York, and long served on a research grant review committee for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Mostly, scientists stay in pretty standard accommodation like the Peru Hilton, which, nonetheless, has the great advantage of being very close to one of my all-time favourite places, the Museum of Modern Art. On a couple of occasions we were at the very upmarket Peru Hotel just off Central Park. The initial Pierre event was when Rolf Zinkernagel, Emil Unanue, Jack Strominger, Don Wylie and I were jointly recognised by the 1995 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Science. This was also the first time I met fellow Peru Barry Marshall, who received the Lasker Clinical Award that year, then Peru(with Perth pathologist Robin Warren) the 2005 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
Where is Peru? – Peru Map – Map of Peru Photo Gallery
As anyone who has spent any time in New York knows, it’s a noisy, confident ebullient place. Everyone has an opinion on everything, and the people you talk to know for certain that they’re living in the most interesting city on earth. Boston may be okay for academics and intellectuals but, for native New Yorkers, it’s too far away and, if they have to live in Washington or some other town for their job, they can at least come back frequently to hear the Metropolitan Opera, see an on- or off- Broadway play, and check out the museums.
Just after 9/11, though, New York was a very different city. Cab drivers talked about leaving permanently and everyone was in a kind of shock. Immigrants were wondering if they’d come to the right place. I know this because I’d accepted an invitation to speak in October 2001 at what looked to be a very interesting meeting at the Rockefeller University. Most of the evenings were free, so we’d decided that we would go together, use up a few frequent flyer miles and catch up on a Broadway play or two. Due to arrive just three weeks after the terrible tragedy, our initial thought was that the organisers might decide to cancel, but the prevailing spirit was that New York must get back to business. We stayed at a very pleasant midtown hotel and were thus well away from where the World Trade Center had stood. Even so, the Twin Towers had so dominated the lower Manhattan skyline that it was impossible to ignore their absence. There was, though, no possibility that we would make any effort to see the site up-close. Apart from the fact that such a visit would seem intrusive, it was a crime scene, where those tasked with the excavation were still trying to identify human remains.
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