Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallow's Eve

In San Francisco, it's hard to tell who is in costume and who is not.

On any given day, it is not unusual to see people with piercings, tattoos, and multicolored hair, wearing their entire wardrobes at one time. Some are homeless, but others have adopted a nouveau 60's lifestyle to turn on, tune in, and drop out.

The Castro, San Francisco's famous gay district and the most colorful part of the city, has always had a gigantic parade and party on Halloween. This year, the city, in a most cruel and misguided move, canceled the entire celebration and even stopped running public transportation to the area at 8:00 p.m.

Most of the trick or treaters in my neighborhood were dressed as little angels and bunny-wunnies, which is not exactly my idea of scary Halloween costumes, but most offensive was the person dressed as a Native American dancer.

Fancy Dancing, as it is called, is both cultural and spiritual. There are competitions at pow wows, but in typical Native American fashion, nobody really loses as all are praised and admired for their unique style which expresses their own relationship with the Creator.

Such trivializing of a great and rich culture by turning it into a Halloween costume is nothing new, but remains as tasteless as ever.

There seemed to be an abundance of baby hookers and pimps on the candy trail, which led to the obvious conclusion that all their parents had gone brain dead on the same day.

Flip wanted to don his pig head and go out. He reminded me that I still have my wolf mask, tail and red cape from a party we attended a few years ago, but I declined. I just wasn't feeling the love.

Maybe it's the Shingles. Or maybe I have simply outgrown Halloween.


CP said...

You didn't outgrow outgrew us. Baby hookers all overn the place. Shame.


Rebecca said...

we never celebrated Halloween in Australia when I was a child - I have no idea, in fact, where the whole tradition came from or what it's about (except that there's something scary about it) Strangely, though, my children have been talking about it for a few weeks now, and asked last night if they could go trick or treating....they're being taught about it at school. very strange.

And I didn't let them go trick or treating but a neighbour turned up with her daughter at about 7pm with a kind of reverse trick or treat - she brought us a whole lot of lollies and chocolates. (which was actually quite annoying because my kids were in the middle of dinner)

I definitely wasn't feeling the halloween love!

Michael C said...

Yeah, what's with all the teeny-bopper hookers? Unless of course all those kids were parentless. I guess that might explain it. I almost had to cover the twins' eyes as we walked by several groups of them...and who the hell buys a 14 year old girl a french maid costume...

Ok, I'm officially old now. I'm complaining about today's youth.

Jocelyn said...

I think it's the shingles.

And maybe the locale. (I love your first line, btw). Adults taking over Halloween can, ultimately be tiring.

Kids, however, keep that holiday alive for me. And I hate holidays. But there is a healthy frankness in the "gimme" of this holiday...and no oppressive family meals.

Come to my house next year, and I'll fix you up with a glass of wine, a plate of food, and an easy vantage point of innocent Halloween. As it should be.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yeah, I wonder if they understand the implications of dressing like that. And hope they don't.

Whatever happened to, you know, children?


It's always very cool when people bring you treats instead of demanding them.

Maybe they do it backwards in Australia and not just upside down?

I wish somebody would deliver chocolates here during dinner.


I'm with you on the pubescent French maid costume.

I'm feeling old, too. Oh, wait. I AM old.


Maybe it IS the shingles. After all, it's the wrong holiday for "Bah, humbug."

I would love to spend next Halloween with you, Girl and Wee Niblet. Wine is optional.

NMJ said...

hey heart, you are bringing back memories, i used to live v near the castro in buena vista neighbourhood - i rememember how busy it was at halloween in the castro - why on earth did they cancel the party?

WNG said...

Why would they stop the party??? I don't get it. I also don't think you've outgrown Haaloween, it's just been turned into something ugly by so many people that it's hard to see the fun anymore.

Mariposa Speaks said...

in my place, we are more on the all saints and all souls day thingy, so that just for today, i did an out of town trip with my Mom(another island actually) just to visit my grandpa's tomb... :D

im going to the office now...we are suppose to have this hallow's eve costume event...and im going there as i am, think im already scary

The CEO said...

I think there needs to be a Catch-Neuter-Release Program for Government Officials at the City Level. Start culling early and we can probably upgrade the gene pool for administration in all facets of government in a few generations. It's a worthy goal.

Extend it to the rest of the population and we could get lucky and get respect back one day. Just remember, I'm the polyanna that thinks that the water glass is half full, and that it's filled with champagne.

Have a fabulous day, you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Don't you have one of those baby hookers (or two) living above you, year-round?

Okay, so maybe you should have dressed in the wolf costume or the pig costume and gone a-knocking on her door!

How can a city stop a celebration like that? How is that possible? Can I blame Bush for that? Good crimminy.

thailandchani said...

I'm surprised also that they'd cancel the celebration in the Castro. It was always kind of fun to watch, even though it seemed a bit out there at times.

As for the pre-teen hookers, I'm not surprised. Not these days. Not at all.

furiousBall said...

Well, where do you think grown up hookers come from. We were all babies at one point or another.

Ian Lidster said...

Fancy Dancers -- love 'em. We have a local Powwow every year which brings in native dancers from all over the continent. I try to not miss it. However, the 'cheesification' of the concept is offensive, I agree.
And yes, the baby hookers and pimps. A revolting concept. These kids (and their parents) should be hauled down to a real 'street scene' late at night when the girls are plying their trade, and their scumbag pimps are reaping the benefits. Not very romantic. I think that revoltingly 'faux' film Pretty Woman started some of this.

Liz said...

Weird that they canceled the parade/celebration. Why, I wonder?

I am proud to say that I only saw one pimp last night, but lots of pirates, including my own little one!

Crankster said...

I've gotten a little tired of the fact that every costume for women is preceded by the words "sexy" or "slutty."

At this point, a good, old-fashioned girl hobo would probably do more for me than a thousand sexy policewomen.

Craze said...

Halloween has definately changed over the years. It's sad.

thirtysomething said...

Shingles? Yikes. You poor thing.

Baby hookers? Oh, my, my, my...I know. I saw plenty of obscenely and inappropriately dressed young kids yesterday evening, all in the name of costumes. THough, truth be told, they probably leave their homes each day looking astonishingly similar to their Halloween garb, unfortunately.
Did NY really cancel the parade? Not cool.

Open Grove Claudia said...

The baby hookers are amazing. Gratefully, it was cold here so we didn't see any. Still. I think it's music videos that tell people they shouldn't wear clothing but that's just me.

Happy Halloween!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Several people were shot last year, so they decided to close it down. It's kind of like a teacher punishing the whole class because one kid was bad.

Every city has its criminal element. Most people who go to this event just want to have fun.


Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. When I was a kid, there was usually a full moon and the air smelled like woodsmoke. We crunched dead leaves walking from house to house, and the costumes were skeletons, ghosts, goblins and witches.

It's hard to relate to grade school sex trade workers and 3-foot high gangsters.


All Hallows Eve was originally a religious observance, like so many holidays.

I told a good friend that I was going as myself this year because I couldn't think of anything scarier. In fact, I told him twice and he called me on it.


I LOVE your idea of a Catch-Neuter-Release program for government officials. Even better if we didn't release them, though.

May your glass always be at least half-full of champagne.


In a "free" society, we can always blame Bush for everything and we'll be right 99% of the time.

No baby hookers living next door, just a full blown skankblossom with stilettos welded to her feet, affectionately known (to me) as "Clitoris-Clatteris."


Every day is Halloween in the Castro. It's a very lively place. I was sorry they canceled the festivities.


Good point. I feel so silly now.


"Pretty Woman" definitely romanticized prostitution, and I have always suspected that Barbie was responsible for some degree of loss of innocence in children. I objected to the feet, permanently pointed for high heels, more than the breasts, actually.

I think baby dolls were healthier because they encouraged nurturing, not the attainment of an impossible ideal of adult beauty and overt sexiness.


Pirates. Well, that's different! Please post pictures of yours.

Being a pirate was one of my childhood ambitions, but my mother said I couldn't do it because I was a girl.

She obviously never heard of Anne Bonney and Grace O'Malley.


It's true. The reverence for porn makes my head spin. Our society is quickly being reduced to his 'n' hers reproductive organs, and I really think we could do better.

I still believe that a great mind and compassionate heart are sexy. And of course, hobos.


All our holidays reflect the changes in our culture. Halloween has become an excuse to look sexy, and Christmas has become an orgy of commercial excess.

We seem to be lacking in values generally.


I suspect you're right about the everyday garb of these children. Their parents should be taught that sending kids out dressed to encourage the attention of pedophiles is not cute.

The parade was canceled in San Francisco, where I live. I can see why you'd be confused, though, as my previous post was about JFK Airport in NYC.


Britney and her clones went far toward evolving a teen culture of ultra-sexiness.

I just don't get how porn stars became celebrities, how people who used to be on the fringes of society came to occupy center stage, and to become role models.

I don't think we really needed for this to happen.

riseoutofme said...

I absolutely HATE Halloween, always have and always will.

Its just as shameless and exploitative here as it is in the US.

Bah humbug.

MsLittlePea said...

No one knocked on my door. But then I live in a neighborhood full of mostly senior citizens. So I didn't get to see any baby hookers or pimps....maybe next year :O)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Lucky for you it only comes once a year, then.

I didn't know they had the same customs in Ireland regarding this holiday. I'd love to know more.

Sweet Pea,

I certainly hope you didn't see any senior hookers and pimps trick or treating in walkers.

Sienna said...


I dropped by and got to the skankblossom clitoris-clatteris and fell off my chair in fits of laughter...

You are so funny, absolute ROTFLMAO!


(No halloween here either- sounds like it would scare the bejesus outta me)

Anonymous said...

I think its the shingles. And the tacky costumes. Isn't Halloween about the kids? Or is it about the adults? I've always thought it was about the kids but enjoyed participating.

Anonymous said...

I meant to add, I hope you are feeling better soon and the shingle go away quickly.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I find it hard to believe that anything would scare YOU.

Flip thinks our neighbor sounds like "a horse in the house" but having lived with horses, who my daughter invited to walk through our house a few times, I know that three horses don't make as much noise as one high heeled hooker. (One of them gobbled a few houseplants in passing, though.)


It should be about the kids, who should be allowed to BE kids, and not imitation grownups, and seedy ones at that.

Thank you for the good wishes. I will be most happy when the shingles have run their course.

Josie said...

Baby hookers and pimps? These are the same parents who scream bloody murder if a teacher even looks sideways at their child. What a mixed message.

San Francisco sounds very much like Vancouver, the West End to be specific.

Molly said...

Where we live is nowhere near as colourful as SF. But I feel as blah as you about the whole thing.....A retailer's dream and a parent's nightmare.

*~*Cece*~* said...

S.F. sounds a lot like L.A.! lol

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It seems like a game of "look but don't touch," and it's pretty dreadful to exploit children in that way.



Is there a single holiday that is not a monument to mercantile greed?

Amidst all the killing and abuse of various powers, there's always Hallmark, spurring us on to spend more and feel less.


Not surprising, is it? It's all La-La Land.

Voyager said...

Baby hookers, and at our house, a couple of nubile young "cops" dressed like lap dancers came to the door! Do their parents see them dress like this?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Lap dancers like candy, too.

Have you noticed that on every one of the cop shows, all the women are babes? I mean, what are the chances?