A couple of weeks late, but better now than never.
Con Nooga is a small multi-fandom convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It celebrated it’s third year on February 19-21. I’ve actually been to every Con Nooga up until this point, not something I can say about many other cons.
The unique thing about the convention is its location: the Chattanooga Choo Choo. It’s a historic train station converted into a hotel. Well, technically, it’s more of a campus with three hotel buildings and meeting spaces scattered about. A large portion is very scenic with gardens and trains serving as restaurants and hotel rooms, but the far back end is mostly parking lots with a lone building housing the dealer room/artist alley.
The MTAC/GMX booth this year was in the Pennsylvania Station building, where all the anime content was held. The building seems to typically serve as a bar and lounge, so it doesn’t have the best set up for panels. We didn’t get much traffic, but I must admit it was the most comfortable booth we ever had.
This year, I got to experience some of the con’s night-time programming. Friday night saw Leather and Lace Fashion Show, which showcased a variety of adult fetish clothing and accessories and acts, some interesting and some awkward. Saturday, I got roped into a shibari panel hosted by a friend of mind. Not really my thing, not just because I suck at knots. Heck, afterward I was surprised I knew how to tie my shoes.
Con Nooga exemplified a point I think every traveling congoer should follow: take some time to check out the city of the convention. I find myself going to conventions in a variety of towns, some even in the same town in completely different parts. All of these cities have their own uniqueness that should be observed.
In Chattanooga this year, we walked around some of the surrounding blocks of the convention, checking out the local sites. Chattanooga has been under some urban redevelopment for the last few years. Some seems still ongoing, with a dilapidated building across from a renovated breakfast restaurant (with really good Greek omelets and pancakes) and a nice neighborhood.
Chattanooga seems to be on a good track, especially with their electric city buses with wi-fi connections, which just so happen to be FREE (Step up, Nashville).
Overall, Con Nooga was a nice, relaxing con. All I mostly did was hang out with friends and enjoy the show and the sights. Good times.
(For more photos, visit my Flickr account)