BrickFair in Person!
My inbox is filling with messages about events beginning to take place in person. Next month, I’m going to a VCFA reunion at Highlights, site of several inspiring workshops and “un-workshops,” where writers enjoy the nature and quiet as well as their famous home-cooked meals. I also received a notice about three conferences for travel bloggers — one near Seattle, Washington, one in southern Spain, and one in Phuket, Thailand, beginning this fall (with Seattle) and continuing in 2022. While the timing for a long trip doesn’t work out for me with my book-launch schedule, I’m anticipating the return of The New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center in January.
I also received my survey to buy tickets for October’s ComicCon at the Javits Center. It will be one of the first events at this facility that was first commandeered to treat overflow Covid-19 patients in the deadly first wave of the pandemic and then as the largest mass vaccination site in the United States. In fact, I received my two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the Javits Center.
And while I filled out my ComicCon survey last week, my first conference ticket purchase went to…New Jersey BrickFair at the Meadowlands Conference Center at the end of September. Years ago, I exhibited at NJ BrickFair (aka BrickFest), and had a great time even though I somehow lost the large Lego turkey that Governor Christie was holding at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge that my AFOL colleague Sid Dinsay built. The pandemic has not been kind to our in-person get-togethers, and I’m too busy this year to apply as an exhibitor, but I will be attending the fair. I’m hoping to link up with other Lego builders and take part in in-person events.
One of the things I appreciated about being part of a Lego builders’ group is that we brought together people of different backgrounds and political views. While the country’s political polarization happened because of leadership that encouraged it, the pandemic made it much worse by isolating people. Isolation leads to distrust, and when distrust coexists with the power to endanger others or simply make their lives miserable, a society descends into chaos and violence. As the pandemic ends, it’s important for everyone to take part in community-building activities, including ones that aren’t directly political. Activities that are fun, that make life richer and more enjoyable.
Over the years, my Lego work has filled that need, and I suspect it has for many others. Although The LEGO Group hasn’t encouraged as many users’ groups to form (and the pandemic has played a role in this), the new line of sets for builders 18 years and up reflects this fast-growing customer base. I expect the BrickFairs and other Lego conventions to have more adult attendees this year. And I hope to show off my new MOCs with their detailed interiors at future events!
For more information about upcoming BrickFairs in 2021 and 2022, check out the official site.