Monterey Park is an affluent city about 8 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. Surrounding communities include City Terrace to the west, Alhambra to the north, South San Gabriel on the east, and Montebello / East Los Angeles to the south. Monterey Park became a city in 1916, and in 1920 a large section on the south end became the city of Montebello. A large agricultural economy developed initially, but was gradually replaced with housing tracts initially planned as upper-class neighborhoods to compete with Beverly Hills and Bel Air. The Great Depression ended the early real estate boom until around 1950 when many new subdivisions were built and the city annexed several areas of adjacent land. For a period of time in the 1980’s Monterey Park was referred to as “The Chinese Beverly Hills” due to the many affluent Taiwanese moving into the area and businesses from Chinatown in Downtown L.A. opening up stores there. The area has seen several redevelopment projects since 2000 such as the Atlantic Times Square and Monterey Park Village retail centers. Although a variety of cuisine can be found in Monterey Park, there are many restaurants and cafes focusing on Asian fares such as Hong Kong fusion, Cantonese seafood, and mainland Chinese dishes. Monterey Park has 4 public school districts- Alhambra Unified, Garvey, L.A. Unified, and Montebello Unified- offering 15 schools covering elementary to high school; there are also 8 private schools. There are many small neighborhood parks available in the city, as well as Garvey Reservoir, and 2 private golf courses. Nearby attractions include the Pico Rivera Sports Arena, The Huntington Library and Art Collection Museum, and the many stores, restaurants, and businesses of Downtown Los Angeles only 5 miles to the west.
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