Friday, February 6, 2009

Santa Monica's Little Britain

Spotted at a local British car mechanic.
Repurposed London cabs are a regular occurrence on European streets, but seeing one in this town came as a shock. Yet, is it any wonder? Nicknamed Little Britain, Santa Monica boasts an expat population large enough "to support three authentic British pubs, a British tea room, a couple of British grocery stores, and a shop with what must be the most expansive collection of British videos and DVDs west of Liverpool," writes SFGate.

"It started in the 1930s, when W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood moved here," says Neal Fletcher, publisher of Santa Monica's British Weekly, a newspaper for British expats. "Then, after the war, when the British aerospace industry shut down, the engineers moved out here to take jobs with McDonnell Douglas. And then came all the movie and music talent. Everyone heard about the palm trees and the sunshine, and this became the place to be. These days there are about 5,000 British people living in Santa Monica."
photo LA Frog