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The rambling metropolis of Los Angeles sprawls across a thousand square miles of a great desert basin, knitted together by an intricate network of congested freeways between the ocean and the snow-capped mountains. Its colorful melange of shopping malls, palm trees and swimming pools is both mildly surreal and startlingly familiar, thanks to the celluloid self-image that it has spread all over the world. Los Angeles is a bright and eclectic patchwork of neighborhoods and lifestyles. Made up of dozens of communities, there is no one unifying experience that sums up the life and the heartbeat of this city among cities. From the eternal sunshine and glitz to the traffic and smog, this City of Angels will forever be many things to many people.

Or so it seems on the surface. It’s a city of illusions, America’s Dream Factory, and as false as the image it projects. Incredible wealth exists side by side with crushing poverty, the glamor of Hollywood transposed to the shadows of the street and the shattering symphony of gangland violence. A melange of cultures and people crammed into an oasis in the desert, perched upon the edge of an abyss. Agony and ecstasy dance side by side in a bipolar march of bright lights and long, deep shadows that shade every heart and darken every corner. Dreams and reality intermix in vivid illusions as nightmares are born silently in the darkness and long shadows stretch forth to shroud the soul. Even the dead must tread lightly here.

Welcome to Los Angeles.


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