Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Hotel Pennsylvania

Us conference goers are an ornery lot. We remember the disastrous under-construction DC hotel for SODA 2001, the bizarrely smelling Miami hotel for FOCS 1997, and the strange San Francisco hotel with the low ceilings and no lounge space for SODA 1998. There's an urban legend that FOCS can never go back to Las Vegas because of some unspecified incidents that happened in 1993; the truth is probably far more boring.

Special opprobium is reserved for the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC, where FOCS 1999 was held. This was an old hotel; very, very old. It had the kind of rooms you'd describe as "charming" or "quaint" in publicity material. We all know what that means.

SODA 2009 is slated to be in NYC, assuming that votes are not mysteriously erased from Hal's Powerpoint slides. I am happy to announce that the Hotel Pennsylvania will in all likelihood NOT be one of the candidates for hosting the conference: it is being demolished to make way for a multi-story office complex (story via BB)


  1. Oh FOCS 1999. The hotel was indeed terrible. I think my room was in the elevator, at least thats how it sounded every time the elevator went up or down. --S

  2. FOCS 99 was my first time in NYC, and I didn't know any better, so I didn't find too much to complain about the hotel. I suspect some people complained rather about the fire alarm that required a partial evacuation in the middle of the night. My abiding memory, though, is of seeing a cockroach scuttle across the table after lunch, which gave me pause for thought...

    Graham C.


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