November 2nd 2010 Hallowe’en

Despite a promise I made to myself two years ago, I did not participate in any costumed Halloween shenanigans this year. Call me a Samhain scrooge if you wish, but I think I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m just not into the whole Halloween thing. That said, Halloween in New York is much more exciting than Halloween in the backwoods of central Pennsylvania, and although I didn’t venture out to any explicitly festive events for my first Halloween in the city, I came home with a few memorable treats.

Specifically, those treats came from McDonald’s. I hung out with a friend in Gramercy Park on Saturday night. Around 2:30 we both suddenly agreed, as if through some psychic connection, that we were hungry, so we went out for a couple of cheeseburgers. McDonald’s was the only nearby restaurant still open. New York’s weird like that: a lot of places don’t stay open late. I’m still used to Lewisburg, PA, where there’s always a Dunkin’ Donuts or Sheetz open twenty-four hours. New Yorkers don’t put up with that shit, I guess. A McDonald’s in Manhattan must make a killing at night, though, because that place was bursting at the seams with Halloweeners, like costumed sardines packed in a can with oil. The staff was so overwhelmed that they dispensed with the computerized queue and just microwaved beef and buns as patrons called out their orders.

One girl kept asking for an Angus burger “without the Angus beef”; in response to our quizzical stares, she reiterated, “I’m a vegetarian,” as if that explained everything. But it didn’t; if she was a vegetarian, why didn’t she just get a cheeseburger without the burger? What was so damn special about the most expensive burger on the menu? Take away the Angus beef, and you have a quarter pounder without the meat.

Only in New York.