Los Angeles is a megalopolis of cars and the capital of illusion. Permeated with smog, it stretches southward between the Santa Ana, Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains. Some consider this mythical, excessive and sprawling city to be monstrous, while others simply adore it.
Los Angeles is complete chaos: no reference points exist in what seems to be a centreless and boundless expanse, save for the giant downtown towers where people work but don't live. A huge agglomeration with more than 18 million residents, some say Los Angeles is unliveable because of its traffic, earthquakes, fires, floods and crime. This, however, is neither completely true, nor completely false.
Los Angeles, the United States' second most populated city, is nestled deep between mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It encompasses sandy beaches, untamed hills and windswept deserts. At night, from up above, the city recalls a lit-up checkerboard that stretches from the deep-blue Pacific to the obscure outskirts of the mountains.
Within its administrative boundaries, Los Angeles stretches over 1,200 km², making it the second largest city in the United States. However, the city's greater metropolitan area (which includes Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties) covers a much greater area. This huge metropolis extends 80km from east to west between Malibu to Euclid Avenue, and 60km from north to south between the San Fernando Valley and the port of Los Angeles.