Los Angeles and Santa Monica

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Los Angeles – the City of Angels – is the second-largest city in the United States known for its mediterranean climate, its strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science and nearly everything else. And L.A. includes Hollywood, the cultural center of the American entertainment industry and one of the world leader in the creation of movie and television productions.

The city is divided into over 80 districts and neighborhoods what made it absolutely impossible to see even a quarter during our visit. Therefore I want to show you some impressions of Downtown, Little Tokyo, Arts District and of course Hollywood!
Important landmarks in Downtown include the Angels Flight (a 2.6 ft/762 mm narrow gauge funicular railway) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (designed by one of my favorite architects Frank Gehry).
Little Tokyo, also known as Little Tokyo Historic District, is an ethnically Japanese American district in downtown Los Angeles and the heart of the largest Japanese-American population in North America. It was founded around the beginning of the 20th century, and was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1995. Due to spring, we were lucky to see some cherry trees in blossom.
The Arts District occupies east of Little Tokyo and west of the L.A. River. The area of formerly abandoned industrial buildings has become a mecca for people in the creative industries. Nearly every building is covered in inspiring graffitis and you can literally see art around every corner.

Hollywood is most probably the best-known district of all and is, as said before, home of the entertainment industry. You can find there several historic movie and television studios. Some of them also include a theme park where tourists can experience their favorite movies. Well-known attractions there are

  • the Hollywood Boulevard,
  • the Walk of Fame with its more than 2,500 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars,
  • the TCL Chinese Theatre with nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs in the concrete of the theatre’s forecourt
  • and the Hollywood Sign.

Especially the Hollywood Sign was definitely not as impressive as I thought. The letters were originally created in 1923 for an advertisement, but they were left up to increase recognition. I thought there were huge and could be seen from nearly everywhere in the city – but in reality they can be only seen from very few places. One place where you can spot it is the giant shopping mall next to the Chinese Theatre.

Our last stop before leaving California was in Santa Monica, a beachfront city famous for its pier. The Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed pier located at the foot of Colorado Avenue and is a prominent, 100-year-old landmark. It contains a family amusement park with an original carousel hippodrome from the 1920s, a ferris wheel, a video arcade and many other entertainments and shops.

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