Photo by Jason Paul Smith
Wow. Boo! Wow. Chicagoans can really howl on Halloween! I’m sure experiencing it as a tourist helped, but last year’s Halsted Halloween Parade was a scary good time. In New York, I would never dream of standing in the cold October night of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade—the crowds, the noise, the fear that at any moment the festivities could spiral into catastrophe.
Halloween can often feel like amateur hour. It is the one night regular folk get to be actors, drag queens or whores—or all three! Hiding behind a costume frees people to express themselves beyond their regular comfort level. Add a few shots, puffs, snorts (or what have you) and your tale can end with soaring fireworks or an explosive burn. Lucky for Matt and me, visiting Chicago last Halloween proved to be a blast.
Our night started as voyeurs along the parade route. After the ample helping of Halloween fluff, we were ready for a little sustenance. One of the two tables actually eating at Firefly, we inhaled one of the best macaroni and cheeses I’ve ever had, as the rest of the packed restaurant enjoyed prancing around, drinking, chatting, and watching the parade from the windows. As we were not in costume, checking out the scantily clad Chippendale boys and sexy Dorothys (who I knew hadn’t eaten all week) while stuffing our faces with burgers and the aforementioned cheesy deliciousness, was especially satisfying.
With full bellies and happy hearts we joined our friend Kevin who, over the next three hours, took it upon himself to show us every bar in Boystown. A blur of alternating martinis, Redbulls, and occasional waters later, we settled into the spinning stupor of our comfy Best Western bed.
We had emerged from Halloween unscathed… yet inexplicably covered in glitter.