Really, What Is Los Angeles?

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November 26th 2019
Published: November 26th 2019
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I tend to use the terms Southern California and Los Angeles interchangeably. And I am not speaking of the myriad of freeway interchanges. We often refer to LA, SoCal, or LALA Land as one entity. The actual city of Los Angeles is really just a part, a rather big part of the SoCal scene.

Most of us know Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the world. You may remember the great Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. He actually moved the show from New York City, the Big Apple, to Los Angeles! The nerve of the guy.

On a real understated note, the area has more than 100 museums. To balance out the culture, there is the ultimate tourist trap in the universe, the Hollywood Walk of Fame. About 2,614 stars are imbedded in the grungy sidewalks of Hollywood.

I also attended the Olympics here in 1984. LA, the only North American city to host the Olympics twice, hosted the Olympics previously in 1932. A lucky third time will occur in 2028.

LA is also home to the NFL Rams and Chargers, the NBA Lakers and Clippers, and the Dodgers. Just down the road, the Anaheim Angels play across the freeway from Disneyland. Oh, and the NHL Kings, and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. And two major universities, UCLA and USC are both immensely popular and successful.

Little known to many is the Los Angeles city government complex is largest after the Federal government in Washington, DC. And the largest historical theater district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fashion is still big business here, with 87,000 jobs in the garment and fashion industry. A whopping 700,00 work in health are and related businesses. And 190,000 work in aerospace and technology.

The City of LA itself is 472 square miles. LA County is 4.084 square miles, and the five county area is 34,135 square miles. There are 88 incorporated cities in LA County.

The last estimate of population in 2016 is 4 million, ten million in the county, and nearly 20 million in the five county region. LA County was the first in the nation to reach ten million. If the county were a state, it would be the seventh largest in the US!! Latinos (Hispanics) make up the majority, with nearly 49% of the population.

Many argue that the LA coastline has the best beaches on the entire west coast. If you measure the quality of the beach by the bikini clad young ladies, I would agree! Malibu, Venice, Long Beach, Manhattan, Redondo, all have their fair share of loyal beach goers.

For us cyclists, LA has over 430 miles of bikeways, including 120 new miles created within the city of LA itself. Who would ever have thought that back in the car crazy Sixties?

LA County's GDP ($807 billion) would rank 19th in the world if it were a stand alone country. It remains the second most populous city in the US, behind NYC.

The list of famous people is quite long, but here are a few that might surprise you: Shirley Temple (the drink was also invented here in LA), George Takei, Robert Redford, Marilyn Monroe, Duchess of Sussex, H.R. Haldemann, Frank Gehry, and Herb Alpert.

Oil was discovered here in the 1890s, about the time my grandfather arrived from Japan. It was near the present location of Dodger Stadium.

Most people do not know that Griffith Park in LA is the largest state park in California. At 3,210 acres, it is also home to the Los Angeles Zoo, planetarium, Greek Theater (great for concerts), and Griffith Observatory.

The LA County Coroner's Office has a gift shop, and I have been there. The famous "coroner to the stars", Dr. Thomas Noguchi, presided over many famous autopsies.

LA is home to the famous burger chain, In N Out Burger, one of our all time favorites.

Since 1950, Oscar winners cannot officially sell their statuette. Before taking home the Oscar, the laureates have to sign an agreement according to which they can’t sell their trophy without first offering it back to the Academy for one dollar.

LA and San Francisco become 2.5 inches closer each year due to the infamous San Andreas Fault.

The last solar eclipse in LA was in 1724. The next one? Try April 1, 3290

When the LA doctors went on strike due to rising malpractice premiums, the mortality rate dropped by 18%!!!!

The City of LA uses 96 million plastic balls to prevent evaporation of its drinking water, saving water for 8100 people per year!

A big city always has lots of "secrets" or little known facts. Maybe you know something you can share with us. Maybe a secret tomb or underground night club. LA is enough to navigate without adding another layer of complexity!

Again, we had to cancel, but I hated to have this email disappear into cyberspace.


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