How Did I Get Here?

Daniel and I saw a t-shirt in Amsterdam this summer that said, “Blogger: 2007-2015” and we laughed ourselves silly. That some company had taken the time to print and sell a shirt reminding all of us that blogs are so over was hysterical to us. I wish I’d bought that shirt, because it was like looking into a mirror. I spent years blogging, sending hundreds of thousands of words into the ether, charting my life on various Google and WordPress sites. And then I stopped. Archived, deleted, forgot.

And yet, here we are. Back at it again. Who cares about blogs today? I don’t know. But I don’t know that it particularly matters, either. In the past few months, we got secretly married, and our beloved dog died, and we sold our house, and we quit our jobs, and our wedding venue burned down, and we had a wedding anyway, and we went to Europe, and we drove a U-haul across the country, and we moved into a Manhattan apartment, and we started new jobs, and we adopted a pup, and, and, and.

Our lives have been “and” for months and I’m worried that if we don’t find a way to hang onto these moments, we’ll come up for air only to find our memories have been smoothed over like so many river stones.

And that’s why we’re here. To try and remember these halcyon moments while we live them. So, peruse the archives, check out the categories, scroll on down, and join us on this journey.

And in proper homage to an early 2000’s blog, here are some song lyrics for you:

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, “Well… how did I get here?”
“Once in a Lifetime” – Talking Heads

Grand Theft Elevator

Hi, it’s me Marcy the dog! Honestly, I’m offended that I haven’t been invited to write a post before now, but there’s simply no time like the present. Speaking of presents, I like to get them. Sometimes I get giant boxes full of food and treats shipped right to my door! But then my parents put them away and only let me have a little at a time. It’s very rude. So sometimes I have to give myself presents. Socks are my favorite! I am very sneaky and talented at snagging them from the laundry.

Marcy in Central Park
Here I am watching squirrels in Central Park!

Much like my hero Beyonce, I am from Texas and now I live in New York City. It’s different, but I like all the squirrels and rats I see in Central Park. One day, I hope to catch one and give it a real good shake, but my parents always tell me to “leave it” when I try. My friend Rosie the dog out in Colorado snatched a bird right out of the sky once, so I know it can be done and I’m not giving up yet.

My parents are pretty good at being parents, but that’s not saying much because it’s obvious that I am a blessing and a joy and an angel, so it’s not like they have to do much. Once, my dad gave my mom flowers and while they were out, I very gently bit the heads off all the roses and scattered the petals around the house. How romantic am I?! My mom says I am the canine version of the smirking imp emoji 😈 but I don’t really text so I don’t know what that means.

Marcy's Selfie
I don’t text, but I can take a really good selfie. It’s blurry on purpose.

Anyway, it’s nice to have parents now. I had people in Texas, but they ditched me. I was fine living on the streets, but then I got collared by the Feds. They put me behind bars and then into a prison van, and next thing you know, I’m on an island called New York!

The first time I laid eyes on my new dad, whew. It was like that feeling when you see a squirrel across the field and your eyes zoom in all super fast and focused and all you care about is chasing it up a tree. A modern woman needs to be assertive, so I sat right down in his lap and asked if he would please take me away from those rotten Feds and free me from life on the chain gang once and for all. And he did! I love him so much. My mom is pretty cool, too, but my dad. Oh, my dad. He is handsome and fun and plays with me and sneaks me treats even when Mom says I’ve had enough.

Something weird happened this week, though. My dad said he had to take a “business trip” which is related to “working” which is the lousy excuse my parents give for not hanging out with me 24/7. I wouldn’t necessarily say I have Daddy Issues, but it is true that my human dad is the only one I’ve ever had. I don’t know anything about my dog dad. Was he a labrador? Or maybe a border collie? Was he a crime boss running the streets of Dallas? That would explain why the Feds got me. Crimes of the father, am I right? If those dog snatchers ever catch my dog dad, I’d like a turn in the interrogation room. I want answers. Like, why didn’t he stick around to raise me? Okay, maybe I have a few Daddy Issues. Can you really blame me if I thought the alleged “business trip” was an excuse for my new dad to ditch me just like my dog dad did?

The first day, I was moody and started scheming. I ate half a roll of toilet paper and a foam roller and my mother’s hairbrush. That was the start of my crimes, but honestly I thought that I could convince Dad that Mom was the chewing culprit, and then he’d invite me to sleep on the big bed while she slept on the couch and I’d finally be the #1 girl in the family. Except Dad didn’t come back that night, so I had to take responsibility for my actions. Mom let me sleep on the big bed anyway, though.

Day 2 without Dad is when I really lost it. One day, I can forgive. But 2? Leaving Marcy for 2 days is unconscionable. I hate to admit it, but my criminal past came raging out. My best human friend Mikaela comes to visit me every day for a walk and play time while my parents are “working” and I really am sorry I got her mixed up in my crime spree. Then again, I might have gotten away with it if she hadn’t tattled!

You see, when Mikaela came in and said hi to me, she turned her back while the door was still closing, and I jumped into action. I only had half a second, but I slipped right out the door when my best human friend wasn’t looking! As I’ve said, I am very sneaky and talented. I knew I didn’t have much time, but the elevator was still open from when Mikaela got off, so my big adventure was practically fated. That’s right, I charged onto the elevator and went on a joyride! It was amazing. I mean, talk about a thrill. I made it to the lobby and that’s when I learned that my other best human friend Adam has been holding out on me. He is always very calm and professional, but it turns out he can run and play and yell! I did not even know that! We were having so much fun, zooming all around together. A lady came up to the front door and Adam yelled, “NO!” but I yelled, “YES!” and she opened that door right up. I zoomed outside!

Everyone was looking at me and yelling, which was very fun and made me feel like a glamorous celebrity. Except then I saw my friend Adam and he looked very scared. I think he is nervous about running the streets, but I’m a very accomplished teacher so I would have showed him the ropes. I felt kind of bad for his nerves though, so I went back and let him know we could keep on zooming in the lobby together. Except when I got back to the lobby, my best friend Mikaela was there and everyone was doing crying and yelling and nobody wanted to zoom with me anymore.

My mother says I have committed an act of, “Grand Theft Elevator” and that it is not nice to be a sneak and scare our friends and endanger our own lives. I felt a little bad, but then she said, “Wait until your father hears about this.” So then I knew Dad was coming home after all! Right now I’m working on a cover story to somehow pin this all on Mom and get myself a permanent invitation to the big bed.

Marcy 😈😈😈

Marcy's Apology Letter

Miracle on 96th Street

New York is a city of coincidence and chance, so much so that, “Only in New York!” lands with the weight of an obvious cliche. It’s a city of 8.5 million people, but the one who calls the number on your runaway dog’s tag just happens to be from your hometown. Only in New York! You’re pictured in the background of a news story for three seconds and someone recognizes you from it the next day. Only in New York!

It’s not uncommon to see to old friends run into each other on the train, delightedly catch up on years of absence, and part again a few stops later. I was once a third wheel to a Street Meet (another common site of chance encounters) between a colleague and their friend who’d become a Broadway actor. I moved to shake the Fancy Actor’s hand, only to realize I was pressing the packet of dental floss that had been in my pocket into their palm. (I may be prone to minor social faux pas, but I have great dental hygiene. “Oh, that Lydia.” they’ll say. “Always leading with her best tooth forward.”)

I think this is part of why New York is a cultural fascination for so many; it always seems to be teeming with serendipitous potential. Some of this magic must have rubbed the rust off my cynical soul because when Daniel lost his keys last week, I found myself parroting my own Only in New York aphorisms: All good things in all good time! Things have a way of coming back to us!

Daniel had taken Marcy on a run through Central Park, following the same path we take her down at least three times a day. Riding the elevator back up, he realized the keys were missing. The apartment keys, the mail keys, the building fob, the keys for the bike lock… all of them gone, likely jostled out of an unzipped pocket while running.

We retraced the run. No keys. We split up and looked again. Still nothing. We checked benches and tables, trash cans (you never know!), water fountains, fence posts, in short, every plausible spot a passerby may have tossed them. No luck. Daniel called our local precinct. Nothing there; but there was still the lost and found at the Central Park precinct.

By this point my peppy recitations about the magic of New York had run dry for Daniel, although I’m not sure he ever really believed those keys were coming back. It was very improbable that a passing tourist would pick up a pile of keys, Google the Central Park lost and found, then hike more than a mile to deliver them. It was Saturday. It was cold. The keys were gone.

I wasn’t giving up. All good things in all good time! Those keys were coming back! On to the Central Park Lost and Found! As it turns out, there is an entire section of the Lost and Found exclusively for recovered keys. It’s a cardboard box, the kind you’d expect to find free kittens nestled in. The contents of the box look like the crowded mouth of a teenager sporting new orthodontia. Twisting piles of metal, keychains, car fobs, and not one of them belonged to us.

New York is big, and bright, and beautiful, and sometimes you feel swept up in its magnetic energy. It’s a place where you find yourself believing that anything is possible and magic is real. But it’s also just a place full of people, like every other place full of people. Sometimes it’s a place where you lose things. As often as you hear stories of chance reunions, you hear about another* marriage proposal gone awry after the diamond engagement ring was accidentally dropped into a sewer. (*yes, another. This exact scenario is bizarrely common here.)

Sometimes, you must make peace with the things you have lost and move on. New keys can be make, bike locks can be cut. It’s an inconvenience, but not a tragedy.

The other day, Dan was leaving the park with Marcy. There was a groundskeeper scooting around in a golf cart. “What would you do,” Dan called, “if you found a set of keys?”

The man prevaricates. “Well, what do they look like?”

A brief description, then some rustling in the back of the golf cart.

And there they are. Daniel’s keys.

Only in New York.

The Astoria Borealis

I lived in Washington DC as a child, at a time when violent crime and gang activity was especially prevalent in the city. The safety lessons my parents imparted went beyond Stranger Danger and into full bore survival tactics. What will you do if someone pulls a gun while we’re shopping? What if someone breaks the car window on the Beltway? What if there’s a gang fight at school? All these what ifs were presented over and over until we could produce a clear Run-Hide-Fight response plan.

It sounds a bit extreme now, but we had been huddled bystanders in armed robberies and parking lot gunfights while living there. The triple homicide in our neighborhood was the final push my parents needed to relocate us to an ultra-rural cowtown. But as the saying goes, you can take the gal out of the city, but you can’t take the excessive crisis planning out of the gal.

Our move to NYC has widened the landscape of my What If game, presenting an entirely new set of potential disasters. When we chose to live and work on the island of Manhattan, my What Ifs kicked into high gear. It’s an island! What’s our flood zone? How will we evacuate if there’s a hurricane? What if there’s a threat that closes the island? What locations are most likely to be terrorist targets, and what is our relative day to day proximity to them? What if a disaster occurs while we’re at work? Where will we meet? If there’s a fire in our building and we need to exit off the balcony, what’s the best way to carry Marcy? To be clear, I feel very safe living here. I just can’t seem to stop my mind from wandering to potential disasters.

Last week, we had our first chance to confront a real life What If. What if it’s after 9 in the evening, and the black sky in the east lights up as bright as any sunrise? What if the brightened sky suddenly turns blue and proceeds to flicker for three minutes? I had not prepared a response plan for such a scenario.

Daniel and I stood on our small balcony, watching the blue lights race across the sky. It was quiet outside, save a low electric hum. There weren’t any sirens, and we didn’t see anyone else coming outside to watch. A glitch in the matrix just for us? An alien invasion? The northern lights? Nuclear war?

Watch the Riveting Video Here! (https://www.instagram.com/p/Br7w5wgHbhv/)

We honestly thought it was nuclear war. As the blue lights kept flickering and Twitter failed to give me any reasonable answers, Dan put his arm around me and said, “If we’re about to be annihilated, know that I love you.” Comforting!

As it turns out, there was an underground fire at a power plant in Astoria. The blue light was caused by the electrical arc tearing through oxygen and nitrogen atoms. Amazingly, no one was harmed, though nearby residents were understandably scared into fleeing.

And I learned an important lesson. Sometimes, no matter your What If planning, there’s nothing to do but watch. If I am to greet the end times, I don’t want to spend my last moments scrolling through Twitter, looking for verifiable explanations. It either won’t matter (because of impending annihilation) or there will be time for answers later. Maybe it’s enough to lean into each other as the lights roll toward us, and say, “I love you.” again.

How To Be a Public Embarrassment

A fundamental facet of living in the city is a lack of privacy; most of our daily lives unfold in public spaces. We’re constantly glimpsing moments both splendid and picayune, always alternating between anonymous actor and apathetic audience.

When you spend such a large percentage of your daily life surrounded by others, it’s inevitable that you’ll both witness and commit some social faux pas. As the human brain has the superior ability to keep us up at night with memories of minor humiliations from years long ago, facing the reality of frequent public embarrassment might cause you a bit of stress.

To that point, I offer two incontrovertible truths.

One: none of us are paying attention to each other. Sure, I remember the guy I saw get so comically tangled up after swiping his Metrocard that he somehow ended upside down, with both legs wrapped around the turnstile, but only because, as a fellow Unfortunately Coordinated Person, I could deeply relate to his predicament! Most people will forget that you did something embarrassing ten seconds after it happens.

Two: the best way to deal with feeling embarrassed by your own silliness, naivete, or general awkwardness, is by leaning all the way into it. Nobody can laugh at you if you’re already laughing. And there’s no place easier to laugh at your goofs than in New York City.

As proof, I present four distinct cases of public embarrassment, written in the second person but all perpetrated by yours truly.

  1. If you visit the lady’s room at a play and it’s not until you’re up two full flights of stairs that you realize the front of your dress is actually tucked inside of your tights, you might be embarrassed! You might think you’ve unlocked an entirely new level of clothing gaffs– doesn’t the dress-in-tights snafu only happen with the back of your dress? How have you possibly tucked the front of your dress into your tights and waded through throngs of playgoers without noticing? Surely this is some kind of achievement in humiliation. But as a New Yorker, at a fancy Broadway play, you’re just going to laugh, shrug, and put yourself to rights without so much as a blush. So what if you just inadvertently displayed your underthings to the room? That can’t possibly crack even the top five most shocking things this room of people saw today.
  2. Let’s say you’re running across the platform to get your train, and you attempt a gymnastic feat to slip through the doors before they close… but only your foot gets in the door. And those train doors are not like elevator doors; they don’t pop open just because your foot is in the way. You have to squeeze your hands into the tiny crack between the doors and yank for all you’re worth, and they still don’t open. So, you tug your foot out of the door and stare forlornly into the car full of successfully-boarded commuters as they slip away down the track. You turn around to find a platform full of people observing the spectacle you’ve made of yourself. You could feel embarrassed in that moment. Or, you could just grin at them and consider spending more time cultivating your upper body strength.
  3. Maybe you’re standing on a crowded train, just a few more stops until you get home. The doors close, the car lurches, and you feel a man’s hand caress the back of your neck. As a seasoned Subway rider, all too familiar with obscene men on the C, you immediately fling your head back– hard. You knock that interloping hand all the way off of your person. You’re not about to be fondled! A moment too late, you realize it was just a poor tourist weighted down by a few suitcases, trying to grab a handhold, clearly without an untoward thought in his mind. Oops. You might feel very embarrassed about your assumption and about so thoroughly dislodging his hand from the pole. He might feel embarrassed about accidentally groping your neck. You could both stand there feeling embarrassed, or you could just laugh in each other’s faces and scooch around to share the pole.
  4. Finally, you may have cultivated the less than ideal habit of informally communicating with your dog through kissing noises. Say, you want her to come sit by you on the couch. You make a little kiss at her! You want to redirect her attention from her toy– a little kiss in the air. The light at the crosswalk has turned and you’re ready for her to stand up and walk… a few loud kisses for her. Except you do those kisses at the exact moment a shirtless, sweaty guy runs past you, and he gives you a big wink, as if you were kissing at him and not, clearly, at your dog. You might be very embarrassed as you have to shout, “Not YOU! Her. The dog! I’m married.” Or, you could just– actually, that one was a little embarrassing for me. But it was also very funny in retrospect.

And that’s really all you have to do: focus on the funny. Nobody who witnesses your little goofs cares or is likely to even recall them. It doesn’t make sense to waste your time feeling bad for being a public dork when you could be spinning those stories into open mic fodder. Because if there’s one thing this city needs more of, it’s definitely aspiring comedians.

Bob Dylan / Girl From the North Country

When we lived in a proper house, Daniel owned the ultimate La-Z-Boy. It was absurd. It had not only a built-in massager and heater, but also a mini-fridge that fit an entire six-pack hidden under one of the arm rests. Like I said, absurd.

Dylan hated that chair. It rocked, so he could never jump up on it without getting launched right back out. And he hated that the footrest could fly out on a seeming whim. The footrest didn’t stop at your average 45 degrees, either. This sucker went full horizontal, turning the chair into a veritable bed. Dylan wanted all of us to sit together on the couch as much as possible. He was happiest lounging with both his Humans in close proximity, well away from that rocking, sprawling, humming chair.

Very early in our relationship, before I knew how much Dylan hated the chair, before I came to share his preference for the couch, I gave the La-Z-Boy a try. And because we were in that heady early blush of love where you can’t stand to not be cuddling at all times (she says, as if she doesn’t still insist on cuddling at all times) Daniel joined me in the La-Z-Boy. It was big enough for two.

Daniel was trying to show me how to make that footrest stretch all the way to its most ridiculous extent, and in a flash, the whole dang chair had tipped backward, dumping us out upside down and tangled. And it was the funniest moment. Dan and I looked at each other like startled meerkats and then I started laughing and simply could not stop. I laughed until I wheezed. I laughed until tears were streaming down my cheeks. I laugh-cried until Dylan grunted a superior little, “I told you so.”

I finally caught my breath and said, “It’s like that Bob Dylan song. ‘Whoo-ee, are we gonna set, down into the easy chair.’” And Daniel said, “I guess tonight’s the night, my bride’s a-gonna come.” Pure saccharine, we were.

I may not have known The Grateful Dead before Dan, but I knew Bob Dylan. When I first heard about Dylan the Dog I asked, “Named after Bob?” A test, easily passed. Naturally.

Being in New York gives us so much exposure to art and music. Our access is radically heightened (although we can talk about the prohibitive cost of, well, everything here) and it’s hard to choose where to begin. Dan chose to begin with Bob Dylan.

Dan, a lifelong New Yorker though not a New York City-er, has been to The Beacon more times than he can recall. I’d never been. Making my first trip to see Bob Dylan was pretty magical.

Bob Dylan looked like a tiny, cute Jew on stage, in an oversized blazer and trousers with a racing stripe down the leg. Somehow, he looked exactly like how I imagined our canine Dylan looking like, if he could have transformed into a human. Fitting, isn’t it? And like our beloved Dylan, the human Dylan refused to pander. Bob Dylan did not once acknowledge the audience, who sat respectfully through the entire show (except the two drunk ladies in the front row who stood up to dance for the last half of Jokerman). Bob Dylan did not say hello, goodbye, thanks for stopping by… not a word.

He also has an aggressive stance against any video or photography, so security spent the entire show racing down the aisles, shining flashlights into the faces of everyone who tried to sneak their phones out. We couldn’t believe the utter lack of suave these fools had. Honestly, you’re going to try to sneak another photo and you’re not even gonna turn the damn flash off? Amateurs.

We followed that show up a few weeks later with Girl From the North Country, a musical based on Dylan’s work, at The Public Theater. It was our first trip to The Public, and we were charmed by the many theaters in one building. It’s sort of like a movie theater for live performances. Girl From the North Country does Bob Dylan with his own beautiful, no-nonsense delivery. Same aggressive stance against photo/video too, as the usher gleefully repeated no fewer than three times, “Even during curtain call! If you take a picture I will make you delete it!”

Living among all this beautiful art is as special as I’d imagined it would be— it was one of the parts of NYC living I was most looking forward to. And it’s been amazing. But like all the best art, it wasn’t the consumption that struck me, it was the journey I took, the place those shows led me, that I felt the most.

After our trip to both The Beacon and The Public Theater, I thought about our Dylan, and that night in our ridiculous chair, when we fell over and laughed until we cried. I’m so grateful I have the memory of that night, and that I can be brought back to those little moments with our Dylan, those little moments that built our love and shaped our lives together.

Sick Boy

I’ve written before about Daniel’s (incredible, improbable, downright unfair) good looks and impeccable health. As a child I was perpetually ill and spent a significant amount of time in the hospital, and am therefore particularly jealous of Daniel’s lifetime of perfect health.

Reader, the jig is up. Daniel caught his first NYC illness, which may also be the first illness of his entire adult life. In the years we’ve been together, Daniel has never taken a sick day, never had a fever, never vomited, never had so much as a tummy-ache.

Once, he exercised too hard and bruised his lungs. That’s right, his only significant illness the entire time I’ve known the man was from excessive exercise. I mean, come on.

But New York changed all that. New York, city of infinite Subway germs, city of unknown substances Marcy likes to roll in, city of questionably maintained food carts… New York City got Dan sick. And Dan suffered like a true New Yorker: loudly and often.

Just kidding. The poor guy went from never being sick in his life to being sick on his birthday. He had his first Sick on the Subway experience. His first NYC Urgent Care trip. His first time on the BRAT diet. His first (and good god, hopefully last) night spent laying on the bathroom floor while his devoted wife applied cool washcloths to his sweaty forehead.

It wasn’t exactly the list of firsts we were hoping to add to our NYC list, but it seems like we have to document it, don’t we? So, once more for the memory books, Dan’s first birthday in NYC: prostrate and feverish.

How to Be Grateful in NYC

It’s Thanksgiving! While it’s always good to remember Jake Peralta’s astute observation that, “The pilgrims were murderers and turkey tastes like napkins.” it’s also generally a good idea to practice mindful gratitude when you can. Without the side of colonialism.

"The pilgrims were murderers and turkey tastes like napkins." - Jake Peralta, Brooklyn 99
Image: Brooklyn 99, Season 2 Episode 7

Some days it is very hard to feel actively grateful in New York. Some days, you’ve been away from home for 12 hours and just want to stop working, you navigate the labyrinthine station, round the corner for the last set of stairs down to your platform… and walk straight into a huge pile of vomit and a family of rats noshing on it.

Some days, every stranger seems mean or at least indifferent, and you miss the comfort of having your friends and family close to you. Some days the dishwasher and the clothes washer both inexplicably gush gallons of water on the floor. The line at the grocery store wraps around the entire building, and you just want to order takeout and go home, but the heater in your apartment doesn’t turn off so home feels like an actual pit of hell.

My friend Sam, a former New Yorker, once said of her time here, “New York makes people deeply selfish.” I’ve thought about that a lot since moving. I haven’t done a great job of forming new relationships or maintaining the ones I have, beyond Dan and Marcy, and I feel guilty about it constantly. Am I selfish because I don’t schedule more FaceTime calls with my distant friends and coffee hangs with my local friends? But every day, I find myself exhausted in the bone-deep way I was in those gloomy years before I started taking (those sweet, sweet) antidepressants. Too exhausted to do more than get myself to work and back home again. So am I just dealing with a little flare-up of depression brought on by all these major life changes… or has NYC already turned me into an absolute narcissist? I mean, my god, I have started a blog, like, how much more navel gazing could I do??

Either way, it always helps to find very small things to be thankful for in this life. With all that set up out of the way, here it is, a list of things I’m grateful for right here in NYC:

  1. Every day I successfully ride the Subway without being pushed onto the tracks by a passing maniac (my #1 NYC fear) is a day I am grateful for.
  2. Charming curmudgeons is one of my greatest skills in life. Give me an hour with a grump and I guarantee I will win them over. There are so many grouches waiting for me to befriend them in this city! And the last one I met (and charmed, thank you very much) was a colleague and lifelong New Yorker who took me to a little place where I had the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Grateful for that!
  3. Scum Pond (aka The Pool) in Central Park finally lost all of its summer fungi and no longer smells like a pool of rotting flesh. That would have been enough, but the water cleared right as the leaves turned and, um, hello gorgeous, who knew you were waiting to pull an Ugly Duckling on me? (Everyone who’s isn’t experiencing this transformation for the first time probably knew that. #BrandNewYorker)
  4. Speaking of those leaves… I knew East Coast Autumns = Peak Autumns, but living through it day to day has been utterly magical.
  5. Renter’s Insurance, because my Worst Day just will not end.

Central Park Dog Moms

Central Park Dog Moms are bonkers. Central Park Dog Moms are like, “This is my daughter Florentine. She is 21 months. She is at the top of her class in doggy day care. She has personal dog walker, who walks her privately– never with other dogs lest young Florentine be exposed to provincial canines. Florentine is fluent in three languages. We’re not worried about the Distemper Raccoons in Central Park. Ugh, of course she isn’t vaccinated! We do not believe in vaccinations. Florentine is fed a diet of free range organic baby ostrich, which we believe builds an immunity to Raccoon Distemper. Florentine. Florentine! Florentine!”


You may have heard terrifying tales of NYC on Halloween, of violence and gang activity, and things that make you want to stay inside. I heard several horrifying first-hand accounts from my native Staten Islander colleague.

In comparison, our first NYC Halloween was quaint. We went to the Village Parade, which was delightful and heavily policed– no mayhem!

And yet… it was truly a hellscape. A claustrophobic nightmare. West 4th, the station I breeze in and out of every work day was overrun. There was no breezing. There were flagrant violations of fire codes and an uncomfortably visceral understanding of how unruly crowds cause stampedes, leading to Death by Trampling.

A real Hell-o-ween:

Every single person in this photo looks possessed.

How to Go To a Spooky Club

So you want to get spooky in the city? Can do!

  1. Find a Cool Friend who knows about Cool Events. My Cool Friend is Vani, a Gal Pal from Grad School, the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life, and an NYC resident tapped into Cool Culture. (I know that this step is a bit of a stretch if you do not have access to a Cool Friend, but just roll with me on this one.) Pick a Spooky Halloween DJ Party!
  2. Get your costume together. If you forget about this, you can make like me and borrow your dog’s costume! The devil cape that both Dylan and Marcy hated wearing was the perfect last-minute solution. Throw it on top of a tight LBD, layer on a ton of smoky eyeshadow, blood-red lipstick, and serpentine accessories, and you are Ready To Go.
  3. Board a Brooklyn-bound train.
  4. Revel in the extreme weirdness of the costume-clad commuters. This is what you thought New York City would be like all the time. In fact, most of the time the residents of NYC look like perfectly regular folks going to perfectly regular jobs. So enjoy this moment! There will be glitter. There will be mythical creatures and comic book creatures and sexy professionals, and full-body makeup, and a lot of weapons that will make your heart skip a beat until you realize the crossbow is part of the costume and not the start of a massacre. (You can never be 100% certain about impending massacres in these deeply troubling times.) You will see people participating in Cultural Appropriation and other people telling them to stop being racist. It is the magical NYC of your dreams.
  5. Find a dance club hosting a queer/feminist/neo-liberal party. This is TRULY the most magical part of NYC– there are places you can go dancing without ever once being grabbed, groped, or nonconsensually grinded upon. God bless.
  6. Pop your Made-for-Concerts ear plugs in, because you already have hearing loss and don’t need to further damage your little eardrums just to get your Spooky Dance on.
  7. Dance it out, you spooky devil!
  8. Leave before midnight. Nothing good happens after midnight.
  9. Stop at a bodega for some rehydrating.
  10. Go home, wash your face, and snuggle with your Anti-Clubbing Husband.