Often hailed as the "Capital of the Third World", Los Angeles is perhaps the most diverse city in the world. Yet diversity is not solely dependent on skin color or culture. This is possibly one of the most classist cities in the United States with a huge disparity between groups that most tourists never see. As such, Los Angeles hosts a large number of immigrants that give the city its vibrance and patchwork identity.
Most tours of Los Angeles focus on the manicured lawns of Beverly Hills, the serene vistas of the Hollywood Hills, or the chic and pretentious boutiques of West Hollywood. This is not your froofy tour to the stars. We will focus our attention on the foreign-born populations that inhabit the city's core, made possible by the "White Flight" of the 1950's to 1980's to the far-reaching suburbs. Neighborhoods like Thai Town, Little Armenia, Koreatown, MacArthur Park, Chinatown, East Los Angeles, as well as more notorious neighborhoods like Skid Row or South Park are especially interesting when juxtaposed with the city's architecture or yuppification. It is in this urban landscape of glitzy art-deco hotels now turned into assisted living residences that you grasp the cultural metamorphosis of the City of Angels. We will view current and proposed developments and try to understand what they mean for the city's future. And what tour can focus on a city's cultural heritage without also taking a gander at the food stalls and street vendors?
No car is necessary for this tour: a rarity most of the wealthier or middle-class Angelenos never experience themselves. We will be riding around on the subway and any buses if necessary. Additionally, tours can be tailored to your particular interest.
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