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This is not a bizarre claim out of nowhere.

I think I *might have* decided to attempt to post every day in…

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I think I *might have* decided to attempt to post every day in November? My memory is so sketchy on this, and clearly I've already missed November 1. But I will write a little bit about what we were doing. We had a friend come visit for the weekend, so it was nice to have an additional adult around on Halloween. The neighborhood next to ours is one of those with a number of homes that really put on a show for Halloween, like huge displays in the yards, playing music or sound effects, and having people in elaborate costumes handing out the candy. (This is the first year we did a lot of trick-or-treating, and one "local" (I guess) thing that confused me at first is that in this neighborhood, people who are having candy for trick-or-treaters set themselves up in the yard or driveway, you don't walk up to the actual door to knock/ring the doorbell. There were a few houses that were decorated, and had the lights on, so I sent Lucy up to the door, only to realize that is NOT DONE. Okay.)

It turns out this is also one of those neighborhoods that is known for Halloween, and so people come in from other areas, so it feels like there is a little tension between residents who love having as many people as possible, and those that are annoyed by the extremely high volume. There were a few houses we went to where they were giving out -- I don't want to say BAD candy, it was perfectly reasonable Halloween candy, like "fun size" stuff, BUT when the person recognized Lucy (usually people we know from church, school, or dance class) they were 1. really excited to see her, which is nice and I appreciate that, and 2. would obviously get out the BETTER candy, like they'd whip out the secret tray of full size candy bars.

I've seen some complaints online (not about this particular neighborhood, but about the concept of "travelling in" to trick or treat) that were so mean-spirited and pretty much offensive in their view of "OTHER KIDS" where the other kids were characterized in a negative way, and I've always thought that was really terrible, to act like it was so awful to be sought after as a desirable Halloween area. Now that I was in one of those areas, one thing that was HUGE to me was the amount of car traffic on very winding, residential streets. Noticeably more traffic than on a typical day (it's usually very quiet). Initially I was a little amazed, I was wondering why, if you lived in this neighborhood, you wouldn't plan ahead not to be doing a ton of driving when the streets were full of little kids. As the traffic got even heavier, I realized it was people arriving for the point of trick-or-treating, and trying to find parking. That is one thing where I wish someone would get proactive with the local precinct and figure out a system to designate some wider streets for parking and close some of the narrower, more twisty, streets to car traffic. We saw one near miss where a mom with two small kids, I would say maybe a 4 year old and a 3 year old, was helping the littler kid with something, and the slightly bigger kid just up and peeled off when he saw a house across the street with a big crowd for candy. He went right between two parked cars and into the street and into traffic, and a car saw him and stopped but this was a short kid moving fast and if the driver hadn't stopped and I had to go be a court witness, I'd have to say that sure, that kid showed up in the road out of nowhere. All the other parents around had a collective heart attack and you could see people lunging toward the street, but no one was close enough to grab him. And it wasn't that he was unsupervised or the mom was letting him run around, it was really that little kid thing where he should have listened to his mom but he got distracted by something shiny and did an impulse bolt.

We got home to our place relatively early and then Lu had a good time giving out candy to the kids who came to our building.

There is so much candy in our house now. SO MUCH.

Then yesterday was the NYC marathon and we went to Mott Haven (the one tiny section of the marathon route in the Bronx) to cheer on some friends who were running this year. It was fun, it was great to see them, we always have a good time with cheering. This is about Mile 20, so at this point, just about all the runners are pushing into it. While we're waiting to find our friends, we always cheer for everyone, and as usual, a lot of runners put their names on their shirts, so we're yelling "way to go, Steve!" or "you can do it, Melissa!" to completely random people, or cheer for people based on their shirts in general, like if they are from a particular place or have a college or a sports team on them. We get positive responses from most people (or at least, neutral responses) but it is at a pretty grueling part of the course and at least one woman, when I yelled her name, shot me this look like "fuuuuuuuck you" ... which kind of cracked me up, because hey, she's the one who signed up to run 26 miles.
  • (no subject) -
    • We've been doing it for years, and we have it down to A BIT of a science ... not all, but most of the people we go watch are local New Yorkers, and it's the same course every year, so we always have the same plan -- one corner in Brooklyn at around mile 6 (I think? It's fairly early.), and the other one in the Bronx, so the runners know where to look for the watchers. And because they are local, I think there's a little bit of a difference between a person coming into town for the marathon and trying to remember an intersection on a map, and a person who knows that intersection because it is the street that they live on.

      The first few years they had the tracking app, it was ridiculously inaccurate but the past year or so they've really tweaked it and it does a great job of showing you where your runner is on the route (it's amazing). So as long as we're watching that, you can tell when you need to get ready for your runner within say five minutes so you can pay extra close attention.

      I'll admit that we are sometimes obnoxious, but I think it MOSTLY comes across okay. One of my favorites is that the group belts out O CANADA (it's a short anthem) for groups of runners wearing the mapleleaf on their shirts.
  • Oooh neat, now I can say "my old house on Custer" instead of "my house on Custer", love it! Anyway, yeah, that house. It's also on a route where people bus in or drive in from lesser neighborhoods and I and Mark are people who of a mind that love it. Because why the heck not? They live in a neighborhood of either all apartment buildings or houses that can't afford candy and they're coming to a neighborhood of houses that can afford candy and are also houses. This, to me, is a good thing! Candy for all! Plus, the kids are dressed up, and so. Also, it's better than hanging out in a gym or whatever, and not trick or treating.

    Though this year Mark went to an opera and Cliff and I weren't feeling it, so we didn't hand out candy at all, but we'll probably get it together next year. This year was fairly stressful and we all needed a break from thinking about house stuff.
    • I definitely get that this was the year that you wanted to be DONE with the house and related issues for a little while. Halloween isn't going anywhere!
  • (no subject) -
    • Yes, it's just as much fun to see all the costumes and clever signs and things that other people bring. It's a great party.
  • Last year, we trick-or-treated in our neighborhood with friends who live IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD who are Latino. They had a small party and invited maybe three-four other neighborhood kids and maybe five-six kids from outside the neighborhood who were (you guessed it) also Latino, and we all went around together. In the following days, I heard some grumbling about outsiders. Now, our neighborhood is fairly quiet and doesn't have that many kids. So there were maaaaaaybe 50 kids making the rounds of 150 homes. I made a point of telling any nay-sayers that we went around with OUR FRIENDS who live IN OUR COMMUNITY. Harrumph.

    I watched the NY marathon once when I lived in Brooklyn. I think it goes down Fifth Ave? Or Fourth? Just down the hill from where I was living, and I seem to recall it's around mile 7, so people are still relatively energetic. It was such an amazing experience! Someone told me that the runners like getting paper towel handed to them, so I had a couple rolls, and I also did the thing where you cheer people on by name. I think I also cried a lot because I am giant crier.
    • 4th, I think? It's a fun place to watch the elite runners if you can get up in the middle of the night.

      I always cry when watching the marathoners with disabilities (they go first), but even when that is happening I am asking myself "why are you crying? these people are WAY more capable athletes than you are!"
  • I used to live in a neighborhood that people came into on Halloween. (My parents still do) I used to love it so much. I love kids in dress up. =)

    I just wish that a lot of the parents would park and walk the neighborhood instead of driving all around it.

    It is good to see you back. =)
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