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New Yorkers scavenge for Halloween costumes hoping Frankenstorm doesn't spoil the fun

posted 27 Oct 2012, 08:19 by Mpelembe   [ updated 27 Oct 2012, 08:19 ]

Big Bird, Batman villain - Bane and other wacky and scary characters are hoping to make an appearance on Halloween if Hurricane Sandy, nicknamed "Frankenstorm" for its timing, doesn't rain on the holiday spirit.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORKUNITED STATES (OCTOBER 26, 2012) (REUTERS) -  It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween.

Floods of New Yorkers made a mad dash on Friday (October 26) to snag the creepiest, craziest, funniest and even scariest costumes they could get their hands on.

But last-minute shoppers won't find some of this year's coveted costumes on Halloween Adventure's racks according to owner Tony Bianchi.

"This is what's left of Big Bird...the other characters that nobody cares about. 'Cause my contention is there's one sexy big bird left" Bianchi said, referring to one female Big Bird costume left hanging.

"But Big Bird flew the coup a long time ago and these other characters will sell, but they weren't as popular as Big Bird. But if Big Bird's out of business, so is Oscar the Grouch. You know what I mean?"

After Romney named Big Bird as part of a promise to pull government funding for public television, Obama's campaign released a caustic ad mocking Romney for thinking the character was a "big, yellow menace to our economy," putting all of Sesame Street and its characters in the spotlight.

"I wish Romney or Obama spoke about some other characters 'cause whatever they speak about, you know, they want to lampoon it," Bianchi said.

"And somebody was kidding me...needed a binder costume."

But Bianchi said he was surprised to see Bane, the villain in the latest Batman movie, sell out.

"There was the terrible atrocity in the movie theaters was with Batman. That was the beginning of the season," Bianchi said, referring to the Colorado mass shooting where a gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of Batman, leaving 12 people dead.

"That wasn't good. The irony is that the Bane costume is the most popular costume. He's the villain in Batman. We've sold hundreds of those masks, you know, and they're all sold out."

As shoppers stretched their imagination and accessorized their costumes, New Yorkresident Jonathan Brenner just wanted to keep it simple.

"I'm being really creative and getting everything in a bag and getting this to accompany it," Brenner said holding up his nun costume.

But Isabel Wilder from London, who was going to be dressed as the character Sandy from the musical "Grease", said Halloween in New York is a big deal.

"I think you just go over the top here," Wilder told Reuters.

"Like everyone's out to have a good time and everyone just wants to have the best costume and everyone really takes it seriously, so it's really fun."

Jose Toro was hoping to cause a few spooks with his werewolf costume.

"It's not a normal costume," said Toro, who said the mask has an animated feature.

"The mask - it opens, it closes its mouth, so it's going to...I'm hoping, I'm hoping it will create some kind of a scare out there."

Halloween is a holiday full of creative costumes, but also creations.

Master carver Ray Villafane and his team chipped away at their zombie pumpkin for their Halloween exhibit, which will be displayed at the New York Botanical Gardens.

"I always say that if Dorothy walked through a pumpkin patch, it would be my type of pumpkins that she would see on the ground. And that's what I want when we're done. I want my sculptors to stand back and look at it and we feel like, wow, we took that pumpkin and now it's alive, you know, and that's our goal is to make these pumpkins, you know, breathe a little bit of life into it," Villafane told Reuters.

New Yorkers are hoping Hurricane Sandy, which threatens to wreak havoc along theU.S. East Coast, won't dampen their spirits around the holiday.