Los Angeles area, United States
Los Angeles, USA: Vacations and travel info
Los Angeles is one of the most famous cities in the world, often considered the Mecca of the film industry. It's the largest city in all California and the second largest in the United States. It's a center for business and is home to many important company headquarters, along with some of the country's most successful sporting teams, and renowned universities, just to name a few of this city's highlights.
Los Angeles was originally called El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the River of Porziuncola), by the Spanish in 1781. It became part of Mexico in 1821, following its independence from Spain and eventually was claimed by the United States after the Mexican-American War. Finally, Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850. Los Angeles was one of the first cities in the world to have a railroad system, and from that moment on everything that the industrial revolution brought came to light in this city. Petroleum was later found in the area and a large aqueduct and an airport were built, leading to an incredible economic boom.
After that, came the advent of the motion picture industry, which brought many professionals in the field to the area, including movie makers, artists, writers, and great thinkers, such as Fritz Lang, Bert Bertolt Brecht, and Arnold Schoenberg, among many others. World War II brought prosperity to the city, but also revealed some important racial and social differences among its population. However, these conflicts have been eclipsed by the city's many accomplishments in the arts, sports, and the media.
Neighborhoods and Neighboring Regions
Los Angeles is irregularly shaped and covers an area of 498.3 sq. miles comprising 469.1 sq. miles of land and 29.2 sq. miles of coastline, including beaches and rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has a warm climate all year round and it's ideal for outdoor pursuits.
Along with having the largest population in the state of California, Los Angeles also spans the biggest area. It's divided into several regions, each with its own set of neighborhoods, including several communities that have been annexed to the city because of the urban sprawl. The following is a list of the regions and their neighborhoods:
Los Angeles Downtown
This small area is home to important company headquarters, shopping malls, and museums. Chinatown, Koreatown, and Japantown are located here, as well as other Afro American and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Located west of downtown, this area is the home of the first film studios and the houses of many celebrities.
Hollywood and the Surrounding Neighborhoods
The largest film studios are found here, as well as many celebrities' homes. You'll also find the Kodak Theater, which is where the Oscar Awards Ceremony is held each year; the famous Hollywood sign on the hill, and pretty much everything that is related to the industry.
This area is made up of the neighborhoods of San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles. There are also a fabulous aquarium, and a legendary ship, the Queen Mary, which is now a museum and hotel.
Los Feliz and Silver Lake
In this area, you'll find Griffith Park and its observatory, as well as the famous Dodger Stadium, and Elysian Park.
Southern Los Angeles
Exposition Park, Shrine Auditorium, and the Los Angeles Coliseum are located at University Park. The Watts Towers and the University of California (USC) are also in this area.
Known as The Valley, The San Fernando Valley is a busy commercial and residential neighborhood.
Wilshire is an upper middle class residential neighborhood, home to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Hancock Park and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Westside comprises the high-end residential communities of Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, and Venice, the latter known for its beaches, among other things. This area is home to the Los Angeles campus of the University of California (UCLA).
The Motion Picture Industry
It's difficult to imagine anyone not ever seeing a film produced in Hollywood, known as the Mecca of the film industry. Ever since the film industry began, a lot of the movies produced in the world have been made here, turning the art of the motion picture into a billion dollar industry. Los Angeles has seen the movie industry grow into the global business that it is today. This has led to the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the American Film Institute.
With the advent of the first films with sound, in 1920, music became an industry in itself. Smart Los Angeles producers seized upon this opportunity and began establishing recording labels, originally specializing in jazz and rock and roll music. The city is home to hundreds of singers and groups that were discovered by these recording studios. There are also several orchestras and bands that play classical music, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the chamber orchestra, and the youth orchestra, among others, which gives the city a cultured and refined flair.
The city of Los Angeles is home to several museums, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Others include the Museum of Latin American Art, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and the California African American Museum. The city is a real paradise for artists, especially because of the many scholarships and sponsorships offered by the universities and private organizations that invest in the creation of special projects.
Los Angeles is a strong promoter of sporting events within communities as part of the city's community outreach program, as well as of major sporting and entertainment events, through the work of the LA Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Los Angeles Sports Council. These institutions organize exciting competitions and exhibits that attract visitors to the city, which has a positive impact on the local economy.
In Los Angeles there's a team of practically every well-known sport in the U.S. For basketball, there are three professional teams, the Clippers, the Lakers, and the Sparks. Baseball has the Dodgers, football has the Rams, the Raiders, and the Avengers, and for hockey, there are the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. Soccer supporters should know that Los Angeles is home to Los Angeles Galaxy team, as well as to Chivas U.S.A., a Mexican-owned team that plays in the MLS.
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