Jerusalem is both the political capital of the young State of Israel and the spiritual home of the world's three primary monotheistic faiths. At the intersection of Asia, Europe and Africa, it is a treasure trove of historical sites and vibrant contemporary culture.
A collection of islands and harbor-land, Hong Kong is a political outlier. Officially a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong was ruled by the British for more than 150 years. It has a special distinction of being culturally Chinese but very much part of the world’s capitalist commerce. The British relinquished Hong Kong to China in 1997; many vestiges of British influence remain, from driving on the left side to afternoon tea. English and Cantonese are the official languages of Hong Kong, although not all natives have working knowledge of both.
Las Vegas was founded in 1905, starting out as a sleepy town in the midst of the scorching Mojave desert. But the building of the Hoover Dam from 1931 to 1936, some 25 miles to the southeast, in an effort to harness the Colorado River’s power, coupled with the legalization of gambling in 1931, made Las Vegas a popular destination city. Soon Vegas was brimming with construction workers, bootleggers and gamblers — plus the support staff needed to feed, shelter and entertain them.
London is a city with ancient roots. Settled in the Bronze Age and occupied by the Celts, the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse, it eventually grew into a world capital, a pinnacle of arts and industry and the seat of the mighty British Empire. It was nearly leveled by fire in 1666, but London was rebuilt and remains a world leader in business and commerce, theater arts, architecture, fashion, music and politics.
Once a small community focused on agriculture and home to citrus groves, today Los Angeles is an enormous metropolitan area, encompassing dozens of smaller cities and towns — it consists of nearly 5,000 square miles and nearly 18 million people.