But when I was in second grade, my family moved and I found myself in a house on a hill without my friends. Halloween quickly changed for me, and I'm ashamed to say that for several years we were the house at the top of the hill that turned out its lights to avoid the trick or treaters. I guess passing out "nature's candy" (read: raisins) also had something to do with it...
The point is, I grew up and out of Halloween earlier than most, and never really got back into it. After all, to quote Brandon Walsh when asked if he was going to a costume party, "I don't drink [that much] and I dance like a white guy."
J, on the other hand, loves Halloween, but we've never really celebrated together other than to carve pumpkins and enjoy some good people watching. Some of this had to do with switching coasts and again having to build up a group of friends to act silly around, but still, we could do better.
We swore 2009 would be different. Along with another fun-loving couple, we hit the internet to find something to do. There were two requirements: costumes had to be involved and we had to stay away from Georgetown.
You might be asking, why not Georgetown? Let me explain. J and I spent our first DC Halloween there. We had moved about two months prior and had heard that this was the place to go. So we took Metro to Foggy Bottom and started following the crowds. After we crossed the bridge into Georgetown, we were funneled onto the sidewalks of M Street by metal barriers that allowed one lane of "traffic" in each direction. Everyone was either in full costume (usually with props or wings that made it impossible to get by) or felt the need to stop and take a picture of those in costume. As you might imagine, it took 45 minutes to travel one block. Not good times. On a side note, that is how we stumbled across the very good Italian restaurant, Papa Razzi.
So with Georgetown off the list, we decided to try the more family friendly neighborhoods of Capitol Hill. Good choice! Despite the light drizzle, I once again felt that community feel of Halloween that I grew up with. Parents and kids alike were dressed up, and the neighbors clearly embraced this costumed invasion. Many homes were decorated but all paled in comparison to one rather partisan display of fear for the 2012 election...
If you can't tell from the photo, that is a Republican cemetery featuring the graves of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush surrounded by the ghouls of Palin, Gingrich, and Romney with the title, "Beware of 2012" written in jack-o-lanterns. Very clever...
After a quick bite to eat at the new pizza place by Eastern Market called, Seventh Hill (review to follow), we joined the other Halloween revelers on the Metro. Our car contained mostly superheros and made for a surreal and very memorable part of the night.
Anyway, we ended up at the "Graveyard Jam" party sponsored by thingstododc.com at the Hard Rock cafe, which featured a band, followed by a DJ, and a costume contest. The band was laughably bad, but their set was over quickly, and the DJ spun dance-worthy tunes for hours. We stood on the second floor overlooking the main level dance floor and had a blast dancing and checking out the costumes.
I highly encourage you to get into the Halloween spirit next year and dress up. Even if you don't want to go to a party, just hop on the Metro and check out the scene.