Prowling my world, camera in hand

27 May 2011

Week 20: San Francisco

Filed under: — Administrator @ 23:05

I spent the entire week in San Francisco. From Sunday to Wednesday I was part of the delegation representing my office at the annual meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA), the biggest such event in the world. The remainder of the week I stayed with my cousin in Oakland and enjoyed the Bay Area with the benefit of a local guide. I have set up a proper gallery here, but below I show pictures that give more of a flavour for how I spent the week. They are arranged chronologically.

Arriving at my hotel Saturday night, things did not look too promising, weather-wise:


Alternate 1
Sunday morning brought a respite from the rain, and some folks in typical California garb were out and about :-):

Alternate 2
The conference had more than 9000 participants, mainly intellectual property lawyers and other companies serving this market, about 2/3 from outside the US. This is the hospitality area in the Moscone Center. People use it to network and hopefully strike up some profitable relationships:

Alternate 3
Our office had a stand in the exhibition area. As a public institution, we were not there to sell anything. For us, conventions like this one are about reaching out to users and provide information:

Alternate 4
In the evenings. we had numerous receptions to attend. This one was one of the classier ones, at a Westin hotel with a fabulous view:

Alternate 5
And a harpist, too:

Alternate 6
Tuesday morning we hosted a breakfast for trademark owners, mostly people from large companies, some of which have hundreds of trademarks registered with our office. After our presentations, the audience asked questions:

Alternate 7
I was of course sitting with my colleagues at the head table, which provided me with a decent vantage point for pictures of members of the audience. Here, two French ladies:

Alternate 8
I believe that this expressive lady was American, but I am not sure:

Alternate 9
Wednesday morning, back in the exhibition area. The activity depicted here is called speed networking. You get 5 minutes, and then move on to another table. Sounds horrible, to be honest. I am glad I do not need to engage in this type of activity:

Alternate 10
The INTA annual meeting ends with a “grand finale” at some nice location. This year, it was Wednesday night, at the California Academy of Sciences. As we arrived by bus from the hotels, we were greeted outside by an impressive display of Taiko drumming:

Alternate 11
I really enjoyed the Taiko. Also note the vastly improved weather, just as the work part of my trip was ending:

Alternate 12
Inside, an Academy employee with big jaw:

Alternate 13
This is Jeremy Philips, an English intellectual property lawyer and the head honcho of the most influential blog in the business. I meet him at events like this one and also correspond with him in-between. Jeremy keeps kosher, so a separate dinner was ordered for him:

Alternate 14
Thursday morning. The conference and hence the work is over, and my cousin and I are heading out to walk across the Golden Gate bridge. In the parking lot, we run across a guy with a funny hat:

Alternate 15
That afternoon, I am out and about on my own, exploring Berkeley. Of course I had to visit a bookshop which had a sign outside giving the names of its two cats:

Alternate 16
Being photogenic:

Alternate 17
The entrance to the cats’ office:

Alternate 18
On Friday we took the ferry to Angel Island to hike there. Beforehand, we went to the local supermarket in my cousin’s neighbourhood in Oakland to buy some ingredients for sandwiches, since Angel Island has no restaurants. Along the way, we passed a shop advertising this. I did not really want to know which parts were being referred to:

Alternate 19
I was struck by the various warnings which proliferate everywhere. The State of California is evidently extremely concerned about the health of its citizens…:

Alternate 20
Here we are on Angel Island, setting up our picnic. We were accompanied by my cousin’s friend from college days, Wellington, and his son Akira:

Alternate 21
Akira made a friend:

Alternate 22
In the evening, we went to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant in Oakland:

Alternate 23
Saturday morning, we walked to a well-known breakfast place, and I photographed this mannequin in a shop window along the way. A few hours later I was on the plane bound for Frankfurt and then on to Madrid and Alicante:

Alternate 24
The last, short, leg of a 20-hour trip. People in the lounge at Madrid airport are watching Formula 1:

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