British In New York: Pro and Con

The owners of twee West Village comfort foodery Tea & Sympathy have banded together with other Brit businesses, including Virgin Airlines (!?) to wage a publicity stunt: they're campaigning to have that stretch of Greenwich Ave. officially dubbed "Little Britain," like in that episode of Arrested Development. "The campaign will use typical British humor, posing the question "What's one more Queen in the Village", as well as reminding New Yorkers that the Brits "took Madonna off your hands." What delightful tomfoolery! But some people aren't so enthusiastic about the proliferation of British expats in our town.

"Why is it that the English continue to get it all so wrong in New York?" asks (British dude) A. A. Gill in April's Vanity Fair (not online). He resents even being associated with his countrymen, because he says the ones who make it here are all caricatures of themselves:

" What you get are our failures and fantasists. The freshly redundant. The ex posed and embittered. No matter how long they stay here, they don't mellow, their consonants don't soften. They don't relax into being another local. They become ever more English. ber-Brits. Spiteful, prickly things in worn tweed, clutching crossword puzzles, gritting their Elizabethan teeth, soup-spotted, tomb-breathed, loud and deaf. The most reprehensible and disgusting of all human things; the self-made, knowing English eccentric."
We are not reminded of anyone we know in the slightest.

[Campaign for Little Britain]