The city of Los Angeles is divided into many neighbourhoods, many of which were towns that were annexed by the growing city. There are also several independent cities in and around Los Angeles, but they are popularly grouped with the city of Los Angeles, either due to being completely engulfed as enclaves by Los Angeles, or lying within its immediate vicinity.
Generally, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Northeast – including Highland Park and Eagle Rock areas, the Eastside, South Los Angeles (still often colloquially referred to as South Central by locals), the Harbor Area, Hollywood, Wilshire, the Westside and the San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys.
Some well-known communities of Los Angeles include West Adams, Watts, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Venice Beach, the Downtown Financial District, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Koreatown, Westwood and the more affluent areas of Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Hollywood Hills, Hancock Park, Pacific Palisades and Brentwood.
Downtown Los Angeles marks the geographic, political and historic centre of Los Angeles. Although the smallest region of Los Angeles by area, it includes a great variety of diverse neighbourhoods, ranging from the many modern skyscrapers of the Financial District to the historic structures of the Historic Core to the ethnic enclaves of Chinatown and Little Tokyo. It also contains many cultural attractions and entertainment venues. Downtown is also a center for local and regional transportation, with several freeways passing through and Union Station connecting regional trains to local buses and the Metro Line.
To the east and northeast of Downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles River lies Eastern Los Angeles. The region may sometimes be defined to include adjacent areas outside of the city boundaries of Los Angeles, such as Montebello and East Los Angeles. The communities listed here, however, all lie within the city of Los Angeles.
Many of the neighbourhoods of Eastern Los Angeles house large Latino populations, although several neighbourhoods, especially in northeast Los Angeles, have more mixed populations. In the northern portions of Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights there is a decent amount of white populations of Italian and French Decent. Highland Park with Eagle Rock also have a significant amount of white people. In Monterrey Hills nearly half of the population are white. The population also ranges from working-class to affluent. The predominantly residential neighbourhoods of the region contain many hills, especially in northern regions.
Immediately west of Downtown Los Angeles lie some of the city's earliest suburbs. Angelino Heights and Echo Park were the locations of some of the first film studios west of the Mississippi. Now mostly populated by Latino immigrants, a great amount of distinctive architecture has been preserved from the early 20th century, including the restored Victorian homes in Angelino Heights. This region also includes the most densely populated ares in Los Angeles.
Formerly a religious colony then an independent city, Hollywood was annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. Its name is synonymous with the motion picture industry, yet, much of movie production has moved out to neighbouring cities. Tourists flock around Hollywood Boulevard and gaze up to the mountains to see the Hollywood sign. The last decade has brought in new life to the once-struggling parts of the Hollywood district with various developments taking advantage of the subway stations built within the past decade. The wealth of the neighbourhoods here are strongly influenced by elevation with some of the wealthiest tracts in the country are up in the Hollywood Hills and gradually lessen to pockets of large working-class and transient populations further southeast.
Following the Harbor Gateway south to the port leads to the Harbor Area, an enclave of Los Angeles, surrounded by independent cities and annexed so the city would have full right-of-way to the port. The leading neighbourhood of the harbour area is San Pedro.
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