Los Angeles often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in the U.S. State of California and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 united States Census of 3,792,621. It has an area of 469 square miles and is located in Southern California. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation's largest cities.
Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a leading world center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, and education, and has been ranked the third richest city and fifth most powerful and influential city in the world. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third largest economic center in the world, after the Greatr Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. As the home base of Hollywood, the city leads the world in the creation of motion pictures, television productions, stage productions, video games, and recorded music.
Los Angeles is subject to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The geologic instability has produced numerous faults, which cause approximately 10,000 earthquakes annually. One of the major faults is the San Andreas Fault. Located at the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, it is predicted to be the source of Southern California's next big earthquake. Major earthquakes to have hit the Los Angeles area include the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, the 1971 San Fernando earthquake near Sylmar, and the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Nevertheless, all but a few quakes are of low intensity and are not felt. Parts of the city are also vulnerable to tsunamis; harbor areas were damaged by waves from the Valdivia earthquake in 1960.
Downtown Los Angeles-
Downtown Los Angeles- marks the geographic, governmental, and historic center of Los Angeles. Although it is the smallest region of Los Angeles by area, it includes a great variety of diverse neighborhoods, ranging from several modern skyscrapers of the Financial District to the historic structures of the Historic Core to the ethnic enclaves of Chinatown and Little Tokyo. It also contains many cultural attractions and entertainment venues. Downtown is also a center for local and regional transportation, with several freeways passing through and Union Station connecting regional trains to local buses and the metro Line.
East and Northeast Los Angeles-
To the east and northeast of Downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles River lies East Los Angeles. The region may sometimes be defined to include adjacent areas outside of the city boundaries of Los Angeles, such as Montebello and East Los Angeles. Many of the neighborhoods of Eastern Los Angeles house large Latino populations, although several neighborhoods, especially in northeast L.A., have more mixed populations. Many of the neighborhoods house very diverse residents. In the northern portions of Montecito Heights there are white populations of Italian and French descent. Eagle Rock also houses significant Latino, White, and Asian (in particular those of Filipino descent) populations and is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. In Monterrey Hills nearly half of the population is white. The population also ranges from working-class to affluent. The predominantly residential neighborhoods of the region contain many hills, especially in northern regions.
Northwest of Downtown-
Immediately west of Downtown Los Angeles lie some of the city's earliest suburbs. Angelino Heights and Echo Park were the locations of some of the first film studios west of the Mississippi River. Now mostly populated by Latino immigrants, a great amount of distinctive architecture has been preserved from the early 20th century, including the restored Victorian homes in Angelino Heights. This region is one of the most densely populated areas in Los Angeles and serves as the former site of Chavez Ravine which was historically a Latino neighborhood until it was demolished in the 1950s in order to construct Dodger Stadium.
Formerly a religious colony, then an independent city, Hollywood was annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. Its name is synonymous with the motion picture industry, yet much of movie production has moved out to the neighboring LA communities in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. Tourists flock to Hollywood Boulevard to gaze up to the Hollywood sign in the Santa Monica Mountains. The last decade has brought new life to the once-struggling parts of the Hollywood district, with various developments taking advantage of new subway stations. The wealth of the neighborhoods here is strongly influenced by elevation; some of the wealthiest tracts in the country are up in the Hollywood Hills, with gradually less affluent population leading to pockets of large working-class and transient populations further southeast.
Following the Harbor Gateway south to the port leads to the Harbor area, an enclave of Los Angeles that is surrounded by various cities and towns. The land of the Harbor Gateway was annexed to the City of Los Angeles so that it would have a contiguous land connection with its seaport. The most prominent neighborhood of the harbor area is called San Pedro.
Los Feliz and Silver Lake-
Nestled between Hollywood and the Los Angeles River are a group of the city's older residential neighborhoods that houses Griffith Park, one of the nation's largest public parks.
Similar to most of the city, communities in this area are significantly wealthier closer to the hills. In this fashion, Los Feliz retained its expensive reputation while other districts further south and closer to Westlake were plagued by gang wars or crime. In the last decade, the area particularly around the Silver Lake Reservoir and now Sunset Boulevard has become closely associated with gentrification, a process which has pushed working-class families out due to high housing costs.
South Los Angeles-
South Los Angeles, formerly called "South Central Los Angeles", includes most of the city directly south of downtown, Interstate Highway 10 (the Santa Monica Freeway, and Wilshire Boulevard, but not those areas as far southeast as the Harbor Gateway, the Harbor Area, or the Port of Los Angeles. This area of Los Angeles is where most of its African-American population resides.
San Fernando Valley-
The largest region of the city is the San Fernando Valley, often referred to as "the Valley," and which includes portions of the Crescenta Valley. It is mainly suburban, and houses a wide-range of socioeconomic groups. It comprises almost half of the city's land area and about forty percent of the city's population. This area is sometimes referred to known as, "North Los Angeles" as the main suburbs of L.A. Mulholland Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains forms its southern boundary. It has gone through periodic clashes with the rest of the city over policy, culminating in a failed effort to incorporate as a city in 2002.
West Los Angeles-
is the part of the city encircled by Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Wilshire on the east, and Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Santa Monica Mountains on the north, and Culver City and El Segundo on the south.
While the area is inhabited by a wide range of socioeconomic groups, it undoubtedly houses the largest concentration of wealth in the city. Attracted by its rolling hills on the north end, and close proximity to the ocean, early developers succeeded in establishing some of the most upscale residential districts in the city and the county. Pre-eminent among these are Bel-Air and Pacific Palisades. Yet further south, pockets of working class areas remain in those areas closest to former industrial areas like those near South LA and Culver City.
The term Westside, though often debated, refers to both the western parts of the city of Los Angeles as well as adjacent cities and towns, such as Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood. West L.A. or West Los Angeles also refers to a specific neighborhood south of Brentwood and east of Santa Monica.
Area lies north of the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10), east of Beverly Hills, west of Downtown, and south of Hollywood.The Wilshire area is a collection of wealthy, middle, and working-class neighborhoods that cluster around Wilshire Boulevard. Unlike other parts of Los Angeles the wealthier neighborhoods are set not in the hills, but rather on leveled land north and south of Wilshire Boulevard, east of Beverly Hills such as Larchmont, Hancock Park, and Fremont Place. Koreatown is an example of a neighborhood undergoing a revival, with new condominiums being constructed on Wilshire Boulevard.
Landmarks/Points of Interest
While there exists hundreds of historical landmarks and points of interest in the city, here are a few to really get a feel of Los Angeles.
Walt Disney Concert Hall-
The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, California, is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, and 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves (among other purposes) as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Lillian Disney made an initial gift in 1987 to build a performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney's devotion to the arts and to the city. The Frank Gehry-designed building opened on October 24, 2003. Both the architecture by Frank Gehry and the acoustics of the concert hall (designed by Yasuhisa Toyota) were praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels-
A cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States. Opened in 2002, it is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The cathedral was built to replace the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, which was severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In January 1995, the archdiocese announced plans to build a new cathedral on the St. Vibiana site and began demolishing the old cathedral; however, preservationists blocked the demolition, citing the building's landmark status, and demanded that the old cathedral be incorporated into a new structure. Citing the high cost of bringing the old cathedral to modern seismic standards, the archdiocese began looking for a new cathedral site.
It is mother church to over four million professed Catholics in the archdiocese. In addition to the church, the cathedral grounds also include a mausoleum, gift shop, cafeteria, conference center, and clergy residences. The relics of Saint Vibiana are interred in the mausoleum, as are the remains of several past bishops, archbishops, and auxiliary bishops of Los Angeles.
is a landmark funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of Downtown Los Angeles, California. It has two funicular cars: Sinai and Olivet.
The funicular has operated on two different sites, using the same cars and iconic station elements. The original Angels Flight location, with tracks connecting Hill Street and Olive Street, operated from 1901 until it was closed in 1969, when its site was cleared for redevelopment. The second Angels Flight location opened nearby to the south in 1996, with tracks connecting Hill Street and California Plaza. It was re-closed in 2001, after a fatal accident, and took nine years to commence operations again, on March 15, 2010. It has been running safely since, except for another closure from June 10, 2011 to July 5, 2011, with 50 cents the cost of a one-way ride.
The Dolby Theater-
(formerly known as the Kodak Theater and temporarily renamed the Hollywood and Highland Center theatre in 2012) is a live entertainment theater in the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall and entertainment complex on Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, United States. Since its opening on November 9, 2001, the theater has been the home of the annual Academy Awards ceremonies (the Oscars), which were first held there in March 2002, and is the first permanent home for the awards.
Griffith Observatory -
Sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in L.A.'s Griffith Park, it commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin, including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction with an extensive array of space and science-related displays.
The Getty Center-
Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, is a campus for the J. Paul Getty Trust founded by oilman J. Paul Getty. The $1.3 billion center, which opened on December 16, 1997, is also well known for its architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. The center sits atop a hill connected to a visitors' parking garage at the bottom of the hill by a three-car, cable-pulled tram. The center draws 1.3 million visitors annually.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame-
consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others. The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. It is a popular tourist destination, with a reported 10 million visitors in 2003.
The Chinese Theater-
was commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theatre which opened in 1922. Built over 18 months, from January 1926 by a partnership headed by Sid Grauman, the theater opened May 18, 1927, with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film The King of Kings. It has since been home to many premieres, including the 1977 launch of George Lucas's Star Wars, as well as birthday parties, corporate junkets and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theater's most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and hand-prints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day.
a multi-purpose sports arena in Downtown Los Angeles. Adjacent to the L.A. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street. Opening on October 17, 1999, it is one of the major sporting facilities in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
It is owned and operated by the L.A. Arena Company and Anschutz Entertainment Group. The arena is home to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League (AFL) and the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League were also tenants until both franchises were discontinued; the D-Fenders moved to the Lakers' practice facility at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California for the 2011–12 season. Staples Center is also host to over 250 events and nearly 4,000,000 guests a year.
The Museum of Tolerance-
a multimedia museum in Los Angeles, California, United States, is designed to examine racism and prejudice in the United States and the world with a strong focus on the history of the Holocaust. Established in 1993, as the educational arm of human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, MOT also deals with atrocities in Cambodia and Latin America, besides issues like bullying and hate crimes. The MOT has an associated museum and professional development multi-media training facility in New York City, and has also expanded to Jerusalem, where a "Center for Human Dignity" is currently under construction.
The Rose Bowl-
is an outdoor athletic stadium in Pasadena, California, U.S., in Los Angeles County. The stadium is the site of the annual college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, held on New Year's Day. In 1982, it became the home field of the UCLA Bruins college football team of the Pac-12 Conference. It hosted events during the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, and was the venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final and the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final.
The natural grass playing field runs in a north–south configuration and sits at an elevation of 825 feet (251 m) above sea level. The stadium is a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Los Angeles Airport
The main Los Angeles airport is Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX). The sixth busiest commercial airport in the world and the third busiest in the United States, LAX handled over 61 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo in 2006. LAX is a hub for United Airlines
Aquarium of the Pacific-
An aquarium site on Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California. It is situated across the water from the Long Beach Convention Center Shoreline Village, and The Queen Mary Hotel and Attraction.
The Aquarium features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species in exhibits ranging in size and capacity from about 5,000 to 350,000 gallons. Exhibits introduce the inhabitants and seascapes of the Pacific, while also focusing on specific conservation messages associated with each region.
The 'Legends Never Die' Memorial-
While the memorial is located outside of the WAL HQ and in the middle of the busy city of LA, it is a place where anyone can go and learn about not only the team, but the members who have sacrificed their lives in the past for the greater good. There are statues of those K.I.A and M.I.A as well as facts about the hero and a ten minute video of each of them and their story. The L.N.D memorial is open to the public and gives tours Monday-Friday 8am-8pm for free.
Like most American cities, Los Angeles has been experiencing significant decline in crime since the mid-1990s, and reached a 50-year low in 2009 with 314 homicides. This is a rate of 7.85 per 100,000 population—a major decrease from 1993, when the all-time high homicide rate of over 21.1 per 100,000 was reported for the year. This included 15 officer-involved shootings. One shooting led to the death of a SWAT team member, Randal Simmons, the first in LAPD's history.
The Los Angeles crime family dominated organized crime in the city during the Prohibition era and reached its peak during the 1940s and 1950s as part of the American Mafia but has gradually declined since then with the rise of various black and Hispanic gangs.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the city is home to 45,000 gang members, organized into 450 gangs. Among them are the Crips and Bloods, which are both African American street gangs that originated in South Los Angeles. Latino street gangs such as the Sureños, a Mexican American street gang, and Mara Salvatrucha, which has mainly members of Salvadoran descent, all originated in Los Angeles. The 18th Street has a predominately Latino membership but is multiethnic. This has led to the city being referred to as the "Gang Capital of America".
Credit to @feral_nova for writing up the information in this thread.
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