Friday, October 29, 2010

The Greenwhich Village Halloween Parade

 New York City's famous Halloween Parade began around 1974. In those days, the parade started at Westbeth and finished in Washington Sq. Park. Westbeth is a low to moderate cost living and working complex for artists. It was carved out of buildings which had been the Bell Telephone laboratories. The parade was usually led by Bread & Circus' giant puppets. People used to hang out of their windows to watch. Once on Bleecker St I saw the head of the giant snake being pushed into an open 5th story window. I've always wondered what the occupant of that apartment thougt at that moment...

 One very cold Halloween, one of the local clubs had a cocktail waitress bring out free hot rum toddies for adults who needed a warm up.

The parade and the spectators included both kids and adults. Many of the adult costumes were more than delightfully risque. I always wondered that the Moral Majority folks didn't swoop in.

I had a friend, George, who was agoraphobic, and seldom ventured from his West 10th Street apartment. When this guy was 8 years old, he was in a shopping mall with his parents and when the radio station reported the death of Judy Garland, he passed out. So this one year, I had worked on him for a couple of weeks to come out and enjoy the Halloween Parade right where he lived. He finally agreed to do it, and we were to meet at the intersection of Bleecker and 8th Ave - what was the name "Abington Square", I think.  Anyway, George didn't show. I found a phone and called him. I finally got him to come outside. He'd been there less than a minute when Rollerina zoomed by. Rollerina was a Village fixture, a 6 foot  tall vision in dirty white layers of tutus, wearing a tiara, and carrying a magic wand. She was rumored to be a stockbroker by day. Anyway, Rollerina had painted her face green that night, very wicked witch. As she passed by, she hit George in the ass with her wand and exclaimed, "To the Emerald City, fast as lightening".
He ran all the way home.

To be continued...

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