On Saturday, March 9, you’ll have the chance to bid a fond “goodbye and good luck” to a pair of East Village fixtures; 6th and Detroit, the vintage shop at 105-B Linden Ave. owned and operated by Michelle Qazi for the last eight years, and the 1st and Elm Community Garden, the East Village’s nearest faraway place for 30 years.  

On the 9th, Qazi will be hosting a Pile Sale. “There will literally be piles of clothes, home decor, and more — and everything will be $5,” Qazi said. At the Community Garden from 11 AM to 5 PM there will be a plant sale, refreshments, and the opportunity to visit this tiny-but-mighty ecospace for the final time.  

We recently visited with Qazi, Garden Director Jimmy Brashear and his assistant Brandon Elton, who shared a bit of their histories and thoughts on the upcoming moves.  



“I’ve always loved vintage, and have been collecting my whole life,” Qazi told us. “Once I started collecting a little too much in my home, I figured it was time to start selling!” 

Qazi, from Laguna Niguel, worked in the fast-paced Hollywood entertainment industry for many years prior to her foray into retail. She worked in various art departments and also as a location scout for videos. All the while, she was amassing her collection of vintage clothing, furnishings, and accessories. 

She started selling on Etsy in 2015. After this move became lucrative, she heard about an open storefront on Linden Avenue in the East Village and decided to make the leap. “The community welcomed me with open arms — especially the other shop owners,” she remembered. “They were so kind and excited.”  

Her customers and shop owner neighbors soon took delight in the shop’s wonderfully eclectic inventory: ’50s blazers, boomer-era cookie jars, leopardskin Wallabee shoes, early-’60s dress shirts — items that reflect Qazi’s taste 100 percent.  

After eight years on Linden Ave., Qazi felt it was time for a change. “It’s a very bittersweet move — very emotional for me,” she said. “I have the East Village community to thank for the store lasting this long.”

6th and Detroit will celebrate its Grand Opening on April 20 at its new location, 414 Termino Ave. in Belmont Heights.  



On any given morning in the East Village, human activity can be heard getting underway; sidewalks being swept, food being delivered, traffic slowly increasing. At 1st and Elm, a completely different world is coming to life; doves and finches singing their morning songs, raccoons, squirrels, and possums wrapping up the night’s foraging — and an entire jungle of greenery supporting this urban oasis, which was lovingly created by Garden Director Jimmy Brashear and his associates over the last three decades.  

This greenspace, barely visible in a satellite view, is huge for anyone who’s ever spent time inside. “The energy is so different than what’s outside those gates,” said Brashear. Brandon Elton, Brashear’s assistant for the last 10 years, said it best: “This place is magical.”  

The magic is due to end by mid-April, when garden tenants will be harvesting their winter vegetables for the last time: The property owner has decided to move in a different direction with the garden space. 

The garden will leave behind a multi-faceted legacy. It’s been a farm, a wildlife waystation, a party space, a student garden, and, for countless visitors, a sanctuary. “This place has helped a lot of people,” Brashear said softly, his eyes reflecting decades of positive encounters with nature and with the folks who loved the space he maintained so brilliantly for so long.   

Some of the vegetable gardens also supplied crop donations to the Downtown nonprofit Christian Outreach in Action, which gave the food to local unhoused individuals.  

Brashear is currently scouting new locations for another community garden, which he and his colleagues will build “after a bit of a break.” Meanwhile, you can visit the 1st and Elm Community Garden on March 9 and see for yourself how different a greenspace can make you feel, even among the urban environment of Downtown Long Beach.   

“I’m grateful I got to spend so much time here, doing what I love to do,” said Brashear. “We touched a lot of peoples’ lives.” 

If you would like to volunteer to help with the big transition at 1st and Elm, contact Brandon Elton at (562) 682-2755.