New York City, 2001

This was the seventh Convergence, the sixth that I've attended, an annual gathering of the people who post to alt.gothic and local gothic mailing lists, and frequent gothic IRC channels. I took the train from Boston to NYC by myself, and stayed by myself in an alternate hotel since the friends that I was supposed to share a room with in the official hotel, the Warwick, decided not to attend after all. My foot was injured from walking home from Harvard Sq in my pointy boots, so it was taped up and in a special boot that wouldn't allow me to bend it. *sigh* I talked to my brother, who's taking off for an extended trip to Europe next month, the night before and he teased me about leaving my packing to the last minute. I was done by 11:30pm but I tossed and turned in bed for 45 minutes before being able to fall asleep.

Thur Aug 16

My eyes popped open at 6am instead of at 8am, when my alarm was set to go off. I couldn't get back to sleep since my mind insisted on listing all the things that I had to get done before leaving, so I got up, printed out the shopping guide on the C7 rescue site (that I ended up never using), ate breakfast, and lay down again. I managed to doze off and was reawakened by my alarm going off. I decided to give in to the urge to shave my head again - I had just done it the week before, but it was getting a touch long for head rubs - so I did that before showering to get all the bits and pieces off of me. I hate re trimming my hair when it's not that long, the tiny cut pieces fly *everywhere*. I swept up as many as I could find, but the bathroom really needs a thorough vaccuming again. I put on my one singular boot (my new docs with the dragon design stitched on the side - I only brought one pair of shoes for the weekend since it made no sense to pack a lot of single boots to attract attention to my feet) and limped my way over to the bus stop. I met julishka on the Red line and talked with her about C7 until she got off at her stop for work. I nabbed a seat finally and sat until South Station. I got there just as I had planned, at 9:45 for my 10:15 train and found that even that was generous - I'm too used to getting to the airport an hour before my flight, I guess. I bought a bottle of water and sat at one of the tables stuck in the centre of the food concession area and waited for the track number to come up, watching the congregation of people by what I assumed would be my track. It ended up being a full train by the time we made it to NYC.

Once the track was officially posted, I limped down the track past a non attached engine, the business class car and the cafe car to the first reserved coach. A nice young man who was sitting in the pair of seats across from me heaved my suitcase up into the overhead rack, as well as that of the elderly lady sitting behind me. He ended up shifting to the ailse seat on my side after the train started filling up with people who wanted to sit together, but he mostly read his book or dozed and was an unobtrusive presence until he got our suitcases down again. He was sitting in his new seat after I came back from my adventure to the cafe car for some yoghurt and more water. I saw an eagle sitting on a post in a field as we sped through Conneticut. We had a stop in Providence first, shortly after leaving Boston. The cubby of a bathroom made it a bit of a challenge to brush my teeth but I managed to win out. I changed the batteries in my portable CD player and listened to And One's IST twice, Tom Waits and Depeche Mode and then we were at Penn Station. The 4.5 hours of the trip flew by.

I climbed up out of the bowels of the earth to ground level and added myself to the end of the long snakey queue waiting for taxis to eat it up. The red cap tried to wave me over to one of the cabs in the drop off lane when my turn came, but after saying no a few times and pointing to my foot he let me let the people behind me pass and wait for the next one to pull up at the curb. There was a fair amount of traffic on the way to the Habitat Hotel, but it was a nice arrival - the hotel lobby was quite swank, lots of pale wood and brushed steel, and staff dressed in black suits. I surprised the desk clerk by asking for a room near the elevator, he was going to put me in a corner room with two windows, but I preferred less walking to the view. The first room card they gave me didn't work, so I hauled my stuff back down to the lobby and had a maintenance guy get me a second one and it managed to open the door after a few tries. He let me keep both keys, which ended up meaning that only once all weekend did I swipe the one that worked fastest first. There was a sink in the room, but the water closest and the bath room were the next doors down the hall. The pale wood was present in my room also, in the form of a shortish wardrobe (my dresses trailed along the bottom of it once they were hung up) that had a TV perched on top of it. I was glad to see the AC unit perched in the window sill, it was muggy in there. I turned it on to low to cool the place down, and rested for a while on my single bed before unpacking everything. There was neat white on white multilevel duct work on the ceiling. I had planned ahead and brought a few extra hangers tucked into my suitcase and they just caught the overflow of my clothes. By this time I was hungry, it was about 4:30 so I headed out on a quest for food.

I walked very slowly over to the Warwick and saw EdVamp right as I walked into the lobby. I used the house phone to call up to Gabriel's room and just caught her on her way out. She came down and we chatted for a bit, but I decided that I'd pass on going out for food with them, as it only entailed coffee at a cafe and I was needing something more substantial. I ended up going by myself to the Astro diner down a block from the hotel and gave into the temptation of the sweet potato fries. They were a bit greasy, but enough reminiscent of the ones from Boston Beer Works to keep me happy. The veggie chili seemed undercooked though, but it was filling. I headed back to the Warwick and saw Cliff hanging out by the revolving doors as I arrived. Said hi then made my way into a chair in the lobby. There were a fair number of people there, but the dinner at Jekyll and Hyde's pulled a crowd out and I decided to wander around a bit more. I hit Borders and found the first volume of the Kabuki phone books and grabbed it. There also seemed to be a new Sin City that I hadn't read yet, more money to earmark for books. :) Back to my hotel to sit down and read for a while, and rehydrate. I tried calling the hotel that Siobhan was staying at, but the number I had was only for reservations. I headed back out and was back at the Warwick by 20 to 9, and sat in the lobby waiting for Kristin to arrive and lead us on the trek to anime. Kelly from Vermont was in the lobby early as well and we chatted while waiting. Tony and Whitney and Kristin showed up, and I was going to get a ride in Tony's car to save my foot the trek through the subway, but he found out that the valet parking for the hotel didn't allow in and out privlidges, so we all took the subway together. Todd Zino directed us to the F train and I bought a metro card and charged it up for the weekend. My mystery token turned out not to be from NYC after all, may be an old Boston T token. We ended up getting to the Two Boots Pioneer Theatre 15 minutes after the show started, but since it was the very last showing, we went in anyway, and they recapped enough that we were in no way lost. It was a tale loosely based on Red Riding Hood, by the director of Ghost in the Shell. The dialogue was reminiscent of the latter, ie crappy, but the animation was gorgeous and the story was complex enough that I had to talk it out afterwards to get all the twists. The power armour that the special forces unit wore was very sinister, with gas masks and red glowing eye pieces making up the helmet combination, and samurai armour like body armour.

After the show ended, the group scattered, most back to their crash spaces, but some of us grabbed food and liquid at Two Boots Pizza, but only Tony, Whitney and I stayed to eat. We managed to navigate the two blocks over to La Nouvelle Justine where Voltaire was spinning. EdVamp had already arrived, and Rafe was there as well, though Ed confused me by referring to Rafe as the gothic bartender - Nate always has that title in my mind. :) I stayed for a while, glimpsing two of the scantily clad goth boy dancers but they weren't really all that interesting from what I could see, as they got up on stage already mostly naked, and bopped around. I can see that at any given fetish night. :) The music was pretty standard goth/industrial top 40, but it was just what I wanted for hanging out and relaxing on the first night - we were sitting in the smaller room filled with tables, it wasn't nearly as crowded or hot as the room you first came into. Kristin was there was well, and Tony and Whitney and I ended up sharing a cab back to the area of the hotel with her - I jumped out first when we passed near the Habitat (note to self: give T. a few dollars for that ride!) I wish I could have stayed longer, I was enjoying the atmosphere, but I was pooped. The hotel lobby door wasn't locked, but I had to show the guard at the desk my room key to get in. I kept forgetting to pick up a gallon of water and some apples for the room. Was asleep around 2am.

Fri Aug 17

I woke up at 8am, very thirsty. I managed to get back to sleep after drinking a glass of tap water, but ended up waking up again and throwing on clothes to hit the convenience store/deli/market near the hotel - Smiley's I think it was called. I caught the third elevator in the band for the first time, it usually seemed to be on service before this, and it had a very cool copper and silver metallic weave on the walls. I grabbed some peaches, an apple, a very tasty bun with raisins in it, and some water and a whipper snapple for liquid. I took it back to the hotel and ate in my room. I decided that I was in a 50's sort of mood and put on my new black rose brocade capri pants and a diner t-shirt, but didn't quite go so far as to tie a scarf around my neck. :) I got engrossed in Kabuki while eating breakfast but finally managed to tear myself away and head over to the Warwick.

Up to the second floor lobby for the official meet and greet to get my laminate, and ran into Karmen and Uwe hanging out waiting for it to start. While they were downloading the database, we chatted and I caught up with Dok Joy as well. He and Lucy Bond and Cavalorn and I think Simon and Rosi (aka the girl with the orange dreads) arrived in a group. It was cold there due to the air conditioning being turned on too high, a theme for the official events all weekend. The line finally formed to pick up laminates and I got mine from Cliff and Dragon and Carrie - two tapes from the local bands and a free ribbon with my booklet. Not quite up to the Skinny Puppy singles disc I got last year, but I doubt much could be. :) I went back through the line to ask Cliff about seating arrangements in Irving Plaza and he warned me that it was standing room only. I may ask the staff for a folding chair if my foot gets too bad. I sat in on the dark DJ/musician panel since Daniel Meyer (or however you spell it) was on it, but there was a another panel member that dominated the speaking time and it was even colder in there, so I gave up before they were done. At the start there were only about 6-8 of us, but it grew as word percolated through the meet and greet crowd outside the doors. I popped out to the super market up the block to get myself a power bar and more water to stave off hunger pangs, then met and greeted some more. Finally managed to find one person willing to go out for food with me, and Karmen and I hit 56th street in search of the Creperie I'd seen advertised in the booklet. It didn't appear so we settled for Cafe Fonduta and pizza and pasta. It was very quick and quite tasty. We managed to grab the last table before the lunch crowd took over so we were able to eat in peace.

Made it back to the Warwick for the fashion show, tried taking some pix of the very cool dresses as well as of Tony and Whitney, but I'm sure that the flash will have caught the people in front of me instead of the models. Tony looked very elegant in a top hat crowned outfit and Whitney looked like a snow queen in the final bride's gown with what looked like a crown of frosted branches. The PVC ballgown was impressive, and there was a lovely 1920's beaded dress. Tristan was kept busy herding the models to make sure that the shy ones made it all the way to the back so that everyone could see. The absinthe was $10 at the start of the soiree but they reduced it to $8 to bump up sales, I think. Again, it was cold in there, so I decamped as soon as the show was over, chatted with Rat Bastard for a bit. Yosa also arrived on the second floor and a happy court formed around her. :) LisiBlac and Minuit and Miss Jannette arrived together and I was able to congratulate the first two in person. Dr. Frank was also in attendance, and I remember talking with him and LisiBlac at C1. Elly was pointed out to me, as I didn't recognise her yet again with her new hairstyle. One day I'll learn the trick to remembering faces in stead of head coverings, really I will. I had a new person introduce himself (as Kevin) and give me quite a good head rub - it's always the ones who've been bald themselves that do it best. :) I caught f.x. and rufus and Brian and got the info on where they were going for sushi and kareoke, but it was planned for 7:30 and I wanted to get to the concerts on time, plus it seemed to have exploded on them, attendance wise, so I ended up passing on them. I hopped into a taxi back over to my hotel to get ready for the 8pm start at Irving Plaza.

A good thing I left a bit of time to get ready in, as I had my first major clothing crisis in a while. Serves me right for packing too many options. :) I finally settled on a lace and PVC outfit (top and skirt versus corset). I resettled my splint over my fishnets and headed down to grab a cab on Lexington. Apparently giving a cabbie the name of a venue is a recipe for him taking you around the corner and down a street to a hotel instead of stopping at the marquee. Plus he kept an extra dollar for his tip even though I now had to hobble much farther than I should have to get to the door. Grrr. Ah well, it was the only time (that I'm sure of) that a cabbie ripped me off, and I wanted to get inside so I wouldn't miss any of the bands, so I didn't stay to argue. I got there just after 8, around 8:15, and hauled myself up the nice long stairs to get to the second floor concert space. I came in near the stage, but there were entrances from the hall with the merch table all along the side. The opposite side had a bit of a ledge running along it that I ended up sitting on for most of the evening, as there were no chairs on the first floor. There was a bar at the back of the room, under the balcony, and the stairs up were on either side of the bar. I checked out upstairs and was almost kicked out of the VIP area when I headed straight for the chairs there. Ah well, there were a couple of sofas and a ledge that I could lean on and over look the open first floor, so it wasn't too bad. I saw Karmen as I first walked in, she was looking beautiful in a red spider web coat with a very neat hood. Uwe was kind enough to put me up on the aforementioned shelf since I didn't want to jar my foot getting up there, and I stayed up there for the first two bands. The lead singer for Curse was pretty, wore a neat dress, and sang cool lyrics, but the music sucked. Otto's Daughter was very lively, starting off with the lead singer in a shroud, which was shed to reveal a pink rubber top over a pink streamer tutu. She had a German accent and the music was much harsher than Curse, and she was a very spastic sort of dancer. I was looking forward to Neuropublik from the description in the hand book, but the music didn't quite seem to match, and the male lead singer seemed off his game. I managed to get myself down from the shelf and explored the upper level, finding Cossack and Tatiana and hanging out with them for a while (note to self: give Ben his card and tell him to email Cossack). Cossack keeps promising to put up a gallery of shots of me from various Convergences, but the URL never appears. At least I'm not a GBotW! :) I liked Deep Red, the red headed lead singer wore a PVC ballgown and had a good voice. I ran into Hilary/Bathory, Clayton and some of the Toronto gravers who were there specifically to see Snog. xine, James, Ralph, Tony, Whitney were also there forming the Boston contingent. Karmen introduced me to her two friends Darren and James, and the former got me to agree to come by to get my head shaved down to skin tomorrow at 1. I like it fuzzy too much though, and ended up bailing out. A friend of Tetsab's (who I didn't see all weekend) told me of a shooting near the Limelight and the rumour that the opening would be delayed, so I wasn't worried about waiting for the end of the official bands to go over, figuring that Sunshine Blind would probably go on about 1. Snog finally hit the stage, though I was impressed with how quickly the bands got on and off the stage, logistically it was very well pulled off, especially considering there were so many bands in a night. They had lots of energy and were a lot tighter than the previous bands, but they still didn't get any longer of a set, probably due to the firm closing time of Iriving Plaza. I left as they announced it was their last song, around 1am or so, in an effort to not get caught in the crowds jostling for taxis.

I ended up walking over to Limelight, it wasn't all that far in the end. Sola and rufus and f.x were outside when I arrived and I chatted with them for a bit, trying to get directions to find everyone that was left inside. It's no wonder that it took a while to do so, since it was huge in there (a gorgeous converted church with many levels and cubby holes) and I'm pretty sure that they moved. In any case the directions were something like this: go past the vendors room, turn right, then left again and go all the way to the back, and then up a ramp to the right and all the way back and then turn to the left and you should find them. I messed up right away and spent a good while just wandering around the space. I ran into Michelle from Toronto and she sent me up to the top to check out the Giger room. Recognised Dok Joy's legs propped up on a foot stool and stopped to talk with him for a while in the acquarium room. Found the Giger room but it didn't really make an impression since I was searching for people not decor elements. I think I found the punk room, but no sign of any one I knew. I found JV, and Rat Bastard and kest helped me look as well, and finally Sio jumped up behind me as I was hanging out before the ramp up to the hidden punk room. Voltaire was hanging with some friends of his at the booth behind us, but we seemed to form the nucleus of a net.goth contingent. Pan said hi on his way past and bye on his way out, but that was all that I saw of him all weekend. EdVamp took off soon after I found everyone. It turned out that the club had opened on time after all, and Sunshine Blind had played at 12:30, an hour before I arrived. Dammit. I did get a bit of a chance to chat with Erika and Miss Janette. Bob Rosenburg found me and we got a chance to catch up as well, both being a bit floored by the fact that it had been almost two years since we'd seen each other, at Hallowmas. I ran into Ralph as we were both trying to stand under an air conditioning port - it was very hot and crowded in there. I eventually gave up around 4am, and Sio and I walked to the subway were I caught a cab back to my hotel. I needed water at that point, but the vending machines on the fourth floor were out of it, so I settled for a can of iced tea. Was asleep by 4:30am.

Sat Aug 18

I woke briefly at 9am, but when I woke for good, the clock radio said 1:15pm - I'd apparently, before going to bed the night before, managed to set the alarm for midnight, not noon. Oops. Called Darren's room and gave a message to his room mate apologising for missing 1pm, but he was at the Goblin Market and they were going to all be going out for crepes at Sara Best soon anyway. Siobhan rang as I was trying to wake up fully, and she agreed to meet me at my hotel for breakfast, and try to round up JV as well. I took a shower and was just putting on my stripy tights when Siobhan knocked on my door, so I finished getting ready and then we headed out to 56th to a deli for breakfast. What an adventure. We had a cross eyed short order cook that mixed up our orders (we ended up with our toast switched), forgot her bacon, made me an ommlette instead of scrambled eggs, forgot my tea, and had to go down to the basement to find strawberry jam. We finally managed to get some sort of meal, and settled at a table there to eat it out of tin foil wrappings. I grabbed some grapefruit juice as well as water to start the day long process of keeping hydrated. We ambled on over to the Warwick and went up to the second floor to try and check out the Goblin Market, but they wouldn't let anyone without a laminate past the doors. Bugger. I took a quick peek around to see if I could spot anyone, apologised to Darren in person (his room mate hadn't passed on the message) and then back to sit with Sio in the anteroom. We gave Matt and Jak a call and decided to go to the Cloisters picnic that the C7 rescue squad had organised. We hung out in the lobby trying to gather more people to go with us, Tony and Whitney had other plans already, but Mic joined us (from Tampa, never asked if he knew anyone I knew down south).

The E line wasn't running, so we ended up trekking through street fairs (the honey roasted nuts were divine) and punishing heat to get to Columbus circle to grab the express A line north to Tynon Park (?) - 190th street in any case. I had Mic take a picture of us at the entry to the subway to chronicle the end of our ordeal. :) Chris and Michelle from Toronto were just leaving, and we ran into them at the other end of the subway, but they gave us directions for finding the group, and let us know that the museum proper had closed. Jak helped me get down the fairly steep hill that was between us and the picnic, and we stopped to ooh and aah at the gorge that held a road running down to the coast. We had a nice view of the river from there as well. We ran the gauntlet of a huge family picnic and finally found our kids on the slope by the Cloisters proper. JV and Scary Lady Sarah and Mel and EdVamp and Lisa F and lots more people were there, including a juggler. It was very very relaxing, we flopped down on the grass and random people offered to share their snacks with us. It was warm and quiet and the air was clean. Bliss. We arrived around 5:30, the museum had closed at 5 or 5:15, but we did take a walk around the building to admire the architecture. At around 7 we decided to head back to get ready for the evening. JV forgot his backpack, and didn't realise it until we were at the subway. Lisa had dashed and made the subway that was pulling in as we entered the station (taking the huge elevator down from the ground level) but we just missed it. Since JV and SLS and Mel and Jak were going to wander around St. Mark's for a while, JV and Jak ran back to get the bag and the others waited for them above, taking advantage of their unlimited ride passes. Since I was tired and had to pay off of my card for each ride, I went with the group heading back downtown. Mic and I got off at Columbus Circle and I walked back to my hotel from there, stopping in at a drug store to grab some more medication for my foot and water and film and a couple of energy bars to keep me going.

I finally made it back to my room at 8:30 or so, changed into my simple black empire waist dress, keeping the stripy tights on underneath since it would be too much hassle to change with the splint and headed right back out. This time I gave the cabbie the actual address of Irving Plaza and was let out right in front of it. I made it at 9, missing the fashion show completely. The line up of bands seemed to have settled back into the configuration that I had a record of, but I'd mostly come early to see Kerry's band? Kelly's? James and xine were staying with another member of the band and were impressed with the music so I wanted to hear them. Ah well, I ended up staying after Coil to see them in any case. Mirror Reveals was okay, but I really liked Claire Voyant. There was a bit of a pause while Coil set up. Greg Clow found me as I was hanging out on the balcony - it was easier for me to keep moving rather than try to stand in one place with my foot - and gave me the low down about the VIP section - no bar in there at all, no strippers and no drugs. I was crushed. :) Turned out that I'd been calling his work number and gave it to Sio when we tried to get in touch with him earlier, so no wonder there was no answer. I talked with Michelle from Toronto and Ralph and Amy (?) from Boston and Erika and Dave from Toronto upstairs, and directed Greg to them when I saw him again. There were rumours that Trent Reznor was present (Correction from Greg Clow: He was *supposed* to be there, but his grandmother is ill, so he was with his family in Ohio.), and Ken (from Charlotte, who ended up knowing TSM) spotted a guy from Foetus in the crowd. Apparently Nothing Records had an extensive guest list. Coil played about what I was expecting, an ambient noise set. St. Eve had a husky voiced female singer and two dancers on the stage with them, and sounded more like a rock band to me. Anathema Device was almost a hard rock kind of band, very energetic. There were only about 50 people left after Coil finished, back to the level of the start of Friday night. While they were playing everyone was packed into the area near the stage.

I left during Anathema Device's last song and took a taxi to Albion/Batcave/Downtime/whatever the hell it's called these days. Michelle from Detroit ended up getting into my taxi as I was getting out of it and we promised each other to catch up at the Ball the next day, and she directed me to Sio. Again, it was hot and crowded in the club, and I was glad that I'd brought my fan. Apparently most everyone who'd left after Coil had ended up there and there was another influx after the other two bands were done. After some searching around I managed to find people I knew, talking with Sola and Jak a bit (more head rubs, whee!). Carrie arrived sometime in there as well. I tried to find EdVamp, since he had the room number at the Warwick in which a party was going to be held, but no luck even though I searched all over the top two floors. Got a passing compliment on my hair style, apparently it's not a common one in NYC either. I found BlackZ sitting with f.x and rufus and Sola and co and we chatted for a while, again resolving to meet up the next day and talk some more at Pan's bbq. I was getting a touch freaked out by the crowds (wow, just realised something, this was my first convergence in a while sans panic attack - yay me. :) ) and the heat and was just generally tired, so I grabbed a cab back to the Warwick, with Tony and Ali from Boston after I twisted their arms to keep partying. I ended up at Darren and James' absinthe party, where the latter played drunken host to perfection, but not quite to Tony and Ali's entertainment so they wandered off for a while. Ed showed up from another party, and Becky and kest and I settled in the corner of the room. A third room mate came back after a while and was not pleased about the crowd in the room, and ended up going off someplace else to sleep. I helped support the sugar fork for some absinthe pouring, but I was getting very faint from hunger, so grabbed a taxi home, arriving around 5am. Snacked on the bar I'd secreted away and collapsed into bed.

Sun Aug 19

Managed to drag myself out of bed at 11am or so, showered and went out to get more water. It was raining just a bit, so I popped into the deli on the corner, grabbed a salad and headed home to eat and grab a brolly. Turned out that the clerk had only given me a knife in the packet she put in my bag, so I ended up eating it with my fingers. The kiwi and mango were divine. I went out again with my umbrella, stopped to grab a packet of pens since both mine had run dry at the same time, and continued on to the Warwick. I browsed around the Goblin Market, nothing caught my eye since my credit card and I avoided the Middle Pillar table, and settled in on a couch in the entry way to update my journal a bit while waiting for Gabriel to come down and meet me for tea at 1. She was down early to browse the market as well, and we ended up getting out of the cab at the Wild Lily tea room at 1 exactly. It was further down town at West 22nd St, and not very preposessing as we pulled up to it. But inside there was a round pond set in the floor as we walked into the narrow space, wooden square tables with high backed wooden chairs and soothing music. The menus were printed on hand made paper with flowers pressed into the pages. They had rock sugar on the table to add to our tea, I had the Sunday afternoon blend and scones with clotted cream and jam. Delicious. We sat for a fair time, chatting over/under the voices of the voluble French group that came in after us. For some reason the bathroom really impressed me, even though it wasn't done in the same style as the rest of the building. It had brushed aluminum walls instead of exposed brick, and brushed metal fixtures, except for the porcelain handles with F and C on them instead of C and H. A candle was burning and scented the room with a lovely lavender aura. Anyway. :) We finished up our tea, from the delicate china cups, and separated at the corner, I off to the Warwick via taxi to catch the Ceremony at 3, and Gabriel off on foot for more shopping.

f.x was outside the hotel when I arrived, waiting for Siobhan to pick her up for the drive to Jersey and Pan's bbq. I said hi to her and then headed upstairs to try and find out what the super secret Ceremony was. There was a woman handing out flyers near the entrance to the room it was to be held in and upon getting one I found out that it was going to be a magic show. Decided that I'd skip it and go to the BBQ instead, so I found f.x. again and got an update on what was happening. I talked to Cliff and Carrie a while at the vending table (picked up a C7 t-shirt since I liked the design - I really really should have been buying them all along but this and C4 are the only ones I have) - she's moving to Boston so I gave her my contact info so I could be a resource for her. While waiting for Sio to drive from her hotel downtown, I had time to go to the supermarket to get a muffin for a snack, Jak made it back from her hotel via subway and walking, we say Lucy Bond and Yosa go by heading to the makeup store and they came back before the bbq crowd left as well. Siobhan had ended up stuck in traffic for hours, and didn't arrive until 5pm. We had sat outside the hotel, observing comings and goings and chatting with people for a while. Sola called before she got on the train to Jersey and after she'd arrived at Pan's, still no Sio. But by the time she got there, she needed some time to sit and decompress, so she threw her car in the parking garage across the way and we all migrated to the bar in the Warwick. Cavalorn, Lady B, purp, EdVamp, Kelly from Buffalo, f.x., kest, Rat Bastard, Sio and a few others hung out there until 6. At that point I decided that I wanted to get to the ball at a decent time and bailed. They ended up getting stuck in traffic again on the way there, and kest at least only ended up staying an hour before having to leave to catch the last train back. The Las Vegas bid committee was having a mascot naming contest in the bar as we were there, and Ed's suggestion of Sparky was drawn by the bartender - who'd been at the ball with very neato falcon type wings that extended a few feet on either side of him.

I decided that it was high time that I treated myself to some sushi, and headed off towards and then past my hotel to a restaurant called Sushi Rose that I'd liked the description of in Zagat's. Turned out they were closed, but the one beside it was open and at the same price point, so I went there instead. The tables were close together, I heard all about how the woman beside me grew up in NC with Nascar and football and country music and being forced to go the races all the time with her dad, where the crowd would buy fried chicken and throw the picked clean bones over the heads of the people lower down in the bleachers to the bone pile at the base. The gentleman on my other side quietly read his paper. My miso soup settled very quickly, I had to keep stirring it, but the nigiri was quite good, and very substantial. I wandered in a post sushi food coma back to my hotel, arriving around 8, the advertised start of the Cyber Faerie ball. I ended up not having the time to cobble together the beetle costume that I wanted to make (just by adding PVC wings to my corset) so I settled for PVC pants, corset sans wings with a green flowy silk poet shirt underneath it. I threw a wrap over it for modesty's sake, no idea what sort of neighbourhood the Roxy'd be in, and caught a cab down.

Waved my laminate at the girl guarding the entrance and navigated the huge stairs up to the main floor. Tiger Lee (who's photography I'd admired during the bazaar) was sitting on them waiting for people as I made my way up. The main room was huge, and there were two more tucked around it. Wooden dance floor, white curtains cutting off the back of it to form a couch filled lounge roofed by more white curtains, then another bar and more couches behind that. Large high backed curved seats cupped the dance floor, and a free standing bar greeted people when they came in, with more couches behind, and the stairs up to a room with another DJ beside that. Hilary was looking all cyber fairy with glowing wings and UV reflective bodice, and Dok Joy looked good as well in UV reflective straps over his white dress, but they were disappointed by the complete lack of black lights in the venue. I took a picture of Hilary at the bar with her friends and lots more over the course of the night, especially of Karmen. My flash indicator seemed to be busted so I'm sure that there are a lot of black frames on that roll. Yosa looked great as a can-can dancer, and I spent some time talking with Ken and Jameson from Charlotte, as well as Michelle from Detroit, and Tony introduced me to more of the Montreal contingent, so I finally have some names (Frank and Mathieu) to put to the faces that I see of often. Talked to Kevin a bit as well, and Michelle and Chris from Toronto. Erika and Dave and Miss J. and Sola and kest and rufus and f.x. arrived close to 1:30 or so, but at 2am they confused us all by clearing out the lounge and upper rooms and turning on bright lights. The music was still going, no explanation, so we hung out waiting for one. I grabbed a seat near the dance floor to rest my foot for a bit, and Ken went off to find out from the DJ what was up. I tried to save him a seat when a couple came and sat on the same bench between me and the guy with the really cool metal mechanical wings, but this might have been my first mistake. A friend of theirs came to talk to them, and stayed standing up. I kept shifting to keep my foot safe, but I became distracted for a moment and he backed up right onto my bad joint. After some screaming, uncontrolled sobbing, hyperventilating and the like (to say it hurt is a pale shadow of the excruciating pain that I was in) I managed to ask them to get me some ice for the swelling, water for me, and napkins to wipe up the tears. They were all very apologetic and helpful and the guy with the wings offered his hand as a lifeline. I wished that one of my own friends was around, but I didn't have the energy to even look around at that point. I was shivering and in shock for at least an hour after it happened, but at least it was right at the end of the night. The house lights came on at 2:30, still with no explanation of how the "wee hours of the morning" meant that early this night when every other night we'd stayed out until at least 4. Rat Bastard helped me down the exit stairs, rickety metal ones not the ones I'd come up. Since they'd kicked everyone out at the same time, the competition for cabs was fierce. Rosi was a bit sick and had the first one commandeered for her by the Britgoth contingent and Lady B, and the rest of us trudged over to the cross street to try and flag others down. Ken ended up carrying me so I wouldn't have to walk, and eventually managed to grab a cab for Jameson and me, but we were sharing it with guy with metal wings and there was no room for Tiger Lee who we'd offered to make a foursome with to get to the hotel. He'd just taken a really cool picture of some tarted up girls with a semi blasting past them on the street, I really want to see the print of that one. He managed to make it to the hotel in an alternate cab and I apologised to him when he showed up. We left our cab mate near his home on Bleeker and 6th, and then tooled up 6th to the hotel.

We took the elevator up to the second floor and when it opened, it was a sea of cyber goths that greeted us. A ton of people seemed to have beaten us back and the hotel had allowed us to take over the public rooms there for our afterparty. The committee provided some of their alcohol stock, for a small donation, and we just kept going. I settled on the step near the men's washroom, diligently keeping my foot out of harms way (yeah, a bit late). Karmen and Ken both got me pain killers, but I ended up taking hers since she promised it would be non drowsy. Ken got me a seat with Tatiana and Cossack when I lost my seat after a visit to the powder room, and I perched there for the rest of the evening. Mathieu and the Montreal goths had a bottle of champagne that one of their number had gotten from MusiquePlus when David Bowie had left it behind during an appearance there, so I had a sip of that - my only drink all weekend, but it was worth it. :) I talked with him a bit about software dev and QA and made sure I got his contact info for my next trip to Montreal. I eventually had to say my good byes just after 5, I couldn't stay awake any longer, and made sure I threw out my cup and an extra bag floating around on my way out. Gathered hugs and goodbye's and a double cheek kiss from Mathieu that brought back fond memories of the same when I first met Casper. Talked briefly with James-Darren's-roommate on the way out and Mathieu and I defended Canada's honour, mostly, when the subject of Montreal's C8 bid came up. I left before anything regrettable could be said. :) Ken was my crutch, making sure I made it back to my hotel okay. I ended up being too keyed up to sleep once I got in, and packed my suitcase ready for the next day. In bed at 6:40am, with the sun rising behind the curtains.

Mon Aug 20

I half woke before my alarm went off (properly set for 11am so I could check out at noon), still half caught in a dream in which Uwe needed me to open the room door, but I was putting on UV reflective strapping and a spider with blinky lights came through the window and settled on my head. I almost opened the door before I was fully awake, but managed to resist and fell back into bed until 11. Had a quick shower and dressed in a t-shirt and leggings to be comfy on the train ride home. I checked out, at about 11:30, glad I'd packed the night before, since the check out line was only two people long at that time. I left my bag in the storage room on street level and wandered over to the Warwick to find someone to have breakfast with. It was very hot and humid outside. I settled in a chair in the lobby between the revolving door and the desk. Kest and Rat Bastard showed up, bags in hand, RB to wait until he had to take off home, kest to store hers for a while then to go off to another borough for the day. We sped the departing convergencites home with waves and hugs and the occasional kiss. RB turned out to know Ken's ex-girlfriend in NC, very small world. Krista from Michigan showed up to take part in the shopping trip, Michelle from Toronto out to do shopping w/o the group. Cliff and the band liason (Joseph Max?) were hanging about also, and we found out that C7 had made all it's bar guarantees. I had called Tony and Whitney's room when I arrived just before noon, found out their check out wasn't until 1, but I ended up being there until they came down anyway. Kest and I tried to get them to join us for breakfast/brunch/food of some sort, but Tony took the car out of the garage to load it up and couldn't find parking space for it in any case. I was getting hungry at this point so we played cell phone tag as we tried to find the breakfast place that I remembered seeing the other day on the way to the Cloisters. It never made an appearance and we ended up over on 7th at a place kest had gone to already. I had a very expensive half a cantaloup, but it was fresh and juicy so I wasn't too upset about it, and some okay french toast to satisfy my weekend long craving. Kest descended into the subway to make her way to a museum and I went back to the hotel to hang out in the lobby until it was time for me to grab my bags and head to Penn.

I was going to go straight back to the hotel and not subject myself to more departures, but there were no taxis running along 54th before I made it there, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to pop my head in. Turned out to have been a good call, since the sofa grouping in the corner was taken over by people I knew, so I perched and hung out for a bit with Dok, Simon, Rosi Aconite, EdVamp, Lady B and purp. It was sad-making to hear all the see you next year's or see you at Whitby's floating around, but reassuring as well, we wouldn't lose touch. Ed was also going to Penn around the same time as I was, so we shared a cab at 3:30, with a very oblivious driver, first to my hotel so I could grab my bags out of storage, then over to his ditto, then to Penn. Cheaper than either of us taking one by our self once we'd split it. He dashed off to catch the 4:10 LIRR to his house, and I made my way to the Amtrak waiting area. Had time to grab a water and a bagel, and settle in to watch the board for my track announcement, for the 4:30 one to Boston. It ended up being about a half hour late in all, and the escalator was broken to get down to the tracks, so I held everyone up while I limped down with my suitcase. I then walked a few cars back and found a mostly empty car, but of course sat in front of a guy who insisted on humming and singing all the way to Boston. Even audible over my CD player with head phones. *sigh* Of course I didn't' want to struggle with my suitcase again to move, so I just tried to doze and block him out. I was very tired and crank at this point and got annoyed when he kept leaning on the back of my chair to lever himself up. This train was a lot more modern than the one I'd taken down, but it was cold enough that I ended up dragging my rain coat out of my suitcase's front pocket and putting it on so I'd stop shivering. I was bled for a fruit plate and some water from the cafe car, and made a dinner of those plus the bagel once I got hungry. I was surprised by the time we made it to Boston, it felt like an even shorter trip than the one out, having to scramble to get my stuff since I'd been reading and missed the announcement that we were stopping. The train didn't get in until 10 though, and we were supposed to be there by 8:40. I was very tired and out of it, made it home by 11pm or so, and just fell into bed, not even unpacking.

Overall, had a good time, but it was all to spread out. If I talked to you or hung out with you and didn't mention it here, my apologies, it was a full weekend and I got tired of racking my brain and typing. :)

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