MANY OF THE CHILDREN THAT TRICK-OR-TREATED AROUND THE UPTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD SATURDAY DID SO IN STREET CLOTHES, WITH THE ODD DISNEY PRINCESS THROWN IN. AREA BUSINESSES AND A FEW HOMEOWNERS PASSED OUT CANDY TO THE KIDS.
Growing up, I was always a big fan of Halloween.
I’m not sure what excited me more – the ability to grasp my flair for the dramatic and dress up … or free candy.
Like most, I spent countless hours around Lakeover Subdivision – THE place to see and be seen for all New Hope tweens and teens. (Not to mention the best place to roam for sugary snacks.)
I’ve always imagined Halloween was like that everywhere. But the older I’ve gotten, I realize just how good we had it growing up.
Saturday evening, as I walked to and from the grocery store, I was treated to hundreds of kids in costumes flooding the Uptown neighborhood. A common sight, I’m sure for many.
But this trick-or-treat extravaganza was a little different from most.
They weren’t going door-to-door at the countless apartment buildings around the neighborhood, instead the ninjas, princesses and puppies were treated to candy from area businesses. It was odd to see the tykes – with their parents, of course – traipsing into liquor stores, bars, and even the largest tattoo parlor in the city, just for sweet goodness. (And yes, The Spot – one of the bars on Broadway – had a sign on its door welcoming kids in. I guess no ID was required.)
Later on, as I waited at my building for the kids to come, I finally realized I would have to go find them. So off Huxley – dressed as a skeleton – and I went to hand out candy. As I walked around my neighborhood, a big bowl of chocolate in my hand, I have to admit that I felt a little weird.
Growing up, we’re told never to take candy from strangers, and here I am walking up to kids offering treats. One mother told her kids that it was OK to take candy from me, as I had it in a bowl. (“They’re mad at me,” she said. “I took candy away from them a minute ago, but some woman just came up to us and pulled it out of her pocket – you can never be too safe.”) But me, who she said she had seen around the neighborhood a lot, and since I was always “dressed so nice,” it was cool if they took my Three Musketeers.
I had one woman ask if I was trick-or-treating, which was embarrassing. (Like I would dress up my dog and pimp him out so I could get free candy … OK, maybe I would …)
Then, there is the sadness that comes with Halloween in a some-what poor neighborhood.
Yes, there were the kids in full costume – store-bought cartoon characters, Disney darlings and the like. But most were dressed in street clothes or pajamas, some with masks, some without. Others had simply used make-up to draw lipstick and eye-liner circles on their faces – all in the name of “dressing up.”
On a lighter note, my Halloween got a little more exciting at 3:00 a.m. when I awoke to my upstairs neighbors trying to break into their apartment. Being a little bit of a busy-body, I went out in the hallway to see what all the banging was. Greeting me on the stairwell was a very, very drunk Julia Child and Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester. (a.k.a. Bill and Brent.)
Brent had already tried to scale the building, and was crying over an injured foot. Bill tried several times to break the back window, but to no avail. Needless to say two hours later – after three calls to locksmiths and one to the Sheridan Gardens’ condo board president – I got the guys back into their home, along with many embarrassed thank-yous and promises for dinner.
HUXLEY – DRESSED IN HIS SKELETON HOODIE – WALKED THE STREETS OF UPTOWN WITH ME TO HAND OUT CANDY. HALLOWEEN IS ALWAYS A GOOD TIME FOR HIM, AS HE LOVES WHEN KIDS STOP TO TALK TO HIM.