International Pillow Fight Day

by Mariah Castillo

The best workout you’ll get all year

April 4th was International Pillow Fight Day and this year, Newmindspace organized the 7th annual New York City Pillow Fight in Washington Square Park. Thousands of people, and several policemen, flocked downtown to organized chaos.

I’ve wanted to do this since I came to Barnard, and this year, there were no immediate commitments that prevented me from going, so I took the trip and got there early. Even by 2:40, the park was full. People of all ages were waiting for the signal. A Jazz group I’ve seen playing at the 59th Street station, featuring a man who plays two trumpets at once, was there inadvertently livening up the place. When I left, I saw the trumpet player shaking his head at the craziness.

There was no theme for the pillow fight this year (last year’s theme was superheroes and villains), but many people came dressed for the occasion. I met a family wearing onesies of different animals. One group that really caught my attention arrived to the fight thirty minutes late waving a flag and blasting “The Ants Go Marching” on a boombox. I also saw someone dressed up as Bane and another in the Nesquik rabbit costume (though I can’t tell if he was working alone, since I saw a Nesquik truck just around the corner). The man obsessed with farts and a new world order, who is always spotted in the area, was there as well, letting out war cries as he hit people with one hand and took selfies in the other.

Being part of the pillow fight made me realize how short I was. Almost everyone I fought towered over me, and most of the hits I got were on the head. Thankfully, this left many people’s torsos open, so I swung at them sideways. The fight was also a reminder that I needed to work out more. I was out of breath soon after the pillow fight commenced, due to a combination of laughing so hard and doing more physical activity than my sedentary body is used to. I was out of the brawl by 3:30, even though the fight was to officially end at 5. My arms and shoulders were sore by the end of it, but it was all worth it. This time in the semester is a stressful one, so I thought of this excursion as a well-deserved stress-buster.

Newmindspace always has great, free events in the city. I would recommend going to any of their events if you want a good time. Taking part in any of these flash mob-style of events should be on anyone’s To-Do list!

Mariah Castillo is a Junior at Barnard College and the Editor-in-Chief of The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of Demotix.

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