TEDWomen 2017, New Orleans
Attending the TEDWomen 2017 as a TED translator was an awesome experience for me. Bridges was the theme of this year’s conference. As Pat Mitchell, the curator and host of TEDWomen so aptly put it,
“We will explore ideas about how to build and design bridges, both literal and virtual, that connect us to each other and as a global community; ideas about how to suspend opinions, beliefs, even doubts; and ideas about when and how to burn bridges in order to move forward.”
Furthermore, it was not just an event for me, but an experience of a life time ! Hearing the powerful speakers, getting to meet wonderful people and coming across inspiring stories. As so many of my loving friends and relatives have been asking me about my experience, I just thought might as well write a post about it.
The Roosevelt Hotel
After dropping my bags at the hotel, I headed towards the Roosevelt Hotel, where all the activity was taking place. What a majestic hotel it is! Truly known as one of New Orleans most exquisite Grand Dames.
Most of all, one is awe struck by its grandeur. The hotel was originally built by Louis Grunewald, a German immigrant, and opened in 1893 as “The Hotel Grunewald.” Since then, it has undergone quite a few transformations. It was closed indefinitely in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. The hotel reopened after complete renovation in 2009, with the design of grand days of 1930’s and 1940’s. Currently, it has 504 guest rooms of which 125 are suites.
Mystery Lady Timepiece
As I entered the hotel, the monumental 19th century conical clock by Eugene Farcot, in the grand lobby caught my attention. At 10 feet tall, this is the largest known conical clock in existence. Besides the luxurious rooms, the huge chandeliers, the celebrity chefs, the southern hospitality and the aura of the hotel, the mystery lady timepiece surely stands out as the jewel in its crown.
Next, I headed into the Blue Room. What a pleasant welcome; TED members greeted me and checked me in. The TED badge and the gift bag full of goodies was handed over to me. Later, I sat on the couch, enjoying the refreshing warm mint tea. Especially noteworthy was the music being played on stage by the band with an all-woman cast of traditional Jazz musicians. What else could one ask for after a six hour flight from Seattle! After spending some time there and meeting a few people, I headed back to the hotel to freshen up
for the evening. I had connected with a fellow translator from Brazil, Raissa Mendes on the TED Connect app earlier, so I met her in the hotel lobby. And together we both headed towards the Orpheum Theater.
The venue of TEDWomen2017 was the historic Orpheum Theater. This amazing theater was built in the year 1918. It was severely damaged by the Hurricane Katrina flood waters; but was reopened in 2015 after renovation. It has seating for 1500 people. While the audience waited for
the doors to open on 1st evening, wonderful music was played by the Pinettes brass band outside. I don’t think many people are aware of the fact that this is the world’s only all female brass band. Isn’t that awesome! Finally, we headed into the theater for the first session of the conference : Build.
To be continued : I shall be writing more soon about the sessions and the great speakers we got to hear.