“Yesterday was fantastic,” said Paula Graziani of Graziani’s Restaurant. “Last week was fantastic.” She pointed to her husband and chef, declaring, “Giovanni and Paula love Halloween.”
The verdict was just as enthusiastic from Anastasia Arutkowski of Swampscott, selling hot cider outside Pamplemousse on Essex Street. “It’s been a great weekend,” she said, saluting the “top-notch costumes” she’s been seeing.
“I live for this day,” Dyan Iapicca of Salem said. “I love creepy, scary things. I love being scared. And my birthday is on the 25th.”
Dressed in black and orange, Iapicca was taking a shift at the information booth on Essex Street, helping to make sure that people’s fright didn’t include getting lost.
“Oh, my Lord,” her colleague Susan Larson said, describing the crowds, “yesterday was mobbed. It was so much fun. And last week the same thing. People kept coming and coming.”
On Liberty Street, Sidal Agdogan and Kaan Vatanper explained that they are students originally from Istanbul. “Last year, we were here,” said Agdogan, who dressed as a glamorous Little Red Riding Hood. “It was much more colorful.” Even so, she continued, “For us, it’s very different. We don’t have Halloween in Turkey.”
Vatanper, in convict stripes, stressed, “We enjoy this.”
“Even with the weather,” Agdogan said.
Asked about his companion’s eye-catching outfit, Vatanper conceded — shaking his head — that in Turkey “it wouldn’t go.”
Joe Higgins at Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints on Artists’ Row near Derby Street said he hadn’t seen a lot of foot traffic, as he’s situated at some distance from the scare shops found largely in the vicinity of Essex Street. “The Halloween crowd is not my target market.” But then he gave it a second thought and noted that he did sell a few prints thanks to the weather.
“I get people coming in to get out of the weather,” he said.