Dear Colleagues and Friends,
A warm invitation to you all to join us in San Sebastian for the 119th annual meeting of the New York Section of the AUA from August 27 – September 2, 2023. Located in Basque country in northern Spain on its border with France, San Sebastian, or Donastia, is at the foot of the Pyrenees and the shores of the Bay of Biscay. This idyllic location, plus more Michelin star restaurants per capita than any other city, will host our wonderful scientific meetings and social program which have come to define the NY Section Annual Meetings. We arrive in San Sebastian on Sunday, August 27th. An afternoon walking tour is followed by an evening welcome reception. Scientific meetings commence on Monday morning. Following a week of education and activities, the meeting ends on Friday evening with our gala dinner. Departures are on Saturday, September 2nd.
Home for the week will be the Hotel Maria Christina. Named in honor of the Spanish Queen who holidayed in San Sebastian with her family during the summers, the hotel is luxurious, well-suited for royalty and urologists alike. The venue is located centrally, a short walk from the Concha Beach, Old Town, and numerous culinary destinations. Experience Basque traditions including Pintxos (delicious snacks like tapas and available in most bars), Txakoli wine (delightful, young, and fruity), Basque cheesecake (those at the meeting in Dublin had a taste), and the street festivities of August 31st commemorating a battle in 1813 when the city was destroyed by English and Portuguese troops with only a single surviving street from “old Donastia”.
Our Senior Program Chair Jaspreet Sandhu along with Scientific Program Chairs Amanda North, Michael Palese, and Andrew Winer are already assembling an outstanding educational program. All areas of urology will be covered as well as diversity, health equity, and health policy. Panel discussions with audience participation and debate are expected as we address many current controversies in urology.
We have organized several Group excursions and tours. On Monday afternoon we explore the highlights of San Sebastian with an evening sampling Pintxos and a cold beverage or two. Tuesday, we lunch in Getaria a quaint fishing village with a stop at a cider producer on the return trip. Wednesday we’re off to Bilbao, with walking tours of the old city and a visit to the Guggenheim Museum where the structure, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is as much art as it is a building. Thursday the President’s Cocktail Reception will be held at the Tabakalera, a former cigarette factory which is now a cultural center. Finally, our Gala Dinner will be held at the Telmo Art Museum, a former Dominican monastery, now devoted to old and contemporary Basque culture. In addition to organized activities, the schedule provides plenty of opportunity for exploring, learning, and relaxing.
The spouse and guest activities provide an opportunity to meet new people and experience a new culture. Options include the Mimo Cooking School, a biking or hiking tour, a visit to the Balenciaga Fashion Museum, a trip to the Chillida-Leku Museum featuring the works of sculptor Eduardo Chillida, and sea kayaking on the tranquil Concha Bay.
Edwina and I hope you will join us in San Sebastian for the New York Section Meeting. Education and new culinary and cultural experiences await all who attend.
James Eastham, MD
New York Section, AUA