Tuesday, October 25

Dining out on the pin cushion

Still enjoying the whole Macaroon-as-a-pin-cushion experience!

*This morning Google sent me links to sites featuring him. Youtube has the shortvideo from AFP which, to my delight, shows us going over to the judges and then Macaroon walking towards the camera—awewsome! And then a little bit of the interview I gave with him in my arms.

*I wonder if the Brits who read The Daily Mail UK online will see the images of my poor, abused, “humiliated” dog I treat so cruelly. You know that dressing our dogs in costumes for a few hours once a year is just like Toddlers and Tiaras.

*The professional photographer who smartly set up a small outdoor seamless in Tompkins Square Park on which to pose the dogs sent a link to the shots to peruse and perhaps purchase prints. Guess who was chosen to be the image of the gallery? Macaroon!

*In Central Park this morning I met a dog person who’s on the committee that oversees the Carl Schurz Halloween Howl and I gave her an earful about their prize structure so out of whack with their raffle prizes. She was amazed to learn how good the prizes are in Tompkins Square and that they give out 54 of them, plus the iPod Nano for “Best in Show.” I stressed that I was very happy to have won but that it was shocking that only the first prizes won more than a ribbon and that it was only a $20 gift certificate to a lovely online dog store but in which most items are over $20. So I will have to spend money to get my prize.

*And I nearly forgot to mention this little vignette. On the bus back uptown on Saturday I told the woman seated next to me that we had just competed in the Tompkins Square contest. “Oh, I love that! We missed it this year, but it’s so much fun!” she said, adding, “Last year there was a dog with a pat of butter hat!” “That was my dog! Macaroon was a stick of butter last year!” Now how weird and coincidental is that? And it’s not as if she listed a bunch of costumes. Just one. Ours. That awesome moment was almost as good as winning a prize.

Monday, October 24

Two for two!!

Another fine day of weather for the Halloween Howl in Carl Schurz Park, a dog costume contest I’ve been competing in for many years. Lucky for me I spotted Tammy and Sparta, the “Doggie in the Window” whom I met on Saturday in Tompkins Square. I had clued her in on the Howl and I was very pleased to see her. We joined forces, minding each others’ belongings while taking turns visiting the many tables of samples and information being offered the throng.

The Howl grows year by year and this year they added two categories: kids and dogs (most welcome!) and NYC theme (oh, okay.) And smartly they had the kids go first. I was delighted not to be competing with these adorable anklebiters. Next came the biggest category: small dogs with a field of 105. (This, too, was welcome. Perhaps large and small dogs will take turns going first, which would be fair rather than the usual cooling of heels for small dogs.) We lined up to parade past the judges.

Despite my adjustments to the jacket of the pin cushion, it kept shifting to one side and I spent the whole time, it seemed to me, pushing it back in place. Surely that had doomed us, I thought. At least when I don’t win I’ll know why. But I was glad to see that the repaired pins all stayed in place and looked quite good. The yarn “thread” I glued into the needle eyes stayed in place, too. And Macaroon even kept the thimble hat on while we paraded.

When the winners were being announced, I told Tammi I felt like just going back to our seats. All these years and I’d never gotten –you should pardon the expression – a sniff at this competition. That’s why my jaw dropped when “Number 69 (Indeed!) The pin cushion!” was proclaimed the champion! With Macaroon in my arms (so I wouldn’t have to shift the pin cushion once more)I strode forward to collect my prize and accept Macaroon’s ribbon. What an awesome moment!

And here’s the ultimate irony. If I asked you to match prize and venue would you put “$20 gift certificate” in the East Village or the Upper East Side?

At last I have won the Carl Schurz contest! I only wish my friend Lynne had been there.

Sunday, October 23

Ta da!!!

What a great day in Tompkins Square Park yesterday! The sun shone, the crowds came and the dogs were cuter than cute in clever get-ups. I love seeing others' photos online because I didn’t see all the dogs in person. (Dog Draper won a prize, I heard, but I have yet to see him!)

I pulled Roonie’s pin cushion out of its bag while waiting in line to get into the dog run. First I put all the pins and needles in and right away things started going wrong. The yarn “thread” fell out and disappeared. Pin balls popped off and a couple of pin sticks broke, weren’t salvageable and had to be stashed in my backpack for later repair. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the pin cushion kept shifting to one side. Oh, dear!

And yet we were getting lots of compliments and everyone (except for the guy who thought it was bagpipes) recognized what he was supposed to be.

Our turn. We entered the ring and into the mic I said Macaroon’s name (forgot to say mine) and his history as a stick of butter and a taco. We went over to the judges, some of whom were the same and who remembered us! Oh, things were looking up as Macaroon did the same sort of schmoozing he did as a taco. He stood on his hind legs and looked deep into her eyes with the intensity his fans are familiar with. We took a turn around the ring feeling like celebs before the masses of paparazzi. So many cameras!! French TV interviewed me with Macaroon in my arms. And this morning we turned up on NY1!

There were 18 prizes for each of the three rounds of contestants numbering in the hundreds. Round one, our round. First prize...(they’re starting with first, not counting back?) The M23 bus, a corgi and his little boy as a bus stop, so cute. Very creative. They won a Jack Spade messenger bag worth hundreds of dollars. Nice. Second prize? THE PIN CUSHION!! OMG! We won!! Our prize? In my opinion, better than first, a professional photography session for Macaroon worth $600!!! Fantastic!!


Here are a few photos I snapped. So many clever costumes!! Do yourself a favor and set a Google alert for “Tompkins Square dog parade 2011” and see the amazing array in the photos of others not distracted by wardrobe malfunctions and able to capture the scene.

Many are of winners and favorites. Borat, Pinky the baked potato (was the Serta sheep in ’09), Sissy as Hurricane Irene (was Breakfast at Tiffany’s last year and placed 3rd to my 4th), Addicted to Love, the Pushme Pullyou, Slinky, Tippi Hedrin & the Birds, Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, the Trader Joe’s staff, the Oz monkey, Anna Wintour & Karl Lagerfeld and Princess Beatrix in that silly fascinator.