If you take “a jump to the left and then a step to the right” just off campus, you might find yourself in the whimsical land of Crust and Magic, a shop full of original wearable art and quirky accessories located in New Paltz.
October is the time when our inner creatures of the night come out to fright. While the air is crispy and thin, people are still doing whatever it takes to celebrate the Halloween spirit. Whether it’s to dance around in a tiny little costume in the cold, spend hours picking apples searching for the perfect fall photoshoot, or like us at The Oracle, spend an hour and a half in the rain dancing to “Time Warp” at the Crust and Magic “Rocky Horror” block party.
Crust and Magic owner and SUNY New Paltz alumn, Alexa Floresta, hosted the second annual Rocky Horror Picture Show sidewalk party on Monday, Oct. 24 and Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the beloved shop that she opened back in 2019. Floresta told The Oracle, “People are looking for stuff to do this time of year. So I think that when a film like “Rocky Horror” already has such a following and people will come out for that definitely makes it easier when you’re like people are gonna be excited about this.” In hosting another party centering the campy cult classic without Megan Eisenberg who was, according to Floresta, the mastermind behind bringing a “Rocky Horror” party to Crust and Magic, there were takeaways and lessons learned from year one. One of the most significant changes was having an improved audio/visual setup, thanks to Brandon Bera, who made sure the audience could hear Dr. Frank-n-Furter loud and clear.
As the doors opened at 7 p.m., the audience waited with “antici…pation” for the main show to begin, and there was a masterfully curated playlist that set the tonality of the evening playing along to clips of Halloween classics projected onto a screen in the parking lot behind Crust and Magic. Audience members and friends of Floresta gradually piled into the parking lot in their lingerie and fishnets, greeted by SUNY New Paltz fourth-year communication major and Crust and Magic employee Johnny Bormann and paying anywhere from $5 to $20 on a sliding scale to join the moonlit festivities. Accompanying the entertainment for the evening was a stocked bar filled with cider, wine and Prosecco-based cocktails with blood orange and chili pepper called the “Wild + Untamed Thing,” its name coming from a quote in the final scene of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” While the attendees waited — and even once the party began — they were encouraged to pop into the store to browse the merch and apparel inside Crust and Magic.
Soon enough, the party began, and the light drizzle did not keep the Transylvanians or creatures of the night away. The moment the iconic red lips appeared on screen, the crowd erupted into cheers and applause and began singing along to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s” introductory song, “Science Fiction/Double Feature.’’ Participation and commentary from the audience did not stop there, with many from the crowd who shouted the infamous callouts at the screen, like, “Where’s your neck?” when the narrator character, The Criminologist, appeared on screen having one-sided conversations between characters’ lines.
However, nothing brought the audience together more than when Riff Raff, the servant in the mansion where the main story of “Rocky Horror” takes place, sang the line “It’s astounding, time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll,” commencing the beginning of the “Time Warp.” The entire crowd got on their feet to follow the steps and dance in sync with characters on the screen in front of them. The energy was still high when Tim Curry appeared on screen as the mad scientist, Dr. Frank-n-Furter. Cheers could be heard near and far with the beginning of “Sweet Transvestite” nearly drowned out by clapping and shouting from the crowd, seated once again on their blankets and lawn chairs.
The energy throughout the entire evening could not be dampened by the rain, which picked up midway through the movie. As the night went on, though, the crowd only grew, as people gawking from neighboring restaurants and shops eventually were intrigued enough to join the audience. In spite of the unfortunate weather, the night’s success led to Crust and Magic announcing the following afternoon that on Tuesday, Oct. 25, they would be having a “Round Two” of their Rocky Horror block party, with more costumes, makeup and fun for all.
If you missed this year’s Crust and Magic Rocky Horror party, don’t worry! Floresta shared that there are “more events to come.” Floresta told The Oracle that parties and events like this are special to her and the store — “I like to make sure people are having a good time and that is what I think Crust and Magic in its essence is about–it’s a party and a celebration! So if I could take the characters and the energy from [Crust and Magic] to life in the form of an actual Crust and Magic party — that’s everything, like a dream come true!”