Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Salem, Massachusetts: If You're In The Mood For Halloween

There are people that I've worked with and others who live near my home on Staten Island who are totally into Halloween. I mean seriously into Halloween! I'm talking graveyards on the front lawn, giant spiders attached to the sides of homes and and eerie bloodcurdling howls electronically projected into the street. I'm not one of them however, a scarecrow and handsome pumpkin does it for me, but I've come to appreciate these 'macabre' decorators as I walk around my neighborhood this month.

A green satin witch hat
This weekend we took a trip to Salem, Massachusetts. A Halloween lovers paradise just 40 minutes north of Boston, this historic town boats beautiful homes, tree-lined streets and a waterfront teeming with restaurants, boats and on this weekend, lots of witches. Yes, witches predominated as we strolled through the streets and perhaps that's because of the sordid history of this New England village. In 1692, Salem was the site of the famous witch trials and will be remembered forevermore as an example of mass hysteria and the dangers of "religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and governmental intrusion on individual liberties." (from Wikipedia) 

Salem is also famous as the birthplace of one of the most famous American writers: Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne, born on July 4th, 1804 and authored 'The Scarlett Letter', 'The House of the Seven Gables' and 'Twice-Told Tales' , three of his most noted works. The actual House of the Seven Gables still stands today in Salem and is a main tourist attraction.

A witch in a window box..of course!
There was a street fair in Salem this weekend and one of the most popular items for sale were beautifully decorated, almost couture-like, witch hats. They were everywhere and I wondered if this might be a trend that we'll start to see in the New York area this Halloween. I've attached a photo of one of the hats and some decorations that I thought were clever. I liked the pumpkin with buttons for eyes, nose and mouth, a great idea for those of us not into carving. 

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a poached salmon recipe that my sister from Florida made this summer. It's perfect for October...the lovely orange (well, salmon is kind of orange) color pairs well with a green salad and roasted potatoes. 

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