Here is a post I never thought I would make… This past weekend was the 2009 New York Comic Convention in New York City. The NYC “Comic Con” is billed as the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. Aaron was invited to attend by Director Chris .R. Notarile to help him promote the film “Methodic”. Aaron is very interested in film making, particularly horror/suspense movies and this is something he really wanted to do. Eric loves staying in hotels, so we decided to take the twins to NYC for the weekend. It turned out to be a fun and educational time for all.
View of Time Square from the 9th floor of the Double Tree Suites.
The biggest problem we had was parking our huge handicap van in the city. When we made our reservations, we made sure that the hotel we stayed at could park the van. We called the Double Tree Suites and they assured us that they could take care of the van, “No problem, we do that all the time.” Well, of course when we got there, the doorman looked at us like we had two heads. Rich had to drive six blocks to find a place to park. Other than that, the hotel was very nice with a great location right in Time Square.
Interesting that with all the diversity in the city, there were very few people using wheel chairs. Understandable, I suppose. It was not easy getting around with Eric and the city sure could do a lot better with their sidewalks. I’m not sure who got more looks and attention at the convention, the nutty people in costumes or Eric in his wheelchair. Oh well, nothing new for us.
Needless to say, the people attending this convention are really into comic books. The place was packed with people dressed up in all kinds of fantastic costumes. There were also lots of artists and celebrities there. Personally I have no interest in comic books, but I still had a great time. My favorite part was meeting Lou Ferrigno, “The Incredible Hulk” from the old Bill Bixby TV series. I loved that show and have always admired Lou for overcoming his disability. He lost most of his hearing; a side effect of antibiotics he took as a young child. He is now almost 60 years old and he looks terrific. He is still in great shape and he hasn’t changed much since his Hulk days.
Aaron spent Friday night and all day Saturday dressed up as the “Dollman” handing out little postcard ads for the Methodic movie. He also did some filming.
To my surprise, Eric loved walking (well, wheeling) around the city and he also enjoyed the Comic Con. This is surprising, since he often does not tolerate noise and crowds. I doubt there are many places on the planet as noisy or crowded as NYC! But I think that both the city and the convention were over-the-top sensory stimulating, all the noise and confusion sort of all blended together. We never know how he will do when we take him somewhere new. So, the fact that he did well all weekend is a huge success! Only two things really bothered him all weekend. First was a police whistle, he doesn’t like whistles. But we only came across one officer with a whistle, so not too bad. He also had trouble with a very loud announcer at a costume contest, so we had to move him away from that. But otherwise, he did amazingly well. The highlight of the weekend for Eric was meeting “Ariel” from Disney’s Little Mermaid. Ariel is his favorite Disney character, but actually the person he met was dressed up as “Poison Ivy”. However, she did look like Ariel and she was kind enough to pretend to be Ariel for Eric.
I have never been to an event quite like this one and certainly never would have gone if not for Aaron. My boys have taken me places I never thought I would go. The convention was packed with people just having fun. It was like a huge Halloween party, except that the costumes were better than most I’ve seen on Halloween and the focus was comic characters, mostly super heroes and their villains. I’d guess that the most popular character was The Joker. I think I saw more Jokers than any other character.
Like Halloween, this convention was a chance for people to dress up, be crazy, and get away with it. It really was a fun escape from reality.
More photos at Flickr.