Los Angeles has littered the world with its paraphernalia. Disneyland, movie stars, TV, fast-food and hype - it's all here in overdrive. LA may be a figment of its own imagination, but if you long to stand in the footsteps of stars and breathe their hallowed air, you've come to the right place.
Starlit and moonstruck, LA beguiles scores of curious tourists, hopeful starlets and wanna-be rock musicians each day. But LA is more than the sum total of its mass-produced fantasies. It's a thriving hybrid, a conglomeration of 88 independent cities sprawling over a vast urban maelstrom.
No other city studies itself with such narcissistic intensity. If you're not prepared to embrace the dream, you'll doubtless find it filthy, irritating, frightening or just plain dumb. In this town, game show hosts are household names and nobodies erect billboard shrines to themselves.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track