OK, forget the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Tree-lighting at Rockefeller Center? Don't go. The event you HAVE to attend once in your life is the Annual Halloween Parade through the Villages of New York.
If you think the average New Yorker on the street is weird, you won't believe what you see when they're actually trying to be weird.
The missues and I rushed back from droppin' one of the younguns at the airport and quickly hopped on the C train to get down to 4th Street and hopefully see the parade. The subway ride proved to be the best and most surreal moment of the evening. At every station we stopped at, more and more people with more and more crazy costumes blithely walked onto the subway. Guys in inmate uniforms. Zombies galore. Werewolves. Girls wearing low-cut Swiss Miss outfits. You name it. And right at the point where our train reached critical mass and was rocketing nonstop toward our final station, we looked over to our right and watched as a second train car of equally bizarre partiers raced us at 60 mph on a parallel track.
When we arrived at the station, it was a mob scene, with more than 3,000 people all trying to work their way off the platform, through a tunnel and up to the street. When we got to the street, the mob was 30-people deep from the sidewalk, ensuring we wouldn't be able to see anything. We spend the next 35 minutes pushing through crowds and working our way north up side streets, trying to find a decent vantage point. By the time we'd back0-and-forthed our way to 12th street, we decided the best way to see the parade was on TV, and headed back north.
But we'd gotten the flavor of it. And it was amazing. The crowd along the parade route were just as amazingly costumed as those who took the street. It's not really an organized parade, per se, just a collection of tens of thousands of crazy New Yorkers walking down Sixth Avenue in costume having a good time. Nothing debauched. Kids and adults having a really good time.
I took a few pictures, but candidly from my vantage point you don't really get the story. Here's a link to Gothamist's site where they've rolled up some great Flickr images of the event and another link to Google images. Enjoy!