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Peter Steinberg | USLHC | USA

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36 Hours in Geneva

Oh, now the Grey Lady tells us what we should be doing in Geneva — and how long we should stay there? 36 hours? That’s a day and a half (3/2). Unfortunately, someone seems to have titled the web page “16hours.html” — or two thirds of a day (2/3). I’m detecting some mixed messages, or maybe just a typo.

Many of those who have spent essentially any time at CERN will have covered most of the writer’s suggestions. I visited LEP when I was a prospective grad student, and most of these things (Jardin Anglaise, Paquis, Les Armures, St. Pierre) were on the itinerary. Geneva has never felt like a fast-changing city. But then again, I missed the, um, Platinum Glam Club. So maybe I’m less surprised they don’t mention CERN anywhere in the article. Too bad — maybe I’m biased but I can’t recall a single visitor who wasn’t impressed, if not somewhat moved, by a visit to the lab.

That said, that I didn’t find Geneva to be a particularly stimulating place to be when I was there as a student in the 90’s. Lack of sufficient funds notwithstanding(the 25 CHF drinks aren’t that new of a phenomenon), the austerity of the Genevois was quite daunting to me, and I ultimately found myself really living in the French countryside, moving between various friends’ houses and the famous “farms”. Since then, sounds like the Genevois have moved to the country, and now some colleagues are choosing to settle in for the LHC era in town. Not too shocking, since I can barely keep up now with the new bars/restaurants/etc. popping up and disappearing all over the city. So times change, even if the Times may not be catching up so fast.

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