Spooktacular!

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

DSC_0112 cropped smallMy favorite holiday is Hallowe’en. What’s not to love? There are small children, gaudy costumes, and plenty of candy. Plus, my Goth-girl side revels in the idea of celebrating darkness, death, and the onset of winter.

But over the years, I’ve celebrated more in the breach than in the observance, since the end of October is one of the busiest times in my industry. (I’ll never forget hearing the joyous noises of the Austin Hallowe’en parade from my hotel room, where I was chained to my computer with an imminent deadline.)

So this year, I was delighted to break free from work and meet Vlad over at the Third Annual Halloween Spooktacular. It’s an Upper East Side block party, or rather mini-street fair. The organizers block off the street and hold costume contests—not just for children, but for adults, families, and pets too. There’s a DJ, a bubble artist, and did I mention the candy? And the houses are lavishly—indeed, extravagantly—decorated. (After all, this is the Upper East Side.)

The first year, we stumbled upon the event purely by accident. Well, not exactly accident—you see, the block the organizers selected for the event was, serendipitously, our block (specifically, 92nd Street between Madison and Park Avenues). So it was impossible for us to miss it. Obviously, the Universe wanted me to be celebrating my favorite holiday—and if it couldn’t bring Johna to Hallowe’en, it brought Hallowe’en to Johna.

We watched the event grow last year, celebrated even in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which left the neighborhood with bedraggled decorations but otherwise unscathed.

And this year, when I arrived, the party was in full swing.  There were…

DSC_0025 cropped small… superheroes

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… butterflies

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… scary ladies

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… and plenty more (click on any photo to start slideshow)

And—this being the Upper East Side—an inordinate number of men dressed as Wall St. Bankers.

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Now they were truly scary!

22 responses to “Spooktacular!

  1. so kid friendly…with adults enjoying too…really great photos…shows the excitement …

  2. Love that last shot – scary indeed!

  3. Ha! Brilliant final shot!

  4. oh the kids are so cute!

  5. Spooktacular pictures and models.
    All the best,
    Hanna

  6. I love the post, love the photos! And that last shot really is really spooky indeed!

  7. Amazing … you have a life beyond kayaking … thanks for sharing, looks like lots of fun.

  8. The ones with wings: butterflies, fairies, whatever – those are my favorite. Especially the little girl in green with the yellow flowers in her hair (May princess). Love her!

  9. Thanks for sharing your colorful Hallowe’en!
    (Not too much dark brooding prewinter Goth intensity there, though, Johna. More like a spring preview!)

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