New York Comic Con 2017 took place October 5-8 at the Javits Center in midtown New York City. Here’s how we ended up going.
Going to New York Comic Con 2017 was a bit of a last minute decision. We had applied for Press earlier this year, thinking that if we were approved, then we would go, and if not, then we wouldn’t go. Living in Southern California, we’re a bit spoiled being just a 2 hour drive from San Diego Comic Con. But traveling to New York Comic Con would be a much more involved time and money commitment. Which is why we’ve never gone before. It’s also always the same weekend as the Long Beach Half Marathon, which we have run for the past two years. But this year, I’ve had a knee injury, so I haven’t been training, and therefore wouldn’t be running it this time around.
However, we were rejected for Press months ago, and that was that. Or so I thought.
I received a notification email from NYCC in late August saying that day was the final day to buy a Thursday badge without incurring additional shipping fees. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday badges had sold out long ago, but Thursday badges were still available. I suddenly had an idea. What if we bought Thursday badges, and then spent the rest of the weekend sightseeing in NYC? It had been 20 years since I had last been there (and didn’t get to do much), and Josh had never been there, so it would be a great opportunity to do both the con and the touristy stuff. If we had 4 day badges, then we would be at the con all day every day, and most likely not get to see much of the city. This way, with just a Thursday badge, we could get a taste of the con, and still get to explore without feeling like we were missing out.
Flights were around $400, and I had read on the Friends of Comic Con forum that some people stay in nearby New Jersey and take the bus over in order to save money, as hotels there are half the price of those in the city, or even less. I brought up my crazy idea to Josh, and to my surprise, he said yes! (I think that NYCC being the week of my birthday helped.) He would have to take care of the pesky detail of getting vacation days approved, as his are very limited, but once we got that out of the way, we were good to go. Sure, we ended up having to pay the $9.95 shipping charge, but that’s okay. The badges themselves cost $45 each, plus $7.99 sales tax.
We stayed at Extended Stay America in Secaucus, New Jersey, about 5 miles away from the Javits Center. It was about $135/night, as compared to $300+/night in the city. There were also several other hotels in the area, as well as restaurants and shops. The bus stop for the 320 line was right across the street from the hotel. It cost $4.25 each way, and let us off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC. From there, we just had to walk a few blocks to get to the Javits Center, where New York Comic Con was taking place.
The doors for NYCC were set to open at 10am, so we figured we should get to the area around 9am because we weren’t sure what lines would be like or what to expect, being that this was our first time to NYCC. We caught the bus around 8:30am — right in the middle of rush hour traffic, so it took awhile to make the journey from Secaucus to Port Authority via the Lincoln Tunnel.
I was a little wary about what Port Authority would be like, having read terrible reviews on Yelp about it being a sketchy place. But when we got there, it seemed nice enough to me! They had little shops inside, like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Jamba Juice. Just a bunch of commuters passing through.
Anyway, so we navigated our way over to the Javits Center, where there was not much of a line to get in around 9:30am. NYCC staff were out on the streets with signs directing attendees where to go. We entered at the Green Entrance at 39th Street and 11th Ave. There was a bag check and metal detectors we had to go through, which went pretty quickly. Then someone scanned our badge. Oh, and before we went through the security check, Josh pointed out a couple of police officers standing off to the side — who were armed with some pretty large assault rifles. Not used to seeing that at a con! Or anywhere, really. I suppose law enforcement and security were on edge after the Las Vegas shooting just a few days prior.
When we were mailed our badges, we had not been provided with lanyards (we attached our own lanyards from a past convention so we wouldn’t have to carry our badges in hand), but there were large containers filled to the brim with lanyards for attendees to take. Then we were ushered forward into a big crowd. It was around 9:45am by this point. Initially, we weren’t sure where the doors would be opening or the best place to stand. Then a few minutes before 10:00am, the doors began to open up off to our right, and we realized that it was better to move further down because there were more sets of doors there, and would be able to get in more quickly.
For the first several minutes, it was just a massive crowd trying to get in the doors, then once inside, trying to get over to the escalators, as the main show floor was a level up from the entrance.
Other than walking the show floor, I had three main goals for our one day at New York Comic Con 2017: the War for the Planet of the Apes motion capture experience, the Jack Ryan themed Amazon Echo Escape Room, and the Keanu Reeves panel.
How did that work out? To be continued…