Happy Pre-Halloween

Zillow has released their 2014 list of the best cities and neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. That means it’s time for my promised pre-Halloween post.

Once again, San Francisco tops Zillow’s list, and Noe Valley returns as the best neighborhood. Congrats to all. When does the billboard go up? “Welcome to Noe Valley. Come for the candy, stay for the… um… hang on, we’ll think of something.”

As usual, the best cities are clustered on the coasts. Likely that’s the influence of median home value on the rankings. Zillow gives that equal weight with their proprietary Walk Score®, population density, and crime. Oddly enough, the rankings don’t give any weight to quantity and quality of candy. That seems an odd omission. I realize that sending covert trick-or-treaters to every neighborhood in the country would be prohibitively expensive, but how about crowdsourcing the data collection? A simple web form soliciting qualitative assessments from the public would be a nice addition to their arsenal.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being awesome beyond belief and 1 being half a granola bar, how do you rate the quality of the candy you received this year?”

Moving on.

Last year the most popular costumes were obvious: Miley Cyrus, Breaking Bad, and zombies.

This year, not so much. Zombies are still popular, but beyond that, there really doesn’t seem to be anything claiming a significant chunk of the public’s attention. OK, odds are there will be a bunch of Giants costumes in the Bay Area and Royals costumes in the Kansas City, but going by ubiquity, the most likely costume candidate seems to be pumpkin spice. For those of us who think pumpkin pie is a tool of the devil, that would be a truly scary costume.

Strictly as a local item, I’ll give bonus points (and bonus candy) to anyone who shows up dressed as a broken Bay Bridge bolt.

Moving on again.

We do plan to decorate again this year, but I doubt that we’ll get anything close to last year’s three dozen candy bandits. The numbers do seem to vary around here: up in odd years, down in even years*. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the count will be right around fifteen.

* Hmm. A negative correlation with the Giants’ success? Must research further.

We’re still pondering candy choices. Historical data shows that if we have Mounds, we’ll be eating most of them ourselves (not a problem, other than for our health). KitKats do fairly well. I’d suggest we do an all-Android Halloween with jelly beans, KitKats, and lollipops, but given their association with doctors’ offices, we’d most likely be stuck with a bunch of uneaten lollipops. Come to think of it, if we didn’t include Reese’s Cups in the assortment, Maggie would probably stage a revolt. I’m open to suggestions. What candy do you (or your kids) most want to find in your bags?