Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or treat

A quick stop at the office between coming back from the Interfaith Assembly retreat and going back north to the Presbytery Council reteat in Garrison, New York. I don't want to go. A moment to catch up with Danielle and to prepare the Sunday service, then off again. The first of three days of people in costumes. In New York City, on Halloween, how do you tell who’s in a costume?
Arrive back in the city after a horrendous five and a half hour drive through a blizzard. A usual hour fifteen max. The Palisades Parkway was other worldly. Tree branches, still filled with leaves, unable to bear the weight of snow. Cracking and breaking, falling across the highway. I see a car with a tree through its back window. Stopped under a tree, a load of snow falls and stops my wipers. I have to get out and clear it off. Luckily, traffic had ground to a halt. At Exit 7, highway completely closed, traffic rerouted north woth no directions to get back south. I wander off into a small town, eventually find my way to the New York State throughway and then the Sawmill. Further south, it’s pouring rain, not snow. Parts of the Sawmill flooded. I’ve been amazingly calm through all this.
At the church, I’m amazed at what Samantha and Lilly and her family have done to the basement for Halloween. They’re surprized to see me, send me back out so that they can properly greet me. I go in through the cemetery, a ghoul jumps out at me and I give them a proper scream. Each room, so recently Tenant space, done up in its own unique  scary character. Cobwebs, body parts, severed fingers, skeletons. And Stephen playing DJ with reggaeton.
The snow kept the afternoon crowd down, though still there were arts and crafts for children and a screening of  Casper the Ghost. Even a family from Brooklyn saw the sign and came in. 
At the bar, I’m drinking sangria. Leila tells me that this cold snowy morning, the NYPD and FDNY had entered Zucotti and removed  all the generators. They’ve been using them for months, she says, why did they choose today? With the snowstorm? Yes, why indeed. Their source of heat, of power for cooking, cell phone charging and internet sending and receiving gone. Trick or treat. 
There’s arroz con pollo, with sausage and olives. Cupcakes and Marsha’s rich cornbread muffins.  I wonder how Halloween came to be such a big tradition for  the Martinez/Santiago/Ayala clan. Lilly tells me it was always just been  her favorite holiday. They’ve produced more than one great Halloween party here. 
Outside, it’s bitter cold. Somone, I can’t tell who, is asleep in the center doorway.

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