San Francisco seems to love getting dressed up and getting weird for no reason whatsoever – hell, that’s one of the main reasons we live here. It’s a ridiculous city full of ridiculous people. Any excuse for a party is enough. But I think it’s the ritualistic nature of Halloween that draws me to participate. I like the idea that we’re simultaneously honoring the dead, celebrating the passing of seasons, giving a subtle nod to our pagan roots, and engaging in widespread revelry.
The costumes are phenomenal. People go to incredible amounts of effort to make something unique or authentic. I caught the train to work in a (not particularly phenomenal) Viking costume. Striding through the city dressed like an ancient Scandinavian warrior felt great. Some people smiled and winked at me, while others stopped their conversations and pointed. For a day, I wasn’t average: I was conspicuous, I was big, I was strong. I was something.
By the time we made our way home from work, almost everyone on the street was costumed. It was kind of surreal, having to elbow our way through crowds of painted faces and drunken ghouls, animals, monsters, and women dressed as sexy [insert uniformed worker here]. The pageantry of the week leading up to Halloween is fun, but Halloween night is something else.