After Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and surrounding areas with terrific force this week, Halloween will still go on Wednesday night -- even, or perhaps especially, in neighborhoods that are in the dark.
More than 800,000 people are without power in the greater New York City region, but New Yorkers are still dressing up, going out and knocking on doors. Are you one of the New Yorkers braving the darkness to celebrate Halloween this year? We are looking for your stories and photos.
To send us pictures of your costume or your neighborhood, use the green "Add Photos" button below or tag your photos anywhere online with #TrickOrTreatNYC. You can also send us stories of your Halloween blackout by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Huffington Post's Alice Hines and Joe Satran report:
Most Wednesdays at Casa Mezcal on Orchard Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side are bustling: all the tables are full, the bar is packed two-deep with thirsty customers and the restaurant opens up its second floor for live jazz. But tonight, on Halloween, two days after power shut down throughout lower Manhattan, it's nearly empty. The restaurant is lit only by candles and it's serving an abbreviated menu of Mexican food. But drinks, chilled by ice bused in from uptown, are flowing freely. Several employees made it in to work -- because they live in the neighborhood, own a bike or were willing to ride buses for four hours to get there. But only a few local customers, like 33-year-old Nathan Frailing and 29-year-old Jessica Bailiss, who both live on Orchard, have been lured in by the music blasting out front from owner Ignacio Carballido's car. As they sit at the bar, munching on quesadillas and quaffing the eatery's signature Mezcal margaritas, Carballido bemoaned the state of his business at the height of the blackout.
"If it were a normal Halloween, we'd expect about 200 people," Carballido said. "We organized a big party but nobody came."
Carballido said he opened the restaurant as a service to the neighborhood--it's the only business open for a stretch of about two blocks--but few customers coming in don't allow him to make ends meet. He estimated he's losing about $4000 in business every day the power is out.
"It's a mentality coming from Mexico," Carballido continued. "We're used to situations like power outages, so I thought I wanted to stay open."
Carballido plans to open tomorrow if power is restored. Otherwise, he said, "It's not worth it."
You can see Alice and Joe's photo of Casa Mezcal below.
The Huffington Post's Saki Knafo and Lila Shapiro report:
The amusements parks were dark and empty. The streets were coated with sand. The power was out for blocks around. But in some ways it was a Halloween like any other. "Coney Island isn't ever really the safest place to be anyway," said Diana Tirado, an 18-year-old high school senior who was walking near the boardwalk with her friends.
If anything, maybe this year was safer, if only because hardly anyone was out, and dozens of cop cars were silently cruising the streets. Tirado thought the cops were there because of the looters -- she said people broke into a pharmacy and a McDonalds yesterday and stole a statue of Mary from outside of a church.
Most years, Halloween is a big day on Coney Island, at least for the staff of Coney Island USA, the beloved New York institution behind the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Museum, and the Halloween "Creep Show." The morning before the storm, a performer in the show had said he hoped his colleagues would have the place ready by Halloween night. Now it was Halloween night, and the place was dark and shuttered.
Driving west along Surf Avenue you passed deserted block after deserted block. Just about the only lights around were the muted police strobes and, for some reason, the sparkling shaft of a single ride, the "Astro Tower." Some hidden light source, probably a flood lamp of some kind, cast a faint glow on the Wonder Wheel. A homeless woman was showering on the beach.
Farther west, by the projects, the apartment towers and side streets were totally black. Piles of debris lined the sidewalks. A woman and two young children walked along the road with flashlights. They weren't knocking on any doors. "No one feels like giving candy right now," she said.
You can see Saki and Lila's photos of Coney Island below.
The Huffington Post's Lisa Belkin writes, "Tradition in our town is to close Main Street and have children go from one store to the next. But many of those businesses have no power, so that celebration has been postponed for a week. The tradition on our block is a party in the street then a mass trick or treat. We have no power, and there are leaves and wires everywhere. So we had a smaller version of the party -- at 4 PM while it was still light -- and brought the candy to the kids. They seemed to have fun."
The Huffington Post's Lance Gould writes, "About 15 blocks north of Brooklyn's devastated Red Hook neighborhood, the annual Cobble Hill Halloween Parade took place as scheduled. The difference this year, though, was that the center of activity -- Cobble Hill Park, between Clinton and Henry streets -- was, like all playgrounds in the city, closed for safety reasons." You can see Lance's photos of Cobble Hill Park below.
Some captions and letters have been edited for length and clarity.