Just across the nearest major street are a bunch of cool old houses where the residents pull out all the stops on halloween with decorating. We're talking giant wooden pirate ships, animated figures, one house has a full-up wizard of oz theme and the whole family dresses up like the characters. People drive their kids in from miles around to trick-or-treat, and the kids stand in lines at the fancy houses while the families sit on the porch with giant bowls of tiny candy, like the little sweet-tart packets, and hand out one per kid. Cops close the roads and direct traffic around neighboring blocks.
On my street last year, we had five trick-or-treaters. We gave them handfuls of chocolate. Then after a few hours we figured attendance would be low and bailed out, left a bowl of candy on the porch and walked to the big halloween street.
So we've got some neighbors with a baby about Josie's age, and they invited a bunch of folks over this year for chili with a plan to walk over to the big street for trick-or-treating.
I'm not going to go. The plan is I'm going to take Josie trick-or-treating at a few neighbors we know, while Marc hangs out at our house in case we get trick-or-treaters. Then Marc is going to the big street with our friends. I just don't want to go there, there's something weird about it. I want to encourage trick-or-treating in my own neighborhood. I hate to pull a "when I was your age..." but I can't help it, when I was a kid we went to our neighbor's houses. It wasn't the coolest neighborhood but it was ours.
This goes back to the Judith Warner question that I think is my theme this year... "why must everything be winner-take-all?" I want my neighborhood to have an identity of its own, not just runoff from College Hill.