Wednesday, September 12, 2007

103rd Annual Meeting of APSA in Chicago (I)

Annual meeting of American Political Science Association is the biggest conference in political science. Having attended many conferences, APSA was the missing color of my conference attending rainbow. It just does not accept paper that easily compared to other conferences. The secrete of the admission was to organize a panel. Having this idea in mind, I just have to find 3-4 other panelists to form a panel.

It was last year (2006), when I was in Professor Woodward's workshop for proposal writing for dissertation, I noticed that there are 2 other students who had similar topics as I did. So I began to organize the panel on Migrants/Diasporas and Domestic Politics. The panel was rejected in the first place but was mysteriously accepted in the early June.

Chicago Again!
Although I, as the student, should devote ourselves and get most out of a conference attending, I always like to think of conference attending as a trip to a city. Unfortunately, this year, all the conferences I attended this year were all in Chicago. The APSA meeting this year is also in Chicago. Three times to Chicago. What a chance! When I got off the plane this time at the O'Hare airport, I had a feeling that I was home! Not away from home! The subway to the city was still very slow (1 hour ride). The city government posted an ad on the train promised that by the end of 2008, the train will speed up t0 55 miles/hour. It ran amazingly slow with 25 miles/hour now.

Hyatt Regency Hotel
The conference was so big that it uses two hotels as its conference sites. One is Hyatt Regency and the other one is Sheraton Chicago Hotel . These two hotels are located close to each other by a river and a lake. The view was magnificent. But no subway was near these two hotels. I met a faculty from Boston University who was also looking for a way to reach the hotels. We ended up taking a cab to the hotel from a the Clark street station which I latter noticed it was just 10 min walk. I stayed in Haytt this time which I must say was the best hotel I have even stayed with in the US. The lobby, the window view, and the room was all .....good. I just was not excited because I was in Chicago again. I was happy to learn that I can get a free "continental breakfast" while my stay in Hyatt. But it turned out that it was a misinformation the clerk gave to me when I checked in. I ended up spening 18 dollars for a "continental breakfast." If you understand what continental breakfast mean, you will understand how upset I was.

Chicago, not a dining-friendly place
I had this feeling every time I visit here. The reason I think Chicago is not a dinning-friendly place is that you can barely find a easy, small restaurant to dine in. It is either fast-food or luxurious restaurants. Where are those cozzy dine places? But maybe my observation is biased because where I live is designed to serve those 4-stars hotel customers.

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