I visited Los Angeles for the first time back in April 1997. Since then, I have been coming here at least twice a year. I always enjoy myself to the fullest in greater Los Angeles and want to express my deep love for the place and appreciation for its people. In fact, Los Angelenos are so friendly and easy-going that I always feel at home whenever I am there.
Los Angeles, often referred to as L.A., is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. I consider it to be my second hometown where, as a matter of fact, I earned my college degree here and have lots of local, long-standing good friends.
L.A. evokes images and emotions as varied as its landscape. From the sandy beaches along the coast and the famous hills of Hollywood to the vibrant Downtown plazas and skyscrapers, L.A. surprises you; it keeps fascinating me though I have been there several times. When visiting Los Angeles, it is helpful to visualize the landscape as an intricately designed panorama composed of five regions; each with its own character - Downtown, Coastal, Westside, Hollywood, and The Valleys.
Downtown: The city’s heartbeat emanates from dynamic urban core of Downtown L.A. Against the horizon, soaring new hotels, office buildings and apartment complexes define the city’s dramatic skyline. Completing the cityscape is Southern California’s centerpiece, the Los Angeles Convention Center. Several of L.A.’s ethnic communities thrive within the boundaries marked by Downtown’s polished financial Towers and glistening skyscrapers.
Coastal: Stretching 72 miles along the Pacific Ocean from Malibu in the North to Long Beach in the South, the shoreline communities of Los Angeles County offer spectacular beaches, an array of attractions, and an endless list of recreational activities to its visitors.
Westside: Chic and glamorous, the Westside is where you will find many of the city’s most fashionable shops, restaurants, art galleries, and entertainment centers. Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Century City, Westwood, Brentwood, and Bel Air are but a few of many exclusive neighborhoods where the magnificent homes present worth-seeing sights.
Hollywood: The entertainment capital of the world ranks high on visitors’ must-see lists. The legend of the cinema comes to life in Hollywood as visitors stroll down the “Walk of Fame” recalling celebrities whose names appear on bronze stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. You can compare footprints with more than 160 legendary stars in the courtyard of Mann’s Chinese Theater, visit museums, or experience the world of television by attending a taping of TV show. Last but not the least; you can have fun at Hollywood Studios such as Universal Studios, Warner Bros Studios, etc.
The Valleys: To the north and east of Los Angeles lie San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and San Gabriel valleys. San Fernando Valley, known simply as “The Valley”, is home to more than 1 million people. The Valley is a blend of modern office complexes, fine restaurants, and exciting shopping malls, and a paradise of recreational areas for those who love the outdoors, just like me.
Los Angeles, contrary to what many think, isn’t only “home” to the movie industry; you can enjoy sun, surf, and sand, pleasant and mild weather (which is definitely my favorite) along with friendly, nice, and easy-going people (even if the sophisticated East Coast of America rival, New York, thinks differently). In fact, it is said that New Yorkers have always looked down on the West Coast.
I personally think that Los Angeles is a worth-visiting place, at least once in your life. This is because it’s a cosmopolitan, international city. The ethnic diversity, customs, languages, and lifestyles that influence the city’s character, span the globe.
See you soon in L.A.