When people find out how long Justin and I have been married, many of them inevitably ask if we have kids. We do not. I don’t bemoan that circumstance except for once a year: at Halloween. Because of this. I mean, come on.
#GOALS, right? I would love to dress Chloe up as sushi, but she would have none of it.
So the next best thing would be to attend the annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. And we do. Every year.
There’s so much effort and ingenuity that goes into the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, which has continued to grow exponentially every year. There are always au courant costumes: while there were several pizza rats last year, this year there were several Donald Trumps and Kenneth Bones, as well as a Basket of Adorables (vs. Deplorables). There are many fan-based costumes: Game of Thrones has had a strong showing in the last few years, Stranger Things was a predictable newcomer, Harry Potter was still present, and I was happy to discover a Neverending Story one this year. And there are incredible props, including a USPS truck (a play on the dog-mailman relationship), a Good Humor ice cream push cart and a candy shop.
Dog owners are a friendly and supportive community, but competitors also have an incentive to put their best paw, um, foot forward. There are thousands of prizes offered, from Broadway tickets to gift cards. But the event also helps fund the park and promote pet rescue and adoption.
Aside from the sheer amount of creativity, the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is the definition of a feel-good event. Visitors are squealing, participants are posing for pictures, and all the dogs are getting tons of love… and treats. It’s a great way to disappear into the now.
I couldn’t possibly capture all the wonderful and imaginative costumes here, so if you’d like to continue to ogle all the dressed-up dogs from the day, head over to Gothamist or spend two hours watching NPR’s live feed.
Tompkins Square Park
Pair it with:
A sandwich from Harry & Ida’s
Siblings Julie and Will Horowitz pleased their Hester Street Fair fans when they finally opened Harry and Ida’s Meat and Supply Company in 2015. It’s set up like a general store that can only be described as Deadwood-meets-Brooklyn. They sell a hodgepodge of curated items like pigs ears and wild mushrooms from local producers, but they also have a small menu of hot and cold sandwiches served from the counter. The Pop’s Pastrami Sandwich is its signature item, named for their great grandfather, and it’s universally loved. The meat is smoked on-site then hand-cut and served on a hero roll from Pain D’Avignon. The tender, perfectly marbled meat comes with pickled cucumbers and fronds of fresh dill. There’s a small selection of additional sandwiches, some of which are available as gluten-free salads, but you can’t go wrong with the pastrami.
189 Ave A
Mon-Sat 11am – 10pm
Sun 11am – 9pm