It’s pretty obvious that one of the best things about living in NYC is that there is always something to do. It’s not as obvious that one of these things to do would be to watch the International Quidditch World Cup. If you aren’t familiar with Quidditch, we probably aren’t very good friends. It is the game featured in Harry Potter, and while I don’t have a Gryffindor scarf (Emily), I did spend a good amount of time at my cousin Claire’s wedding right after the last book was released acting out spells with some of my other cousins. Yes, we are really cool and we are fully aware of this. I also have been frantically re-reading all seven books and re-watching all six movies in anticipation of HP and the Deathly Hallows (which Emily and I might go see after our Rockettes experience on Thursday).
At colleges around the country, students have been forming their very own Quidditch teams to reenact this magical game played at Hogwarts in each book and movie. Considering it is a game played on flying broomsticks and involves magic, the rules have been well-adapted for Muggles (humans). Players must pretend that they are riding a broomstick the entire time they are playing, which means that they really are only playing with one hand. There are three goalposts on each end of the field, hoops on stands. There are four balls, two quaffles – to shoot through the goalposts for scoring – and two bludgers – if a player gets hit with a bludger, he or she has to run back to his or her team’s goalpost before doing anything else. In addition to the points for throwing quaffles through the goalposts, there are points given to whoever is able to catch the “Golden Snitch”. In the Wizard World, the Snitch is a ball with wings that whizzes around the field at unimaginable speeds. In the Muggle World, the Snitch is another college student, running around in yellow clothing. You can imagine the amusement this brings…
Emily, Mike, and Kara came in to the city to check this event out. Luckily it was only a few blocks from my apartment so I had no qualms about joining (although if this had been held in Brooklyn or Ohio, I might have gone anyway, because it was THAT cool.) Oh, and don’t worry, there was a stand where you could get t-shirts, brochures, official rule books, and your own broomsticks and wands. It was pretty much the best possible way to spend a 60 degree Saturday in the city. And it’s not every day that Quidditch is played in NYC, so if you can make it to De Witt Clinton Park (between 11th and 12th Avenues & 52nd and 54th Streets) tomorrow for the finals, you probably should. If for nothing else but to laugh. The commentators are *almost* as good as Lee Jordan.