Nov 5, 2007

Halloween, we hardly knew ye

A holiday rises from the dead for me...

Halloween was a holiday I had become weary of from my many years of living in the thick of it in NYC's West Village. Hell, everyday was Halloween on Christopher St. It's not so much that I didn't appreciate the effort and ingenuity of the drag in which people garbed themselves as a way of life, and I don't mean "drag" in the usual sense.

I'm talking about it in the way that k.d. lang alluded to when, years ago, she solemnly (and pretentiously, I first thought, but no longer) pronounced, "Clothing is just something we drape on our souls." Our costumes of who or what we see ourselves as- you know: fashion, or style- have always been a source of fascination for me, and I know I'm not alone in that respect. There's a type of person who enjoys endulging in layman's cultural anthropology. That would be me.

The LA costume is very different from the NYC costume, as is so much of the peculiarities of place that distinguish the two cultural behemoths separated by almost three thousand miles and, sometimes it seems, a universe of sensibilities. One person's Juicy is another's Jil Sanders.

LA Halloween benefits from it's proximity to Dia de los Muertos. The two holidays bleed into each other and create several days of observation.

For me, it kicked off the preceding weekend with Hollywood Forever Cemetery's Dia de los Muertos event; gained momentum with Festival de la Gente (and the Dia de los Muertos car show) in Boyle Heights; and then sprinted through Halloween as a night of pure lunacy at the Mayan Theater in downtown LA for Lucha VaVoom; followed with a relaxed jog through Dia de los Muertos as the victory lap.

So when I signed on with David Markland (of to blog for, I saw it as an opportunity to dig under LA's surface, which is thicker than the earth's crust in some spots and as thin a cellophane in others. But it's always there...