Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick-or-Treating in a High-Rise

Last year's Halloween was pretty low-key (on account of Hurricane Sandy devastating the Eastern Seaboard), so I feel like this was our first time celebrating the holiday properly in New York.

It also was my first time going trick-or-treating in a high-rise building.

I resided in San Francisco apartment towers for much of my adult life (Parkmerced, South Beach Marina, Avalon Mission Bay), so I'm no stranger to high-rise living. But I didn't have kids back then. By the time we started trick-or-treating with Elliot, we lived in Berkeley, which offered the more classic suburban experience.

Some people may see trick-or-treating in an apartment building as a little sad, but I've always thought it would offer the ultimate candy-gathering efficiency.

If you can hit several apartments on each floor, it's hard to imagine you're ever going to rack up as many treats schlepping from one detached family home to another.

The truth is, not that many people in apartments actually offer candy. In our building, the doorman gave out a list of participating units, and there was typically only one or two of them per floor.

That meant a bunch of kids were chasing a relatively small number of targets. It also caused a fair amount of gridlock in the elevator bank. Elevators were jammed with both trick-or-treaters and plain-old commuters trying to get home to their apartments.

If we'd been able to use the stairwell to get to different floors, we probably could have accumulated candy pretty quickly. But we were pushing around a stroller, so we had to wait for the elevator each time. That severely impacted our candy haul.

So in the end, the suburbs probably have an edge over the city on Halloween.

We didn't help matters by running out of candy ourselves. (We were the only apartment on our hall offering treats, so talk about dropping the ball.)

That's probably the saddest sign I've ever had to put up.