The witching hour is fast approaching and what to do about a maleficent, Covid-thwarted Halloween!? What doth portend for this ghastly, blood-curdling ritual practiced by the Celts since the dark ages. The pagan festival known as Samhuinn (pronounced SAWin) signaled the transition from summer’s growing season to long, dark and bitter cold nights of winter. It was considered the New Year and believed that spirits of the dead souls surfaced to either bless or curse the harvesters.
Devotees lit fires and disguised themselves as eerie spirits to drive the menacing spectres back to whence they came. In the 8th Century, the Christians declared November 1st All Saints Day and created All Hallows’ Eve to honor the dead. It has become one of the most celebrated holidays for children of all ages.
Looking forward to dressing up this year? Like most events in our lives right now we are having to rethink the celebration. Our city’s concentration of residents can be perilous for safe distancing. The Governor’s Office has issued specific guidelines. Trick or treating is verboten indoors. Some buildings will hand out treats in the lobby while others have banned it entirely. Boo!
The CDC also published guidelines and spooky suggestions for safe family fun. Many of them are sticking to pandemic routines that have become second nature. It cautioned not to wear a Halloween Mask instead of a cloth mask, and not to wear a cloth mask under a Halloween mask which could make it difficult to breathe.
Hilary and I are not letting the restrictions get us down. Instead we are looking forward to wandering safely outside to see all the little spooks and spookettes before gathering safely in a small group. And what will we wear for Halloween? Inspired by Jennifer Creel’s VOTE pendant, we went all out as a Yankee Doodle Dandy at Veronica Beard. Her jackets are tops for fit and function.
Next stop the Suffragette movement where our valiant foremothers gain us the right to vote. The “Suffragette Dress” is quite in vogue now. Tory Burch designs an up to date version with removable collar.
Continuing on the patriotic platform, Rosie the Riveter is another inspiration from this country’s past. In 1943 Normal Rockwell created Rosie the Riveter for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. She would tour the country raising funds for war bonds.
The same year this version was created by J. Howard Miller for Westinghouse Electric Company.
Both artists were inspired by a song “Rosie the Riveter” written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb, which became a national sensation. It inspired a generation of women to go to work outside the home, in support of the nation and the war.
All the day long, whether rain or shine
She’s a part of the assembly line
She’s making history,
Working for victory,
Rosie the Riveter
A modern day American icon, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, inspired several generations with her unwavering commitment to justice for all. Her wit and wisdom will be greatly missed.
No matter where you roam in our fair town each vicinage possesses its own devilish delights. In Chelsea, the blocks to stroll are between 9th & 10th on 21st and 22nd Streets. You can make a reservation to ramble down The High Line, or promenade the Upper West Side to view the ghoulish brownstones 69th between Broadway and Central Park, 79th between Columbus and Amsterdam, 87th Street from Broadway to West End, and 95th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West.
There’s also the New York Botanical Garden’s Great Pumpkin Path …
The Pier 17 Pumpkin Arch at the Seaport …
And Boo at the Zoo!
But if you really crave blood curdling, spine chilling adventure, Greenwich Village is the place to go. This year would have been the 47th Annual Parade. The cancellation, while disappointing, doesn’t diminish the spirit of camaraderie and chicanery emanating from Jeanne Fleming, Artistic and Producing Director, “Our tricky treat will happen on Halloween night and it will be Covid safe! Keep tuned for hints … but just like the child who comes to your door on Halloween, you won’t know who it is or what it is till you see it! BOO!”
Hilary’s costume will fit right into the Village’s spirited & saucy scene. “I am taking my costume inspiration this year from the Netflix documentary, Tiger King. Like most of you I was fascinated by the story and especially intrigued by Carole Baskin. Being a cat lady myself, I thought it would be fun to channel Carole’s vibe for my Halloween get-up. A little leopard, and of course her ever present floral head wreath and I am all set to go on the trick or treat prowl.” Grrrrrrr or purrrrr?
Please keep your friends & families safe by following the suggested guidelines … and here’s to a Halloween holiday filled with joy and laughter.