Oh. My. God. Rare is the time when I sit down in a restaurant and think - I'd come back to this city, just for this place -. But this is what happened tonight between me, and Lucca, a fantastic slightly up market Italian restaurant in the little italy (called "North End") of Boston. You can read the detailed review on my yelp profile. All I'll say is that this restaurant kicks ass, and I will definitely come back to Boston because of this place, and next time, I'm bringing Max. She really would have liked it here. I've got to figure out a way for her to join me on these biz trips.
Boston is truly, truly beautiful. I have yet to see a city that exceeds its beauty in the US. It is surrounded by water, which cleverly partitions the city into different districts, and distinguishes it from its posh neighbour, Cambridge (which hosts 2 of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard, and MIT).
It's also a city that is quite different from the cities I've seen so far (San Diego, San Jose). It's public transport system (called the "T") is advanced, has good extensive coverage, and the city is actually dense, so walking from A to B is an actual possibility (if not a recommended course of action).
More distinction can be ascribed to Boston due to its key role in US History: after all, it is here that the American Revolution started (cf. Boston Tea Party), and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The city lives and breathes its history, its Irish heritage, and is absolutely enthralling. I walked the freedom trail (see photo album), which lets you walk a 2.5 mile trail within ol' Boston through its historical monuments. I would truly recommend this city on anyone planning to visit the US, and wanting to get a feel for how NYC ought to have been... without the rudeness and scum of NYC... (flame door is open).
I only got to spend a couple of hours visiting today, as I had to head back for the conference, but I came back later on to have dinner... more on this later.
So I finally got to go through a quintessential American experience, the dreadful "red eye" flight from West Coast to East Coast. After spending a wonderful couple of days chilling out & playing golf with Leslie, Steve, Eric, Sean and Manon in South Lake Tahoe (we were celebrating Steve's birthday), I got picked up by limo on Saturday afternoon to start my trek across the country.
The limo picked me up at 1pm from Tahoe, and we got to Sacramento Airport at 2.30pm (my flight was only due to depart at 5.10pm). After being bored out of my friggin' mind for nearly 3 hours, finally boarded the plane to Denver (my scheduled stop over before changing planes to head to Boston). Once in Denver, I had to wait 3.5 hours before getting on the plane to Boston. I arrived in Boston at 5.30 a.m. local time, or 2.30 a.m. Pacific time...
Beurk. I was so tired, but I was determined to see a bit of the ol' Boston before the start of the conference this afternoon. You'll here all about it in the next post.
In reference to Joost's post on his web log: some of you know that we spent our first Independence Day yesterday ! It was actually kinda cool... we headed out to SF with Joost, did the crash run intensive die hard tour of key areas (golden gate, drive through van ness, china town, north beach, lombard st., embarcadero, pier 39-41)... and ended the day watching the fireworks from a cruise ship in the bay... (blue and gold fleet.... only 25$ per person). Was fun, and we ended up having a quick dinner at the Hyatt Knuckles bar to wait out the crowd before heading back on the 101 South to San Jose... it was a late night, got to bed at 1.30 a.m. ! But it was fun!
Just uploaded the pics of our short but sweet vacation camping in Redwood Memorial Park, and checking out the cute lil' village in Pescadero, as well as checking out a few wineries in the Santa Cruz mountains... check the pics out here!
conference ended at 2pm today, so I decided to change out of my suit, and into
some linen shorts, half shirt and flip/flops, and went to the world famous San
Diego Zoo. What a beautiful place. I won't bother writing too much about the
Zoo except that it differs from other Zoo's in that in provides animals with
their native habitats, and strives to preserve not just wild life, but also
plant life. There are over 100k species of plants over here.
only had 3 hours, so I took the 32$ value package, which allows me to hop on
the tour bus, and take the 45 minute tour of the Zoo, which is 18 acres large.
This is a good way to get a quick overview of the attractions, and make note of
the things you want to see more closely. For me, that was mainly the Great
Panda Bears (and their new born baby), the Giraffe's, the Oliphants, and the
Rhino's… After the tour, I took the express buses and walked to the different
targets, snapping away with my camera.
tired after a while, and had seen what I wanted to see within 2 hours. At 6pm,
stopped for a Sam Adams, and then headed over to San Diego airport.
Diego airport has got to be the most boring airport I've had the opportunity to
lounge in in the US. It's even worse than San Jose's (which at least has a
starbux and free wifi). This airport has a dodgy Sub fast food (not Subway's
but somethin' else), and NO WIFI AT ALL. As a result, I'm typing this up in MS
any case, I'm now on vacation again… and we're off to camp in San Mateo county
the next few days… so no updates for a bit. Hopefully, when we hike Redwood
Memorial Park this weekend, it won't be to our deaths !!!!
I used to think that the only cities I would choose to live in the US would be
San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. I now officially add San Diego to the list.
Set on the pacific, it is continuously surrounded by it, with little
peninsula's, coves, bays… it's a bit less charming than Sydney, but the sand is
white, the weather is great, and there's a lot of surf.
place definitely feels a lot more "Cali" than Northern California…
Cali in the television sense if you know
what I mean… kinda like LA, but without the glitz, obnoxiousness, and "Did
you see me" feel. As I was walking down Mission Beach yesterday after the
conference, I saw couples on tandems, rollerbladers, iPod Runners, Horse Shoe
throwers, surfers, skateboarders… they were all there… the wind was warm (the
santa anna winds ???), but it felt real good.
some crab at this joint on the beach, and chilled out with a couple of beers.
terms of the conference, well it's pretty good quality (check out the confe
rence location on the right !!!!). My colleague's GK
(Director of Industry Vision) and TG (Chief Scientist @ DOX) did well, not
surprisingly. I learned a bit, networked a ton, and got 0 leads as the booth
babe (booth babe is a sexist reference to the ladies that staff the really big
industry forum booths…. Like E3, for example). I guess I ain't cut out for it
;-). In any case, I held the fort, which is what I was here to do.
So in a few hours, I'll be flying to San Diego, which is in Southern California. I'll be there for 2 days (1 night), managing an Amdocs booth at a tradeshow... called the IMS Evolution Summit. I'll be staying at the Best Western Blue Sea Lodge on the beach (picture of location on the right)... right across the street from the conference (good thing, as I still don't have my driver's license!!!).
IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) is a new network layer that aims to enable service providers (telco's) to rollout a "killer environment" that will facilitate the consumption of data and content services, and enable fixed mobile convergence. It will also reduce the cost and time to market related to launching new telecom services / applications by enabling a shared resource approach (traditionally, new services are siloed across different system stacks... making the TCO of new service launch for Telco's excrutiatingly painful).
IMS will have the following benefits: provide the ability to provide "blended" services. This is pretty abstract, so it's best if I use an example:
Imagine a family: Father, Mother, and daughter (who goes to College)
Daughter (using Voice over IP mobile phone and wifi connected laptop): Hi Dad! Can you help me with my homework project ?
Father (at the office using desk phone and workstation): Sure, show what you're working on
Daughter pushes (one button press) from laptopto Dad
Father: Hmmm.... this is Mom's specialty. She's out, but I see that she's available (she is "online" on her mobile, and appears "online" to her family, much like Skype, or Push to Talk).
Father pushes homework to Mother to her mobile phone
Mom (using smartphone): I'm heading into a meeting.... Send me a picture of your work and I'll review it on my way... (few seconds later) This looks right. Your graph of Einstein's theory shows how mass variations affect curved space time. Good luck !
Daughter: Thanks Mom, Dad ! See you at Spring Break...
Basically IMS will allow us to talk, do Videoconferencing, share documents, all at the same time... and
not just mobile to mobile, but VoWIMAX (Voice over Next Gen Wifi), Fixed line telephony, or even Skype. The end device or phone compatibility will not matter any more. If I want to play Doom3 from my cell phone with someone who's playing Doom3 on a PC over high speed LAN this could be a possibility....
Any way... enough with the work stuff.... now off to San Diego. The flight from San Diego is about 1.2 hours... but it is at the other end of the state !!! I'll post more from there (providing I have WIFI access... my card has been acting up lately).