The City of Angels has been made famous by the lifestyles of the rich and famous and extreme traffic congestion. While it has a notorious reputation, there's plenty of hidden secrets about this city of 13 million. For instance, the original name for the city was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora Reina de los Angeles Sobre el Rio Porciuncula, which translates to "The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels on the Porciuncula River." (Imagine writing that on an address label.)
That's not the only thing you probably didn't know about this world-famous metropolis. Check out these three other fun facts that might make you rethink what you thought you knew about Los Angeles.
It Is a Center for Diversity
People from over 140 countries call Los Angeles home and many of those cultures have their own neighborhoods within the city. Everyone knows about Chinatown, but did you know there is also a Little Tokyo, Korea Town, Little Ethiopia, Little Armenia, and Thai Town along with many others? Over 200 different languages are spoken throughout the city’s streets. It’s no wonder that it is considered one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.
In addition to the different cultures, there are also many religions that call L.A. home. It has the second largest population of Jews in the United States and has the greatest variety of Buddhists in the world, including several temples. In 1956, the Los Angeles California Temple was built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and was recognized as the largest Mormon temple in the world at the time. The massive 190,614-square-foot building includes a visitors’ center, which is open to the public.
It Has the Most Museums per Capita
Step aside Washington, D.C. While the Smithsonian may be one of the most revered historical institutions and basically synonymous with the word “museum,” Los Angeles boasts the most museums per capita of any city in the world: A whopping 841 museums can be found throughout the city.
The Getty Center in the Brentwood neighborhood is considered the wealthiest art institution in the world. The building itself cost $1.3 billion to construct, and that doesn't even include the 230,635 pieces that can be found inside. While it contains some of the most influential works of art, perhaps the most shocking part is that entry to the esteemed museum is free. They also use very high-tech lawn mowers to keep the grounds clear: Every spring, up to 300 goats are brought in to munch on the brush surrounding the property. It has become quite the spectacle.
The Film Industry Has Fascinating Origins
Everyone knows that if you want to make a movie in the U.S., you have to go to Hollywood. But there is a good reason that the film industry ended up in Los Angeles. Thomas Edison is credited with the invention of the moving picture, and he held the patent for many years. Anyone wanting to make a movie would have to pay him intellectual rights, that is, unless the filmmaker got far enough away from Edison that he couldn’t catch him.
Thomas Edison lived in New Jersey, and Los Angeles happens to be about as far away from New Jersey as you can get while staying within the United States. The distance gave filmmakers enough notice to escape to Mexico before Edison’s agents could catch them and shut them down. The patent eventually expired, but the film industry never left Los Angeles. Today, Hollywood, and Los Angeles in general, is considered the creative capital of the world. One in six people who lives in L.A. is employed in a creative field.
Los Angeles: Not Just for Celebrities
When people think of Los Angeles, they usually have pictures of mansions on the hill, champagne fountains, and cocktail dresses. In reality, L.A. is a cultural kaleidoscope where you can easily experience cultures from around the globe without ever leaving the city.