Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why Does Halloween Suck in Somerville?

I grew up on Shepard Street. It wasn't a particularly kid friendly street. There was a grade school down the street. But not all the houses had kids. About 1/4 of it is owned by Radcliffe and is undergraduate housing. But every kid in the neighborhood pretty much trick or treated in a loop that stayed within a couple blocks of our houses.

Now, in Cambridge everybody flocks to certain streets where they close down and turn their blocks into Halloween parties. We walked over there today and it was awesome. Crescent street was lined with jack-o-lanterns. They had pirate movies being projected onto the side of the garage. A guy in a scary mask stood in front of a cauldron and distributed candy out of a severed head. (My kids did NOT partake in his treats).

But because of these Halloween block parties, kids don't trick or treat in their own neighborhoods any more. It's really devastating for the older folks and empty nesters over here in So So. We made an effort to hit the decorated houses on the way back and people were really disappointed in the lack of kids. We were the only family that they had gotten by seven.

I think the crescent thing was awesome. But I wish there was a way to keep this tradition vibrant in the adjacent neighborhoods. I suppose we could try to throw our own block party. I'm mulling that one over, because I clearly don't have enough going on in my life (NOT).

Oh, and Eric did NOT wear a costume again this year. If he didn't look like me and Rich, I'd wonder if he was switched at birth. Of all the things to be completely immovable about, a Halloween costume? COME ON! I don't make him eat broccoli or enter the house through the same door as me when the mood strikes him. But if I could make him wear a costume, I would. He almost refused to trick or treat because he thought we were going to somehow foist a costume on him. Sneaking him into his Patriots jersey is not so much of a viable options because he's cottoned on to the fact that people will interpret it as a costume.

In some ways, I applaud his refusal to succumb to peer pressure. I think this will serve him well in the long run. But DAMMIT. I want cute Halloween costume pictures to moon over when I have a spotty lumpy teenager living in my house.


Blogger Downpuppy said...

There are some good areas. Lowell from Summer to Highland is near us, & puts on a pretty good spread. We've been doing it since she was 1 & would walk into the houses instead of raising her bag.

Lexington Ave. is the famous area.

Really, though the density of kids now is lots lower than it was 30 or 40 years ago when we were kids. I'm just glad the fearmongers seem to have lightened up.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Christin Khan said...

We have had the exact same thoughts... we live technically in Medford but on the Somerville border in Winter Hill, and we opted to take our toddler over to the block party in Cambridge on Crescent Street because it provided her with a much more memorable event than our lame neighborhood, but it was sad... I felt like I was contributing to the problem and it would have been really nice to have that kind of experience right on our street with our neighbors...

1:50 PM  

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