Seeking A Billionaire’s Halloween Treats

Amid the slightly frenzied atmosphere of Halloween on the Upper East Side, three fathers and their sons walked west on East 79th Street with purpose.

“We’re going to the mayor’s house,” one of the fathers, E. J. Zgodny, told the boys — his son, Jack, 7, who was dressed as a soldier; and two of Jack’s friends.

The reason the group was making a beeline for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s home was a simple one: Mr. Bloomberg, a man of substantial means and considerable generosity, is known on Halloween to give out full-size candy bars, not just the “fun-size” ones.

“I want the candy bars,” Logan Green, 7, who was dressed as Sonic the Hedgehog, said matter-of-factly when asked why he was visiting the mayor.

Arriving at the town house, things looked promising: someone in an Elmo costume was stationed outside the door, handing out candy from a plastic pumpkin to a small crowd. But when the boys finally reached Elmo: disappointment.

“It’s not full-sized,” Logan said, opening his hands to reveal the same old miniature Kit Kats and Tootsie Rolls that children seem to get at every house on Halloween.

The break with tradition was startling — what could explain it? Was the mayor worried about childhood obesity? Were times so tight that even the candy budget had to take a cut? Did he not like the attention his largess had received?

Then, at 7:20 p.m., just as the boys and their dads were about to swallow their disappointment and move on, the man behind the mysterious candy downsizing — the mayor himself — appeared.

“Uh, hello, hello, hello,” Mr. Bloomberg said, in a slightly startled tone, as he walked out the door with his girlfriend, Diana Taylor, straight into the crowd of trick-or-treaters. The two were not in costume. Nor were they, apparently, in the mood to chat. Ms. Taylor smiled brightly, but they moved quickly across the sidewalk and then crossed the street to get into Mr. Bloomberg’s waiting S.U.V.

The surprise appearance may not have done much to mollify the boys, but the dads were impressed.

“It’s definitely the closest I’ve ever been to him,” Robert Green said.

His son, Logan, said he thought the mayor looked old.

A minute later, Elmo went inside. He was replaced by a police officer, who had no candy at all, miniature or otherwise.

“It’s all gone,” the policeman explained, when asked why Elmo had disappeared. He shrugged and added, “A thousand dollars’ worth of candy.”

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