Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween is a fantastic time of year. I'd say it's my favorite, but my birthday, Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving all come before it. But I love it so much that it's hard for me to believe it actually falls fourth on my list. I'm not as big into the "scary" as I am into the "costumes." Still, I've been doing the scary stuff along with the dressing up for pretty much forever. Last year we went to Halloween Horror Nights (that actually links to my other blog, before it was television-only) and had a Halloween Party with a Disney theme (link to a photo album).

This year, we decided to do something a bit different. Jonathan heard about this huge parade that they do in New York City for Halloween. It's called New York's Village Halloween Parade, and it has fantastic reviews. It's even on that "1,001 things to do before you die" list. It began at 7pm, and went along Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) from Spring Street up to 21st. Our friend Rob went with us, and we took the NJ Transit from Trenton into Penn Station, then the subway over to the parade area. We missed the train out of Trenton that we wanted and ended up getting into NYC about half an hour later than we were planning, and then had to wait to buy a metrocard and all that, but anyway...

It was really neat to see almost every single person out in costume. I can't say that I've ever experienced that phenomenon before... usually there's a ton of people walking around in everyday clothes. The subway was jam-packed with people heading out to Halloween parties and the like... the creativity of the costumes was astounding.

When we got out of the subway, we found that it was raining moderately. We continued the two blocks over to the parade, and began wading through the other spectators, looking for a decent spot. We find an okay spot (using a curb to boost our heights a few inches), but then decide to move down a few blocks (toward the end of the route) for a better view. We stopped just after 19th street and were only about 3-4 people deep. Luckily, not only was it raining, but the Yankees-Phillies game started after a rain delay so a bunch of people left. We were right up against the bars after maybe half an hour, and stayed in that front-row position until we left. While the parade was still moving along at 10:20pm, we decided to be on our way since the majority of the great costumes had gone by, and there were no more floats left in sight.

There were a few dozen Michael Jackson costumes, a good Octomom, two Balloon Boys, a ton of Mario & Luigi pairs, way too many Fred Flintstones, and a lot of unique stuff (including some funny H1N1 costumes). I think my favorite might have been a group doing Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (the band from The Muppets), since that was creative, homemade, and clever. With the rain, it was very hard to get good photos, but here are some of the best I got...

Gizmo Duck from DuckTales (complete with a unicycle!)

Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Guy on a Wheaties Box
Shotgun wedding!
All That and a Bag of Chips!
Just a general shot, but it included a couple of the large puppets that you could hold and maneuver in the parade

We walked back to Penn Station (underneath Madison Square Garden if you didn't know... I didn't), grabbing some Sabrett hot dogs from a cart along the way. Our trip back to Trenton was no picnic... there was a disabled train on the tracks, so we had to follow a longer route and go around three scheduled stops, so it took us a little over an hour and forty minutes to get back, as opposed to the hour and five minutes or so to get there.

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