Friday, October 2, 2015

On the road again: CONtraflow, New Orleans, day 1

I took advantage of the afternoon start of the con to sleep quite late, which was a wonderful treat.  After some email and a little bit of work, I registered for the con, saw some friends, and chatted a little.

I then headed out for a quick and late-afternoon lunch at a nearby joint where I've eaten before, Dot's Diner.  The food there is nothing special, just classic diner fare, but it's always quick and tasty.  Today, I enjoyed a side salad and a grilled cheese with bacon sandwich.

My first event of the day was the Opening Ceremonies, which as Toastmaster I hosted.  I introduced guests, told a few stories, and generally had a fun time.

After a short break I went to my first panel, a discussion of works the panelists recommend.  The audience and panel were both small, so we all sat together in a sort of reading semi-circle as we three panelists took turns talking about works we particularly enjoyed and thought others would also like.

Another hour-long break, and then I had my last panel of the day, a discussion of future war.  This time, we had only two panelists, so we started with future war but ranged into all sorts of related or semi-related topics, including our own works, wealth disparity, and the creation of the other as a way to dehumanize other people.

I headed straight from there to a late dinner at Johnny Sanchez, a Mexican place that John Besh and Aaron Sanchez created.  The food was delicious.  We shared three pairs of soft tacos--shrimp, carne asada, and pork carnitas--and all were excellent.

Click an image to see a larger version.

The shrimp tacos particularly surprised me, because they included lightly pickled vegetables, which I did not expect to like.  Instead, I loved the tastes.

For dessert I had a masa cake, which was also extremely good and a combination of unusual flavors.

I definitely recommend Johnny Sanchez if you live here or are visiting the area.

Tomorrow morning, more panels and an auction!

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