MEET A MEMBER - ARCHIE GALBRAITH
Meet Archie originally from a tiny village near Glasgow called Lochwinnoch .
He moved to LA 11 years ago to pursue the accumulation of wealth (unfortunately timed with the arrival of the recession so I had to put up with lifestyle improvements instead).
|photo by N Galbraith|
Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
I was moving to join a start up company and LA was where my first client was based. We were supposed to move to New Jersey but having lived there before, we decided to give the West Coast a try - thereby neatly avoiding issues like rain that turns into ice when it lands.
What do you miss most from home? The Today show on +BBC Radio 4 as you drive to work; apple crumble; high quality TV advertising. The thing I miss the most is the Scottish habit of just dropping in to a friends house. Not making appointments for dinner, just dropping by for a coffee and a chat unannounced that might turn into dinner, a trip to the pub or a friendly "sorry, too busy". and the relaxed approach to social life. Mind you - I missed that when I lived in London too.
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? First impression - a huge sprawling mess with ugly above ground power lines everywhere, ugly strip malls and the same shops over and over again.
My impression of LA has changed a lot. I have discovered nuances and character that I wasn't aware of at first. There are clear differences in the different parts of town - like any other large city I've lived in, so the trick is to find the part of town that reflects your style. The other thing I realized was that in between all those chain stores are a myriad of independents offering just about anything you want. Thats LA for me - anything you want as long as you have the cash and are willing to drive. Want to learn Kung Fu, Horse Riding, Circus Trapeze - all here.
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
The Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon. Do you remember Grandpa Walton? Played by Will Geer who was reportedly backlisted during McCarthyism and moved onto a parcel of land in Topanga Canyon shared with his friend Woodie Guthrie. Will's wife built an outdoor theater among the mature trees & streams of the upper canyon and its still run by his family. Rivals the setting of any outdoor stage I've ever been to.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here ?
Can be fantastic place to live. The weather and the opportunities for learning, hobby's and fun are outstanding. Can be overwhelming because of its size. Just like any city, the places that are easiest to afford are not likely to be very close to the places you want to be and unlike London, there isn't likely to be a train to get you there. Brilliant place for business.
You MUST have a job that includes family health insurance. Be prepared to struggle at first to establish a credit history - start by putting cash in a local bank which guarantees a debit card. Use the card and replace the cash you spend. Trying to lease a car, get Cable TV, sign up for utilities are all made more difficult without a credit score.
Network your way into the place prior.
Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given? Don't sweat the small stuff - and in the scheme of things, almost everything in your life is small stuff
Lastly, how can we find out more about you? Are you working on anything at the moment?
I'm a Youth Rugby Coach at Santa Monica Rugby Club - http://www.santamonicarugby.
Great bunch of parents from all over the rugby playing world doing our best to teach our kids good values.
|I am also a Director of a new Charitable foundation, we are launching on Jan 1 so I'll come back and update you then|