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Posts Tagged ‘Hallowe’en’

I have to admit, I was having very mixed feelings about Halloween this year. Given the devastation that hurricane Sandy has left in NYC and beyond it didn’t really feel right “celebrating” so to speak. We are left relatively unscathed on the Upper West Side but so many of our neighbors downtown and in other areas are not so lucky.

But by yesterday afternoon the kids started getting excited and their enthusiasm was infectious. We decided to get into the spirit of things and Ron decorated our foyer while I helped the girls get ready. Truthfully it was a great escape from a tough week. As we wandered the streets of our small community in the big city there was a sense of gratitude and good will in the air. Eye contact was made, thank you’s and pleasantries were exchanged. New Yorkers showing once again how incredible they/we are. It was much needed for many reasons. The subways are running today, the city is re-building and the city that never sleeps is moving at pace again. Happy Halloween and Happy November!! xox

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Okay, who else out there is having a hard time believing that it is already October?? Well, it is getting hard to forget in Manhattan where all of the little pop up Hallowe’en stores are opening up around the city. The weather has that fall crispness in the air, sweater season is here and so is the pumpkin spice latte. I say embrace the ghouls and goblins and I don’t just mean the normal craziness on the streets of NYC ūüėČ What are you going to be for Hallowe’en this year? Perhaps I will let my hair go wild…

Enter if you dare...

They even stalk you!

Hope everyone has a spectacular day and that you don’t find yourself walking by the dog toy (like I did), saying out loud “I hear ya sister!”:

Sometimes you just have one of those days =)

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Halloween in New York City is a BIG deal. ¬†I feel as though the whole of Manhattan had been gearing up for THE day for well over a month. As soon as the back-to- school supplies left the shelves they were immediately replaced by scary decorations, pumpkins, gory make-up and those dreaded calorie packed “mini” chocolate bars. Vacant stores were turned into costume shops where you could find a wide variety of get ups for both adults and children. ¬†I was starting to a get a bit nervous, like everything here, there seemed to be a standard for Halloween and I was beginning to feel the newbie jitters. ¬†What exactly happened in NYC on Halloween? How the hell could you possibly trick or treat in this crazy town? Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!!! ¬†Uh no, your girlfriends of course. ¬†Thankfully, they steered me in the right direction and this is how our first Halloween in New York City took place… And let me tell you, it was slightly different from the door to door rush in the ‘hood of Findlay Creek.

First, the basics. I felt like I had that, at least, covered. We had already bought the girls costumes and they were ready to go. ¬†Cute as can be, our little Minnie Mouse and the Mad, Mad Hatter were rarin’ to go.

A (Mad Hatter) & R (Minnie Mouse)

They grabbed their bags and headed on out the building to our first stop- a Halloween Party at our friend’s apartment. ¬†Unlike our old neighbourhood in Ottawa, where you went door to door and snuck some adult beverages along the way, there seemed to be many pre-parties going on in Manhattan. ¬†The premise is that the children blow off some pre-trick or treating steam and eat some real food before they head out. I believe the real purpose for the get together is so the adults can gain some patience through the lovely liquid warmth and courage of grapes, hops and barley!

As we headed up Broadway to our party, the girls stopped along the way at various stores to trick or treat.  This may sound odd but it is the norm here on Halloween.  Local stores have an abundance of candy and children are encouraged to stop by in costume any time of the day on the 31st to get a treat. It truly was a wonderful sight to behold as children skipped down the street in excitement and ducked in and out of stores filling their goodie bags.

T & T at a Local Jewellery Store

Children in Costume Exiting a Local Restaurant

We were told that on Halloween not every street is trick or treat worthy. ¬†Certain streets are blocked off to traffic and the brownstones¬†are decorated, haunted houses are made and entertainment is planned. ¬†So, for our second stop we headed down to 69th Street. Just to give you a bit of context, this was the 40th year of the neighbourhood block association Halloween party and it did not disappoint. ¬†Most of the decorating is done day of, as it would ruin the surprise otherwise! The celebration on 69th Street is crowded and crazy busy but it is worth it to just get a glimpse of the decorated homes, the abundance of candy and the shows (yes, I said shows) taking place along the block. ¬†After all, NYC is known for its flair for the dramatic ūüėČ

The Crowd on 69th Street

A Decorated Brownstone Courtyard

BEWARE!!

Those are REAL people putting on a show suspended from the top of the apartment!

Our third and final stop was our apartment building.  We finished up the night by visiting our neighbours in the building.  (A sign-up sheet is posted in each elevator indicating which apartments are participating in Halloween).  It was a nice end to the evening, chatting with residents and meeting many of them for the first time.  The four of us went back to our new home and did the same old routine of sorting through the candy.  Ron and I confiscated the bad things like Reese Peanut Butter Cups (!) and then we tucked two very tired and happy children into bed.

It was our first Halloween in New York City. The newbies had survived. In fact, I think we blended in quite nicely with the rest of the costumed pack =) It was different but not in a bad way, just in a different way. ¬†Learning new traditions, finding out more about our NEW ‘hood and reminiscing a bit about our old. ¬†It was just another crazy, busy, yet somehow intimate and comforting night in the City.

The biggest fright? ¬†Going into the stores today and finding holiday decorations and wrapping on the shelves… Only 7 more weekends until Christmas- BOO!!!!!

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New Yorker’s love to share, in fact sometimes there is a little something called the over-share. ¬†If you have ever walked down a crowded Manhattan street stuck behind a woman in a heated conversation with her delinquent boyfriend you will know exactly what I am talking about. ¬†There is very little privacy in this city but that doesn’t mean that you have to share EVERYTHING. ¬†The bedrooms of our apartment look out¬†into the various rooms of the apartments across from us. There is a small gap between the windows. Picture a U shape. ¬†An extremely tiny U shape. ¬†There really is only about a distance of 10 feet between the windows. ¬†Thus, the importance of CURTAINS. Especially, if the neighbour directly across from your (meaning our) bedroom has a very healthy porn habit and a HUGE computer monitor. ¬†Dude, I don’t care if you watch porn, but really, why don’t you get curtains? ¬†HE doesn’t seem to mind that every apartment building along our wall can watch him, watching porn. ¬†Ewww. ¬†I mean all I really want to do is open and close my window in peace. ¬†I guess if he doesn’t mind, I shouldn’t, right??

While I am on the topic of over-sharing I also learned this week that you should always tip your limo driver WELL. ¬†Yesterday, at a street corner I watched a woman exit a super -stretch white limo and proceed into a fancy, schmancy door man building. ¬†The driver who was still recovering from carrying in her numerous large travel bags proceeded back to the limo yelling “Hey everyone, Miss Rich Bitch just gave me a $7 tip, oooo… a whole $7, what could I possibly do with that much money??”. ¬†Yikes, I guess they didn’t teach that woman proper tipping etiquette at her private school OR the driver any tact in “limo driving 101”.

Hallowe’en is right around the corner. ¬†Apparently NYC takes this festivity extremely seriously. ¬†I guess this is the day where it is acceptable to be as crazy and outlandish as you want to be without any consequences. ¬†However, I am not really sure how this differs from the other days of the year ūüėČ ¬†In NYC Hallowe’en is definitely NOT just for kids, in fact, there seems to be more events for adults being advertised than for children. Costume shops are sprouting up all over the city. ¬†The other night on the way to yoga, I had a disturbing experience where a large gentlemen dressed as bunny tried to lure me into a store. ¬†It was definitely a “my mother told me never to take candy from strangers” moment.

 

Costumes for whom exactly??!!

 

The City of Ottawa could learn a thing or two from the road workers of New York. ¬†This week we have had to endure the re-paving of the street outside of our apartment. ¬†I say endure because they re-pave at night. ¬†Hear that Ottawa? ¬†In the middle of the night, so they do not have to disrupt millions of commuters during the day. ¬†So, needless to say, it has been a bit loud but hey, what’s one more thing to get used to listening to as you try and lull yourself to sleep at night? On the sleep note, I have learned that the city of New York DOES sleep. ¬†But only during the hours of 4:00 and 6:30 am. ¬†If you happen to find yourself awake at that time (damn bladder) it is actually very peaceful and almost eerily quiet.

The BEST thing that I found out about this week is that you can buy beer -to -go at Grand Central Station. ¬†So, if you are a commuter that takes the train, you can grab a beer and settle into your seat, pull our your book and casually sip away during the trip home. How incredibly civilized. It almost (ALMOST) makes me want to move out of the city ūüėČ

 

I'll take two please...

 

Oh ya, that also means that I visited Grand Central Station on the way to go and see Ron at work.  I absolutely LOVE this building and every time I walk in I am awestruck by its incredible beauty.  It really is a wild experience to just stand there and let the people pass you.  Everyone is on a journey to somewhere.  No wonder soo many movies have been filmed in this amazing building.

 

Grand Central Station

 

I finally visited Ron’s office building this week and I have to say I am a little bit jealous. ¬†No wonder he loves his job and is happy at work. ¬†Who wouldn’t be want to come in and sit in an office with this view everyday?

 

Ron's view of the Chrysler Building

 

I have to admit I did have a “Holy F, I live in NYC” moment again this week. ¬†I was walking down the street and it just hit me out of no where. ¬†I am NOT visiting, this IS where I live. ¬†All the crazy adventures are mine to own. ¬† And hey, I might just be adding a little craziness of my own right back into the city. After all, I am the woman walking around taking random pictures and mumbling about the value of curtains. ūüėČ

 

One of NYC most famous residents!

 

Enjoy the weekend! I wish all my Canadian friends a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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