Any author who writes about L.A. – as a background, a character, an influence, or a reason to get out of town fast – can’t ignore the diverse cultures that populate the City, filling in the cracks and enriching its flavor.
One of the largest influences is Hispanic – Mexican, Salvadorian, Cuban, and so forth – and no, they are not all the same. Do a bit of research on these countries and you’ll see what I mean.
Each of these cultures adds something unique to the overall Hispanic-blend, such as tamales, pupusas, and mojitos, just to name a few. You can find more to add to that list to flesh out a short story or define personality traits of a novel’s character below:
- Field trip to Evergreen Cemetery
- East L.A.’s Anthony Quinn Library
- A.’s Most Influential Chicano/a Artists
- Día de los Muertos, L.A. style
- Zoot Suit Riots
- Where to get Tamales for Christmas
The list of other cultures populating L.A. reads like a map of the world: Chinese, Japanese Thai, Italian, Greek, Indian, Armenian, Jewish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean etc.
- Ethnic Enclaves of L.A.
- Little Tokyo
- The Serbian Cemetery of East L.A.
- Iconic Chinese Restaurants of L.A.
- A.’s Little Italy
If “Noir” is what you’re looking for to describe L.A.’ dark and dangerous underbelly (so well-done by Raymond Chandler’s novels and black and white Hollywood films), here are some starting points.
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery
- The Murder House
- Infamous Murders in L.A.
- Gangster Squad in L.A.
- Murder and Madness in Angelino Heights
- Following Raymond Chandler’s Footsteps
- Top 10 Film Noir Hot Spots in L.A.
Of course, I’ve only touched L.A.’s textured and multi-layered surface in the two-part blog posting (See also: Fun Facts about the City Where My Writing Takes Place.), but I hope it will provide you with a genuine feel for L.A. and a desire to explore even more of the City’s diversity.
Once again, it’s your turn. I’d love to have comments/fun facts about the city where you live or write about. Inspire others to learn more about their locations and share this information. If you live in L.A., share your fun facts too.
Stay tuned for my next blog post: L.M. Quinn Describes How She Names her Short Story/Novel Characters.