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DragonCon
Dragoncon Tips, part two :) (edited for liquor and tobacco info and additional info) 
27th-Aug-2010 05:15 pm
Nine loves science fiction by omgwtf42
The first set of my D*C tips is here:

http://community.livejournal.com/dragoncon/2430029.html#cutid1

Here's the second set, taken from all the great tips that I asked for, under the cut.

Thanks so much for all the tips, folks, and keep 'em coming! :)

One major rule that should assist you in most any situation is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
In other words, politeness and common sense will go a long way to making your con experience more enjoyable, not just for you, but for everyone else. :)

Please do not STOP in the breezeways/skywalks, except for an emergency! If you see a friend heading in the other direction, do not STOP to chat! Turn and walk w/ them, or say something like, "Call me!". Do not STOP for photo opps! Go w/ the person you want to photograph, leave and get clear of the skywalk and THEN take the photo. Of course this applies in reverse, if you are the costumer. :) Above all, do not impede the traffic flow in the skywalks! At best, you will have dirty looks aimed in yr direction or get cussed out. At worst, someone may walk into you. And, don't run in the skywalks, or any time in a crowd, unless it is an emergency.

Note for 2013: the Walk of Fame is being moved to the Marquis Ballroom in the Marriott Marquis.

Also, the Dealers' Rooms are now at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart, Building 2, floors 1 and 2. This is located two blocks west of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta and one block north of the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Street level approach is to enter at the corner doors, walk toward the back, take the escalator up one floor and enter.



ETA: Important info about alcohol and tobacco products.

I live north of Atlanta, so I don't really know much about downtown. :) I go downtown once a year for D*C, and occasionally to places like the Fox Theatre and the Shakespeare Tavern. So someone else will have to answer the reasonable bar question. :)

However, in past years I have noted a couple of package stores (beer and wine only) or liquor stores (beer, wine, and liquor) near the hotels. I can't say if either or both of these stores are just package or also liquor (we have some quaint liquor laws here in GA), as I have only passed by them.

One shop is across the street from the Sheraton's front entrance (the one closest to the Hilton). You would be heading west. It's got a hilly parking lot.

The other is catty-cornered from the Hyatt, sort of in a north-west direction. It's on a street heading west amongst some other store fronts. If the Chinese restaurant (w/ bland food and slow service) is still there, I think it's right next door. If you are walking up Peachtree to the Hyatt Place hotel, you will almost pass by this shop.

There's the usual flashing neon signs. :)

Watch out for the panhandlers!

Both places looked rather dodgy at a glance. :(

About those liquor laws. No liquor in a bottle/can in a shop can be sold after 11 PM, Monday through Sunday. No liquor of any sort is sold out of a store on a holiday, unless it's in a place that also serves food. The bars in the hotels serve some bar food, so that's why they can be open on Sundays and serve liquor by the drink. :) More info here: http://alcohollaws.org/georgiaalcohollaws.html (although this site needs updating).

Many cities in GA, among them the city of Atlanta, have voted to allow package stores to sell alcohol on Sundays. :)

Like everywhere else, you must show picture ID that you are 21 or over. Everyone gets carded, no matter how old you look, most of the time.

Please don't use a fake ID to buy liquor, or if you are 21 and over, don't buy liquor for minors. Not only can that get you busted and fined by the APD, the person who served/sold it to you gets busted, fined, and probably loses their job, also the store/bar/restaurant gets fined heavily and can lose their liquor license, and therefore goes out of business. :(

And if you're drinking at the bars, be sure and tip well. You will get better and faster service that way. :) But then, y'all knew that already. ;)

One more thing: You must be 18 or over to buy tobacco products. You must show picture ID. I can't remember the last time I saw a ciggie vending machine, except in a bar. Most grocery stores sell cigs behind the customer service area, like at Publix, and big box stores usually don't sell them (Wal-mart is an exception, and it usually has one special register line open for tobacco sales). Gas stations still sell tobacco and beer/wine if they have a shop, like QuickTrip or Raceway/Racetrack.


1) from strawberrysgirl on grocery stores and drugstores downtown:

Groceries and drugstores downtown are surprisingly rare.

Atlantic Station has a Publix and Target. Take Marta (red/gold northbound) to Arts Center and wait for the free Atlantic Station shuttle, which will ll take you there. It's the one closest to Tech.

Walgreens' website shows that there's one at 595 Piedmont Avenue, which is a jaunt of about 3-4 blocks from North Avenue station. It's in a shopping center with a Publix, but it's kind of far for someone to walk there.

Downtown is kind of a desert for practical places like that unless you have a car or are willing to make a big trip of it. :( Stock up AHEAD OF TIME!

1a) from griffindorgirl on a CVS near the hotels:

There is a CVS at at 235 Peachtree Street NE. It is right at the Peachtree Center. This location is perfect for D*Con goers. It is centrally located next to the con hotel of the Hyatt Regency. It will be a great place to pick up emergency medical supplies (band aids and blister pads, for example) and snack food and cokes.

1b) more info on the CVS:

Their hours are 7:00am - 10:00pm 7 days a week. Their phone number is 404-577-4054. They are where the Brooks Brothers store was located. No alcohol sales. They do have some groceries.

1b) from xenite99 on another Publix:

595 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308-2478

It is less than a mile walk from the Hilton.

(Some one give me MARTA bus info and I'll add it in.)

2) from strawberrysgirl on MARTA:

The D*C Progress Report has the wrong cost for Marta fares; it is now $2 a way and if you want to buy a paper ticket they add 25 cents. For a plastic re-loadable card, that'll be $5 plus whatever fare, and I think they run some sort of deal on that.

ETA: Breeze card is 50 cents extra, unless there has been another price increase.

3) New for 2011 and on: you must have your postcard with the barcode on it. Otherwise, you will have to go to the Solutions line.

4) from maypanic on access for the disabled:

Be kind to the disabled, even the ones who don't look that way. LOTS of people have invisible disabilities that severely hamper them even though they look fine. Being at a con is exhausting even for the able bodied, for the disabled it's definitely a challenge. Be aware of people in wheelchairs, many of them have to rent a wheelchair for the weekend for stamina issues and aren't used to operating them, so they may have difficulty cornering and maneuvering. Don't stand directly in front of a person in a wheelchair at any time, unless you have a REALLY nice bum and they've specifically asked to see it better. ;) Don't climb over them, push them out of the way, or get angry if you were walking too close and got your toes run over.

5) from maypanic on leaving tips for housekeeping:

You should always tip housekeeping a few dollars every day, rather than a lump sum at the end of your visit. {This is for those who have housekeeping come in every day, and change sheets and towels, and vacuum!}
Usually there will be different housekeepers in on weekdays vs weekends, and especially different staff each day over a holiday weekend, so no one has to work the whole holiday. Leaving a large tip just at the end is like only tipping the waiter at the last restaurant you eat at. :)
If the hotel doesn't provide a special envelope for tips, write a note saying "For housekeeping, thanks!" or something and put the money in that so they will know for certain that it's for them.

6) from maypanic on sewing kits:

If it would be inconvenient to carry an emergency sewing kit - a costume with no pockets, perhaps - you can pin several safety pins to an inside hem of your costume. That way they are there if you need them, you don't have to dig and hunt in your purse or pockets to find them, and they are out of sight.

7) from jeffs_page on prescription meds:

If you carry your prescription meds with you, definitely have a copy of the 'script OR see if your pharmacy will give you a smaller bottle with the label on it. Don't just put your pain meds into a blank bottle. Same with OTC meds. Get a small travel sized bottle of Advil (or whatever) to carry. If you need to refill with a larger bottle, do it in your room each night. Start taking your Vitamin C NOW! Con crud is not a good way to end a great weekend.

8) from jeffs_page on cell phones:

(I can't believe that I forgot this one!)
Phones on vibrate in panel rooms and ballrooms please. : )

I will also add that when you need to take a call, get the heck out of the traffic flow! Most people slow down their walking when they answer their phones, and this can cause all sorts of problems in the crowded conditions of the con. Also, common courtesy: if you are on a panel or talking to a celebrity, don't answer your phone until you can duck away.

9) from jeffs_page on costumes:

Elaborate costumes on escalators can be dangerous. If you have a large costume, it's a good idea to have a handler with you. {I add that you need a handler for any costume you have difficulty walking in, esp. if your vision/hearing are impeded in any way!}

10) from jeffs_page on backpacks:

If you carry a backpack, there should be no need to carry everything you own with you all the time. Remember others around you and if you're carrying a huge pack, you can easily slam into someone without meaning to when you turn to look at something.

11) from pyanfar on bananas and other fruit:

Dairy Queen in the Peachtree Center Mall Food Court (directly to the right when you exit the habitrail from the Hyatt to the Food Court) has baskets of fruit for sale out at least every morning, perhaps throughout the day, including bananas. The Newstand in the Food Court also has them. (I have heard that the Newstand is closing, alas.)

I will also add that most of the hotel restaurants have fruit out for breakfast.

12) from xenaclone on carrying money:

Fanny packs/bum bags [or similar] are a pretty good place to keep money, etc. You can use a big sturdy safety pin [like a diaper/nappy pin] and secure it to your clothing underneath so it can't just be ripped off.

13) from xenaclone on showering/bathing:

USE ANTIPERSPIRANT! {That helps with wetness from sweating. I suggest a combined deodorant and antiperspirant.}

14) from xenaclone on keeping in contact:

Take a handful of contact/business cards for yourself [if you have them]. Good way to keep in touch with any new friends/helpful people etc. you meet.

(From the OP: Moocards or Vistaprint are great on-line services!)

15) from xenaclone on taking notes w/o a smartphone:

Small notepad and pen/pencil. For taking notes [e.g. surprise panel FRIDAY; dinner 7 p.m. with X at Y; OMG, A said ... at the panel!!], etc. {Also good if you don't have business cards.}

16) from xenaclone on carrying water:

500ml plastic bottle for water. Can be refilled from the tap/faucet or one of the water stations. A/C is drying!

17) tenner and paradisacorbasi on noise issues:

Earplugs for concerts and sleeping. The hotels can be noisy until late in the evening.

18) ladytalker13 on The Newstand:

(Sadly, the Newstand seems to have closed.)

19) ladytalker13 on the Food Court hours:

Food Court hours have expanded radically over the last few years, as they have seen how much $$ can be made. Just ask for their hours for the rest of the con.

20) from kissokomes and joyeuse13 on sewing kits:

Part of my costume repair kit includes a mini hot glue gun and glue sticks.

21) from jeffs_page on sewing kits:

Plain white paper medical tape. It will hold a seam together for a while until you can get a full repair job done and it doesn't leave much, if any, residue behind.

22) from bandvamp01 on food:

Stash an "emergency granola bar" in a zip-top baggie in your purse/side pocket.

23) from bandvamp01 on mad money:

And don't stash all your extra money in one place! Stash a little in your makeup/toiletry case, a little in your suitcase lining pocket, a little in a film canister, etc.

24) pyanfar on the Peachtree Center Mall:

The Peachtree Center Mall info starts here:
http://www.peachtreecenter.com/Mall-home.htm
The names of the stores/restaurants are clickable and then will show you their location on a TINY map. There are a couple of new food places that just opened in the last month that are not listed - Jack's Sandwich Shop, Cafe Momo, and I think the other one is called Mediterranean Cuisine. There are some places that are open for breakfast at least as early as 7:15am - Dairy Queen, Chik-fil-A, Jack's, and J. Brenner's. Not sure about Momo. At last check, the Subway does NOT serve breakfast.

25) pyanfar on the closest grocery store:

The closest Publix (supermarket) at the following address:
950 West Peachtree Street Northwest
Atlanta, GA 30309-3846
(404) 253-3547
You can get to this Publix by taking the MARTA train to the Midtown station and heading about a block and half to the west. The entrance is at the corner of Peachtree Place NW and Sprint Street NW. The Midtown MARTA station is visible on a Google Map of the above address.

26) from pyanfar on the OTHER FOOD COURT:

Note: the links below don't seem to working, so try this one:

http://www.suntrustplaza.com/template/tenant/right_nav/Page2.aspx

Re-posting this, from http://community.livejournal.com/dragoncon/2406943.html?thread=25806111#t25806111

Something a lot of folks either don't know about, or just forget: There is ANOTHER food court besides the one in the Peachtree Center "Mall". It's smaller, but it's there. The access tube to the SunTrust Building Food Court is on the opposite side of the Marriott from the Peachtree Center "habitrail" tube, on the same floor. It will make more sense once you get here, but if you are in the Marriott lobby, on the same level as the "sailboat" bar (called Pulse), head toward the stairs that lead to the "loft" area (which is also a bar), and go past the stairs. To get to the Peachtree Center Food court, make a left. To get to the Suntrust Food Court, make a right. I don't know, though, what their weekend & Labor Day hours are.

SunTrust Food Court/Retail Offerings (no idea what the operating hours/days are for Sat, Sun, Labor Day, though): http://www.suntrustplaza.com/Frames/TEXT/GardenOffices/Garden_AMb.html

Low resolution map, but the Food Court is immediately North of the Marriott: http://www.suntrustplaza.com/Images/Text_Graphics/Area_lg.gif or http://www.suntrustplaza.com/Images/Text_Graphics/Area_lg.html

SunTrust Tenant Handbook, includes much better maps, phone numbers, etc: http://www.suntrustplaza.com/Frames/Ext_windows/Handbook.pdf

SunTrust Plaza Homepage (the Garden Offices is where the Food Court is, on the main page the picture on the right shows that buildng, with the Hilton and Marriott behind it): http://www.suntrustplaza.com/ (This seems to be the only link that is working here.)

b) storm_dancer says that this food court is closed on Labor Day/Monday, and may not be open on Sunday?

27) aurorastar420 on uses for medical tape and antiperspirant:

Keep medical tape (the cloth kind is best) on you if there's even the slightest chance your shoes may rub/blister. Just take off your shoe, tape over the offending area. {Your OP also suggests moleskin, and the medical tape is perfect to keep the moleskin in place.}

Also, if you're a big girl (like me) or have the sort of anatomy where your thighs (or other bits) rub together, keep a small container of antiperspirant (deodorant won't work, but combo antiperspirant/deodorant will) in your bag and the second you feel yourself start to chafe, go apply some to the affected area. In fact, you may want to start out with a layer before leaving the hotel to keep it from becoming an issue at all. Also, Wal-Mart has mid-thigh length cotton bike shorts for less than $10 that will prevent this issue entirely.

27b) comix_geek says that these suggestions are also good for guys in kilts and mentions baby powder as helpful. Your OP will punt and mention that many peeps don't want to use baby powder because of the talc issue, but cornstarch comes in the same type of container as baby powder and will usually be found right next to it on the baby products aisle of grocery stores and Target-type stores.

28) from several folks!

You can keep a cooler in your room for things that need to be kept cool/cold.

However, be aware of a few things:

a) the ice machines in the hotels get overworked and can run out of ice, esp. in the evenings when people are having room parties. The hotel shops may sell ice. The CVS will probably sell ice. Again, they will all run out at times.

b) hide your liquor as you cart it into the hotels, otherwise you can be charged a corkage fee by the hotel, and those are rather steep!

c) some hotels have little fridges or will allow you to bring one in.

d) don't bring hot plates, but a tiny microwave might be okay.


29) from morganskye

a) Blister tips: If you have a blister use antiperspirant. It will reduce moisture and make it go away faster, but ONLY if it hasn't popped. If you're going to be away from your hotel room all day then bring a spare pair of socks. Dry feet are happy feet.

b) When rooming with several people: Assign everyone their own corner/dresser drawer to keep confusion down. Check with your people to see what can be shared. Phone chargers, shower supplies, food/drinks, etc. For my own sanity I bring a 3M Command hook for my towel (always bring your own!) since hotels severely lack towel bars. They hold a wet towel well and come off cleanly.

30) from possibly_sane18 about the Red Cross Blood Drive:

If you are donating blood, try to schedule your donation so you do not have to immediately stand outside in the heat for a big panel. The person I helped last year was miserable and ill in line and ended up sleeping through the panel! Schedule some downtime after donation...don't rush out!

31) from ladyninja100 on flu shots and removing make-up

Get a flu shot! I just got mine today to hopefully ward off some illness before the con.

Also, bring cold cream or facial wipes if you're wearing heavy face makeup. If it's extra-heavy, bring something to exfoliate your skin.

(From me: there are many good products made just for make-up removal, and face scrubs and body scrubs are always helpful.)



Again, please feel free to add tips! :)
Comments 
28th-Aug-2010 01:21 am (UTC)
I didn't think to ask before ---

BUT WHERE IS THE LIQUOR STORE?

:C
28th-Aug-2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Yes! Liquor Stores are good to locate. Also, reasonable bars/bar selection - was this covered anywhere?
28th-Aug-2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Adding to the OP. :)
28th-Aug-2010 04:58 am (UTC)
TY very much :)
28th-Aug-2010 05:44 am (UTC)
Quite welcome! So sorry, don't know anything about the bars downtown, though.
28th-Aug-2010 09:20 am (UTC)
There's a liquor store across the road from the Sheraton. At least there was, last year [GG]
28th-Aug-2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Great, thank you! I'm from VA, where all of our liquor stores are the state-run ABC ones, so the idea of little shops that sell liquor still boggles me a bit!
28th-Aug-2010 09:22 am (UTC)
There's a TINY supermarket under the food court, next to the Benihana.

Also, if you go to the park where the parade starts and head diagonally and left across it, there was a modest supermarket there last year. Handy for fresh milk, juice, eats and similar supplies.
28th-Aug-2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Great tip! :) Thanks!
28th-Aug-2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
A note on tobacco products: Most grocery stores DO sell them. At least, all the Kroger stores near me do; they have a separate lane you have to use to buy tobacco products. No idea about stores near downtown.

A note on MARTA: The Breeze tickets cost 50 cents, not 25 cents as noted in #2 above.
28th-Aug-2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
I was going to ask about this and if it was a GA thing that grocery stores don't sell them.
28th-Aug-2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
I don't use tobacco products myself, so rarely notice them.

Wal-mart has a separate line as well for tobacco products, and it's always the longest line.

I don't think Publix sells tobacco products nor the grocery section of Super-Target.

Of course, this may be one of those county or city differences in regulations. :)

The increase in Breeze tickets must be recent then, as that info came from someone who uses MARTA on a regular basis.
28th-Aug-2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
Breeze tickets have always been 50 cents (since the surcharge was added; the initial ones were free). Maybe the previous poster meant it as 25 cents each way for a round-trip fare?
29th-Aug-2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
ETA'ed the info into the post. Thanks!
28th-Aug-2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
For those of you guys taking the Atlantic Station shuttle, it arrives at the MARTA bus loading area with all the other buses (there will be a sign where the shuttle pickup is.)I believe there's also a regular MARTA bus that goes to Atlantic Station but you will have to pay for it.

Expect the free shuttle to be crowded- you may have to wait a bit to get a ride since the capacity limit is 25 people.
29th-Aug-2010 04:07 am (UTC)
"Be kind to the disabled, even the ones who don't look that way. LOTS of people have invisible disabilities that severely hamper them even though they look fine."

Thank you for this. =)
29th-Aug-2010 07:01 am (UTC)
If you're driving in, I would strongly advise hitting a liquor store BEFORE you make it to downtown. The prices and selection are almost invariably better.
20th-Jun-2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
These should be, if they have not already, be added to dragon-con.pbworks.com
29th-Aug-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
3) from maypanic on the postcard for your badge:

In my experience, not having your postcard is no problem as long as you have photo id. Last year I lost mine, and the year previous my friend lost hers, and the people at the desk couldn't have cared less that we didn't have it. Can't totally count on that being consistent, though, I suppose.


That's old info that should probably be updated. With the new barcode system this year, you DO need your postcard to pick up your badge. Photo ID won't be enough, because they need the barcode printed on the postcard to look you up in the new computerized system (no more binders, woo!). My understanding (and I'm not DC staff, so double check on this) is that if you forget your postcard in 2011, you'll have to go to the Solutions line, where they look you up by typing your name into the new computerized system. From what I've read here on this comm in several different posts, postcards ARE NEEDED this year, unlike previous years.
29th-Aug-2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
ETA'ed the new info into the post. Thanks!
30th-Aug-2011 06:05 am (UTC)
OH! Something I discovered at an outdoor weekend-long music festival a few years ago--keep medical tape (the cloth kind is best) on you if there's even the slightest chance your shoes may rub/blister. Just take off your shoe, tape over the offending area, and get back to it. It totally saved my life.

Also, if you're a big girl (like me) or have the sort of anatomy where your thighs (or other bits) rub together, keep a small container of antiperspirant (deodorant won't work, but combo antiperspirant/deodorant will) in your bag and the second you feel yourself start to chafe, go apply some to the affected area. In fact, you may want to start out with a layer before leaving the hotel to keep it from becoming an issue at all. Also, Wal-Mart has mid-thigh length cotton bike shorts for less than $10 that will prevent this issue entirely. Their xxl/20 fits me at a 24, and fit my friend at a 26.
20th-Apr-2012 11:41 am (UTC)
I'll edit this info into the post. Thanks!
15th-Jul-2012 12:01 am (UTC)
This can also be applied to us fellows that wear kilts in their myriad forms. A good deodorant and baby powder can help with sweating and chaffing.
20th-Jul-2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Sure thing-adding now!
20th-Apr-2012 11:11 am (UTC)
There is a CVS going in at 235 Peachtree Street NE. It is right at the Peachtree Center. This location is perfect for D*Con goers. It is centrally located next to the con. It will be a great place to pick up emergency medical supplies [band aids and blister pad] and snack food.
20th-Apr-2012 11:33 am (UTC)
Great! I'll edit this and add the info in. :) Thanks!
14th-Jul-2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
In my experience, the super secret food court closes on Labor Day, and It may be closed on Sunday. Can't recall 100%.
20th-Jul-2012 04:41 am (UTC)
Good to know--I'll put this in.
15th-Jul-2012 02:42 am (UTC)
fyi...there is a Publix much closer to the con at:

595 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308-2478

it is less than a mile walk from the Hilton..
20th-Jul-2012 04:33 am (UTC)
I'll add this in. Is there a bus that goes from the hotel area to this Publix?
15th-Jul-2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
Forgive me if I'm repeating anything :)

Blister tips: If you have a blister use antiperspirant. It will reduce moisture and make it go away faster, but ONLY if it hasn't popped. If you're going to be away from your hotel room all day then bring a spare pair of socks. Dry feet are happy feet.

When rooming with several people: Assign everyone their own corner/dresser drawer to keep confusion down. Check with your people to see what can be shared. Phone chargers, shower supplies, food/drinks, etc. For my own sanity I bring a 3M Command hook for my towel (always bring your own!) since hotels severely lack towel bars. They hold a wet towel well and come off cleanly.
20th-Jul-2012 02:17 am (UTC)
These are great ideas! Adding now!
17th-Aug-2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
Get a flu shot! I just got mine today to hopefully ward off some illness before the con.

Also, bring cold cream or facial wipes if you're wearing heavy face makeup. If it's extra-heavy, bring something to exfoliate your skin.
25th-Aug-2013 06:43 am (UTC)
Just added--thanks!
19th-Aug-2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
If you are donating blood, try to schedule your donation so you do not have to immediately stand outside in the heat for a big panel. The person I helped last year was miserable and ill in line and ended up sleeping through the panel! Schedule some downtime after donation...don't rush out!
25th-Aug-2013 06:31 am (UTC)
Good tip-adding it now!
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