Los Angeles Newcomers Guide

Welcome to Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States! The City of Angels is truly a melting pot, with a variety of languages spoken, from English, Korean, and Tagalog to Persian, Armenian and Cantonese. With 320 days of sun each year, Los Angeles warmly welcomes newcomers with open arms. Jobs in Los Angeles are as diverse as its people; tourism, hospitality, digital and environmental technology, international trade and fabricated metal production to name just a few.

Go where the locals go, the LA farmers market

Los Angeles boasts a population of 3.8 million and growing. With mountains as its backdrop and the ocean at its feet in its 498.3 square miles, there is a lot to see and do in this grand city. No wonder so many celebrities call Los Angeles home!

The Neighborhoods of Los Angeles

L.A. Times writes that there are 114 neighborhoods within the city of Los Angeles. Explore a few below.

* Downtown Los Angles: Encompassing 5.8 miles there is a lot of diversity here. The skyscrapers of Bunker Hill and the railroad buildings of the Arts District helps make this an area well worth checking out. Take a look at Historic Core with lofts in old office buildings.

* East and Northeast Los Angles: This area is hilly and is mainly residential. University Hills attracts professionals seeking to get out of the suburbs. Highland Park is one of the oldest settled areas with craftsman style homes lining the streets.

* Greater Hollywood: Check out the world famous Hollywood sign here, a perfect photo opportunity! Melrose District with its fabulous shopping and dining and Little Armenia with its Armenian stores and businesses makes this area divergent.

* Harbor Area: San Pedro is the premier port neighborhood of this area. Check out the Point Ferman Lighthouse, a victorian-era building that now serves as a museum. The neighborhood of Wilmington is bustling as an industrial area, with many movies filmed here such as Fight Club and When Harry Met Sally.

* Los Feliz and Silver Lake: Two of the cities largest parks are located here, Elysian Park and Griffith. Some of the cities oldest residential areas are here. Take for instance Los Feliz which has an adobe structure still standing that was built in 1830.

* West Los Angeles: The largest concentration of wealth is situated here, from Beverly Hills to Bel Air. A major segment of West Los Angeles is devoted to the entertainment industry.

No matter which neighborhood you choose to visit or live in you will be greeted with schools, both private and public, job opportunities and plenty of choices for eating and shopping. Do you want to walk to shopping and dining? Do you want to work where you live? Do you want to be near the airport? Do you want to rent or own? Apartment or house? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your extensive choices.

Attractions in Los Angeles

There are literally hundreds of fun things to see and do while you are in Los Angeles. Your choices will vary depending upon your tastes and your time. Here are a few to get you started:

* Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame is a must see if you are a lover of actors and musicians. 180 plus marble stars are laid out on the sidewalk. You can purchase a map of the stars so you can locate your favorite stars hand and foot print.

* Hollywood Bowl Amphitheater has been home to the Los Angles Philharmonic since 1922. Summer musical festivals under the stars are a major attraction here.

* Griffith Park, right in the city, has nature trails, pony rides and a planetarium. Families flock here to enjoy swimming and picnicking during the summer months.

* La Brea Tar Pits is an attraction like no other. The tar pits have trapped plants and animals dating 40,000 years back! Since 1906, more than one million bones have been recovered from the black sticky asphalt.

* Venice Beach with shopping, dining, sports and entertainment you can stay busy here for days. Muscle Beach is located here with its acrobatic bars and oiled up muscled men flexing for the crowd.

* J. Paul Getty Center is for those that love art. You can browse amazing paintings by Monet and Van Gogh and walk the lush gardens of this architectural wonder.

*The Hollywood Sign, seen in quite a few movies, was erected in 1923 and was not meant to be permanent. The letters on the sign are 45 feet tall!

* The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is open every day but Christmas day. Check their calendar as they frequently have programs for families.

Do your research before going to Los Angeles as the choices can become overwhelming. Whatever you love; art, jogging, night life, dining, it can be found in this bustling city.

Events in Los Angeles

For sports fans, Los Angeles is home to the LA Lakers, La Kings, Clippers, Dodgers, and Galaxy. Catch a basketball game with the Lakers and be guaranteed to see a celebrity or two in the audience. Stretch in the seventh inning while watching the Dodgers.

In January, the Rose Parade, with flower-covered floats, horses and bands, is a sight to behold.

Race fans take over in April. The Long Beach Grand Prix takes place over three days and is one long continious party.

Every May runners converge on the city for the LA Marathon, 26.2 miles of bands, cheerleaders and entertainment.

Summer brings the Summer Concert Series, outdoor concerts located around Los Angeles. Whatever your style, you can hear it over the summer - Latin, jazz, rock and roll, classical.

For a little culture, try the Los Angeles Lithuanian Fair in October. This is the largest Lithuanian fair outside of Lithuania. Music, food, art and literature are showcased during this 2 day fair.

December in Los Angeles is magical with outdoor skating, the Naples Christmas Boat Parade, Festival Navideno de la Calle Ocho, and The Glory of Christmas pageant.

No matter what month you are in Los Angeles there will be plenty of events for you participate in.

Jobs in the Los Angeles Area

Although the economy is not at its best, there are job opportunities out there. One of the fast growing fields is post-secondary healthcare. Well known Cedar-Sinai, located here, is a large employer.

According to the Los Angeles Almanac some other fast growing jobs are computer scientists and system analysts.

There is always a need for teachers and with a masters degree pay can be expected in high $40,000's. The Los Angeles Unified School District alone has over 650 schools.

Manufacturing remains a vital business in Los Angeles; apparel, fabricated metal workers, aerospace products and navigation products all employ a good amount of workers.

Moving To and From Los Angeles

Looking for movers in Los Angeles can be very intimidating. A Google search brings up page after page of movers with names such as Elephant Moving Company, Mighty Movers and Oz - The Wizard of Movers. You need to know if your moving company is insured, what if they drop your piano? Selecting a mover can be less stressful if you keep in mind a couple of things.

Does the moving company you have in mind move from one area to another? What if you live in Sylmar and you need to move to San Pedro? The moving company needs to be familiar with the area you are moving to and from. There is nothing worse than waiting on a moving van full of your furniture that is lost in Eagle Rock.

Do you need help packing up your furniture and household items? If so will the movers help you with this? Do the movers provide boxes, paper and tape ? What if there is a lapse in the time you have to be out of your old house and into your new house, does your mover offer a facility that can be easily and safely accessed by you? Make sure you ask these questions and take note of them.

Call around and gather quotes on paper. This is important as you do not want to be surprised with hidden costs associated with the move. Be sure to find out if, and to what extent, insurance is offered. Check with your insurance agent as well because some homeowners and renters policies cover various aspects of moving. If you have artwork, crating it may be the policy of the moving company and can really drive your costs up. Be sure and mention any artwork and valuable that may acquire more personal attention in the initial contact with the moving company.

From quaint victorian neighborhoods to urban lofts downtown, from Griffith Park to Venice Beach and The Rose Parade to the boat parades, Los Angels is a city with much culture and diversity. No matter what area you visit and when, you will be able to find the perfect eatery or activity to suit your wants. If you are lucky enough to be able to call Los Angeles your home for a year or a decade, you will never tire of her many offerings. Viva Los Angeles!