This past weekend, I was able to visit New York for the first time! NoSuchCon, hosted by Vasser College, was gracious enough to invite me to attend as a guest, and I was able to sit on six different panels, two of which I hosted solo. I also got to meet up with several friends who were also guesting, and had my first excursion to Time Square.
Friday morning, I left our tiny regional airport before the sun was even up. I was so paranoid about getting there on time, I actually arrived before security had opened. Fortunately both my arriving and return trips went off like clockwork, and I got to New York just before lunch. My friend Adam had already picked up our mutual friend Amber (the head of Sound Cadence Studios) and we drove the two hours up to Poughkeepsie, where we had enough time to throw our things into our hotel rooms before heading to the con for our first panel on Adam's animated web series, Shattered Heaven. We only had a few people show up - it was still during set up, and people were arriving - but we were able to answer some engaging questions as people poked their heads in. A few hours later, I presented my first solo panel on "The Eight Steps to being a Better Internet Professional." I'm amazed I was remotely coherent, considering I'd been up since 4am.
Sunday, I was able to join the writer's panel (which you can listen to here), hosted by fellow writer Thomm Quackenbush. There were a lot of great questions and topics to discuss, and it was a little surreal to be a panel member with the author of the first web comic I'd ever read as a high schooler. (It's called Bardsworth, go check it out!) We closed out our time at the con after lunch with a panel on Depression and Anxiety, which was heavy, but a really good discussion about how our experiences have made a difference in how we approach the creative process and our day to day lives.
After thanking the con staff, we took a train down to the city for a few hours so I could see downtown New York for myself. I had Korean barbecue for the first time, and got to see the Public Library, Grand Central, and Time Square. I embraced the fact that I was being a complete tourist and took a stupid amount of pictures of the buildings and scenery around me. Bless my friends for watching and waiting when I was inevitably distracted.
Overall, I had a wonderful first trip to New York. Despite being a small venue, No Such Con were wonderfully gracious hosts and the people I met were both friendly and generous. I wouldn't hesitate to go back again if I can!