In case you didn’t know it already, Halloween in NYC is a big deal.
Like all holidays, Halloween in NYC is serious. Lack of a yard or private outdoor space doesn’t stop any New Yorker from decorating and getting into the Halloween spirit. And apartment life doesn’t stop trick-or-treaters either. If you think for one second that children growing up in NYC miss out on Halloween because they don’t have the same fun opportunities as kids in the suburbs, you are incorrect.
Children and teens parade about in their costumes and go trick-or-treating like anywhere else. Apartment buildings post sign-up sheets so kids (and their parents) know which neighbors will hand out candy. In my building, for instance, if only half the apartments plan to accept costumed visitors, that ‘s still 40 apartments, and a whole lot of Halloween candy for the kids. 🙂
Not only do New Yorkers pull out all the stops when it comes to costumes and trick-or-treating, but as apartment dwellers, they often bedeck stairs, facades, windows, and doors with lights, pumpkins, spiders, skeletons, zombies, ghosts, and frightening ghoul-like creatures, sparing no expense. You might ask, “Why is Halloween in NYC so important?” I’ve wondered that since I moved to New York in 2007.
Perhaps the scariness of New York City after dark makes Halloween feel more authentic. Maybe it’s the added pomp and circumstance that this day in disguise brings to locals – with events like the Village Halloween Parade and the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade – not to mention the spooky decor that adorns almost every city block.
Or, maybe the escape from reality we thrive upon during any holiday is most obvious on October 31, a day that we can leave ourselves behind and become someone or something entirely different.
I’d also imagine the creepiness that’s associated with Halloween is just another opportunity to get our creative juices flowing. Come Hallows’ Eve –– the final day of hoopla before the Christmas holiday season gets underway –– New Yorkers are up to the task to get in touch with their wildest and most creative selves.
Whatever the reason, the importance of this day in NYC remains a mystery to me, but one fact is true: New York City loves Halloween.
Have you experienced Halloween in NYC?