Thursday, November 1, 2007

Brooklyn Sorceress

Last night was Halloween in our small-town Brooklyn. We had a last-minute emergency over E's planned viper crown; I had been crocheting a version out of gold thread, but it was judged not up to snuff (it became her staff instead). At the very last minute, A stepped in with some fimo, two blue jewels, and toothpicks, and came up with a really pretty amazing snake tiara, which passed muster:

We accomplished trick-or-treating on nearby streets, one of which is closed off every Halloween for the children. It's really quite a carnival atmosphere, and so much fun. I wish I'd gotten pictures of the revelry, but was caught up in the moment and couldn't lay hands on my camera. It would have been a blur anyway. We met up with many friends, mine and E's, and had a grand time. Needless to say, the cauldron was full by 7p.m.

Brooklyn trick-or-treating in the 1970s and '80s, my childhood era and my sissy's, always seemed much more laden with danger and menace, not from the supernatural, but from the criminal. Things were different back then in NYC. 42nd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues, "The Deuce" in police lingo, really exemplified all the seediness, the frotteurs, the high violent crime rate, the aggressive subway panhandlers, the grafitti, of the city. Sometimes now my family says that things are once again "going to the Deuce," but by and large that doesn't really seem to be the case. I think some New Yorkers may be nostalgic for that time--but it's not the crime and fear that I miss, but rather the mom-and-pop shops, the little butchers and bakers, and a viable middle class. I just don't understand why that great stuff had to go along with the neighborhood XXX theater and local flashers. Or maybe I do. It seems a terrible shame. But, unlike others, who are either delusional or didn't live here in the '70s and '80s, I'm never, ever going to romanticize the grit of yore. It just wasn't as safe here when I was little. Might I add at this point a big shout-out to the NYPD, who finally have sound policy and laws to back up their enforcement and stave off the Deuce.

All that said, E and I headed home early. The trick-or-treating mood definitely darkens as the sun goes down...once I see cop cars out and about, I'm glad to be cozy in our home. Small-town Brooklyn is, at least on Halloween, a phenomenon of the daylight hours, and NYC "tricks" will always be more than raw egg splatter and toilet papered trees.

Down from the soapbox and off to do the dishes.


Too Little Time said...

Ella's costume was beautiful. When we moved to NY, it was so weird for me to trick or treat in the daytime hours. The first year I took Lis out, we almost missed it cause I didn't know they T or T in the afternoon. Here in the midwest, we typically go out when the sun goes down (unless were still on daylight savings) at 6 and most communities have an 8pm curfew - eye opening how regional some things are - K

aquaowl said...

Ah, the Deuce! How terrifying those nights of trick-or-treating were. It almost begs the question whether the candy's any good if you don't risk your life for it.