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The global phenomenon of poverty tourism - or 'poorism' - has become increasingly popular during the past few years. Tourists pay to be guided through the favelas of Brazil and the shantytowns of South Africa. The recently opened Los Angeles Gang Tour carries visitors through battle-scarred territories of urban violence and deprivation.
I'll co-host 'TODAY' from Los Angeles Saturday morning and then make my way up to Merced for that evening's graduation ceremony. I'm still touching up my remarks, but my challenge to the Class of 2010 will be to break through the deafening and too often negative echo chamber of the digital era and become critical and independent thinkers.
In the late 1960s, Ontario Airport was a throwback to a bygone era. Located 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the airport served only two carriers, Western and Bonanza. Passengers could catch regional flights to San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix and Los Angeles, and that was about it.
I've worked with the Los Angeles Zoo for 45 years, and we have this magnificent photographer, Tad Motoyama. He takes these wonderful, wonderful animal pictures. All through the years he's given me copies of these pictures. Well, I have all these gorgeous ones, so I said, 'Tad, I want to do a book with your picture on one side.'
Chicago is seriously my favorite city in the country. People have roots here, which is nice. When you go to Los Angeles, no one is actually from Los Angeles.
There's a bizarre prejudice that exists in the New York publishing establishment that any work outside the tri-state area is being done by trained chimpanzees, that geography screens out sensibility. There's an idea that all Los Angeles writing is about the movie industry, that it's vulgar, shallow and banal.
In Los Angeles, everyone is a star.
I realized how Latina I was, and then also, at the same time, how not Latina enough I was, because I'm born and raised in Los Angeles. I speak Spanish, but I don't speak perfect Spanish, not like a native speaker.
When I moved to Los Angeles, aged 54, I printed out Winston Churchill's phrase, 'Never, never, never give up', and stuck it on my fridge. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I knew I had to keep on going.
I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.
The only Angels in Los Angeles are in Heaven, and they're looking down on the Dodgers.
I don't know if you have ever seen the Woody Allen film 'Annie Hall,' but it is, in a way, to Los Angeles and 'Hollywood' what 'This Is Spinal Tap' is to many musicians.
The Los Angeles riots were not caused by the Rodney King verdict. The Los Angeles riots were caused by rioters.
I can rock out anything. I mean, I can rock out a little 'Time After Time'. I can do a little 'Grease Lightning'. It depends on the mood, but we do go karaoke, my friends and I in Los Angeles, and it's a lot of fun.
I still giggle when someone asks for my address and I say, 'Hollywood, Los Angeles.'
So I just came out here to Los Angeles with a bunch of buddies I had gone to film school with. You know, for better or worse, we just tried to slug it out here.
In our national mythology, we seem to include only one-way migrations to the great capitol cities. The journey from the small Wisconsin town or Minnesota city to Chicago or New York or Los Angeles. Certainly for some people, that journey is a round trip.
If you grow up in the South Bronx today or in south-central Los Angeles or Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you quickly come to understand that you have been set apart and that there's no will in this society to bring you back into the mainstream.
Australia is so cool that it's hard to even know where to start describing it. The beaches are beautiful; so is the weather. Not too crowded. Great food, great music, really nice people. It must be a lot like Los Angeles was many years ago.
I drink just as much tea when I'm in Los Angeles as I do when I'm in London. I take my tea bags with me wherever I go.
I wake up every morning and I feel like I'm juggling glass balls. I live in Los Angeles, my business is run out of London, and most evenings I'm cuddled up in front of Skype, in my dressing gown, speaking with my studio in London. I travel a lot, my team travel a lot, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
In Los Angeles all the loose objects in the country were collected, as if America had been tilted and everything that wasn't tightly screwed down had slid into Southern California.
I like 'Goodbye My Lover' because it's a really personal song and I recorded it in my landlady's bathroom in Los Angeles. She had a piano in there and for me listening back to it, it actually sounds like the voice I hear in my head. It's so close to what I can imagine.
Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.
Frank Lloyd Wright
More than 30 years ago, in Washington, D.C., I secured a copy of a single by a Los Angeles band called The Bags. The two-song 7-inch, released on Dangerhouse, had a girl on the cover who looked right at you with huge eyes. The songs, 'Survive' and 'Babylonian Gorgon,' were great and made many of my mix tapes.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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