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The zombie apocalypse descended on Astoria Saturday, but instead of an insatiable hunger for brains, these walking dead had a craving for brews.
Like the zombies in George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead,” who were instinctively drawn to the mall that symbolized the mindless consumerism of the living, the borough’s undead staggered toward Club 21, where they devoured vodka tonics as they prepared for the inaugural Queens Thanksgiving Zombie Walk.
“I just got this crazy idea that I wanted to do a zombie walk in my neighborhood,” said co-founder Chante Tenoso, as she applied makeup to a fair-skinned young woman.
Three years ago, Tenoso started a zombie-themed blog that gained in popularity until it transmogrified into zombiescantlove.com, an online store that sells items like a zombie chaser bride cake topper and a zombie pinata. She organized about 10 special effects and beauty makeup artists who worked gratis to bring their ghoulish creations to death.
A sign near the bar’s restroom requested that participants to “be courteous zombies” and adhere to the pedestrian traffic laws, so that future walks could be “more relentless and never ending.”
Construction worker and co-founder Thomas Maceranka said zombies are not unlike those of his generation who can be found protesting at Zuccotti Park.
“I think everyone feels a little misplaced with unemployment being so high. I think they can really relate to the whole thing,” he said, adding that since he did not do a zombie walk for Halloween, Thanksgiving seemed like the next apropos opportunity.
“We should all be thankful we have a human to eat,” said Maceranka, who runs zombieworld.com, a kind of MySpace for special effects artists and writers to showcase and peruse each others’ works.
Mike Galanis said he had seen a flier about the walk posted nearby, so he decided to check out the crowd.
“I think it’s great. It’s something different. I think it’s a really good idea,” he said. “I’m curious to see how the older people will react.”
Waves of about 50 animated corpses at a time began stumbling around the corner of 21st Street, up 30th Avenue toward The Shillelagh Tavern near 48th Street, where what was left of their minds would be numbed by the zombie folk sounds of Aaron Stoquert and the nightmare fantasy rock of Thunderbang!.
In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, Conrad Szumilas, of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, dressed himself as a zombie Iroquois. He said he enjoyed the campy aspect of peoples’ slipshod makeup and exaggerated acting.
“It’s just fun to not think for an hour and yell, ‘Brains!’” he explained.
Tina Tiongson said she went to two different Ricky’s stores, which called three other locations, in search of liquid latex to apply the faux fingernails she fashioned into patchy rows of mangled teeth.
“The fake skin has a problem staying on, especially when I was eating a burger earlier,” she said.
Eugeen McGann stood on the porch of his home on 30th Avenue and watched the undead procession as it passed by. He said he did not mind they were a few weeks late after Halloween.
“They should have it every weekend,” he said.
Back outside Club 21, as they waited for their chance to terrorize the neighborhood, Eleni Koutsouradis and her two friends were starting to get a little restless, so they decided to hide behind a parked car and spring out, arms lurching forward and snarling as cars slowly passed by.
Koutsouradis tried her best to intimidate a passenger who stopped at the light.
“I can’t stop laughing!,” she chortled to her friends. “I’m the worst zombie ever!”
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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