Last night Sari & I dressed up Phoebe for her first Halloween and headed over to Garden Place in Brooklyn Heights. Reports that the small residential street was the Mecca of kiddie Halloween in Brooklyn were not exaggerated. We saw all kinds of amazing & amusing costumes on kids and adults alike, including a whole Superman family (Superman, Supergirl, Superboy and Superbaby), the Morton Salt Umbrella Girl, and the Dish and the Spoon (as in “the Cow Jumped Over the Moon”). And Phoebe’s Bat-Cow costume was a hit as well.
Our little three-month-old was getting cranky, however, so we headed back home. Leaving the trick-or-treating hordes, we turned on to Joralemon Street only to almost bump into what I thought was the best costumed group of the night. It was a family of three “Chassidic Jews,” with the bearded rabbi in the long black coat and high stockings, the mother in her dowdy wig, and the little nine-year-old boy in his yarmulke and payes. It was only when I saw the family’s somber (even frightened?) expressions as they passed the happy chaos of Garden Place that I realized they weren’t dressed for Halloween. They were the real deal!
Even though I grew up with Chasids all around me and see them all the time in my neighborhood, their anachronistic outfits struck me as particularly odd last night, October 31st, All Hallow’s Eve.