For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Goth-am

Dear Ann,
Where I grew up, trick or treating was a simple, if terrifying, procedure. You wore yourself out going house to house, trying to be cool despite the fact that your mother was shadowing your every movement, trying not to get beat up by marauding big kids if you got too far away from your mother, and trying to avoid the houses that you believed were haunted even on the non-Halloween days of the calendar. (Remember that old lady with the apples? You think the apples were a COINCIDENCE?)
So people from back home always ask me, in wonderment, ‘How can you trick or treat in New York, with all that concrete and steel and not so much with the haunted houses?’
I answer them with a quote from renowned architect Robert A. M. Stern, who famously said, ‘The genius of the modern high rise apartment building is that it is, as it were, the most elegant machine devised by man for the aggregation and distribution of fun-size candy bars. It is uniquely suited for this purpose, if no other, and I doubt that a better way will be found in the centuries to come.’
So here is how it is done. We have a pretty darn good system. If you don’t live in New York, I’m sorry for ya. You could have a LOT MORE CANDY.
Step 1: Don costume.
hallowjoseph.jpg
(Tip: You’d look scarier if you weren’t holding your mom’s hand. Just saying.)
Step 2: Subway.
hallowsubway.jpg
(Tip: Remove your mask. The subway is scary enough. Also, the better to see costumed dogs.
Step 3: Elevator.
hallowgirls.jpg
(Tip: If there are girls, especially 3 girls who go to a Girls School and are all dressed as Wonder Woman and who are your age but seem a lot older than you, it is best not to speak to them or make eye contact.)
Step 4: Apartment door.
hallowvestibule.jpg
People in apartment buildings are always worried there will not be enough kids for the 8 bushels of candy they bought at Duane Reade. This is why they urge you to take handfuls of the stuff. Do them a favor: grab all you can hold. (Ignore your mother, for she does not understand how you want to help the people.)
Step 5: Bowl on Floor, aka Pay Dirt.
hallowfloorbowl.jpg
(Tip: You don’t really need a tip here. The Bowl on Floor is the Promised Land. Block your mom’s view as you dive in. Some poor sucker didn’t make it home from work in time, but took care of you. Who says New Yorkers aren’t big ol’ sweetie-pies?)
A minimally connected city child can hit anywhere from 2 to 6 buildings in short order, depending on speed of elevator service. Scores of apartments, bada-bing, bada-boom. Devastating amounts of candy. And that’s not counting…..
hallownoose.jpg
West 69th Street, where you might run into
hallowcarrie.jpg
Your sister, aka the love child of Uncle Fester and Lily Munster.
West 69th Street is all the proof we need that adults are way more into Halloween than kids.
hallowsuit.jpg
Way more.
hallowlobby.jpg
This is the lobby of an otherwise nondescript building. Where do they keep this stuff the rest of the year? Is there a cardboard box in the storage room marked corpses/guts/floating skull?
If it gets to be too much for you, head around the corner to Lancome. Treats from a well made-up lady who smells GREAT.
But what chilled us to our very core?
hallowlady.jpg
Was it this Veiled Lady who surely IS a spectre wandering the earth, or…..
hallowsweater.jpg
AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Intarsia cardigan!
(That was your knitting content, by the way.)
Love, Kay

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49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. I dare anyone to come up with a Halloween post that rivals that one!

  2. OW ! Laughing so much I may choke ! In Scotland we don’t “Trick or Treat” we go guising (as in from disguising) and if you’re really hard nosed (like me :0)) the children get nothing unless they entertain me with a joke, poem or song – and I’m a major critic too. I’m looking for serious entertainment ! Funny how we get fewer and fewer guisers each year …..
    Heather x

  3. OW ! Laughing so much I may choke ! In Scotland we don’t “Trick or Treat” we go guising (as in from disguising) and if you’re really hard nosed (like me :0)) the children get nothing unless they entertain me with a joke, poem or song – and I’m a major critic too. I’m looking for serious entertainment ! Funny how we get fewer and fewer guisers each year …..
    Heather x

  4. Five minutes later and I’m still laughing. Oh, the cardigan…

  5. Nice…The high rise system gets the job done, but it also works to live out in the country, drive to the few neighbors you have, and receive all the candy they bought because you’ll be their only trick-or-treaters. Good times..

  6. This post is related to Ann’s post in January of 2004, about the Barbie sweater. I’ve just discovered this blog and so I am reading the archives and getting to know you ladies. I just wanted to say what a touching entry that was. Really, your mother reminds me a great deal of mine.

  7. Carrie is the cutest ghoul I’ve seen in quite some time!

  8. Wonderful! And your son’s sweater is particularly nice ;-) You didn’t think I would miss that little bit of Durrow sticking out, now did you?

  9. Wow ! What a sugar laden haul.
    That cardi is truly horrific !

  10. Noooo….now I’m scared. At least she didn’t make that sweater herself (I hope).

  11. About the intarsia cardigan… to some NYC is synonymous with fashion, so maybe she is actually bringing back the intarsia cardigan thing. You’ll see, by Christmas they will be SO hot.
    Also, as a native St. Louisan I get irritated when I realize that in NO OTHER PLACE in the ENTIRE United States do kids actually have to tell a joke, recite a poem, sing a song, etc. to get a treat on Halloween. It is called TRICK or Treat for a reason. You do a trick and I give up the candy. I am far too attached to my chocolate to give it away for FREE. Gimme a show.

  12. I too noticed the peeking of the Revered Black Denim on Joseph – damn that kid is cool. (love the dog, by the way). Carrie – what a stylish ghoul – did you do the makeup, Kay? I’m ignoring the intarsia cardi in favour of the Knitting Content that is Durrow (even if only a shoulder peek). I was going to comment on Ann’s costume but had NO IDEA who Jeffrey was. Meanwhile, in the darkest East End, here I was, waiting for Trick or Treaters, Marks and Sparks sweeties at the ready – I get one lot of 3. THREE. I had sweets for 15. At least. Still, at least M&S Fizzy Fish, Blackcurrent Bats and Orange Pumpkins are quite nice to eat…..

  13. ps – Katy – in London it’s the kids that DO the ‘tricks’, generally involving water bombs or eggs being thrown at your windows / doors. Or worse. Only 5 days to Bonfire night here and WAY too many kids on the streets with fireworks not necessarily following the firework code….

  14. Where was the picture of YOU in costume? I think surely you could have been Laura Bennett or Heidi Klum or even Tim. No? And about the cardigan. I hate to say this but they breed those sweaters down here in my adopted home state of Texas. Honestly, they do. I think it’s required that all female teachers own one for every holiday. And all natives own them too. I am not a native and therefore don’t have to own one. Whew…

  15. Gee, Kay, where’s your costume?

  16. Ladies,
    Very cool. I have a similar vest to the knitting content in your pics. The kids in the school where I teach love it. But the best part of Halloween (when I think back to the halcyon days when my kids donned costumes and t or t’d.)
    MOMMY TAX.
    Yes people, my kids had to cough up some of their booty (and only the good stuff) to pay their mom for 1) staying up til all hours making their costumes, and 2) dragging all over the neighborhood with them after putting in a full day of work. In the rain or cold, usually. I like to think it was to reduce the cavities they’d get from their spoils, but really I just love Snickers.
    And now you know why I am the meanest mother in the whole wide world. And darn proud of it.

  17. Dear Janet
    Do you give parenting classes? I tried to separate my kids from some of their chocolate and failed. Miserably.

  18. Please give Carrie my compliments on looking just AWFUL. Her pallor is just perfect.
    That veiled lady is some Edith Wharton ghost come back to haunt. Really great.
    I expect a costume from you and the big guy next year.

  19. I seriously have always wondered how folks in big cities trick or treat. Thanks!

  20. Wow. Apparently Halloween is MUCH bigger in NYC than in Seattle. I got NO trick or treaters. None. But then, I don’t live in a high rise. Out here, we prefer townhouses. That must be the problem.

  21. Wow, field trips to NYC @ Halloween and an antiques fair in the SAME week. We kids just love field trips (even if they are kind of hard on the teachers). And I didn’t even have to bring my Signed Permission Slip! And I got to see the noose in the park, the dogskunk, and the Great Pumpkin cardigan! Bringing the world to our doorsteps, you are. Maybe you should be talking to National Geographic. Carry on –

  22. I’m cracking up at the three girls ALL dressed as Wonder Woman. That’s a lotta Wonderful Women!
    Excellent. Bloody brilliant.

  23. About the storage question…
    I’m a minister at a church which celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead each year. Last year our children made sugar skulls and decorated them with colored frosting, sequins, feathers, etc. They keep well, so I put them in a plastic storage box marked “skulls” and put them on a shelf in my office closet.
    Wonder what the next minister will think???

  24. Love the pictorial!!
    Thanks for sharing. :)

  25. When we lived in Bayside, New York we had the best trick-or-treating. Everyone knows an apartment building is much more efficient for gathering treats – we’d get all the kids (about a dozen) with their attendant parents in tow and start at the top of the building and work our way down. Nobody got candy at my apartment until they posed for pictures, then on to the next building. This was all in addition to the Halloween party sponsored by the building.
    It’s a lot more work in the suburbs.

  26. The cardi is the scariest thing of the day. Hands down.

  27. Thanks Kay, I’ve always said that people underestimate the New Yorkers, and you didn’t even show any of the parade, now that is worth a trip!

  28. New York bound baby!

  29. That cardi is way scary. Yikes.
    I have very fond childhood memories of trick-or-treating in my apartment building, which had 72 apartments. ‘Nuff said.
    Your kids are SO ADORABLE.

  30. AAAAIIIEEE! Not the holiday sweater!! Please for the love of all good taste!!!
    Awesome post, even my husband laughed at the knitting content and that’s sayin’ something!!
    Always love your site! Thank you, thank you!!

  31. The sweater is definitely the most horrifying sight.
    Excellent post! I laughed, I shrieked, I cackled. It don’t get no better ‘n ‘at.

  32. Okay, intarsia cardgian really should have come with a warning, or else been linked to a separate page. That stuff’s just not suitable for kids, or us sensitive types!

  33. Ooh, the holiday sweater. That’s one of my favorite things about Christmas, lots of sightings of great kitschy sweaters that only a first grade teacher could wear!

  34. What a great entry! Now I feel like I’ve had my dose of Halloween.

  35. Hee hee! Quite a switch from Omaha. Too bad you’re not still there, I’d visit you when I’m there next month! Any good yarn or quilting stores you recommend? I’m there for a fish & wildlife meeting (for work) and I’ll be looking for an evening shopping jaunt or two over the course of the week!

  36. Hey, intarsia ain’t to blame. It’s the holiday in the phrase “holiday intarsia” (and believe me, vet of the bobbins that I am, rowanette survivor of all things annabel foxy, there ain’t no holiday IN intarsia) as I was sayin’, it’s the “holiday” that’s to blame. Next up: Turkey sweaters!
    Boo!

  37. miss carrie takes the cake!

  38. One year the stores ran out of pumpkins. Yes, it’s true. It was a bad year. I bought a ceramic one instead. The tragedy came when a guy dressed as a clown came up on our front porch, stole the ceramic pumpkin and threw it out into the street. I tried following him but he got away. I guess it’s for the best. I can only imagine the police report….’this clown smashed my pumpkin on Halloween. No, Officer, I can’t really describe him, just sort of a rainbow wig and white face type clown…’ Oh sure, he’ll be easy to identify. My kid was very upset about the ceramic pumpkin but she came around when we started making jokes about trying to explain this to the police.

  39. I wanna go to West 69th Street.

  40. OOOOOO!!! What a great post!!! I SO missed Halloween this year!! They don’t celebrate it in my neck of the woods.

  41. This is why my kids keep asking when we’re going to move from our cozy little house to an apartment building!

  42. kay, robt a.m. stern REALLY said that? always thought architects had no sense of humor–except with the final bill.
    on the subway at 5:30 p.m.–people coming home from work–tall woman with pale yellow, cottoncandy-like, 3 foot hair was only dress-up. how did i miss your crew? we are so p.c., gave out little boxes of raisins and one mom could not stop saying, “thank you, thank you.”
    yes, what about your outfit?

  43. That is the scariest cardigan in the world! I wonder about the person who actually likes to wear it. Worst of all, who would want to spend time knitting it!?

  44. That looks like it might be a Quacker Factory sweater. Don’t ask me how I know. It was fun to meet you and Cara Friday! I loved Raspy and all of the bleach!

  45. GREAT post – still laughing. And very cool concept. In Toronto it is illegal (I’m told) to trick or treat in apartment buildings so I haven’t had a true Halloween in years. This year I got to go out to the suburbs (to babysit) and I think (adult more into it than the children) had more fun than all the kids :) Happy Halloween!

  46. So…um….back to step 2. Who’s the great looking guy with the iPod? I kept looking for him in the other pictures, but kept seeing oddly dressed people. …jest wonderin’…
    :)

  47. I spent my early childhood in a Manhattan apartment building. 16 floors, 8 apartments per floor. That’s 128 doorbells to ring. And you could wear any costume you wanted no matter how cold it was outside. Later I lived in Queens and I must admit that Trick or Treating there had more romance, more spookiness. But I got more candy in the apartment building.

  48. Wow, GREAT photos! Here in Japan, Halloween has become sort of popular over the past 4-5 years, but the scary part has been taken out, and everything is too cutesy and kiddo-ish. I miss the ghoulish ghosts and witches!

  49. ksfishgirl: I also would be happy to give you the lowdown on the knitting/quilting action in Omaha.