Before Crack (BC) when I was still a newbie Angeleno without many friends or city savvy for that matter, my siblings and I would venture over to the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval when we were all ghouled up with no place to go. WeHo’s Halloween street party was the safe and sexy bet for great costume ogling as people go all out with the taffeta, paper mache, feathers and makeup there. One year we saw a group of guys doing a living tableau of that famous painting, Dogs Playing Poker. Twas awesome.
Since 1987, three years after its incorporation as a tiny city within a city, West Hollywood has hosted an ever-growing Halloween celebration that now ranks among the largest costume parties in the country.
However with each passing year, the party just got more and more crowded, and not in a fun way. Plus I didn’t really drink back then so I’m sure that contributed to my inability to have a really good time. Some parts of Santa Monica Boulevard got so ridiculously packed that we could only see the tops of people’s heads, never mind their costumes. All you could do was try to squeeze by thousands of people as you slowly moved like boxed-in sheep from La Cienega to Doheny on Santa Monica. And finding a place to park was a guaranteed hassle as was the standstill traffic. Then one year when I noticed that there seemed to be more plain-clothes lookie-loos than costumed freaks, I vowed to never return and I haven’t since. It didn’t seem worth all the aggravation.
But when one of Dre’s friends invited us to go this year, I thought about it, researched the online reviews, and checked out the City of West Hollywood’s site. Even though expected turn out is 500,000 (yikes!) reading that the city will suspend permit parking eased my mind a bit; finding out that there will be five parking lots available ($10 to park) as well as a CityLine service from 5:30pm to 1:30am offered some encouragement. Hmm, maybe if we go a little early, like when the party begins at 6pm the streets will still be maneuverable. And we might even be able to get into the Abbey before things get too out of hand. Perhaps GoGo should pay a visit.
If anything, WeHo’s Halloween celebration is still a good fall-back plan for procrastinators who don’t got a raging house party to go to or for cheapskates like me who don’t want to pay a cover at a nightclub or for a concert ticket.
EVENT: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31 from 6PM to MIDNIGHT
Santa Monica Boulevard (between La Cienega to Doheny)
West Hollywood, California 90069