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Los Angeles, whose full name is suggested to be El Pueblo de Nuestra Senor La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, is the second most populated city in the United States and the largest in California and the Western states. With a population of approximately 3,861,868 it is the largest city in the world and the urban sprawl covers around 498 square miles.
When people visit Los Angeles they ask where the city center is. There really isn’t one unless you consider Downtown L.A. the center. Downtown is probably the heartbeat of the city in terms of commerce, entertainment, and government, but Los Angeles is made up of many diverse communities, most of them unincorporated neighborhoods.
The city flower is the bird of paradise and the city tree is the coral tree. The five main self-governing cities on the Westside of Los Angeles are: Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood, and Culver City.
Los Angeles can be a difficult place in which to navigate without a car, but make sure someone who knows the city takes the time to drive you around and show you some of the magnificent areas this unique city boasts. From the affluent beach fronts of Malibu and Santa Monica on the Pacific Ocean in the west to eclectic, modern Silver Lake in the downtown area to the east, from the exclusive Hollywood Hills in the north to trendy Culver City in the south. There is something for everyone’s taste.
Los Angeles Climate
Los Angeles is bordered on its west and south sides by the Pacific Ocean and is bordered by the Santa Monica Mountains to the north and the San Gabriel Mountains to the east and with the many canyons and valleys the weather is diverse. The warm, moist Pacific air keeps the area fairly temperate throughout the year. There is an average of 329 days of sun per year and it rains predominantly in the winter. The coastal basin holds the smog and pollution when there is little air movement. Another phenomenon is the Santa Ana winds which can bring high temperatures and 50 mile-per-hour winds. Average temperature in January is 57°F and 72°F in August. Average annual rainfall is 17 inches.
Los Angeles Economy
Los Angeles is regarded as the entrepreneurial capital of the world, with about 200,000 small businesses. Los Angeles County is the 18th largest economy in the world and were it a state, it would be the fourth largest in the U.S. The Port of Los Angeles is one of the busiest in the world. Los Angeles is the largest manufacturing center in the U.S. with approximately 500,000 workers. The largest industry is apparel, followed by transport, fabricated metals, food products and furniture, in that order. The city is also a major banking center and the largest retail market in the U.S. Of course the traditional economy of aerospace, entertainment and tourism are the city staples.
Los Angeles Arts and Entertainment
Far from being the cultural desert it is made out to be Los Angeles, has around 90 stage theaters and 300 museums, more than any other U.S. city. Some of the most important museums in the world can be found in Los Angeles and include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Getty Center, The Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library, The Hammer Museum, the Museum of Tolerance, Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits, and the Petersen Automotive Museum. There is so much to visit in Los Angeles you will need several days to get it all in. Some of the more famous venues are: Hollywood: including Grauman’s Chinese Theater where you will see the hand and footprints of movie legends and stroll along Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame and look for your favorite personality’s star. Nearby is the Kodak Theater, home of the Oscars. Universal City: take a tour of the studios and enjoy the fun rides. After you can take in dinner at Universal City Walk. Beverly Hills: home of world class shopping, the famous Rodeo Drive, and movie star residences. Downtown: with some of the best preserved art deco buildings in the country, the huge garment district, new cathedral, Disney Hall, Olvera Street, the oldest part of downtown, and magnificent high rises this is a must-see destination to experience Los Angeles as a whole. Los Angeles is home to some of the most famous stages in the world, including The Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theater, Universal Theater, The Ahmanson, the Mark Taper Forum, Disney Hall, The Pantages and the Geffen Playhouse. And, of course, some of the most famous comedians in the world were discovered at The Comedy Club, and magicians at The Magic Castle.
Los Angeles Sports Venues
The newest sports arena, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, is Staples Center around which a large amount of development is underway. Other venues of note are: Dodgers Stadium, and The Coliseum.
Los Angeles Hospitals and Medical Centers
There are many world-class hospitals in Los Angeles, including Cedars-Sinai near Beverly Hills, St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, and UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Good Samaritan Hospital, USC University Hospital, USC Norris Cancer Hospital and Children’s Hospital cover the downtown area.
Los Angeles Colleges and Universities
The main universities in Los Angeles are the UCLA in Westwood , USC downtown Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount in Westchester, the largest Roman Catholic university on the West Coast. Santa Monica College, a two-year school is ranked number one in transfer to the University of California, University of Southern California and Loyola Marymount.
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