Casey T., a fourth grader in Weehawken, wants to be Captain America, while Roger P., an elementary school student in Union City, wants to be a clown.
Sebastian, Roger’s younger brother, said he plans to be a T-Rex.
Local residents interviewed by the reporter had a range of ideas on what to be for Halloween this year, a year in which do-it-yourself costumes are becoming the rage.
“I think I’ll be a Sesame Street character this year, maybe the one in the trash can,” said Lisa D’Antonio, 23, of Jersey City. “I have a lot of green fabric at home…Store costumes are expensive and never look as good as they do on the package.”
“I want to be Eazy-E, because of my mom.” – Isiah Zurita
In Union City, Isiah Zurita, 5, said, “I want to be Eazy-E, because of my mom.” His mother, Peachez Mavin, said dressing up as the late founder of the 1990s rap group NWA is a political statement.
“The country is a no better place now than it was when he died,” Mavin said. “He was a great figure and stood up for what he believed in.”
Young Isiah has a twist on his mom’s costume. He’ll be “a ghost…of Eazy-E.” He may be Eazy-E one day and the ghost the next.
Teresa F., a sophomore at Memorial High School in West New York who was walking home with her friend Esperanza J. last week, said, “We don’t know [what we want to be yet]. We’re still deciding.”
“We want matching costumes,” said Esperanza.
What’s big in local stores
Do-it-yourself costumes like the one D’Antonio is planning are popular this year. According to a national survey of more than 1,000 Americans commissioned by Goodwill, 57 percent of respondents said they preferred DIY costumes over packaged ones. In addition, more people plan to dress up this year than in 2014, with men planning to dress up increasing 20 percent and women up by 5 percent.
Nowadays, Halloween is more a celebration of popular culture than a traditional remembrance of the dead. Popular costumes this year will take their cues from the most identifiable characters from mass media.
Tykreika, an employee at Party City in North Bergen, said, “The most popular costume for girls is Harley Quinn and for guys it’s Ghostbusters.”
Harley Quinn, the sexualized DC Comics supervillain played by Margot Robbie in this year’s blockbuster “Suicide Squad,” is popular at Spirit Halloween in Union City also, according to employees surveyed there.
According to Goodwill’s in-store survey, even DIY’s are trying to create a Harley Quinn costume from used garments, with the sexy supervillain ranking number nine in most popular costumes for women. But that kind of costume will likely upset the 63 percent of Goodwill survey respondents who disapprove of “sexy costumes.”
For men, the Spirit Halloween employees said, both the Joker from “Suicide Squad” and Deadpool, another DC character, are the most popular packaged costumes.
D’Antonia of Jersey City says she supports adults dressing up. She says she’s never missed the occasion.
“There’s no such thing as being too old for fun,” she said. “I’ll never stop.”
Reporter intern Gelber Castillo contributed to this story.
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at email@example.com.