The Upper East Side of Manhattan in October

When one thinks of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, you often imagine rows of elegant townhouses and apartment buildings, interspersed with high-end shops, elegant restaurants, and schools with children in tidy uniforms. All those things are true, but they aren’t the entire story. The idea of the Upper East Side as a stuffy, reserved neighborhood is negated every October when walking through the gauntlet of Halloween decorations that adorn block after block in the neighborhood. Some decor is indeed elegant but much of it – much more than you would expect – ranges from spooky to terrifying. I have posted before about Halloween decor in NYC (here and here for instance) but this post is specifically about the Upper East Side this year, with a bonus of a dog costume contest held yearly in Carl Schurz Park!

I have posted a few videos on Instagram, too – here’s an example.

Here’s another video that I posted on Instagram. This was one of the more terrifying displays, and the sound was triggered by someone walking by.

Another Instagram video, just to give more of the flavor of being in front of one of these houses.

Although a lot of those photos may make the Upper East Side seem like a terrifying place in October, there are more light-hearted things to enjoy as well! One of the best is the yearly “Halloween Howl” dog costume contest held in that well-kept secret treasure of NYC, Carl Schurz Park in the Yorkville neighborhood of the Upper East Side (I’ve blogged about it before, in general and after a snowstorm). Here are a few photos from this year:

Now, a lot of these same townhouses decorate for the December holidays as well, but there is nothing quite like the gothic excess of so many of these decorations! Walking to an appointment on the Upper East Side in October, with the first touches of chill in the air, and taking in the sights of what my fellow New Yorkers have done to celebrate the season in the city – and share it with others – I am reminded once again of how fortunate I am to live and work in this vibrant city.

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