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by Joann Jovinelly (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Hide your children. The sixth-annual ZombieCon descends on Manhattan this Saturday, October 16. With stellar weather on tap, get set to raise hell with the undead as they cavort throughout the city on an all-day/all-night drinking binge, bloodbath, and zombie bawl. You might even pat yourself on the back after downing that shot: It turns out that intelligent people drink more alcohol. That, and, well, don't zombies run on brains and ethanol?

Disguising yourself as a zombie and walking through the city's streets is but one way of shouting that things are upside down in America. Expect zombies of every age, shape, and size in this post-apocalyptic scenario. Zombie politicians gearing up for mid-term elections will assemble with charred zombie oil-rig workers and zombie police and firemen while zombie newscasters record the action. Zombie rock stars just waking up from last week's Bowie Ball will join zombie protesters, zombie celebrities, and—given that these are the supposed end times—several zombie preachers. Short on ideas? See here, here, and here for inspirational cosmetic tips.

A lot can happen when this horde of creatively inspired peeps takes it to the streets to unravel its unique brand of improvisational theatrics. Beginning at 2 PM in a secret location, participants may soon find themselves sauntering and slumping down Fifth Avenue, bleeding profusely, and willfully shocking consumers out of their spending slumber in the swankiest of department stores (temporarily switching the chanting from "braaaaains, braaaaains" to "braaaaands, braaaaands") if only for a moment. And just when you thought you could no longer stand the hilarity, it's time to head farther downtown to Wall Street, where zombie bankers, zombie CEOs and other former fat cats can warn of the impending death of the U.S. economy.

Although the meeting place and destination itinerary is known only by a select few, you lowly zombie wannabes can get all the details by registering for the ZombieCon e-mail list, signing up for the group's Facebook page, and/or following its Twitter account. In doing so, late participants will get up-to-the minute accounts of exactly where to meet the group in time for the action and inevitable night-long zombie bawl/brawl at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street between Thompson and Sullivan Streets in the West Village).

This is the original NYC ZombieCon, folks. Accept no substitutes. Sign up for e-mail and text alerts to join the mob at a convenient location. (Bonus: Mention ZombieCon and/or Kostume Kult at Halloween Adventure and get 20 percent off your blood and plasma supplies.) Consider it a proper warm-up to the country's largest Halloween parade, which takes place in Greenwich Village on October 31.
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Why? Because the bloodier you are the better.
When: October 16, 2010, 2-7 PM, followed by the Zombie Bawl
Where: Various locations.
Cost: Free bar crawl; Zombie Bawl, $15 ($10 Advance tix)
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