A New York City Christmas Lights tour is fun for all, especially kids. Although mostly everyone knows about the NYC Christmas icons, like the tree in Rockefeller Center, or the windows of Macy’s, Bergdorf’s and Saks. On our New York City Christmas Lights tour we head out of Manhattan to the most populous of NYC’s five boroughs – Brooklyn. There, the midnight oil burns bright, we’ll see and explore the most beautiful and extensive lights anywhere in the city, the Christmas Lights of Dyker Heights.
The lights of DH are probably the most concentrated lights in the city, block after block of beautifully decorated homes in this wealthy Italian American enclave. It’s easy to assume that it’s all about showing up the Jones with bigger and better lights and displays, but there’s more to it than that. One of the most decorated houses is Lucy Spata’s house on 84th Street, she put up the display after her Mom died in the 1980’s, there is a yard full of angels to honor her memory. She was the first to put up a display, little did she know what would ensue.
Initially there was some resistance to her display, but eventually people came around and started to get into the spirit. Directly across the street from Lucy’s house is the residence of the late Al Polizzotto. During his losing battle with cancer, he commissioned a Toyland to be built, you’ll see a carousel, a giant Santa and a pair of huge mechanized horses, it is a beautiful gesture and remains part of his legacy.
In a neighborhood of lights, one of the most extensive displays adorns the house of Sam the Greek, I have no idea how many bulbs are on this manse, but it looks like tens of thousands. Most of the homes are rigged and lit by professional decorators, but I understand that Sam does it all himself. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, is what do you think their electric bills are? Well, when you see the houses, you’ll realize that it doesn’t really matter, the families can easily afford the bills. Does a person driving a Rolls worry about the price of gas?