pack a picnic lunch (we’ll supply the birthday cake and coffee) and join us for an all-day outing exploring the history, landscape and built environment of Long Beach and the South Bay. This is a one-time only bus adventure that will never be repeated.

There are a lot of twists, turns and offbeat history on this excursion, and we don’t want to give too much away. But in broad strokes …

Come see Terminal Island, where we’ll explore its shadowy aerospace legacy, famous prisoners and the history of the Japanese fishing community that made this rustic place its home.

Then into Long Beach proper, where we’ll be joined by Dr. Louise Ivers, noted Long Beach architectural historian. She’ll guide our tour of some great downtown Beaux Arts and Art Deco gems, culminating in a visit to a recently restored programmatic structure, in the form of a giant coffee pot, where preservation consultant Katie Rispoli Keaotamai of We Are The Next will discuss this interesting project.

Then the torch will be passed to Miriam Caldwell, whose Diary of Vilma blog is a must read for fans of mid-century Los Angeles dining and romance. She’ll lead us through the remnants of the Long Beach Pike, formerly one the largest amusement fun zones in the United States, sharing exciting stories about her mother’s career as a camera girl at Hollywood on the Pike, including shocking encounters with The Long Beach Wolf.

No tour of the South Bay would be complete with a foray into Wilmington, so we’ll wrap the adventure up with a look at its forgotten world of SRO hotels, and whet our whistle for the ride home at Foc’sle Bar, one of the great dives of the Harbor, home of an incredible suite of erotic and exotic murals by the great Frank Bowers.

Please note that this is a Special Event, and vouchers and discounts good on our regularly scheduled bus adventures are not accepted for this tour.


Check in for this tour is 9:30 am for a 10:00 am sharp departure. We will return around 5:00 pm. There are no paper tickets: your name will be on a list at the bus door. We will stop mid-day for a self-hosted picnic lunch, so bring something good to eat, and anything (non-alcoholic) you’d like to drink during the day. We will supply birthday cake, coffee and water. Please dress appropriately for our on and off bus adventures along the shoreline. This tour occurs rain or shine.

Please see below for parking information. We are recommending that all attendees park in the parking lot listed below because we are returning after dark. No other nearby pay lots will be open when the tour begins.

Parking / Breakfast suggestions

Paid lot parking is available directly across the street from the Daily Dose Cafe, at the Perfect Parking, Inc. lot at 1805 Industrial Street. Parking is market rate and can be $10 or more. Reserve in advance with Perfect Parking, Inc. at least 48 hours before arrival to secure $7 all day parking by contacting Sergio.

The Daily Dose is a great place for breakfast, but we recommend that you arrive about a half an hour before check in, so that neither you nor the cafe is rushed.

Need to reach us on tour day? Please phone Richard at 213-915-8687 after 8am.

No audio or video-taping without permission. We regret that there are no refunds for passengers who miss the bus.

Photo Credit: Howard Gribble on Flickr. Hotel Stillman on Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Entrance steps leading down to the “Nu Pike” amusement park are seen just left of center.

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The Daily Dose Cafe
1820 Industrial Street
Los Angeles 90021
(213) 281-9300


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