Wednesday, November 5, 2014

the word of the day is LINES.

oh, hello kitty con. it was over far too fast.

so you KNOW that as soon as tickets for the very first ever hello kitty con went on sale, i snapped mine up immediately. like, it was a foregone conclusion. and after conferring with my fellow HK partners in crime, we decided that the first day was clearly the best option. while we knew it would be madness no matter when we went, a thursday had to be better than any weekend day. 

while i was super excited for the big day, it totally snuck up on me. after all, we'd bought those tickets way back in june. october seemed so far away! and yet here it was. i didn't even really figure out what to wear until that morning, but i pulled out all of my gear and still managed not to look crazy. i think. 


i met up with lilcee at her house so that we could ride together. she and our other friend winnie had tickets for a flower arranging workshop later, so my plan was to grab a ride back to her place using opoli, the driver service i got to try a few months ago. our friends nanette and dailygluttony were already at the museum with their badges in hand and were reporting long lines already waiting to get in. 

fun signage near the con. excitement was kicking into high gear at this point. 



after circling a couple of times, we managed to find parking in a structure not too far away. all we had to do was cross the street and cut through japanese village. along the way, we passed one of the restaurants participating in the hello kitty hungry hunt - offering a HK-themed food item that was served with a collectible pin. 


as we approached the japanese american national museum, the craziness came into view. there was already a shitton of people there, and the doors weren't even opening for at least another ten minutes yet. 


at least the line to present our tickets and receive our official badges wasn't too long. 





how much would i have loved to be able to sashay up to these counters for check-in?


then it was back outside to find the end of the line to get into the party. i would've loved to take a picture with these girls, but we were on a mission. 


here, we snagged some headbands and sheets of free hello kitty temporary tattoos.


the line was endless. we followed along for what seemed like miles before finding the end of it and then basically going right back where we came from.


there was already a good-sized line here - another stop in that hungry hunt. 


ta-da! entry at last!


it was...a popular spot. heh. 


despite the crowds, we somehow managed to find nanette and dailygluttony within minutes. as we tried to figure out what to do first - serious sensory overload was going on - we figured we might as well join the growing line for our free bag. although as nanette pointed out, they should've distributed these during badge pick-up. 

as we waited, we joked about getting a paper cut or something just to get something from this tent:


this booth was doing super cute HK pumpkins. not wanting to get in the line, lilcee and I got the attendant to hand us sheets of the stickers they were using instead. 


and what better snack while waiting than a cup of hello kitty yogurt in crazy bright colors?


at the booth at last, we happily accepted our bags and commemorative pins. 


heading back into the building was crazy.  we knew we wanted to get into the store that carried the official merchandise, but there were people everywhere and no real direction being given.  


finally, we figured out that the line was already out the door - of course.  so we slunk back outside and  found the end of it.  while we stood around (again), we decided to take advantage of the photo ops that were right in front of us.





just inside the door was this very cute and very thoughtful touch:  a charging station for phones and tablets.


the wall was lined with these crazy colorful promo posters:


and it turned out that we were standing in the line for the pressed penny machine.  oy.  like i said...no direction and very little organization happening here.


back outside we went.


right about this time, lilcee and i decided to take a trip to the restroom.  we were pretty far back in line and knew there was no danger of losing our spot, especially with nanette and DG there to hold it for us.  of course, maneuvering through the crowds to find the damn potty was a nightmare - especially since a live stage show was happening at the same time.


guess what we found when we got there?  a line, of course.  but it gave me a moment to take this:


at that point, we noticed people going into the boys' room.  a quick glance around showed no boys waiting to pee, so we scampered in and found two empty stalls.  sadly for me, mine had no toilet paper, but lilcee passed me a handful from next door.  one look at it and i knew instantly why there was none to be found in my stall:


we found out later that yes, people were stealing the rolls of toilet paper from the restrooms.  i mean, it's not like lilcee didn't grab a big handful to share with the other girls in line, but still...

back in line for the store, we were alternating between annoyance and sympathy for this security guard who had to bark at everyone to keep the aisle clear every few minutes.  he had to be hating life that day.


by the time we got here, we'd heard that we could expect to be in line for at least another hour and a half on top of the 30-ish minutes we'd already been in it.


we had each other and a lot of amazing peoplewatching to pass the time, though, plus a birds-eye view of the happenings down below.



yes, that is indeed a tattoo parlor.  free tattoos - permanent ones! - for those who were willing to wait for them, on a first-come, first-served basis.  later, we heard that katy perry was there at that very moment, getting her own HK ink.


almost there!




see the line down below?  crazy, right?


here's a whole lot of hello kitty merchandise, most of which we later discovered was already going for insane prices on ebay.











as we browsed, we realized that kevin nealon of SNL fame was there.  he was being followed by a camera and a gaggle of media folks, and i realized that he was filming a segment for the ellen show.  i haven't seen it, nor can i find it on her website, so maybe it didn't make it to air after all.


i would've loved these pins, since i had most of these items when i was little, but at $10 a pop i settled for taking pictures instead.





making our way downstairs, we found yet another shop that looked like it had some fun stuff in it.  alas, the line to get in was lengthy - shocker! - and we skipped it in the interest of time.  and sanity.  and money.


at this point, we said goodbye to lilcee and winnie as they headed off to their workshop.  but not before looking like crazy people in the giant replica of the original coin purse that was the very first hello kitty item to hit the market:


the rest of us stopped to peruse the vintage village, full of more nostalgic items from our childhoods.



there was a shop for vintage items too, priced a little higher than what i remembered paying for them back in the day.




fashion show!



in the "super supermarket" section, there was much more shopping to be done.









when a fellow spam fan offered to take a picture for me, well...you don't have to ask me twice.


on the way out, we took a moment to appreciate all of the vintage paper bags that were framed and hung on the walls.  when we were little, the sight of those bags always meant something fun was coming.


predictably, the line to take a picture in this was crazy long.


and outside, the wait for treats and commemorative water bottles at the hello kitty cafe truck was just stupid.  sources tell me a brick-and-mortar hello kitty cafe is coming to orange county next year, so i'll just wait for that.


so yeah...opoli completely let me down.  i opened the app and placed a bid no less than four times for a ride to lilcee's house, and not a single driver responded.  plan B was to take the metro, which had a station right around the corner and then would drop me off about half a mile away from where i'd parked my car, but DG would have none of it.  "friends don't let friends ride the metro," she said, and after a quick stop at a japanese market/deli with nanette for some quickie sushi, she drove me back to pasadena like the good friend she is.

wanna see the swag?  sure you do.  and the best part?  probably 85% of this stuff was all free!



in june, the first-ever "super cute friendship festival" is coming to l.a.  i'm already salivating at the thought and perusing the internet for idea of what to wear.  we've already made a date of it.  

MOAR HELLO KITTY.  I CAN'T WAIT.

2 comments:

  1. Hi there! Best Hello Kitty Con review! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Hello Kitty Con episode aired today on Ellen! I happened to catch it while it was on, Kevin was very out of place (obvi). So jealous you got to go!!

    ReplyDelete

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