leisure 06.13.03

City Hunt

Urban adventure? Concrete safari? Pub crawl? City Hunt scavenger hunts are a bit of all three.

The ingredients are these:
· 4-10 teams
· 4-6 people per team
· a Polaroid camera
· a map

FIRST CLUE: Go to the city's most novel loaning center. It's on a street that runs opposite its namesake.

The team's job is to decipher the clue, then go to the location it suggests. At that location, the team must perform a task — perhaps help a stranger (and take a picture while doing it). After that, they need to answer a question at the location. The answer leads them to a bar where the first team to arrive wins a pitcher of beer. There are usually four bars and the whole thing takes about four hours.

City Hunt isn't designed for puzzle fanatics; it's really about having a good time, according to Jaymes Dec and Ben Hoffman, who started the company two years ago. Mr. Dec had spent a month planning a hunt for a friend's birthday party which, he says, "turned into a disaster. It was all around the city and by the end of the night, everyone was sick and tired."

Still, he and Mr. Hoffman (who had crashed that party) thought it could be a lot of fun, especially if they stuck to one neighborhood, which is the model now. They've got the rest of it down, too, and they've had a wide range of ages and types enjoying the hunts.

The next one scheduled is on June 20th at 6pm. It's $20 per person. For more information, call 212.696.6537 or check out their site at www.cityhunt.org.

City Hunt will do also custom versions for organizations (call Mr. Hoffman at 917.217.5340 for that) and they're about to launch Kidventures, an offshoot that will design high-end children's events, with a hunt as a key component.

And the answer to the first clue? The city's most novel loaning center is a library. The street that runs opposite its namesake: Hudson Street, since it runs north, while the river runs south. So you'd be looking for a library on Hudson Street.
Michael Gelb, the author of the best-selling book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, will give a seminar version tomorrow starting at 10:15am at the Open Center, 83 Spring [Bway/Lafayette] 212.219.2527…We got something wrong yesterday: Illuminations, our pick for candle specialist, closed their Spring Street store a while back. MUG regrets the error.

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