I bought this book when I was in Spain to learn a bit about Los Angeles, the Metro System, the people, the places, and what to expect as a whole. I am like many others who REALLY ENJOY Lonely Planet books and make them my first choice when selecting a guide book. But, this edition needs to be redone.
My boyfriend (who has lived here for 10 years, and is a native Californian) was really disappointed in this book. He mentioned how Ms. Schulte-Peevers has completely missed the target audience, people who are coming to Los Angeles to soak up sun, expose themselves to other cultures and learn about the Los Angeles not seen by most. I mean, come on, "from collegen to celluloid" (see cover). How cliché can one be?
There is another layer to Los Angeles. A layer that envolves hard working people and a mind-blowing diversity of cultures, the likes of which is to be found nowhere else in the world.
Most of her comments are only related to where the hip and trendy (I swear to gawd, she actually uses the word "grungster")people are eating, sun-bathing and shopping. She leaves out most of the ethnic culture and cuisine that is here and waiting to be experienced by travellers. She also implies that Compton and Inglewood (South Central) are completely unsafe to visit. This could not be farther from the truth. As with every city in the world, they have places that are thriving and safe and areas that are dangerous.
Her areas visited seem only to be around the Venice Beach area and Santa Monica, not any place north, south, or east of the center of Los Angeles.
The only stars given for this book is the durability. Props to the publisher. The book is stitched to the spine with silk thread. Other guides are only glued.
If you want to know the real Los Angeles, check out the Fodors Gold Guide to Los Angeles and find a local person to show you around. In Fodors, things are organized by catagories and they tell you all kinds of useful stuff, like how to buy the tickets to an Angeles baseball game, eat at a decent restaurant and find the best and least crowded beaches. Admitedly, it is not much more than a phone book, and completely lacks any narative. But, alas, untill there is better, untill there is a travel book that takes note of the incredible mix of peoples and of waiting experiences that are here, it will just have to do :-(
Sorry LP, your star has dimmed considerably over Los Angeles!