Halloween 2011 was spread out over 4 events for me: a costume party at Ambers on Friday night (which I’ve talked about), the Long Beach Zombie Parade (Saturday evening), The Nightmare Before Christmas (late Saturday night), and walking Toluca Lake on Halloween. So needless to say, I’m a little Halloween’ed out.
The Long Beach Zombie Walk IV was a lot of fun. To get there I decided to take the metro down to Long Beach and assumed that others on the metro would be in costume and boy was I incorrect in that assumption. The blue line down to Long Beach is not one I would recommend taking at night or alone. I did get to see the Watt Towers from the metro, but I also saw people getting arrested. I was also accosted for money many times along my journey to Long Beach. After an hour and a half I was in Long Beach and heading to a small gathering before the parade. The couple throwing the pre-zombie party went all out. They made Dracula fangs out of chocolate, carved a loaf of bread into a coffin/spinach dip holder, and baked delicious red velvet cupcakes with “bloody knives”. After snacks and Halloween themed beer (pumpkin spice!) we set out on our walk. Unfortunately, we went to the location where the walk was held in 2010, which was not where it was being held this year. As Nancy Drew, I put my detective skills to work and became suspicious when zombie bicyclists were headed the opposite direction. When we realized the error we headed to the promenade where it was being held this year.. in a way we crated our own Zombie Parade!
The Zombie Walk featured local bands playing on a stage and vendors selling tee-shirts and other zombie paraphanalia. We walked as a part of the parade and then planted ourselves to watch the other zombie costumes. People get REALLY into their zombie characters and take their zombie-ing very seriously.
Around 9p, we decided to head up to Hollywood to the El Capitan Theater to see The Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D! I’ve never been to this theater before and had a really great experience. I screwed up and bought tickets for Friday night and they happily swapped them for Saturday night without any additional charge. This was not only my first 4D movie but also my first 3D film. They gave us the glasses and we picked out our seats in a theater, which looked like an old opera house. They had a man playing the organ on stage while people were finding seats. When a manager came out to introduce the movie they even raffled off LACMA tickets to their Tim Burton Exhibit. The film itself is a classic, so no surprises there but the 4D effects were really fun. When the film is in Christmas town you could smell the gingerbread and we felt every gust of wind and even the snow falling at the end of the film. It was just a really fun activity and only $12 tickets on Goldstar. Score.
On Monday, of course I came to work as Nancy Drew because cool people dress up at work. Of course I was one of the only people on the lot dressed up, oh well. At night I drove right to Toluca Lake to experience the madness! There were 1000’s of children running around… cars parked illegally which created single lane roads. It was truly madness. Candy lines stretched down blocks. One guy was walking around with a chainsaw scaring people. Toluca Estates had several big attractions and the entire street was covered with people. Mark Cherry had a spooky television themed display set-up. He had many female comedic characters as skeletons with soundbites playing on stereos (like the Golden Girls, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and Luclie Ball). Another house had a life sized pirate ship on their front yard, it looked like a movie set. We even got to see Steve Carell (who lives in the area) which was cool.
Eventually, it was all too much (so many people and kids hopped up on sugar) so we escaped to Tony’s. Tony’s Darts Away was having a 2 for 1 deal for everyone in costume and also a costume competition. Our group snagged a booth and spent the night playing Apples to Apples. It was a really fun night. The winner of the costume contest was “Weird Al” who really did fit the part.
What did you do to celebrate the holiday? Is there a different neighborhood I should check out in 2012? Well this sums up my Halloween 2011 adventures and now on to bigger and better holidays (aka Thanksgiving in Denver!).