Fire in the sky

It’s Independence Day week, a time of year when all of the city’s NextDoor sites are unified in their proclamation that living in Long Beach is like living in a “war zone,” which the scattered and terrified citizens of Palestine and other war-ravaged regions might find wryly amusing if they could carve out a moment or two to be wryly amused. You likely won’t find any Gaza-area NextDoor sites griping about how life in Gaza is like living in Long Beach during the Fourth of July.

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s no pressure, just a day spending some quality time with friends and/or family, typically outdoors, eating picnic food and maybe watching a fireworks show where permitted.

I’m not big on fireworks and tend to throw in with singer Aimee Mann whose “4th of July” maintains that pyrotechnics are a “waste of gunpowder and sky.” But I do enjoy our annual trip over to the Old Grobaty House where my sister and her husband live for a pool party with a raft of relatives. We had to skip the annual event last year, not because of COVID — that was largely over with — but because of the fact that summer hadn’t even begun to kick in yet and it was too cold for splashing around in the pool.

This year, things are back to normal and I anticipate wearing myself out by swimming with the kids, wolfing down a hot dog or two and getting home in time to drug the dogs and sleep through the night, unbothered by the war outside.

Burning down the house

I haven’t monkeyed around with real estate too much since my 75% retirement, but I still know a hot deal when I see one, which came late last week with a new listing for a three-bedroom, two-bath 1,500-square foot home at 1110 Loma Ave., just about a block from the Bamboo Club. It’s listed at $725,000, which is a pretty good price these days when the median listing price for a home here is around $800,000.

But it seems a tad high for a house that was badly damaged by fire to the point that you wouldn’t want to live in it until throwing maybe $100,000 into it to make it habitable. There are plenty of un-fire-damaged homes for sale in Long Beach for less money, though most are in less desirable locations.

The home had been vacant for a while and was likely a hangout for people experiencing homelessness, unless you count this as one.

And yet it’s likely to sell, as is, to a developer or flipper, since the land itself is of some value, but it’s still a stretch to make flipping it a lucrative deal since the median sales price in the 90804 ZIP code is just a tad over $700,000.

What I devoured in two sittings

The 10-episode Season 3 of Hulu/FX’s “The Bear” dropped last week and, because I’m a shameless glutton, I watched the entire season in two 150-minute marathons.

The chef-heavy restaurant comedy-drama is still among the best series streaming these days — right up there with Apple TV+’s “Slow Horses,” and Hulu/FX’s “Fargo.”

The third season of “The Bear,” while still great, didn’t quite match the bedlam of Season 1, and didn’t have any episodes to rival last season’s Episode 6, “The Fish,” which was one of the finest episodes of any show in recent years. But it still had some fine moments with various characters grabbing a share of the spotlight.

The sole drawback was the fact that it ended with several cliffhangers, none of which were resolved, with the end of the 10th and final episode noting: “To be continued.”

So, great, I have to hang onto the cliff until, probably, next summer.

And I’m not getting any younger.

International Breakfast Tour 2024

This week, my daughter and I traveled to the outskirts of Long Beach to dine at the restaurant at Heartwell Park Golf Course, which is reportedly called the Well Cafe, though there’s no signage to that effect.

We ordered at the counter, grabbed a couple of coffees, which were exceptionally good, and found a place to sit until our food arrived.

Hannah had a breakfast sandwich with eggs and bacon on an English muffin, and I had the California omelet which meant that it was a regular any-state omelet but with a few slices of avocado on top.

How was the food?

I kind of subscribe to the if-you-can’t-say-something-nice school of restaurant reviewing, so I merely reiterate here that the coffee was very good.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.