If you pass by the Psychic Temple Building on the south side of Broadway between Promenade and Long Beach Blvd., you’ll notice that its ground floor window are adorned with a ton of red envelopes, for which you are encouraged to take one.
The occasion? The Chinese New Year, marked today, which celebrates the monkey—and interTrend Communications, which uses the Psychic Temple as its home, wants you to join in.
Welcoming passersby is a small message that reads:
”At the beginning of the year, families present Red Envelopes to send good luck to their loved ones. We invite you to celebrate the Year of the Monkey with interTrend. Who knows? You may find yourself in good fortune.”
Even better? As each person takes an envelope in the name of good luck, interTrend has hung a James Jean art piece dedicated to the Year of the Monkey, with multiple pieces hung in the window.
James Jean is no stranger to the Psychic Temple as he also designed the interior’s library with a laser-etched mural dedicated to the wonderful and weird history of the Psychic Temple. When it had finished construction in 1905, the Psychic Temple building opened with a bang: it became none other than the headquarters of a local cult by the name of the Society of New & Practical Psychology, known to members as The Holy Kiss Society. Amidst lawsuits and enemies, owner and Society leader William C. Price was forced to sell the building to Anna Sewel for about $3K. Throughout DTLB, it then became commonly known as the American Hotel thanks to its signage that survived the building’s many other incarnations. A speakeasy. A brothel. A flophouse. Yet somehow, through all the debauchery and dilapidation, the building survived, even becoming an historic landmark in the city in 1989.
It might be just more than the Year of the Monkey but the Year of the Psychic Temple. Since its renovation was completed last year, the famed building has been host Pow! Wow! Long Beach, honored with a preservation award by Long Beach Heritage, and its leader, Julia Huang, will be honored with the Spirit of Downtown award at this year’s Celebrate Downtown event.