Friday, May 29, 2009

Improv Everywhere MP 3 Experiment On Roosevelt Island - The Battle For Southpoint Park, Who Will Win?

You Tube Video of Battle For Southpoint Park

No, this battle for Southpoint Park was not between the opponents and supporters of the proposed Kahn/FDR Memorial or a scene from a new updated sequel to Braveheart. It was part of Improv Everywhere's MP3 Experiment that took place last Saturday afternoon on Roosevelt Island. As explained by blogger The Chronicles of Chris who came all the way from New Hampshire for the event:
... As 4:00 rolled around, everyone began putting their headphones on, and we all pressed play. After a few minutes of catchy music, Steve (The Omnipotent Voice From Above) began speaking. He started us off with some simple exercises, such as stretching our necks and greeting our neighbors. There was this one guy in a green shirt participating from a wheelchair, which I thought was really awesome.

After playing some little games, dancing with eachother, following strangers around, and taking spontaneous naps on the ground, we set off on a rather long walk to the southernmost tip of the island. Here we were split into teams and given inflatable weapons. After pounding on eachother for a while, a big bad wolf appeared in the distance and we were questioned why we were fighting with eachother. We turned our army of up to 2,000 people on that one wolf, and he got taken down because I even got a whack....
The NY Times was there as well:
... Through all of this, you couldn't stop laughing. Part of it was the weirdness of seeing 3,000 people acting in perfect unison, even though externally, there wasn't a sound. Part of it was the cleverness of the script, and Steve's complete irreverence. ("Did you know that the art of square dancing was invented right here on Roosevelt Island? It probably wasn't, but we're going to square dance anyway.")...
I asked Improv Everywhere creator Charlie Todd what he thought about the Roosevelt Island experience and he replied:
We had a fantastic time on Roosevelt Island. I was personally thrilled when Roosevelt Live asked us to stage an event on the island. I've been a fan of RI for years, and getting to stage a massive event at South Point was an incredible opportunity. We were really excited to be able to show our participants such a unique and often over-looked spot.

Over 2,000 people attended the event (some guess it was close to 3,000.) The finale had the entire crowd battle each other with enormous inflatable bats and hammers at South Point. We got lots of smiles and high fives from local residents. Hopefully everyone on the island had a good laugh and our massive crowd didn't delay anyone's travel to and from the island too much. It was unfortunate that the F train wasn't running on the Manhattan-bound track, but the ROIC was nice enough to run the tram on rush-hour service.

You can read comments from our participants and follow links to photos on our site: Mp3 Experiment Six - Thanks!

We will have a complete recap with video up in a few weeks.
It is a shame that such a fun and crazy event like the MP3 Experiment that utilizes the open space and panoramic 360 views of the NYC skyline and East River waterfront currently available from Southpoint Park is in danger of being lost forever if the proposed sterile, concrete mausoleum like Louis Kahn/FDR Memorial is approved to be built at Southpoint Park.

You Tube Video of Improv Everywhere at Southpoint Park Roosevelt Island


Anonymous said...

And the event would have been just the same fun if there were a memorial.