Monday, October 31, 2011

New York Stories (5) – spooky!

The good news for the little tackers going out Trick or Treating for Halloween tonight in New York is that in many areas the snow will have melted and they won't all be slipping over, spilling their stashes of candy everywhere. Wouldn't that be terrible! I'm not sure whether we'll get a knock at the door up here on the 12th floor in our Manhattan Hotel, but you never know your bad luck, do you?

As we've driven across the country and walked around the streets of many towns, the Halloween decorations on houses and shops have been such a delightful thing to see. Some involve elaborate ghoulish figures, others are as simple and charming as a set of hand-cut pumpkins on the front steps. And so here's a few photos of the Halloween decorations we have seen all across the country, starting here with some we spotted in New York City in yesterday's walkies.

"I now pronounce you ghoul and wife" a macabre wedding ceremony on the steps of a Greenwich Village house.

I've been told these pumpkins are a special type grown each year for Halloween. They're supposedly much easier to hollow out and carve but aren't that good for eating (can my American gardener/readers confirm this?). We've seen them for sale in parking lots and local parks in some towns, with huge areas turned into a sea of orange as thousands of pumpkins are arrayed for customers to choose a few to take home.

This graveside awakening is enough to give you nightmares. Love their work (again in New York City).

Charleston, South Carolina, did itself proud with its Halloween decorations. We love these balcony folk.

This Charleston witch looks fab at the moment, but where do they keep her the rest of the year? Maybe it's in a cupboard to give burglars and snoops a fright?

Same deal with this Charleston front garden guy who greets passers-by with a cheery "boo!". Surely he lives in the attic in the off-season. Must terrify the electricians doing repairs up there...

Passing through many country towns we spotted simple harvest displays of haybales and pumpkins that are a simultaneous feature of this October Harvest/Halloween season. This one was in the town square of Swainsboro, Georgia. There were several of these in the square, including one with a scarecrow. Hundreds and hundreds of shops everywhere had mini displays of haybales/pumpkins/scarecrows in their front windows, even teeny little plastic ones on the store counter as well. The whole nation is into it!

If you think you've seen this photo of a front step harvest display before, you have. It's from Galveston, Texas.

Hand-carving your own pumpkins is a real skill. You can buy videos on how to do it, there are demos on TV on how to do it, and as these pumpkins in New Orleans show, when well done it's great folk art. At night, with candles inside the pumpkins, the effect is superb.

New Orleans cheerfully embraces graveside humour all year-round, and so Halloween just brings out the best in them. Virtually every balcony had something ghoulish hanging from it.

At any other time of year this front door in the Garden District of New Orleans would be a worry. Right now, it's just great.

Around the corner from that spooky front door, in the side garden, ghosts fluttered from the trees.

And in the French Quarter, the staff are here to help you find the graveyard of your choice.

The major Halloween Street Parade tonight in New York City is between 6th and 16th Streets in Greenwich Village, and we're not sure if we'll be there or not to join the crush, but it's no problem if we aren't there, as they televise it live on local TV, much as they do with the Mardi Gras Parade back in Sydney each year. Meanwhile, we await a knock at the door this evening, and hope it is merely a sugar-loving child dressed as a demon or witch, and not the real thing.


Alexa said...

Thanks for posting these photos, I miss Halloween but as you've learned, it's so much more than just giving away candy! Decorating houses and town centres with symbols of death and the harvest just doesn't work in the middle of springtime.

You're correct about the pumpkins, the carved ones are jack-o-lanterns, thin-skinned types with poor flavour. The famous pumpkin pie is usually made with tinned pumpkin puree these days and the savoury-eating varieties are usually called squash. See if you can try some pumpkin pie before you leave, it is a truly American experience!

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

Today doing a research on new york electricians I have skimmed through various posts and found one of your's to best of my interest.In these I'm going to renovate my home so I found such workers at which are very suitable in town for me.