I had a chance to visit and run around the City of Bellflower last Saturday when I stopped by a grocery store there. This city is where I had my first apartment in 1981, months after I arrived in the U.S. and ran on its streets for several years. Starting from Stater Brothers Store on Lakewood Boulevard and Artesia Blvd., I headed east then turned left on Clark Avenue. When I reached Alondra, I saw the recently burned down abandoned bowling alley which I read about in the news about two weeks prior. From there I proceeded east again and noticed a relatively new bike/jogging path where railroad tracks used to be. When I reached Woodruff Avenue, I turned right and down that street was the bike shop where I purchased my bike over the summer. Turning right on Flower Street, I saw the other end of the bike/jogging path, then city hall, the post office, and on the opposite side of the street, my former eye doctor’s clinic was still in the same location. A block further, there was the Circle K convenience store where a van crashed through a week back during a vehicular accident. The front of the building had already been repaired. Down the same street was the first apartment I lived in for a couple of years, so I ran through the parking lot trying to identify it. Unfortunately I don’t remember the unit number any more. By this time my breathing was getting labored and my legs were feeling heavy but I still have to get back to Stater Brothers a mile away. Near that street, I know of a previously famous chicken pie restaurant which closed a few years back called Moffett’s Chicken Pies. That also reminded me of the also gone hotdog and taco stand called the Pup and Taco, near the same location. Although the run only lasted 5 miles, it showed me some of the changes the city had undergone in the past 3 decades. One thing that hasn’t changed is that after all those years, I’m still running despite the pounding my body has taken, albeit at a much slower pace now. It was a nice experience nonetheless, being able to take a short jaunt around the old neighborhood. By the way, that Stater Brothers store used to be Lucky’s Grocery when I lived there.
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