The Greater Downtown District

Los Angeles is big. It's huge, in fact. Griffith Park is bigger than Central Park, and Los Angeles County is almost twice as large as the state of Delaware, even if you aren't counting the unincorporated areas. The district of Downtown consists of much more than just the cluster of skyscrapers and courthouses that makes up the Downtown Core. It includes the business districts stretching west along Wilshire Boulevard, the neighborhoods of Eagle Rock and Silver Lake, the city of Pasadena to the northeast, the vast expanse of Griffith Park, and of course Hollywood, with all of its plastic glamour and faded glory.
If the West Side is wealth, and South Central is squalor, then Downtown is where they come together in a chaotic, heterogeneous mish-mash. Nowhere are there more homeless than among the glimmering skyscrapers of the Downtown Core, and no area has at once such a collection of wealthy socialites and destitute degenerates as Hollywood.

Please find below an overview of the various areas in the Greater Downtown District. The maps do not match our grid any longer. However - they do provide an impression of the location of the various places within an area or district. Please find an overview of how the places mentioned below, match the areas on our grid here.


A - Downtown Core


B - Silver Lake

Silver Lake is a Los Angeles neighborhood east of Hollywood. Inhabited by a wide variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic groups, it is best known as a major center of the gay and art communities in Los Angeles. There are 44,351 people in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is 21.24% non-Latino white, 2.74% African American, 1.10% Native American, 16.58% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, and 57.35% Hispanic or Latino. Since the 1990s it has become the center of the alternative rock scene in Los Angeles. It has been the home of musicians such as Beck, the Eels, Rilo Kiley, Pavement, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the late Elliott Smith.


C - Mid Wilshire

Mid-Wilshire is a region in west-central Los Angeles, which encompasses the area bounded by La Cienega Boulevard on the west, Melrose Avenue on the north, Hoover Street on the east, and the Santa Monica Freeway on the south. It derives its name from Wilshire Boulevard, the primary east-west thoroughfare through the area. Here you will find a concentration of tall office buildings on Wilshire Blvd. Koreatown is located on the southern section of this area. Rents between 3rd Street and Wilshire Blvd. are generally higher than they are south of Wilshire and north of 3rd St. In general, this is a mid to lower rent area. The ambience is definitely urban with very much of an ethnic mix. Wilshire Blvd. is one of the main arteries of Los Angeles and this particular part has perhaps the most pedestrian activity during the day. Hot dogs and pretzels are sold at every corner out of push carts. Also, one of the largest influences in this area is the Korean community. Walking is also a definite alternative. Parking is almost always very tight because a number of the older buildings were built before everybody had cars.


D - Hollywood

Hollywood houses the Paramount Studios, Hollywood Bowl, Pantages Theatre, Doolittle Theatre, and the Henry Fonda Theatre as well as others. Housing consists of some single family dwellings for rent circa 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Apartment buildings from various eras can be found as well. New apartment complexes have been built within the last few years ranging from modest to luxury. In general, this area is middle range in price as compared to such areas as Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Westwood, and areas further to the west. Ambience is urban, fairly high density, and multi-ethnic. There are somewhat transient elements which inhabit areas around Hollywood Blvd. There is a great deal of night life and other late night activities. Like other major urban areas, Central Hollywood varies greatly from one block to the next.
The commercial, cultural, and transportation center of Hollywood is the area where La Brea Avenue, Highland Avenue, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Vine Street intersect Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. The population of the district is estimated to be about 300,000.


E - Griffith Park

Griffith Park stretches over more than 4,000 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains, and is one of the largest urban parks in North America. The land was purchased by former soldier and coal mogul Colonel J. Griffith in 1882, and he used it in farming. However, in 1896 Colonel Griffith believed the land was haunted by former owner Antonio Feliz, and converted it into park grounds.
Colonel Griffith attempted to build a number of facilities in the park, but the city refused his generosity - as the man was rapidly becoming known as an 'eccentric' in polite circles, and a madmen in others. Nonetheless, he set aside sufficient money for the projects and after his death in 1919, the planetarium, observatory and amphitheatre still present on the site were constructed with his funds. The Los Angeles Zoo, the Museum of the American West, the Los Angeles Live Steamers model railway and two golf courses later sprang up within the park grounds, with construction being funded by other interests. Since Colonel Griffith's death, the park has expanded as a result of a number of land grants and financial donations throughout the decades.
In 1933, the Griffith Park Fire occurred. Welfare recipients were working in the area and were ordered to combat the blaze. 29 men were killed and over 150 injured when those unskilled labourers attempted in vain to stymie the advance of the flames. However, since then it's most famous feature has eclipsed Los Angeles' most deadly fire in making the Park recognizable: it is home to the world-renowned HOLLYWOOD sign overlooking the city.


F - Pasadena

Pasadena is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Pasadena is the main population and cultural center of the San Gabriel Valley. It is the 8th largest city in Los Angeles County and famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade. It is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is bordered by seven communities: Los Angeles, South Pasadena, San Marino, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, La Canada Flintridge and unincorporated Altadena. Despite its location well within the Greater Los Angeles metropolis, Pasadena is a largely self-contained city with a broad economic base, noted cultural, scientific, and educational institutions, and shopping and dining establishments that attract customers from the regional area.
As of the census of 2000, there are 133,936 people, 51,844 households, and 29,862 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,238.7/km² (5,798.7/mi²). There are 54,132 housing units at an average density of 904.8/km² (2,343.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 53.36% White, 14.42% African American, 0.71% Native American, 10.00% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 16.01% from other races, and 5.39% from two or more races. 33.40% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pasadena is also home to the famous California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech). It is one of the world's premier research universities, Caltech maintains a strong emphasis on the natural sciences and engineering. Caltech also owns and manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an autonomous-space-flight complex that oversees the design and operation of most of NASA's space-probes.
There is also Pasadena City College, a community college. It often called by its acronym, PCC.
Pasadena is also known for the aggressive policing of its local police department.

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