I went for a walk after dark tonight, the first time we've been in the city on Halloween. It's 57 degrees here, and as I walked up the street and saw the first groups of trick-or-treaters, I thought about going out as a kid with my friend Lorry, often bundled up in coats over or under our costumes because it was so cold - even with snow flurries - by the end of October. But tonight was almost balmy. How does it work in the city, I'd wondered. Well, apparently people put a carved and lighted jack-o-lantern on their front stoop, and that's the signal that it's 'open house for candy. That was true back in our Vermont village as well. What seemed different here was that the hosts - of all ages - were often in costume, standing or sitting on their steps, chatting amiably with everyone who came by, which gave the neighborhood more of a feeling of a block party. Between the groups of kids and parents - often dressed up too - were lots of young people in costumes, heading out for the night, seated in restaurants or bars, walking up and down Mt. Royal, waiting politely for the streetlights to change - it's Canada, after all. Two tall ghouls in rubber masks growled convincingly at me, and on one of the street corners I saw a young mother in tiger-print high heels and a flowing cape pushing a baby stroller: inside was a little girl in a pink fluffy fairy outfit, with a sequined pig snout on her face. Next year, I'm putting out a pumpkin.