TV Shows »Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

on NY1 8:00

While I know I can’t be alone in the universe but I am often among my friends when I declare my absolute love of local news.

With Pat Kiernan on our side we have some of the best on NY1 so of course I’ll be spending tonight, watching their coverage of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. PS Roger Clark just tweeted that his pants are tight !

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Posted on October 31, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Witches March

Williamsburg Kiddie Halloween Parade

I have to admit, Van the most scrumptious French pumpkin and I, the makeshift Pinocchio pooped out of the Witches Walk before the parade even began but we had a blast seeing all the fabulous and adorable costumes.

Huge kudos to those parents who managed such great handmade costumes like the dumpling (complete with chop stick legs!!) and les family of old fashioned bank robbers pictured below.

For every little one I got a photo of there were at least ten more to say awwww about. We had become quite a formidable crowd by the time we left (to the absolute horror of single dudes caught in the wave of strollers).

Thanks to Flying Squirrel for hosting.

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Posted on October 31, 2011

Web Sites »Haunted Dollhouse by The Bloggess

This Haunted Dollhouse is AWESOME. AWESOME. AWESOME.

Way to go Jenny Lawson!

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Posted on October 28, 2011

Laughs »Nightmares Fear Factory Gallery

on Flickr

These photos of people getting scared in Nightmare’s Fear Factory are stupendous!

We won’t be making it to the old haunted house this year, but these photos are filling the void nicely.

I love Halloween time!

Thanks Steve for bringing these to my attention.

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Posted on October 7, 2011

TV Shows »Are You Afraid of the Dark

The decade before the word 'tween' was invented offered much in the way of young adult television and I myself have a sentimental soft spot for most of the shows preteens spent the 90s in front of (Breaker High, Swan's Crossing, Flash Forward, etc); so you can imagine I was looking forward to filling this week's TV pick with Nickelodeon's semi-forgotten spooky anthology series, Are You Afraid of the Dark??/p>

But from the wildly disappointed comments of fellow Netflix subscribers and Jim's own pretty clear memories of the show, I've learned that the “freaky favorites” double disc (the only one currently available on Netflix) is, contrary to what the title suggests, not representative of the best of the show at all. The three episodes on the DVD feature a “new” cast of kids making up the Midnight Society (an admittedly nerdy nocturnal story-telling club) who, according to Jim, are way lamer than Gary and the original dorks.

Still, it's a fun late afternoon view and, while the episodes we saw weren't particularly mind-blowing, this sweetly nostalgic Canadian show (one episode is actually about a demonic hockey stick) is certainly a hell of a lot better than most other horror anthology shows out there (the dreadful Hitchhiker and, what is bound to be my worst TV show of the year, Masters of Horror quickly come to mind).

Despite a seemingly vast fan base, the seven seasons of the show are particularly hard to find on DVD…

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Songs »I Don’t Like Candy Corn

Usually the looping ads that play on the on-demand channels are nothing but an annoyance (why else would I have memorized the ad for John Tucker Must Die?) but the other day, the refrain “I Like Halloween, but I Don't Like Candy Corn” caught my ear.

This adorable song from Moose A Moose, who I've since learned is the mascot for Nick Jr, is not only totally fun and catchy (I've been singing it off and on for days) but is thematically one I can completely relate to: See, I love Halloween but I don't like candy corn either!

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Movies »The House of the Devil

I've watched many a horror movie this past week in order to recommend the best to you, my dear friends; and while I can't claim that The House of the Devil is flawless, it is worth a late-night Halloween-week viewing and definitely the best of the bunch from the pile of DVDs I spent the week sifting through (which included the mouth-to-mouth vomit heavy Drag Me To Hell and the rather tedious When a Stranger Calls). A deliberate and effective homage to horror movies of the late seventies and early eighties (right down to the casting of thin and adorably Margot Kidderesque Jocelin Donahue as the heroine and titular fontography), HOTD is a slow burning film comprised of a series of extremely effective techniques. The skillful use of sound design, imagery, surprise and pacing results in genuine chills, but sadly the film misses the mark when it comes to the big reveal.

Maybe Ti West did himself a huge disservice by announcing the plot secret in an onscreen quote at the very beginning of the film, maybe it's just hard to make genuine scares out of clich?s; either way, by the end of the movie the dread the director worked so hard to evoke devolves rapidly into silliness… but at least its good and gory silliness featuring some of my favorite character actors: Mary Woronov and Tom Noonan.

Rather awesomely, the movie is currently available on-demand while it's still in theaters, making for a perfect night once friends and popcorn are added to the equation.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Style Icons: Female »Elvira

I vividly remember standing in front of a cardboard cutout of her in the grocery holding a pack of Coors, so in my mind I early learned that Elvira = Halloween + beer, and there's nothing wrong about that. Sure, Cassandra Peterson's shtick was not completely original, the lovely Vampira came before her, but beyond becoming the sex symbol of the scariest holiday, she's also a local girl who grew up dancing in gay bars in my hometown of Colorado Springs.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Books »Twisted

Jeffery Deaver, best known for his novel The Bone Collector, has compiled the most edible thrillery popcorn into the short story collection Twisted; I haven't had this much fun with mindless reading in a while. Like a horror anthology (though much better than those you can usually find on TV – in fact, this book could easily become the only really good horror anthology of the decade if someone good got behind it) each brief thriller starts out one way (you think a woman is about to meet with a serial killer, a dad is about to be murdered, a jealous husband is about to enact bloody revenge, etc) and then… Bam! There's a twist!

The language and style can best be described bare bones (lazy at worst: every female character is described as resembling either Pamela Anderson or Michelle Pfeiffer) but Deaver really really knows just how to cut to the chase and tease the best out of his highly satisfying and effective formula. The twist-ending game might get a little tedious after sixteen stories, but I have to admit: I couldn't always figure out what was coming, which keeps it fresh.

This is perfect beach reading for non beach reading weather – so maybe we can call it 'sofa and hot cocoa reading'. In response to the overwhelming popularity of this collection, Deaver put out a second volume ingeniously titled More Twisted.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Spend a Couple Hours »Halloween Party

I may be getting old, because Jim and I used to host parties every other month or so, but now we're down to just two a year. Fortunately, they are fantastic ones – and our Halloween Bash is the best. I'm always impressed with our friends' costumes, and here are just a few photos from last year that include my sister as Andrew Dice Clay, myself as Purple Rain era Prince, my friend Laura sporting stigmata and Jim as the Love Guru…

'd like to think that I'll have the skill and patience for some Martha Stewart-caliber decorating and recipes, but my friends may have to settle for what my local dollar stores have to offer and some mad scientist shots.. which is pretty much what they've come to expect without complaint.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Albums »The Heretic Soundtrack

Exorcist II: The Heretic has the reputation as “one of the most notorious disasters in movie history” but it boasts an impressive Ennio Morricone soundtrack. Lacking even the great Brad Dourif and the image of an old lady crawling across the ceiling that factors so heavily into the enjoyment of part three, most people agree that the haunting music is the film's only worthwhile element.

I've been informed that this is a rare find, my friend Shaun purchased his CD at the excellent treasure trove Amoeba Records, but you can also pay a higher price on an Amazon import. If you're a fan of creepy Morricone dissonance and haunting melodies, it's worth the investment and time to track it down. It bounces from soft, almost romantic sounds to frenzied intensity. Definitely makes the work day more dramatic.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Places to Visit »Windy Acres Farm

Weather has put a damper on apple picking plans before, so when a co-worker suggested a long island trip this Sunday I was pleased to join. Windy Acres is about an hour and twenty minutes away, on the LIE, through lots of lovely fall foliage views.

We chose them because they have a small petting zoo, hayrides, a corn maze and pumpkin patches. Unfortunately, they did not have the U pick apples we came for, but it really didn't matter. It was great to get out into the autumn air on what might be our last day of warm weather.
if you really crave them, there are apples, as well as other vegetables, Halloween cookies, pies and cider in the market.

The most crave worthy goodies though, are by far and away the fresh apple cider donuts – truly the best I've ever tasted of one of my favorite treats on earth. The roasted corn was also great.

The petting zoo was minuscule but included a wild looking turkey that was fun to gawk at and the corn maze offered a relaxing walk. We opted out of the hayride, due to overcrowding, but the many families there seemed to enjoy it. We did pick out the perfect pumpkin, though and he'll be on haunting display Halloween Day.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Hunks »Eli Roth

I've got to admit that I was a little embarrassed to find Eli Roth so irresistibly and rather inexplicably cute in Inglourious Basterds – not because he was playing a head-bashing 'Bear Jew', but because he's behind the revolting torture franchise, Hostel.?/p>

As a long-time fan of horror films, I have to say that I've just never gotten on the relatively recent torture bandwagon and greatly prefer other sub-genres and wish the fad would give way to better stuff (see this week's movie pick). And I never trust any dude with a vigorous and vainglorious daily muscle-man work-out routine.

Still, one can't always expect good taste to go with good looks.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Laughs »what r u going to be for ?oween?

Our good friend Ashleigh complied this image gallery of some of her favorite costume ideas. I hope you can find some inspiration.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Style Icons: Male »Charles Addams

Whatever your opinion of the television series and movies that gained wider popularity and recognition than their source material, you really should take a look at the wry and darkly hilarious work of Chas Addams.

A beloved cartoonist for the New Yorker, who relished in presenting a humorously macabre image to the public (he'd have his photo taken with a collection of crossbows or wearing a suit of armor), Addams created his most famous fictional family with the help of friend Ray Bradbury.

I would leaf through my dad's collection of his cartoons and laugh and laugh as a little girl, and I still find them wonderful.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Recipes »Chicken Chili with Black Beans

Okay, so there's nothing scary about this wonderful Chicken Chili with Black Beans (in fact, it's so good it even convinced a friend who claimed to hate chili to ask for seconds), but it's so warming and perfect for after a night of trick or treating or a Halloween party that I thought I'd include it this week.

Plus, you could easily call it brain soup or something to make it more festive. Just be sure to add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – that's the magical extra ingredient.

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Posted on October 26, 2009

Restaurants »Pio Pio Riko

pio pio riko beef hearts Pio Pio Riko is well known for their incredibly affordable half-chicken meals that, while heavy, are yummy and offer one of the few worthy delivery options here in Greenpoint, but it's when one goes off into other, less explored areas of the menu, that the Peruvian delicacies really shine.

It always freaks people out when I order beef hearts, but maybe they're less scary under the Peruvian name Antichucos. Pio Pio's are tender and yummy and even the skeptical were impressed. I'd also recommend trying the ceviche that was surprisingly fresh and subtly flavored.

As I've mentioned before, it's also a great place to throw a party and, with actual hearts on the menu, would be a perfect spot for a pre-Halloween activities meal.

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Posted on October 26, 2009