Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NYCC 2012: The Negative Side

So I decided to write at least two different posts about NYCC: the good and the bad being a definite two.  I figure it’s always best to start with the negative and end on the positive.

I had a great time at NYCC this year but it had some short comings.


When the crowds entering the building were heavy both Saturday and Sunday morning the traffic control was horrendous.  In previous years there was a cue set up in the basement of the Javitz Center.  This year the show was set up much differently where people were filtering in at every angle into one massive horde outside the building while the staff kept telling people to keep walking.  How does one keep walking when people are coming from every direction and funneling into two doors?  However, I did notice a lack of shoving and fellow con goers were very considerate despite the chaos.

The letter that came with the badge says “green door” entrance.  Okay that makes sense except with the way the crowd control was the concept of colored entrances was completely lost.

I am confused as to why Thursday there were several tables doing security check but the other three days (the busy days) there were only two.  Not only were there only two but the only day my bag was checked was on Thursday.  They have this long list of prohibited props, yet they do not check for any of them.  Personally I think their prohibit list is ridiculously stupid.  Really water guns?  Costume whips?  Okay, maybe I get the whip, but it can be peace tied.

I found the entering and exiting to be ridiculous.  They had two doors for us to enter through and when it came time to exit I had a hard time finding an exit door that had not been barricaded for the different entrances.

I did not like that Artist Alley was all the way down practically it’s own building beyond a corridor.  The only benefits to this location was a smaller crowd and easy to access bathrooms (they never had a line).  Those benefits were good for me but I am pretty sure being so separated hurt the artists as less traffic made their way to the area.  Not to mention the very little signage directing people to the area.

Again this year I never figured out where the autographing area was located.

Of course the biggest compliant (not by me, but in general) is the crowds of people.  I did not think they were that bad.  Possibly because of how the show was spread out.  After looking at a few sites it seems New York brought in MORE people then SDCC.  From what I read SDCC averaged at 100,000 people this year and NYCC was at 110,000 people.  Before reading this industry friends of mine had already stated the crowd appeared larger then SDCC.  Which equates to me realizing that I can probably handle the crowds at SDCC.  The crowd had been my excuse for not going all these years.  One day I will make it.

I did notice that Friday, what I always called the quiet day of the convention, was packed!  Not only was Friday packed but Sunday was just as crowded as Saturday.  In past years Friday was always a quiet day until around 2pm when school gets out.  I got to the show about 11am and it was hopping.  Sunday was always a slower day as well, but not this year.

On a personal note I learned to not bake cookies for NYCC as I wound up throwing out half a batch of Snickerdoodle cookies.  I cringe at throwing out cookies, but I didn’t want them sitting around anymore. 

I also have a better idea of who is and is not reliable.  It’s an awful feeling to have someone set up a group and then bail on not one but several groups.  It worked out for the best in the end but it still sets a precedent and a gross feeling I have not been able to shake.

I would love to say I am always a solo act, but in my experience not only is one safer in a group but also being with friends makes cosplay a lot more fun.  In other words, I don’t enjoy conventions as much by myself.

I also had the wonderful experience of being stalked by a bum in Penn Station.  I came into New York City Wednesday night in my work clothes with a rather large suitcase and I know from past experience a suitcase makes a person catnip for nutcases.  This is because it’s assumed you are a tourist and naive (sorry tourists, this is why you have to be careful).  When I was in college and going home I was sitting on the floor with my suitcase in one of the empty corridors with a male friend, my boyfriend had stepped away for a few minutes when a man approached both of us with clear intentions of mugging us.  This was until my boyfriend appeared and he was clearly out numbered, lost interest and walked away.  Unknown to the mugger the friend sitting with me would have had no problem defending us both.  Looks are very deceiving.  Dan does not look like the typical thug from ghetto Mastic.

Anyway, it seems this suitcase catnip goes double if your dressed nice.  I got into Penn earlier then expected and went to get my favorite Caramel Apple Spice Cider from Starbucks.  I purchased my drink and a cookie and after adjusting my suitcase and in the process of sitting down a small older bum got up in my face and scared the crap out of me.  I jumped, shrieked and bolted to another area of the small shop.  He was lucky my piping hot cider wasn’t tossed on him in the process.  I then went to the ticketing area of Penn where it was very busy.  I learned from my previous experience that the best place to be is in a crowd.  The bastard found me and approached me again.  This time I left the building.  After the fact I realized that I could have decked the guy easily.  I am not a violent person and I am not about to assault a person, but the realization that I could have knocked him out is pretty profound and esteem building.

So that’s my post on the negative side of NYCC… up next both the fun times and the good stuff.

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