My dad visited New York on business c.1960 and brought back 8mm cine-film. He didn't know how to fix the exposure and so for ages I visualised NYC as a place of pale soaring monoliths and blue-black canyons.
The card I sent Judy was a classy image of the Beatles at the time of the White Album. I bought it in a big touristy emporium on the Albert Docks. I thought I'd be tripping over Beatles souvenirs everywhere, but actually they're quite thin on the ground. Surprising but encouraging. Liverpool is in the throes of re-inventing and rebuilding itself and doesn't need to trade on its past.
The Liverpool Waterfront has recently been accorded World Heritage status. I tsk-tsked when I heard it on the news, but that's partly because I'm a Mancunian by adoption- and the rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool (the two major cities of the North West) is deadly. Actually, having poked around the place last week, I think the accolade is deserved. It's a big, braw space, full of breezy light, the architecture is grand- going on phantasmagoric- and if you pop into the local branch of the Tate Gallery you can gawp at Picassos.