So I walked in less than two hours after the place opened, looked around and thought, "this is a LOT of people." Then I thought, "there are a lot of kids here, too (like aged 5 to teenagers). Aren't they supposed to be in school?" But whatever, I decided their presence was, in almost all cases, examples of good parenting. Then I thought, "All this neat costuming stuff; those kids are all set for Halloween." And then I thought, "Halloween? They're in costumes right now! How could Halloween be any better for them (other than the proper application of candy)."
One odd thing I thought I noticed was the huge lines and massive crowds of people buying from (or lined up to buy from) dealers selling all kinds of related merchandise (games, costumes, clothes, toys, etc.) and the relatively few people patronizing the comics dealers (with their racks and boxes of, you know, comic books). Just noticing, not judging.
I saw some remarkable art, some wonderful chazerai, all sorts of nifty things, and lots of people in very good costumes. I also saw a few people I actually knew: Keith DeCandido at a table with his books, Steve Saffel behind his Titan Books table, David Mack and Lawrence M. Schoen at the Tor Books table, Kelly M. Kotulak, Thomas Nackid, and Ross Field at the Hibernacula table, and Marjorie Liu at her table in artists' alley.
Thinking back on the day, I saw a lot of money changing hands, even for the first day of a four-day event, and a lot of it was at tables selling books (as opposed to comics and other stuff), so I am reconsidering not being there as a dealer, mulling over ways to make it work next year. So, that's something else I'm thinking about.
Now to finish preparations to hit the road early tomorrow morning: Maryland, here I come.