Much to the chagrin of my sister, I don’t get particularly excited about Halloween. While I don’t dislike it, per se, it just doesn’t appeal to me that much, so it’s not a holiday I often celebrate. This year, I specifically volunteered to take an on-call shift at the hospital where I volunteer in order to have a legitimate excuse to avoid Halloween altogether.
Which is why it’s particularly noteworthy that I somehow wound up at three or four different Halloween celebrations last week.
The first was purely coincidence. Last Wednesday night, Stacy had an extra ticket for one of the city’s haunted houses, Nightmare Superstitions, which she offered to me. I’d recently bought a block of tickets for a group at work (so my curiosity was piqued), the house was literally half a block away, and I didn’t have any other plans, so I tagged along. After waiting for about 20 or 30 minutes, I started to remember how little I enjoy haunted houses. Not because I get scared or uncomfortable, but because they bore me. I tried to be optimistic, thinking that maybe a haunted house in NYC would be the exception to this rule. Sadly, it wasn’t. As the name implies, the scenes in this particular house all revolve around superstitions that bring you bad luck. While there was the occasional unsettling moment, these were never due to anything frightening or psychologically disturbing, but instead were a result of bawdy humor – a giant clown vagina, participants being squirted with liquid that’s meant to imply some type of bodily fluid, and so forth. There was a time or two where the mood and set were almost eerie, but not quite. The NY Times recently ran an article about how haunted houses are becoming more and more artsy, but I can’t say I agree with the author’s description of this particular house. Really, the only silver lining is that I can cross “going to NYC haunted house” off my list of things to do (which, to be frank, was pretty close to the bottom of that list to begin with).
On Saturday, I spent the morning with my goddaughter, Greta, at her Appleseed’s music class. A dozen kids anywhere between 12 months and 5 years dressed up in costumes? Yes, please! Paralyzing cuteness abounded, most especially from Greta, who was in costume as Cinderella (complete with a pumpkin wheelchair/stroller).
Sundays are supposed to be for ultimate Frisbee, but I woke up feeling lazy and oddly festive. As luck would have it, it turns out that there’s trick-or-treating in my apartment building – a first for me in my 9 years in the city. (I’m pretty sure it was the combination of more kids in costume plus a brief chat with my sister the night before which resulted in the 180.) I decided that I should probably spend the day loading up on Halloween candy, carving a pumpkin, and experimenting with some Halloween-inspired recipes. The result: an impromptu dinner celebration with Joanna (featuring pumpkin & black bean chili, a pear & pecan salad, and pumpkin ale), about 30 trick or treators (which meant a ton of leftover candy for us), and the most impressive pumpkin I’ve ever carved to date. Cop didn’t quite seem to appreciate this feat. But maybe Halloween just isn’t his thing, either.