You could spend every weekend doing something completely different in New York City and never run out of things to do. But there are certain events that hit can’t-miss status for us. Activities that are permanently etched into our calendars. Occasions that take precedence over anything else going on in the city that day. The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is one of those special cases.
You know how some people celebrate their Birthday Month? We celebrate Halloween Month. It’s our favorite holiday, hands down. I’m a horror movie aficionado, and Lynn’s a huge costume buff. (She hasn’t really delved into that for herself as much as she’d like, believe me, but she adores watching other people do it really, really well.) We’re always excited to attend fall favorites like Brew in the Zoo, The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, and the Halloween Dog Parade. So when our friend and fellow blogger Lauren of Girl in Gotham City asked if we’d like to hang out at Green-Wood, we couldn’t say yes fast enough. It’s long been on our list of things to do. So, let Halloween Month commence! Continue reading Spirited Away: A Visit to Green-Wood Cemetery
You’re waiting on a crowded subway platform. The MTA has announced service interruptions. You’ve read the notices, and you’re pretty sure you know where you’re going. So you wait. And wait some more. You peer down at your phone. And pace. Until rage begins to snake its way through your veins like morphine through an IV. Twenty minutes passes, and you can feel that flicker of madness barreling toward you down the dark tunnel of your mind, when, finally, a train arrives. Slowly, in a drunk’s lurching, stumbling, stagger, it draws to a screeching stop at the platform. The cars are packed, tight as sardines, a mass of arms and heads and hands.
You realize there is no room in the car in front of you. The idea of waiting an unknown period of time for another train — with no promise of a better situation — sends you into a panic. In a frenzy, you run along the row of cars, searching for one with just enough room for you and your companion to fill a space. You see it, and charge through the door just as it closes. And in less than a second, the nauseating odor hits you. Cue the music, then fade to black.
“The Empty Car at the End of the Train” is just one of the many real-life horror movies New Yorkers can find themselves in. (“Rent Hike” is another one.) So what do people do in a city where scary stuff is a way of life? They adopt Halloween as their holiday and celebrate the heck out of it. We were scrolling through the endless list of parties and events around town when we stumbled across Brew at the Zoo.
In 2003, Lynn and I — as well as our motley crew of cats, Felix and Chloe — up and moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Scottsdale, Arizona on a whim. This radical decision was predicated upon a number of factors: we were incredibly weary of the long winters; we could no longer envision a future filled with opportunities in our professional lives; and there was a discernable feeling that we were in a rut, living out lives that seemed alarmingly predictable and comfortable given our relatively youthful ages. A malaise had set in, as well as a soul-crushing ennui. Something had to change. And so something did: we moved.
The next nine years of our lives were spent in Arizona. Unexpectedly, the change of scenery revealed more about what we’d left behind than what we’d discovered at our destination. In particular, we found a new appreciation for the finite change in seasons we’d previously taken for granted. Sure, there’s a “cooler” period in Arizona, but a mild drop in temperature a change of seasons does not make. Absence, as they say, makes the heart grow fonder.
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.
As far back as I can remember, there has been a special place in my heart reserved for Halloween. It’s so much more than a trivial holiday, and so much more than a fixed point on the calendar each year marking the change in seasons. Though I’ll confess: I’ve always loved the contradiction of the last gasps of a moribund summer lending to the the burgeoning intensity of a nascent fall.
For me, Halloween is a time of childlike wonder, creativity and imagination. It’s also a time for quick road trips and late evenings. There are apple orchards and pumpkin patches to visit. There are costume parties to attend. There are horror movies that I’ve added to my queue throughout the year, in anticipation of the perfectly curated scary movie marathon. And, of course, there is an overabundance of candy — at home, school, even the office. I mean, really, what’s not to like?