Archive for the ‘ Conventions/Festivals ’ Category

The Polar Bears of Coney Island: An Honorable Mention (‘Cuz we screwed up and missed the show)

It was perfectly freezing out and we were watching people, soaked, in bathing suits, their skin glowing red with capillaries near-to-bursting, walking along the boardwalk at Coney Island. The wind blew around our earmuffs, but there was merriment going on with these folks. Probably shock-to-the-system endorphin explosion. Continue reading

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Wacken Open Air 2008

Festival Dates: July 31-August 2, 2008
Venue: Wacken Open Air, Village of Wacken, Germany
Bands Mentioned, in Order of Appearance:  Girlschool, Mustash, Avenged Sevenfold, Nashville Pussy, Leaves Eyes, Iron Maiden, Synic, Unearth, Job for a Cowboy, Soilwork, Opeth, Gorgoroth, Avantasia, Hatebreed, At the Gates, Lordi

Browser Warning.. a million pictures follow

Wacken Open Air 2008

or

How I made a lot of friends, got a black eye, and lost my passport.

Wacken Open Air is recognized in many nations as the best heavy metal festival in the world. There are some contenders, like maybe Metal Camp in Slovenia, but seriously, there is nothing else out there like W:O:A. The amazing line-up that each year tops the preceding one is only half the story. What W:O:A is truly about is the seventy thousand people who make their way from across the world to this small village in Northern Germany to unite over their love of metal. W:O:A is about the metalheads, headbangers, rockers, punks, fetishists, and of course Vikings. The story of Wacken is the story of these people.

Naked, just because

Naked, just because

We offer you a miniscule portion of all the many stories and tales that weave their way around the magical time of July 31-August 2, 2008. We give you the account of two girls from New York City who decided that it was a good idea to go for an international camping trip with thousands of drunk and high strangers who are there to worship music by hammering each other with fists, wallowing in mud and vomit, running around naked, and refusing to shower. This is our story. Continue reading

Friday Night Tattoos

As an avid reader (gazer?) of ModBlog, I was pretty psyched to see my first suspension cage. I was promised an actual suspension in another hour or so, but there were no takers, and hence, a disappointing lack of pictures here (though at ModBlog you can get your fill of suspensions in much more scenic locations).

This year we were only able to spend a few Friday night hours at the 11th Annual Tattoo Convention at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC. The convention took place from May 16th to 17th, Friday-Sunday, Friday being by far the tamer night. The hall was not particularly crowded and the Best Tattoo of the Day competition had only six competitors. A whole series of competitions was held over the weekend, with the more interesting (such as the Best Overall Tattooed Person contest) held on Sunday.

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A Wacken Update

I may as well start this thing again! This is a comprehensive outline of Wacken preparations. For last year’s list of things I did as well as a short explanation of Wacken Open Air and why I have to go, click here.

Wacken Ticket

Well, first off, you have to sacrifice something big enough for He-With-No-Name to take note and allow your credit card to be accepted at Metaltix. My Amex credit card kept getting rejected (something about a transfer not going through), and Metaltix did not deign to reply to any of my pleas or queries. Finally, I just used my Visa debit card and within days I got an e-mail informing me that my ticket was shipped. An agonizing month later I got my Wacken ticket (as well a set of bewildering coupons to a German McDonald’s), in the mail. Good thing too, since Wacken has been officially sold out since 3/8/08.

This year is going to be astonishingly good X 2, because I’m not going by my lonesome — fathful d42 got her ticket too. Good things have been happening for W:A:O also. They got the Live Entertainment of the Year Award this year which only confirmed their awesomeness. Now I’m just sorry I didn’t get an extra ticket since selling it on E-bay would probably pay for the plane ride there.

Transportation to Hamburg: So, I have my ticket, great. But that’s only half the battle. Now I have to afford plane tickets from NYC to Hamburg, and finally get from the airport to the festival grounds. The sites that have been more helpful with(cheaper) plane tickets so far are sidestep.com and studentuniverse.com. Continue reading

NYC Restaurant and Foodservice Expo: A Gateway Drug


Random picture of things done with sugar to get you in the right frame of mind.

It was March 9th, and our trip to the Jacob K. Javits center on Manhattan’s west side began with an early morning phone call from ETL: “Hey, what time do you think it is?” I chewed my cereal and considered this for a moment. I glanced at the clock—it clearly said 8:36. Waaaaaaiit a minute… ETL’s pregnant silence was like a claw hammer in my heart. FUCK– Daylight savings time! The one event we were looking forward to—the Press Pastry Tasting—evaporated before our now one-unscheduled-hour-older eyes.

Undaunted, we hustled downtown as fast as the subway would take us. The Javits center on this fine March day hosted the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show on its lower level. We obtained our press passes after some delay, and after cutting a rather self-important CNN reporter (“you don’t need my name, just put down CNN”) in line, and headed into the domain of the restauranteur.

It was laid out in much the same way as any other convention, rows and rows lined with innumerable booths of vendors hawking their wares and services. A great many of them were restaurant technologies and gadgets to make foodservice faster and more efficient. We photographed many things, though apparently, it’s not permitted to photograph artsy porcelain service sets. Photos of these are issued by the vendor only…

The show also hosted the International Pastry Arts Competition—the very event whose delectable wares we were denied by the tyranny of railroad timetables—whose theme this year was “Under the Sea.” Very prom-esque! We made a beeline straight for this area and were presented with such amazing works of gravity-defying confectionary that words cannot do them justice. I will allow ETL to provide imagery for your drooling pleasure. Continue reading

The Fare at the PA Ren Faire

Welcome to over thirty-six acres of 16th Century England! Completely reenacted, of course, and better landscaped the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is not only one of the greatest attractions of Lancaster County (although its fame carried far enough for us to make the trip from NYC) it also boasts one of the largest joust arenas in the U.S., their own vinyard, and Theater as well as theater company. In fact, although you will probably find many other Faires that enjoy that olde “e” you won’t find another joust like this one, nor would you find such a variety of acts staffed by incredibly well trained actors, volunteers and traveling performers.

The grounds are abundant with armories, blacksmiths and clothing stores sporting the latest in medieval fashions and defense. If you feel hungry, never fear, as you can easily fatten up in one of many food stands, sporting such morsels as soup in a bread bowl, amongst other things (never fear, oh vegetarian, you will not be stuck with French fries while all your friends devour substantive meals).


One of the above mentioned blacksmiths in the process of making something sharp. Photo by Beelzy.

At every Faire he adds another piece to his armour. And he doesn’t miss too many Faires. Photo by ETL.

All sorts come to these Faires. Folks who like to dress up in costumes with various levels of attention to detail as well as those who would gawk at them. Beelzy says “Of course, if you’re a dork like me, you’ll prefer to go in costume. Having been accompanied by a buccaneer and a lovely wench, I felt a little out of place in my blue jeans, black t-shirt with witty quote, and trademark green canvas backpack, but only momentarily, as the large assortment of scantily clad pirate babes, buxom rogues, and vixens were enough to keep me distracted from my apparel.”
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Comic Book Geeks Beleaguer Jhonen Vasquez: A Q&A

In guise of an introduction I would like to apologize for taunting googlers with the terms “Jhonen Vasquez” and “interview” for so long in the Coming Soon section. I just felt sick with impotent rage because I could provide no actual photos, and I took plenty. Maybe next year, when I, once again, gain free entry by masquerading as someone who deserves one, I will take photos and NOT format my hard drive without backing anything up. UPDATE: d42 who rocks DID back up said photos, so enjoy!

d42 and superheroesA collection of middle-aged, pudgy men with no pants on never before aroused admiration in so many. Surely, the comic-book-loving, video-game-playing LARPers of NYC came for the scantily dressed girls as well? And yet, the playboy model present, and expecting attention from sex-starved nerds, was almost as lonely at her booth as Gary Coleman was at his, and she wasn’t charging $20 for an autograph.

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