You Will Survive

The results of the Alibi's third annual Scavenger Hunt!

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, August 14, 2008

Zuri Bennett and her mom Nancy lived off Doritos and jellybeans for two days (well, it felt like it), but on the other side of those sugar-fueled 48 hours, they emerged champions. The Alibi's third annual Scavenger Hunt asked contestants to find 79 items in our city over the course of a weekend. More than 90 teams signed up, and many came close to the target. But 20-year-old Bennett (escorted around town and photographed by her fellow brainstormer) finished with a considerable lead.

Among the hard-to-find items Team Bennett spotted were an opened fire hydrant, a recumbent bicyclist (an outdoor one; not someone at the gym), a pre-1980 Balloon Fiesta T-shirt, a scary clown (challenging because Bennett is petrified of clowns), folk artist Steve White in his Pez jacket (and now matching Pez pants and crown; they even stayed awhile to play putt-putt in his backyard), a real rainbow, and a hand-crafted double rainbow made from glasses of water and sunlight (this partial-pointer was inspired from episodes of "Bill Nye the Science Guy").

What was the hardest thing to find? "Probably the McCain sign. We drove everywhere, and we could only find that one. Tons of Obama signs, but only one McCain."

Bennett says they didn't have a strategy. "We didn't really know where to go; we were just wandering around."

That was partially the point. Two years ago, we here at the Alibi thought about the meaning of our annual Survival Guide. The reasoning behind this issue is to help people get to know their city, whether they just moved here or were born in its backyard. Some of that can be done through advice and providing important contacts and resources, articles about which are strewn throughout this issue (look for the flashy "Survival Guide" button peppering pages). But the most helpful thing, we thought, would be to get people looking around their city in ways they hadn't done before. Where would you go to find a caged chicken? A candidate for Congress? A pay phone? And our annual Scavenger Hunt was born. We hope those of you who participated had a blast, and we hope those of you who didn't do it have a blast looking at their exploits.

For their admirable accomplishments, Team Bennett will receive two free passes to the Guild Cinema, $30 in gift certificates to Taj Palace Indian Restaurant, a $20 gift certificate to Tucanos Brazilian Grill, $20 in gift certificates to Hinkle Family Fun Center, a $25 gift certificate to JC's New York Pizza Department, $40 in gift certificates to the Calico Café, $30 in gift certificates to the Central Park Hair Studio and a $70 gift certificate to the 8th Street House of Natural Therapeutics, a prize package worth more than $240.

Congratulations, Team Bennett. Now on with the show.