Okay, so this is waaaaay overdue! I’m literally typing this up the night before I leave for San Japan lol. Sorry again!! I will try to be more consistent.
So Project: Akon is held in Dallas, TX! This year, it was held from June 3-5, the weekend after Fanime. Let me just say, I had a BLAST here. This con was so amazing in so many aspects.
Firstly, the venue is very beautiful! It’s situated inside the Hilton Anatole, which is large and gorgeous. It was a little confusing navigating at first, but once we found out where the Artist Alley was (next to the dealer’s room waaaaay down the hallway from the main entrance), everything else went smoothly. Check in was a breeze, setup was the norm, and staff/volunteers consistently stopped by throughout the con to check on us to see if we needed food/water/any type of break.
The first day, sales were pretty slow honestly. It was only open for a few hours, but I suppose we did okay for a Thursday. Sales Friday through Sunday definitely picked up, though! We experimented a bit with our display, so maybe that helped? We were facing the back wall but near the front, so it wasn’t a bad spot. Attendees here were great, very kind and lots of engagement from a lot of people. People aren’t quite as.. liberal here as they were in Fanime, but sales were still great!
We spent an entire week in Dallas (having flown directly from San Jose from Fanime) so we managed to do a lot of exploring. It wasn’t quite the normal sightseeing perse, but.. we did try out a lot of delicious restaurants! My favorite part. Heh. The first night, we ordered a few Thai dishes for delivery.. it was a pretty lazy day. Mostly prepping for the con, eating, and laying around. Food was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. The second day, I spent the day with my sister (who has since moved to Dallas) looking for apartments and then saw some family and had dinner with them! My sister brought crawfish from Houston and cooked it up for us. It was yummmm. The first night of the con, we tried out this burger place that was near the con. I can’t remember the name of it right now, but it was literally the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. Oh. My. Gosh. We ordered these fries as an appetizer that were HUGE and amaaaaazing but nowhere near as delicious and juicy as my cheesy, gooey, eggy, oniony, bacony, heavenly burger. It was so good, we ended up eating there the third night of the con, too. LOL. Even though everything I ate afterwards seemed like it was just going to be a huge disappointment, the con food I had the next was actually really good! I had a hotdog smothered in sauerkraut and mustard. It came with onions but I don’t like onions, so I requested to sub it with extra sauerkrait. YUM. Our table was right next to Rice and Emi’s, so we spent a lot of time hanging out! Especially since they were local, they made some food recommendations which were great! They took us to this Korean fried chicken place (think Bonchon but more mom & pop and better). It was really yummy~ Korean style fried chicken is a lot crispier and I feel like it relies a lot less on sauces, so I enjoy eating it a lot. The extra crunchy texture is my preference. The last night of the con, we went to a fancy southern restaurant to celebrate finally being done with Akon! I had country fried steak with onion rings, mashes potatoes, and broccoli. I’ve definitely had better, but it wasn’t bad. Just not as good as everyone else’s food (I snuck lots of bites from both Rice and Mags’ plates, heh). Our last night in Dallas, we didn’t want to leave without having some authentic Texas bbq, so we hit up this local place and feasted on some southern deliciousness. Now this place.. THIS was what I think of when I think of Texas. What do you expect from a bbq places in Dallas? This place was fucking amazing, and I don’t curse that often. I grew up in the south and it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had bbq, let along bbq this great. I was so full, but I kept stuffing my face. I even got an extra side of mashed potatoes, lol. When I asked how much extra cornbread was, the nice lady just looked at me and gave it to me for free, hahahaa. I guess I looked hungry. I don’t really remember much after this meal. I think I went back to our airbnb and just passed out for a few hours.
Regarding the airbnb in Dallas, it was such a great experience! Our host was this lovely young lady (probably late 20s? not much older than me) and she constantly checked up on our group to make sure we had everything. The first night, there was a power outage and she felt really bad so she rushed over and got us a bunch of candles. The rooms were really nice, too, and the closet was huuuuge. I had a lot of room to store cosplay/prints/junk. I brought a few cosplays, but I only ended up cosplaying one day. I forgot which day it was, but I was Hachi from Kantai collection. I forgot my hair ribbons at home, so I had to make some makeshift ones with leftover fabric I had brought with me. It turned out fine.. I guess. I forgot to bring the right makeup to color my eyebrows, though! I was disappointed, but whatever. Everything else turned out fine and I managed to get a lot of compliments.
The cosplays at Akon were really good! Much better than I had expected, honestly. I don’t know why I always feel like west coast cons will be superior in everything, but I think that the cosplays at Akon were actually a lot better than Fanime! I’ll post them below!
Overall, I had an amazing time at Akon! It wasn’t just the con that made it, though. It was the con, the food, and my airbnb host that really made everything about Akon a great experience. I’m so excited for next year and hope that we can get into artist alley again!