Vancouver

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The view from my hotel

Yesterday was a long day — I saw the sunrise from an airplane and I saw the sunset from an airplane. I also saw Joe Lieberman in the Houston airport, but that’s another story. I spent an extended weekend at the HLT/EMNLP conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference itself was your standard academic conference, and as a result, I spent much of my time in the hotel, listening to talks on natural language processing. In the meantime, I also got a chance to see a little bit of Vancouver. The highlights:

  • An amazing view of the harbor from our hotel room. It was raining the first day, so I didn’t notice that the view included the Canadian Rockies until Friday.
  • The world’s first steam powered clock in Gastown (the old neighborhood). It was cold to the touch, but you could feel heat coming from it and see steam rising from the top. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to actually check out how it works.
  • The gelato. I went out to dinner Saturday night with a grad student from Columbia University. “When you’re in Vancouver, you get gelato,” she told me. So, we got gelato — the chocolate hazelnut was delicious.
  • The water planes. Someone else (Dave Zitt?) could probably tell me the actual name of these planes, but we spent our lunch on Saturday watching them take-off and land from the harbor. It was very reminiscent of Northern Exposure.

The remainder of the pictures (which are mostly views from the hotel at various times of the day) are here. There’s a lot of Vancouver (and the surrounding areas) that I didn’t get to see, but would’ve liked to — especially just north of city. One of our complementary travel guides mentioned a suspension foot bridge over a 300 foot canyon in one of the nearby parks. I also missed my opportunity to see a lighthouse when I opted to go out to dinner on Saturday instead. All of this is to say — I’d really like to go back at some point for an actual vacation. Also, if anyone needs about $4 in Canadian currency, let me know.

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