Brooklyn Boro

Twelfth annual NYC Idiotarod races through Brooklyn

February 2, 2016 By Andy Katz Special to the Brooklyn Eagle
“Brooklyn is mellower,” explains Idiot Labs judge Oriana outside checkpoint one, the Brownstone Bar & Grill. Eagle photos by Andy Katz
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While thousands of politically aware millennials filled the streets of Lower Manhattan in support of their candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a slightly different demographic with priorities focused more toward hyperbole, irony and happy hour listened to Head Judge Anney Fresh proclaim: “This is a race to find the most Idiotarod who will rule the world!”

Thus began the 12th annual NYC Idiotarod race as costumed teams pushed heavily customized shopping carts from the hipster-strewn Lower East Side, across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn on Saturday.

“Brooklyn is mellower,” explained Idiot Labs judge Oriana, during a pause at the first checkpoint, the Brownstone Bar & Restaurant on Gold Street. “We have fewer problems here.” Perhaps, she opined, because people are more easy going and accepting of such an idiotic quest.

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“I was never a hippie,” Red Hook resident Dvorah told the Brooklyn Eagle, awaiting a bus in front of Buschenschank, a Cobble Hill bar and Idiotorad’s second checkpoint. “I never felt the need to follow the crowd,” she added, while nodding approvingly at the now well-lubricated team members as they filled the Court Street sidewalk imbibing liquid inspiration for the next and final leg of the race.

Iron workers put the finishing touches on the one-ton guillotine blade that would destroy the carts after assembly at Idiotarod NYC’s final leg, and awards for originality, stamina, style and the most effective bribing of Idiot Labs judges were presented. The destruction took place at the Gowanus Ballroom at 59 Ninth St., an iron-workshop and art space set in a cluster of industrial and art spaces alongside Gowanus Canal. Team “Thomas the Train Wreck” took the big, strange trophy this year, doubtless in part because their cart’s flaming grill ensured no judge suffered hunger pangs during the seven-hour, five-mile epoch.

When asked to comment on the Alaska Idotarod’s notorious cease and desist order issued to the NYC Idiotarod, head judge Anney Fresh scratched her head momentarily: “’Idotarod’?” she said. “I’ve never heard of it.”


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