Castle Point Anime Convention is a 2-day con in Hoboken, NJ organized by the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Anime Club. This year marks their 10th annual convention. It was my first year at CPAC, and I was only able to attend on Sunday. Luckily for me, Sunday was the bigger day! On Saturday, the con doesn’t start until 2pm.
First things first: how did I travel to CPAC? I considered the NJ Transit bus or the PATH subway, but I decided on the PATH subway. Unfortunately, my unlimited ride MetroCard didn’t work for the PATH, so I had to fill up money on a refillable MetroCard. The PATH was a bit confusing to me, but I spotted cosplayers that I followed. I also took my family friend and her daughter to their second con, CPAC! (I also took them to their first con, which was NJIT Minicon.) Walking from the PATH station to the campus for the con was really easy; it was literally a straight line.
At the con, I went to the 3rd floor bathroom to change into my cosplay. I got a tip from someone who had been to the con before that the 3rd floor bathroom was nice and roomy — and she was right! The open space by the sinks was perfect for getting into cosplay, and I wasn’t alone there. A bunch of other people were changing cosplays there too! In terms of cosplays represented, I loved seeing the diversity of cosplays. Even though it was an anime con, I saw many other fandoms: comics, video games, movies, and more. I noticed Miraculous Ladybug, Voltron, Star Wars, and more. Of course, there were people wearing casual clothes or J-fashion too.
There was a free photo studio at CPAC, which was great! It was a long wait in line to get into the studio, but once in, it was a fun and painless shoot. I could tell that the photographers took their time with their models; no one was being rushed.
Besides the official photo studio at the con, there were tons of photoshoots happening all over the campus. Inside, outside, with cell phones, point-and-shoot cameras, and DSLRs. Some photographers at the con pulled out all the shots! I saw lighting equipment set-up, reflectors, and more. There were plenty of pretty places to take photos at outside. One area even had a beautiful view of the NYC skyline and waterfront!
If you know me, you’ll know that I easily get lost… I definitely appreciated the many signs outside with arrows pointing directions to the various buildings. It was chilly outside, so I regret not keeping my jeans on. Since I was in a ballgown, I could have kept my jeans on but I forgot. It was windy, but at least it wasn’t rainy. Location of the campus was nice because there were different options for food. If you didn’t want to eat on campus, you could take a short walk off campus to eat somewhere in town. For lunch, I had packed a sandwich in my bag so that’s what I ate. For dinner though, I walked to Panera in town with other cosplayers I met. The attendees were definitely really friendly, and it was easy to meet other people. There were people of all ages: from 10 to 60! Probably some younger and some older too.
For me, the most memorable part of CPAC was the Dealers’ Room and Artist Alley. For a con of its small size, I was shocked by the size of this room. So many vendors and artists! It was amazing. I also found Daiya no Ace merchandise (which I’m obviously always on the lookout for)/ I even got an Ita bag! There was also tons of idol anime merchandise (saw lots of iDOLM@STER and Love Live!) and K-Pop stuff too, even though I didn’t buy any of them. It was really fun window-shopping though! If I bought everything I wanted to buy, I’d be so broke. I’m sure other con attendees understand this struggle.
CPAC definitely exceeded my expectations, and I hope I can attend for both days in 2018. It was a ton of fun, and there were good vibes all around!