Hundreds of people turned out to bid farewell to Long Beach's famed boardwalk on Saturday, as demolition was set to begin on the beloved Sandy-damaged walkway.
Long Beach's city council decided last month to tear down the entire structure, but a new boardwalk will go up in its place.
For many, each weathered slab and twisted nail of the nearly 100-year-old boardwalk tells a story.
"I've run on this board walk nearly every day," said Long Beach resident Bill McDermott. "She brought me thousands of miles of therapy."
Long Beach resident Ryan Levine said the boardwalk invoked memories of his father.
"My dad and I would go out at night and throw a ball underneath the lights," Levine said.
While many were sad to see the old boardwalk go, there was also a sense of hope about the future among those who turned out.
A $26.5 million rebuilding effort is underway and by 2014, when this community would have celebrated the old boardwalk's 100th anniversary, they'll instead gather around a new boardwalk and usher in a new era.
"I'm hoping that the new boardwalk will be better and you can come here and enjoy it as much as you did the old one," said Long Beach Resident Maureen Parisa.