If the West Hollywood parade of crazy people is too crazy (or crowded!), go driving around Los Angeles. People really get into the spooky mood and decorate their houses. There are even some streets that are closed off to traffic at night-time so that spectators can walk around and admire the houses. (Best way to find out about the particulars is in the paper or on the internet.)
Amusement parks also get into Halloween-mood: Knotts Scary Farm, Disneyland, Magic Mountain - all of them are spookily decorated and have special shows and late-night events to spook and scare you.
October 31st is Halloween. Unless you are invited to some super-spectacular private party, the Gay Halloween Parade in West Hollywood is the best place to be. It all happens on Santa Monica Blvd. (yes, it's pedestrians only) between La Cienega and Doheny from 6pm to midnight or later: Music, food- and drink stalls, live bands, costume contests, and all sorts of crazy people to watch.
Note of caution: PARKING is a nightmare! You'll probably have to walk quite a bit before you reach Santa Monica Blvd.; even if you take a bus or taxi - you are better off walking since traffic around the area comes to a complete standstill.
Culture mix (and clash) is everywhere in Los Angeles, but in some places the mix is quite distinct, Such is the case of the adjoining area of Chinatown-Lincoln Heights . As one would expect, the Chinese community largely makes up Chinatown-but it is not alone. Expect to see other Asians included in he mix- there are the Vietnamese and Laotians, just to name a few. In addition, you'll find a good number of Latinos residing here and others ethnicities. Lincoln Heights has a slightly dominant Latino population and influence but Asians also enters the mix, also including Pacific Islanders.
Moreover, in suburban San Gabriel Valley, the large area immediately east of Los Angeles, there are a number of mostly Asian-Latinos communities- Alhambra, South El Monte, Monrovia, the city of San Gabriel, etc.
Pictured here is a wall of building signs in Chinatown. Businesses here are often multilingual ones- with service people who speak Chinese (Mandarian or otherwise), Vietnamese, other Asian languages, Spanish and, oh yeah, plain ol' American English!
Here's the Joke:
Q: What's the Capitol of Mexico?
A: Los Angeles
Indeed, LA has become a majority-minority city, with the largest minority population being, naturally, Mexican. The social and business impact of Mexican-Americans permeates every level of Los Angeles. However, the politically-disenfranchised Latino population has historically failed to exact any attention or resources for the local government. 2006 has changed the community forever.
Even before Congress took the misstep of "criminalizing" immigrants; a movement had begun. Only a few short years ago, charismatic Mexican-American Antonio Villaragoisa lost the race for Mayor to a VERY white man. His second attempt? A strong win. And, the latino student population of LA has begun organizing and protesting, filling anti-war protests with a militant fervor that is starkly leftist and quite boisterous for this apathetic city.
Then, in March of 2006, the big shock: A mass protest of proposed Draconian immigrant "reform" brings the largest protest in the history of Los Angeles. The Media, Congress, and Californians are taken entirely off-guard by this brazen demonstration of Latin unity & power. Los Angeles and The United States will never again underestimate this community.
(enlarge picture to read sign!)
There is a big hispanic community in Los Angeles, composed mostly by mexicans. Some neighbourhoods reflect this by having publicity in spanish, a lot of mexican restaurants and other stores related to Mexico.
There is also a Chinesse neighbourhood and a Japannesse one.
Also spanish is widely spoken and if you speak it and don't speak english you will be able to get by in this city.
Don't forget to visit the market in Downtown LA...you may think you're somewhere in Central America....