Monday, July 30, 2007


And so concludes a week long stay in, by most estimations, the most tolerant and liberal city in the world. It is true that a number of commonplace activities in Amsterdam would certainly not be tolerated in the US. But the full cultural experience is certainly, well, fuller.

I must admit, Amsterdam as a whole was a bit disappointing. But that is to be expected given the hype surrounding the city. Everything also felt a tad too overpriced to me, but that's partially due to the poor USD to Euro exchange rates these days. The food was unspectacular and the lack of air conditioning in my hotel room (which did cost Filip and I a pretty penny) was annoying.

The conference itself was very enjoyable. I met a lot of people and had some great discussions about future research directions.

So, as usual, here are some pictures.

It was cloudy and raining for a good portion of my stay in Amsterdam, as can be seen in this shot of the city.

Tourists swarmed the streets in search of trendy Dutch wear.

The hotel Filip and I stayed in, NH Doelen.

Numerous canals criss cross through the city.

Many people also choose to live on the water.

Bicycles are a lot easier to maneuver with since most streets are very narrow.

The conference begins.

The poster session.

Ken Church showing off new search engine technologies.

I also managed to visit the Heineken Brewery.

Sounds exciting, eh?

What do you think they're watching? (Hint: it's a bunch of old Heineken commercials)

In America, this would be banned because it promotes gender inequality.

Hanging with the natives.

A bird.

My tour of the city also included a canal boat tour, a visit to the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and of course a trip through the Red Light District. While it was overall an enjoyable experience, I would definitely hesitate if I'm ever deciding on revisiting Amsterdam, and thus burning through my hard-earned cash again.

More photos of the conference itself are available here.


Parisa said...

That bird picture is excellent. Why didn't you delete it?

Yisong said...

I actually tried really hard to do just that. But I failed.

Steve Hanna said...

i hate you both so much.

gdupont said...

Well you probably don't remember me but we met at SIGIR and have a lunch together... I'm reading your last paper with Filip Radlinski and Thorstem Joachims and was hanging around your homepage by the way.

Nice pictures !

Yisong said...

Sure, it's Gerard Dupont, right? My memory is indeed terrible, so I apologize if I got your name wrong.

It was nice meeting you. I'm sure we'll meet up again soon. It's a small world out there.

Parisa said...

I just got my postcard!!! Yay, I love Yisong postcards! The weather looks nicer in the postcard than it does in your pics, but as you would counter, your photos win on geek points. Don't forget Yisong... chocolate rain!