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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:23pm on 21/03/2011 under
[ profile] esrblog and I spent the past weekend at Lunacon, the annual convention of New York City area fandom, which was held at the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester County, New York.

We got to the convention late, spent all night gaming, then slept till 12:30 p.m. Saturday morning. I assume that was the reason the con felt so short, to me.

But it wasn't just me. Other fen I talked to confirmed that the convention was much the same as usual--good art show, great dealer's room--but there were many fewer fen there than last year. The hotel felt...empty, though the gaming room was well-stocked and full throughout the convention.

There was allegedly a LARP, though I never saw any evidence of it, other than a few signs. The programming seemed a little on the light and flat side, but due to the amount of time we spent eating and relaxing, I never saw any of it.

There was a boffer LARP group there who had group members offer to spar with random fen for $3 a fight. I didn't do very well, partly because I was still feeling low-energy, but partly because their shields, and their system for counting hits, felt non-realistic to me. It was certainly different from the system Aegis and Polaris use.

But I enjoyed myself anyway. Work is beginning to get hectic, and a weekend spent relaxing was a rare and precious treat. Even if I had to drive 6 hours (3 hours there, and 3 back) to do it.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that we learned two board games we had not played before at Lunacon--"Amon Re" and "7 Wonders." Both were interesting and a lot of fun.
Mood:: 'puzzled' puzzled
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:45pm on 22/03/2009 under ,
I just got back from Lunacon, the NYC-area's science-fiction convention. This year it was held at the Rye Town Hilton in Rye Brook, New York, a bit north of New York City in Westchester County, and only a few miles south of the Connecticut border. This is the con's second year back from an unfortunate sojourn at two different New Jersey hotels.

The Rye Brook Hilton is infamous for its unusually shaped building which apparently was made by joining two different buildings. The result is that it's possible to walk from the fourth floor on one end of the building to the seventh floor on the other with only a slight gradient, a feature dubbed the "Transdimensional Corridor" by the attending fen.

The con comm has taken advantage of the return to change their function space arrangement somewhat. Two of the changes are good. One is that the dealer's room, formerly jammed into two smallish-rooms off the main corridor, is now in a big ballroom right on the main convention hallway, right next to the art show--a big win. Another is that the gaming room has been moved to the old dealer's room space, which is bigger and easier to find than the old gaming area, another win.

On the other hand, the Con Suite has been moved from a lovely large suite on the other side of the Transdimensional Corridor to a small suite near the gaming area. Not a win--particularly since most of the weekend you could only get seltzer, juice, coffee and tea as beverages there. (It's my understanding that they moved it because the renovations are near the old con suite location, so they may change the location of the Con Suite back next year).

I was unable to reserve a room in the hotel this year. I called a bit late, and the hotel is undergoing some renovations. As a result, they are significantly shorter of rooms than usual. So [ profile] esrblog and I ended up staying at the Marriott Courtyard Rye, which is about 3 miles away. This turned out to be a good thing. The Courtyard is very close to a good local diner, so [ profile] esrblog and I didn't have to get up early and were still able to get good breakfasts throughout the con.

I had a lot of fun, but I didn't see much of the convention. That was only partly because we weren't staying in the con hotel. When we were there, [ profile] esrblog and I spent most of our time gaming. I only saw part of the art show--which was huge, and looked first-rate. As usual, I didn't get to any of the panels, though there seemed to be quite a few of them. In addition, we spent nearly three hours at dinner on Saturday with some of our fannish friends at a Japanese steakhouse near our hotel. The place was called Edo, and if you're ever in the Rye/Port Chester area, I recommend it; it was very good, though terribly crowded. There were only five room parties (one on Friday, four on Saturday), which I did get to, and which were kind of disappointing.

Overall, though, it was a good weekend. I'm going to try to make my reservations a bit earlier next year, so I can sample more of the convention, and see whether Lunacon is getting a new lease on life after its escape from New Jersey.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:24am on 17/03/2007 under ,
Okay, so it just looks like the North Pole; you get the idea. :-)

I got up at 8:00 a.m., saw that the world was white and silent, and went back to bed. I got up again at 10:30 a.m., got online and saw that the northern half of the NJ Turnpike (the largest stretch of our route to Lunacon) is still under a 45-mile-per-hour speed restriction (it was 35 mph last night) and, after consultation with [ profile] esrblog, called the hotel to cancel our reservation. We have given up on Lunacon, since by the time we got there it would be sometime late in the afternoon anyway, and it's not really a party con, anymore.

On the bright side, the sleet has stopped, the local traffic is beginning to move, and the Magnolia Grill at Chester County Book Company is open again. Brunch anyone?
Mood:: 'resigned' resigned
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:56pm on 16/03/2007 under , ,
[ profile] esrblog and I were supposed to be at Lunacon by now.

But Lunacon is in New York State, back at its old location, the Rye Town (a/k/a "Escher") Hilton, nearly a three-hour drive from here. And it's been sleeting, continuously, for the past 16 hours or so.

It became clear, when I got home from work at 4:30 (because the train was a half-hour later than it was supposed to be) that it would be folly to try to drive three hours north, into *more* snow, on roads that were three-or-more-inches deep in sleet.

So we changed our reservation at the hotel to a one-night reservation, chipped the Land Shark free of ice, and drove carefully toward West Chester, where we found to our dismay that our favorite eatery there, the Magnolia Grill at the Chester County Book and Music Company, was closed. After driving all that way from home over the freezing slush, it seemed silly to go home hungry, so we plunged on into downtown West Chester and had a lovely meal at an "Irish pub" type of restaurant called Kildare's, and ended up going to our favorite Friday night hangout, Games Keep, where we found the proprietor alone (unusual for a Friday night, which is an open gaming night).

Three hours later, after a game of India Rails (which [ profile] esrblog won, naturally) we headed home, carefully barreling over the icy roads in the Land Shark, which performed like a trooper, though it refused to drive into the now nearly six inches of sleet covering the driveway.

So we're safe and warm at home. I hoped we could make it to the convention tomorrow afternoon, but that's not looking likely right now. Sigh.
Music:: none
Mood:: 'hopeful' hopeful
location: home, unexpectedly
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:31pm on 23/03/2006 under , ,
Regular readers of this LiveJournal (all three or four of you) may remember my review of last year's Lunacon which, for the irst time in many years, was held in a hotel in northernmost New Jersey.

The Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Sheraton (a/k/a the Sheraton Meadowlands) was so inhospitable to the convention that the con comm chose to move again, this time to the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton, which is only a bit closer to New York City than the Meadowlands Sheraton was.

Despite the fact that the function space of the hotel was under construction all weekend, and clearly would be for months to come (hence the nickname, "The Hotel D'Iaster"), the HHH was much friendlier to the con than its predecessor had been. There were some problems. The dealers' room and gaming areas were too small for their intended functions, the only usable ballroom for the Masquerade and similar functions is located, inexplicably, upon the 13th floor (nicknamed the 12th floor by the hotel marketroids), reaching the hotel by any mode of transportation other than a self-propelled motor vehicle was a challenge, and the hotel restaurant, though quite good, was insanely expensive ($72 for dinner for two without alcohol!).

Worse still, Eric and I and our friend [ profile] dedrell didn't make it to the con until nearly 11:30 p.m. on Friday because I was swamped with trial preparation tasks at work.

But we still had a lot of fun. Lunacon always has good dealers and a great Art Show, and this year was no exception. We ran into a number of friends from previous cons who like to game, and enjoyed really fun games of Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, and Pirate's Cove. The convention also had a small Dealers' Row, which was not only on the same floor as our room, but started right next door to us. (Shopping on your floor right after dinner; what fun!) There were more parties than last year, at least on Saturday night. Although most of the panels were not about topics that interested me, the descriptions in the program book looked varied and well-thought out, and the one panel I did attend, on researching historic costume for SCA or Masquerade competitions, was well done and very enjoyable. The only significant minus I noted was the con suite, which was scantily stocked all weekend long. (The marathon showing on Saturday of the entire first season of the new Dr. Who might have changed my mind if the room had been more comfortable and if I hadn't seen all the episodes before, courtesy of some friends of mine.)

So I enjoyed the convention despite the new hotel. But I wouldn't bet that the con will be back to Hasbrouck Heights next year.
Mood:: 'amused' amused