halloween skeleton

As a child trick-or-treating in the city, there are certain doors you know not to knock on. Old Mr. Smithers may be known to hate children, or Mrs. Weathersbee may have a terrifying wart that makes you fear she is a witch. In any case, the free candy just isn’t worth it.

But other people – in fact entire blocks worth of people! — are tremendously welcoming. On the Upper West Side, the most amazing display of creativity and generosity is on West 69th street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West. The displays are truly amazing, and most of the people there give out lots of candy. Unfortunately, that also means it’s very crowded there. There’s also usually a block party on 87th between Riverside and West End too, and one on 90th between Central Park West and Columbus for people who live near there.

This year, fraternities at Columbia will also be handing out lots of candy:

“Columbia University’s Inter-Greek Council will be hosting their annual Trick or Treat at the brownstones on W113th to W114th between Broadway and Amsterdam tonight from 5-7pm. Fraternity men and women will be handing out candy and snacks and children are invited to come by with their families. Columbia Public Safety officers will be patrolling the area to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable night.”

leaveAt the same time, it seems like there are more and more doors in the neighborhood that you shouldn’t knock on. Many buildings have sign-up sheets where the few people who will welcome kids put up their names, and many of them leave the candy outside the door. One Upper West Side Halloween naysayer, who blogs at “Don’t Kill Your Neighbor” warns people “Don’t ring my bell.”

“I don’t like to have unfettered access…to me. And the idea that just because you’ve come to my door I have to entertain some interaction or listen to a question that you have is more than I think I should bear. It’s not that I want to be alone. It’s more about wanting to manage the when and where of it.

I’m a grump. I’ve got boundaries for years. And I’m sensitive to a fare-thee-well to any potential intrusion. Chalk it up to only child-hood. Perhaps. I suspect it’s more hard wired than even that.

So BOOOO and EEEEE and all those fun sounds kids make on Halloween. Just don’t make me engage them. I will be in my pajamas ignoring any erroneous knocks. I won’t be here. Just go away.”

Is it just me, or are city-dwellers becoming less welcoming on Halloween?

Flickr photo of “welcome” mat by Mr. T in DC.

NEWS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. ScooterStan says:

      Agree 101% with the above blogger!

      Our building is, thankfully,, one that also uses the opt-in sign-up list for “Costume-Bedecked Out-of-Control Sugar-Hypercharged Children Demanding Unwarranted Treats” Night.

      Which means that we do NOT have to constantly respond to a ringing doorbell and the overly-loud screeches of out-of-control children and their indulging enabling irresponsible parents who never, ever, admonish their “charges” to “Stop screaming! Use your inside voices!”

      Yes we can hear the screeches down the hall at the doors of some neighbors who are obviously willing to be annoyed all evening. But at least it’s not at this door!

      Bah! Humbug!!

      • Karen says:

        I suspect there are many more of us out there…those who are willing to travel a little south of politically correct. Ah, the courage to say “No!”

      • Christina says:

        Next year just give them tricks! They will surely leave you alone. Ha! Which brings me to the point that kids should just say “Treats” Who really gives tricks anyway!… it’s not Trick or Treat. It’s just Treat!