tarcon9.jpgIf you were any where in the Garment district yesterday evening, you may have noticed a huge line of non-New Yorker types outside of the bar, Stitch. And if you are any type of Amazing Race fan, you already know those people were lined up for TARCON 9 (The Amazing Race CONvention). Sponsored by Television Without Pity, the event gives TAR fans a place to reminisce over past seasons, bet on that night's finale, drink at an open bar, and meet some of the race participants along with host, Phil Keoghan... for a small fee, of course.

Gothamist must admit to be a fan of the Emmy winning show. Gothamist will even admit to sending in an audition tape a few seasons back (the only reality show in which we would dare to participate). So while the friendliness and fervor of fellow TARCON'ers was a bit disconcerting at first, we were quickly drawn in and cheering with the rest of them. Spread out over two levels, there was plenty of room for tv viewing, if not for sitting. And though the noise level of the rabid fans drowned out most of the dialogue, closed-captioning was provided for the more serious viewers.

2006_05_hippielove.jpgGothamist was rooting for Team BJ and Tyler, known affectionately, and accurately, as the Hippies. So, we were hooting and hollering (did we mention the open bar) when they won. Being nearly eliminated twice, the Hippies won after a suspenseful task involving 5th grade geography skills Gothamist itself does not possess. The Amazing Race does not just require speed and endurance, but a proficient knowledge of world flags as well. After the finale, cast members made appearances, being in town for this morning's "Early Show" on CBS. They were happy to take photos and mingle with fans. Host, Phil Keoghan, was an easy favorite. To read his take on this season's event, check out Phil's blog.

In the end, if you're a fan it's great fun to spend the night watching tv on a giant screen, in a bar where everyone knows your name...mostly because you're wearing a name-tag though.

Photographs from Dan Dickinson's set of TARCON/Early Show photographs