I have always imagined Halloween in the suburbs as the most picturesque way to celebrate the holiday. Going from house to house down a safe sidewalk, trick-or-treating with lots of other families, spooky decorations on lawns and in windows, and the changing colors of the leaves add up to my idea of how Halloween should be. Growing up in New York City, though, that experience is a little bit different.
For the first 8 years of my life, I spent Halloween trick-or-treating at my aunt’s place on the Upper East Side. It’s a huge apartment building, so while I definitely got my fair share of candy, it never felt like the quintessential trick-or-treating experience I longed for. I didn’t get to show my costume off, I didn’t get to walk around the neighborhood, and I didn’t get to see all the houses adorned with Halloween decorations. The elevator ride from the 8th floor to the 20th floor wasn’t as satisfying as exploring a small town. I felt gypped.
Once I got to middle school, my Halloween experience changed: I graduated from being confined to an apartment building to trick-or-treating through the West Village. I felt as though I was getting a little snippet of what my ideal suburban Halloween must be like, because I got to from decorated brownstone to decorated brownstone. Still, it wasn’t the same. Plus, after about 2 hours, we always had to head home so that we wouldn’t have to encounter the parade crowd (once Sixth Avenue gets closed off during the parade, it’s impossible to get across the street, which means you need to cross 45 minutes before it begins.)
This is how I have spent the majority of my Halloweens. Don’t get me wrong, celebrating in New York City can be super fun, but part of me feels like I’m really missing out.
This year, one of my aunts — who lives on Long Island — has invited me to take my younger cousin and some of her friends trick-or-treating in their town. I immediately said yes to the opportunity. Me and a bunch of 8 year olds — that’s exactly how I want to spend Halloween. Even though it will be as a chaperone, I feel like I finally get to live out one of my childhood daydreams.
New York City is great for a lot of things, but for me, I think that Long Island is going to take the cake. I am so excited to finally go trick-or-treating in a small town! Maybe I’m basing all of my information on sitcoms and Kit-Kat commercials, but from what I’ve seen, Halloween in the suburbs looks like a blast. I’ll let you know how it goes.