Thursday, February 19, 2009

Faeries Send a Message/Moneymakers Send One Too

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where faeries are abundant, not always pleasant, but extremely constant! What is a faerie? Anne's simple definition is that a faerie is a small manifestation of spirit from an alternate level of existence.

Wow. Not bad for 8:36 in the morning!

In the past two weeks, the faeries have taken both my prescription sunglasses and my see-the-computer glasses. I have one pair of glasses left, my night driving prescription glasses.

I think the faeries want me to get my eyes checked. It's high time. Haven't done it in awhile.

Faeries will do this to you. If they detect a problem in your car, they'll flatten the tire. Just to get you wondering what else might be wrong.

So I'll make that optical appointment today, before the "floaters" in my eyes take over and I can't see anything at all.

This Just In: New Site for FaerieCon 2009

For the previous two years, there's been a "faerie convention" in Philadelphia, a mere 20-minute ride on the Elevated Train from my house. I went the first year, all brimming with excitement, mostly because I wanted to meet Brian Froud. He's my favorite faerie artist, although it's Seitou who created "The Rebel," above.

Today in my email I found the announcement for this year's FaerieCon. It will be held in Baltimore, in the Marriott hotel. The Faerie Balls will also be held at the hotel.

Here's what FaerieCon had to say in its ad:


LOCATION: Baltimore, MD
- Easier Access for all of our Fans
- A Safer and more Hospitable City


First of all, Baltimore is NOT an easier access for ALL of their fans, i.e. Nettle and myself. Second (and a really prickly point), Baltimore is NOT more hospitable than Philadelphia. They're both big cities with all the problems therein. Baltimore's tourist district in its Inner Harbor is trashy. Philly's has Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and a museum honoring the U.S. Constitution.

I love faeries more than anything, but I did not attend FaerieCon 2008, even though it was practically in my backyard. Why? Because it is strictly a money-making event. Someone's cashing in on the fact that folks like faeries. There were vendors galore, and a few tepid lectures, and long lines to meet poor Brian Froud, who was taxed to the max.

If I go to any convention at a Marriott this year, it will be the D.A.R. conflab in Washington, DC. Marriotts are for blue-haired Daughters of the American Revolution, with their badges, white gloves, and protocols. Or for water pump distributors, or heart valve surgeons. Not for people who like faeries.

If you want to attend a faerie event near Baltimore (as opposed to being in ugly, mean Philly), I highly recommend the Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm. It's nonprofit, outside, and if you volunteer, you can party all night. (A promise held out by the con folks re the Marriott).

FaerieCon is a con. If you go, you'll see people trying to make money. Not faeries.


Anonymous said...

It's not even in Baltimore City--it's in the county--Hunt Valley to be exact and it is a safe area with easy access to trains. Spoutwood will always be better, but it's gotten crazy busy in the past few years. I miss when it was just a small gathering. Maryland also has a Faerie Festival in a park outside of DC. The Spoutwood fairies are usually there.

And just FYI. Baltimore is the most historic city in the nation with fully a third more places on the national register of historic places than the next city in line, which is NYC. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Baltimore's nice, but not any nicer than Philly (and both have their horrible aspects, too.) They might have all sorts of reasons for moving - I agree that the Convention Center is a terrible place for a faerie convention because it's so sterile and concrete - and it sounds like they got a better deal from Marriot. Still, it's really unneccessary to insult Philadelphia on the way out. It's just rude. And the Convention Center is right next to a big train station (that has a direct line to the airport), a major bus Greyhound hub, and I-95. You can't get much more accessible than that. I just checked the Marriott's website and there's no indication that you can get there without a car. It looks like it's about a mile from the light rail station (instead of a few blocks, as at the Phil. Convention Center) and you could probably walk (assuming there's sidewalks in that neighborhood) or take a cab, but how excatly does that make it more accessible? "Safer" maybe because you never have to leave the hotel and interact with scary Other People but "more accessible" just doesn't hold up. Unless they mean it in the "accomodations for people with disablities" sense.

I had fun at both Faeriecons, but it was more because of the company - friends I don't see often enough - than any of their programming. I probably won't go to the next one, though, unless my friends really want to. I'm looking forward to Spoutwood!

Anne Johnson said...

I assume that Baltimore's giant Monument to the Memory of Confederate Mothers is probably on that register of historic places. (*snark*)

Seriously, I lived in Baltimore for four years, and I've lived near Philly a lot longer. When it comes to historic sites, Baltimore may have more, and older ones, but they certainly aren't better.

I do agree with "Anon" that Spoutwood might be past its peak as a venue due to the word-of-mouth popularity of the event. Does that mean we should have expensive conventions in Maryland's tony Hunt Valley? Or should we just start having more authentic faerie festivals, on a smaller scale, out in the woods, for local consumption, and NOT for monetary gain? Your thoughts on that, Nettle? I can think of a likely venue, though it's certainly not convenient to mass transit.

Unknown said...

ooh do NOT bash baltimore in my presence! i love it. i love the trashy harbor place, i LOVE the visionary arts museum, and i absolutely love love love hains point and all the funky vibe that runs through this blue-collar city. i also love philly, spent a lot of time there while my child was going to college in the arts district.
But I have to agree with the Con aspect. fairies in a convention center???!??! I was volunterring at the first event, and didn't have to pay. i heard plenty of grumbling from people who paid and apparently felt all their money got them was the privelege to shop the vendors -- there just weren't that many activities.
And Hunt Valley is NOT baltimore. it's a sterile resort outside of the city. why they *didn't* have it in the fairy-friendly city (complete with John Waters, maybe??!) is beyond me. Yes, we'll all have to drive there as far as I can see. We had a government retreat there some years ago...
Now you know how I feel about Spoutwood - i've been going for 11 years. Don't forget PLEASE that that event is the major fundraiser for that little community supported agriculture farm. it's not for some big anonymous ren-faire type organization. EVERYBODY works there on a volunteer basis. The only ones who benefit are those who get to reap its harvest as part of its CSA!

Anonymous said...

oooh, our own little faerie festival!

"A Midsummer Night's Campout" - because I'm always all about the camping - over the weekend of June 20th, either at a state park or a campground (perhaps one of those places with cabins, for the tent-averse). A campfire, s'mores, sharing stories about faeries, music, art, whatever people want to share. Later on, a ritual in the woods. No vending, no electronic/amplified music, no progammed schedule, no famous people, no fees beyond the camping fee and whatever people bring for potluck. Totally created by the participants and totally non commercial and probably pretty small - I'm seeing a dozen or so people at the most.

Something like that?

yellowdoggranny said...

hey i read the paper, can't see how baltimore is safer than philly..although i doubt i'd be safe in either place wearing my cowboys tshirt.

Anonymous said...

I believe the fairies have hidden (or absconded with) my cellphone. And drained the battery, while they were at it. ::heavy sigh::

If you happen to speak to them, could you ask them to please bring it back? I kind of need it.

Maebius said...

I'll agree that FaerieCon seemed a lot more Meh this year. Very commercial, and I will also agree that Philly was MORE convenient to me (easy access to transport, close to our crashing-space, etc).

I've been to Spoutwood twice, and had considered going this year if tax-season schedules allow it, but I kinda REALYL like the sound of Nettle's Midsummer Nights Camping.

Shehuntstoo said...

yep it's the con that gets us

for obvious reason, I'm not saying anything about Bmore :)