I had the day off today and spent part of it tooling around town on the bike before settling in to get some work done. It’s mid-October here, so that means it’s time for Halloween. I have lived lots of places, but never one where so many put so much into decking out their houses for this particular holiday. Where I come from, a Jack O’Lantern on the steps is about the best people do. Not so here. People go all out, and this house on the corner of Octavia and Annunciation is a great example. It’s got Halloween classics like spiders, a bat, an alien, and the grim reaper, but also the requisite crime scene tape that makes it known bad stuff has already gone down inside. The crime scene tape is all over, and I’ve found myself disturbingly uncertain at times if it’s real or not. I was riding past the B.W. Cooper housing development the other day and saw one apartment covered with crime scene tape as well as other Halloween decorations like the ones found on this Uptown home. The difference, though, is that Cooper is a real crime scene, not just because it is in a neighborhood that sees a lot of crime. But it’s one of the many public housing developments in this town that are being torn down, little by little, or decaying from neglect. People live–and lived–in these developments, and many haven’t been able to come back. It is unclear to me when, if ever, New Orleans will have the kind of safe, affordable housing people here deserve. Yep, sometimes this place is really, really scary.