There’s a reason fall is the best season in New York, and it’s not just the weather. The July-August lull induces heightened levels of anxiety in the city’s residents, so by the time September and October roll around, things are crazy. There’s a fashion show, gallery opening, or cocktail party every night, which you either are or aren’t invited to, and people’s favorite topic of conversation is invariably how busy they are.
The hysteria culminates in the lead-up to Halloween, when people fly into the city in expensive outfits to attend expensive parties. Lavish events pop up in every direction, and those who wouldn’t usually attend them scramble for tickets with high and easily dashed expectations. Here’s a guide to who’s coming and who isn’t, and why.
The 40-Something-Year-Old Socialite
You might stop by your friend’s exclusive “ancient Egypt”-themed party on the Upper East Side, where the costumes are understated, which means people wear black and layer their gold and diamond chains. If the night gets really good, you might snap a selfie with Derek Blasberg.
The Eurotrash Groupie Here for “Hallo-Weekend”
You lived in New York for six months once, so you better make your mark on Halloween this year. You never go to raves but buy a $150 Circoloco ticket anyway. Pre-drinks are at Sant Ambroeus SoHo in a metallic Ekat suit. By the time you’re in Queens, you wonder why people even like raves—they’re packed and sweaty, and the music is too loud. You post an Instagram photo and caption it “Back home, heart is full.”
The Upper East Sider Who Gets Out of Dodge
You skip town for London during Halloween because the city is “just too much.” In Mayfair, you dress up and go to Loulou’s, or a certain Russian oligarch’s house, for a “New York”-themed night, wearing a La Perla slip. Things are so much more elevated across the Atlantic.
The Kappa from Jersey City
You hit up your Tulane friends and put on a recycled Santa outfit and too much red lipstick. You start the night at Hair of the Dog before the main event—Hotel Chantelle. It’s not Halloween if someone’s not making out with the bartender. You love screaming in the street. Your ass comes out after midnight.
The Queen of FOMO
You buy tickets to seven different $250 events and wear your brand-new Screaming Mimis corset with a fresh pair of cat ears, but you end up tucked in bed at one A.M. after a short jaunt to the Matte Projects party. The next day, after asking all of your closest friends for advice, you caption your requisite Halloween Instagram post with a single rose emoji.
The Founder and Creative Director
You wouldn’t be caught dead at any of the ticketed events but might stop by Ellafunt for a drink. You host an exclusive Halloween soirée in your SoHo loft, themed “black-tie Barbie.” You wait until Monday to post on Instagram—a mirror selfie with your Condé Nast friends captioned “An intimate evening with my favorite people.” Halloween is just so passé.
The Tuluminati Transplant
You used to invariably attend the Burning Man–sponsored City of Gods party in Brooklyn, but now you spend Halloween at a $2,000 “covert” Día de los Muertos festival in Oaxaca. Some would call it bad House music, but you prefer the term “sonic journey.” You don’t have a scary outfit, but you do wear a sequined cape.
The Finance Bro
You try your hardest to copy your most “alternative” friend’s outfit but inevitably end up dressing up as Austin Powers. A trip to Brooklyn Mirage marks your first and last time in the borough this year. You’re back in Murray Hill by two A.M. after a slobbery make-out session with a solid four. Another epic night on the books with the bros.
You wear the same matching tinsel outfit to the Boom Boom Room as last year, but you think your abs look better this time. Your friends comment, “Major slay,” or say things like “Your trap just quenched my thirst.” You chronicle every twerk on your Halloween-roundup TikTok.
The Brooklyn Rave Veteran
Halloween is pretty much the only excuse you have left to take drugs for three days in a row or, even better, attend a seven A.M. after-party with a grown man in a Pope hat. You wear what you normally would and complain about the “vanilla” people at Resolute. Who are they all, anyway? And where did they come from?
Elena Clavarino is a Senior Editor at AIR MAIL