Another year, another mess at the Javits center. I’m not a fan of this con in a lot of ways, although I do like a lot of things they do. You can tell this con is run by people who have the savvy and experience to pave the way of an interesting convention experience. But I think ultimately two big factor drives NYCC:
There is just nothing in the metro NY area that can satisfy in such a scale, and the location sucks.
Downtown LA, for example, is really no better. It’s kind of boring and it lacks a lot of the interesting things I enjoy LA for. It’s kind of unavoidable given its urban sprawl configuration. Manhattan is a different story, but the same mechanics play–there is just no place to put a convention center big enough for everyone and everything that is close to where all the attractions are. On the flip side, it’s not hard to flag a cab or even catch a bus from the Javits center. It just cost $30-40 to park for a day.
To some degree, I think for some reason I’m not a fan of this con has a lot to do with me rather than the con. Sure, I definitely can lament the death of NYAF and I do remember when there were great anime con content in NYC, and how that’s kind of not here anymore. Sure, I can whine about how much I hate the early bird method NYCC uses to give away autograph tickets. I think it’s terrible to make me get so little sleep, and keep me in a poor mood all day–and the people around me are more victimized than I am about it. Rather, I think by October I think I’m done with cons until next…oh, April? It’s easy to see how this October anime convention serves as the mark for the end of the con season/year/whatever, and by this point fatigue has long since set in. I mean, by next Monday I would’ve attended 5 (or 6 if you count 3 hours at AnimeNext) conventions in the space of ~6 months.
NYCC has an app. I hope it would be, at the very least, slightly more than useless when I’m at the con with its maxed out NYC-style cellular reception. Maybe enough people don’t have iPhone 5s yet so LTE will still be useful. Then again, I don’t know if you get any LTE inside the building.
Writing about this con is just kind of a downer. Maybe that is why each time I tried to, I ended up looking up places to eat with friends. NYC is a great city to eat at, and it has gotten better lately. This year there are a few new places that popped up, but most importantly Go Go Curry is having a $5.50 promo on their tonkatsu single-sized plates, which is a good eat at a very good price. Since midtown lunch is more of my beat, maybe I can drag some people to Taim mobile or somewhere outrageous (that’s a loooong walk). I don’t know, I’m on a small falafel kick. Other than that, maybe Chef Samir’s? Will people hound Tabata? Will more people even try out Bonchon? Of course, unless you’ve never had it before, Shake Shack is somewhere to stay clear of, or if you can’t make up your mind. Paranda-tested Schnippers will always be available, and it’s a pleasant fall-back. As far as I can tell, though, the closest Wafels & Dinges will still be across town, so that might be tough. If you don’t mind the walk or taxi fare, there are still more food options than I can count going up 9th Ave or into K-town, so it’s all good. Of course, once you hop in a taxi, there’s all sorts of places. Anyone up for this?
It might be a headache to wrangle a large party for dinner and all the stragglers and friend’s-friends; getting a reservation Saturday night at a nice place isn’t easy. Still, I prefer that to trying to move around in a massive dealer’s room shoulder-to-shoulder with 20,000 geeks any day of the week.
PS. Ever tried Uber? My Seattle-based CEO came visiting a few weeks ago and gawked at how nobody at the office has heard of Uber. “Because we work in Midtown, duh. Just look outside.” But if you live in some backwater place like Seattle or San Fran, a taxi hailing service like that can be handy, sure. Turns out even in NY it can be handy, because it was fronting the cab ride up to $25 last month. Now? It’s just a more expensive way to call a cab.
PPS. Hopefully all of this is enough to pry me from XCOM when this weekend rolls around. I know at least I will be short on sleep…