Halloween Parade Dresses Up Greenwich Village
By Andrea Swalec, Paul Lomax and Nicole Bode
GREENWICH VILLAGE — The weekend's snowstorm huffed and it puffed, but it couldn't blow away Monday's stalwart Greenwich Village Halloween parade fans who gathered from across the region along Sixth Avenue to glimpse this year's festivities.
The parade kicked off at 7:30, with an army of 20-foot tall skeleton puppets revving up the crowd by playfully chomping their teeth and swinging their bony limbs. THey were followed by giant glowing paper eyeballs and a host of tall green monsters with mirrors.
"I can't wait for my first American Halloween," cheered Nadege Malti, 17, of Lyon France, who came to the parade with a group of French High School students in town for a school trip.
Glenn Jason, 51, a carpenter from Long Island, thought the crowds looked thinner than years past but said he was ready for a rollicking parade all the same.
"I figure with the (snow)storm, some people stayed in," said Jason, who came for his fifth installment of the 39-year-old annual parade.
Jessica Novak, 30, a grad student from SoHo, was standing on Sixth Avenue near West Third Street, and said she couldn't wait until the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance crew passed by.
"A good 'Thriller' dance would be great," said Novak, who said she had no trouble getting a spot close up to the front of the barricades after arriving only an hour before the start of the parade.
Miguel Guerrero, 55, a superintendent at 290 Sixth Ave. at Third Street, dressed for the occasion by donning a border patrol cap. He climbed up onto a ladder and roped off the building's entryway and fire escape with fire line "do not cross" tape.
"Many years, people come and try to hang off the fire escape," said Guerrero, who has been the super for 17 years at the building that overlooks the parade route.
"The parade is beautiful but some people make trouble," he said.
Malin Eriksson, 20, an au pair visiting from Sweden, donned a pink wig to get into the Halloween spirit.
"People here are so creative. We do Halloween in Sweden but it's nothing like this," she said.
Eriksson, who was standing at Sixth Ave. and Bleecker, said her favorite costumes were a mad scientist with a fake baby and someone dressed as a bar of soap.
Illeana Rodriguez, 19, of New Rochelle, said it was her first time to the parade.
"We came down here because it's not that live up there. We barely saw people dressed up there," said Rodriguez, who was dressed up as a Native American princess.