The city of Los Angeles has a long and storied history, from its beginnings as a Spanish colony to its current status as the entertainment capital of the world. The city was founded on September 4, 1781, and was given the name The People of the Queen of Los Angeles, which translates as “The City of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels”. It is located in California, and is the second most populous city in the United States after New York. It is also the largest city in California, and covers an area of 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles).
Los Angeles is home to 3,847,400 people, and more than 18 million people live in its metropolitan area. The city is built on a fault line, which crosses the city center, and this has led to few skyscrapers and tall structures. It is one of the most dispersed cities in the world. Los Angeles is surrounded by East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Maywood, Walnut Park, Commerce, Bell, Glendale, South Pasadena, Monterey Park, South Gate, Cudahy, West Hollywood, Alhambra, Bell Gardena and Westmont.
Los Angeles has Spanish and Mexican influences because it was once a colony of Mexico and Spain. This can be seen in its architecture and culture. The city is also home to many ethnic groups such as Mexicans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Salvadorans, Iranians and Armenians. Los Angeles is known for being the entertainment capital of the world.
Many movies, TV shows and fashion shows take place in Los Angeles. It is also home to many celebrities. The city is one of the most expensive cities to live in. The Santa Monica Mountains cross the city and separate it into the San Fernando Valley to the north and the Los Angeles Basin to the south.
The Los Angeles River also crosses the city about 51 miles (82 km). Los Angeles moves approximately a quarter of an inch (6.3 millimeters) to the east every year due to its tectonic plates and geography. This brings Los Angeles and San Francisco closer by 2.5 inches (64 mm) each year.The climate in Los Angeles is a Mediterranean climate. It is generally warm and dry during the summer months and milder and rainier in winter months.
The climate can vary depending on how far away you are from the ocean; places near the beach are usually not as hot in summer. The city gets about 15 inches (380 mm) of rain each year.Los Angeles has many long beaches such as Venice Beach. Visitors can also go to Hollywood to see attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame or Mann's Chinese Theater (Grauman's). There are also many excellent museums such as LACMA (Los Angeles County Art Museum), California Science Center and Getty Museum.The Los Angeles Zoo is another popular attraction; it is the only major city in the world with an active population of wild cougars.
There are numerous colleges and universities outside city limits in the Los Angeles metropolitan area including Claremont Colleges consortium which includes some of the most selective liberal arts universities in the US.The origin of Los Angeles' name comes from Spanish on a river called: The Town of Our Lady of the Angels of Porciúncula which translates as “Los Angeles”. The bronze plaque in Plaza on Olvera Street below a statue of Spanish king Charles III who ordered “the founding of The People of Queen of Angels in 1781” confirms this.Los Angeles is home to many awards ceremonies such as Academy Awards, Primetime Emmys and Grammy Awards. Outside some centers such as Downtown, Warner Center, Century City, Koreatown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood and Westwood skyscrapers are not common.Latino street gangs such as Los Sureños (a Mexican-American street gang) and Mara Salvatrucha (which mainly has members of Salvadoran descent) originated in Los Angeles. Between 1908 and 1915 some industrial uses emerged due to exceptions created by Los Angeles City Council.Los Angeles drivers experience one of the worst rush hour periods in the world according to an annual traffic index from navigation system manufacturer TomTom.
As with much of southwestern United States area surrounding what is now Los Angeles once belonged to Spain.Los Angeles has a diverse economy with companies from a wide range of professional and cultural fields.