Tuesday, October 31, 2006
A Citified Halloween to You
Kitty Potter, Count Chihuacula, and Darth Pug courtesy of e-mail pals.
If you spent an American childhood in residential neighborhoods of mostly one or couple-family homes, your Halloweens (like mine) were different than what happens here. In my more rural postings, we even had small, neglected graveyards to visit and dark open fields to run through, scaring ourselves silly.
As I'm not sure I've ever described it, here's New York's Upper East Side Halloween scene:
I live in an entirely urban area with clustered highrises and multi-unit walkups. The street level on 2nd Avenue is primarily retail and restaurants with the occasional, marble apartment lobby thrown in. On either side of sundown, as it is cusping just this moment, adorably masquerading tots in strollers, or led by parents' hands, and much larger kids in packs displaying lazier pagaentry are trick-or-treating at businesses. At my nearby Barnes & Noble, I waited in line while pint-sized superheroes found the candy cave in the back of the children's section, sucking down mini ice cream cones from their last stop. Outside Mustang Bar & Grill, a tequila-and-cigar-infused meat market after midnight, were posing adult superheroes in fancy rental costumes, taking pictures with kids as well as doling out the goodies. One of the highrises had a detailed landscape of creepery set up in the lobby, also suitable for memory-making. From the Go Sushi to the GNC, from bagelry to drug store, the owners and operators were dolled-up and stocked-up with the handouts.
I must admit, it does enliven the walk around my neighborhood with an unusual whimsy and welcome festivity, and in lower Manhattan, there'll be a big parade at 8. But it is, nonetheless, a little like trick-or-treating in a mall, which I'm also sure must happen among the safety-first suburban set.
Thanks to all who've sent me pumpkin art and animals in costume. You know my vices and weaknesses, even if I haven't posted them here yet. Enjoy the above few as I say Boo! To you!