Jessica Gross

Halloween in New York

In musings, people watching on October 29, 2008 at 11:41 am

Last year was my first NYC Halloween, and I acted the part of newcomer: I went to the Halloween Parade. Big mistake. In an attempt to cross the street, I was pressed between one man’s butt and another’s stomach. The stomach pressed into my chest so forcefully that I thought I might pass out from lack of oxygen. Do not try this.

Since I was otherwise occupied, I didn’t answer my biggest question: what does trick-or-treating look like in New York City? Do the kids buzz random apartments to get into buildings? Do they just trick-or-treat in their own buildings? Or…is there no trick-or-treating?

If not, I will be devastated. This is no hyperbole: I trick-or-treated well into college. I finally stopped when, dressed as a pumpkin in my hometown during my junior year (with pigtails, to deceive the candy-givers into thinking I was a kid), one woman said, “Oh, no! Where are your friends?” Said I: “I don’t have any.” She looked so sad that I felt guilty, and admitted, “Actually, I’m in college — I’m just home on break.” She scowled. True disgust.

Since then, I’ve lived vicariously through actual children. If I don’t see them scampering about this year, I will hold it against this city forever.

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  1. Um, obviously there is trick-or-treating in New York City. When I was 5, I was a knight in shining armor. My costume was sweet.

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