Hallowe’en Happenings

Every year the whole West Hollywood celebrations take me sort of by surprise.  For those of you who’ve never heard or attended, West Hollywood is the city that is directly East (and North) of Beverly Hills.  It was unincorporated LA County until local activists fought to incorporate as a city, which it did in 1984.  It was founded on rights for renters, gays and the elderly and to this day is at the vanguard of the sort of progressive ideas that some hold as proof that lunacy has run amok.

When I moved here in about 1927 I specifically chose my part of Beverly Hills (just to the left of the lower Western right-angle of WeHo) so that I could walk to the party in Boys Town and weave home knowing that the party wouldn’t be following me.  There are two days however when they spill over, Gay Pride and Hallowe’en.

When I first moved here the Samhain celebration was not even worthy of a street closure.  As time went by, it became larger.  There were incidents of gang activity at other celebrations, and some families decided that West Hollywood was the safer alternative.  After a while the mix of drag queens and leathermen in a$$less chaps was nearing 50/50 with people with prams.  It sort of became Gay Country Safari, only you didn’t need to keep your windows rolled up.

I haven’t been in years since it’s just too damned crowded.  I have no interest in Times Square on New Years Eve either.  Our local paper is stating that it’s going to have 400,000 people and that it might not be the best place to take the kiddies.  To be honest, I think that there’s more on basic cable I’d be worrying about my children witnessing than a bunch of guys and gals dressed up as Zombie Steve Jobs and certainly New Orleans makes it look like Disney.

What I could do without?  ActionMcNews and 14 cohorts hovering over my house for the entire night to get entirely unnecessary aerial shots to show that there are people there.

I’m coping with some white wine, melatonin, hearos and for scent, Annick Goutal Musc Nomade.  Of course I’m thankful that I’m nor dealing with downed trees and no power..

  • Tulip says:

    Wow, Tom, you ‘ve been there quite awhile! Eighty-four years in one place is remarkable.

  • Joanna says:

    lol@ It sort of became Gay Country Safari! That’s what The Gay 90’s in Minneapolis is like. People feel brave after a few beers and decide, “Let’s go see some real life gays!”
    I took my two little ones to the rich enclave just on the outskirts of town. For some reason we were the only trick-or-treaters out there and my kids’ pumpkins were stuffed full of full size candy bars, bags of cookies, cans of soda…I think one lady put the contents of her fridge in there. It was a little weird. At one of the last houses the lady who answered the door had apparently just gotten done bathing in a vat of Creed’s Love In White. I commented, as if it wasn’t obvious, “Oh, is that Creed Love In White?” and she got all giggly and stuffed a few more handfuls of junk at my kids.
    Happy belated Halloween Tom. Happy All Saints Day too. I’m a little jealous about the white wine and Annick Goutal. But I’m also mourning the fact that this was the first year my oldest son didn’t dress up for Halloween and realize I need to treasure the trick-or-treating years while I can.

    • Tom says:

      I never get trick or treaters. They stay above Santa Monica Blvd where the houses are. I’m (formerly literally) on the wrong side of the tracks

  • Musette says:

    Hope you were able to get some sleep, doll! Your night sounds like my nights used to in Lincoln Park, back when I carelessly bought a house that shared an alley with the bars on Armitage Ave. The Beaumont. 8-x Every weekend was an exercise in restraint…

    ..our Halloween here is like a 50s throwback, complete with neighbors burning piles of leaves. We live at the butt-end of town where the houses are sparse (3 on our block) so folks tend to not take the trouble. Then there are the dogs.

    We had two little trick or treaters. Cute girls! Vampires.

    xo >-)

    • Tom says:

      I did better than my friend in NYC. With me it’s the Helicopters. They just hover over the corner at Doheny forever waiting the moment when the meat-puppet anchoring the show decides to cut to the reporter at the scent. Grrr..

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Tom. Glad to hear you survived. Your “safari” comment had me spewing my tea this morning. I’m with March on the crowd issue: Too many big people milling about makes it hard to keep up with your littler people, so we tend to avoid huge throngs as well.

    • March says:

      I think that people who aren’t toting little kids don’t realize how stressful it is. Kids I felt sorriest for: last year when we went down to the Rally to Restore Sanity. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a crush like that before. I felt desperately sorry for parents with little guys (I just had the teenagers, I hired a sitter!)

      • Musette says:

        I agree. It’s terrifying (I told you about the time I lost two small girls at Il Beach State Park – I was a camp counselor (the easygoing days when everybody just jummped off the bus and that was that). 30 kids. 2 counselors. Lost two of them. State beach cops, lifeguards, everybody hunting for those 8 yr old girls. I found them, over a sandridge, headfirst in a hole. Nearly died from fright. Those two! 35 yrs later my heart STILL skips a beat. Those two….they were headfirst in this hole….BECAUSE THEY HAD DECIDED TO SEE IF THEY COULD DIG THEIR WAY TO CHINA! They never heard any of us calling for them, so involved they were in the Dig to China.

        I took our granddaughter to the Peoria Children’s Museum – just 3 small rooms – and I was a nervous wreck. SO many kids – and let’s face it, in a sea of little kids it’s easy to lose your own, even if just for a second.

        I watch too much Criminal Minds. I was a nervous wreck. I don’t think I breathed normally until I got her back to her dad. Let HIM worry about her! :”>

        xo >-)

        • Tom says:

          I think that’s why they’re telling people with kids to stay away. 400k people is a lot for a stretch of boulevard that’s less than a mile long. I haven’t been in 15 years and it was a total scrum then. I can’t imagine what it’s like now..

  • March says:

    ” It sort of became Gay Country Safari, only you didn’t need to keep your windows rolled up.” thanks for the laugh

    I’m loath to take my littler kids to things like that because I worry they’d get lost in the scrum (which is why we haven’t done July 4 on the mall), not because of what they might see. (~~)

    • mals86 says:

      That was my thought, too – crowds are way scary for parents, never mind the eye smorgasbord.

      (The CEO and I did the Fourth on the Mall once, the second year we were married. ONCE. It took us three hours to get from DC to the Centerville Metro stop, coming back to his sister’s apartment. Never again, we said.)

      • March says:

        We did July 4th on the Mall on the Bicentennial – 1976 — and I figured that experience was enough to last me a lifetime. **== Fortunately for us, two local neighborhoods do fireworks, so we walk over to those.

        As a parent, the first time you lose a small kid in a crowd is a moment you never forget.

        • Tom says:

          The families with the little kids came when I was still going (when it was a lot less crowded). Two years ago when it was on a Saturday it actually spilled over almost into my neighborhood. Next time it’s on a Saturday I’m going to a hotel in Santa Monica.

          My friend lives on the edge of Greenwich Village and has the same thing. She wrote that she got 2 hours sleep. Ugh.

  • Olfacta says:

    I love the “some things you won’t want your children to see” part in the article. Here in Atlanta, most parts anyway, what the children can see/can’t see dictates entirely too much — way too much. Way, way too much. 400,000 people? That’s impressive.

    • Tom says:

      That’s from the mayor of West Hollywood, John Duran. Like I said, there’s worse things on TV.

      I think it’s just too many people for prams anymore..