I live in Halloween Central, just off Russell Street. For those who live here, there’s a choice between campaign-scale planning or turning out the lights and hiding for an evening. Last year we gave out 2,000 pieces of candy — and that’s by strictly rationing trick-or-treaters to one piece each.

My neighbor started building his elaborate front-yard construction last weekend. It’s a Star Wars theme. I’ve heard that the so-called Haunted House, on the corner of Russell and Kelsey is going with a caveman theme this year.

But I’m puzzled, as I am every year, about Halloween costumes. We’re not, perhaps sadly, a family that does homemade costumes for the kids. I find, however, the ubiquitous Spirit stores depressing, tacky places. Someone has suggested that we go (perish the thought) through the tunnel to a place in Lafayette to buy costumes. Certainly Berkeley can do better. Where’s the place to go that has choice for an 11-year old and a 14-year old and doesn’t make my heart sink?

Photo by The Foo 2007 on Flickr

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...