Finally, I have attended the grand mecha of all Anime con's in North America. Was it truly the greatest thing ever? Well....
The hotel that I stayed at with others was kinda more of a glorified motel than anything but I didn't have to sleep on the floor so I didn't mind it. I get there Friday morning and awkwardly make my presence known to my con roomies(two of them were pretty much like "whatever" but everyone else was cordial). We unfortunately only had 2 room keys among us 6(7?) so we had to raffle off the keys to different people each day. Of course this mean't that when I tried heading back to the "hotel" late in the day I ended up getting lost cause I didn't know how to get back, had to find wi-fi which was really far away and proceed to use google maps to find directions from the Staples Center to the hotel. After screenshotting the directions I enjoyed a bit more of the con before heading back home around 9pm or 10 or something. The directions of google maps had me going into a very shady area with vagrants shouting in the alleyways and rats scurrying out of loose trash on the sidewalk.. Needless to say google maps gave me some very wrong directions so I quickly headed back before the night became "Adventures in Babysitting"... and I somehow ended up finding my way back. I was dead tired and almost immediately went to bed.
As for the con itself well the South Hall is nice if you just want to take hallshots. I don't like hallshots much anymore so I didn't spend too much time there despite that area being some prominent whenever photos of AX come up. I spent most of my time outside in the tunnel or the garage with my gear setup and ready to shoot. Even despite this shade it was still too damn hot. I mean it was so hot that if a cosplayer passing by that I wanted to shoot with wasn't a certain distance from me then I wouldn't move. There was this really good looking Cammy that passed but I couldn't even bother due to the heat. As well as being hot as all hell I also had this crippling fear of feeling like an outsider due to me being all the way from the East Coast in a West Coast con. I was afraid that someone would come over to me and my setup and be like "what the hell are you doing here, East Coaster?" or "You're not famous or popular enough to be doing shoots here!". Wasn't helped by the fact that a majority of the cosplayers I managed to crawl out of the shadows and into the sunlight for shoots turned me down for whatever reason "too busy", "shooting with someone else", "going to their car", etc. Heat + Anxiety + Rejection did not put me in the best mood for the weekend... but I still came home with a fuckton of shots, I survived the heat(thanks to that guy selling those watermelon flavored Jolly Rancher ice creams, and I met a ton of new people! So with the hot weather and the fact that a lot of people seem too busy to even shoot I probably won't do AX again but I can at least say I've done it now. Going there has also opened my eyes to other West Coast cons that I may want to try(in the colder part of the year) so I may hit those places up.
Random shit; Some hobo with a bike was kicked out of the outside tunnel where everyone was doing photoshoots on Sunday. My light equipment happened to be only a few feet away from this confrontation between the hobo and the cops so I just stood there near my stuff and watched to make sure he wouldn't try some craziness. The dude was literally just screaming his head off about how he doesn't have to leave and he was pissed.
Other random stuff; there was a large gust of wind and one person nearby says "the wind is blowing hard" or something like that and as soon as she said it one of my light stands fell over right in front of another cosplayer who was posing during a shoot! What makes this funny is the fact that I am trying to make sure no one got hurt and everyone else there was trying to make sure my gear didn't get hurt lol. Gear was A-ok afterwards and still works to this day !
Even more random; so this dude dressed as Spiderman climbed to the very top of one of the giant horseshoes and everyone was going nuts and taking his photo. Suddenly a voice from the sky said "Spiderman, get off the horseshoe!" and he had to comply. My question is though is who the hell said that and how could they see him? Does security just have hidden cameras pointed directly at the horseshoe? They probably caught some really raunchy shit happening over the AX weekend lol.
The most very random; I like what AX did. They essentially trained everyone like Pokemon. They give out free water on Friday like it was their jobs(well... I guess it was their job..) and by doing this they made attendees more dependent on water than usual. Then by Saturday and Sunday there is no more free water and only thing left is to buy the expensive $2 water(which wasn't even "Ice Cold"!) from the random vendors outside. Of course I figured out later on Sunday that you can just bring in a bottle and use the free water refill station but I didn't know about that til late in the game and I'm sure others didn't know either. Anyway that is my recap of AX. Too damn hot, too crowded and too many busy people but worth going just to say that you have gone... or in this case survived Anime Expo.