Before I continue yammering on about Americans relocating, allow me to bid our fine Canadian expats a happy Canada Day! Festivities here are underway: http://www.canadadaylondon.com/
And now, to conclude my brief series on where Americans like to live in London:
(This excerpt is adapted from my 17 May guest post on Anglotopia.net, a brilliant, comprehensive resource on all things UK that I highly recommend to all Anglophiles!)
St. John’s Wood
Perhaps the most blatant draw to St. John’s Wood for Americans is the American School in London (ASL). The only American school located within the city itself, ASL’s American curriculum automatically attracts families relocating from the United States to provide children with continuity in their education.
Regardless if one’s child is not enrolled in ASL or one does not have children at all, the neighborhood has a ready network of Americans (the St. John’s Wood Women’s Club being one resource) and meets a high standard of living. It is certainly one of the more expensive areas to live (Paul McCartney lives there), with a gorgeous brass-fixtured Tube station and darling cafes and shops to wander around in a safe, quiet, and family-friendly environment.
Perhaps one of the more fun features of SJW is Lord’s cricket ground, the “Home of Cricket.” American sports enthusiasts can attend a match there and figure out first-hand whether cricket moves more slowly than baseball 🙂
(And since this post first published on Anglotopia.net, a helpful commenter added that Panzers Deli is a big draw to the neighborhood for its American foods!)
Now, this is not one of the more obvious choices for Americans, but I would be remiss not to mention Islington as a neighborhood of growing attraction. It has an edgy, artsy feel mixed with increasing gentrification (think Chicago’s Bucktown/Wicker Park or New York’s Greenwich/West Villages), so its great social scene (commencing immediately along Upper Street just outside of Angel Tube station) ranges from super-casual pub to super-swank club.
In addition to the nightlife, this North London neighborhood’s closer proximity to the city center renders it desirable by expats wanting a shorter commute to work.
Moving to London
Regardless of where you decide to live, opportunities to network with other Americans abound. The expat community is spirited and open-minded, so you’ll be deeply enriched by the global experiences of others who have relocated like yourself.
While this empathy is great (and vital for some), a major part of the expat experience is also to cast off a bit of what you knew at home to take on the new challenges and joys of a different cultural environment. In this case, don’t worry that living in a popular American neighborhood will mean sheltering yourself from the international community—such couldn’t possibly happen in a city as diverse as London!