About when we were born
When Los Angeles starts, we know immediately, and how? By the palm trees.

 

https://youtu.be/VOHYrA1UzpY

Creating Bunker Hill is quite a story, and in the 1960s, it was razed. 

https://gizmodo.com/how-los-angeles-erased-hills-from-its-downtown-1480668676

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I can only speak for LA, but in old films like this one, we can see how parts of the city rose and ebbed in importance. The best example here is Bunker Hill, in the northwest edge of Downtown, and it was once classy, even affluent. By the late 40s, it had become run down, and by the 1960s it was removed entirely. Much of what’s important and influential in LA now had not been fully developed and populated in the 1940s: Beverly Hills, West LA, Westwood, Santa Monica --- and Century City, which wasn’t built until the early 1960s. All parts of the city where people live are important to those people, but may no longer receive as much attention or recognition.

Most of the city including South LA was dominantly Caucasian, except for East LA, Chinatown, and Little Tokyo, with small districts like Sawtelle, with a large Japanese population, until 1963, when the Rumford Fair Housing Act was passed to outlaw real estate redlining -- more or less outlaw it, in fact -- and huge areas of LA experienced “White Flight”, where Caucasian residents moved away because now black residents could move in. That’s how so many of us had uncles and aunts, grandparents and cousins who lived on 78th Street, near 30th to 40th Street, and Compton, which is not part of Los Angeles.

All that’s been changing since the 1950s, too with more and more residents coming from Mexico, Central America, and Korea.  Wayne Redfearn and I remember working in the same building at 3960 Wilshire in the early 1970s, when Koreatown lay one block south. The district was about 12 blocks square. By 2000, it has expanded by a factor of 20 times or more, and 100 times or more in influence, with Korean-owned stores, businesses and restaurants reaching west to the Beverly Hills border, south to the Santa Monica Freeway, east to the Harbor Freeway and north in some areas to Hollywood. 

We can say the ethnic character of the city is always changing, and moreso in Los Angeles than anywhere else, probably. Now we can find Thai Town, a Ukrainian area, an Ethiopian district of restaurants and stores, heavily Israeli sections, and more. 

So who is the City That Never Sleeps, huh?