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Korean American Friendship Bell
A pagoda covered in a vibrant pattern shields the bell

While the nation?s been preoccupied with North Korea due to Dennis Rodman?s latest ill-advised ?basketball diplomacy,? in-the-know Angelenos are feeling the love for South Korea and its San Pedro Friendship Bell, fresh from a $300,000 makeover.

We?ll bet this gorgeous hunk of bronze is the most beautiful Los Angeles attraction you?ve never seen. It sits in Angels Gate Park in San Pedro, over a bluff with stunning 180-degree views of the Pacific. The 17-ton bell was a bicentennial gift from South Korea in 1976. But the structure had fallen on hard times--its open-air pagoda had faded, and the bell itself was graffiti- and guano-covered.

Now, just in time for the Korean Lunar New Year on January 31, the bell has been recarved by a master bellmaker from South Korea, and the pavilion is once again a riot of color. The bell is rarely rung; the next time will be on the Fourth of July.

But don?t wait. Go now, when on a clear day there?s no better place to see the sun set, and then drive over to Sixth Street to toast the Korean New Year over a halibut roll at the retro-cool Senfuku.

Angels Gate Park, 3601 Gaffey St., San Pedro; 310-548-7705 or

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