Over the years, I've had many people ask me how the whole trick-or-treating situation works in a big city like New York. It makes much more sense if you knew my neighborhood. Visitors come to Manhattan and see Times Square and Midtown and can be under the impression that we all live in crowded chaos.
I live on the Upper East Side in an area called Carnegie Hill, which is very residential. And, since there seem to be roughly 10,000 schools in a 20-block area, it's also full of families. The traffic isn't bad, but at certain times of the day we have stroller gridlock.
So yeah, Halloween. Most people live in apartment buildings. Often the staff puts on parties in the lobby and the residents sign up if they want to give out candy as well. All the trick-or-treaters get a list and go apartment to apartment, taking the elevator to the top and working down. Sometimes the halls are decorated (I spent about 2 hours yesterday doing mine.) All well and good, but I'd rather go outside. So we did.
The townhouses in the neighborhood go nuts with decorations -- on some blocks, every townhouse is covered with ghouls and spiderwebs. I took my kids up Madison (the stores all give out candy) and we wound our way up several of the better side streets, hitting the townhouses and buildings one by one. HUNDREDS of kids were out, many of whom we knew. Some streets blocked off traffic. One of the owners was holding a giant bag of candy and asked her how many she had to buy. "About thirty," she said.
We went home after about 2 1/2 hours of non-stop candy-grubbing.
How was your Halloween?