If you live in New York and have never visited the New York Public Library‘s main branch at Bryant Park, shame on you. If you’re a non-New Yorker, add it to your future bucket list. I don’t need to justify this.
With that said, I could never say no to a literary Halloween party at this gorgeous library. I owe a big thanks to my friend Hilary for inviting me to the most lit party of the year (yes, the puns were used): The Library After Hour’s Halloween Masquerade on Oct. 26.
Many literary heroines have influenced my life, so I didn’t take the costume decision lightly. However, there’s only one character who inspired my feminist awakening at 17: Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter. Yes, I vividly remember reading this classic novel in my parent’s driveway during my senior year in high school and realizing I was a feminist and that the world needed more of us. This book got me to where I am today.
Thus, I dressed as Hester for the Halloween Masquerade.
Now I didn’t say it was the most creative costume, and many fellow literary lovers at the party put forth much more effort into becoming Nathaniel Hawthorne’s infamous character. But I was Hester nonetheless.
Hilary went as my second favorite heroine: Hermione Granger, time-turner, badassery, and all.
Let’s be real for a second: People went all out for this event and rightfully so. We had people to impress as the Masquerade’s main event comprised a parade of costumes judged by a panel of literary and fashion experts, including Tim Gunn.
First place understandably went to a woman dressed as plums in an icebox from William Carlos Williams’ 1934 poem, This Is Just to Say.
My favorite costume went to Forrest Gump and Jenny though. Now was it that unique? Was it punny? No to both, but the couple committed, and I commend them for that.
I also learned of some new books with the creativity these party-goers brought with them.
Kudos to everyone who participated in this fun event, even those whose costumes had nothing to do with literature (I’m looking at you and your awesome costume, laundromat mascot)! I can’t wait to see what creativity New Yorkers come up with next year.