Halloween is a choice holiday whose honor I will defend to the death, only it sort of sucks in New York City. I will not be taking questions at this time, but I would like to just draw a big black line under the following fact series: Going anywhere becomes exponentially more expensive on Halloween, and logarithmically less fun, due to the presence of swarming human monsters elevated to new levels of monstrosity by alcohol and relative anonymity and the understanding that this day was made for chaos. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if so many bros didn't seem to interpret Halloween as an excuse to really let their worst selves shine, and that — coupled with the proliferation of Ticketed Events — is more than enough to break a brain.
So! It is with total skepticism that I report: A new survey has crowned NYC the best place to go for Halloween, at least in this country.
This dubious data analysis comes from Wallet Hub, which tried to score 100 U.S. cities on three metrics: Friendliness to trick-or-treaters, Halloween fun, and Halloween weather. With regards to the first two, you can see where we might look particularly good on paper: A lot of people, some might say too many people, live in this cursed city, meaning more candy buckets proffered to area kids. From their perspective (the children's, not the buckets') I can see where it could be glorious to enter an apartment building and hit six to, I don't know, 86??? floors of back-to-back-to-back candy stops. But then, it's unclear to me whether or not people actually put out candy, or whether or not you can trick-or-treat in buildings you don't live in, or if you rely on area businesses to fill in the gaps. Still, NYC is highly walkable, and we do have a big parade that's probably big fun for attendees who don't have to worry about any of the logistics, just dressing up and watching from an adult's shoulders.
Halloween parades did not factor specifically into Wallet Hub's entertainment rubric, but there, too, you can see how NYC weaseled its way to the top of the heap: Bars and clubs per capita? Costume and candy and party supply stores? Number of Halloween parties, albeit freakishly expensive ones? The sheer volume of activity options is bound to beat out the competition. But this is a quantitative question, whereas the title of "best" anything is inherently qualitative, and just because we have a bounty of alcohol pits and mass parties does not guarantee they're good. [Editor's Note: Know what is good? Subway Halloween is good.]
Do you want my advice? It's basically the same thing I told you to do on New Year's Eve: Shelter in place. Find a house party (some would say this is easier to do in costume, even if you don't happen to know anyone hosting), have a house party, seek out a bar you know and trust, or, okay fine, go see the spooky decor on spooky houses, or take a haunted graveyard walk, or fight your way to the front of the parade line. Or just... stay in and watch something spooky! Read something spooky. Fill your ears with spooky sounds. Spend some quality time looking at all your pumpkins before you sacrifice them in a ceremonial smashing on November 1st. You will miss them when they're gone.