First, the promoters of FAERIECON 2009 have weighed their promotional email in the balance and found it wanting. For those of you just joining us, the Con is moving to a venue near Baltimore and said in its literature that the site is "safer" than Philadelphia. We at "The Gods Are Bored" must not be the only ones to have taken offense at that particular wording, because here's a tepid retraction sent out by the Con:
"In our yesterday we also referred to the new location as being in a "safer and more hospitable city," which in retrospect we realize could be interpreted as a slight to our guests from the city of Philadelphia. We apologize to any of our guests in Philadelphia who we might have offended.
Our true sentiment, was that FaerieCon 2009 will take place at a "safer and more hospitable venue," where our guests, especially with children, won't need to drive or wander in a downtown area late at night after the event and night-time masquerades. We sincerely want to thank the city of Philadelphia for graciously hosting and supporting FaerieCon for the last two years!
As a nearby resident of Philadelphia, I feel so comforted that the folks at FaerieCon don't think the area around the Convention Center and the Trocadero Theater isn't safe to be wandering around in at night. It happens that both venues are bordered by Chinatown, possibly the safest place in the whole city.
Of course, the safety considerations of city life do pale in comparison to a convention held in a Marriott hotel in posh Hunt Valley. (Con says it's "10 minutes to downtown Baltimore." Nope, not even at 3:00 a.m.
Let us leave behind the consideration that FaerieCon 2009 attendees will be more or less stranded in a big hotel, buying big hotel food from big hotel restaurants (as opposed, say, to wandering Philly's iconic Reading Terminal Market, right across the street from the convention center). Let us instead leap right to the bottom line.
How much is a faerie worth?
*Anne says bye-bye to her final pair of glasses*
The hotel is offering a generous $99 per person rate per night for the Con. Two nights with tax, about $225. Add to that the generous pre-registration fee for the three-day event, $75. I'm out $300 before I enter the door. Gas would probably be another $40. Before meals or even a Pepsi from the vending machine!
I would blissfully pay this for a Daughters of the American Revolution convention, but I won't be paying this for a Daughters of the American Revolution convention because $300-$400 will cover a whole lot more festivals throughout the year if I spend it wisely. To whit:
1. East Coast Vulture Festival: One evening, $20 for a ticket, $22 for a gorgeous t-shirt with a huge turkey vulture on it. All drinks and desserts included. The main event is a display of live birds from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. And they make a profit that goes to charity.
2. Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm: About $40 for gas, $45 for tickets ($15 per day), reasonable eats. Camp out free if you volunteer. And they make a profit that goes to charity.
So that's two fests, one of them three days with free camping, at an expenditure of about $250 (self and daughter The Spare).
I'm still about $130 to the black, so how about a little jaunt to Berkeley Springs? $40 for a year's membership at Four Quarters Farm (Pagan campground, a charity), admittedly $50-$60 for gas, and BYO eats. Oh yeah, I forgot. $25 for a Roman bath in Berkeley Springs State Park, well worth every penny! More math:
The visit to Berkeley Springs will cost me about $150, realistically. But I'm $130 to the black. So it works out I can go three places for just $20 more than I'll spend to sit in a Marriott in Hunt Valley, staring at rooms full of vendors.
Wow. I have more to say about this. Ta ta till tomorrow!