Trick or Treat Tips and Tricks: Brooklyn Edition

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It’s never too late to rediscover your passion for trick-or-treating. For those of your new to New York (or new to post-adolescent trick-or-treating), Brooklyn native Mariela Quintana has the scoop on the borough’s best locations, as well as tips and tricks for uncovering the best candy. Tomorrow we’ll hear from Upper West Sider Eliza Shapiro. 

It would be impossible to attempt to tackle every neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn in one night, so here is a survey of some of its most noteworthy Halloween destinations.    

Essentially, Brooklyn Heights is the Greenwich, CT of the borough.  On nearly every residential block you’ll find Saab station wagons double-parked outside of brownstones unloading gaggles of boys and girls clad in tennis whites.  Although the WASP-factor is unusually high for a Brooklyn neighborhood, the affluence and family-orientation of the Heights’ residents lends itself to Halloween.  The best block to hit up is the lovely, entirely residential Garden Place. There is little traffic here because the street is only a block-long, which gives it a members-only feel.

You’ll find the residents of nearly every home sitting out on their stoops doling out candy and treats.  Although the block is quite a scene, the amount of candy provided at each home is low. Perhaps it’s the influence of the Brooklyn Heights Anglican Church just around the corner, but a puritanical spirit pervades on Garden Place and many residents insist upon the “One Tootsie Roll Only Rule.” And expect stingy service and looks of distrust if you’re above the age of nine or if you’re not dressed as a pumpkin.  The trick to maximizing your candy-acquisition on Garden Pl. is repetition.  Once you get to the end of the block, just cross the street and do it all over again.

If the country-club atmosphere of Garden Pl. doesn’t appeal to you, try your luck in Carroll Gardens, where you’ll find none of the stuffiness of the Heights. For the best of the area’s Halloween decorations, head to Second Pl., Third Pl. and Carroll St.  On these three blocks, you’ll find homes wrapped in purple, orange and green synthetic cobwebs, stoops with multiple jack-o-lanterns, and everything from mutilated limbs, cadavers, witches, bats and vampires hanging from the Sycamore trees lining the block.  The residents are a friendly bunch.  You’ll enjoy their costumes — think lots of fake blood and many mad scientists — almost as much as you’ll enjoy the handfuls of candy they offer.  

Although it offers less of the old-world spirit of Carroll Gardens, Park Slope is yet another neighborhood with a swinging Halloween scene.  Expect to see kids of all ages roaming the streets of the Slope on Halloween.  You’ll be sure to run into as many caravans of strollers as you will gangs of loud, egg-carton and silly string toting pre-teens. 

The residents of the Slope are much more amenable to the older set of tricker-treaters and always appreciate the clever and creative costume-wearers.  Favorites usually include Left-Wing inspired get-ups (Swing States and Betty Friedan), and intellectual costumes like crimson robed Harvard grads, Emmanuel Kants and the like. 

Make sure to get pass by Carroll St (about twenty avenues east of the one in Carroll Gardens) Montgomery Pl. and Third St.  If you’re set on hauling tons of candy, make sure to get to Third St. early.  Almost every resident sits out and offers only the finest of candies.  You’ll find no Dum Dums and fun-size Good n’ Plenties here.  Instead you’ll enjoy full size Reeses Cups, entire Snickers and Butterfingers bars and homemade pumpkin muffins.  The “candy bar guy” lives on the north side of the street; he’s always there and never lets down! 

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1 Comment

  1. sev  

    don't forget the massive shaving cream fights in the slope for the 12-15 "too old to trick or treat" set.

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