I know that a lot has happened since coming back from France, but I’m still shocked to look at the calendar and see that it’s November. Wasn’t I just spending my last night in Paris, walking along the river as lights bounced off the waving water from the boats and the bridges? Wasn’t I just watching lightning strike across the sky over the crumbled Quartz Mountains? Wasn’t I just dragging my suitcase down Lorimer Street through thick summer air and up the stairs to my Brooklyn apartment? I guess time moves quickly when you never stop moving, although I still look forward to a day when I’ll be living somewhere long enough to paint a wall or adopt a cat. Thank god for sturdy suitcases and laptops.
This past weekend I got to celebrate my favorite holiday: Halloween! Considering last year I was in France, where people celebrate Halloween by going to the most “American” place in town (McDonalds), and the year before I got my wisdom teeth out, it wasn’t hard to top recent Halloweens. Apparently Dracula and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are not widely read, because no one knew who I was dressed as when I said Mina Harker. I wore basically all of my black, vaguely Victorian clothing with a red scarf, so at least some people got close with guessing steampunk. Oh well. It came together kind of last minute anyway because I was distracted by all of my job interviews last week.
Friday night I went to a Halloween party at a friend of a friend’s apartment. I kind of like going to a party where I know only a couple of people, because I can drift around meeting everyone. I also approve of any party that has $50 scotch, as unemployment limits me to the $3 giant Styrofoam cups of cheap domestics at the Greenpoint Tavern.
Saturday was Halloween day, and we started by going to the Day of the Dead market at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery to see the sugar skulls. We also walked through Washington Square, where the above sand artist was making a Halloween-themed design with spiders, bones, and bats. We then went to the “Halloween Candy, Wine, and Spirits” tasting at Bottlerocket and found that candy corn goes especially well with white wine, chocolates with red, caramel with bourbon, and red hots with tequila. All for free!
We then walked around the window displays on Bleecker street, where fake spider webs must have been bought by the ton and children were trick-or-treating. I was especially impressed by Marc Jacobs and their Catacombs-style window display. I can only imagine the time it took to stack all those bones. And anyone who has read my novel knows I have a bit of a Catacombs obsession…
Sorry for the blurriness in the above picture, my camera is getting old. Well, it’s been old for a while, so in camera years I think it’s almost a centenarian. It still works, though, and has probably seen more of the world than most of its cousins.
Marc Jacobs also had this awesome zombie crawling in a swamp window display. Its eyes lit up and its head twisted around as it writhed on the ground. This is a store after my heart.
That evening we went to the McNally Jackson Halloween Embarrassment, which had literary nerd fun like scary story readings, a spooky voice contest, and paper crafts. There was also a costume contest that was won by Sylvia Plath and her oven, although Humbert Humbert and Lolita along with Jesus and the Chrysler Building (Jesus Chrysler) were close behind. Other costume highlights that I saw included Magical Realism, Foreshadowing, Nora Charles, Saul Bellow, and Lyra from the Golden Compass, And here, I just found a flickr set from the event if you want to see the nerdiness in action. In our group, I was still Mina Harker, Elizabeth was the 1960s, Arya was himself, Sean was Tintin, and his friend Crish was Hamid Karzai.
Unfortunately, it rained almost all night, so we didn’t make it to the parade in time. However, just walking around the streets was like being in a parade. The streets were teeming with zombies and Lady Gagas. Even better was taking the subway back to Williamsburg and EVERYONE was in costume. I wish everyday in New York was like that. I guess it kind of is.