Since its the summer break, I've had a bit of time to Explore Los Angeles. Its an amazing city with a lot of beautiful places to visit.
According to the Urban Systems class I took in Fall 2011 Los Angeles is the first city in the US that was designed around the automobile. This meant that the city is very wide spread and a lot of people live in the suburbs. Also its a decentralized city, meaning contrary to most of the major cities in the world today, downtown LA is not as important for the city of LA. Most businesses are spread through-out the county and the public transportation system is not as dynamic as NYC or Chicago. Downtown LA is pretty small and is unglamorous than expected for the most part.
LA depends on the existence of a large network of freeways. Infamous LA traffic is personally a huge turnoff for me but without them I would not be able to get anywhere. Thankfully, on a daily basis I don't have to deal with highway rush-hour traffic.
LA also used to have quite an extensive trolley system owned by various private companies. You can still see the trolley rails in various places downtown. During the past 20 - 30 years, Downtown LA has experienced major clean up and growth. LA live project revitalized the area and today downtown LA is home to many luxuary hotels, condos and apartment complexes.
If you are visiting downtown LA, there are a few places you should definitely check out.
LA Live is a huge tourist attractions in downtown. I haven't gone to many of the restaurants, the Staples center, many clubs, etc there simply because I'm taking it for granted that I live practically a few blocks away from it.
For art lovers there are a few awesome places one must visit. MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is probably the most important museum in Downtown LA. LA Arts district also has many artist studios, galleries and lots of wonderful street art.
Other museums in Los Angeles include Wells Fargo History Museum, The Garmmy Museum at LA Live, and The Japanese American National Museum.
Also make sure to visit Little Tokyo and China town. You will be able to experience the Japanese and the Chinese culture, food, clothing and life-style in these areas.
Unless if you want to see the largest stable population of homeless community in the US, I would strongly advise you to avoid Skid Row area. Its sad that in a wonderful city of wealth and lovely culture, there are so much poverty and homelessness only blocks away from the fancy neighborhoods.
Moving away from Downtown LA, there are many wonderful places to visit such as the Getty Center, Getty Villa, Santa Monica Pier, The Griffith Observatory, LACMA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, etc.
I will try to do an article about places of Architectural importance in LA as well as about other touristy places. Keep visiting the blog.