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Balabanova All Over

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[Sofia, Bulgaria, May 13-14, 2019] I spent the next few days showing my hometown to B, who arrived in Sofia three days after me. It was his first trip to Europe since 1992, so he was little anxious about the long flight. But everything went smoothly and he popped out of customs smiling and ready to spend the next 2 weeks on the Balkans. I had a whole day free before his… Read More

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[Plovdiv, Bulgaria, May 12, 2019] In 1985, the Greek minister of culture Melina Mercouri came up with the idea of designating an annual capital of culture to bring Europeans closer together and to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures. Athens, Greece, served as the inaugural European Capital of Culture that year. More than 40 cities have held the designation since. Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, earned the designation… Read More

[Detroit, MI, Apr 17, 2019] My conference ended on Wednesday, but I was staying through Thursday. This year, I finally got on the board of HEDW, the all-volunteer board that organizes the conference. The first of their two board meetings of the year is held on the day after the conference. This left me with a free half-day on Wednesday. I planned on exploring Detroit, and I was super happy that my… Read More

[Ann Arbor, MI, Apr 15/16, 2019] Luckily, the evenings provided opportunities to get out of our hotel and explore of Ann Arbor. Spending a few days at a conference hotel can bring on cabin fever pretty quickly for me, so I relish these opportunities! Monday nights of this conference are typically reserved for the networking dinners. The conference organizers make reservations at a half-dozen or so restaurants in the area and provide… Read More

[NYC, Nov 4, 2018] And just like that, our last day in New York was here! Our flight was in the evening, so we still had a whole day to explore. The New York marathon was that day, and we knew lots of streets in the upper part of Manhattan as well as Central Park would be off limits. I had friends running the marathon but it was unlikely I’d get to… Read More