So the first ever Hello Kitty Con was held in Los Angeles this weekend.
And guess what?
I boarded a plane at 6:30 a.m. our time and was standing in line at the Geffen Building at the Museum of Contemporary Art by 9:30 a.m. LA time. The four-day event was was completely sold out, so I felt very fortunate.
I have never seen anything like this.
As I drove around trying to find a parking garage, this bus was the first thing I saw. So I knew for sure I was in the right neighborhood.
I mean…how cute is that?
But before we get into the convention and art exhibit, can we talk about the people??? I attended on Halloween, so I was expecting a bit of weirdness. But I think this would’ve happened without the holiday.
I can honestly say that, while I love Hello Kitty, I’ve got nothing on these people. They take fandom to a whole different level. (Please forgive the varying quality of the photos; I was going back and forth between phone and camera in a big crowd and it got messy.)
While people-watching accounted for at least half of my time, I saw some really cool stuff once I picked my jaw up off the floor. There were games, activities, food trucks, art classes, lectures, tons of Hello Kitty-specific vendors, displays and all kinds of stuff. Total overload. I even got a selfie with Hello Kitty herself. It’s a crap photo that was taken in very low light by some lady who was kind enough to snap it for me; I won’t be sharing. But I got a hug from her. So I was happy.
I also got to see Yuko Yamaguchi, Hello Kitty’s head designer.
But I loved, loved the Hello Kitty Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. Two floors of products, history, art, and sculpture. Although I have to admit that I was a bit disturbed by how many of the items in the cases that I currently or have owned in the past.
But this is the product that started it all. This little plastic coin purse from 40 years ago.
I’m only posting the tiniest glimpse of this impressive exhibit. It was amazing. While I was wandering through the museum, the exhibit’s curator was being interviewed by a news crew. So that was cool. I got to hear her thoughts and details of the process of collecting all of the items that I was able to view. It was kind of like a personal tour. Only I was totally eavesdropping while trying to stay out of the camera frame.
At the end of the day, surprisingly, I purchased very little. For one thing, the lines were waaaayyyy too long. No way was I going to spend my entire day waiting in line to shop. But I don’t think I would’ve purchased much even if I had endured the wait. I was really just happy to be there to experience it all. It’s the most frivolous thing I’ve ever done for myself. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Truly this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
More photos from my weekend adventure will follow tomorrow.
By the way, I read today that there is a Cat Con to be held in LA in 2015. Guess what? I’m gonna pass. Pretty sure I’m all LA and Conned out.