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A Con Chair’s Guide to Parking at Anime USA

After many years of parking in Washington D.C.—and at conventions in general—I have my developed my favorite ways to deal with the limited spaces and high cost of parking in the District.

First, the easiest method to save money for those parking for the whole weekend or for those at least parking long enough to be departing over the weekend, is to use the D.C. Metro. Metro parking garages are free to park as long as you depart anytime after Metro closes on Friday night and before Metro garages open fee collection on Monday morning. Knowing this, you can choose to park at one of the larger Metro garages and take the train indirectly.

However, if your like me and are traveling with a considerable amount of gear, you will need drive to the hotel first, pull to the front valet area, tell them that you need to check-in (this will give you about 45 minutes) and leave your car at the front while you unload. Then, once your done, drive back to one of the larger Metro garages, park (for the weekend) and use Metro to get back to the hotel—and back to your car when you leave. This isn’t completely free as you will need a Metro ticket to Woodley Park Metro station (the hotel’s Metro stop on the red line), and the return trip fee from which ever garage you choose to park. If you plan on at coming to D.C. more than one time in your life, consider purchasing a SmarTrip® card; this will make using the Metro considerably easier. Although I have never had a problem with any of the other larger Metro garages (while parking over multiple days), only 3 Metro garages are designated for multi-day parking: Huntington, Franconia-Springfield, and Greenbelt, so keep that in mind if you want to play it safe.

This other alternative option is also risky, but if you play it right, you may have both a close parking spot and save money doing it: street parking. Street parking is either controlled by meters or by zone passes. Both are only in effect at particular times of particular days. If you do enough exploring and a little research, and have a bit of luck, then you can find a sweet deal. Many of the streets around the hotel area have availability, albeit limited, just be careful to properly read all signs around the area to make sure that you will be OK for the time that you are planning to park and that you know how much and what form of payment is required. If you want a guaranteed street parking, garage parking, or other alternative parking spot, check out Parking Panda.

The last option, if you want lower cost (than our $22 a day special hotel rate), or if the parking at the hotel is full, is to use a parking app—we recommend Parking Panda. Many of you probably have a smartphone or a tablet. Downloading an app for parking, especially one that caters to the D.C. market, will be indispensable if you want something concrete closer to the hotel and for whatever reason other options are not available (or affordable). I’ve used a parking app for Android when I am looking for a garage near my destination (in D.C proper). If you don’t mind walking and/or taking a short ride, there are plenty of lower cost garages within approximately a mile of the hotel (just not so much on the closer side of that).

There is also an overflow lot at UDC which is only one stop away on the Metro red line ($20 a day), which is already listed in our Parking options.

Check out this comprehensive guide with information about the Metro and Union Station (in PDF form)

See you soon!
Tim Garman
Convention Chair, 2013, 2014

Anime USA 2014 Schedule

We’re pleased to share the official schedule for Anime USA 2014! We’ve brought together an amazing group of musicians, voice actors, fashion designers, artists, cosplayers, educational guests, DJs, vendors, maids, and hosts to bring you an Anime USA like never before. We’re thrilled to bring back Kaya, along with the US premier of Schwarz Stein. Eyeshine will also be performing a great concert for you. We’ve also brought in fashion designers Mika Takeuchi and Kristin Costa to show off their newest designs and fashion historian Kass McGann help celebrate our fashion theme.

We know it wouldn’t be Anime USA without some of your favorite parts of con, including AMVs, the Formal Ball, Masquerade, Dances, Game Room, Artists Alley and Dealers Room. Our maids from My Cup of Tea Maid Cafe and our hosts from Ikeman Paradise Host Club have been waiting all year to spend time with you. So step forward with your camera or strike a pose and get ready for Anime USA 2014.

View the official schedule and make your plans for Anime USA 2014!

See detailed descriptions of the panels here.

Anime USA Welcomes Charlene Ingram of VIZ Media!

Charlene Ingram of VIZ Media

Charlene wants to bring the love of anime to fans everywhere!

We’re pleased to welcome Charlene Ingram, VIZ Media’s Senior Manager of Animation Marketing, to Anime USA. Charlene visits us straight from VIZ Media, a manga, anime, and Japanese-American entertainment company. She started out as a fandom personality with over 16 years of experience cosplaying. She then entered the industry as a brand manager for FUNimation Entertainment and eventually moved on to work at VIZ Media. Learn more about Charlene and meet her at Anime USA 2014!

Party with us at Anime USA 2014!

Join the party on Friday and Saturday of Anime USA

Join the party on Friday and Saturday of Anime USA

Join the party at Anime USA 2014. On the Friday and Saturday nights of the Convention, we’re hosting audio-visual shows like no other! DJs Mighty Mike Saga, Virtek, Zircon, Roger Shackelford, and Nicholai will be spinning everything from electro-industrial to house!

Learn more about this year’s DJs by visiting Who To See. ‘Hope to see you at our raves!

New for 2014: Childrens’ Events!

This year, we’re pleased to add a new track of programming and events geared toward children! We’d love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think at education@animeusa.org.

Japanese Doll & Toy DisplayCome see a selection of Japanese dolls and toys showcasing traditional craftsmanship and costumes in our Art Show all weekend long.
Japanese Doll Workshops: Washcloth Ninjas, Hina, Kaede, & Anesama Dolls.Join Japanese doll instructor and enthusiast Anne Cox for three hands-on classes throughout the weekend, each focusing on a different type of Japanese doll. Attendees will be able to make a traditional doll to take home with them. Space in these free classes is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Anne will also have a drop-in hall station for doll making throughout the day. Children attending these panels will need an adult to assist them. See various doll displays throughout the weekend!
Childrens' Activities with the Japan-America SocietyThe Japan-America Society will bring their popular Japan in a Suitcase children’s programming to Anime USA with a selection of fun games and activities for children of all ages.
Japanese GamesJoin some of our maids to learn several traditional Japanese games. Great for children, but fun for members of all ages!
Childrens' Aikido DemonstrationJoin DC Aikido for a demonstration of Aikido specifically geared towards children and young teens.

Anime USA 2014 Schedule Coming Soon

We’ve been working hard to finalize our full schedule of events for Anime USA 2014. Stay tuned. We’ll be posting it soon!

A sneak peak of panels and workshops you can expect to see at Anime USA 2014:

Fashion 101

Explore our 2014 theme with a brief look at the four areas of our themed programming—traditional Japanese fashion, contemporary Japanese fashion movements, cosplay and fan fashions, and character design. Preview the myriad panels and workshops offered, and learn about some of our fashion guests.

The History of Cross-Cultural Fashion Borrowing with Kass McGann

Ever seen those 18th century paintings of French women dressed as harem girls? What about the craze for all things Japanese in the 1890s? Did you know there was even a brief trend for ruffs and breeches in 16th century Japan? Cross-cultural fashion borrowing has been going on for as long as humans have had other cultures to borrow from. This lecture will explore the interesting and weird borrowings throughout history.

Character Design to Costume

Join one of Anime USA’s popular art guests Kevin Bolk and popular cosplayer and long-time Anime USA mascot Chiara Scuro for a look at how we’ve brought our mascot Kaede to life over the years. Learn what goes into the themed character designs each year, and how that is transformed into a costume for our convention.

Make It Work: Exploring Japanese Street Fashion on a Thrift Store Budget

Explore ways to make your own street fashion looks on a thrift store budget, including tips and tricks on finding the best deals. This panel will include some in-person demonstrations on easy ways to modify thrift store finds and refashion them into the look you want. Each outfit presented will be made for $20 or less. We’ll cover cutting, sewing, dyeing, repurposing, and many other ways to refashion discarded clothing into something fun and exciting. Let’s explore limitless creativity on a limited budget.

Anime USA Welcomes Cosplay Enthusiast, KO Cosplay!

KO Cosplay

And she makes a great Wartortle!

We are excited to announce KO Cosplay as our second Cosplay Guest! KO Cosplay is very well known for her video game, anime, and comic book cosplays; especially her trademark Crimson Viper from the Street Fighter series. She is very excited to attend Anime USA this year as one of our cosplay guests and share her knowledge of modeling for cosplay photography, gijinka cosplay designing, and building confidence through cosplay. Learn more about her by visiting Who To See.