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Get to know Los Angeles

What can be said about the City of Angels that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? Spanning 500 square miles from the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains to the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, it’s California’s largest city and the nation’s second-largest—its metro comprises the third-largest economic epicenter in the world. It’s home to the film and television industry, and the world’s busiest port, and 63 colleges. Celebrity sightings on coffee runs are a common occurrence, as you’d expect in the world’s movie and television and capital. There are two distinct skylines, Downtown (DTLA) and Century City, and a still-growing subway system connecting the more urban neighborhoods. Iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park and Santa Monica Pier collectively draw millions of tourists each year, and are movie stars in their own right. It’s no wonder four million people call Los Angeles home.
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History & Culture

The mere existence of this metropolis is nothing short of a miracle. An inconsequential pueblo under Spanish rule, the population of Los Angeles jumped from about ten to a hundred-thousand residents just between 1880 and 1900 alone, prompted by the arrival of two railroads and the discovery of oil fields that once pumped out a quarter of the world’s supply. After the city’s water woes nearly put its growth in checkmate, William Mulholland stretched aqueducts deep into the state, prompting neighboring communities to consolidate and annex themselves to tap this precious municipal infrastructure — commencing the sprawl that defines Los Angeles today. Hollywood is quite literally synonymous with filmmaking. Industry pioneers, many from New York, first planted themselves here to evade Thomas Edison, whose patents gave him a monopoly on motion picture production. With an arid climate practical for year-round shoots, movie and television production has thrived in Tinseltown ever since.

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Dine & Shop

From Abbott Kinney to Rodeo Drive, it’s no secret Los Angeles runs red-haute with world class shopping districts — each neighborhood catering to a unique array of retailers. Venice boasts a bungalow-laden drag of design-minded merchants, catering to the boho-chic crowd and those looking to experience Instagram-brand wares “IRL.” Farmers Market, the prototype for countless hipster food halls across America, sits adjacent to The Grove, an upscale outdoor mall with its own trolley car. Record shops and vintage stores dot Silver Lake and Los Feliz, and Larchmont, which retains its homey streetcar suburb feel, has the city’s oldest independent bookstore. Somewhat lesser-known is that the food scene runs neck-and-neck with New York or San Francisco, with the city’s chefs and their restaurants raking in multiple James Beard Award nominations—and wins—each year. From fastidious food trucks to innovative tasting menus, there’s just about nothing you won’t find.