You never know what you're going to encounter in Long Beach. Reader Tom Gallo was out for a walk in Belmont Heights, when he came across an anonymous, home-made sign that he snapped. It said:

"Welcome to Crumbling Colorado Street! Historically Neglected Landmark" (see photo).

Yes, our very own Crumblin' Colorado, a thoroughfare that over the years has been uplifted by nature, pummeled by traffic, and occasionally patched by man to no avail.

Perhaps someone will follow up with salutes to other local road surfaces that pose challenges, if not dangers, to drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians — Rockin' Redondo and Lumpy Loynes, come immediately to mind.

• Frequent contributor Jeff Bliss, meanwhile, chanced upon just the thing for the renter who doesn't need much in the way of accommodations (see photo).

• Today's history lesson: In a postcard series he calls "A Fun Fact About Our Neighborhood," realtor Derrick Muska points out that Belmont Heights incorporated as a separate city in 1908 because "our neighboring city of Long Beach did not welcome alcohol and was known as a 'Dry City.'"

A year later, Belmont Heights voters changed their mind and joined Long Beach. And later, once a little thing called Prohibition came and went, the partying began.

• I hope in a subsequent postcard Muska can solve the mystery of the origin of Belmont Heights' parrots, many of whom hang out south of Ocean Boulevard.

I have heard several theories — (1) that their ancestors escaped from the Jungleland amusement park when it went out of business, (2) that they escaped from a Pasadena pet shop (3) that they escaped from a Mexican circus visiting Long Beach or (4) all of the above.

Good thing Long Beach was already a wet city. All that squawking would drive anyone to drink.

• The last drinking item, I promise: The panhandling business — or rather nonbusiness — undergoes its own trends. Lately I've noticed younger folks with signs that said they "need money for travel." (I guess hitchhiking is out of fashion.)

A superior-sounding type had a different approach with a sign that said,"It is what it is." And a few moochers have tried to pull at the heart strings of passersby with something along the lines of "Anything helps, even just a smile."

I guess my favorite, though, was displayed by a guy who had no pretensions about what he'd do with the money (see photo). He wouldn't have liked the one-time city of Belmont Heights.

Steve Harvey can be contacted at and @sharvey9.

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