In the early 1920s, movie stars and studio moguls began building mansions in the former bean fields of Los Angeles, and it’s been synonymous with glamour ever since. It’s a company town, to be sure, but if you hit the right places you’d never know it.
People unfamiliar with the real LA tend to dismiss it as the land of Bentleys and Botox, but as Mark Twain put it, “all generalizations are false—including this one.” To really experience the city, you need to explore LA’s outer regions, each one heaving with collectible antiques, vibrant music scenes, ethnic cuisines, contemporary art, and true California style. LA might look like a monoculture, but it isn’t. From the gated boulevards of Beverly Hills to the resurgent streets of Echo Park, to the mayhem of West Hollywood, it holds something for everyone. It’s a magnet for optimists of every persuasion, hungry for all that life has to offer.