Happy Halloween!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Last year I contributed some photos I took around my neighborhood to Affinity‘s “Hallowe’en Photo Festival of Fun and Fundraising,” including this one reserved for their Grand Finale:

Pile of hay bales and large pumpkins, with a skeleton on top appearing to give the middle finger.

I called it “Happy fuckin’ Halloween from New York fuckin’ City,” and it was taken at Abingdon Square Park near my home. I may have enhanced it a little, by removing several fingers. (I mean from the image, not from the actual skeleton. I’m not a monster!)

This year, the same setting looks like this:

Another angle:

Astute viewers will notice an additional skeleton (or two? I can’t tell for sure) have joined the pumpkin party, but sadly, it has lost a giant spider. No, not the one on the far left in the above image. Pffft. Why, that one’s no bigger than a trashcan lid. I’m talkin’ ’bout Spiderzilla, up there.

Well. This was certainly a disturbing development. For all I knew, they were all BFFs until New Skeleton(s?) came along and kicked her out of the park in an otherworldy enactment of Mean Girls. Perhaps there had been a love quadrangle, and as it came to its tragic end (as all love quandrangles inevitably must), she was shunned. :| Or even worse, murdered! Obviously, I was going to have to sneak into the park at midnight, lugging with me aaaallll the necessary paraphernalia for communing with the dead, to find out what really went down here.

“See ya later,” I said, eyeing them all a little warily.

As I reached the far end of the park, I glanced back at the tableau. Deep in thought, trying to remember the correct order of the spells I would need to perform tonight, I almost missed her – camouflaged as she was, in the old tree branches moving in the breeze.

Spider!

Thank Arachne! She was all right! “PZ will be happy to hear it,” I said to her, and took a few more shots of her from different angles, hoping to convey my relief and appreciation in a way she would understand.

 

Good. My evening was now freed up for other conjurings. NYC’s infamous Village Halloween Parade is definitely happening this year, after a truly terrifying COVID-haunted 2020. I don’t expect many conservatives to participate in the festivities, since it’s pretty much all about wearing masks.

The official parade route is straight up Sixth Avenue from Canal Street in Chinatown to 15th Street, which is technically Chelsea. The unofficial post-parade route for participants and parade-watchers alike is to walk West and haunt every bar in the West Village.map of lower manhattan showing parade route in red.

It’s usually worth meandering around my ‘hood, just for a look at the costumes alone. Artists gonna art, after all, and the innovative creativity New Yorkers display on Halloween never disappoints.

Still, I think I’ll sit this one out, and let the revelers enjoy the neighborhood. It’s a relatively old part of the city and looks it, with much of its architecture protected by historic preservation laws. The oddly winding and strangely intersecting cobblestone streets make for a disorienting backdrop on any night. But many bars, restaurants, apartment buildings and homes are tricked out for the holiday, making it a little extra today, and a little more welcoming to visitors from here and afar.

Nobody better mess with the spider, tho. Especially drunk, fuckin’ tourists are what scares ME. (I mean drunk tourists, not drunk me. Drunk me is fun! And for better and for much, much worse, afraid of nothing.)

Have a safe and happy Halloween, people!

colorful mums in bloom

Sidewalk Mums, Hudson Street.

mums and small colored pumpkins - some painted pink - adorn a sidewalk hatch on Bleecker Street.

Mums and small colored pumpkins, some painted pink, adorn a sidewalk hatch on Bleecker Street.

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