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City Profile: Los Angeles Important Information About the City of Los Angeles, California

The city of Los Angeles evokes images of glamorous movie stars, expensive boutiques carrying the latest fashions on Rodeo Drive, expensive cars on the freeway, the fascinating art of film making in Hollywood and the golden California sun. Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures, business, entertainment and history and has something to offer everyone.

The City of Angels is one of the most well known cities in the United States. It is one of the wealthiest cities in the world as well as one of the most powerful and influential cities on the planet. After all, Los Angeles is a major center of business and trade, as well as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” as it is the home base of Hollywood. The city is well known for the various motion picture, television and stage productions, as well as music recording studios and video games. Los Angeles is also fondly called La-La Land and Angeltown.

Los Angeles or LA is also one of the most populated cities in the country, with close to four million residents. This makes it the second most populous city in the US, second only to New York City. At the same time, it is the most populated city in the state of California. In the world, Los Angeles ranks as the 48th most populated city. The city’s population translates to a population density of 8,092.3 people per square mile, or 3,124.5 individuals per square kilometer.

The city of Los Angeles sits on an area measuring 502.7 square miles or more than 1,302 square kilometers. Just over 6% of the area is covered with water, since Los Angeles sits on a valley. The city lies at 233 feet or 71 meters above sea level and spread over hills, plains and even enjoys a coastline. Los Angeles is a combination of hills and flat land, with the highest point being Mount Lukens, which rises to a height of 1,547 meters. The city is drained by the Los Angeles River, which was redesigned and lined with concrete for the purpose of turning it into a channel for flood control.

Native plants abound in Los Angeles. There are plenty of matilija poppy, Coast Live Oak, California poppy, Giant Wildrye and toyon. The Los Angeles sunflower, also a native plant is now considered rare and endangered. Non-indigenous plants are also thriving in Los Angeles, and the city has groves of Canary Island Palms, California Fan Palms and Mexican Fan Palms. Although not a native to Los Angeles, the Coral Tree is the city’s official tree while the Bird of Paradise is its official flower.

Los Angeles is in the path of the Pacific Ring of Fire, thus it is prone to earthquakes. With the numerous faults created by the geologic instability of the city, Los Angeles is subjected to about 10,000 earthquakes a year. The city is the location of the San Andreas Fault, one of the major faults in the US.

Los Angeles is accessible by land, air or sea. The city is linked by a network of freeways and highways that link the city to other parts of the country. Interstate 5 goes all the way to Tijuana, Mexico on one end, and the Canadian Border on the other. The Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is the main airport of the city and is one of the most important and busiest in the world. Smaller airports of the city are the LA/Ontario International Airport; the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, the Long Beach Airport, the John Wayne Airport in Orange County and the Van Nuys Airport. The Los Angeles Harbor and Worldport LA, now known as The Port of Los Angeles: America’s Port is located in San Pedro Bay and is one of the busiest port complexes in the world. Passengers taking cruise ships bound for other parts of the world first board here. There is also a passenger service that ferries people from San Pedro to Santa Catalina Island.

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There are more than 80 districts and neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Greater Los Angeles is divided into downtown Los Angeles, where the central business district of the city is located; East LA and Northeast LA, which are populated by the Hispanic population; South Los Angeles; Greater Hollywood; the Harbor Area; Wilshire; the Crescenta and San Fernando Valleys and the Westside.

Some of the most expensive and well-known neighborhoods in the United States are found in Los Angeles. These include Venice, Baldwin Hills, Hollywood, Silver Lake, Koreatown, and the premiere neighborhoods of Bel Air, Hollywood Hills, Benedict Canyon, Pacific Palisades, Hancock Park, Brentwood, and Century City. At the same time, you’ll find enclaves such as Chinatown, Filipinotown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Little Tokyo, Tehrangeles (Westwood/Little Persia), Thai Town and Koreatown.

Los Angeles is a city made up of many different races, most of which were not born in the United States. Based on the census figures of 2010, nearly half of its residents are of Hispanic or Latino origin. There are also large communities of Whites, Blacks and Asians as well as smaller communities made up of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians. People whose origins are from various European and Middle Eastern countries are also part of the diverse cultural makeup of Los Angeles.

With its proximity to Mexico, its Mexican population is the third largest in the world. English is the main language spoken in Los Angeles but with its sizeable Latino population, Spanish is widely spoken in the city. In fact, about 44% of the population speaks Spanish as a first or second language. UCLA Professor Vyacheslav Ivanov said that there are more or less 224 identified languages spoken in the county of Los Angeles, although among the Los Angeles Unified School District students, only 92 languages have been identified. Other languages spoken in the city include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Persian, Armenian, Vietnamese, Hindi, and Russian. In some districts, street signs and warnings are written in Spanish and English. In Chinatown, the signs are in Chinese and English.

While it is fairly safe to travel to most tourist destinations in Los Angeles, it is still prudent to exercise caution when walking at night. Areas like Beverly Hills, Downtown, Hollywood, West LA and Westwood are safe places to visit particularly during the day.The scene and atmosphere get very different though when darkness falls. It will be safer if you go around these parts together with a group, but you should still be wary and alert.

Walking around is one of the best ways to explore a city but when in Los Angeles and taking a look at the Downtown areas like Pico-Union, Boyle Heights, Westlake, South Central and Skid Row, it will be better to see the sights inside a car. The same is true if you want to check out Van Nuys, Panorama City, Canoga Park, Pacoima and North Hills. Several gangs loiter around these areas and can make your stay a bit difficult. It’s best to avoid these areas while on foot. Avoid confrontations with groups of young people and leave the area immediately if you had the misfortune to get lost and head for high-visibility roads.

As the city is prone to earthquakes, just go outside when you feel the earth shaking. Stay away from tall buildings so you will not get hit by falling tiles or broken glass, although you can be assured that the buildings are not like to fall down. If caught inside, get under a desk, table or stay under a door jamb.

The climate of Los Angeles is definitely one of its top attractions. Warm sunny weather can be expected just about any time of the year, since it only rains about 35 days out of the year. On the average, Los Angeles has 325 days of sunshine annually. The city enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, resulting in average daytime temperatures of a pleasant 66 °F or 19 °C. At night, the temperature is at an average of 57 °F or 14 °C. January is the coldest month, wherein the temperature can still hit a high of 73 °F or 23 °C. The warmest month is August, wherein the temperatures can range between 70 °F up to 90 °F or 26 °C to 32 °C during the daytime hours. At night, the summer temperature drops to a pleasant 64 °F or 18 °C. It is cooler by the coast than it is inland, which is why many people from Los Angeles head down to the beach and enjoy the waters of the Pacific Ocean to cool down. Rain showers do occur during the summer season, resulting in a unique weather phenomenon, June Gloom, which results in overcast skies in the morning. The wettest months are November through April, although heavy rains are rare.

Being an international city, travelers will find no end to different food choices in the city. Some of the top restaurants in the world, owned by world renowned chefs are here, including Spago by Wolfgang Puck, Osteria Mozza by Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood. Virtually any type of cuisine is available in Los Angeles, from premium Japanese cut steaks served at Cut at the Beverly Wilshire and delicious desserts at Cheesecake Factory to curious food trucks like Grilled Cheese Truck, The Buttermilk Truck which serves Portuguese sausages, Louks Greek Gourmet to Go and the Nom Nom Truck which serves fast food items. Authentic Mexican food is widely available, as well as delicious hotdogs from Pinks. There are many food options available to serve a wide range of palates and budgets.

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History of Los Angeles

The original settlers in the area now known as Los Angeles are the Tongva and Chumash Native American tribes. They inhabited the area as far back as 8000 BC. In 1542, the California coast was discovered by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer sailing under the Spanish flag. He claimed the land to be under the rule of the Spanish crown. As part of the Spanish conquest, various missions were sent and established in the area for converting the people to Christianity. The first mission was established in 1771 by a Franciscan, Fr. Junípero Serra, who started Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which is today called San Gabriel, a city in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles was founded in 1781, where the original 44 settlers comprised 11 families called “Los Pobladores” established the city’s pueblo. During this time, the governor of Spanish California was Felipe de Neve, who named the settlement El Pueblo Sobre el Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula. This was later shortened to La Reyna de los Ángeles. Travelers can see this pueblo today in the Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza, which is the oldest part of the city.

The city gained its independence from Spanish rule in 1821, and the pueblo came under Mexican rule. By 1842, the California gold rush started because of the discovery of gold in Placerita Canyon, which prompted an influx of people to the area. The increase in population created a demand for meat, which resulted in the development of various ranches and ranching activities in the region.

Later on, the Mexicans lost the area’s control to the Americans in 1847, after the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed after the Battle of Rio San Gabriel. A year later, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially recognized California as a territory of the United States of America and all residents on the land as American citizens. By 1850, California became the union’s 30th state.

The city started its humble beginnings as a provincial outpost. In 1873, seedless naval oranges were brought in from Brazil. The area would become a lush orange grove, which Southern California would become well known for. Within four years, California oranges contributed to the boom in agriculture, creating an economic shift from ranching to agriculture. In 1876, the city experienced another economic boom when it was linked by rail to the city of San Francisco. The discovery of oil also brought immigrants to the city. By 1897, more than 500 oil wells were operating in LA, making the state of California the third largest oil producer of the country.

By the turn of the 20th century, Los Angeles had control of Hollywood and had more than ten different movie companies in operation. By the 1920s, Los Angeles became home to more than 80% of the world’s film industry, which helped buffer the devastating economic effects of the Great Depression suffered by the rest of the country. The city continued to grow, thanks to the continued supply of water by the Los Angeles Aqueduct, as well as the spread of growth to the San Fernando Valley.

Los Angeles is a pioneer in many ways. In 1904, it was the first city to establish a government Playground Department. In 1909, it was the first large city in the country to create zoning laws, which separated commercial and residential areas. It was the fifth city in the country to get a symphony orchestra in 1898. This is also the birthplace of the French dip roast beef sandwich and the Barbie doll. By 1920, over 80% of the films being produced in the world were shot here. Top movie companies such as Walt Disney Company, MGM, Paramount Studios and Twentieth Century Fox are based in the city. The largest Spanish language newspaper in the country, the La Opinión is based in LA and was founded back in 1926. Today, the Spanish daily has a circulation of 126,000. In 1942, the city introduced the world’s first parking meter.

Today, the city of Los Angeles is an important premiere city of the world. The city of Los Angeles has played host to the Summer Olympics twice, first in 1932 and the second time in 1984. Aspiring actors and filmmakers come here to make their dreams come true and to help weave fantasies for the rest of the world. The city is also home to seven of the Fortune 500 companies in the world, making it an important economic hub. The city’s ports and airports are some of the busiest in the world. It’s no wonder why the city attracts close to 25 millions visitors each year.

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Demographics of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world. People who live in Los Angeles hail from more than 140 different countries. Also, there are more than 224 languages spoken by the people. English is the primary language, although more and more people are speaking Spanish, since about half of the population is of Hispanic descent. It’s not surprising to find signs around the city in both English and Spanish. Given the city’s close proximity to the Mexican border, it’s no wonder that LA is home to a number of Hispanic residents. In fact, the city has the highest number of Hispanics in the country.

Close to half of the population are whites, while over 48% are Latinos or Hispanics. Asians comprise 11.3% of the population, while African Americans account for 9.6% and less than a percent are considered Pacific Islanders and Native Americans. At the same time, over 4% of the population comes from a combination of two or more races. This results in a uniquely diverse population.

The bulk of the Hispanics are Mexicans. The rest are from various Latin and South American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Peru, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador. The bulk of the Hispanic community lives in East Los Angeles. The African Americans used to dominate the Southern portion of LA, but these neighborhoods have also become populated by Hispanics as well.

On the other hand, Filipinos and Koreans make up the bulk of the Asian ethnic group of the city. There is a Filipinotown as well as a Koreatown. The Chinese live mostly on the outskirts of the city, but have a strong presence in Chinatown.

If you speak English but would like to make better inroads in business, it pays to know a second language in Los Angeles, particularly, Spanish. In some cases, you may need to use a professional translator or interpreter to get accurate translations of documents and other important items when doing business in the city.

Los Angeles has a young and vibrant population with a median age of 34.1 years old. Close to 32% of the population are between the productive ages of 25 to 44, followed by 23% of the population which are minors and 23% between the ages of 45 to 64 years old. Those aged between 18 to 24 years old make up 11.5% of the population. About 10 % of the population is senior citizens. There are also slightly more females than males in the city.

When it comes to religion, Los Angeles is once again quite diverse. The population in Los Angeles is mostly Christian. In fact, the largest archdiocese in the US is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The region is also home to the second largest group of Jews in the country, most of which live in the San Fernando Valley. The city is also host to the second largest temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. This is the Los Angeles California Temple, a Mormon temple located on Santa Monica Boulevard. At the same time, the Celebrity Center of Scientology is based in LA, which is a religion popularized by Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley. Finally, Los Angeles also has the largest various types of Buddhist practitioners in the world.

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Economy of Los Angeles

The economic contribution of Los Angeles is one of the most important and significant to the state of California. Tourism and hospitality services, various businesses, international trade and entertainment are just some of the industries that make up the economic backbone of this city. There are also many technology-driven emerging industries, such as biomedical and digital information technology, as well as environmental technology. It also has a vibrant manufacturing industry, especially in apparel, electronic and computer parts and components, transportation equipment and food. In fact, the manufacturing industry of Los Angeles is the largest in the entire western portion of the country.

The city of Los Angeles also has busy ports that contribute to the city’s lively commerce. The combined cargo volume processed by the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach places it in the top rank for cargo shipped and received in the country. This is thanks to the city’s ideal proximity and trade relations with Pacific Rim countries. The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor ranks as the fifth busiest container port anywhere in the world. The Port of Los Angeles is also the busiest cruise ship center in the United States West Coast. Over 800,000 passengers boarding cruise ships are served here annually.

Trade, transportation and utilities are the highest employment sectors of the city. In 2008, it employed close to 20% of the wage and salary workers of the city. The second biggest employer of the city is the government, with close to 15% of the population working in civil service. Professional and business services accounts for over 14% of the salaried workers of the city. However, the unemployment level for the city was at a high 12.5%, as of 2009.

Los Angeles is the third largest economic center in the world, preceded only by Tokyo and New York. The gross metropolitan product or GMP of Los Angeles is at a whopping $735.7 billion. This places the city as an Alpha World City.

Some of the largest companies in the world are based in Los Angeles. Seven of the Top Fortune 500 companies call LA their home. These include defense contractor company Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum, health insurer Health Net, Reliance Steel and Aluminum, engineering company AECOM, CBRE Group in real estate and Tutor Perini. Other well known companies based in LA are food companies such as California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, banking companies Capital Group and Far East National Bank, Farmers Insurance Group, media companies Fox Entertainment Group and Triton Media Group; clothing retailer Guess?, The Jim Henson Company, Herbalife, Sunkist, Tokyopop and United Online. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, TeamOne, University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles are some of the city’s top employers.

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Los Angeles Attractions

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting places to visit in the America. Travelers are likely to find a film crew at work or a famous movie star in many of the Hollywood hotspots.

Because many television shows and movies are filmed in LA, it’s great to know that so many of the city’s landmarks are often used as sets and have become iconic landmarks of the city. The Hollywoodsign is probably the most famous of the Los Angeles landmarks. The Kodak Theatre is where the Oscars are held annually, which is near Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where many movie premieres are held. Hollywood Boulevard is the famed street where travelers can see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, wherein many famous actors and artists have become immortalized with their names on stars and handprints on the ground.

The Capital Records Building is another famous landmark that greets visitors entering Hollywood. It was built in 1956 and was designed to look like a stack of 45-rpm disks. It is the first circular office tower in the world and is of architectural interest.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl are top venues for a number of concerts and performances. Aside from being architecturally eye-catching, the venues are often hosts to world-class performers. The Hollywood Bowl first opened its doors to the public in 1922 and is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Many top performers such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, the Beatles and Cher have performed here. The Staples Center is another top performance arena that hosts not only concerts and conventions, but also sporting events. It is also the home of the NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a top tourist attraction. What makes this theme park unique in the world is that it is a working studio. It started as the Universal Film Manufacturing Company in 1915 and the viewing public got to watch the filming process. Many of the sets and backlots seen in Universal Studios have been featured in a number of movies as well as in many music videos. Here, just about any part of the world has been recreated for the sake of movie making, so travelers can see the Old West, go to a Parisian street or walk through Japan, visit New York or see the magical Seussical Land. Movies and shows such as Back to the Future, E.T. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Spiderman, Jaws, The Truman Show, War of the Worlds, Desperate Housewives, Murder She Wrote, Voyagers, Fear Factor and Ghost Whisperer have all been filmed here.

Griffith Park is another popular place for tourists and locals to visit in LA. It is the largest urban park in the country, sitting on a land measuring over 4,000 acres. The terrain comprises mountains, flatlands and lush dales and was donated by Col. J. Griffith to the city of Los Angeles. Travelers can enjoy pony rides at the park, go horseback riding, hiking or simply enjoy the outdoors. There is also the Griffith Observatory, one of the highest points of the city that affords a 360-degree view of the valley. This was opened in 1935, and has allowed the people of Los Angeles to see the skies and stars over Los Angeles using high powered telescopes. Griffith Park is also the location of the Los Angeles Zoo. The Autry National Center, a museum and intercultural center of the American West,Travel Town, a transport museum and the Greek Theater are also found here.

The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens or simply The Huntington, is a research and educational institution in San Rafael Hills, another beautiful section of the city. Opened in 1919 to the public and covering 120 acres, the Botanical Gardens feature a Japanese Garden with a ceremonial teahouse and tea garden.

In Downtown LA, the Exposition Park has several attractions. One of the most visited sites is the Rose Garden. It sits on seven acres and has more than 20,000 different rose bushes of more than 200 varieties. This makes it one of the picturesque venues in the city and is a popular venue for picnics, weddings and other outdoor gatherings. The Rose Garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is also in Exposition Park, as well as the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the California African American Museum. The largest natural history museum in Western United States can be found here. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Country opened in 1913. The prehistoric displays are always popular with the children, especially the dinosaur fossils. Adjacent is the California Science Center, which features interactive displays that teach children about various science concepts and about various ecosystems. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the western half of the United States.

There’s always something to do in Los Angeles. Aside from dining at the various establishments in the city or window shopping down Rodeo Drive, there are several activities to do. Many tourists take a Star Tour of the city, wherein open top buses take you to some of the famous neighborhoods and homes of famous celebrities in Bel-Air and Beverly Hills. Star sightings are quite common in the city, just follow where the paparazzis are and you’re likely to find a celebrity.

At Barnsdall Art Park, there is a Friday night wine tasting event on the Hollycock lawn. Enjoy an old Hollywood flick here by going to the Saturday night outdoor movie. Bring your own blanket. On Sundays, there are art workshops that are free of charge. Barnsdall has been a cultural art center since 1927 and is the home of the famous Hollycock House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Barnsdall Art Center, the Junior Art Center and the Barnsdall Gallery Theater. Those who wish to enjoy a picnic with their family can go to the Pan PacificPark. Enjoy the picnic facilities, baseball diamond, basketball courts, play area or visit the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum. This is the oldest museum in the country that is dedicated to the Holocaust.

Enjoy the weekend markets that litter the city such as in Eagle Rock or Santa Monica. Fresh produce such as freshly picked strawberries, California navel oranges and various organic produce are always available here. It’s a great place to try various cuisines from around the world, such as authentic Mexican burritos and Italian-style breads.

A quick drive away is Disneyland, located in the city of Anaheim, California. This is probably the most famous theme park in the country and is must see for young and old alike. This is where travelers can find Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, take a ride on Dumbo and see Small World and have their pictures taken with favorite Disney Characters.

Those who don’t mind a bit of distance can easily drive down to Santa Monica Beach. This is where the famous show Baywatch was filmed. Visitors can see the Los Angeles lifeguards in action while enjoying the sun and surf of the California coast. Surfing is one of the top activities here. There are some carnival rides, such as the roller coaster and various arcade games on the pier that travelers can enjoy.

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Los Angeles Culture

The city has an interesting culture and energy owing to the diversity of the people. There are also a number of artists in the city, making it the “Creative Capital of the World.” Here, the largest congregation of artists, filmmakers, writers, actors, dancers, musicians and entertainers anywhere in the world can be found here. One out of six people in LA works in the creative industry.

It is undisputed that the cultural contribution of Los Angeles to the world is in the art of filmmaking. The oldest film school in the country is in LA, the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The city is the host of the annual Academy Awards, which is considered to be the most prestigious and oldest award-giving ceremony in the world. Although today Los Angeles’ Hollywood only ranks as the third largest filmmaking city in the world, the movies the city produces are still watched all over the world.

Los Angeles is the city that has made stars and celebrities out of many people. The celebrity culture is undoubtedly the influence of tinseltown’s publicity machinery. As a result, people have an insatiable appetite to know everything about the people they see in movies and TV, which is why paparazzis and tabloid magazines exist. Many people are lured to Hollywood to make it big in the industry, which is probably why about half of the city’s residents are renters given the transitional quality of the city. Many of the people working in the service industry are also likely trying to make it into the business. It’s not uncommon to find a good-looking waitress serving your meal because she’s between auditions.

This is the city where you are most likely to catch sight of famous celebrities, either going about their day or in the middle of a production shoot. A surefire way to see some real stars is to watch them working. Visitors to Los Angeles can watch shows being taped live, such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and various sitcoms and nighttime talk shows. Tickets can be booked in advance or can be purchased on the day of the show, although top shows are often booked months ahead of time.

People in Los Angeles are more laidback than their East Coast counterparts. They also dress quite fashionably. However, there is also a lot of pressure to look young and always at your best. This is why there are stylists, makeup artists, designers and so many cosmetology and plastic surgery clinics all over the city. It’s a city where who you know and how you look are as important as what you know. Also, there is a strong consumerist attitude in the city. Residents are compelled to keep up with the Joneses, which is why there is no end to the parade of luxury vehicles, boutiques selling high priced designer bags and clothes. Owning homes worth millions of dollars is the norm. Some of the premium neighborhoods in Los Angeles have the highest property values in the country.

Los Angeles also has quite a liberal view of things. The city is host to the largest Gay Pride celebration in the country. Los Angeles also has a Hispanic mayor, one of the few minorities in the country to hold a mayoral position.

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Interesting Facts about Los Angeles

Los Angeles is truly a melting pot of cultures, although the majority of the people are of Hispanic descent. Over 54% of the population in the city speaks another language at home. In some cases, English is their second language. This is not surprising since more than 36% of the population is not born on American soil. At the same time, more than 20% of the businesses in the city are owned by Hispanics.

Los Angeles is the Internet’s birthplace. The first ARPANET transmission began from UCLA going to Menlo Park in SRI.

Los Angeles lies on the San Andreas Fault, a major fault line that runs between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. Also, there are many unmapped faults found throughout the city. The most recent major earthquake in history was the 1994 Northridge earthquake. It resulted in the death of 72 people and damage to more than 93,000 buildings in the city costing the city $12.5 billion in damages. This makes it the costliest seismic event in the country since the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

Los Angeles is the film capital of the world. American moviemakers based in Los Angeles are some of the highest-earning film producers in the world, and have been leading the world in the film industry since the 1920s. LA plays host to 54 annual film festivals.

The freeways of Los Angeles are ranked as the most congested in the United States. Unlike other major metropolitan cities, Los Angeles does not have an extensive public railway system although the existing subway system in LA is the 9th busiest in the country. On the other hand, the light rail system ranks as the second busiest in the US. This means that the people of Los Angeles rely on their cars to get to school and work. The volume of vehicles in the area translates to 72 hours of traffic delay annually, according to the Urban Mobility Report. Those who don’t have cars rely on the extensive bus system of the city, which is the second busiest bus system in the US. Ridership is at approximately 8.2 million boardings in a given month.

The Los Angeles International Airport is the 6th busiest commercial airport in the world. In the country, it is the 3rd busiest. LAX handles more than 61 million passengers annually, aside from over two million tons of air cargo.

Los Angeles faces some tough environmental issues and is ranked by the American Lung Association as the most polluted city in the country in terms of short term and year-round particle pollution. The city is notorious for the smog that blankets the city. This is thanks to the geography of the city, plus the heavy use of automobiles. Because the city is in a valley, this creates an atmospheric inversion, resulting in an environmental basin trapping the smog from the exhaust of various vehicles and manufacturing industries. At the same time, Los Angeles doesn’t get much rainfall to help clear the smog, with only about 15 inches or 380 mm of rain a year. Nevertheless, locals and visitors continue to enjoy the outdoors thanks to the year-round pleasant climate of the city.

LA has a reputation of being the “Gang Capital of America.” This is because there are about 45,000 gang members in the city, which belong to about 450 different gangs. Fortunately, crime has been steadily declining in the city.

Los Angeles is a sister city to 25 other major cities in the world. These include Nagoya in Japan, Bordeaux in France, Berlin in Germany, Mexico City, Auckland City in New Zealand, Busan in South Korea, Greece’s Athens, Russia’s Saint Petersburg, Giza, Vancouver, Tehran, Makati in the Philippines, Indonesia’s Jakarta, Beirut, Taipei and Guangzhou in China.

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