Youth Journalism International
LOS ANGELES, Calif., U.S.A. Despite stereotypes of Los Angeles most often seen
on MTV's The Hills, the city has as much heart and life as it spans in square
Thats 498.3 square miles, if you must know.
I used to detest where I came from, but exploring Los Angeles has given me a new
appreciation for the city and its people, although not enough to stop me from
wanting to move to other countries and states to explore.
I can't think of any better way to introduce my hometown than by documenting my
trek from my house in the suburbs to my summer internship in the center of the
metropolis on Wilshire Boulevard.
8:00 a.m. As I leave my house in the quiet suburbs in the San Gabriel Valley
towards the Downtown Los Angeles Union Station, I make sure to bring my TAP
card, or transit access pass, which is used for the Metro public transportation.
8:20 a.m. The Union Station is one of the busiest and most crowded places I
have ever visited in Los Angeles. People are constantly shuffling around. Racing
with my friend down the packed and super-long staircase to the subway, we try to
make it in time for The Purple Line train to take us to the Wilshire and Western
8:40 a.m. The outside of the Wilshire and Western station is where busy city
life begins. Although Los Angeles at the noisiest time of the day is still much
quieter than say, midtown New York City, at the peak of tourist season.
Los Angeles Union Station
People of all kinds board the 20, which is the bus I take to my destination.
Public transportation, as I imagine in other places as well, is one of the most
intriguing parts of a city. There are schizophrenics, handicaps, nice homeless
people, business people, Zac Efron-look-a-likes, and virtually people of every
kind of race.
Like the people, the neighborhoods are extremely close together and even mixed.
You have Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Ethiopia, Thai Town, Koreatown, and
many other unofficial sites.
What bothers me and fascinates me at the same time is the fact that you can
drive completely straight without any turns and experience Chinatown, Little
Italy, the Mexican barrios, Koreatown, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, all
on Pico Boulevard. That's the fascinating part. The part where you can literally
tell where you are by the appearance of the neighborhoods is where I am slightly
As you drive west and reach the beach, the houses and streets get nicer and the
land is more elevated. It's the physical and literal form of rags to riches.
9:15 a.m. Massive skyscrapers aren't as popular in West Los Angeles as they
are in downtown. The building where I worked, which is on the edge of Los
Angeles and a couple of blocks away from Beverly Hills, has only 10 floors.
There was a lot of commotion in the office on the day Cambio.com came to film
us, and our preparation for the Teen Choice Awards after-party on Sunday only
heightened the frenzy.
12:30 p.m. Strolling on Wilshire Boulevard and having lunch is the best way to
get to know the district and its people. Many business associates come out of
the caves that are 15-story buildings to enjoy a Quizno's sub on one end or
sushi and Korean BBQ on the other. If it isn't a skyscraper, it is most likely
to be something that has to do with food.
5:31 p.m. The bus back to the Wilshire and Western Station is even more packed
than the one in the morning. Not much happens on these buses because people are
usually incredibly tired from the days work.
Los Angeles has its fair share of kooks and the nicest strangers I've ever met.
The bus ride on Wilshire Boulevard also brings a peek into the Los Angeles art
Theres the Art + Design Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts,
historical museums, an architecture museum, a boat museum, and vintage museums,
all on one boulevard.
Los Angeles is defined by the people who live in it and its just like any
other place in the world.
People here in Los Angeles are simply living day by day, and the majority of
them are far from the glamorized characters in the movies that are made just