Tuesday, November 16, 2010

PMX 2010 - Tsunami Scoreboard Part One

Tsunami Scoreboard Part One - Location, Location, Location!

Upon arrival at Pacific Media Expo 2010, which was at a new location this year, I noticed that the surrounding area was much nicer than last year's. Then again, we were in Pasadena this time as opposed to the area by the LAX airport. After noting the fact that we had really nice weather for the first time in years as well as cleaner air to breathe and lots less traffic on the freeway (all related to the location switching from LAX), my inner penny-pincher alerted me to a small, yet crucial issue of the weekend: What am I gonna do about food?

On one hand, we had more choices available in terms of local eateries—the nearby Paseo shopping center housed a variety of chow ranging from the quick-and-easy to the one-hour-sit-down-restaurant to the I-really-shouldn’t-get-ice-cream-in-this-cold-weather-but-I-reeeeeally-want-it-anyway. I myself made a point to hit up my favorites out of the bunch (Cold Stone Creamery and Islands, not necessarily in that order) due to low funds, but I did hear that there was a great Korean barbecue place nearby and rumors of a California Pizza Kitchen floated about, but the actual location of said establishments eluded me and my poor sense of direction to the very end.

On the other hand, the old location had a Carl's Jr. that I, like so many other PMX attendees in years past, would rely almost completely upon in order to get at least SOMETHING in my system—even a small order of fries—so that I could keep pushing onward through all the obligatory convention craziness. Carl's is cheap fast food, and when stacked up against a bunch of high-end restaurants in a sea of smaller shopping center eateries two blocks down the way in an unfamiliar neighborhood with my not-so-brilliant internal compass, I tend to find the odds stacked in favor of the burger joint next door—but that's just me.

The word on the street at con was that PMX moved to Pasadena because the majority of its attendees are locals to Pasadena and the surrounding neighborhoods. Even for me, a native of the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena is a hell of a lot easier to travel to than LAX, especially so close to the holiday travel boom. Traffic to any area near an airport this time of year is a major hassle, so to be able to hop in my buddy’s car and take a 20 minute freeway cruise over to con was music to my ears! Plus, I discovered that I might even be able to commute from my apartment if I can afford the gas next time and just eat at home and sleep in my own bed. This is all purely situational though, bit it definitely was a great strategic move on the part of PMX’s organizers in my personal opinion.

Aside from the local atmosphere, it was probably the "Normie Factor" of Pasadena that surprised me the most. Generally at the old location we'd get a few curious inquiries from other guests at the hotel and the folks who worked at Carl's Jr. remembered us and asked what costumes we were wearing after a while (which was really funny, especially if you were a crossplayer). In most cases, you wouldn’t really give that a second thought since most people keep to themselves around there, from what I’ve seen. This year I got maybe three times as many questions in the hotel lobby, and while I was cosplaying as Canada from Axis Powers Hetalia, I happened to get quite the amusing response in the form of a few supportive honks on the road while walking to Islands for dinner one evening, a thunderous cry of “GO HABS!” from across the street and a lovely chorus of drunk guys who sang the national anthem to me and clapped when I replied with the next stanza and a jovial wave of the Canadian colors—all this because I was borrowing a friend's flag pole and carrying an over-sized flag around with me.

However, knowing that the locals enjoy a good costume party is reassuring to the average cosplayer, who might feel just a bit nervous parading around in brightly colored fabric on a busy street. I didn't have any run-ins with rude people, and the only obnoxious drunks I found were other attendees at con—a MAJOR step up from most of the conventions I've ever attended as a whole. If I had a score in this system for local people being friendly, Pasadena definitely scores way up towards the top ten. At the very least, brownie points were earned.

Swell Points Earned: 8.0

1 comment:

  1. You missed the supermarket across the street?


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