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My first Halloween memories…
My Halloween memories are fond as we celebrated my mother’s birthday which is October 31. She has a lot of friends who are artists and writers so it has always had a unique and creative energy for me. I don’t remember the run-of-the-mill ghosts and witches.

I start planning my annual party when…
I’m not very good at planning the Halloween party early, but I am always getting inspiration and once I start, I am very focused. I typically start thinking about it in August and research the artist. Then, it’s a mad dash to put it together starting in September.

The first Halloween party I ever had was…
Actually a small benefit for the Ballroom Marfa, a nonprofit arts organization in Texas. It was the only weekend that all the founding board members were in NYC. That is how my Halloween party was born.

How I inspire guests to come in costume…
Every year I choose an artist and a broader theme that’s a little more mainstream. This year, it’s the World of Picasso. Themes from past parties include Calder’s Circus, Murakami Anime, Basquiat’s 90s New York and Andy Warhol’s Studio 54. Guests can then choose a cerebral avant-garde interpretation or an easier one. I’m always amazed how clever people are! It’s unbelievable. I really need to step up my game.

For decorations…
Think outside the box. Skip the pumpkins and skeletons and go for something off the beaten Halloween path.

I always serve…
Food that isn’t too precious and that relates somehow to the theme. If you want people to stay at the party, I highly recommend heartier fare that can be dinner. For dessert, I have candy girls serve vintage-style candy like Hot Tamales, Jujubes, Dots and candy cigarettes. A tray filled with a variety of colorful candy on a coffee table is perfect, too.

My guilty pleasure…
Is not candy. I would much rather have a Gray’s Papaya hot dog — the ultimate indulgence!

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