Buenos Aires Flashmob Pillow Fight

November 18, 2006 by · 26 Comments 

Lucha de Almohadas!

Pillow Fight in Buenos Aires

Today Parque Tres de Febrero, in front of the Planetario building (Palermo), descended into pure feathery chaos, as Argentina’s 1st ever flash mob event took place – a ‘Lucha de Almohadas’. Basically, a massive outdoor pillow fight between a group of total strangers, arranged over the internet.

There must have been thousands there*, pillows in hand and ready for the fight, and possibly almost as many taking pictures and videos with their cameras. I brought both camera and pillow, and did a little bit of pillow fighting, and a little bit of pillow recording, sometimes simultaneously 🙂

*EDIT: Update – Clarin newspaper on Sunday (whose front page photo of the pillow fight is no way as good as mine above 😉 ), estimated that over 3,000 people attended the pillow fight, with no injuries (although I saw at least one very bloody nose). That’s a lot of pillows!

For those seeking instant gratification…

If this post is too long for you to read it all, and you only want to see one thing, I URGE YOU TO SCROLL DOWN TO THE FINAL YOUTUBE VIDEO (it is the fifth embedded video), which is of a ¨horse¨being ambushed by crazed pillow-wielding maniacs. It is hilarious. Trust me.

For those that would like the full experience, I hope you enjoy my story of the day told in in photos and videos…

Calm before the (feather) storm

Calm before the pillow fight feather storm

Pillow Fights are a dangerous business

Buenos Aires Ambulances

And they need to be closely controlled. With tape.

Buenos Aires Lucha de Almohadas Security

(Does he, to the right, think that pickaxe vs pillow is a fair fight?)

Battle plans are made

Buenos Aires Pillow Fight Battle Plans

Early Skirmishes Occur

Kids pillow fight skirmish Buenos Aires

Kids will be kids…

The old guy in the short video above, kitted out in a karate costume, was trying to take on all 3,000 people singlehandedly, before the event started. Obviously he’d watched one too many Bruce Lee movies. Did you see the one where he killed 9 men with a single swing of his pillow? 🙂

The ‘Guerra de Almohadas’ of Argentina Begins

Guerra de Almohadas Begins

And battle rages on…

Buenos Aires Palermo Pillow Fight rages on

And on…

And oon…

And ooon…

And ooooon…..

Buenos Aires Pillow Fight

Every war has its casualties

Lost Shoe in Pillow Fight

Be they shoe… (this man was pillowed to death. All that remained is shown in that harrowing picture)…

…or horse! The horse above was in the middle of an interview with the media, quite normal really. Do pillow fighters have no manners? (sorry for the bad camera work!)

What goes up…

Feathers go up at Pillow fight

…must come down…

Feathers come down at Buenos Aires pillow fight

Get it? Feathers….down…? OK, bad joke, sorry!

Palermo Park ends in quite a state

As you can see, it all ended in a big old mess. Hundreds of pillows bursting all over the place also played havoc on me and my allergies, but still, it was amazing fun, for me, and the other thousands of people there. It lasted well over an hour, and probably a lot more than that (I gave up and went home, there is only so many unexpected blows to the back of the head a man can take), but I’m guessing it will take Parque Tres de Febrero and the Palermo parks people a lot longer than that to clean up. Sorry guys.

If anyone else that reads this went to the Pillow fight, please post your experiences below in the comments, and feel free to link to your blog with comments and pictures, or YouTube for videos or whatever. And if you link to this post, I of course cordially invite you to ‘trackback’ (sorry for the netgeek blogspeak). Until next time, pillow fans…

Postscript: How the Buenos Aires Pillow Buzz Began

I first noticed the plans for this crazy event in a blog post by Diva, one of my favorite BA bloggers, pointing to the blog that had the idea and organised the whole thing. I knew immediately I had to go, because I like to hit random strangers with pillows, only modern society is not usually so forgiving to such tendencies. However, I thought it was likely to be a small affair with maybe 100 people max turning up. How wrong I was to be!

Soon after I saw that Global Voices Online had posted a link to a post in a well-known blog (outside of the Buenos Aires Blogosphere), Blogher, by Liz Henry, talking about this event, so at this stage it had basically gone ‘international’. What’s more, that blog post drew my attention to the fact that the Buenos Aires City Government blog had posted about the upcoming Pillow Fight too! That’s some real official recognition, and obviously this was going to be bigger than I thought. Another post from Buenos Aires Weekly, yet another great Buenos Aires blog, confirmed the news was spreading fast.

In the thick of the Buenos Aires Pillow Fight

Soon after it actually became real news! Argentine newspapers and Buenos Aires media all over the shop started picking up on the story, in order: 26 Noticias, Clarin Suplemento SI!, Perfil, Clarin newspaper, Infobae, and even the very respectable La Nacion! After 20,000 people had visited her blogspot blog, organizer Marina Ponzi then decided to get a new website, and even started to claim that this was no longer a flash mob event, even though the name of the new site suggests so. All a little confusing, but it didn’t stop the press buzz rolling…

And then, the pillow fight REALLY hit the big time: I posted about it in this blog the other day. That must have driven at least, oooh, one more person to go along 😉

It was interesting for me to watch this internet meme grow in front of my very eyes, as described above, and then be there as the event occurred, so successfully, all starting from one simple idea and a free blogspot blog. And thanks, of course, to Marina for that idea 🙂

Palermo Hippodrome Horse Racing

November 13, 2006 by · 16 Comments 

Palermo Hipodromo Horses Action Shot!

The ‘Hipodromo Argentino’ in Palermo

For fans of horse racing, the ‘Hipodromo Argentino’ (Argentina’s Main Racecourse) is definitely worth a visit. If you are here in mid-November, you may even be able to catch the most important event in the racing calendar, the ‘Gran Premio Nacional’, which is sometimes also known as the ‘Argentine Derby.’

You may expect the Hipodromo to be full of annoying, snooty, better-than-you upper class people, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Just like race meetings in the UK or US, there is a mix of all types of people there, including many families, enjoying the day out in the sun.

The history of Buenos Aires Hippodrome

Palermo Hipodromo winner

This beautiful race track was inaugurated on 7th May 1876, when a horse called Resbaloso took the honors in the first race, watched by 10 thousand people. These days, in addition to this sport being called ‘Turf’ here in Argentina, almost all of the horses have English names, which means it is often fun to hear the racetrack announcer try and fail with the pronunciation.

The main entrance and stand was built in 1908, with a capacity of 2,000, by a French architect named Faure Dujarric, in the usual lovely Art Nouveau style of that period that is seen all through Buenos Aires, especially in Recoleta and along Avenida de Mayo in the city center.

The Hipodromo has been privately owned since 1992. That probably goes some way towards explaining the over-zealous security guards there who will no doubt harass you not to take pictures.

Palermo Hipodromo Argentino - Main Building

Also inside that building are seemingly miles and miles of underground slot machines. There are in fact more than 2000 of these automated money grabbers – and they are more popular than the horses, in fact that part of the Hipodromo is open 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. It’s one of those places where can’t tell what time of day it is if you lose track of time, or just lose yourself among the miles of slot machines. There is certainly a lot of money in this building, which again may explain the tight security.

The ‘Gran Premio Nacional’ of Argentina

The Argentine equivalent of the Derby is called the Gran Premio Nacional, running on a chosen Saturday every mid-November. It was first run in 1884. The best horses in Argentina compete in the race, for the honor of being the best in a country that has some excellent horses.

Another nice touch you may get to experience at a historic race such as the Gran Premio is the performance of the national anthem before the main race by the Granaderos, the Argentine horseback regiment formed by General San Martin, who is the main Argentine independence hero.

Granaderos playing Argentine National Anthem at Palermo Hipodromo

The Hipodromo – Getting there and getting in

The Hipodromo is not too easily reachable by public transport, but it is definitely doable. You can either get the subway Line D to the Palermo stop, and then walk about 5 blocks along Avenida Intendente Bullrich  (pass ‘Jumbo’ supermarket) until you reach Av. Dorrego, where you will see the Hipodromo across the street and to the left. Or you can get either bus 10, 36, 160 or 166, which all drop you off in that area. But it is probably easiest to get a taxi there and back.

Entrance to the Hipodromo has varying costs, depending on the day you go and the importance of the race. Not very much for what is a very nice, long day out – races usually start around noon and go right the way into the evening. You can check ahead when races are held by calling 4778-2800 (if you speak Spanish) or on www.palermo.com.ar – click ‘Informacion Hipica’ followed by ‘Calendario y Resultados’ for a list of all the race meeting dates, which continue all year round.

Location of the Palermo Hippodrome

Avenida del Libertador 4100, between Avenida Dorrego and Olleros, Palermo

Buenos Aires > Things to do Buildings and Architecture > Palermo Hippodrome

 

Choose your currency:

Close
Converted prices are for reference only - all orders are charged in $ US Dollars ($) USD.
  • USDUS Dollars ($)
  • EUREuros (€)
  • GBPPounds Sterling (£)
  • AUDAustralian Dollars ($)
  • BRLBrazilian Real (R$)
  • CADCanadian Dollars ($)
  • HKDHong Kong Dollar ($)
  • NZDNew Zealand Dollar ($)
  • CHFSwiss Franc
  • ZARSouth African Rand