With Halloween finally behind us, Isla Vista is tired and breathing a sigh of relief. Now that we’ve gotten at least one full night’s sleep, we, the Eye on I.V. columnists, have taken a look back on the weekend and can dole out our thoughts on how it all went. Henry Sarria’s got a run down of the night in general, Nicki Arnold gives you a glimpse of how a simple costume got turned into a violent political symbol, and Cat Neushul wraps it up with cleaning up the mess after the party.
As exhausting as the ordeal may be, it’s just another one of those things that makes I.V. unique.
Everybody Parties on Halloween
By Henry Sarria
Tyvek suit? Check. M-17 gas mask? Check. Latex gloves? Check! Let’s hit the streets of Isla Vista and see how a real Halloween celebration is done!
Sure, La Crosse, Wisconsin, has Oktoberfest, New Orleans, Lousiana, has Mardi Gras, and Time Square in New York has New Year’s Eve. But there is something about Halloween in Isla Vista that allows anyone of any age to relive those bygone days of youth and feel proud in the process.
My wife (dressed in a Mardi Gras feather mask, miniskirt, and high-heeled boots) and me (dressed as Hazmat guy) hit the streets just as the sun went down. We hit the party mecca known as Del Playa Drive and it was an instant return to childhood fantasyland.
We saw Gingi the gingerbread man, found Waldo, hung out with lucha libre luchadores, naughty nurses, Teletubbies, nasty schoolgirls, pimps, and Wonder Woman. The one thing I couldn’t understand was why were so many guys dressed as Officer Dangle from Reno 911. (They say a costume is a function of inner fantasies, and if this is true … )
So the party was on! On the way to Del Playa we noticed some of the local families out with their kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. That was awesome to see, considering the sentiment by some in this college town against the presence of families or anybody not a UCSB student. Keep in mind, boys and girls, they’ve been here longer than many of you will ever be and will remain long after you’re gone. A simple rule: Be good to your neighbors.
My costume drew a lot of thumbs ups and on numerous occasions I was asked if I’ve ever taken bong rips using my trusty M-17 gas mask. My answer was no, I haven’t, especially since I don’t smoke pot, but thanks for the suggestion.
It was awesome to see everybody in the mix having fun and showing respect to the officers on hand to oversee the wildness known as Isla Vista Halloween. Both sides of the fence looked like they were having fun and there didn’t seem to be the tension that used to exist in the past. I think we’ve all moved past that, but I’m just stating that from my point of view. I spoke with a few officers I know and they said all was going as smooth as possible.
As the night progressed, so did the crowd capacity on Del Playa. That’s when we made or escape to our home on Sueno.
Saturday night was a repeat of the Friday night madness, but it seemed a little less crowded since the “official” Halloween night was Friday. Still, lots of costumes, laughs, and fun.
As Sunday morning rolled around it was funny to see survivors of the previous night’s festivities stroll down our street, a bit worn from the fun, some lugging backpacks, pillows, and sleeping bags to make their treks back to wherever home might be. The one that had my wife laughing was the guy walking down the street calling for his mommy in a distressed voice. I think he got the worst of Isla Vista Halloween.
These days, with every negative influence thrown at us from every direction, it is great to see that on one night in a densely populated town, everybody can come together and celebrate in a way that no other place can compare to. Happy Halloween, Isla Vista! You came through again.
By Nicki Arnold
When I went wandering down Del Playa Drive on Friday, October 31, dressed in my hot pink flamingo costume, I wasn’t planning on talking politics. But then I walked down the block behind three friends’ huge rainbow, arm and arm with another friend who happened to be a girl, and I didn’t have much of a choice.
My friends Krista and Emily created a five-foot-tall cardboard rainbow, cut it in half and made face holes near the bottom of each side so they could hold up their creation and stick their heads through. Their friend dressed as a pot of gold and followed them around all night. While they all happen to be pro-gay rights and anti-Proposition 8, they said they didn’t make the costume because they wanted to make a statement. Rainbows are pretty, which makes them as good a costume as any.
But some couldn’t appreciate the rainbow for its aesthetic beauty.
“Fucking fags!” more than one group of jerks yelled at us. Angry revelers looked straight at the rainbow and punched it, seemingly pissed that anyone would celebrate a rainbow’s existence.
Courtesy Nicki Arnold's drunk friend