Saturday, January 29, 2011
Early Saturday Afternoon in Bushwick: Start of Idiotarod 2011 on Grattan Street
We thought we came across the end of the 2011 Idiotarod around noon today in Bushwick but later learned it was actually the beginning. We were walking down Bogart Street to the L train when we saw what seemed to be a snowball fight between contestants in the shopping cart race on either side of Grattan Street.
People were being told not to go into the gutter (street for non-native New Yorkers), which hadn't at all been plowed.
The south side of Grattan Street seemed to be lobbing most of the snowballs over to the north side.
The race's start and route are always mysterious. We got a better look four years ago, when we were near McCarren Park in Greenpoint.
Last year's race was, according to Carts of Brooklyn, supposed to start at Socrates Sculpture Park, but apparently this year everyone knew it would be in Brooklyn. As our friend Aaron Short wrote in The Brooklyn Paper, the Idiotarod is "the famed third jewel of the hipster Triple Crown (after SantaCon and the No Pants Subway Ride)."
We had business in Fort Greene this morning and when we got home at 11:40 a.m., we read on Gothamist that the race was starting in Maria Hernandez Park.
We took the L train to Montrose Street and moseyed about and had already given up when we heard the noise.
Obviously there are non-crappy actual race pics elsewhere. Por ejemplo, this Yfrog pic by esbcivic of a team psyched up for battle at Maria Hernandez Park
or this great photo by Gemini_Scorpio at Twitpic.
All we could get was a shot of one of the Team Monster Mash team looking lonely in the snow.
And this weird pic looks like a female cosmonaut is about to be menaced by something other than a snowball. We heard someone ask, "How are you?" and another person answer, "Drunk."
Sorry, we're not a real photographer! We teach them at the fabulous School of Visual Arts, but only things like Antigone, The Inferno and Twelfth Night.
And we're sure there'll be more coming from the official Idiotarod 2011 press photographers. Check out the great Anna Fischer.
All we saw was what we first thought the end of the route, with the what we assumed was the after-party at the Pine Box Rock Shop about to begin. We were too cold and too old for this, so we returned to Dumbo Books HQ in Williamsburg. Only later did we realize that we saw in fact not the ending, but the start of the race, which went on to Greenpoint (as we assumed it would -- they were just ten times slower than we would have believed).
So the Pine Box Rock Shop was the first check-in point, and the after-party was at Coco666 around 4 p.m. Still, it was a colorful enough part of the race in disgustingly snow-ridden Brooklyn for us to enjoy.
Like we said, this winter will happily be our last in Brooklyn. Next year, we'll be a sexagenarian enjoying watching the Phoenix Idiotarod (scheduled this year for next Saturday) in 70 degree warmth amidst the palm trees.