Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from Switzerland!

Hello to all of you who used to live in the Coney Island Projects.

This morning when I woke up in Switzerland, where Halloween is not much of a holiday, I thought about the way we used to go trick-or-treating in the projects. I remember that in the fourth building we used to knock on the doors and say "Trick or Treat from the buildings", so that people would give us extra special treats. Helene Greenbaum used to tell us to say "29" when we knocked on her door. I also remember scores of wonderful Halloween parties, among them a particularly memorable one at the Singer's house.

Many of my childhood friends from the projects vanished at the cusp of adolescence; I myself left Coney Island right before turning fourteen. However, since Joey started the Coney Island Houses site, I have reconnected with many old friends. Thank you Joey!

For those of you who don't know, I have lived in Switzerland for the past 24 years in a small village in the French-speaking part - about an hour south of Geneva and I became Swiss about ten years ago. Before moving to Switzerland, I had lived in Italy. I teach Linguistics and Italian at a Swiss University - HEP, which is not far from the French and Italian borders. I have two grown kids, Dante, who is a doctor working in oncology in Lausanne and Mercedes, who lives in Scotland and teaches Sociolinguistics at the University of Aberdeen.

Our closest holiday to Halloween is Carnevale and I usually go to Venice to celebrate it. Here are some photos of me in Venice taken in 2007 dressed in my Bianca Neve (Snow White) costume. The last photo is of me and my son Dante.

I love looking at all of the photos on the site and I'll try to add some more when I have a bit of time.

Let me know if any of you come to Europe. I'm going to make some pumpkin soup now. Happy Halloween! All the best.

Lisa Beth Schneider Durham (Apt. 12A - building four)

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