Friday, May 5, 2017

Matthew's Sakura-Con 2017 Report: Part 3 - Day Two


The morning of Day Two started like the morning of Day One, but instead of making the walk through Freeway Park heading towards the convention center, all of us in the room got into my car to drive over to Pike's Place Market because we didn't want to make that walk again - except for Brandon who had met up with another crew we knew that also went to Sakura-Con, but we picked him up while trying to find parking first on the surface streets then resorting to the parking garage. It was still worth the short drive even if we wasted time and gas trying to find a spot.

The Seattle Great Wheel looking out
Me and Nate walking on Pike Place
Our first stop on the detour would be "Starbucks-Con," more specifically the first ever Starbucks that opened on 1912 Pike Place.

Two things about this location: the first is that this is not actually the first true spot of the first Starbucks; history says that it was first located on 2000 Western Avenue before relocating to 1912 Pike Place and hasn't relocated since. The second is that this location didn't carry any of the exclusive drinks like the Whiskey Barrel-infused coffee or the Nitro Cold Brew that you would read about on websites like Eater and Thrillist. I found out that I could get the Nitro Cold Brew here in Seattle, which I did the next day, but the Whiskey Barrel-infused coffee was actually a Midwest exclusive i.e. Chicago and St. Louis.

The exterior with the original Starbucks logo
The interior of the first Starbucks
While we were waiting in line, some lady came up to us offering "peace," a card with some writing regarding peace, and a bracelet. Once we accepted, she tried asking for $5; I only had on me $3 and I didn't feel like breaking the $20s and $100s I had in my wallet but she would not take my $3, only $5 and above. Brandon stepped up and gave $20 for all of us, and we thanked him for that.

We continued our live-streaming blitz, starting out at Starbucks and walking through the interior of Pike's Place Market for the second part of the detour - "Pike-Con."

Me and Nate walking through Pike's Place Market
Me in front of the Pike Place Fish Market
After watching the folks at the Pike Place Fish Market do their trademark fish throw, it was time to seek out Pike Place Chowder, a place that was on the foodie tour portion of Sakura-Con. We had dubbed this the "Clam Chowder Bread Bowl Gathering."

The wait to get inside Pike Place Chowder
Menu board for Pike Place Chowder
Two New England Clam Chowder Bread Bowls, a whole Lobster Roll, and two cups of Lemonade. Between me and Ryan, that added to almost $60 - and it was worth it
When they say they have the "best f**king chowder anywhere," they mean it - this even beats out San Francisco staples like Chowders.

We were having such a blast exploring Seattle that we almost forgot why we were here in the first place - attending an anime convention up the road. Nate missed out on his Fire Emblem Gathering and there could of been a couple of panels we could of attended, but this was worth the time to branch out and seek what Seattle was all about.


After dropping the car off back at the hotel and grabbing anything we needed, we headed off to the convention center through the usual route. Because all of us had free time before the evening schedule got busy, we spent most of this time doing a second round of shopping at the Exhibit Hall. 

Eli, Nico, and Maki from Love Live!
One of the puppets from Thunderbolt Fantasy
A signed Hatsune Miku Nendoroid figure on the Charity Auction block
As I mentioned before, Funimation had finally set up their full booth, complete with banners and a section to promote Your Name.

Your Name promotional banner
Full panorama of their booth
Nothing was really catching my eye, so I went with one thing I could buy: a Sakura-Con tee.

It was soon time for us to conduct our first interview on Day Two and our third overall with Matthew Mercer. We had a ton of fun interviewing Mercer, talking about Persona 5, Overwatch, and Fire Emblem. There's a unscripted moment before the interview started that recorded where we were all on our phones looking at the new characters for the latest update to the mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes.

While we were working as a team overall throughout the weekend, we would split after the Mercer interview for the first time. Ryan and Nate would go ahead and interview Christine Cabanos and Erica Mendez, and I would head down to the Main Events Hall and wait to get into what would be a magical event - the Miliyah concert.

A view of the Atrium Lobby
The place where the line for the Main Stage would be with autographs occurring in the background
The line for the concert shortly before 6pm
For our reports, this is the first time any of us have been inside the Main Events Hall.

The stage before anyone got on, including the DJ
Prior to the concert, I knew very little about Miliyah, even after looking through Wikipedia and YouTube. I did find out that she has a fan club, called the "Love Heart Club," after trying to tag her official page on Facebook through the blog's Facebook page, and everything else was all explained in a compacted video introduction about her. Through this video I learned that she is not only a singer but a songwriter, artist, and fashion designer; and that she's been represented on the world stage during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where she was part of a Coca-Cola ad then in 2014 during the FIFA World Cup in Rio where she sang the song "Fighter" with Mika Nakashima.

The DJ setting up before Miliyah took the stage
My expectations that this concert would be full of J-Pop but when the concert combined that with elements of EDM accompanied by her dance troupe, I was instantly hooked. During her performances, she did covers of Utada Hikaru from her early days and a song from My Neighbor Totoro. She also performed the Japanese version of "How Far I'll Go" from the movie Moana.

My notes by the end of the concert consisted of fire emoji, but that's what it was - straight fire. And I was glad to cover it.

Miliyah during downtime
Miliyah's dance troupe during a interlude session
Miliyah leaving the stage after the end
I was hoping to get the encore train going and bring everyone back for one more song but sometimes it doesn't work and left with a long-time streak broken.

A selfie with some Miliyah superfans
By then we all reunited to head out of the downtown area to a suburb called Ballard to check out Mike's Chili Parlor. Like the Miliyah concert, I didn't know what was getting into but from this video, you could probably tell what I was up against - some of the best chili I've ever had.

"Would you like some steak on that chili?" -Dalton, after seeing Nate's order of Chili Steak
Somewhere in that mess are fries and a burger
It was a wonderful way to round out Day Two and Nate's final night in Seattle; he would back home in San Jose this time tomorrow night. So like the day before, we spent the night having drinks and playing more arcade games - however, at some point, the combination of chili especially how heavy the beans were, the drinks, and fatigue from pushing hard the past couple of days finally forced me into this wall where I could not operate at all, causing me to call the night early and taking a Lyft back to the hotel where I would rest up for the final day after packing up. For the most part, I didn't miss much, just the group playing card games with nothing else transpiring.

-Day Two End-

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.