April 18th, 2009


Live from Montreal

Cheryl is hosting live coverage of our tour of Montreal today. We will not always be at a computer ourselves to add to the coverage, but we can post to it from Twitter, and it will pick up Twitter messages with the #worldcon tag. We plan to take our computers with us to the staff meeting an hour from now, but we don't know whether we'll have internet connectivity from within the meeting room.

Cheryl has shot some video walking around the public areas of the convention center (Palais de Congres), but we can't go into the function rooms because there are four different events using the Palais today. Still, my initial impressions are quite positive regarding the space. The ground floor of the Palais includes restaurants, a convenience store, and other shops as well as a Metro (subway) station. You take the escalator to the next floor, which is where our convention registration will be, and beyond that will be the exhibit hall where the fixed functions (Dealers/Art Show/Exhibits) will be. Up another escalator and you're on the fifth floor (3 is a mezzanine overlooking the Exhibit floor, and we're not using the ritzy rooms on 4) where we apparently have the entire length of the Palais, with program/function rooms of all sizes, including the large ballroom-type space where the Big Events will be.

In a few minutes, we'll head off to the Delta, which is Anticipation's HQ ("party") hotel and where today's meetings are being held. It's a block or so beyond the other end of the Palais, making it a maximum-separation trip for me during the convention, but it still doesn't seem that bad a walk. I remarked that one could go down into the Metro and ride it one stop between the two, but it seems like a silly idea to me unless you're totally allergic to walking.

Travel Advice: Tell Your Bank You're Traveling

If you are coming to Montreal from a long distance away, it's a good idea to tell your bank that you are doing so. This makes it less likely that they will see you trying to withdraw money from an ATM a long way from home, decide that it is suspicious activity, and lock your card down. I had to spend more than ten minutes on the phone with them -- while Cheryl waited for me to come back so that I could join her, John Mansfield (Anticipation's Fixed Functions division manager), and Ben Levy, (Dealers' Room area head) for dinner -- wading through menus, entering my ATM card number, and answering security questions so that they would turn the card back on. I don't really resent Bank of America for this; the pattern is suspicious. I meant to call them a week ago, but the hold-queue time was something like twenty minutes, and so I gave up, intending to call again, and I never did so again. I did advise my credit card issuer that I'd be on the road in Montreal this weekend and please don't shut off my card.

Edit, 0625: filled in missing name after prodding in comments.