Friday, November 03, 2006


A little late, yes, but thought I would touch on it anyway, since it's been a looooong time since I've actually gone trick -or- treating.

I love this time of year. Fall is my favorite season, and I will be very sad when I live in a location that doesn't relish in the changing leaves, crisp weather and the smell of Fall-- because, yes; Fall does have a smell: a combination of freshness and fireplaces and apples and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum.

Right when the leaves start changing, I make it my mission to buy pumpkins. Even in NYC, I would lug a couple home from C-Town on Broadway and 29th, to dress up my little apartment for the season. Here in Chicago, it's a little easier since there's a little neighborhood farmer's market up the street every Saturday. Every October since I moved here, I've faithfully trekked a short walk south to pick up some pumpkins. This year, due to the surgery restrictions, I couldn't get the usual "heaviest pumpkin I could carry" so I resigned myself to a gaggle of mini-pumpkins and a small guy with an interesting "nose," snuck into the bottom of my niece's stroller so I didn't get in trouble for carrying it. Laid out on all my window sills with the small pumpkin with the interesting nose sitting on my kitchen counter, my little apartment in Chicago got all gussied up for the season.

This year, with all this time off of work, thus, no crazy late night hours, I was actually home on Halloween and I actually got to go trick-or-treating with my friends Kristina and Claudia and their 1-year old tots. Okay, okay-- so, the 1-year olds can't exactly eat candy... and I partook in the spoils... but that's another story.

I have often been heard saying that I live in the fanciest neighborhood that I'll ever get to live in-- Chicago's very own Gold Coast. And this Halloween was proof in the pudding. As a kid growing up in Los Angeles, there was an occasional Halloween where a friend's parents would drive us over to Beverly Hills. There, many a mansion would have giant fishbowls of loose change instead of candy; and us kids were allowed to scoop up as much as one tiny hand could carry. Most of the time they were filled with pennies; but there were the occasional quarters. Score!

While the Chicago Gold Coast isn't quite so lotto, the mansions were out full swing with king size-- not just full size, but KING size, candy bars. The mansion across the street had a mummy holding a bowl of king size snickers and nestle crunches (my favorite) and when the kids went to grab a candy bar, the mummy would move. Freaky! And down the street, one mansion-owner decided to throw a block part of their own, complete with heat lamps (it was 36 degrees...), cocktail rounds and tables of mini-meatball sandwiches, various rolls, mini cupcakes and hot apple cider, with costumed staff patrolling and serving the masses. Oh yes, my friends. A lotto block party. Not to mention, the fog machine blowing from the foyer where the neighborhood kids could venture in to retrieve not only candy, but also florescent wrist bands and other fun Halloween treats.

Gold Coast indeed.