Before leaving for New York, I wanted to say goodbye to all the wonderful people whom I am lucky to have around me, and to say a heartfelt thank-you for the friendship, companionship, and love they have shared with me.

So I invited friends and family to a small farewell party at my apartment. Thank you so much to all of you who came celebrate with me1 – I had a blast.

I was especially happy to have friends from different phases and parts of my life all gathered together and mingling with each other.2 Which made the inner nerd in me curious as to whether any patterns could be gleaned from visualizing some socio-demographic data.

So here are some data visualizations of my party, a scarily fruitful trove of anonymized personal data, i.e. a fertile feeding ground for my stalkers and geeky data-mining friends.

Who came?


Almost half the guests were female. The median age was 29 years. The red dot is me. Note that I had to estimate some of the ages (lighter shade of blue) and they might be off by as much as 5 years. Correct me if you found yourself and I got your age wrong.


One large group of friends constituted half the guest list, with the other four groups of people I know from other phases or parts of my life making up the other half. For the sake of my privacy, I omitted mapping colors to labels. If you know me, the mapping is fairly obvious; and if you don’t, it’s probably none of your business anyway.

Combine this with the data from the following chart, which shows how long I have known my guests, and you can probably figure it out regardless:


How long did they stay?

The following diagram charts when people left. I wondered whether there was a general correlation between a guest’s age and how long he/she stayed at the party.


There is no clear correlation. The 25- to 35-year-olds did seem to have the most endurance, with four of them partying for more than 10 hours. An horonable mention goes to two of the most veteran guests, who stayed until 5am. Age is no excuse not to have fun at a party.

What did they take?

I wanted to get rid of lots of my stuff, so I improvised a self-serve garage sale: I put the stuff on display outside the apartment door and encouraged everyone to take something home. For most of the stuff, I suggested a contribution of nothing to 3€ (“if in doubt, just take it”), which people could put inside a small pouch hanging from the wall.

Garage sale, before Garage sale, after Garage sale, money pouch

Thanks everyone for setting me free from some of my stuff. Judging from what I overheard (“I’ve been wanting to get one of these”, “Cool!”, “I got the jackpot!”) I am confident that you will get more use and pleasure from it than me.

Thanks again for coming. See you guys soon!


  1. I had never had more than sixty guests at my party before… Twice as many people showed up than I expected, meaning the four crates of beer were empty by 10pm. Thanks to the brave guys who set out to get another four crates! 

  2. There are those who try diligently to partition their “work” life from their “personal” life, and I respect that. I, however, prefer just being my holistic self, be it with my colleagues, family, or ultimate frisbee teammates. I also think that, regardless of what approach you prefer, social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as well the fact that anything you post on the Internet will forever be searchable and associated with your name, make it increasingly hard to compartmentalize your identity.