Los Angeles certainly has much more to offer than just three hundred days a year of sunshine and blue skies, although rubbing in that fact with a handful of sun cream is sure to make anyone back home just a little bit jealous. So now that you are here and you’re enjoying the Mediterranean climate and the tan, it is time to actually start living here. Luckily for expatriates in Los Angeles, the city is not so strange to them. LA’s sprawl has meant that ethnic difference has remained intact. While New York’s ethnic mix has been forced to live side by side and become a true melting pot of cultures, LA is so spread out that many ethnic cities have a little more geographical separation from one another.
If you are one of the many “Foodies” in town, LA can offer a variety of ethnic foods that have remained authentic from American influence as well as creatively inspiring exotic food with an American, or more specifically, a Californian touch. Spend a day out in Little Tokyo, Chinatown, or Koreatown, and you can experience ethnic restaurants, grocery stores and markets full of food from the old country. Most people speak English, but don’t be surprised if you face a little challenge communicating with people.
With more than 240 countries represented in Los Angeles and enough enclaves of ethnicities to make the United Nations green with envy, LA attracts foreign and American expatriates in droves, enticed by fame and fortune of the entertainment capital of the world, the all year-round Mediterranean climate, and its famous beaches. Los Angeles is populated with actors and musicians, all hoping for their big break. Most don’t succeed and high tail it back home. The entertainment capital can be a cruel city and only the talented, tenacious, networking fanatical few, survive. There are also thriving businesses outside of the entertainment industry, just know that even those are affected by the star-studded machine that runs most of LA.
In 1781, 44 vecinos pobladores (village settlers) from the Mexican provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa came and called home what is now downtown Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. At the time, the area of Los Angeles still belonged to more than 30,000 Native Americans. 1821, the town became a part of Mexico, following its independence from Spain. In 1850, two years after the Mexican-American war, California became the 31st State of the American union. For more than two decades, Los Angeles was known as a cattle-hide town. In 1876 the transcontinental railroads brought the city its first real estate boom with Midwest farmers relocating to the city in the thousands. Oil was discovered in 1892, starting LA’s second boom and by 1923 the city was producing one-quarter of the world’s petroleum. Growth of the city continued with the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, providing a continuous supply of water to the city. The motion picture industry in LA started in 1910 and in Hollywood in 1911. By the 1920s both the motion picture and aviation industries made their home in LA and by 1932 the population was over one million as the city took center stage on the global map by hosting the Olympic games.
LA’s post war years saw further expansion and economic growth but during the last decades of the 20th century, LA’s reputation as the gang center of the US, racial tensions, and police corruption pushed the city into the world spotlight during the Rodney King incident in 1992 when LAPD officers were caught on tape beating King. This sparked the worst riots in the history of the city. Asian immigration continued to rise and the Latino population continued to grow to become the dominant racial group in the city. In 2005, Antonio Villaraigosa became the first Latino mayor of the city.
As the capital of the entertainment industry, Los Angeles continues to draw talented and innovative individuals, visitors, and expatriates from all over the globe. The motion industry brings in home about $34 billion a year. The city is also one of the most innovative cities in the world for fashion, dining, business, science, medical, and technology.
Los Angeles is home to prestigious schools as such the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) which boasts its world-class hospitals, USC (University of Southern California), Pepperdine University, Occidental College where President Obama attended for 2 years, and more.
The County of Los Angles has a population of 10 million people while the City of Los Angeles has a population of 3.8 million people, and spans over 498.3 square miles. Dominant languages spoken in the city are English, Spanish, Korean, Filipino, Armenian, Mandarin and Cantonese, and more than 200 different languages. With more than 140 countries represented in LA, the city can seem like a miss-match of cultures, architectural styles, and belief systems. LA is also home to one of the largest concentrations of gay, lesbians, and transgender populations in the country.