Nightmare on 102nd Street
I want to say a special word of thanks to the photographer with the keen eye, who nailed the shot at left. Our multi-talented, boundlessly good-natured Ozzie Alfonso, himself a neighborhood treasure, captured it and many others on this page.
His wife, Maura Gouck, pinch hit while Ozzie was stuck at his day job teaching video to college students. But he prevailed and made it to the block on time. You'll see in the gallery below how his pictures have a storybook feel. The Butterfly, for example, looks like an illustration more than a photograph. Ozzie, is there anything you can't do?
Block Association friends Jesse Banning and Mikhael Plain collaborated on a cake to end all cakes. By the time most neighbors got to it, it was sliced and diced into so many pieces; but before the carving of the cake, it was a glory! Mikhael, below, did the decorating. When asked for his method, he shrugged and made it sound like...well, a piece of cake. "Jesse came up with the idea of orange frosting with black. I originally wanted to do spider webs out of black licorice but was unable to find what I wanted. When Jesse made the cookie crumbs for the sides, she mentioned I could use the leftovers for the ground and maybe do a cemetery. From there, I just kept expanding with the silhouette idea and used uneven lines to keep a spooky effect. I added the leftover leaves used in the cake to incorporate a bit of color and the illusion of the autumn wind blowing. It was done freehand with homemade black icing. I don't have formal training but luckily have a pretty good eye. It was a lot of fun to create."
The more you look at his silhouettes and sparkly swirls, the more you realize that this was decorated by a master. Yet another talented Block Assocation friend.
Before wrapping this up, one person in particular must be cited: Jane Hopkins, take a bow! Jane got the whole thing organized and made sure there was candy aplenty. Terence Hanrahan was right there, too... Can anyone confirm if he was dressed as Wavy Gravy this year?
Anyway, Jane is one of those Block Association members who are hard at work on several projects throughout the year and who steps forward when duty calls, no matter how ghoulish. There are a lot of others, too, and surely I've forgotten you. But know that there was a smile on everyone's face...until the post-sugar crash. But we volunteers were home free by then.
Special thanks to BAiP for bringing in a volunteer crew and donations from its members. Thanks, too, go to both Block Associations' members who donated goods and treats.
And finally, there's one other entity without which the event is simply not possible! Our friends at St. Luke's donated muscle and oomph, tables and supplies, cake batter and icing. So, thanks for the success of this event must go to the St. Luke's angels: Janelle Thompson, the cook; Valerie Williams, the assistant; Millie Curbelo, a therapist; and most specially to Ray Dooley, the house manager. Angie Townsend, too! These folks have spirit in spades, and they are great friends to your block association.
The gallery of ghouls, girls and boys is below. Feast your eyes! And for goodness sake, gape at those fabulous pumpkins. Who authored those?! And finally, kiss the Pope's ring...he led the parade, I'm told.
By Caitlin Hawke
Photo credits: mostly to Ozzie Alfonso; cake shot (and cut) by Angie Townsend