By Bohemia Agent Lara Allen
Here are some costume suggestions, a Trick or Treat route along with a soundtrack made up of legends, all of whom once resided in Harlem.
Photo by Arthur Tress
Celebrate Halloween AND the death of Harry Houdini. Don a straight jacket, levitate past the magician’s former residence at 278 West 113th St., all the while buzzing along to Scott Joplin’s “Magnetic Rag”.
Wanna be sexy of course you do! Be Beelzebub and slink past the General Headquarters of the Soul Saving Station (too late!) at Saint Nicholas Ave. & West 124th St. Continue uptown doing James P. Johnson’s “Harlem Strut”.
Be a hoarder. Disguise yourself in booby traps, bread boxes and pianos while you haunt the Collyer Brother's vest-pocket park at the northwest corner of West 128th & Fifth Ave. If anyone complains, make your getaway song “Misterioso” by Thelonius Monk.
On Striver’s Row, (West 138th & 139th Streets btw Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. & Frederick Douglass Blvd.), float on top of a million dollar coffin, wear an inflatable zoot suit and conjure up Cab Calloway’s “Ghost of Smokey Joe”.
Everyone loves a clown! Unicycle around the Bailey House at 10 Saint Nicholas Place in Sugar Hill, coyly mocking yourself with Fats Waller’s “Your Feets Too Big". Too much work? Be an undertaker who livens up the party — in Trinity
Cemetery, 770 Riverside Dr. — dancing with the headstones to Fats’ rendition of “Dem Dry Bones”.
Drawing by Alice Neel
Roll on down to a Harlem rent party dressed as a bathtub full of gin. Wow your friends as you gurgle along to Willie “The Lion” Smith’s Harlem stride piano classic “Finger Buster” and Eubie Blake’s “Charleston Rag”.
In honor of Lady Day, you and a cohort dress as a Pig Foot and a Bottle of Beer. Amble up to the abandoned bandshell in Jackie Robinson Park at 85 Bradhurst and do the huckle buckle till the wagon comes.
Wanna be creepy? Dress as a baby and shout along to Fanny Brice’s “Second Hand Rose” from up in a tree somewhere…..surprise me.