Zombies Running in the Streets

Ghost bike in the East Village. http://www.ghostbikes.org/new-york-city

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.

Spider webs woven onto a fence in the East Village.

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.

A statue with a broken arm replaced by flowers at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in the East Village.

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.

Halloween sand art. Notice the ring of spiders, bones, skulls, and interior spider web. Oh, and Captain America wandering in the background.

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!

Catacombs-influenced window display at Marc Jacobs.

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…

Catacombs in the windows of Marc Jacobs.

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.

Zombie crawling in a Marc Jacobs window display.

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.

Pink rat window display.

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.

Vincent Price had versions of this skeleton chair in his house.

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.

2 thoughts on “Zombies Running in the Streets

  1. Kat says:

    Allison, awesome post!! I love those spiderwebs…how do you find all this stuff? Or is your neck of the woods just teeming with creativity? Great costume idea :-) Speaking of people not guessing Halloween costumes.. I went as a bed and my friend went as breakfast. Everyone thought I was an injured flight attendant.

  2. Allie says:

    Thanks Kat! I guess I just spend a lot of time walking around. That and everyone who ever dreamed of being an artist lives here and there aren’t enough galleries for everyone. I like your costume idea!

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