San Francisco, USA

19 Jul

SFThe year was 2001. The tech bubble had burst, but still a lot was happening. Web conferences in Europe were a rare occasion. So I got my boss to send me to the Web2001 Conference in San Francisco, yay! I got to travel twice to the US in the same year, yay! I had been to the East Coast in May on vacation (see travel category), and would get to know some of the West coast now.

The Conference took place at the Moscone Centre, and I stayed in a great nearby hotel. The room had a great view. What I remember most are the breakfasts, with lots of fresh fruit, eggs, and great coffee.

I had one day off, so I packed it with as many things as I could do. In the morning, I took a touristic sightseeing bus trip around the city. Highlights were the City Hall, the Mission and Castro districts, Twin Peeks with its great views, and a beautiful garden on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I had lunch at the piers, with a view of Alcatraz. After a walk in the neighbourhood, I took a streetcar back to the hotel and went visit the nearby SF MoMa.

During the Conference, I met and became friends with two influential people in my career: Molly Holzschlag and Cia Romano. They are both great people, doing great work with the Web community. Cia invited me to an event after the conference: A screening of a documentary on battlebots (a new thing to me). After, there was a performance on the street with a robot. It was very interesting.

It was an eye opening week. I got to know a thriving web community, at a time when the landscape in Europe was still very bare. There were just a few of us working on the web scene (but things sure have improved since then).

Sadly, one of the facts I will never forget is getting back to Lisbon on September 10th 2001. If you notice, It’s one day before the World Trade Centre attack on New York City. Had I stayed one day longer, my life story could have been different.

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