Confused about Los Angeles..?

I'm planning on going to FIDM in LA this fall for fashion design, but I'm really confused about the whole area. Are there cities in the city of Los Angeles (Santa Monica for example), or is LA just LA and those cities are in LA County?

I want to be well-informed before I head out there!

Thank you!

5 Answers

  • george
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    As the city of Los Angeles grew over the years, it absorbed many smaller towns and cities, including Hollywood, Wilmington, Los Feliz, San Pedro, Westwood, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Bel-Air, Brentwood, Century City, Watts, Venice, etc. Some were independent cities that were annexed by L.A. Others were smaller neighborhoods that allowed themselves to become part of the city. But most of them retained their old names, at least to the locals. Almost all of the cities in the San Fernando Valley, for instance (such as Encino and Sherman Oaks), are part of the City.

    But on the other hand, there are many other cities within the _County_ of Los Angeles that aren't part of the City of Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Long Beach, Carson, Burbank, Pasadena, Torrance, Redondo Beach, etc.

    And it gets worse, because Orange County, which is neither part of the city of Los Angeles nor of the County, blends seamlessly right into the giant concrete carpet that is the megalopolis you might call L.A./O.C. It includes famous spots like Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, and people go there just as easily (and often) as they go to other spots in L.A. Orange County cities include Anaheim, Buena Park, Brea, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, etc.

    It is always difficult to know when you cross city borders here, and can be just as difficult to know when you cross the county border, because if you look at the area from an aerial photo, it becomes clear that the borders are nothing more than imaginary lines. There is usually no actual physical separation between the towns. It's all just one enormous "city". The names just make it easier to know what part of that "city" you're in.

    Here is a Wikipedia article about the various neighborhoods in Los Angeles:

    It isn't all that helpful, but it's a start.

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  • 8 years ago

    I could see why it would be confusing but Los Angeles is a city and within Los Angeles county there are numerous small and large towns. FIDM in LA is close to a lot of cities and you could also take the metro or the bus anywhere you need to go. What's great about living in downtown LA is you'll be walking distance within stores, the grocery store or even museums. I always loved visiting downtown LA and the FIDM campus is gorgeous too! There are many cities to explore and all are so much fun (including Santa Monica) so I know you'll love the city and enjoy FIDM's fashion design program! So many of my fav designers graduated from the fashion design program at FIDM so I know you'll learn a lot and the school has a lot of connections too. Utilize all that the school has to offer and talk to the students and the advisors at the school. They know the city inside and out and can answer any questions that you have. Good luck!

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  • 8 years ago

    Santa Monica is within the city of Los Angeles. All of Los Angeles makes up L.A. County.

    There are several small cities and towns, some incorporated and some not, within the city of Los Angeles including: Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu, Venice, Pasedena, etc.

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  • 8 years ago

    Get a good set of maps and study carefully. We often keep Thomas Guides in our cars because they give a lot of detail but the Auto Club maps are just fine for your purposes. If you are a member of AAA in your home state, they should be able to order a full set of greater LA maps for you. If not search some of the book sellers on line. To further complicate things, not only do you need to know the freeway numbers but the names. For example, the 110 is called the Pasadena Fwy northbound and the Harbor southbound.

    Good luck!

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  • 8 years ago

    Kudos to George for providing the best answer I've ever seen on this subject.

    A big DUH to DR for providing the most misinformation. Clear as mud. Santa Monica is NOT part of the city of Los Angeles. Never has been. Are you SURE you once lived out here?

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