Happy New Year! I want to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2011.
Just back from an all too short break, I am diving back into conference planning. SALALM LVI is just 4 months away! To kick off the year right, I took a brief trip to Philadelphia last week, site of the upcoming SALALM LVI Annual Meeting. I spent 3 fabulous days in Philadelphia with Joe Holub and David Murray. Before I move on the details, I want to thank Joe and David for their hospitality during my visit. Along with conference planning, I was treated to an extensive tour of Philadelphia’s many and varied neighborhoods, its historical sites and, of course, a sample of its fabulous cuisine!
While in Philadelphia, I stayed at the Radisson-Plaza Warwick hotel, site of our meeting. The ‘Warwick’ is a beautiful historic hotel in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia. Rooms at the Warwick are comfortable with all of the amenities you would expect in a modern hotel, including complimentary high speed, wireless internet. For convenience, there are 3 options for dining within the Warwick, The Coffee Bar, Tavern 17 and the Prime Rib Restaurant (dinner only). Just two blocks from Rittenhouse Square itself, the hotel is surrounded by many restaurants and shops and within walking distance to many Philadelphia’s historic sites. I know you will find many ways to enjoy yourselves between meetings and panels. Joe and David are already hard at work on creating guides to the best spots.
On the first day of my visit, I enjoyed a walk to the Reading Terminal Market with Joe. On the way, he suggested we stop by the historic Wanamaker’s building, now a Macy’s. Built in 1910 by Daniel H. Burnham, this Florentine style building features granite walls, the St. Louis World’s Fair pipe organ and a statue of bronze eagle. Even if you are not a fan of department stores, Macy’s, located in Center City on the corner of Juniper and Market Streets, is a must-see. After Macy’s, we headed straight for the Market. Along with fresh meats, fish, cheeses and baked goods, the Reading Terminal Market includes many restaurants. Joe and I opted for lunch at a stand serving Mexican food, which did not disappoint. After lunch, we headed back to the Warwick, where Samantha Boyle, our contact at the hotel, gave us a tour of the meeting rooms and exhibit space. SALALM will occupy rooms on both the Mezzanine and Executive Conference levels. The Mezzanine, where registration will be located, is an airy, open space which SALALM members can use to gather between meetings. Day one finished with a delicious dinner in China Town.
Day two of my visit was dedicated to planning. Following lunch a local campus eatery, David, Joe and I met at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library. We spent the afternoon updating the conference web site and editing registration forms. We also talked at length about options for both the libreros and host receptions. For now I can share that the libreros reception will be held at the newly renovated Baptist Temple on the campus of Temple University. A Romanesque church, the Baptist Temple is now the Temple Performing Arts Center. Our second, host reception will be held at the Anne & Jerome Fischer Fine Arts Library on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Though both campuses are relatively nearby, Joe and David are arranging transportation for attendees. After an afternoon of planning, David continued my tour of Philadelphia with a drive through North Philadelphia. We passed through the Temple campus and headed Northwest for dinner and dessert in Chestnut Hill, a beautiful, residential neighborhood.
On my last morning, Joe and I visited the Eyes Gallery in South Philadelphia. This hybrid shop, art gallery contains an extensive collection of Latin American folk art. Julia Zagar, the gallery’s owner, graciously showed us around the location’s three jam-packed floors. The Eyes Gallery was a wonderful way to wrap-up my visit. This is definitely a must-see for SALALMistas .
After this short visit to Philadelphia, I am more excited than ever about our upcoming meeting! I know you are anxiously awaiting your conference invitations. I expect that you will have received them by the time this message is published (or soon after). The SALALM LVI web site is already available at http://guides.temple.edu/SALALM_LVI. Thanks to David Murrary for designing and populating the site. Along with the requisite registration forms and hotel reservation instructions, you will also find a preliminary schedule (coming soon) and links to articles about Philadelphia. Please note the registration deadline is March 25, 2011. And, if you haven’t submitted your paper or panel proposal yet, there is still time!
Until next time…
Nerea A. Llamas
University of Michigan