“On the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.” (Source: AiyaHMPH/Flickr)
It’s here! It’s here! Halloween is here!
Sorry, I get excited about Halloween. I don’t really understand why this holiday isn’t considered to be on par with the big national holidays, like July 4 and Thanksgiving. It sort of trumps them both, after all. When do you feel more thankful than when full of free candy, given by strangers? When do you feel more free than when three months worth of sugar is coursing through your blood stream? I propose a new holiday, Thankhallowfourth, in which we don costumes and jam M-80s up the rears of candied turkeys, and scrape the delicious gunk off the walls for dinner.
But, this Halloween, as all Halloweens, we should remember to be safe. Aside from my crazed fantasies, it appears this holiday is actually wasted on geared towards children. And wherever the nexus of “children” and “strangers” meet, especially when candy is involved, we ought to take special precautions. Here are a few tips we’ve cobbled together from the local NYPD precincts and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office to ensure you have a safe and happy Halloween.
Trick-or-treaters should always have adult supervision, even if they are traveling with a group of friends.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times; be familiar with the neighborhood you plan on visiting.
Avoid poorly-lit areas and homes of people you do not know.
Avoid displaying your valuables or electronic devices.
Thieves will use this holiday to hide behind a mask to commit crimes.
Do not use your cellphones when crossing streets.
Place emergency identification information discreetly inside clothing of small children, in case of accidental separation.
Halloween treats should only be consumed if they are packaged appropriately in their original, unopened packages. Avoid homemade or unpackaged treats.
Avoid hallways and deserted areas that are dimly lit.
Do not enter a stranger’s home or car.
Walk on the sidewalk and not in the street.
Do not wear costumes that block your view.
Do not wear clothing or accessories that suggest that you are affiliated with a gang. [Drats. I bought my Latin Kings outfit for nothing.]
Carry flashlights and wear reflective clothing at night.
Explain to children of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism which could be a criminal offense.
If you feel that you are in any kind of danger, you can go into one of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Safe Stop locations for safety. Safe Stop locations are specially designated stores or places of business where people can go in case of an emergency, where you can access help and information. Participating merchants have a decal displayed in their window, indicated that they are a Safe Stop location. Participants are trained to know what to do in case of an emergency.
It is appropriate with Halloween being around the corner that we have the pleasure to introduce more glorious footage of Coney Island’s yesteryear, highlighting the spooky freak shows that help make the boardwalk iconic.
Last month, we came across a 50-second clip uploaded by ChiTownView, which featured the freak shows of Coney Island dating back to the 1940s. Well, this historically minded YouTuber has found even more footage of vintage Coney Island, mashing newsreel bits from the 40s, 50s and 60s together into a glorious and trippy walk down memory lane.
This time, you can see men breathing fire, dancing freaks, creepy wax museum figures that nearly come to life, a racy little striptease and the whirling light show of Coney Island’s best rides set to a creepy laugh track of drunken carnies. Best of all, it ends like all the best nights on Coney Island do, with a fireworks show blasting in the sky.
Great stuff, ChiTown. We hope you can keep finding the lost gems and sharing them for all of us to appreciate.
The Marine Park Halloween Walk, an event that has taken place for nearly 30 years, has come to a halt at the orders of the Marine Park Civic Association. Brooklyn Daily is reporting that the event was canceled this year over a lawsuit stemming from an unspecified incident that occurred at last year’s walk.
The day-time event draws children and adults, decked out in their favorite Halloween costumes, to the park every year with promises of candy, contests and all-around good fun. Marine Park Civic Association members were mum on the details of the incident that led to the lawsuit, but stated that overall monetary considerations led to the cancellation as well:
The lawsuit was the primary reason for canceling the Halloween Walk, although financial concerns factored into the decision, according to [Jim] Ivaliotis.
“It’s not purely monetary, but that’s a big part of it. In case this thing goes far, and we have to entertain more legal representation than just the insurance company lawyers representing us, there’s going to be a large cost of event insurance,” Ivaliotis said. “It’s too risky to do it and we had to make that decision.”
That being said, Ivaliotis is reluctant to institute a fee to attend the event, which the civic has provided free of charge since its debut.
“I’m really sorry,” said Ivaliotis. “This had become an institution, but it has to pass this year.”
Well, I guess just because the event itself is canceled, it shouldn’t stop people from dressing up and walking around Marine Park on Halloween anyway. Still, it is always sad when an organized and fun community based event is canceled over money, lawsuits and lawyers.
I understand that focus is on the hurricane and damage and power right now. Since this is Halloween, I want to give the kids (two little girls, 7 and 3) something to think about besides the light and water for a change and just smiles, so I’m wondering if you know if businesses that are open will be inviting to trick-or-treaters tonight. Alternatively, do you know if there’s a mass consensus to go on a different day, or maybe just go to Kings Highway or somewhere more inland where they were likely less affected.
Eric’s right. At the moment, our entire neighborhood – or at least those in the hard hit areas below Avenue W – are quite focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Many of us won’t even have to dress up – we’re already looking like zombies, milling around the neighborhood stunned at the damage and loss. I’ve seen too many blank stares this week.
So we like Eric’s idea. We might be struggling, but the world goes on, and kids and families in the neighborhood ought to find a little bit of joy as we push through this. Those of you with children, we encourage you to share your plans and invite your neighbors along.
Our friends over at the South Marine Park branch of TD Bank (2944 Gravesend Neck Road, near Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U) informed us of a fun family event local branches are organizing tomorrow: free pumpkin painting for Halloween.
“Paint a pumpkin and take it with you!” the flier claims. The event – and the pumpkins – are free of charge.
Head to the Gravesend Neck Road branch – or one of the other branches listed below – tomorrow, October 26, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to join the party. This is a rain or shine event.
This is a sponsored announcement from Baron DeKalb – Knights of Columbus (3000 Emmons Avenue):
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Halloween is supposed to be scary, but judging from the slew of little critters we received photos of - dogs and kids, alike – it was really of a day to warm the cockles of my brutally dark, cold heart.