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Los Angeles

Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Walking around LA in the daytime is generally no problem, although extra caution should be exercised in East LA, Compton and Watts, sections which are plagued by gangs and drugs. Stay away from these areas after dark. Hollywood also yields dangers, especially in poorly lit side streets; ditto for Venice. Crime rates are lowest in Westside communities such as Westwood and Beverly Hills, as well as in the beach towns (except Venice) and Pasadena. Downtown LA is safe in the daytime, but as it basically empties out after sundown you don’t really want to be walking around too much after dark. Downtown is also home to numerous homeless folks, especially on Skid Row, an area roughly bounded by 3rd, Alameda, 7th and Main Sts.

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While you're there

Medical services

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (310-855-5000; 8700 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood; 24hr emergency room)

Los Angeles Free Clinic(appointments at any branch 323-462-4158) Hollywood (6043 Hollywood Blvd); Hollywood (5205 Melrose Ave); Mid-City (8405 Beverly Blvd) Medical and dental care, and counseling.

Sav-On Drugs (24hr) Mid-City (323-937-3019; 6360 W 3rd St); Santa Monica (310-828-6456; 2505 Santa Monica Blvd) Pharmacy chain with dozens of branches across town; check the Yellow Pages for additional locations.

UCLA Medical Center (310-825-9111; 10833 Le Conte Ave, Westwood; 24hr emergency room)

Venice Family Clinic (310-392- 8630; 604 Rose Ave, Venice) Good for general health concerns, with payment on a sliding scale according to your means.

Women’s Clinic (310-203-8899; 9911 W Pico Blvd, Suite 500, Century City) Fees are calculated on a sliding scale according to your capacity to pay.

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