MANYDCGA

27Oct11

Last Friday, I finished my short visit at MIT in Boston, and on Sunday I arrived in Atlanta to visit Georgia Tech.

During the weekend, I finally got to visit my friends Jeff and Mariel in DC! We went to the National Museum of the American Indian (does it show a bit of homesickness if I made a beeline for the Inuktitut exhibit?), toured the West Wing with Jeff as our guide, and went to an excellent party populated by a strangely high number of Canadians.

We ate very well too: a thai restaurant, delicious quasi-historically native food at the museum, a southern-style restaurant including cajun catfish and bacon-wrapped dates, nachos sans nachos for a midnight snack, and a breakfast of champions prepared by Jeff. I have visited DC once before but this was the first time I got to see the city’s vitality.

In presentations about algorithms, people often draw their tree graphs with the root at the top and the leaves at the bottom, the opposite of a normal tree. Near the White house, we came across a botanical tree that would nonetheless feel right at home on a conference slide:

A Tree

Jeff and Mariel were really awesome hosts! Their place is a nice apartment close to all of the important stuff in the city (including beer stores). We talked about work, school, and I managed to convince them to watch a few episodes of my favourite show, Good Eats. But… I learned what Potatoes O’Brien from them, not TV!

I arrived in Atlanta late on Sunday, and it is really nice. Georgia Tech is extremely active in computer science and discrete mathematics; quite a number of people who I know previously have visits overlapping mine and are giving talks while here (3, randomly all of them Canadian). I am living in Midtown Atlanta and have enjoyed walking all over the place, especially jogging through lovely Piedmont Park in the nice weather.

Two nights ago a bunch of helicopters flew over my place in the evening, which seemed to be related to the shutdown of Occupy Atlanta. I have seen the Occupations in Boston, NYC, and DC in person so far and they all seemed pretty peaceful to me. I hope that they lead to some improvements in fairness.

In NYC (a few weekends ago) I saw one other thing of note. My buddy Ashwyn has previously mentioned Katz’ Deli and I went to check it out first-hand. The place can only be described as epic! The food was expensive, but delicious and with generous portions. It is a tourist trap, no doubt. But, I still enjoyed the trip there. Pictured below are the exterior and interior , as well as my meal — a pastrami on rye with pickles and Cel-Ray celery soda. Pretty good! But in a later tasting with Mike and Kathleen in Boston, we deduced it was hard to distinguish from gingerale; maybe homemade is better.



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