Los Angeles often referred to as "L.A." or the "City of Angels", is the largest city in the state of California and the second-largest in the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality five months before California achieved statehood on April 4, 1850- and is the county seat of Los Angeles County. According to the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, the city has a population of 3.8 million people and is the core cultural and economic center of the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan area, with a population of 12.9 million. Los Angeles is one of the world's most important centers of culture, science, technology, international trade, and higher education. Los Angeles has also been home to two Olympic Games—in 1932 and 1984—and is the host to numerous world-renowned institutions of a broad range of professional and cultural fields. The city of Los Angeles is arguably the world's leading producer of popular entertainment including movies, television programs, and recorded music; forming the base of its international fame and global status.
Some of the most respected art museums in the world can be found in Los Angeles. They include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, the Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library art collection and botanical gardens, and the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles. Other smaller art museums in the city include the Craft and Folk Art Museum, the California African American Museum of Art, and many sculpture gardens throughout the city, including those at the University of Judaism and the University of California, Los Angeles.
While the cuisines of many cultures have taken root in Los Angeles, it is the home of the Cobb Salad, invented in the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, the French-Dip sandwich, originated by either Cole's or Phillippe's restaurant in downtown, the ice blended coffee drink by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Tommy's Hamburger.
Los Angeles is situated in a Mediterranean climate or subtropical zone, experiencing mild, reasonably wet winters and warm to hot, mildly humid summers. Generally the weather is dry during all seasons, but can be relatively cold in the winter. Breezes from the Pacific Ocean tend to keep the beach communities of the Los Angeles area cooler in summer and warmer in winter than those further inland, and summer temperatures can sometimes vary by as much as 25 °F warmer in the inland communities compared to that of the coastal communities. The coastal communities of Los Angeles are commonly affected by a phenomenon known as a 'marine layer', a dense cloud cover caused by the proximity of the ocean, that helps keep the temperatures cooler throughout the year. Rain occurs mainly in the winter and spring months (February being the wettest month) with great variations in storm severity year by year. Los Angeles averages 15 inches (381 mm) of precipitation per year. It rarely snows in the city basin, but the mountains slopes within city limits typically receive snow every year. With weather permitting, it is possible to snow ski and surf on the same day in the Los Angeles area.
The people of Los Angeles are known as Angelenos. L.A. is described as a "world city". Los Angeles has one of the largest and most diverse populations of any municipality anywhere. It has the second largest percentage of foreign-born citizens of any major U.S. city, after Miami. The Hispanic, Asian American, and Caribbean populations are growing particularly quickly — the Asian American population is the largest of any city in the U.S and the city contains the largest concentration of Los Angeles County's 1.4 million Asians. Los Angeles hosts the largest populations of Armenians, Cambodians, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Hungarians, Koreans, Mexicans, Pacific Islanders such as Samoans, Salvadorans, Thais, and Vietnamese in the world outside of their respective countries. Los Angeles is also home to the largest populations of Japanese and Persians living in the U.S., and has one of the largest Native American populations in the country. Los Angeles is home to people from more than 140 countries, who speak at least 224 different languages. Ethnic enclaves like Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Little Persia, Little Tokyo, Thai Town, and Little Saigon give testimony to the polyglot character of Los Angeles and its unique diversity.
Great restaurants of all types are abound in Los Angeles, thus the city is a fine location for exquisite dining. Many celebrity chefs are also based in the city. Los Angeles nightlife is also very vibrant, with an immense array of bars, clubs, lounges, and other venues that cater to all tastes. Nighttime hotspots include places such as Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake, Hollywood, and West Hollywood which is home of the world-famous Sunset Strip. Furthermore, the Los Angeles area also boasts a prominent shopping scene where anything can be bought; some of the best shopping areas include Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Third Street Promenade and Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, Old Town Pasadena, the Hollywood and Highland complex, the Beverly Center, The Grove, Melrose Avenue, and Robertson Boulevard.
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