International Pillow Fight Day!!!
New York Travel Blog› entry 6 of 7 › view all entries
Ah, there was excitement in the air as today I would be attending the annual International Pillow Fight Day! Unfortunately, due to an early morning Geology class, yes Geology, I had to be up by 6:30AM making me pretty damn tired! So 6 hours and a big ass coffee later, I was ready to meet my friend for the main event!
Heading down to Union Square I couldn't help but be pleased with the weather. It was a little chilly, but still the best weather we have had for a long time. I eventually found my friend and was surprised to see he had bought full body pillows which seemed pretty damn lethal! Apparently they were the cheapest thing at the local .99 cent store yet they cost 5.99! Ah, I love a good mystery!
Before entering the arena, you get checked by an officer to make sure you have a pillow and nothing inside it to hurt anyone.
Stepping into the arena, everything seemed innocent enough, but I did feel a little like an extra in Gladiator. Well, except I had a stupid bag over my shoulder that included a laptop to take notes in class. Trust me, Maximus would have used it if he had one!
It started out innocent enough. Everyone stood around chatting waiting for the big countdown to occur. Once it did, you could see everyone taking their stance pillow above head. As the countdown hit 0, all hell broke loose.
Immediately, a crazy frenzy of pillow hitting enveloped the group and I soon lost sight of my friend.
Apparently, it had turned out that he wanted a little more action and headed into the center of the arena in search of the crazies pillow fighters from hell as he apparently had some pent up aggression he needed to get rid of. Let me put it this way, he has four brothers, he is use to receiving and inflicting large amounts of pain.
I remained on the outskirts of the arena but I soon learned that this was not a happy fun event for the faint of heart.
I did stay in the action for a good 15 minutes before realizing after being kicked in the shin full force that it was only going to get worse as the adrenaline got pumping higher. That and my stupid laptop was holding me back from swinging the pillow over my head full force. I know how to wield a pillow trust me, but I also needed those notes for finals if I ever had any hopes of getting into graduate school. Priorities my friend! So in search of my friend, I pulled over to the side of the arena. There I spotted a few small children and decided to have a little fun whacking them with tiny hits so that they could get into the action with someone who was not out to kill anyone. You haven’t lived until you are ganged up on by a group of 5-6 six year olds.
After another 10 minutes, my friend finally came over red in the face with a look of satisfaction. He apparently had kicked the hell out of several punks who were loading their pillows with extras when they tried to gang up on him. He knew what to do, again he has four brothers. I was raised around all brothers too, but for some reason this was just way too crazy for me.
As we walked out of the arena, I asked him if he would do it again knowing what it was like. The photos online make it seem like this happy little childhood place of happy pillow fights and puppy dogs. It is not. It was more like a scene out of some crazy prison movie! He said he would definitely be back next year as he thought it was a lot of fun to beat the hell out of people with pillows, especially the punks. Me not so much. Maybe I was just made to be a spectator in the wonderful world of pillow fighting.
So know the facts before you go to Union Square. It is nothing like the photos! It is pure chaos and there are punks in the group looking to hurt other people because they suck. I wouldn’t advise bringing small kids here, I really wouldn’t. Just know that once you go into the arena, you will be hurt in some way unless you really didn’t participate. My bruise finally healed after a week and a half.
But there are some fun aspects as well. It is a freak show in the greatest sense! People come in full costume to partake in the madness which adds to the surreal experience. You can tell that these people have been to the event many times before and had no hesitation getting into the mix. Also know that if someone gangs up on someone too aggressively goodness will prevail as many strangers will band together to kick this person’s ass. That was a lot of fun to watch as many had watched these punks take out people who couldn’t defend themselves with packed pillows. We watched in satisfaction as they got nailed by 5-10 bystanders who didn’t like the way they played. Good will always beat out evil, even in pillow fights!