Monday, November 2, 2009
Halloween has traditionally been one of the big four holidays in San Francisco, ranking right up there with New Year's Eve. For several decades it was an adult event, best known for the massive street party on Castro St.
But things are changing in the City. As Halloween on Castro evolved into a primarily hetero event, gang bangers from out of town crashed the party, bring with them their mindless violence. Things got so out of hand that two years ago the City finally shut the event down. The City elders now promote "Halloween at home" which is a polite way of saying "the party is over."
However, change isn't all bad. Families with toddlers, who a decade ago would have moved out to the suburbs, are now staying put. The massive adult oriented events are giving way to smaller block parties for kids. For several years now, a neighborhood on the other side of the hill has closed a street for a big trick-or-treat event with hundreds of kids roaming from house to house.
When we moved into our neighborhood 11 years ago, there was not a single toddler or elementary school aged kid. Now there are probably 15 toddlers within a two block radius, enough for our own neighborhood trick-or-treating. Although the turnout was sparse (parents with older kids made the trek over the hill to the larger event) nearly 20 households on our street participated by having candy and perhaps even some scary stuff on tap for the kids.
For Li Na, this was all one great big series of new adventures. From the haunted pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay, to carving the pumpkins, to the costume party at school, to trick-or-treating on Saturday night, Li Na was totally down with this Halloween thing.
She even insisted upon dressing up as a bumble bee. Finding a bumble bee costume was a bit more challenging than we anticipated and her costume did not arrive until Friday afternoon. Thus, to her great disappointment, she had to dress up as daddy's little sous chef for school on Friday. However, come trick-or-treating on Saturday night, and she was all decked out in full bumble bee splendor.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Although inspired by her fondness for Julius the Monkey (think Small Paul clothes) Li Na's birthday party had a more general monkey theme. Many thanks to Aunt Julyn, Uncles Sef and Doug and all of our other friends who pitched in to make the monkey girl so happy on the occasion of her third birthday.