Well friends, it’s here. The stars are right, the gates are open, the veils cast aside, the colors out of space and shadows out of time. The some Lovecraft reference is something else related to some other Lovecraft reference, which with the H.P. Lovecraft conference NecronomiCon currently taking place in Providence, RI is to be expected. This of course means that concurrently the even grander nacho event, NachoProviCon, is going down as well.
The first stop on the tour was the Ri Ra Irish Pub, because if there was a group of people Lovecraft cared for it was the Irish. Just kidding, that old racist didn’t care for them much as all, considering their language only a step above the grunting of cave people. The Irish American Alliance was the dish I asked for, which I was assured by the waiter was nachos, but this is what I got.
Much like the “nachos” at the American flag burger restaurant The Reservoir, these are not nachos, but rather just chips and dip, and not good chips either. They reminded me of chips that had been left out for quite some time so that the Doritos were not solid enough to support the weight of the dip, while the potato chips were just chewy and damp. UNIMPRESSED. The dip was rather tasty, and if they had just put that on top of fresh chips instead of leaving it in a little cast iron pan it would have been way better. Hell, even if the chips had been left out all day they still would have tasted better soaked in dip than on their own. But they didn’t do that, so, unimpressed.
The first Lovecraftian experience of the day was the keynote address at the First Baptist Church in America, the very church where, as the story goes, young H.P. was kicked out of at the tender age of 5. We were promised greetings by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and prominent Lovecraft scholar S.T.Joshi, but all was not to be. The former did not appear and instead sent some lackey to thank us all for coming, which was probably not a bad idea as political figures associating themselves with old racists is usually not a selling point (Outside of The South that is) no matter what kind of writer they are. S.T. Joshi however delivered in bulk, including a lovely anecdote about how Lovecraft once played “Yes we have no bananas” on the church’s organ.
All this would have been a lot better however if it wasn’t 90+ degrees out and the air conditioning was nonexistent in a church almost 300 years old. Plus a 9 minute rendition of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor to start the event followed by a 5 minute Norse dirge while I was sitting there sweating through my pants might have been a bit of an oversight. Was it informative? Yes. Was there a guy dressed like Aleister Crowley and painted yellow and pink? Yes. It was obviously going to be quite the event.
After this was a trip over to the Providence Athenaeum Library for the grand unveiling of the Lovecraft bust, picture above, and a viewing of the original picture of Cthulhu and the original manuscript for Call of Cthulhu. They were both locked away in their rare books room in an area even more secure than the one the Necronomicon itself would have been locked away in. Assuming it was a real book that is.
By sheer coincidence I happened to run into the boys behind the wildly popular and informative H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, which I highly recommend for all your Lovecraftian needs, struck up a conversation with the kind gentlemen and was invited to sup with them that very night. Enter The Union Station Brewery and the second order of nachos of the day.
While the pulled pork was a nice edition, as well as being sweet and tasty, the rest of the dish left a little something to be desired. The mound of chips was not layered well, in that there was a thin coating of toppings at the summit, but a massive amount of chips between that and the layer far below, which was only an incredibly small amount of cheese. The chips were also not of the best quality and ultimately created an overall lackluster nacho combination. What was even sadder was that the Union Station Brewery is also operated by the same people who run a restaurant back home that deals in the tastiest nachos around, but that tastiness must not extend into Rhode Island. So far NachoProviCon is leaving a lot to be desired. Also their Root Beer, no free refills, which is a pricey surprise when you have a love for Root Beer that matches your love of nachos.
The rest of the evening was spent adventuring around downtown Providence before finally needing to turn in for the evening. NachoProviCon and NecronomiCon were both just beginning, and you have to pace yourself, even with two new BFF’s. Should the sun rise on day two of the convention and the world continue spinning without the return of the Great Old Ones, there would be plenty more time for Lovecraftian experiences. And nachos of course.