Halloween is a big deal on my block here in Gotham on the Upper West Side. The whole street from Broadway to Central Park West is closed off.
Cars are removed, Brownstone entrances are decorated, and then thousands of kids (I do not exaggerate) show up to Trick or Treat.
The tradition was started around 30 years ago, by the Gwen Verdon—a Broadway baby like no other—as a counterpoint to the Halloween Parade in the Village. I'd see her from time to time, red hair aflame, usually working towards her building on the corner of Central Park West where Celeste Holm also lived.
Since the tradition began, there are more single family houses, which have been re-converted back to their original design after being broken up into rooming houses during the Great Depression. One in particular goes all out every year with a professional set of ghouls and goblins. They even had Spiderman rappelling down the building one year, which caused quite a scene.
Prizes are given by the Block Association for best decoration and costume, and I am proud to say that Mr. Husband's Dracula won a few years ago. He's so good at it (the little ones really are terrified) that the neighbors start asking about his appearance weeks in advance.
With inordinate warmish weather this Fall, this Halloween promises to be a big one, if only because Halloween was cancelled (for the first time ever) last year as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Time to get your Ghoul on!