After the Village Halloween Parade was canceled for the first time in 40 years due to a ferocious Frankenstorm last year, and a lack of funds nearly killed the event this year, revelers were massing in Soho yesterday afternoon with pent-up vigor.
"People need this distraction!" said Robert Ordonez, 41, of Forest Hills, an actor and artist decked out as a self-proclaimed member of Kiss. "It's scary," how the city has lacked for fun since Sandy, he said, noting that "Fashion Night Out," was canceled this year and the economy is spookily uncertain.
Ordinary Joes anticipate the parade for a chance to shine in a wacky, super-friendly communal spotlight, added Joe Sierra, 40, a security guard from Hoboken dressed as the horror movie character "Jason." Other costumed people "take pictures of us and we become paparazzi, taking pictures of them," he explained. "We're all celebrities today!" he said of people in costume.
The parade, which was themed "Revival," has always been an opportunity for witty political commentary. "There just has to be something," about the Congressional shutdown of the government, the Supreme Court's gutting of the Defense of Marriage Act and lots of individuals impersonating the erstwhile mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, said the parade's artistic director Jeanne Fleming, gazing at people assembling in the dream-like sonic processional artwork by Superior Concept Monsters, "Tick Tock."
A commentary on the physical aspects of time, "Tick Tock," was to debut last year, but time was not on its side.
Antonio Scrittorale, 63, a costume maker from Morris Park, the Bronx, wore remarkably well-wrought ghost-of-Jacob Marley mufti he took five weeks to create. Scrittorale intended his ghostly Halloween persona to spark children's interest in classic literature and remind people of the message Marley prophetically related to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol."
"Marley told Scrooge if he didn't change his Scrooge-like ways, he was headed for trouble. He warns Scrooge to start treating mankind better," Scrittorale said.
And who most needs to be more compassionate and generous?
"Everybody! We all need to be better!" Scrittorale said, noting parade participation is a proven mood elevator.
"People should enjoy themselves! This is a fun event and everyone can participate: It's like New York's version of Mardi Gras. Only you don't have to drink beer," he said.