We didn’t get a table when we signed up (I have terrible lottery luck) but we managed to share a table with my very kind friend Cglas! Check out his work, he’s great. I’m so happy we got to go, Otakon was an awesome experience!!Baltimore was beautiful, exciting, and HOT. I didn’t realize how terribly hot and humid Baltimore would be, but being from Florida, I was pretty used to it. Cg is from Singapore so it was nothing for him. I stayed there for a full week with some friends and got to explore Baltimore along with selling at Otakon, which was great. The city itself is what I expected. It has this downtown historic feel that’s very beautiful. The houses reminded me a lot of the homes in San Francisco but with more space between the houses. The airbnb we stayed at also was 1 bus stop away from a grocery store so we primarily cooked food and brought it to the con.
Check in for Otakon was pretty confusing. I ended up standing in the wrong line for about 30 minutes before asking 3 different staff members if I was in the right line and it took 3 people to find the answer. Turns out, the artist alley check in was near a different entrance. There was only 1 person ahead of us, but when check in started, it took about 20 minutes to get to us. They were having some sort of issue with their server? I’m not really sure on specifics. Once we got our badges, we went ahead and set up then walked around the city to eat.
Sales for Otakon were uh-may-zing! Considering Otakon is about 1/3 of Anime Expo’s size, we almost made the same amount!! I was very happy with the results. Although we did make a fair amount, Otakon is very expensive to attend. $100 for a badge!? That’s so high! But I suppose the city is pricey so they had to pass on the expense to the attendees… The hours for artist alley were incredibly long. The alley closed at 11 PM on Friday and Saturday, so we were there for about 13 hours those days. I remember each time we’d pack up and leave for the night, I’d walk outside and my friends would always think there was something wrong because rather than being my normal silly, bubbly self, I’d just stand there and blankly stare. I’m also sort of the initiator, as in I’m the one who does the planning for what to eat, calling an Uber, etc etc. but after each day, I’d just follow blindly and not say a word. Haha. But the sales made up for it, so I was very happy.
Food was awesome in Baltimore. We went to Brown Rice, which is like a chipotle style Korean bibimbap place. My friends liked it so much that we went twice that week. I can’t remember exactly what else we ate, but it was a lot of good food that week. One of our friends also cooks a lot, so he came over to our Airbnb and cooked up some delicious steaks and mashed potatoes.. yum!!
Load out was pretty easy. The convention center actually cleans up after us? It felt weird but we were advised to just leave our trash and etc once we packed. I felt bad so I threw away most of it already, we just had a small bag of papers that needed to be dumped.
I took a few pictures of some cosplays, so here they are!
I’m very excited to attend Otakon next year!! This is their last year in Baltimore, too. They move to DC so I hope the move goes well.