Blue Windows gets papered windows to foil would-be looters during May 31 protests

Heather Duncan, the owner of Blue Windows, the stylish and eclectic gift shop at 5276 E. 2nd St., pulled a fast one during the recent looting episodes that spun out of the massive May 31 protest in Long Beach.

Nervous over the prospect of looters breaking into her business, Duncan covered the windows of her store with paper and put up a large “for lease” sign, giving the impression that she had taken her merchandise and high-tailed it out of Belmont Shore, leaving an empty shop behind.

And, after the May 31 violence, Duncan took the added precaution the following day to board up the windows, in case vandals would see through the mere paper-covered-windows ruse.

“Once we boarded up the windows, we couldn’t take the for-lease sign down, so it was up for a week,” said Duncan.

The sham-shuttered shop fooled more than just potential opportunistic criminals. It also concerned some of Blue Windows’ faithful customers who feared another 2nd Street treasure had gone under.

“It was just a decoy,” said Duncan on Friday. “We just reopened [for in-store shoppers] today and people have come by to tell me they’re happy I’m still here.”

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.