Picture of the Week

26 April 2016

Week 17: OECD and Rotterdam

Filed under: — Administrator @ 20:52

I was on the road most of the week, from Monday morning until Friday afternoon. Monday was a big day. We have been working on a major study of international trade in counterfeit goods together with the OECD, and it was now time to launch it at a press conference at OECD’s headquarters. And Tuesday-Thursday we were hosting a meeting of our public stakeholders in Rotterdam, together with the Dutch government (the Netherlands holds EU’s rotating presidency this half-year).

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But first a cat picture. I no longer have my beloved Taco, but I still have my strays on the golf course:
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On Sunday I was on my bicycle as usual, along the beaches south of Alicante, and took a couple of B&W seascapes:
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Monday morning I got up at 4 a.m. and left the house at 5 to drive to the airport any my flight to Paris. I arrived at the OECD in good time, and I walked around the grounds a bit. I really like their facilities, especially on a nice sunny day. This is their garden:
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The auditorium where our event will be held. The staff are making the last preparations:
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Everything is ready for us:
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And now I am ready too:
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The auditorium fills up with press and invited guests. In the foreground David Luna of the U.S: State Department greets the EU ambassador to the OECD. The guy seated on the left is the U.S. ambassador to the OECD; and the woman next to David Luna is Susan Wilson, IP attaché at the U.S. representation to the EU:
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Afterwards, it was time to put the camera away and do my part in the proceedings. You can read more about our study (and watch the recording of the speeches) here. And then it was time to head to the Gare du Nord and the train to Rotterdam.

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I arrived at my hotel in Rotterdam around 8:30 p.m., and after getting myself organised went for a walk. The hotel was located next to the magnificent Erasmus Bridge:
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It is now Tuesday morning, and we are about to start the meeting. My colleagues Claire and Stephanie check some last details:
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The conference room was on the 6th floor, with a very nice view:
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The nhow hotel was OK but it did have some quirky design details:
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In the evening we were having the formal conference dinner, but there were a couple of free hours in the afternoon, which I used to take a long walk. This is the traffic on the Erasmus Bridge. Note the generous space for pedestrians and cyclists:
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A cyclist stops to take a picture of a cruise ship at the cruise terminal:
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More cyclists:
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Flower power:
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Up close and personal:
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Knitted lamppost:
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Small square in front of my hotel:
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We had dinner at a basement restaurant at the Hotel New York:
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On Wednesday our meeting continued in the morning. In the afternoon we visited customs in Rotterdam harbour and afterwards were treated to a boat trip around this incredibly impressive facility:
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This is the world’s largest ship, built in South Korea, with some finishing touches being applied in Rotterdam:
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Back on land, I walked across the bridge again, stopping to take this picture of a woman contemplating something on the banks of the Maas river:
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Dutch efficiency and planning in action. From May 1st, cars that over a certain age (and thus likely to pollute more) will not be allowed to enter the centre of Rotterdam. In preparation, the authorities have set up a camera and a screen on the Erasmus bridge. As a car approaches, its license plate is read, and based on the data in the motor vehicle register, the driver is told whether or not he will get a €90 fine as from next month:
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I walked on to Oude Haven (“old harbour”) and photographed some urban fauna along the way:
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I continued to the magnificent Markthal and walked around looking at all the nice food and drink on display. Also saw these cute doggies waiting for their human:
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There was a herring stand, and here is the friendly proprietor preparing my delicacy:
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The setting sun illuminates buildings in the distance:
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On Thursday we had a conference called “Follow the Money”, organised by us in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. As the name indicates, it was all about how web sites offering pirated and counterfeit goods make money. Here is my boss, the Director of the EU Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights, speaking at the opening of the conference:
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Jean Bergevin of the European Commission speaks and points:
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During the lunch break, I went to the nearby Nederland Fotomuseum to have a look. The main exhibition was of the work of contemporary Dutch photographers. As is often the case, the quality was variable, but I liked the setting:
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This is one of the exhibits I enjoyed, “The Order of Models”:
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Headless giraffe and selfies:
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Do-it-yourself-selfie guide:
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US neon signs by Toon Michiels:
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On Thursday evening I met up with my old friend Michiel Fokkema and some other members of Images, a photography club in The Hague of which I was a member when I lived in the Netherlands, and which I still support. Michiel suggested Kaapse Brouwers, a bar with a huge selection of beer on tap, some of it produced in-house, just a few minutes walk from my hotel.

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I loved the informal ambience of the place:
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The staff are knowledgeable and friendly:
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A good way to try the variety, a taster tray of six beers:
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Michiel and Heather:
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After sunset it got cold outside, so we went inside for some more beer, and some food. I took a couple of B&W portraits of Michiel in action:
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Please bring back your glass:
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Michiel in conversation with an attractive fishmonger:
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Friday morning. Just before heading to Rotterdam airport for my flight home, I photographed this amusing van:
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And then it is Saturday morning. I am back at home, walking Cheeta, and coming across this poultry crossing Avenida Vicente Ramos:
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More pictures from Rotterdam are here.

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