The most useful and enjoyable part of coming to the Annual Meeting for me is not the talks, nor is it the poster session nor even the free T-shirts. It is meeting up and talking with fellow scientists. But one must first solve an important question that Douglas Adams describes better than I ever could in his book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:
The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?’
My favourite place, recommended to me back in 2011 by two friends who were at the University of Maryland at the time, is a Pot Belly sandwich shop. I went today to the one a few blocks on W Pratt St west of the convention centre but I’ve heard there is one in the Inner Harbor too. It’s quick, tasty and you can while away a pleasant half an hour chatting before hitting the posters.