Tehrangeles (Persian: تهرانجلس), also known as Little Persia, is a portmanteau deriving from the combination of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and Los Angeles. It is used when referring to the large number (estimates range from 500,000 to 600,000) of Iranian-Americans and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area after the 1979 Revolution left many families displaced; it is the largest such population outside Iran. The intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Wilkins Avenue is recognized by the City of Los Angeles as Persian Square.
A Persian community originally centered in the Westwood neighborhood of the Westside in the 1960s. Immigration to the area increased several-fold due to the events surrounding the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Westwood Boulevard became known for its many Persian shops and restaurants; and the Iranian expatriate community of Los Angeles entered all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, radio, and television stations.
Iranian-owned businesses are particularly prevalent on Westwood Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood to Pico Boulevard. As the population has grown, Iranians and their American-born children count as home neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, which includes Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Encino, and Beverly Hills, as well as the cities of Irvine, Huntington Beach and elsewhere in Orange County. They have also made their homes in San Diego and the Palm Springs area of the Coachella Valley.
In popular culture
In 2012, Bravo began broadcasting the series Shahs of Sunset, set in the Iranian community in LA. In 2018 the novel Tehrangeles, a romantic comedy set in the community, was published.
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based on "The Ethnic Quilt. Population Density in Southern California" by James P.Allen and Eugen Turner. Northridge: California State University, 1997
- Uhler, Andy (August 19, 2015). "Will Iran nuclear deal affect Persian businesses in L.A.?". Marketplace. American Public Media. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Yara Elmjouie: Being an Iranian American - Al Jazeera travels to Los Angeles' 'Tehrangeles' to explore the complexities of being an Iranian American. Al Jazeera English, May 2018