Fun Facts_Uniquely L.A.

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Uniquely L.A.

LOS ANGELES _ A city like no other, Los Angeles makes

its mark in many ways. Los Angeles leads the nation in business, entertainment, education and diversity. A dynamic and trend-setting region, many things make L.A. one-of-akind. Here are just a few examples:

The Biggest:

The population of the five-county region of Los Angeles is larger than all of the states in the nation, except California, New York and Texas.

Griffith Park, encompassing more than 4,000 acres of land, is the largest city-run park in the country. The park holds numerous attractions, including the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Observatory, Travel Town, a carousel, pony and train rides, and more than 50 miles of bridle and hiking trails.

The largest manmade recreational harbor_Marina del Rey_is home to more than 6,000 private yachts and 3,000 boats in dry storage.

Downtown Los Angeles is the largest government center outside Washington D.C. and is home to 45,000 public sector jobs.

L.A. has the largest street system in the United States, requiring 1,500 workers and $75 million a year to maintain.

L.A. boasts the largest port complex in the United States, and more dollars flow through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles than any other ports in the nation.

The L.A. region is home to the largest retail sales market in the United States, and second largest for international trade. In 1994 the city claimed sales of more than $71 billion. L.A. also has the largest concentration of retail stores per capita in the nation.

The largest historical theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places is in L.A._on Broadway, between Third and Ninth Streets in Downtown Los Angeles. The district features nickelodeons, vaudeville houses, theaters and movie palaces.

At the world's fifth busiest airport you will find the largest federal customs facility in the United States_the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. The 125,000-square-foot facility can process up to 2,600 passengers an hour. More than 45 million passengers pass through LAX each year.

L.A. is the mural capital of the world, with more than 1,500 wall paintings on storefronts, alleys and street corners.

The world's largest mural, Planet Ocean, can be seen in Long Beach. The world's longest mural is the Great Wall of Los Angeles, stretching nearly 2,500 feet along the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley.

The largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, with a daily circulation of 70,000, is Los Angeles' La Opinion.

The largest toy manufacturer in the world and Barbie creator, Mattel, Inc., is based in L.A.

The Most:

Los Angeles County has more colleges and universities than the entire state of Massachusetts. The 176 schools include many distinguished institutions, including USC, UCLA, California Institute of Technology, Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts and Otis School of Design.

There are more university graduates per capita living in Los Angeles than any other U.S. city.

There are more than 1,200 Zoroastrians in the Los Angeles area_more than any other U.S. region.

There are more artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and musicians living and working in Los Angeles than any other city at any other time in the history of civilization.

L.A. has the most active mass transportation development program in the nation. The city's transit program includes light rail, subway, and traditional rail commuter services.

The Busiest:

The Ventura Freeway is the nation's busiest freeway. Each week, nearly 228,000 drivers travel the "101" at its intersection with the Hollywood Freeway.

In L.A., you'll find the nation's busiest manufacturing center. Products include equipment and research vehicles for the nation's space program, commercial aviation and the apparel industry's trendiest fashions.

The People

Residents of Los Angeles County include people from 140 countries. The community has the largest populations of Mexicans, Armenians, Koreans, Filipinos, Salvadorans and Guatemalans outside of their respective countries. Los Angeles is also home to the largest populations of Japanese, Iranians and Cambodians living in the United States.

Spread over 710 square miles, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest school district in the nation. More than 90 languages are spoken by students enrolled in the district.

L.A. county is a leader in ethnic-owned businesses. The Los Angeles/Long Beach region has the largest number of Asianowned businesses in the country, totaling 84,757 at press time. More than 79,854 firms are owned by Hispanics and 28,442 are African American-owned firms. Over the last decade, Latino- and Asian-owned businesses have tripled.

Los Angeles has the largest number of women-owned businesses in the nation.

The Entertainment

As the entertainment capital of the world, most of this country's film, television and recording stars live and work in the L.A. area, including 40,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild, which comprises more than 50 percent of that organization's membership.

An average of 50 productions are filmed daily on L.A. streets.

L.A. is home to the world's most famous sidewalk, Hollywood's Walk of Fame, which serves as a tribute to entertainers.

The Sports

Los Angeles is the only city in the world to host the Summer Olympics twice.

Seven football Super Bowls have been held in L.A.

USC and UCLA have won more collegiate national championships than any other set of college teams.

The Flora

The official flower, the Bird of Paradise, and the official tree, the Erythrina palm tree, are not native to L.A. but were transplanted from other regions of the world.

You will see more than 25 different varieties of palm trees in the L.A. area. The most common is the Mexican Fan Palm. The rarest is the Jabaeopsis Caffra, which can be seen in the Jungle Garden at the L.A. County Arboretum, or growing wild in South Africa.

Little Known Facts:

Los Angeles County has nearly 9 million residents_which represents 30 percent of California's population; with 4,083 square miles, it is larger than 42 states. Within its borders are 88 municipalities, ranging from Vernon_with a population of 152_to Los Angeles_with a population of 3.7 million.

You can surf, snow ski, and blaze a trail through the desert all in the same day, thanks to the area's unique geography_which ranges from 10,064-foot Mt. San Antonio to 72 miles of picturesque coastline.

The Los Angeles area averages 329 days of sunshine (90 percent of the year).

More than 50 million people go to L.A.'s beaches each year.

Los Angeles is the birthplace of the internet, the Barbie doll, the Mazda Miata, the DC-3, Mickey Mouse and the Space Shuttle.

The tallest office building west of the Mississippi is the First Interstate World Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

The main branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library system, known as the Central Branch, is the third largest public library in the country.

L.A. is a major center for automotive design. The "Big Three" U.S. automobile manufacturers, along with Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo have all located their design centers in Los Angeles.

L.A.'s network of freeways encompasses some 510 miles of highway that link the sprawling suburbs of the Los Angeles basin. On a typical weekday, 23.9 million vehicle trips are made in a 24-hour period.

The world's only merry-go-round apartment can be found on top of the merry-go-round on Santa Monica Pier.

The only known banana museum_the International Banana Club and Museum_with nearly 17,000 banana-related pieces, can be found in Altadena.

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