Image of Fort Totten Park Battery via Flickr by skingld
Every New Yorker should experience the standard Halloween parades in Greenwich Village and Central Park at least once (we supposed), but for those looking for something a little different this October, here are our top picks. And while we’re still awaiting news on whether our favorite event, the Cobble Hill pumpkin impalement by artist Jane Greengold is happening this year, there’s still a lot of alternative, off-the-beaten path activities to choose from.
Untapped Cities contributor Luke Kingma passed through the Blackout Haunted House in 2012, and came out completely petrified. At the beginning of the tour , he was asked to sign a waiver allowing “the actors to do (almost) everything short of killing, maiming or abusing you.” He was separated from his friends and went through the house alone, placed in a variety of “traumatizing” scenarios that he states will “make you question why it is you came, and what it is you have (or haven’t) actually done during your stay.” Read his full article here, and get tickets for this year’s house located on 442 East Houston Street.
Image via Brooklyn Based by Kelly Reeves
On Thursday, October 30th at 8:30 pm, the HallowMEME Costume Party will kick off at the Brooklyn Bell House venue. Those attending will dress as their favorite internet memes, with last year’s participants showing up in their interpretations of “Hot Dogs or Legs?,” “Texts from Hillary,” and “Shiba Confessions.” RSVP your spot here.
The historic crypt underneath the Church of the Intercession has hosted everything from movie shoots to jazz nights, including an exclusive fan concert for the 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. The New York Adventure Club will be returning to the space with a Halloween costume dance party featuring a Roaring ’20s live brass band, unlimited beer and wine, and a costume competition hosted by Reverend Jen of the Troll Museum. Tickets here.
Image via Flickr by Sara Bogush
Hundreds of dogs and their owners came to this event last year to see and be seen in the largest dog costume parade in the world. This year, the fun begins on October 25th at 12:00 pm in Tompkins Square Park. Dress Fido up to compete with other dogs for thousands of dollars in prizes!
Image by Matt Lambros/After the Final Curtain
Located in Bayside, Queens, the Fort Totten Park is the site of a Civil War era fortress constructed in 1862 for a wide variety of military purposes. By 1974 the military no longer used the space, and beginning in 2005 it opened as a park for the public. On Friday, October 24th at 6:30 pm, Urban Park Rangers will give lantern-lit tours of the water battery located along the park’s edge. Civil War Captain Robert E. Lee proposed the battery’s construction in 1957 to defend the New York Harbor, and visitors can still see inscriptions soldiers carved in the walls while stationed there. For more historic buildings, check out our articles on The Forts of NYC and 20 Abandoned Places in NYC.
Image via Crest Hardware
On Saturday, October 18th, Crest Hardware on 558 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn is hosting a pumpkin carving contest to raise money for its annual art show. Participants enter their best works of pumpkin art between 6:30 and 7 pm for a chance at the prestigious winning title.
Photograph: Grace Chu
An electro party in a dim sum place in Chinatown? We can assure you that this is where you’ll find us this Halloween. Enter after-hours through the bizarro mini mall under the Manhattan Bridge. In “Tiki Disco, a special Halloween edition, the usual eclectic, top-notch set of dance tunes are promised from DJs Eli Escobar, Andy Pry and Lloydski, with a few spooky jams thrown in for good measure. Tickets here.
Each year the non-profit Storefront for Art and Architecture hosts a costume contest that addresses critical concepts, or
“the most feared ghosts,” in art and architectural production today. This year’s theme will be “I-Relevance,” which according to the Storefront’s website, will ask “artists, architects, writers, and citizens to address the concept of Irrelevance within contemporary culture and contemporary digital platforms.” Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young wrote about last year’s competition here. Get your tickets for this year’s competition on the Storefront’s website.
Image via Boroughs of the Dead
Boroughs of the Dead is a tour company that specializes in New York City’s most occult spaces. For the month of October, tours offered will include Edgar Allen Poe’s West Village, haunted Brooklyn Heights, Ghosts of Broadway and Hells Kitchen, and the secrets of Central Park. Visit the website for the full calendar, and check out our Top 7 Most Haunted Spots of Lower Manhattan. Following our successful joint tours with Boroughs of the Dead this year, we’ll be hosting more events together in 2014. Stay tuned!
On Sunday, October 26th at 1 pm, historian Jeff Richmond will be giving a “spirited stroll” of the Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which serves as the resting place of 560,000 deceased who include Civil War veterans, Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Samuel Morse. The walk will include a tour of the Catacombs, which are normally closed to the public. More photos of the beautiful grounds can be seen here, and check out our article on a map of the cemetery’s vast 478 acres.
Any events that we missed? Contact Anna Brown via her Twitter handle @brooklynbonanza.
The Lower East Side was transformed into 1900 NYC. Photo by Mary Cybulski/Cinemax
When Steven Soderbergh retired from directing movies last year he announced that “movies don’t matter anymore.” Fans of the director’s work were stunned. Since 1989 with his first independent feature Sex, Lies and Videotape; Soderbergh has been one of the few directors in cinema who has truly kept audiences guessing his next move. Almost two years into his “retirement” there is no word of Soderbergh returning to the cinema. To some, that might be viewed as a bad sign; Soderbergh, however, has not been laying dormant. On the contrary, since “retiring” he has been working constantly. He became very active on Twitter, in the most Soderbergh-y way possible, making a novella titled GLUE; he has spliced together both versions of Psycho, and, even more bizarrely awesome, he re-edited Spielberg’s Raiders of The Lost Ark, transforming it into a black and white silent film.
He has done all of this, including directing an off-Broadway play, getting into the liquor business and once again finding himself in the director’s chair. Soderbergh’s return to the set was not for a feature, or even for a TV film. Perhaps inspired by the work of Cary Fukunaga on True Detective, Soderbergh decided to do something similar and direct every episode of a project he come across called The Knick. Soderbergh directs (as well as edits under his pseudonym Mary Anne Bernard ) every episode of the series first season, which follows the life and exploits of Dr. John Tackery, head surgeon of The Knickerbocker Hospital and its staff in 1900 New York City.
Walking the hallways of an abandoned hospital would give anyone shivers. But what if throughout the tour, apparitions from times past unexpectedly appeared in the adjoining rooms, windows, and staircases? We visited the South Side hospital complex on Ellis Island, the site of Unframed, an installation by Parisian street artist JR that opened on October 1st.
Artist JR is known for his large scale photographs in places accessible to the public view, like New York City’s Times Square, the Pantheon in Paris, and the favelas of Brazil. The hospital site has been off-limits to the public, apart from special visits like our coverage for the 2012 Partners in Preservation campaign. For a short time, it will only be accessible through a guided “hard-hat” tour. The tours are capped at 10 people and tickets are sold out thorough November, but tickets are still available into April 2015. So why would JR choose such an exclusive site that requires a hard-won reservation to visit?
Proposal for The Queensway
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Did you know that New York City has over 1,900 parks? And 1/5 of the city’s land is devoted to green space. But with parks under so many different jurisdictions, ranging from city, state, national to private, it can be tricky figuring out what park is the right one for your particular adventure, especially if you’re not headed to one of the big dogs like Central Park or Prospect Park. One of the grand prize winners of this year’s NYC BigApps competition is Explore NYC Parks, an app and website developed by a 26-year old developer to solve just that.
The Ansonia about 1904, image via Library of Congress
If there is one building that epitomizes the Upper West Side’s bohemian origins, it just might be The Ansonia with its rather scandalous and off-beat reputation. The Ansonia has been home to such a wide range of characters–from Babe Ruth to Igor Stravinsky to Natalie Portman–that it’s not surprising what an illustrious backstory it has. We decided to take a look back at a wonderful feature from New York Magazine in 2005 that revisits the ups and downs of the historic building (which had 1,400 rooms and 320 suites!) and share with you some of the most wild facts about the building.