|Halloween or just another crazy NYC night? –credit|
Halloween in NYC is a crazy time, and in a crazy city there’s no reason it won’t be out of control. Next week will mark my fifth Halloween in New York! Each October 31 (and the preceding as well as following weekend), has been incredibly different and memorable in unique and interesting ways.
|Bright light, big city, scary ghosts –credit|
My first Halloween in NYC, I went to a Tegan & Sara concert at Town Hall, a small venue in Times Square, which ended up being a great spot to hang out on Halloween. Although I usually dread walking through the crowds, the density of costumes and strangers posing for pictures with each other was highly entertaining. It was impossible to distinguish the professional street performers from Japanese tourists in full-body Statue of Liberty costumes! A concert was a great place to be for Halloween, and I’ve since made it a priority to attend concerts where performers and viewers will be in costume. I’ve found it preferable in many ways to the chaos of the streets and subway on Halloween night.
The following year, I decided that I needed to attend the Village Halloween Parade, which is known as the best Halloween event in the world, and the largest celebration of its kind. Any seasoned New Yorker has stories from attending the festivities— whether this be freezing behind the crowded barriers while sipping a mug of spiked cider or jumping past the police line to join in the zombie rendition of “Thriller.” Due to Hurricane Sandy, last year’s parade was canceled, so expect even more celebration (and crowds) at the 7p.m. event on October 31.
|A terrifyingly large puppet at the parade circa October 2010|
Halloween Parties are rampant for the holiday, and I believe this is one time in NYC where you can actually get a good deal. NYC apartments are small enough as it is, and loading them with costumes and pumpkins doesn’t always work out. That being said, I’m currently working on a soundtrack for my Halloween house party –– suggestions welcome.
For the price of a drink, you can buy a ticket to a party with friends (and usually receive a free beverage of some sort at the venue), and not worry about the clean-up. Webster Hall is known for having the biggest party ($50), but several other hotels and venues sell $10 tickets with an hour-long open bar included. I’m personally looking forward to Houston Hall’s “Zombie Prom,” inspired by Carrie and powered by fried pumpkin ravioli and local pumpkin beer. And there are plenty of free ways, to celebrate the season, such as the annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on Saturday, October 26, which features extravagant canine costumes.
|Who wore it better? –credit|
New Yorkers are lauded for being creative, so expect no less in our costume choices. My first Halloween, I had a NYC-themed costume, which was pretty much buy-Times-Square-souvenirs-and-wear-them, but seeing the massive variation of creations on the street, from lifesize iPods to celebrity look-alikes to strange fantastical creatures, I was further inspired in the following years to get more and more creative.
In NYC, someone’s always going to be stranger, weirder, or more awkward than you, and someone’s always going to be more glamorous and better dressed. Spending your life’s savings on a special Halloween piece is a waste, no doubt someone will outdo you (and that someone may be native New Yorker Lady GaGa), but being unafraid to don whatever costume you desire without snickers from the neighbors is a NYC privilege.
|Last year’s Halloween costume — assembled in the Sandy blackout!|
Unlike New Year’s Eve, which can be expensively prohibitive, or Valentine’s Day which can seem tacky, or lonely, or both, Halloween offers fun for all! Grab a costume for a few dollars from a thrift shop, a pop-up Halloween store, or make your own, and join in on a New York City Halloween, like no other holiday in the world. When the lights on the Empire State Building illuminate orange, have fun, be safe, and in case you haven’t heard it enough times, don’t take candy from strangers.
|I did feel super cool on my first NYC Halloween.|