Everything you need to know to survive the hype.
What not to wear
If you're pulling your hair trying to drum up "the best" and "most original" costume, stop now. There's a drag queen at Marlena's who has already claimed that victory.
Don't be a zombie.
Touching on The Walking Dead passé, zombies were a new wave in horror genre two years ago when the successful AMC show debuted. It's over—unless you hang in the Tenderloin.
Don't be Richie and Margot Tenenbaum.
So you're a couple? Living in the Mission? You probably look like these two on a regular basis. Try harder.
Don't be a Giants player.
Any Giants player. There will be many of you, everywhere. All week.
For last minute finds, steer clear of the overwhelmingly packed Halloween warehouses, where costumes come wrapped like sandwiches, and stroll Gypsy Rosalie's (1215 Polk St., near Bush St.), a hole-in-the-wall wig and vintage store that features the whole shebang at accommodating prices. Polk Street in general is a good resource.
Where to go
If you want to dance.
— This Friday, DJs Calvin Harris and Benny Benassi throw a next-level dance party at the Oracle Arena (7000 Coliseum Way, near San Leandro St.) in the East Bay. Tickets are $45, and be forewarned, it's 18 and over.
— Public Works (161 Eerie St., near Mission St.) hosts Freaker's Ball on Saturday and Sunday, $45 for two-day passes, citing a long list of DJs playing in three different rooms, and out on the street. There are also art installations and what are described on Works' website as "cozy chill areas". This one's for the night owls—it ends at 6am.
— If glow sticks and furry boots aren't your thing, check out El Rio (3158 Mission St., at Cesar Chavez) on the 31st, with a weird art band playing in the back and plenty of room to move, it's a stray from your average dive.
If you want to drink and mingle.
—Hang out at the historic and ultra-swank Payne Mansion (1409 Sutter St., near Franklin St.), there's a costume contest and "more to be revealed" (?) We hope so for the $55 entry.
—It's baaa-aaack. Pub Crawl, Halloween Edition. This crawl (appropriately named) takes you all over the city, through 10 bars including Hemlock Tavern, The Cellar, and The Independent.
If you want to take it easy.
—90's fans unite: the no frills, no fuss Roxie Theater hosts a Lynchian-themed Saturday night, screening Laura (1944) the film that first inspired Director David Lynch and and Mark Frost to create the genre-bending TV series Twin Peaks. The show's Pilot plays after the film, and screening in finale is the film Fire Walk With Me (1992) written as a prequel to Twin Peaks.
How to get where you're going
—Public transportation will be a beast. For anyone who doesn't already curse the 38, 22, 49, 14, and 71 bus lines, they're going to be worse. The 47, 30, and 45 are all routes to AT&T Ball Park, and will undoubtedly be filled to the brim with baseball fans heading to or away from the game. (The 31st marks the tentative 6th game in the Series.)
—Avoid 16th and Mission's BART stop. In fact, avoid 16th and Mission all together.
—There's a free cab service that will take you to one destination during the evening. The only requirements are that the ride cannot cost more than $35 and that either your arrival or departing location, must be your house.
—Consider walking. It's really what Halloween was made for and remember how long three blocks felt like when you were a kid? It puts things into perspective.