Los Angeles: the American city
In many ways, Los Angeles is the archetypal American City. Long the largest hub for the entertainment world in America, LA has been the basis of many of the generic settings found in TV and film. It is the home of Hollywood, and many big business claim their home there. It is not quite how most imagine it — unlike New York and Chicago, the nation’s biggest and most populous city is not built tall, but flat and spread out. Outside of downtown, most buildings don’t get much higher than one or two stories. This is unsurprising; LA is famously on the San Andreas fault — tall buildings and earthquakes rarely mix well.
Still, the whitewashing of LA for media has left many less glamorous aspects of the city in the shadows. Aside from being the home of Hollywood and one of the nation’s biggest business hubs, LA has a large blue collar sector. Manufacturing is a large industry here, making anything from furniture to clothes to electronics. The city is also equipped for trading these products, with one of the nation’s major ports located there. With its west coast location, LA is one of the major ports for trade with China, Japan, Australia, and the rest of the Pacific Rim countries.
It is no surprise then that immigrants from many of these countries come to LA to stay. While people from Mexico and the rest of Latin America form a large minority in the city, the city is a mix of cultures and ethnicities. Minority is a relative term here as Caucasians are technically not the majority — non-Hispanic whites making up only 29.4% of the city. The number of immigrants makes language an interesting issue here; about 1/3rd of the city self-reports as speaking English with some trouble. LA is sadly not as much a “melting pot” as it is a mixing bowl; people stay separated into their own cultures.
While LA has the population to support many of the typical ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown, many of these neighborhoods are more for the tourists than immigrants. Most cultural hubs are out in the suburbs. Those areas within the LA city limits end up tourist traps.
Court is a special event. Similar to a medieval king’s court, the Prince has a room within Elysium where she handles business. Most people, however, are in a separate larger area simply socializing and enjoying themselves. Don’t be fooled by the laughter and the smiles — there’s a lot of business going on in this side of court.
Courts offer a unique situation — social events allow kindred access to the Prince in a way that the usual boxes and forms don’t allow. While she’s shaking hands and kissing babies, kindred have the chance to grab some face time with the Prince for things that are more out of the usual.
Court rotates between the various interesting spots around town, showcasing the unique areas of LA. Below is a list of the kind of places where court could be found:
While the location of court is always an Elysium (at least for the night of court), there are many Elysia dotting L.A. — after all, given the nature of the beast, Elysia are necessary for safe business practices for the growing midnight stores that serve the kindred community. Such businesses tend to spring up in or near the Elysia for that very reason. However, those type of Elysia are in the minority (though the kindred government has reported a growing number of applications in the last few years for business zones). Most of the covenants and some of the clans maintain public Elysia as a show of status in the city. Still, there are others that exist only for cultural reasons — even an unbeating heart can be moved by some of the works found in the art galleries and museums found in LA.
Below are some example Elysia that can be found in the city:
- Libertine Social Club, Sunset Strip:The Elysium that presides over the trendy Sunset Strip, the Libertine was a Daeva stronghold for a long time – epitomizing the ethics and aesthetics of the clan. Lately, the Libertine has started swinging towards the Nosferatu with appointment of Lady Grey to the Keeper’s position. What was simply the worship of excess has taken on a different tone as of late….
- Belmont Tunnel:Literally sealed off from the mortal world in the early 2000s, Belmont Tunnel is one of the remnants of LA’s original subway system. Covered in graffiti and with some of the most unique acoustics in the city, kindred DJs have turned this into an Elysia that attracts the edgier younger kindred still trying to sow their wild oats.
- Millennium Biltmore HotelAn Elysia in decline, this hotel is located in the middle of Downtown LA on the famous Pershing Square. Once the biggest hotel west of Chicago, the Biltmore is still an extravagant affair, but the recent economic depression has driven away part of the Elysium’s business oriented clientele.
Racks represent the kindred equivalent of the “Hot and Now” light at a Krispy Kreme. When you need a bite to eat and you want it warm and tasty, a rack is where you head. While some Racks are city regulated in LA, many are still privately owned and operated. It’s best to double check when feeding at a Rack to make sure that you’re not stepping on someone else’s toes.
Here are two example racks that can be found in the city:
- Sunset Strip: One of the premier bar areas of LA, Sunset Strip has some of the most exclusive bars and clubs in the city. Lit up brightly after dark with it’s iconic billboards, many kindred love to feed in this area just on the chance you can find someone famous to nibble on.
- NoHo Arts District: An area known for it’s theaters, cafes, and art galleries, this area of the city is a nice place to grab a bite to eat for those whose tastes include something more than blood.
City Hall: US Bank Tower
Given the nature of LA’s kindred government, it is no surprise that a formal city hall had to be established to house much of the city’s bureaucratic offices. They are housed within LA’s largest building: the US Bank Tower. Given the international nature of LA business, people coming and going from the office at late hours is not unusual. The City’s government has offices on 5 floors from 65 to 70. There are ghouls on staff to assist at all times of day and night. All of the city’s high ranking officials have their offices there.