I live in Halloween Central, just off Russell Street. For those who live here, there’s a choice between campaign-scale planning or turning out the lights and hiding for an evening. Last year we gave out 2,000 pieces of candy — and that’s by strictly rationing trick-or-treaters to one piece each.

My neighbor started building his elaborate front-yard construction last weekend. It’s a Star Wars theme. I’ve heard that the so-called Haunted House, on the corner of Russell and Kelsey is going with a caveman theme this year.

But I’m puzzled, as I am every year, about Halloween costumes. We’re not, perhaps sadly, a family that does homemade costumes for the kids. I find, however, the ubiquitous Spirit stores depressing, tacky places. Someone has suggested that we go (perish the thought) through the tunnel to a place in Lafayette to buy costumes. Certainly Berkeley can do better. Where’s the place to go that has choice for an 11-year old and a 14-year old and doesn’t make my heart sink?

Photo by The Foo 2007 on Flickr

Lance Knobel

Lance Knobel (co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain,...

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  1. I just went through my Halloween photos, and not only are you at Halloween Central, but the home at Ashby & Piedmont has the best pumpkin carvings I’ve ever seen.

    Just posted some Halloween Events (Parade on upper Solano Avenue Friday morning, a Mask Contest and Candlelight Procession at Grace North Church – ending at Peet’s Flagship Store at Walnut and Vine at 6 pm, and a movie with free popcorn at Ray’s Pumpkin Patch in Albany 6-8 pm.

    More details and lots of photos of the amazing pumpkins at our blog: http://berkeleyhomes.com/blog/2009/10/29/neighborhoods-san-francisco-bay-area/east-bay/berkeley/north-berkeley-gourmet-ghetto/halloween-is-always-lots-of-fun-in-berkeley-there-are-parades-and-amazing-pumpkins/

  2. Where to go? Thrift stores of course! Living in Berkeley, you have children, and this doesn’t even occur to you? Wow!

    Thrift stores put out entire racks of costumes around this time of year.