Japan/USA diary, day 9

Tuesday, 9 June, 2015. 21:34

I slept poorly again, and got up before 07:00 to get dressed and leave for the conference in time for breakfast. Today it was scrambled eggs, which were decently good, as well as yoghurt, fresh fruit, and muffin tops in various flavours. I’ve never seen muffin tops before – interesting concept.

Copley Square farmer's market
Farmer’s market at Copley Square.

For lunch today I met M. at the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth Streets, as she spent the day going through the shops on Newbury. We walked over to Copley Square, where there was a small farmers’ market, which Elena had told me was there every Tuesday. We perused the stalls before buying a couple of sandwiches for lunch form a bakery stall. M. selected a mozzarella and tomato one on a baguette, while I picked a tomato and artichoke on sliced light rye or something similar. We found a seat on the square in the shade of trees. M. looked at the sandwiches and decided that she liked the look of the artichoke one better, so we swapped. The mozzarella was fresh and creamy, and it looked like whole balls of it had been stuffed into the baguette, which was soft in the middle with a crispy crust – it was really good. M. also had a tiny cranberry and walnut bread roll, but gave me some of her sandwich, which was also good.

Trinity Church interior
Trinity Church interior.

After eating, we decided to take a self-guided tour inside Trinity Church, which is an amazing looking building, the first and most significant in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, made of contrasting light and dark stone and sitting in a heavy, squat formation on the land. It is the first and longest lasting of the buildings on an official list of the ten most architecturally important buildings in the USA. We went to the shop in the basement to pay $7 each for the tour, then went back up to walk around the interior of the church. It was basically a single Greek cross style shape, with a large domed roof over the main altar, decorated with gold. There were a few dozen stained glass windows with various scriptural scenes, most made in the late 19th century. It was impressive looking, but not huge like a cathedral, and we finished our tour around it moderately quickly.

Trinity altar
Trinity Church altar.

By now it was about 13:30 and we parted so I could go back to the conference. In the morning session I had moved to the main ballrooms to see the oral paper session on semantic labelling of images. After lunch I moved back to the smaller presentation hall to see the session on 3D images and modelling. After each oral session was a poster session, with over a hundred posters each. These are dizzying affairs as each poster attracts a horde of a dozen or more people and the crowds can be difficult to walk through.

Matlab face recognition
Monkey trying out Matlab face detection algorithm at CVPR.

I left the conference a bit before 18:00 to walk down to Copley and meet M. so we could travel home on the train together. We freshened up a bit at our hotel room and then walked out for dinner to Matt Murphy’s Irish Pub, which was a good 20 minute walk from the hotel. It was a cosy place, with a bar seating about a dozen people, and a dozen or so small tables.

Monkey likes Guinness
Monkey trying a Guinness at Matt Murphy’s Irish Pub.

We sat at a table, both on the same side on the bench seat against the wall, so we could look out towards the bar. We ordered a Pinot Noir for M. and a Guinness for me, then M. got the grilled cheese sandwich, which came with roasted tomatoes and fries, while I had the shepherd’s pie. The food was generous and really good. As we ate, a pair of women came in and sat at the next table, and they ordered five dishes to share: two grilled cheese sandwiches, a bowl of fries (which was huge), a bowl of mussels, a salad, and the cheese platter, which consisted of several chunks of different cheeses, topped by three breadcrumb-coated balls of different fried cheeses! Any one of these dishes by itself would have been a big meal for one person, or possibly a shared meal for two. They ended up with quite a big doggy bag.

Grilled cheese and fries
Grilled cheese sandwich, Matt Murphy’s Irish Pub.

After we finished eating we ordered another drink, a Bailey’s Irish cream for M. and a cider on tap for me. When it came time to pay, the waitress said they didn’t take cards, but there was an ATM three doors down. So I went and got cash while M. waited at the table. Then we had to figure out how to calculate a tip for a mix of meals and bartender drinks. I erred on the side of generosity, or at least I hope I did! It was a very nice place and the service and meals were really good.

Monkey pub b/w
Monkey at Matt Murphy’s Irish Pub.

We walked back to the hotel via Trader Joe’s where we got some pears for M. Back at the hotel we had showers and were just getting ready to go to bed, when M. spotted a mouse running across the floor of the room! We phoned the front desk and told them and requested a new room. They apologised and sent someone up with keycards for a king size room in the new tower of the building. It meant a hurried packing of all our stuff so we could move, but the room is nicer and hopefully mouse-free.

And now it’s time for sleep.

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