home from HeroesCon…

and worn out.

but it was a blast, and i learned a lot for next year.

yes, i’m already planning on going next year.

anyway, on to the report!

HeroesCon, founded in 1982, has become one of the “must do” cons in the country. it is the oldest surviving independent con, and one of the largest. before this weekend, i had never been to any entertainment convention; business conventions, yes. but not entertainment. this year i had decided to go to at least one convention, and HeroesCon (being held each year in Charlotte, a mere 170 miles away) best fit my scheduling and financial constraints.

some observations on Charlotte before i get to the con itself:

it’s pretty. obviously, banks have lots and lots of money. many attractive green spaces and public sculptures. that said, it’s bloody sterile. admittedly, i didn’t get out of the immediate area of the convention center, but at 6 PM on Saturday evening all the retail establishments and 90 percent of the eateries within reasonable walking distance were closed. this seems fairly dumb considering the density of hotels in the area of the conventions center. visitors need to eat and often want to spend money. plus some of the “pretty” is obscured by the absurd amount of construction going on; like i said, banks certainly have money.

this, however, doesn’t seem to extend to the population. i’ve never been accosted by panhandlers so frequently in such a short period of time before – and i’ve been to places with lots of panhandlers. the armed security guards everywhere were kind of off-putting as well. understandable, but still.

i stayed in the Hilton Charlotte Center City; like the city itself, it was attractive with some downsides.

the room was very nice. no surprise there, it’s a Hilton. all the rooms are non-smoking, the beds are comfy, the bathrooms are exquisite, etc. it’s a Hilton.

yet internet connectivity started at ten bucks a day – which is ridiculous for a hotel that runs anywhere from $130 – $190 a night. the Motel 6 at the airport has free wireless internet, folks. the only reason i was able to get online Saturday night (because i’m not paying ten bucks to use a wired connection) was because someone forgot to turn off the hub in the conference room for a while. there’s no parking owned by the hotel, so you’ve got to pay to park in Wachovia’s garage. starts at $18 a day through the hotel. and, of course, room service and the hotel restaurant prices were obscene. it’s a Hilton.

next year, i’m going to try the Westin. it’s the same price, and just on the opposite side of the convention center from the Hilton.

now that i’ve got all my whining out of the way – i’ll post about the con itself tomorrow. like i said, worn out.

some pictures from wandering around Charlotte:

Trains are cool. Especially commuter trains.

I\'d really like to see this fountain running.

I think it\'s fitting his last name is in S.C.

quote of the day:

“It’s not about us, it’s about the characters.” – Dan DiDio, at the DC Nation panel

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