By Alicia Brown
Strolling down the sidewalks of downtown, I find myself absently looking into the pale blue sky, whose original crayola sky blue has been masked by the photochemical smog that hovers above the city.
It was an innate feeling to push past the conglomerated hoards of tourists, who feel like pests to my home. Must they block the sidewalk to take pictures with the stars of Hollywood? To me, it is just a sidewalk, and I am just trying to get to the movie theater. Hollywood and Highland, where the most famous stars lay, was the intersection that reminded me only of the heavy traffic that I had to endure to get to the movie. Yet to visitors, that intersection is a place where dreams are made, a place where you walk on and with the stars. This is Los Angeles (LA).
With a budget of over nine billion dollars, a city like LA is hard to beat. People from all over the world and of varying beliefs, values, and traditions all come to admire the expansive metropolis that is our home. According to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention board, over 48 million people visit LA as tourists and bring in a total of nearly $35 billion to stimulate the local economy. This is a city built upon creativity, innovation and opportunity. Yet, as natives of LA, we tend to take this metropolis filled with opportunity for granted. After all, with all the freeways surrounding us, everything is just a short drive from home.
Although we constantly complain about LA’s weather, in reality, it is something that we should be grateful for. Average LA summers reach highs of 82 °F (lows of 63 °F), and winters average a high of 65 °F (lows of 48 °F). In LA, we can spend each and every day of the year outside. We enjoy a whopping 292 days of sunshine and an average of 15 inches of rain annually. In such temperate conditions, we are able to experience every and any terrain possible, including various types of deserts, beaches, valleys, and mountains.
Along with the natural environment that LA provides us, the cultural environment is also a thing to behold. Los Angeles is one of only two cities in the United States that do not have a single racial majority. Residents represent over 140 countries and speak over 200 different languages. From the streets of Downtown to the mansions in Beverly Hills, people from all socioeconomic classes and walks of life are found in LA. This city is a proverbial melting pot of different cultures, religions, beliefs, social status and more. LA is truly one of the most uniquely diverse cities in the world.
Additionally, for those looking for an exciting weekend getaway, there is an endless variety of amusement parks (Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags), festivals and fairs (cultural, social, seasonal), sports events (Dodger stadium, Staples Center), concerts featuring the biggest names in the music industry (Hollywood Bowl, The Forum), museums of all kinds, and virtually anything else that one can think of.
Our city is truly a manifestation of love and passion. LA itself is a beautiful culture, and nearly like a planet of its own. People come from all over the world to see the things that we barely glance at in passing. Take a step back. We cannot take for granted what has been staring us in the face our whole lives. LA is a phenomenal city, and in it, you’ll never find a dull moment.