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Singleton93

Tips and Hints

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::Comes in as Mr. Lurker.::

I hate to be a pooper to keeping where "THE BLOCK" is a secret, but this is something when I was little and visited Baltimore on a regular basis when I was in a private Seventh-Day Adventist school, supervisors told me NOT to go. (It's the red light district ... and apologies for using the Otakon map...)

red-circled.jpg

It is near Primo Deli, Song's Deli, McD's, a Rite Aid, and the Brookshire Inn. Most people will NOT need to worry about getting near that block unless you're going to those places.

HOWEVER, it is just PLAIN recommended to stay with a group or at least with a group connected with Otakon when you go somewhere, especially if you're cosplaying. Avoid trying to get into the block when you can (unless you're planning a 5,000 otaku invasion through all the clubs just for giggles and fits)

P.S. locals don't hit me for revealing your secret location ;.;

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The redlight district is pretty creepy and dirty. We were hungry and had to go through there to reach a Subway. It felt like you could pick up an STD or two just by walking through the place.

Also, there were creepy dudes just standing there, looking at people walk by.

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I -do- like the idea of cosplaying otakus invading certain places though.. :D But I don't want to reflect poorly on the con. :)

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::Comes in as Mr. Lurker.::

I hate to be a pooper to keeping where "THE BLOCK" is a secret, but this is something when I was little and visited Baltimore on a regular basis when I was in a private Seventh-Day Adventist school, supervisors told me NOT to go. (It's the red light district ... and apologies for using the Otakon map..

Pooper?! In my humble opinion you have performed a public service by providing a map. Yes, that area looks very familiar to me. In 2001 during my first Otakon, I drove in from the Hunt Valley Marriott and not having my bearings ended up driving through the neighborhood while looking for a parking space. Yep, it looked pretty slezzy to me also.

Thank you very much for the info.

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Just so we're all clear on this -- the "Block" is a historic district. It is a seedy redlight district, but it's not particularly dangerous (there is a large police station at the far end of it). It's just a bit scuzzy.

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And I'm sure that it doesn't mean that you can just drop your guard outside The Block. Be just as careful wherever you go. Try to be with your fellow otakus at all time. :)

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And I'm sure that it doesn't mean that you can just drop your guard outside The Block. Be just as careful wherever you go. Try to be with your fellow otakus at all time. :)

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:)

Don't.. I actually did chuckle at that. 8) It was cute. ;)

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And I'm sure that it doesn't mean that you can just drop your guard outside The Block. Be just as careful wherever you go. Try to be with your fellow otakus at all time. :(

Damn, I'm screwed. Last time I dropped my guard, it broke. What's a girl to do with a broken guard?

Oh I'm REALLY trying to be funny. I should just......shut-up. :roll:

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Sorry if it's been said, but it is very important that you keep your badge on at all times, and make sure you haven't lost it. Last year I found two badges on the ground (turned them into staff members). So make sure you have it everytime you sit down and get up to leave somewhere.

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And when you leave your house/hotel, too. We had to go back to this one girl's house on Saturday morning because she had all her costume props and her backpack/tote bag and everything else. Except her badge.

You sometimes need your badge to get in (last year they were getting more strict about this) at the BCC itself; you always need your badge to get to the Dealer's Room and Main Events. Video Rooms aren't checked as religiously, but don't bank on it. Always have your badge with you. Treat your badge like candy.

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Treat your badge like candy.

Well, don't *eat* it for heaven's sake. :D

Yes, you can be removed if you don't have a badge. If you lose it, report it immediately at Con Ops. Best solution is to be responsible and don't lose the damned thing in the first place. I mean really, how hard is it to wear a badge on a chain for three days?

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And I'm sure that it doesn't mean that you can just drop your guard outside The Block. Be just as careful wherever you go. Try to be with your fellow otakus at all time. :)

Damn, I'm screwed. Last time I dropped my guard, it broke. What's a girl to do with a broken guard?

Oh I'm REALLY trying to be funny. I should just......shut-up. :roll:

You might want to try to get him fixed...er..I mean repaired. LOL

Here's another suggestion for those standing in line outside, be it Thurday evening, Friday Morning, or whenever:

My suggestion is on Thursday morning toss 2 waterbottles into your freezer, or ask your hotel person to toss it into theirs... remove and take with you as you walk out the door for pre-reg. This way the water stays cool and you do too. Just allow enough room in your water bottle for thr frozen water to expand. (remember your elementary science? :D )

And don't be afraid to sit down, good grief, even those canvas chairs that collapse have really great sunshades at Bed,Bath and Beyond. :wink:

also if you own a GameBoy (come on, admit it, you do!!) bring it to pass the time.

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I think waiting in line for pre-reg is so much fun. I'm glad last year they decided to go all night until pre-reg was finished. Since someone told me they pre-regged me and yet I wasn't, I printed out my receipt this time.

The hardest part is going to be finding a purse that will match my costume. I needs to carry my mony, badge, cell phone and other things in something.

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I think waiting in line for pre-reg is so much fun. I'm glad last year they decided to go all night until pre-reg was finished. Since someone told me they pre-regged me and yet I wasn't, I printed out my receipt this time.

Um...actually no they didn't go all night. They cut off at around 10pm, from what I understand.

But it's *always* a bright idea to print out your confirmation and bring it with you.

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also if you own a GameBoy (come on, admit it, you do!!) bring it to pass the time.

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DC Cell Phone Ban Begins Today

Be careful going through DC.

As reported in the March 2004 Maryland Motor Truck Association Bulletin, the District of Columbia has implemented a cell phone ban effective today (July 1, 2004). The ban also prohibits the use of other electronic devices including hand-held computers, pagers, PDAs and video games. The law applies only to drivers operating a moving motor vehicle. It does not apply to vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road. Devices equipped with a "hands-free" accessory may still be used. Please advise your drivers.

Maryland Motor Truck Association

My husband just recieved this through work, thought I would share it w/ Baltimore being so close. You never know what MD State Police may do. :wink: Besides, it's a safety issue.

(I'm still trying to figure out how people were playing video games and driving?! :shock: )

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Last year, I printed out a list of all the anime DVDs I wanted to buy with their respective prices from dvdpricesearch.com. Most all of the DVDs were cheaper online (even with shipping) than in the Otakon dealers room. If you're looking to save $$$, shop smart! Shop S-mart!

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Last year, I printed out a list of all the anime DVDs I wanted to buy with their respective prices from dvdpricesearch.com. Most all of the DVDs were cheaper online (even with shipping) than in the Otakon dealers room. If you're looking to save $$$, shop smart! Shop S-mart!

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Last year, I printed out a list of all the anime DVDs I wanted to buy with their respective prices from dvdpricesearch.com. Most all of the DVDs were cheaper online (even with shipping) than in the Otakon dealers room. If you're looking to save $$$, shop smart! Shop S-mart!

This is usually, but not always the case - CPM was clearing stock of their old sublicense stuff for $10/disc last year (most of it being out of print - snagged me the last half of VOTOMS), as well as Scratch & Dent for $5 (working copy of Night On The Galactic Railroad). Most dealers are also willing to cut you a bargain on DVDs if you pay cash and buy a fair amount - there's no reason to pay over $20/disc (within $2 of online price in most cases) at any con. Also, Bandai's table last year was run by DVD Planet and they were charging the same as their online store ($35 for G-Gundam box 1 IIRC).

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This is usually, but not always the case - CPM was clearing stock of their old sublicense stuff for $10/disc last year (most of it being out of print - snagged me the last half of VOTOMS), as well as Scratch & Dent for $5 (working copy of Night On The Galactic Railroad). Most dealers are also willing to cut you a bargain on DVDs if you pay cash and buy a fair amount - there's no reason to pay over $20/disc (within $2 of online price in most cases) at any con. Also, Bandai's table last year was run by DVD Planet and they were charging the same as their online store ($35 for G-Gundam box 1 IIRC).
Dealer's Room Happiness <--- :D

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For those trekking cross-country... or just "away from home" and planning on using a credit card, call your card company for benefits such as discounts on car rentals and not having to pay for the rental insurance, discounts at hotels, etc....

Also notify them of your travel plans so they are less likely to stop your card for fraudulent use.

Just a thought... can't remember if I mentioned it earlier and I need to get to work. :roll:

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I thought this might be a good spot to gather tips and hints for those who maybe be coming to the con for the first time or maybe to grab a tip for those veteran otaku about something that you didn't notice before.

So if you have a tip or hint on a resturant, hotel, or just a great place to hang out and meet-up... drop it off here to share. 8)

(I looked around the forums and didn't see anything similiar, so if this topic was started somewhere else, sorry.)

:P My tip: If you are staying at the Wyndham, don't forget to register at www.wyndhambyrequest.com so they will have your room stocked with snacks, drinks, and extras like towels and pillows when you arrive. :D All free!

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

Especially true for the people who plan on using the DDR machines the whole day in the gaming room.

It really stunk in that corner, thanks to you guys.

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1-If you're with a group, pick a meeting place in case you get seperated.
This is listed among the things you must do if you are escorting a fan under the age of 12(?)... but you are right, it's really good advice at any age. :)

Things to think about.

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:( My tip: If you are staying at the Wyndham, don't forget to register at www.wyndhambyrequest.com so they will have your room stocked with snacks, drinks, and extras like towels and pillows when you arrive. :( All free!

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

I totally agree as well. Many sweaty people who get on the bus I get on in the afternoon after work to go home smells like they use little to no deodorant, the smell makes me feel sick. Last year, in the video gaming room, I was eating at the table and there was this bad odor coming over into the area I was and it made me lose my appetite and my stomach was hurting. So, everyone please use deodorant during the con. Thanks.

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

I totally agree as well. Many sweaty people who get on the bus I get on in the afternoon after work to go home smells like they use little to no deodorant, the smell makes me feel sick. Last year, in the video gaming room, I was eating at the table and there was this bad odor coming over into the area I was and it made me lose my appetite and my stomach was hurting. So, everyone please use deodorant during the con. Thanks.

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

I totally agree as well. Many sweaty people who get on the bus I get on in the afternoon after work to go home smells like they use little to no deodorant, the smell makes me feel sick. Last year, in the video gaming room, I was eating at the table and there was this bad odor coming over into the area I was and it made me lose my appetite and my stomach was hurting. So, everyone please use deodorant during the con. Thanks.

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well this is somthing i learned working DownTown this year.

THIS IS THE SUMMER, YOUR NEED TO USE MORE DEORDORANT, NOT LESS!!!!

Thank you.

I totally agree as well. Many sweaty people who get on the bus I get on in the afternoon after work to go home smells like they use little to no deodorant, the smell makes me feel sick. Last year, in the video gaming room, I was eating at the table and there was this bad odor coming over into the area I was and it made me lose my appetite and my stomach was hurting. So, everyone please use deodorant during the con. Thanks.

http://www.somethingpositive.net has this funny little flyer http://www.somethingpositive.net/wash2.gif

Axe Bodyspray: Know It, Use It, Love It, Get Loved For Using It. Simple.

I use Axe Phonix

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I can't find where, but somewhere i posted a thing about Catholic Church's, well i need to update it.

As of Last month The Basilica downtown is closed for 2 years.

As a replacement Holy Rosary Church in fells point now has a 7:15 mass on sunday night.

For more info Holy Rosary.

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Hi there,

St. Alphonsus is downtown and closer to the Basilica. It is at the corner of Saratoga and Park Avenue. The last service on Sunday is at 11:30 AM. There is also a Shrine to St. Jude Downtown that is on Paca St. a couple of blocks over from the Basilica. The last service on Sunday is at 11:30 AM. Those are some options that are closer to the Convention Center than Holy Rosary is.

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Hi there,

St. Alphonsus is downtown and closer to the Basilica. It is at the corner of Saratoga and Park Avenue. The last service on Sunday is at 11:30 AM. There is also a Shrine to St. Jude Downtown that is on Paca St. a couple of blocks over from the Basilica. The last service on Sunday is at 11:30 AM. Those are some options that are closer to the Convention Center than Holy Rosary is.

The thing about Holy Rosary is that it has a mass AFTER the con is over.

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thats easy, especially when it comes to otakus. They contemplate the difficult choices of "shall I use deordorant"" or "shall I go read this manga or watch this anime?" What it eventually boils down to is they can't take the precious 20 seconds to move away from there manga, television, computer to go put some on :P When you get into con situations this intensifies since they most likely just bought another few hundred dollars worth of anime and manga that they are just itching to read and therefor the above contemplation doesn't even cross their minds. Oh and if its summer why would they be outside? hHve you EVER seen an otaku outdoors? No? I rest my case.

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You also forgot about the otaku who probably also forgot to pack the deodarant. In that case, rather than spend $1.50 to purchase some, they would rather spend that hard earned cash on said manga, anime, figure, video game, pocky, etc. :?

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You also forgot about the otaku who probably also forgot to pack the deodarant. In that case, rather than spend $1.50 to purchase some, they would rather spend that hard earned cash on said manga, anime, figure, video game, pocky, etc.

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Which is why every bag you get when you pick up your badge should have a trial size deoderant in it. I'm sure many companies would love to get samples out to 20,000 plus people.

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1) Comfortable shoes!!

2) A large waterbottle in a sling that you can carry over your shoulder. Especially for while you are waiting on line for registration.

3) Cosplayers should think about a portable, battery operated, glue gun. I recently saw two people literally repair a costume that had completely fallen apart with one of those!

4) If your legs and ankles tend to get over-tired - bring a couple of ace bandages to wrap your ankles. It may seem odd, but it can really help.

5) Did I mention comfortable shoes?!

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I'd just like to put in a note to ask that this thread NOT be locked even though it's over a year old. It contains a lot of helpful and interesting information that, as a first-time congoer, I'm sure I will find very useful, and if someone hadn't bumped this I might never have found it. I'm sure lots of others will find this thread useful as well and the information is not year-specific. Please don't lock it. :D

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Remember to eat breakfast before coming to the con in the morning. It starts your day off right, 'specially for starting off walking and standing in lines. 8)

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If anyone is using caffiene as a helpful waker-upper and such in the morning, try not to drink/absorb it through the skin/eat any caffiene-related materials too late in the day. It won't exactly keep you up at night. In fact, you will still feel tired, but when you rest and you have caffiene in your system, deep sleep doesn't have it's resting effects. Trust me, I know from last year x_x (3 people, 50 bottles of bawls, 3 days)

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Some Tips about Panhandling I picked up from the Downtown Baltimore Partnership brochure on the subject. These are mean to be guidelines only. Maybe, they can also be put into the packets that every one gets at Otakon:

-Make eye contact or acknowledge the person with a nod.

-Politely Say No or Sorry.

-Offer to buy the person a sandwich.

-Give him/her a "Street Card" which lists a variety of available homeless services. You can get Street Cards through the Mayor's Office. (Note: I had never heard of street cards, but maybe something that should be available on the Freebie table or INformation Desk. Hint, Hint)

-If you feel threatened, seek out a Downtown Partnership Public Safety Guide or Police Office.

-Volunteer throughout the year with organizations that help the homeless.

-Most important, help the homeless by donating to the organizations that provide them with services and help individuals get back on their feet.

-

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-Politely Say No or Sorry.

-Offer to buy the person a sandwich.

I would actually advise against several of these tips, particularly "acknowledging the person with a nod" - it could send a mixed message of an intent to help. The "politely say 'no' or 'I'm sorry'", though, is good - I used it the other day in Philadelphia and the fellow was very nice.

A lot of these people really are just down-on-their-luck, but the bad apples ruin it for them as much as bad apples in other facets of life ruin things for their own peers.

Generally, just look like you know where you're going, even if you don't. And if you're truly lost, look confident for the time it takes you to get someplace to ask for help or directions. Then you'll be a little more confident when you go back out.

1. Walk confidently, with a sense of purpose and direction.

2. Note places where help may be available in case of an emergency.

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I would advise against offering to buy homeless people a sandwich. There have been some cases where people who have done that have been mugged as soon as they pulled out their wallet.

Coming from experience:

-Always walk in groups. Otakon has had meet up stops in the past to walk people back to thier hotels in the area.

-As stated, say you can't help them and walk away.

-Be alert and walk in well lit areas.

-See the first tip I gave..it's the best possible one out there.

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