Meet Neil Fletcher from London who moved to LA in 1984 – on a whim – and has been the publisher of the British Weekly since 1990.
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
I had graduated university and was at a loose end, working in a wine bar in South Kensington, London, when a workmate of mine announced he was flying to New York and then driving across the country and asked if I wanted to join him. In those days I was young and impulsive so of course I said yes.
What one thing do you miss from home?
More than one thing. Friends, crisp autumn days and cozy English country pubs. And the proximity to Europe. And the curries. The quality of LA curry houses has improved hugely, but there’s still nothing like a real Ruby Murray from Brick Lane…
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus the UK?
The weather is the most obvious contrast. And a close second is the relentless optimism and friendliness of the natives…
|Photo courtesy of EveryTrail|
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
Culturally I think one of the best things the city has to offer is the LA Opera. It has brilliant performers, lighting, sets and costumes. I’ve never had a bad night there. But (as Hugh Laurie recently observed) the city also has a great bone structure, and one of my favorite things to do is to take a hike on Thanksgiving Day to Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica mountains. It’s a three-hour walk, quite strenuous, with stupendous views.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
You must be patient, resourceful, industrious and adaptable. Don’t expect things to be perfect right off the bat, but equally don’t wait until all the stars are aligned and everything seems just right before you make the move. Get on a flight and do it. You will find opportunities arise and doors open that you could never imagine back in the UK. In LA that old chestnut is still true: fortune favors the brave.
Follow Neil on Twitter here
Subscribe to the British Weekly here