Event: A Very Manhattan Halloween.

halloween miley cyrus robin thicke

halloween marilyn monroe

orange is the new black costume


We found Wally (or Waldo, as they are wont to call him over here).

ursula the little mermaid costume


Pets on parade.


greenwich village halloween parade 2013

Feminists in arms. (Norma Jean did work in the factories during World War II, after all, just like Rosie!)


greenwich village halloween parade 2013 1

regina george halloween costume

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

greenwich village halloween parade 2

tonto halloween costume

greenwich village halloween parade 2013

jellyfish halloween costume

the birds halloween costume

Unfortunately you can’t see The Birds, but this is Tippi Hedren.

In New York City’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade I was surprised to be the only Marilyn Monroe in attendance that I could see. There were some arguably culturally insensitive costumes (a Tonto and a plethora of “sexy” Native Americans), a Banksy, some political statements (anti-fracking, anti-spying) and a kick-ass version of Orange is the New Black, complete with whiteface, marching in one of New York City’s most revered institutions.

Revelers dressed as jellyfish with umbrellas ruled the night and came prepared for the rain that was forecast and appeared on schedule as the parade began around 7pm. 60,000 people were expected to show up to walk and, seeing as last years festivities were interrupted by superstorm Sandy, 2013’s Halloween was a long awaited one. New Yorkers have a knack for rising above adversity and Thursday night was no exception.

While the parade is certainly an event that adults relish the opportunity to participate in, being a non-alcohol and -drug-fuelled event there were plenty of children and pets dressed up and ready to march up 6th Avenue, between Spring and 16th Streets, where the parade ended. A few blocks away (thought that didn’t stop my party from getting lost in transit!) was the official parade after party at Webster Hall, transformed into Webster Hell for the festivities. Thousand-dollar prizes were given to the best dressed, which included a white Little Wayne, Regina George, several Rosie the Riveters (the best one I saw came replete with the posters’ yellow background festooned to her in cardboard, which we didn’t manage to catch on camera) and many a Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus. A virgin was sacrificed on an occult alter at midnight, which we unfortunately missed on one of the many floors of partying. Tickets to the after party don’t come cheap, though, starting at $40 and increasing as the event draws closer (I paid $75 for my ticket, while those who opted to buy on the door were looking at $100 a pop!). Webster Hall undoubtedly pulled in an exorbitant amount of cash in ticket and bar sales, but the actual parade relied on $50,000 of KickStarter donations to get up and running again this year, as they were uninsured for the effects of Sandy.

Halloween is certainly gaining traction in Australia, increasingly among adults as much as trick-or-treating children, but America goes all out. Part of the reason I’m in New York City at this time of year is specifically to attend the 40th anniversary of the parade and the after party, assembling my costume months in advance and carting it halfway across the world, while the friend I’m staying in the city with and I traipsed through the Upper East and West Side’s thrift stores in search of the finishing touches for her costume (a silent film star).

Halloween here is not for the faint-hearted; many residents and businesses adorn their facades in all manner of holiday paraphernalia, soccer mums ferry their kids to and from school in costume, and over $7 billion is spent on costumes, candy and general Halloween merriment. No matter how you feel about it, All Hallows Eve is an exercise in Americana that doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon, especially not in the heart of New York City.

Related: Quarter Century Costumes & Cocktails.

My Week in Pictures: Birthday Edition.

The Witching Hour: Halloween/My Birthday at Witches in Britches Cabaret.

Elsewhere: [DNAinfo.com New York] Village Halloween Parade Needs $50K to Recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Images via April Bonnick.

Costumes & Gender.

Snow White, Catwoman, (slutty) Rosie the Riveter, (slutty) Tiger Lily, Katy Perry in her “California Gurls” video, Eve… These are some of the costumes I’ve dressed up in for a variety of costume parties over the years. You will notice that each is either hyper-feminine and/or hyper-sexualised (when I went looking for a Belle from Beauty & the Beast costume for my 21st, the only one I could find for hire was a short, tight one that resembled the original character’s garb in no way).

At the other end of the dress-up spectrum, I have a couple of friends who relish costume parties as opportunities to stretch the gender performance barriers. Michelle has a penchant for covering her face in all manner of makeup and face paint for her takes on Puss in Boots, The Joker and Elphaba from Wicked (also known as the Wicked Witch of the West). Lana dresses skankily as often as she does dowdy, mixing it up as a bandit for our most recent Christmas party, Little Red Riding Hood, a male pirate when all her fellow females were attended as slutty wenches or slutty pirates (or slutty Tiger Lilys!), and Cher.

And on the other side of the coin, there’s Jackson, who was the scantily clad Adam to my Eve. When I suggested deviating from Captain Planet (for which he tried to convince me to let him wear just body paint. To a work do? I don’t think so!) to Adam, he said he’d go as whatever I wanted him to provided a) I organised the costume and, b) he got to show off some skin. He spends most nights in the gym, so what not flaunt what he’s worked hard for?

Around Halloween time, I read an article on sexy costumes for men, and how there are none. At least none that focus on the man as a sex object; rather, they suggest he’s the recipient of sexual favours from women:

“When men go sexy, it means joking about how men should be sexually serviced, have access to one night stands, or being in charge of and profiting from women’s bodies. A different type of ‘sexy’ entirely.”

For a man who’s confident—not cocky—in showing off his body (he’s even tossing up [pardon the pun] becoming a male stripper as a way to pay for a helicopter flying course), Jackson as Adam is certainly one to add to the seemingly non-existent “sexy male costume” column.

I find these attitudes to gender and costuming refreshing. Personally, as much as I talk the anti-gender stereotyping talk, I prefer to dress hyper-femininely, especially when it comes to costumes. Honestly, I guess I’m scared of coming across as anything less than “female” and whatever that means these days. I enjoy showing off my face, hair (which is why I chose to leave it out instead of wrapping it up in Rosie’s polka dot bandana) and body. I wish I were confident enough to buck this all-too-common trend amongst women and get my drag king on every now and then. In fact, my back-up costume if Adam and Eve fell through was Michael Jackson, so maybe I’m not as frightened about tapping into my masculine side as I thought.

While I’ve already got my Halloween costume in mind for this year’s festivities (Gloria Steinem undercover as a Playboy bunny: you can’t get much more hyper-sexualised than that!), perhaps this year I will resolve to step out of the one-slut-fits-all box and try something a little less feminine…?

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Witching Hour: Halloween/My Birthday at Witches in Britches Cabaret.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Getting Our Pirate On, Christmas Party Style.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Bad Taste Foxymorons.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Month in Pictures.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures: Birthday Edition.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] ’Tis the Season…

Elsewhere: [Ms. Magazine] What Do Sexy Halloween Costumes for Men Look Like?

My Week in Pictures: Birthday Edition.

Yesterday was my birthday, and let me tell you, I’ve spent the whole week celebrating!

The burlesque.

To kick off the celebrations, an intimate group of friends and I went to an intimate showing of burlesque at Red Bennies on Chapel Street. The night followed a seven deadly sins theme, with Becky Lou as gluttony, Rosy Rabbit as envy, Dolores Daiquiri as lust, Vesper White as wrath, Kerry X as sloth, my friend Zoe’s friends Cleave and Daly as vanity, and Evie Red as greed. There’ll be another showing tomorrow night, so get your tickets quick smart!

The presents.

In lieu of Peter Alexander slippers (they’re sold out of my size til March!), Clare got me these über-trendy K-Mart slippers. Anthony was a crafty little minx and got me Marc Jacobs’ Daisy perfume after I complimented a co-worker on it. There were flowers, cake, heartfelt roommate letters, The Slap, and movie vouchers.

The Headless Horseman, Cher and The Joker.

I think this was about ten minutes after we arrived. I waste no time when it comes to getting my krunk on!

If I have to listen to Ke$ha one more time…

Feminists in arms legs.

Sister love.

Easy A.

Feminists in arms, Stone Cold Steve Austin edition!

The best part of the night was having April—responsible for “Postcards from Canada”—back from, erm, Canada! Fittingly, she went as a racoon.

The Halloween party.

My main birthday/Halloween celebrations took place on Saturday night at A Bar Called Barry on Smith Street. I went as feminist icon Rosie the Riveter, and there were fellow feminists Easy A and Cher, as well as Scream killers, Headless Horsemen, assorted animals and the Joker, amongst others.

It was a great night, and I’ve already started planning my birthday for next year! You’re all on notice; get your costumes ready now!

The stack.

Despite all the partying, I still managed to get the prerequisite reading in. What did I learn? The three biggest (celebrity) news items of the week are Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage breakdown, Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s budding love. Can’t wait to pick up Who tomorrow for all the latest goss!

Andrew really looks impressed at me flaunting my birthday sombrero. I think he’s just jealous…

The birthday dinner.

My final birthday event was a Mexican siesta at Taco Bill in Kensington last night. Happy birthday to me!

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Did Rosie the Riveter Wear Hotpants?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Easy A Review.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Postcards from Canada 28th May to 8th June 2011.

My Week in Pictures.

So there was no “Week in Pictures” last Thursday ’cause I was geeing up for this week! 21st’s, Melbourne Festival talks and preparations for my birthday next week: exciting!

The early birthday presents.

My friend April, who is traveling across the U.S. and Canada sent me some Americana-themed birthday presents. I especially loved the Glee card (which plays “Time Warp”!) and the American Women & World War II book, with Rosie the Riveter on the cover (she’s who I’m going as for Halloween. Shhh!).

Then Lana and Christine put in for this fabulous Tiffany’s coffee table book. I do love my Tiffany’s!

The (other) birthday presents.

Tess’s birthday was back in early October, but she’s so hard to buy for I offered to take her book shopping, where she chose Blood by Tony Birch, who was her uni lecturer. The campy blood bookmark I got her to go along with it was particularly fitting!

The housemate pedicure.

Whilst I was painting my nails during The Slap, my housemate Eddie offered his big toe. I think red’s a good colour on him, don’t you?

The 21st.

One of my younger co-workers, Jackson (not pictured), turned 21 over the weekend. Attending it made me realise just how old I am! “Nobody likes you when you’re 23…”

The car ride home.

Said 21st really took it out of me, and I had to work the next day, so I got a ride home at about 11:30. An hour and a half later, at 1am, I was finally home! Roadworks in the city meant a 20 minute drive turned into a road trip. Luckily we had sparklers to keep us entertained!

The movie.

What’s Your Number review to come later today.

The Melbourne Festival talks.

Last Thursday night, I attended a talk about the Arab Spring as part of the You Say You Want a Revolution series. How serendipitous, then, that Muammar Gaddafi was pronounced dead the next morning! That night I also went to see Not Sorry Enough. Both good events, but they tended to leave me and my fellow attendees with more questions than before.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Did Rosie the Riveter Wear Hotpants?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 13th October 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Slap & Men Who Cheat.

Did Rosie the Riveter Wear Hotpants?


From Tiger Beatdown:

“… It is true: Beyonce does in fact dress as the iconic proto-feminist industrial worker when she has a particularly tough mechanical project to attend to. And she is, in fact, wearing hot pants! However… for those who take issue with the accuracy of her costume, remember: We only ever saw Rosie the Riveter from the waist up. We don’t know what kind of pants she was wearing. Rosie the Riveter may not have worn pants at all.

If this is true, I’m totes going as her for Halloween next year. And no, it’s not too early to start planning my outfit! We can do it!

Related: The Witching Hour: Halloween/My Birthday at Witches in Britches Cabaret.

Elsewhere: [Tiger Beatdown] Why Don’t You Love Beyonce? An Inquiry.

[Jezebel] The Many Incarnations of Rosie the Riveter.