is the second largest city in the U.S. and the largest city on the West Coast. The population of the urban settlement, known as Greater Los Angeles, is 17 million people. This number is particularly felt when your plane comes in for landing at LAX in the evening. Everywhere you look there is an endless sea of lights. Many people may be surprised that, in spite of its enormous size, Los Angeles is generally a low-rise city; a kind of huge village that includes a private sector, that stretches tens of miles in every direction. In this regard, Los Angeles is very different from New York.
While Los Angeles is huge in size, as well as a mostly low-rise cluster, there are several basic and very disparate urban epicenters. In fact, individual cities (a kind of "city within a city") such as Downtown,
and Beverly-Hills - which house luxury studios and hundreds of expensive celebrity mansions - as well as two seaside resort districts (Long Beach and Santa Monica) are in stark contrast to these poorer areas. Here's how Los Angeles looks: several epicenters, tens of miles from each other, and blocks of one-story houses that stretch all around them for miles. Los Angeles is a very small city, both in terms of appearance of its parts and the composition of its population - almost half of the inhabitants of the outer settlements are from Mexico. These neighborhoods are also concentrated by African-Americans residents and immigrants from other countries (for example, there are "Russian neighborhoods", where many of the street signs are dubbed in Russian). These neighborhoods are markedly different from the glamorous sections like Hollywood and Beverly Hills, as well as the seaside resorts of Long Beach and Santa Monica. So, we will dive into the the area of Greater Los Angeles.
Since Los Angeles consists of several cities that are separated from each, I will tell you about each of them separately. Right now, let's walk through the business center called Downtown, as in most major U.S. cities.
This photo was taken the same night that we arrived. We decided to take a walk through the city and we saw the bright;y lit building below, the Central Library of Los Angeles built in 1926, one of the symbols of Downtown.
An important reception was being held in the library that night. In the nearby park, there was some kind of up-market outdoor picnic where women in evening dresses and men in tuxedos were laughing and drinking champagne...
We walked through the streets of Downtown. Here we saw a prominent representative of the American urban architecture of the mid 20th century.
And this is the core of the skyscrapers in Los Angeles.
became the first urban public park. Now it is an asphalt square but still a popular spot Downtown.
In downtown Los Angeles there is a cable car track still in operation called "Angels Flight". This 314 foot (96-meter) long railway was opened in 1901 but in 1969, when this district of the city went into decline, it was closed. It was re-opened only recently.
Here, we were inside the cable car.
The area that makes up Downtown is relatively small, and while walking through it you will often run into many of its main landmarks. Below, the Central City Library in daylight.
And this is U.S. Bank Tower - the tallest skyscraper in California at 1017 feet (310 m), and one of the most recognizable buildings in Los Angeles.
The 1984 Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles and the city has several beautiful monuments associated with the event. Here is one of them.
Continuing the sports theme, we saw a marathon in th city during our visit. In fact, the famous Los Angeles Marathon is held annually in March, so this was probably a rehearsal. It was such a huge race though, as if the entire city was running!
Here is the top of the city library, surrounded by Egyptian statues that glistens brightly in the sun. It looks so beautiful.
More skyscrapers and greenery...
We joined the race and took more photos.
She got tired...
Marathon participants were dressed in a variety of outfits, and an impressive and very loud cheerleading squad were lined up along the streets.
But let's return to exploring Downtown...
One of the more colorful districts of the business center is "Little Tokyo". The first Japanese settlement appeared here in 1884.
This is the Monument to Shoji Onizuka, an American-Japanese astronaut of who died on January 28, 1986 on the "Challenger" space shuttle.