Arts & Entertainment

Christmas lights draw crowds to Brooklyn neighborhood

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

New York, Dec 15 (EFE).- After dark between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the leafy streets of Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights are packed with sightseers drawn by the extravagant Christmas decorations that have made the neighborhood of stately homes one of New York City’s top holiday attractions.

Minutes before sundown, traffic cops take up positions at the busiest intersections to impose a modicum of order on the flow of visitors eager to gawk at the displays before the lights are turned off, usually around 10:00 pm.

Any Christmas tour of Dyker Heights will include a stop at the home of Lucy Spata, who is credited with launching the tradition when she moved into the neighborhood in the 1980s.

In the years since then, Dyker Heights has come to rival the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and the holiday decorations on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“We have been in the financial district, High Line, Central Park, Fifth Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge and today, enjoying the decorations in Dyker Heights, which we read was very much worth the effort to see,” Spanish tourist Joaquin Sanchis tells EFE in front of the Spata House.

He says that the photos he saw ahead of his visit did not do justice to the spectacle.

“You don’t imagine that is this way, with such quantity of decoration,” Sanchis says. “It’s impressive, it’s very cool.”

Nativity scenes and figures of angels, toy soldiers, penguins, polar bears, snowmen and – of course – Santa Claus are everywhere, and the lights extend out from the houses to the trunks and branches of nearby trees.

“The theme is light,” Frank Mangano explains in EFE outside his two-story home, which is covered with thousands of lights, presided over by a tableau of five golden-winged angels and the word “Believe.”

Mangano, a Dyker Heights resident since 2011, said that this year’s display is dedicated to his recently deceased father and is meant to convey the message that “better days are coming, brighter days.”

The lights attract crowds and the presence of large numbers of potential customers attracts food carts and street merchants selling Christmas items and even clothing. EFE jfu/dr

Related Articles

Back to top button