Québec

Hey, y’all. Sorry to be absent recently. I’ve been pretty busy with work. Part of that led me to La ville de Québec, where I attended IEEE’s International Conference on Image Processing. That was fun!

I had a few goals:

  • Learn what people are currently doing with image processing and which algorithms are coming.
  • Talk to lots of customers about how they use MATLAB in this space.
  • Do reconnaissance for when Lisa and I visit Québec someday.
  • Buy some francophone CDs.
  • Try to find the best pastries in town.

It’s a beautiful city and quite a bit different than Montréal, more touristy and francophone. 95% of the inhabitants speak French as their primary language. It’s also kind of sleepy. It took me several days to make it to a record shop that was open, since many stores close by 6PM. And Oh mon dieu! is it hilly. Everywhere from my hotel was either straight uphill or brutally downhill. It’s so hilly that they’ve built stairs every half-kilometer or so along the cliffs; there’s an elevator, too.

I found some fabulous pastries and ate some other delicious food. I enjoyed the pain au chocolat and frangipane croissants at Panetier Baluchon on Saint-Jean. The almond and raspberry croissant was a masterpiece. The brioche aux framboises at Boulangerie Pâtissière le Croquembouche on Saint-Joseph was really, really good. I had a delicious crêpe at L’Accent on Rue Honoré-Mercier, and I enjoyed my burger at Les 3 Garçons on Saint-Jean.

It rained buckets one evening, so I spent an extra 15-20 minutes in Le Knock-Out! record shop waiting out the downpour and talking about Québecois musicians with the record shop proprietor in a funky mix of French and English. We’d start out in one language until we hit our limits and then switch to keep the conversation going. It was clear that she was impressed with my knowledge of Canadian francophone music and gave me some excellent recommendations, even though she occasionally thought my taste was a bit provincial. «Pfft. Louis-Jean Cormier est devenu trop populaire.» I gave my best gallic shrug of indifference. (I kept my love of catchy francophone pop music and Acadian country-folk chanteuses to myself.)

In short, I had a good time. And yes I did plenty of work while I was there. Here are some pictures from the trip. (Click on any picture for a larger view.)

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3 Responses to Québec

  1. Karen says:

    Fantastic, makes me want to to!!! Also, makes me so hungry! ;)

  2. Jeff Mather says:

    Well, my work here is done.

  3. Victoria says:

    I both agree with and understand your goals 3-5. :) Also, this makes me want a pastry and makes me want to add Québec to my list of places to someday visit. (Though maybe without my bike…)

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