Believe it or not, it all started with the L.A. River. Not the
cement land-gash that is today’s monstrosity, but the real, natural Río
de Los Angeles (then known as the Río Porciúncula). In 1777, the
Spanish Governor of California, Felipe de Neve, ordered that a pueblo be established
along the river north of the San Gabriel Mission. The primary purpose of the
pueblo would be to reaffirm Spain’s claim over the territory, but it would also
assist in supplying and feeding the Spanish military forces in the region. Believing
that the river location was ideal for irrigation as well as a potential transportation
source, the Governor instructed Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada to recruit colonists
to settle the new pueblo. On September 14, 1781, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los
Angeles (The Town of the Queen of the Angels) was officially established, with
44 men, women and children from 12 families calling it home.
We’re a little bigger now. Over the past 224 years those 44 people
have grown into more than 3.9 million, making Los Angeles the second-largest
city in the country. We have paved 7,633 miles of streets over 469 square miles
of land. We are home to the world’s largest man-made port and the nation’s third-largest
shopping mall. We are the largest point of entry for immigrants to the United
States and home to the largest populations of Armenians, Cambodians, Filipinos,
Guatemalans, Koreans, Thais, Mexicans, and Salvadorans outside of their respective
countries. We are Los Angeles – the entertainment capital of the world, and
a Mecca for those seeking fame and fortune.
But who are we really?
We are more than our movies and music. We are more than traffic
jams and boob jobs. We are more than sunglasses and cell phones, earthquakes
and race riots. We are more than the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, Galaxy,
Kings and Avengers combined. We are not stars, symbols, statistics or stereotypes.
We are the living, breathing men and women who work, play and dream right next
door. You know us. We’ve met. We are you. We are Los Angeles. Welcome
to the neighborhood.
Every Angeleno is an L.A. story. There’s the 20-year-old kid who
just flew in from Nebraska with a big smile and bigger dreams. That’s the 70-year-old
barber who’s been cutting hair in the same shop on the same corner since 1961.
He’s the failed drummer who made a fortune trading albums on eBay. She’s the
principal at the high school where she was once suspended for smoking pot. These
are your neighbors – and you are theirs.
In the following pages, we will introduce you to Los Angeles from
the inside: a living-room view of some people and communities that are changing
the definition of the Los Angeles home. In addition, we offer some essential
guides to L.A. living, with information and resources for every Angeleno. So
sit back, relax and meet your neighbors. Come inside as they give you a glimpse
of who they are and how they live.
This is Los Angeles. This is The Living City.
Get Around Downtown
Historic Gas Company
Park La Brea
at Park La Brea
at Park La Brea East
The Villas At Park
Editor: Dean Purvis
Project Coordinator: Miranda Martin
Research Assistant: Nici Edwards
Snookie Stoddard, Classified Advertising Director
Colin Thompson, Director of New Business Development
Miranda Martin, Real Estate & Rentals Manager
Nici Edwards, Sales Assistant