Monday, December 23, 2013

The Best Christmas Lights in New York City

Why would I trek over an hour on the sluggish D train to Brooklyn and then wander another 20 minutes from the 18th Avenue subway station in Bensonhurst? For the extravagant Christmas lights in Dyker Heights, of course. The online real estate company, Redfin, considers this mostly Italian-American neighborhood to be among the top five neighborhoods in the U.S. to see holiday lights.

While there are one- and two-family homes that trim their modest dwellings with extravagant holiday decorations, it's the $1 million+ mansions along 84th and 85th streets between 11th and 12th avenues that are the real draw. So much so that tour buses make Dyker Heights a holiday destination for New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike, while the police cordon off 84th St. between 11th and 12th avenues, allowing crowds to overflow onto the asphalt.

Multi-floor balconies are decked out with glowing red bows and garlands of lights. Giant lighted gingerbread stand sentinel on one lawn. Another outlined their gazebo in blue, red and white lights, and set up brilliant reindeer and a golden sleigh nearby. This homeowner allows the public to shoot photos of their kids in the sleigh.

Colorful icicles drip from the eaves, trees are densely peppered with scarlet lights from the tippy top to the base; animated toy soldiers peep out of windows; grand staircases, pillars and old fashioned street lamps are bejeweled with gold, azure and emerald lights; a small merry-go-round spins; and a giant animatronic Santa beckons all. Even the trees along the sidewalks glitter with the dangling snowflakes and Christmas balls. And, of course, the Eiffel Tower makes an appearance on one property. Tacky? I don't think so.










13 comments:

Brette @ PuttingItAllontheTable said...

I would love to see this. We always drive around our neighborhood on Christmas Eve to look at lights.

merr said...

What fun! I recall the excitement of seeing the store windows decorated for Christmas time in Manhattan. This takes the joy to a whole new...borough!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

wow impressive I bet loads of folks visit

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Brette, It's always fun driving around neighborhoods that are decked out for the holidays. My hood is basically dark.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi merr, Checking out the department store windows in Manhattan is a must during the holidays, especially those of Bergdorf Goodman.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Rebecca, Tons of people make the trek to Dyker Heights, even out of towners.

Anonymous said...

I love these photos. It must have been so much fun to see these in person!

Sheryl said...

I love these photos. I'd imagine seeing these in person had to be so much fun.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Sheryl, I adored it. And I can't believe I'd never been to this neighborhood before. I'm definitely returning next year.

Alexandra said...

I used to live in Paris France, where no one put up lights like these. I think that is what made me appreciate them so much. Thanks for posting this great selection.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Alexandra, I had no idea that elaborate Christmas lights cannot be found in Paris. But then, when I've traveled through Spain on the holidays, I did notice a lack of the crazy, amazing Christmas lights I found in Dyker Heights.

Jane Louise Boursaw said...

Oh my goodness - those lights are awesome! I hope they leave them up for a bit into the new year.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Jane Louise, I don't know how long they leave 'em up. Hopefully this week but not sure. They sure are wonderful.