Living in New York, I’ve learned that there aren’t many constants. Even in the outer boros, they’re hell bent on developing neighborhoods and destroying the character they once had. You find places you used to like go out of business or move or something else. There’s hardly anything you can get attached to without having the fear of it being ripped away. I know, there are countless things and places I’ve seen vanish, but I will not dwell on them now. But there are a few constants, each has a dear place in my heart, one of them, is New York Comic Con.
Any comic convention is a place of safehaven for nerds. They’re places where you can be whatever you want to be and for once feel like you truly belong. But NYCC has a special extra factor. Friends and acquaintances a like go, seeing the flood of facebook statuses leading up to the event build the anticipation. It’s our local event, I guess you could compare it to your home team (but we hardly have that in NY, seeing as how many Queens people I know that support the Yankees), it doesn’t just bring one boruough together, but the whole city. Sure hoards from Jersey probably go, but that is beyond the point. It’s a reunion for geeks and more than that. Even if you don’t see all of your friends there you look though each others facebook photos, it’s like going to the convention for a second time.
Then there’s the magnet effect. I love leaving the house in cosplay to take public transport there. Getting on the bus I get stares, less on the first train, even less on the second train. The closer you get to the Javits center, you see other people who you know are going to the convention. Even if they aren’t in costume, there’s something about their state of dress… not even, you can just feel it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. After you emerge from the subway, there are way more people in costume. It’s great, if you forget your way to the convention, you can always just follow people that you *know* are going.
Now of course the convention is totally disorganized, and people are assholes and it gets way overcrowded, but even I have hope that they’ll improve. They seem to be trying to compete with SDCC, and they’ll have to get more organized in order to do so.
I love NYCC, the things you can see there that you can’t see anywhere else. The only downside is that it comes but once a year and post convention depression always follows. Of course, that depression fades with anticipation for the next convention, where ever it may be. But there’s nothing quite like riding the subway in cosplay, and overcoming the awkwardness and feeling more empowered than you’ve ever felt before. I wish it was October.