I’m not going to do a big recap of MoCCA, since many others will do a better job of it than I would, but I just wanted to add a few thoughts to the discussion of the new venue. There have been some very strong reactions to the Armory, mostly negative. The two specific complaints worth noting:
- The Armory is ugly and looks like a gym.
- The Armory is oppressively hot and lacks air conditioning.
Both of these complaints are entirely accurate, and should certainly be taken into consideration in choosing next year’s venue. But I would like to offer a couple of counterpoints to these complaints:
- The Armory is much easier to navigate than The Puck Building. I wasn’t exhibiting this year, and spent all my time wandering the aisles—which I was able to do at my own pace, without getting bogged down in narrow, clogged walkways. This made browsing much more pleasant than it was in the tight aisles of the old venue. And it was also very easy to find out of the way corners to have a conversation or pull up a spot of floor to sit and eat your lunch. I find tight crowds very stressful—the new location was much easier on me in this regard.
- The Armory wasn’t any hotter than the upstairs portion of The Puck Building, which suffered a terrible greenhouse effect. Yes, it was wonderfully pretty up there, but it came at a price.
- Food was readily and easily available. More than anything else, the thing that frustrated me about The Puck Building was that it took me forever to figure out where I could get a quick meal that was both good and cheap. At the Armory, finding a great sandwich was as easy as crossing the street. I had a terrific Cuban hero at Latin Thing on Saturday, and an odd but tasty Asian-fusion pork sandwich at Baogette on Sunday. Both were affordable, fast, and easy to find, and I heard rumor of other wonderful places I could have tried if I’d just gone one more block around the corner. Food options are a vital consideration, and The Armory has it all over The Puck Building on that count.