One of the benefits of facebook is finding out about weird celebrations from friends; such as pillow fight day. We couldn't resist going to this semi-flashmob. The deal was everyone was supposed to hide the pillows until 3:00. So we brought along some backpacks. Everyone with bulging backpacks and bags must have driven all the camera watching people crazy. Once we got to union square everyone had a pillow and a camera. There were news people kept trying to rally people up so they could do their sound bites but for the most part most people were pretty sedate waiting until 3. It started at the right time at 3'o clock with someone yellowing pillowfight and a huge cheer raising up. I was quite surprised that this big of an event (around 2000 people) could be pulled off without any real organizers. There was a central mass of people just hitting strangers with pillows. As people get tired they would step out to the edge and be replaced by other people. Circling the pillow fighting group were all the people with cameras. Even though they had said no feathers, there were feathers and dust everywhere. I had a pillow in one had and a camera in the other. It was crowded enough that you could only swing the pillow with your arm straight up, so there was no way to get enough leverage for anyone to get hurt. If there was enough space for some to get a good swing in and they were trying to be violent then they would get swarmed by the people around them swinging back until there wasn't enough space for leverage again. It was surprising how self-regulating it really was.
We had a blast. We spent the rest of the day in the city and even though we donated the pillows to an animal shelter when we were tired we still could recognize anyone that had been in the pillow fight since they still had a few feathers in their hair and clothes. I do have to admit that it was cathartic, even if it was total strangers I was hitting with a pillow.