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July 11, 2007
Cambridge takes some getting used to, that's for sure. In some parts of town, it's a safe bet that most of the buildings you see are filled with people holding up flasks and staring at them with irritated expressions. The small one-story sites generally house firms that no one much has heard of, sometimes several of them to a building. Then there are the mighty research palaces of Novartis, Amgen, and the like, which manage to state in glass and brick (as clearly as any words could) what black ink will do for you as opposed to red.
New Jersey, where I started out in the industry, has plenty of people in the industry. But the atmosphere was different. Perhaps it was the way that the companies were more spread out into different towns: against a densely populated background they didn't stand out as much. Perhaps it was just some essential Jerseyness that diluted things - after living there for eight years, I wouldn't rule that explanation out.
I do remember my wife and I having dinner at a Japanese restaurant near our house and hearing the table next to us discussing problems with a radioactive assay protocol, but that sort of thing didn't happen as often as you'd think. But here the techno-geek vibrations travel pretty much unimpeded, which is fine with me. . .
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