Valerian agent spacio temporel - episode transatlantique

What a long day, subway, walking, flying, subway again and finally Berlin. Long distance flight in autumn puts you in a another time space. You start your journey in the underground by day time, when the subway reaches the surface on his way to the airport the night has come, you can't see much outside because you are too far from the city lights and you are constantly in the position of having to wait or having to run, you are prisoner of your own schedule.

Seated with a window on my right I can barely see the extremity of the wing, too big, too windy, too dark. On board the KLM crew is struggling to make function each individual video screen. Organized as I'm I forgot my book in my checked luggage, so I re-started Bel-Ami on my tablet to kill the time. Eventually the on-board team succeed to reboot the system, but I will only see 15min of something on a bad screen and left to say hello to Morpheus.

When I wake up it's Amsterdam again. Next day. I'm getting closer. Two more hours waiting and a last jump in the sky to Berlin. Smooth landing, I get my luggage and my TXL almost immediately. Good to be home. People are drinking beers in the bus, no one is hiding. Started in New York Upper West Side near 96st - and some cream cheese bagels for the breakfast - with several stops in Wall Street, stopping by the North and South Pools and continuing by a short visit in l'Imprimerie on Spring Street 11 I finish my journey as I started it yesterday, with something to eat, kettwurst it was.


Tuesday in NYC - Going to Staten Island

In the morning at home working on our computers. For lunch we left Upper West Side and aim down town and Wall-Street to meet our host. Another side of New-York. It feels like in a Batman movie and we are expecting the Dark Knight at any time, but we only see the canine brigade team car. Down the street the famous charging bull and the inevitable tourists taking picture of themselves touching the bull balls. You find the same tourists everywhere.

After lunch JB and I took the ferry to Staten Island. The time to touch the island and to go back to Manhattan. As we have some time before our next meeting, we walk. Little Italy and we are getting lost searching for Mulberry street. We managed to find again the Blind Tiger bar, had a beer at 18h and were drunk at 18h30. Then we ran to our next meeting El Barrio Chino, a Mexican restaurant between Chinatown and Little Italy where my friend Tarun proposed to meet. First time we met was in Oslo, then Berlin and now NYC. Very cool to stay in contact with people all around the world.

As in every restaurant you can't book a table, so better be in time. We struggled a bit to find the place, but we made it. Food was good, waiting time reasonable, staff members nice looking and friendly. Another good day.


Monday in NYC - Going to the Queens

I didn't bring my jogging equipment for nothing. After one week of non-activities I woke up early and went jogging in wild Upper West Side. I went up from the 97st and enter the Riverside Park along the river, ten turned right after reaching Columbia University, crossed the Morningside Park with a beautiful view on Harlem and Upper East Side in front of me, then joined Central Park by its upper west corner. At the level of my street I left the park and came back home.

Jogging in NYC and Central Park, checked.

The journey of the day continued by walking downtown where all street corners look like an album cover of the Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique. We went back where we went out last Saturday, thinking ahhhh it was there... I left Jean-Baptiste and Sarah in Washington park and went to the Queens. There I enter the Moma studio where its main imaging division is. For the connoisseurs I'm not taking about PS1 but another location into the Queens. I can't say it's a secret location as it's written in big Moma Studio in front of the light blue building. It is in this place that they will shoot pictures for their collection from paintings, sculptures, multimedia installations, cars, everything. To be short it was very cool. A tour made possible after meeting the right people in charge of this building some months ago during the Archiving conference 2014 who took place in Berlin.

Going the Queens, crossing a bridge above railways with the sun light going down through wire fence with the view on Manhattan in the background, checked. Never felt so hip hop.

I left the Queens, made a short detour by Manhattan and arrive in Williamsburg. I had a tacos from a tacos truck while waiting. JB and Sarah arrived, we had another delicious Asian fusion snack and went to a roof top bar. From there we enjoyed our beer with the NYC skyline by night.

First time for me in two areas of NYC, the Queens and Williamsburg. The last one reminded me a lot of SF, a bit of Montreal and Berlin. And now I know where the Vice headquarters are, there are facing the Brooklyn brewery.

Back in 96st after some food shopping I'm getting ready for cooking a risotto. It wasn't legendary but very eatable. Another great day.


Sunday in NYC - Going around

Brunch time! Starting from 96st in Upper West Side we enter the streets of NYC. The brunch place our host was dreaming about - something Louisiana style or so - is already full and we are not ready to follow the NYC way of going to a restaurant: queuing to death. We walk some meters further, got table and food. Asking for the wlan password the waiter brings me the wine menu, I got it, my accent is terrible.

Eggs, beacon, bred and coffee, ready to pursuit. Slowly we reach Central Park, at Yoko house we enter the green area of NYC. Beautiful colors in the trees and a lot of tourists and guitar players getting ready for a day of Imagine practice.

Going out of Central Park from the zoo we jump in a bus to go up Manhattan to the 105st following ideas from the spottedbylocals guide of New-York to make our path to the city.  A look at a gratify wall and we enter the NYC museum which we first mistaken with the el museo del barrio. About 4 to 5 exhibitions, mostly photography, some good, some less interesting but a good break in our wandering.

Hungry again, I spot on foursquare a ramen place not too far away. After another short visit in a small park located in Central Park facing the museum we just left we jump again in a bus. Only 20min to wait and we got our soup at Naruto Ramen on the 3rd avenue. Yeah!

Too early to go home so we continue downtown, in subway this time. Visit of Grand Central followed by the inevitable tour in Time Square by night. Lights everywhere, a dozen of spiderman, one or two batman, one joker... No needs to stay forever.

Back to our block in Upper West Side. It's Sunday evening, we could buy food and cook. It's New-York and everything is open all the time, all the time. I repeat, all the time. Instead we remain lazy, order pizza, got beers from the deli downstairs, our now daily Brooklyn Brewery beers, this time followed with tv series and sleeping.

A good day.


Going to NYC from Boston

Saturday - Going to NYC

On part en bus avec l'ami Jean-Baptiste. Breakfast bagel œuf bacon accompagné de boulettes de donuts (le trou dans les donuts) et un sandwich vraiment dégueux pour le voyage en bus.

Parti vers 12h on arrive 4h plus tard au niveau de la gare des bus de NYC. Boston est définitivement un village à côté. Direction Penn station, ligne 2 ou 3 en express et arrêt à 96st. That was easy.

Notre hôte Sarah nous accueille, les connections gjovikoises voyagent. On est pas venu uniquement pour dormir non plus, petite pause et on ressort direction Brooklyn de l'autre côté du pont - côté Brooklyn - pour un festival de lumière le truc à la mode dans toutes les villes du monde.

Sur place il y a foule, grosse foule, si un événement est gratuit le new-yorkais se déplace en masse et fait la queue. Il aime attendre. Nous non.

On retourne à Manhattan, la première option restaurant demande un temps d'attente conséquent. On se rabat sur une seconde adresse avec une charmante petite arrière court couverte et chauffée. C'est joli dans l'assiette mais ça pourrait être plus parfumé.

C'est pas fini, la déambulation continue et nous descendons dans un bar en sous-sol. Bière belge sur le carte et rapidement dans nos verres. Dans les toilettes un mannenken-pis derrière un grillage. AU Final un petit bar sympathique situé en face d'un théâtre de stand-up lui aussi en sous-sol. Je sors un eu avant les autres, dehors seul dans la rue regardant la foule nocturne déambulant vers son prochain verre.

Nous rentrons en express, métro toute la nuit. La fatigue se fait sentir et peu de temps perdu aujourd'hui. Vivement demain.


CIC 22 in Boston

For its 22th edition the Color Imaging Conference or CIC for the connsoisseurs took place in Boston. Comparing to last year in Albuquerque (NM) the color LUT did change a bit: yellow and blue for the desert and the sky to red and about 50 shades of autumn for the buildings and trees.

If as the previous editions the crowd of attendees remains similar - la crème de la crème of the color scientists - you can detect a slight dominance according to the conference location or with whom is organized the event. This year the keynote sessions where for both color scientists (CIC) and medical imaging scientists (IADP), then sessions were ran in parallel.

The joint keynotes brought interesting discussions. They were highlighting another practices of imaging system - like microscope - in the medical world. That is not a surprise that the imaging system described can provide very different visual results, from one microscope to the other the data do not appear identical to human observers but the extraction of information should. In one word there is no reference images or colors when the practicians is looking at samples, but they know that each patient is different and can base their diagnostic on their experience. In comparison to the CARS event, the IADP was much less about computer assisted radiography and more about image analysis (at least for what I have seen).

The day before the real opening of the conference is the short course day. Professionals, experts in academia or industry are giving lectures on color science topics. After chairing this session last year in Albuquerque NM I could follow two courses in Boston: one on color display given by Gabriel Marcu from Apple and a second on Color Rendering Index and Lighting given by Wendy Davis from University of Sydney. It is always refreshing to take part into these courses, to re-learn about display technology, display calibration, lighting technology and equally important how our comprehension of color science has evolves over the years and how new technologies force to change our approaches.

One thing I remind in particular is the new range of LEDs available - for some years already - and the changes that go with them. It is possible to design the properties of your lights - its spectral power distribution SPD - at very narrower wavelength bands. What does it mean? It means that you can really shape the gamut of your display or light installation, this in term of triangle shape in the color space of your choice. But being able to define a larger, wider color gamut on a sketch is not or should not be the only goal. We also have to think of the internal color space distribution, after all the light source we are most of the time in contact - the sun - has a very different SPD. The good side of it is the door open for us color scientists to continue exploring these new spaces.

It was good to see how my field of studies during my PhD - multi-spectral color reproduction, multi-colorant printing - has evolved. How multi-ink printing systems that were semi-experimental some years ago are now the basis of further experimentation. Further more it always a pleasure to hear someone telling you "I have read your thesis" when they see your name and your face for the first time.


Boston 13 years later

Second time in Boston, about 13 years after my first and only time in 2001 when I was an exchange student in Montréal. For the first trip a car full of Frenchies and Belgies was going South, leaving Québec behind us for the a long weekend. As far as I remember it was a really good weekend, not legendary but still very ok.

But back to our actual trip. I'm arriving from Berlin via Amsterdam. Luckily the Delta Airlines plane is pretty empty - I have two seats for me alone - and equipped with fairly new personal screen, I can actually see something - ce qui n'est pas toujours du luxe. I can say I was efficient in term of watching videos.

Landing was smooth, so was the custom and retrieving my luggage. In the plane I met a fellow going to attend the same conference as me. The reason I'm travelling to Boston is to attend the Color Imaging Conference (CIC22 to be precised). For once we left the South states of New Mexico, Texas or California, no excursion to the desert this time.

But back to Boston as I'm diverging again. The city isn't too big and the public transport is actually existing. I jumped in the subway and reached shortly after landing my AirBnB apartment in South End, somehow the South. Neat. Especially neat if you have seen the average price for an hotel room this week.

Thanks to the conference organisation I'm able to attend the event another time. In a smaller city all attendees are usually staying in the same hotel. This time not. Meaning I will have to wait tomorrow to meet the color scientist fellows, except one coming from France with whom I'm sharing the flat. According to plan and his plane he should arrive soon.


Meet the spotters in Amsterdam

I'm a spotter for the Berlin Spotted By Locals city guide. The idea behind this series of guide is simple and brilliant: to ask locals to share their spots, the place they like, part of their daily experience in the city where they are currently living. It is different than Yelp, Tripadvisor, Foursquare - I'm also writing for to some of them irregularly - or many other platforms where you can find information of about every items on a map. Only spottedbylocals is better.

Less than two years ago as I joined the Berlin team, its spotters were talking to me about this first spotters weekend in 2012, describing how epic the weekend was. It was the first and I was secretly hopping that the weekend planners will continue on a yearly basis. But they didn't. Actually hosting around 100 people, people that don't know each other, people that you only know shortly from they writing or skype interviews can be risky. But they did it again at the end of October.

Long story short, it was a great weekend. People and weather were accordingly friendly. All writers from Berlin did join the trip, so I knew some of the people. It was a great feeling to meet all the spotters from so many cities, a strange but confortable impression to know each other for a long time even so we were meeting for the first time and it was not because we are all part of the same company 

Bart and Sanne - founders and bosses behind spottedbylocals - did manage to select a very interesting crowd, talking about family will be to easy, more a community. During this weekend I tried to get a typical profile of what is a spotter. What does it mean to be a local in such a globalised world? We are all very connected, probably half of our brain is permanently linked to the internet, our multiple avatars almost never sleep and only our physical body sometimes need some rest. But still we - I think - love to meet people, engage in conversation, share life experiences that make us less an icon on the internet and more a human being - the Community fan will love that. If by travelling somewhere, by visiting a place, drinking a coffee you had the feeling to be part of the place then we won.