Halloween has turned October in NYC into a 31-day anxiety attack. Right around the middle of September, the city ushers in tacky pop-up costume stores and soon-to-rot stoop pumpkins. Dozens of your friends start posting apple-picking FOMO photos on Instagram (even though they’ve never set foot on a farm before in their lives), and you begin to feel seasonal affective disorder set in even though it’s still 82°F.
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Before Halloween arrives, there’s Mischief Night, which is right up there with Columbus Day on the list of misguided U.S. holidays. The outer boroughs and tristate-area suburbs with TP-covered trees know what I’m talking about.
Halloween started bright and early this year: In August the city was blessed with a new immersive event called This Is Real that blindfolds you, stuffs you in a cage and forces you to escape a Brooklyn warehouse. That still sounds fairly relaxing compared to the nightmare known as cuffing season. The buildup to Halloween serves as a reminder that you have mere weeks to find someone with whom to create a couples costume. Fail, and you’ll be facing the rest of the holiday season alone.
At the end of the month, once you’ve put the finishing touches on your slutty Pennywise costume and you get to wait for two hours on the sidewalk outside Vandal in a full face of pore-clogging makeup, attempting to get into Heidi Klum’s Halloween party. And don’t even get me started on culture-appropriating costumes. (Actually, I’ll start and finish: Don’t do it.)
Then, hark! When you go to Duane Reade for discounted candy on November 1, 106.7 is already blasting “Jingle Bell Rock.”