Last summer I was in Long Beach for a few days. It's been nearly a year since then, and yet the moment captured here, when I happened upon a group of local Gs keeping things real, haunts me still.
It's been said that the truest stories of a place like Long Beach aren't found in the lyrics to a hip-hop song, or in a dog-eared copy of the "Rough Guide." They're found, instead, in the hopes and dreams of the everyday people who don their tutus and headbands and go at it anew each and every day they live, always striving to do things a little better than they did the day before.
I guess that's what has stuck with me, what has caused me to wake up on so many afternoons drenched in sweat since this day, last July: The knowledge that, without warning, I came upon the naked and throbbing true heart of America's number one port city.
Real people doing real things. There is a subtle majesty to it all that damn near takes one's breath away.