Good Morning Starshine
Day 2 of Otakon 2016 kicked off under sweltering conditions that seemed worse than yesterday. Though it was 8am leaving Essex, Maryland for Downtown Baltimore; the temperatures had to be in the mid 80s, yet it felt like the mid 90s. My thoughts were with the cosplayers that had elaborate costumes. I wondered how many would abandon their all black or full body costumes for something more appropriate for the weather. Not many. The Baltimore Convention Center was consistently more crowded than Friday and featured more elaborate costumes.
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
The lines for on site registration were long but manageable as people filed into the Baltimore Convention Center. Because I didn’t have a chance to check it out on Friday, my first stop at day 2 is the Dealer’s Room. Filled with dozens of booths where stores from miles around, selling everything from K-Pop inspired masks to classic Japanese Videogames. There was a seemingly endless supply of anime blu-rays and mangas. Need a wall scroll or figurine, not a problem in the dealer’s hall. The prices were a bit on the high side but, Otakon only comes around once a year, so I splurged on a few items.
Among the revelry of the Otakon festival was a constant need for space. The picture below was of outside of the Dealer’s Hall, which was filled with members lounging in the open space. People were everywhere. There didn’t seem to be a single square inch available to rest. Running through the gauntlet of members to get to my next event was problematic at times, but overall it was clear that the Baltimore Convention Center was bursting at the seams with Otakon Members.
Programming for the weekend kept Members buzzing throughout the Convention Center and the adjoining Hilton, so hallways were usually clogged with people shifting from one event to another. It’s no secret that Otakon will be moving to the Washington DC Convention Center starting 2017. As the second day of Otakon wraps up, the tone of the weekend grows a bit more somber. The last day of any convention is always tough as the soul crushing reality of work on Monday morning becomes increasingly clear. This year, the last in Baltimore for the foreseeable future is a complicated matter. Selfishly, the move will reduce my travel time to next year’s con to mere minutes; for others, travelling to the con may require an increase in travel and expenses. Either way there is Sunday and the closing ceremonies of Otakon. So for tonight, goodnight Baltimore.