Houses of chill repute
Escaping my home for Halloween
By Dan O'Heron 10/18/2012
Over the last several Halloween nights, I’ve stood in front of my home, waving a glow stick, and waiting to say “Boo.” But no one ever showed — it was like I’d made the children’s “Don’t Invite” list.
To get over it, this year I plan to attend a pre-Halloween-inspired event at Il Fornaio restaurant (24 W. Union St., One Colorado, 626/683-9797). Dressed up as a pirate, I worry that it will be just another fee-fie-ho- hum something to do. But as a correspondent (a ghostwriter, if you will), I’m obligated to report about Il Fornaio’s “Girl’s Night Out.”
At $20 per woman — each is encouraged to wear a costume — the Thursday Oct. 25 wine-tasting soiree will include complementary hors d’oeuvres, prizes and raffles. But as it’s for “Women Only,” I suspect that a security guard will ask me, “What business do you have here, Captain Kidd?”
A double Halloween whammy: first ignored by kids, now women.
Before leaving, I’ll treat myself to seafood linguini at the restaurant. After the fun of bobbing and slurping, I should become more optimistic about future Halloween affairs. But then a voice from the Muse of comedy will remind me that baseless optimism is sadder to contemplate than outright defeat.
Elsewhere, in One Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there’s a pumpkin decorating contest with pumpkins provided by the host. I guess it’s for kids. My Jack-o’-lantern will have trouble smiling.
On Halloween eve, the courtyard will launch a store-to-store trick-or-treating event all throughout Old Pasadena for families and little ones. I won’t get in the way of the kids.
Later, there’s an Old Town Haunt running in the basement of the Union Savings Bank. (For details, call 626/356-9725). In a station for the departed to walk and the mascara to run, I’ll try to get attention in my Red Devil costume. With a bent wire tail, slouched forward, hands clasped behind my back, I’ll be skulking and ogling like Groucho Marx.
Changing uniforms, wanting a real meal like Chef Laurent Quenioux’s fabulous beef bourguignon, I’ll set out for a Halloween at Vertical Wine Bistro (70 N. Raymond Ave., 626/795-3999). Owner/movie producer, Gale Anne Hurd will be hosting a costume contest. A Pasadena resident, the executive producer of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was a recent recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for producing futuristic spectaculars from “Aliens” to the “Terminator” trilogy. As such, I’d think that most guests would try to impress her with get-ups like Galactic Beauty, Mr. Incredible and Arnold.
However, as Hurd’s epic productions uniquely humanized other-worldly characters, I like my chances to win without wearing a muscle morphsuit.
With Election Day just around the corner, I’ll come as Joe the Plumber, in cape with plunger. I hope there will be no duels.
Changing back to the Devil, I’ll shuffle on down to Ixtapa Cantina & Bar (119 E. Colorado Blvd., 626/304-9955) for drink and food specials (recurring from Oct. 26-Nov. 1), hopeful of getting noticed in another costume contest. Customers should love touching my bent-wire tail — something that rarely happens for me, day to day.
I’ll make excursion to midtown Pasadena and Chipotle Mexican Grill (246 S. Lake Ave., 626/229-9173). It’s not quite an exorcism, but heads are sure to turn full circle over the $2 tab for “boorito,” bowls, salads, and tacos available to guests in costume. Chainwide, the proceeds, up to $1 million, will benefit Chipotle’s charity foundation’s mission to create a more sustainable and healthy food supply. In a costume contest, celebrants can take a picture in front of the restaurant and submit it online for prizes up to $2,500. I think it is mainly for kids. Whoopie.
Then for creamed spinach and a little deceit, I’ll slip away to nearby Parkway Grill (310 S. Arroyo Parkway, 626/795-1001). After the waiter, with his usual relentless enthusiasm, finishes reciting the night’s specials, I’ll add, “Sounds dreadful.”
Growing to accept the idea that on many occasions, I am less important to other people than they are to me, I‘ll return to Old Pasadena to Wokcano restaurant (33 S. Fair Oaks Ave., 626/578-1818) and give others the heebie-jeebies. Often open until 4 a.m. and serving complete dinners like prawns and lobster tails, it makes the haunting hours really tick. I’ll be dressed at Samurai Bunny. Ignoring the chivalric code of Bushido, I’ll dare them to spurn my request for jelly beans meant for children. Revenge at last!