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Halloween in New York, Recession-Style

Posted on October 26 2010 1:00 pm
Scott Spiegel blogs at He can be reached at

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Two years ago, the hot Halloween costume for left-wing ladies in New York City was a Sarah Palin mask featuring a beehive, glasses, and a snout. The ignominy behind this disguise, of course, was that presidential candidate Barack Obama had denied that his “lipstick on a pig” campaign ad had been a reference to Palin’s “pit bull with lipstick” joke at her Vice Presidential nominee acceptance speech. Yet, the Left got to have it both ways by mocking Palin using an insult that the high-minded Obama allegedly hadn’t intended for her.

This year the analogous costume for trendy lefty women in the Big Apple may be Christine O’Donnell as a witch, though I’m not sure if her persona has enough national recognition to have caught on as widely as Palin’s, nor am I clear how costume makers would differentiate a standard issue witch costume to give it an O’Donnell twist (perhaps by including an accompanying chastity belt?)

Earlier this month, the Drudge Report linked to a feature on “Sexy Sesame Street Costumes,” including slinky version of Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Elmo, which I found a bit disturbing.

Taking advantage of a local and revolting trend from 2010, The New York Times reports that at one Manhattan brokerage firm’s annual Halloween party:

“Three workers are dressing as sexy bedbugs by wearing bug-covered pajama bottoms, plastic shells and antenna headbands. A Citi Habitats spokesman, Daniel Charles, is dressing as their fearless exterminator.”

One getup that may be popular—that was popular last year, in fact—is Lady Gaga, especially as accompanied by the meat dress she recently wore to the Video Music Awards. The only possible problem: Some New Jersey butchers have solemnly advised the public against draping themselves with raw steak.  “Jersey Shore’s” The Situation and Snooki are also reportedly trending.

Costumes based on political or pop culture events seem to be few and far between this year, notwithstanding the “BP oil spill” costume evidently popular in the Gulf. Then there is, of course, the Angry Steward costume referencing the Queens-based Jet Blue flight attendant who told off a passenger and escaped via the plane’s emergency chute. As for “Avatar?” “Alice in Wonderland?” “Iron Man 2?” Yawn. Che, Fidel, and Kim Jong Il—really?

I visited a couple of Halloween costume shops in Manhattan, one—The Halloween Adventure Store in Times Square—that exists year-round and morphs into a more generic party/decoration store from November to September. The other is a Ricky’s NYC outpost that popped up recently like those seasonal holiday stores in suburban malls.

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