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Salinas in California.
Salinas is the county seat and the largest municipality of Monterey County, California. Salinas is located 10 miles (16 km) east-southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River, at an elevation of about 52 feet (16 m) above sea level. The most current estimate from the California Department of Finance sets the 2006 population at about 148,350, showing a small decline since the year 2000. The mostly suburban city is located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean and has a mild climate. The city consists mostly of late 20th century single family homes, some low-level apartments, ranging from modest bungalows to spacious luxury homes. The climate is also ideal for the floral industry and grape vineyards planted by world-famous vintners. Salinas is known for being an agricultural center and also for being the hometown of the noted writer and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate John Steinbeck, who based several of his novels here.
Arts and culture
Salinas boasts an emerging arts scene led by the First Fridays Art Walk and the innovative use of non-traditional or business venues to exhibit art and host live local music. The oldest gallery in Salinas, the Valley Art Gallery, has been active for over 30 years. The Hartnell College Gallery hosts world-class exhibitions of art during the school year. The National Steinbeck Center has two galleries with changing exhibits, and the city's newest @Risk Gallery features cutting-edge and visionary exhibitions. The Art Walk, held in the downtown area, features 50 venues.
Live theater companies in Salinas include ARIEL Theatrical located in the Wilson's Children's Theater in Oldtown Salinas, and the Western Stage, a professional company who performs in the Hartnell College Performing Arts Center.
Live local music is available at many restaurants in the downtown area, and during the First Fridays Art Walk. Concerts are held at the historic Fox California Theater, Sherwood Hall and the Salinas Sports Complex, as well as at Hartnell Community College.
Salinas is home to many public murals, including work by John Cerney which can be viewed in the agricultural fields surrounding the city. Claes Oldenburg placed his sculpture, Hat in Three Stages of Landing, in Sherwood Park at the center of the city.
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