Georgia Elle Mellish in Battery Park. The 'Statue of Liberty', who asked for a $5 fee after this photo was taken, had a deep Rumanian accent.

I've just posted Exotic College Jobs, or Why I Know How to Get Out of a Straightjacket, which marks the end of the first New York series of Half Life.

Now all that's missing is my second period in New York, 1990-2000, along with bookends in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (1964-1982) and Copenhagen (2000-present.)

But does anyone really want to read about suburban Wisconsin or urban Denmark? Manhattan seems like a part of everyone's life. It's so much easier to identify with.

I was recently back in New York for the first time in four years, and was impressed by how little had changed. Except for the shops beneath the World Trade Center - which still seem creepily real to me, since I used to walk past them twice a day - everything seemed to be right where I left it.

Here and there there was a new building, a new shop, a closed restaurant, but many of the establishments are just as they were when I attended NYU in the 1980s. One of them, the Yaffa Cafe, apparently hasn't even been dusted in the intervening period.

I would imagine that the trendy bars and nightclubs have turned over a few times, but given my single-mother curfew of around 730pm, I didn't see many of those. My single-mother wake-up time of 5am did allow for a lovely sunrise walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, however.

It's odd being a tourist in a place you used to live. This didn't bother Georgia, however, who loved eating hot dogs from street vendors and sang "New York, New York" above the traffic on the bridge.

She may live in New York someday, but I doubt I ever will again.



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