Monday, April 6, 2015

Adventures in the Really Big City

We had quite the day this weekend in Boston, on a number of levels. I took A and two of her friends to take part in a comic convention, or ComicCon, in the city. Technically it was an "Anime" festival known as Anime Boston, but it was essentially a convention for people who are fans of all things animated. There is a particular affinity for Japanese cartoons, also known as Anime for those who don't know, though if you're like me and grew up with Speed Racer or Kimba, you have some experience with this genre.

This was part of A's birthday gift, she wanted to attend this gathering of kindred spirits, and take along her good friends, both of whom were very excited about it. I wasn't sure who is just a fan and who is a serious "fan," but they both were enthused. The idea behind it is that people who love these programs, or just love any of these creative shows that include radio programs and live action shows like Breaking Bad and Dr. Who, get together and dress like their favorite characters and hang out and have fun. At first glance it is redolent of a Star Trek convention, but after experiencing it, I have to say, it was a lot different than that, not that I've ever been to a Trekkie convention. For the record, I am a big fan of the show but have not gone so far as obtained a pair of Spock ears... at least not yet.

Probably the biggest difference was that the crowd was at least 50% girls, a ratio I don't think you'd find at a Star Trek or Brony (My Little Pony) convention, which would probably be mostly guys who don't get out much. The crowd was good looking, as well, and even A and her buddies concurred with me on this. Furthermore, there were a lot of couples and even families with young children. Of course there were your share of fringy boys and girls who probably spend their days indoors in front of the computer or TV, but for the most part, the crowd was pretty interesting. You could see that they were hip and attractive people outside of this event. It reminded me of the Halloween parade in NYC, which is an event not to be missed. People really get into it, and this festival was no different, just a bunch of people having fun and getting a break from the conventional lives. Nothing wrong with that.

Like the NYC parade, some people really got into it. The costumes were amazing and I spent at least an hour sitting on a bench and watching people walk by. I had no idea this was such a big deal, but someone said they expected upwards of 80,000 people over the weekend. The event was held at the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay, and it is right in the thick of things in the city. In fact, there's a big mall connected to it, so the Anime people took over the mall. It was quite a site to behold, and I'm sure the stores and food vendors were stoked for the crowds.

The girls had a blast, the big question was, what the heck was I going to do for 12 hours in the city that was interesting and cost little to no money? Well, I had a few options. I'd brought my computer with me, so I just needed a chair and an internet connection, which in this day in age is ubiquitous in any city. The Boston Public Library was a few blocks away, but I sort of needed to be closer to the action in case the girls needed me. I could hang out at the mall, but I hate malls, and I'm not a shopper. I could have walked around the city, but the weather was pretty fickle, and again, I wanted to be closer to the girls.

I ended up at Barnes and Noble, working on some stuff on my computer and reading magazines. It reminded me of my days with R in NYC, we used to spend hours at the bookstore just hanging out and reading. I found a table at the cafe, set up my computer, and started writing. The internet was a bit spotty, but worked fine for the most part. I figured I could stream something in a pinch. At some point the girls called me and wanted to meet for lunch, then afterward, just as I set up again, A called me because she left her wallet in my backpack, so I had to forsake my location and meet them again. It was a little crazy, but being constantly on call seems to be my MO.

We had agreed to meet around 8:00PM to have some supper and then head home, and rather than wait for the call, I just waited for them at our chosen location and sure enough, they emerged from the Con, tired but excited. We grabbed some supper and then headed home. It was quite the day, and I had been up since 5:00AM and was tired but had to make the long drive home. I bought a cup of coffee just in case, but ended up not drinking much of it.

All in all it was a fabulous day. The kids had a blast, I got some work done and enjoyed the sights of the Con and the big city. It would have been nice if R and N came along, but maybe that's something for next year. It's never too late to start thinking about it, I know A is.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to proacguy1 for the pic.

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