We continue the series on walking Buffalo, from the intrepid couple who walked every day—no matter the weather—in the first 30 months of Covid. They think (without being systematic) they walked every street in Buffalo, and many in other cities and towns, taking some 20,000 photos, some of which are shared in this series. While not itineraries, we hope to encourage others to “walk the walk,” to see, observe and appreciate Buffalo—and beyond. William Graebner and Dianne Bennett are also 5 Cent Cine’s film critics, here.
Today’s Photo-Essay: Halloween
Fall may be the best walking season. The weather’s invigorating but not yet intimidating, and the streets are unusually entertaining, as Western New Yorkers celebrate the 2,000 year-old moment, when, according to Celtic tradition, the boundaries between the living and the dead are blurred. Sounds like zombies, ala George Romero’s 1968 classic, “Night of the Living Dead.” But in 2021 and 2022, when all but two of the following photographs were taken, we didn’t see any zombies.
Nor, surprisingly, did we see many witches, despite being on a “witch hunt” of sorts. Here’s one the few witches we found, part of an intricate North Tonawanda display.
A Lower Ebenezer (West Seneca) witch, clutching a telephone pole.
Another use of a telephone pole. We assume this is/was a Halloween decoration, but maybe not, given that we came upon it in March.
Stuffed legs and bodies have become a Halloween staple.
Blow-up figures are big, too. Dead-end Keppel Street (below) in the “Valley” District had the best overall collection of blow-ups.
But the best single blow-up may be this one, in a Silver Creek front yard.
Of the monsters, this one in Parkside is a winner.
Gravestones are a favorite Halloween decoration. They often come with a sense of humor, based on puns.
Many yards have a focus (blow-ups, gravestones, a monster) but some might be described as “kitchen sink” yards, as in “everything but the kitchen sink.” This one, in Riverside, features crime-scene and biohazard tape.
Our walks began with Covid, and Covid “haunted” Halloween in 2020 and 2021, influencing how folks socialized during the evening, and how “treats” were distributed. We spent Halloween 2021 on the streets of the near-in suburb of Snyder, where parents gathered in Covid-like fashion in their driveways, and candy was to be taken from a table, rather than offered by a hand.
At this East Side residence, the skeletons were social distancing….
The Covid years were also politically intense, and now and then politics found its way onto the Halloween stage:
As you may have noticed, the favored Halloween decoration was the skeleton—likely a product of the age of plastics. They must be inexpensive, because I counted 6, including a couple of climbers, in this Niagara Falls yard.
A huge one, in North Tonawanda:
Out in Eggertsville/Cleveland Hill, “Rex” was about to be launched into space, while another was filming the scene for CBS. Go figure.
And here’s my favorite, taken on the weekend that the Bills managed to defeat the Baltimore Ravens after playing badly for much of the first half. I posted it on my Facebook page, musing that it represented the Bills’ performance in the first 22 minutes of the first half. The posting did not go over well, with FB friends irritated at what they saw as my failure to understand that the game is 60 minutes long.