New York is full of surprises. Anywhere, at any time, there is something absurd, inventive, or magical happening. Like on Saturday, April 2, when there was an enormous pillow fight in the middle of Union Square.
This pillow fight was a part of International Pillow Fight Day, organized by the Urban Playground Movement, a collective dedicated to making unique happenings in public spaces a larger part of popular culture and "replacing passive, non-social consumption experiences like watching television, and consciously celebrating public spaces in our cities as our 'urban living rooms.'" Basically, get up off your butts and interact with other human beings, world. This particular pillow fight was organized by Newmindspace, the brain child of Toronto-based artists Lori Kufner and Kevin Bracken, known for putting on large-scale, free public events such as this one. The New York Pillow Fight is one of their largest events, in three hours drawing as many as 5,000 people.
People began lining up around barricades in Union Square more than an hour before the event, congregating with their pillows (no feathers allowed, though a few did slip by), warpaint, and even battle costumes (one kid dressed as William Wallace in Braveheart). It was all a friendly, silly atmosphere of that happy, crazy energy adults normally use to do things like play kickball, channeled into pillow fighting absurdity. People of all ages counted down the ten seconds before 3 o'clock, then went insane on each other, smiling and smacking with delight. It's rough stuff, though--after 15 minutes, we had taken quite a fluffy beating.
When ALiCo told me about the event, I was instantly on board, if for the potential photographs alone. I was not disappointed. Take a look for some of my favorite scenes from the fight.