The Magic Gardens in Philadelphia is a museum and community arts space created by artist Isaiah Zagar. It was build over many years using recycled materials, found objects, and about a million different colors. Here are a few of them:
I’d like to say we just happened to stumble on the world’s largest furry convention but no. This is one of the few things (the only thing maybe?) we planned far, far in advance. In fact, when Maggie got the dates wrong, we ended up having to backtrack 590 miles east from Salem, MA to Pittsburgh, PA just to make it on time. Needless to say that our scenic drive through the Poconos was tense and passive-aggressively silent.
From what we thought we knew about furries and what we thought we knew about conventions, we were expecting AnthroCon to be a slutty, debacherous mess. Essentially, we thought it would be a college party bender (there’s an animal house joke here we’re too lazy to make).
To our surprise, AnthroCon was not really about clumsy pick-up lines and full-costume walks of shame the next morning. It wasn't college. Rather, it was a constant ebb and flow of people being cliquey and people being inclusive. Yep, it was high school.
And if AnthroCon was high school, then we were Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed — we were the too old, too uncool-for-school posers flying under the radar to see just what it was like. And here's what we found:
1. There's A Lot Of Love
2. And There's A Lot Of Exclusion
Look at this Arctic creature gazing on to a group that he wishes he could be a part of. So tragic, so high school.
Or maybe he's just watching the Pittsburgh Panthers game going on in the far distance?
PS: it is so weird knowing that a Panthers game is going on while you're in a convention center with way, way more panthers.
3. But, Hey, Man, Let Your Freak Flag Fly
AnthroCon is definitely a time to express yourself. Are you a dog wearing a Pikachu backpack? Or are you more of a tiger wearing an over-sized donut?
We were all about expressing ourselves in high school but we had a uniform with a fairly strict dress code and inflatable pastries were definitely not within jurisdiction. Such a shame, too, because that's definitely a look we would've rocked.
4. Wait... Are You Guys Gossiping About Me?
Seriously, what are you guys talking about? Is it me? This is all getting a little too high school. Like, come on, guys. Let's act our age (though I'm pretty sure I'm Josie Grosie and I'm 16 years older than you).
... But I can't really tell how old you are cuz you're wearing fucking furry masks over your face. That could be John C. Reilly under that costume*.
*PLEASE GOD LET IT BE JOHN C. REILLY UNDER THAT COSTUME.
6. In AnthroCon, Like In High School, Fashion Is Key
Look at the style on this guy! You don't get more chic than a vest on a fox. I kind of know what I'm talking about. I was the first girl in my class to wear Uggs.
6. But, Of Course, There's Gonna Be Some Fashion Faux Paws
Hey Ms. (Mr.?) Thing, I know this is a color blog but wow. If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's orange on yellow on yellow, let it mellow in your closet forever, am I right???
Don't worry. Everyone has those fashion mistakes they look back on with shame. I kind of know what I'm talking about. I was the last girl in my class to stop wearing Uggs.
Also, I actually really like this outfit. I'm just projecting because of the whole Uggs thing.
7. Some Girls Just Get All The Attention
"What I found? Those girls are still there. The ones that, even as you grow up, will still be the most beautiful girls that you've ever seen close up."
-Josie "Grosie" Geller, “Never Been Kissed”
8. The Hotties With The Bodies Were All There
Isn't it hilarious that we thought the boys we knew in high school had "hot bodies?" MAJOR LOL there. They were squirmy JV-basketball one-time-not-virgins and we were talking about them like they were Gerard Butler.
Anyway, look how sexy this ram with a six-pack is! What's your sign? Aries? Me too. Does that mean I can touch your biceps? Is it weird that I'm sexualizing a ram? Probably not because that's an actual fucking human, right?
Also, do you think it's a coincidence that the team mascot in Never Been Kissed was the ram and this guy is dressed as one? Yes. It's 100% a stupid fucking coincidence, Maggie. Let it go.
9. And Some Boys Are Always Gonna Be Bad To The Core
If angstily smoking while looking at pristine bridges doesn't remind you of high school, you were not an SF kid. Or you had the wherewithal to consider lung cancer (sorry to hear you were a big fat dweeb!).
Also, do you guys remember smoking Cloves? All of my older cousins tried to convince me to stop smoking them because "Cloves are disgusting" and I just remember thinking "sorry you guys aren't as complex as I am but I am going to be smoking these cinnamon sticks forever."
And look at me now — complex as ever at a Furry Convention! SUCK IT COUSINS.
10. No, seriously, you guys. This shit is so high school!
... right down to the straight jacket, you know? Remember how crazy that was?
Wait — did I say straight jacket? I meant halter tops. Remember how crazy halter tops were? Straight jackets are for crazy people and I was only crazy about halter tops back then lol #boys #NormalGirl #NormalGirlAtAFurryConvention
lol can't wait to spread the rumor to those bitches from picture #4 that Ceil wore a straight jacket in high school...
11. In The End, It's All About Friendship :)
Yep, this is an actual photo of Ceil and Maggie. Friendship still strong after 12 years.
So, as an ending to this article, and, perhaps a beginning to a new chapter in my life, I, Josie Geller, will be at the state championship baseball game, where my friends, the Southglen Rams (with six packs!) are playing for the title. I will stand on the pitcher's mound for the five minutes prior to the first pitch. If this man accept my apology, I ask him to come kiss me, in front of everyone, for my first real kiss.
...Shit, that's Never Been Kissed again. Whatever, keep posted to see what else we learned, saw and heard at Anthrocon (and to see if Michael Vartan ever showed up to make out with us!)*
*Spoiler alert: he didn't.
Best quote heard that day:
"Do you kiss your mother with that beak?!"