I really needed to crash and get some sleep, but instead I attended The Marker's Internet Party at my hotel. I was with my son, Aaron, who is a Freshman at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Yossi Vardi (who was the founding investor in Mirabilis, which was sold to AOL and re-branded at AOL Instant Messenger or AIM), was kind enough to extend Aaron an invitation as well.
I met some of Israel's latest generation of Web 2.0 entrepreneurs, including Oded Felled, who has a very compelling technology platforom in IP TV broadcasting.
Cruising the room, who do see: our client and buddy, Jeff Pulver, (center in photos) who will be speaking tomorrow on disruptive broadcasting.
My six week travel adventure continues. This week I am on a partial vacation in San Miguelle de Allende, Mexico, and will continue to check emails, do some routine client work, and blog daily.
I brought all of my camera gear and will be building an inventory of photos that I will be able to display when I am supposed to have my very first photo exhibit at Lara August's Robot Studio Gallery in December. I will also be shopping to source metal photo frames that are made here by local artisans.
This photo was shot from a wonderful Italian restaurant overlookiing the main town square.
Having been in London during the time of the Tube bombings, I contributed an editorial to our local newspaper, the San Antonio Express News. Additionally, I sent in photos from the day after showing that life carried on.
My six week travel adventure continues. I have been in Paris, London, Iceland and then back in London for a period of two weeks on a combination of a partial vacation and scheduled meetings.
Broadband enables me to continue with running the business, working with clients, and conducting outreach to the journalist and analyst community, and with my Apple AirPort, I can set up a wirless LAN in my room when wireless is not available.
My Blackberry performed flawlessly, except in one remote part of Iceland when we were on a glacier. The most telling point of the whole trip that shows that there is no escaping your daily life at home was receiving a recorded call on my cell when I was in Paris from my local Blockbuster store on Broadway in San Antonio telling me that I had an overdue DVD.
I have just landed at George Bush International Airport from London. Last night, my son Aaron, became very ill with stomach pains and wound up going to the emergency room at Queen's Free Hospital in Hamptead.
Upon registering him I noticed there were three "Missing" notices at the front desk. These were three individuals who never made it home that day. The doctor who attended to Aaron told us that she happened to be in the building next door to one of the bombings and wound up tending to several of the injured.
En route home, I thought about my junior year abroad when I attended the Antioch Centre for British Studies. It was the 1973 - 74 school year. This was the height of the Mods and Rockers movement, the Rolling Stones were going strong with their release of the It's Only Rock and Roll album, and the Irish Republican Army was conducting random bombings of the Underground system. I remember in my own way being defiant and not letting the IRA get in my way of having a fantastic year.
Three weeks ago I was in Israel, where it's been relatively quiet. You do see a strong security presence in public spaces, restaurants, and office building. And in three weeks, my son is starting his Freshman year at the Rothberg School at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he will be arriving right before the process of the witdrawl from the Gaza Strip. When people ask me about his safety, my standard answer is that he is much safer in Jerusalem than he is in his car on 410 on a Saturday night.
Our London trip continues with this now being the day after the tube and bus bombings. Buses and tubes were running with the only exception being the stations that were affected in the blasts. You see people going about their daily lives. The headlines in the daily newspapers focus on the missing, the dead, and the on-going investigation to figure who pulled this off. While the tubes seemed less crowded for a Friday morning, upon arriving to Oxford Street, it was swarming with Londoners and tourists alike.
As the day progressed, I looked for telling signs of normalcy. Being a tourist myself, I did see the tour buses like the one here. The only really different thing I did see during the day was a marked increase in security at the tubes, bus stops and major tourist attractions. When I returned to the hotel Friday evening I was pleased to see that the terrorists underestimated one thing: the resiliance of the the stock market amidst bad news. The day after this horrible event, the Dow shot up 148 points.
Am taking the day off to enjoy Paris. It's lovely, expansive, very hot, and air conditioning only seems to exist in minimal form. In reading the International Hearald Tribune, the discussion on the heat wave not only in Paris, but in Europe, is due to global warming.
So a clear message to hotels, restaurants, and shops: adapt to air conditioning, but do it in an intelligent manner-- do it with solar energy if you can.
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).