Tonight I put on a silly hat and journeyed forth with a friend to wander the streets of the East Village. And once again I was reminded why New York City on Halloween is such a great place to be.
I stayed away from the parade on Sixth Avenue. That once joyful experience was forever ruined for us New Yorkers the year they brought in the TV cameras. As Yogi Berra once said about a suddenly trendy restaurant: “Nobody ever goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
But the East Village is safely far from the corrupting effects of commercial attention. It’s just a lot of people wandering about wearing silly and wonderful costumes, enjoying each others’ company on a magical night.
I think about the paradoxical quality of Halloween in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer:” It’s the only night of the year when all the demons stay away from Sunnydale.
Halloween is like that for me. For one glorious evening we can put aside thoughts of the real scary monsters, like you-know-who and his best pal in Moscow.
On this evening we are all simply children playing dress-up, smiling at one another as we indulge in the fantasy of safely make-believe monsters.
Tomorrow we will again take up the good fight. But tonight we enjoy the innocence of childhood, and the joy of seeing a smile on a happy stranger’s painted face.