Home to the Hollywood dream factory is Los Angeles, 'Creative Capital of the World’. Here in the City of Angels, roughly one-in-six residents work as an artist, dancer, writer, filmmaker, or actor.
This southern Californian trade, finance, technology culture and fashion hub has been ranked the third-richest city and fifth most powerful and influential city in the world. It is also the second-most populous state in the US.
Spread across more than 80 city regions, L.A. is a vast, sprawling network of diverse neighbourhoods. Locals advise that you live near to where you work, or where your friends live so that you can really tap into the local community flavour.
Despite is behemoth size, L.A., unlike other US mega cities (such as Houston), is pedestrian-friendly. It has many neighbourhoods in which you can walk to get your groceries, browse through independent boutiques or stroll down to the café/ bar/restaurant after work.
If you crave the ocean breeze, head for Santa Monica or Venice Beach. Great areas for families include West L.A, Brentwood, Miracle Mile and the Valley, while young professionals might opt for the hip and trendy East side’s Silver Lake and Echo Park.
The city’s geography has made it prone to many things, most notably earthquakes and air pollution. The recent passage of the Clean Air Act and the state of California’s decision to mandate low emissions vehicles such as hybrid and electric cars are a breath of fresh air for those living in the city. Indeed, they are the first among a host of measures designed to mitigate and reverse the impact of L.A’s auto-centric city planning.
What is special or unique about your city?
One of the world's most culturally diverse cities, Los Angeles (also known as the "City of Angels," or just LA), is home to people from 140 countries speaking 96 different languages. The area is a renowned cultural centre, with outstanding museums, theatres, dance companies and music venues.
LA is also the home of Hollywood - the centre of the entertainment industry. Amusement parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Knott's Berry Farm lure you with their offerings. For sports fans, there are many teams, including baseball's LA Dodgers and California Angels, basketball's Lakers and Clippers and hockey's Kings and Mighty Ducks.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
The weather is warm and wonderful and the sandy beaches and palm trees tempt many from their responsibilities. No matter how much time one has available, there's so much to do and so little time!
Truly, two of the biggest challenges in adjusting to life in LA is getting used to the traffic and managing your entertainment options.
Are these impressions likely to change?
What is the local language?
English is the local language. However, the Spanish influence is strong throughout Southern California in language, street names (Mission Viejo and Loz Feliz Boulevard) and the foods enjoyed (tacos, enchiladas, burritos).
What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
Because of the diverse nature of the LA area and the acceptance of other customs and values, it is very difficult to offend the locals. Using certain hand gestures (such as displaying your middle finger) can be considered offensive.
How might the local weather affect my daily life?
It is typically sunny and mild in LA. The weather offers no barriers to everyday living. Winter can bring heavy rain but it doesn't last for long. Summer and autumn bring warmer temperatures which can reach into the 40’s degree Celsius but, again, it does not last for long. Bush fires are a danger during the dry summer and fall, but constant clearing of dead vegetation helps keep things safe.
Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
With the diverse nature of residents and communities, LA has the resources to suit the needs of most anyone. From the less populated suburbs to the busy and fully occupied city, the LA area is a great place in which to work and play.