Cosplay contest at Maid Cafe NY: Japanese maids & anime costumes!

paper factory hotel, long island city ny

New York, I love you! Thanks to everyone who came to see me at the Japanese maid cafe, and for participating in the cosplay contest. I was mega-impressed by the intricate costumes, which you can see in the photos below…

But first, here are some snaps from my home at the Paper Factory Hotel. This is, without doubt, the coolest place to stay in NY.

teale coco, goth sportswear

The hotel is located in Long Island City, right across the water from Manhattan (it only takes 15 min by subway to reach Times Square). The Paper Factory’s design pays tribute to its industrial past, and the vintage child cars in the lobby encourage guests to play.

I’m wearing a sports-Goth crop top c/o Teale Coco — brilliant, mixing sporty fabric with dark edge. The skeleton leggings are Hyoma (from Izzue Hong Kong) and the tank top is World Wide Love.

vespa, cool design hotel ny

It’s obvious I loved staying at the Paper Factory Hotel — their creative, design-oriented approach is just my speed. I encourage you to check them out, especially when the restaurant Mundo opens up later this summer.

Japanese maid cafe chinatown ny

In June, my team and I filmed at Maid Cafe NY, located in New York’s Chinatown (150 Centre Street, NYC, 10013). It’s modeled after the Japanese maid cafes you’ll find in Tokyo, especially the Akihabara district.

maid cafe ny, cute japanese maids

I’ve been to maid cafes all over Japan (such as Angel & Demons, Cos Cha and more). This one may be located in NY, but the spirit is 100% Tokyo.

maid cafe new york menu

The girls dressed me up in one of their pink French maid outfits. For the show, I learned how to greet customers (by yelling “Welcome home, master!”) and how to be as anime-like as possible.

cute drawing on drinks

At Maid Cafe NY, it’s all innocent fun: the staff interacts with the customers in cute ways, and makes them smile by drawing on their drink cups.

cute food decorating, maid cafe

The cafe serves Japanese food and sweets, like omelet rice with ketchup drawings. I helped the maids prepare sweets with cute faces on them. Cris digs into a matcha cheesecake, decorated with my Scottish Fold cat’s face in chocolate sauce.

cheki maid cafe polaroids

Customers can pose with the maids for cheki, or souvenir Polaroid photos that we decorate (in kawaii ways, of course).

domo backpack, cat ears headband

Maid Cafe NY was packed with customers. They’re doing an incredible job at bringing Jpop fans together. Many of them are young and dress up in Japanese street fashion.

hatsune miku green wig

My friend Jenny (a talented illustrator) dons a long turquoise wig, in a tip of the hat to Hatsune Miku.

Inside the cafe is Cosplay Shopper, a store that sells anime/manga costumes and accessories like cat ear headbands, or Sailor Moon outfits. These goods are also available through their online site.

cosplay shopper, ny store

Camila invited me to be a judge in their cosplay contest. I know New York has a big community of cosplayers, and that the turnout would be impressive.

new york cosplay contest

Even so, the event was beyond expectations! Over a hundred contestants and spectators lined up in front of the cafe, dressed to the nines. We barely managed to pack everyone in, and it was standing room only.

cosplayers nyc, competition

How cool are these handmade cosplay designs? Can you recognize the characters they are representing?

japanese snacks restaurant nyc

We assigned the contestants a number, and they went inside to put on the finishing touches. Wigs teased up, and circle contacts in.

anime costumes, ny cosplay girls

Some of these intricate costumes took months to complete, all by hand.

bubble tea, chinatown new york

Everyone gathered in front of the stage, packed like sardines. Jenny and Hiten cooled off with bubble tea.

cosplayers, ny comic con

The winners would get passes to New York Comic Con and gift certificates for Cosplay Shopper. One by one, they went on stage and showed off their outfits with flair. We asked them questions, such as why they chose to be this character, or how they made the various pieces.

pastel pink japanese wig

Camila announces the next contestant. What a parade of creativity: we saw armor constructed from cardboard, weapons from duct tape…

handmade cosplay costumes

Many of the cosplayers were still in high school, and made these colorful DIY costumes in their spare time.

cosplay boy crossdress

The contest brought together J-culture lovers, and celebrated their creativity — I say that’s a success! Thanks to everyone who showed up despite the rain; I always love meeting readers in person.

maid cafe new york city

Maid Cafe NY and Cosplay Shopper have more special events coming up, which you can find on their sites. Hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to swing by the cafe for a cat-faced cappuccino sometime.

cosplayers dressing up

Have you ever tried cosplaying? Which character would you dress as?

paper factory hotel new york

Also check out my photoshoot at the Paper Factory, to see more of this art-hotel. One more NYC post to come… and with luck, I’ll be back here soon.



  1. Algernon
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Are you going to @DragonCon ?

  2. Benny
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    cuteness all around ^^

  3. Carmen
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Great post!!!

  4. Glitch
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Woah, you got to see Reni Mimura at Maid Cafe NY! ^o^

  5. Clara
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    <3 cosplay

  6. Jen
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    happy for u!

  7. Paul
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    great ……

  8. Lindsay
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    ahhh i wish i were there

  9. Sonny
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink


  10. Jillian
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    (—; is great

  11. Philip
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I had planned to visit but my ex roommate made it impossible. Now that I have a new cleaner safer roommate this is top priority to visit.

  12. Ani
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Amazing cafe!

  13. David
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink


  14. Lee
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    I love the maid dresses

  15. Eme
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    (ृ ु *´ω`*)ु

  16. Ghoul
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink


  17. Freddy
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    wow so awesome

  18. Aki
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    do you like maid cafe? lol You should visit Japan!!

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