Town Crier: Halloween dominates from apps to Fat Lady

MONTCLARION: October 29, 2015

Sunny and 70s. What is this — Halloween in the Caribbean?

It’s the end of October. It should be bone-chilling cold. Kids are supposed to be layering, not stripping down. The site of Dracula with a cape tied around his waste is just wrong. Yet we adapt. Look for pirates to sport sweatbands, not tricorns, this Halloween.

Nextdoor news: Want to know where to trick-or-treat with your boys and ghouls this weekend? There’s an app for that. The social network, Nextdoor, has a treat map that highlights haunted houses and homes that are passing out candy. Not everyone has signed up to put their home on the map, but it’s an idea that may pick up steam in Halloweens to come.

Around town: Why should kids have all the fun this weekend? The Fat Lady Bar & Restaurant in Jack London Square does a superb job of decorating for Halloween. This year, Pat and Nicole Rossi have created a pirate theme in the old Victorian building that once served as a bordello. The decorations will remain into November.

On stage: Speaking of pirates — the Berkeley Rep’s “Pirates of Penzance” is running through Dec. 20 at the intimate Osher Studio on Center Street. It’s a wacky, high-energy adaptation of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera that involves the audience. The Osher has promenade seating where part of the audience sits and the rest moves around with the performers in the space. It makes for a zany, interactive evening. If you go, be prepared to bat beach balls with buccaneers. Visit for more details.

Looking up: Hills homeowners are looking skyward and not just for rain clouds. The Merritt College Pruning Club is getting calls to trim Japanese maples before heavy rains do the clipping for them. The pruning club started in the late 1980s and has dozens of volunteers who prune public spaces like the Lake Merritt Japanese Gardens. They’ll prune for you, too, for a reasonable fee. See

Animal tales: Is it my imagination, or are wild turkeys taking over the planet? Everyone I talk to seems to have a flock in their yard, and the birds are destroying lawns and gardens all over the East Bay. In some neighborhoods, they roam in gangs, grousing and pecking for grubs in the grass. Even my cat is afraid of them. If they’re here on Thanksgiving, I may just invite one to dinner.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at


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