So before anyone asks...I do not think they are going up until Monday August 1st.
Why you ask? well there is a Grand Prix Race in Indianapolis, the Gallagher GP to be precise, on Saturday July 30th. As I look out my office window those are the banners I see as well as seeing Washington renamed to "Blaney Dr"
PS no update on Elf Parking yet. Goblin Parking yes but not so for Elves.
Its feeling real now. I am really getting excited, and a bit nervous. This will be my first trip since before Covid.
I was never socially anxious before all of this, but last summer was rough. I now do find myself a bit uncomfortable with folks closer than 6 feet from me, but as Sir Galahad said, "I must face the peril"!
I was really surprised by the banners my first Gen Con (2018) but hugely impressed at how welcoming Indy seems to be about the convention and it's guests.
actually Indy does a great job of embracing most conventions. For the Big 10, or is it the Big 16 now, each University has its own designated Home Bar.
A little bit of welcoming goes a long way $$$$$$
There really wasn't much in Milwaukee to be welcoming - it was a downtown that mostly closed down in the evening and over the weekends. My memories for nearby amenities in Milwaukee:
- about 4 downtown hotels total
- a mall/food court, closed evenings and weekends
- a Hooters, a Thai place, Dunkin Donuts, and a few sports bars that did not embrace the con spirit.
- It was a many block walk to get anywhere else.
It was pretty easy to get free parking. Garages wouldn't have staff after 9 pm or so, and this was before the modern parking pay machines, so the gates would just stay up. So if you stayed at the con past 9 there was literally no one to give your money to.
You forgot The Safe House
Not to hijack my own thread and turn this into a Milwaukee thing...but ya Indy has really rolled out the red carpet. Lots of hotels and LOTS of places open beyond 5:00 PM
If you walked into a restaurant and looked like you came from the convention, you could feel the borderline disdain.
The first year in Indy, I had a random worker in a shop ask me about "my character." It was clear he didn't have a clue about the hobby, but he went the extra step to be welcoming. It's that way most of the time. Ask the Uber drivers or servers about Gen Con, and they will tell you it's their favorite convention attendees. I believe them!
I also love the "Elf Park" sign, I assume the sign's owner takes the "S" down themselves nowadays to avoid vandalism.
Ask the policer about Gen Con and they'll tell you that it's the most boring (professionally, that is) large gathering in Indy.
We don't tend towards fist fights, public drunkenness, peeing against buildings, shootings in the parking lot over getting a judicial colleague to pole-dance...
It was always fun to arrive Tuesday and find out that the wait staff at restaurants had never worked a Gen Con before.
I would love to list some examples, but the list of individual acts of perversion are SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here.
For that matter, when I speak with someone from Indy on the phones at work and mention I’m going to GenCon, their immediate response is “Please visit <establishment>. It’s a great place and I know the owners. You won’t be disappointed!”
Here is my single example of why Milwaukee sucked for Gen-Con, Safe House notwithstanding: I was wearing my full Scottish regalia at the mall food court--important to note it was not just a kilt--and the random burger or hot dog place or whatever I decided looked good literally had the employees walk away from the register and refuse to come out when they saw me coming up to order food in a "stupid costume." We were virtually radioactive to the Milwaukee "all serious all the time" culture and I have no idea how we lasted as long there as we did.
There was literally an article in the newspaper our last year saying "good riddance to the nerds" or something. Though to be fair someone wrote an article like five years later in the same paper reflecting on how great Gen-Con had actually been and how dumb it was to let us go, haha.
Well I was in Milwaukee on business in 2019. It was the first time I had been back since 2002. NOTHING had changed as for as places to eat or go for a drink after 5 PM.
THe MECCA/Wisconsin center was still under sized after renovations and upgrades
WHat bars n restaurants are closing at 9:00 PM? Even last year with higher COVID numbers and fewer attendees most paces were open until midnight
The banners might not be out yet, but the electronic billboards outside the convention center are waring EVERYONE that we are arriving next week