41st Village Halloween Parade, Comin’ Atcha

New Orleans may own Fat Tuesday, but on Halloween, it’s New York City that kills. I make a point of catching some  of the annual Greenwich Village H-ween Parade as it storms up Sixth Avenue, partly because there’s a viewing station within a stone’s throw of my house, but more particularly because  it offers an impious recap of the Year that Was.  Who will the Lords of Misrule have  chosen to drub this time? Big Oil? Big Pharm? Big Hedge Fund? Spare the rod; spoil the CEO. The latex favorites in the costume store two doors up, are largely presidents. Obama, Clinton, and Reagan, Kennedy (before assassination) Lincoln (after). Rush Limbaugh is, for some reason, tossed into this mix, but he’s truly not looking his best.”

The mayhem is “themed”. Meaning as spontaneous as it appears, it has a producer and a Grand Marshal ( This year Whoopi Goldberg.)  Last year’s theme was “Revival” –  the parade had been cancelled the previous season due to the havoc of Sandy — but everyone did pretty much as she or he pleased, which was spookily upbeat in the interest of – well – revival.  This year it’s Garden of Earthly Delights, a nod to Hieronymus Bosch’s phantasmagoric triptych. It’s good to get back to basics.

The Parade has a mission statement but only one rule. You may not cross the parade route except at Sixth and Canal and only between 6:30 and 8:30. No exceptions. Seriously. I don’t care if you are dilated to seven centimeters, you are not getting past that police barricade.

Garden of Earthly Delights Museo del Prado Madrid