NYC Christ­mas dis­plays draw some bah-hum­bugs

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE - — AP

It's a neigh­bor­hood Christ­mas dis­play with New York City at­ti­tude: Big, brash, loud and over-the-top. Blaz­ing lights, gi­ant toy sol­diers, an­gels, snow­men, wise men, San­tas and piped-in Si­na­tra car­ol­ing form an all-out bar­rage on the senses from nearly every house in the heart of Brook­lyn's Dyker Heights neigh­bor­hood, an an­nual ex­trav­a­ganza that draws thou­sands of tourists every evening by the car and bus­load. But all of it has some res­i­dents just wish­ing for a silent night. "As pretty as it can be, it's dif­fi­cult," says Linda Reb­mann, 72, who has lived in Dyker Heights all her life and has only an un­lit cran­berry wreath on her home. "It's a lit­tle out of hand. It's got­ten to be a bit much."

No­body is talk­ing about pulling the plug on the dis­plays, which are still a source of neigh­bor­hood pride. But there has been ex­tra grum­bling this sea­son, es­pe­cially af­ter some park­ing spots usu­ally used by res­i­dents were blocked off for rows of tour buses. "This close to Christ­mas you can't walk. It's like Man­hat­tan," says Joyce Ar­pino, 55, a res­i­dent for three decades. She says she stopped dec­o­rat­ing in­side her win­dows be­cause gawk­ers would peer in­side and rap the glass. Tourists used to park in front of her house or even in her drive­way un­til she set out some or­ange traf­fic cones. "I don't want to sound like a Scrooge," she says, "but it's hor­ri­ble."

'Merry Christ­mas'

To that, res­i­dents like 30-year-old Vinny Priv­itelli re­spond: lighten up. This year, he spent all of Novem­ber and thou­sands of dol­lars to in­stall strings of red and white lights on his roof and around every win­dow and adorn his lawn with rein­deer, a trio of danc­ing elves and a na­tiv­ity scene. Priv­itelli ad­mits part of the fun is try­ing to outdo his neigh­bors, some of whom hire pro­fes­sion­als to do their dis­plays. And he has no prob­lem with the throngs of vis­i­tors who come to check it out. "It's nice to see them en­joy­ing it, that's what we get out of it," he says. "Ev­ery­thing in the news is neg­a­tive, so at least we get one pos­i­tive thing."

Around the cor­ner, a crowd of 35 peo­ple stopped at an­other house, where every inch of the stoop and pa­tio was packed with glow­ing nut­crack­ers, snow­men, rein­deer and plas­tic an­gels. On an­other lawn, a 13-foot-tall, an­i­ma­tron­ics Santa Claus sat be­tween a pair of gi­ant toy sol­diers and two carousels ablaze with lights. It was all so bright that the selfie-snap­ping crowds didn't need to use a flash. "Let's go folks. You can't hold up traf­fic," an of­fi­cer in­side a po­lice van shouted at driv­ers stopped in the street. "I like it when they take pic­tures," says An­gela Per­alta, whose dis­play in­cludes a candy cane arch over the drive­way, a "Merry Christ­mas" ban­ner and a wav­ing, in­flat­able snow­man.

"Peo­ple are very re­spect­ful. They say it's beau­ti­ful." By most ac­counts, the light dis­plays be­came a neigh­bor­hood ac­tiv­ity in the 1980s, and buses be­gan bring­ing in tourists from Man­hat­tan about a decade ago. Some bus tours play up the area's Ital­ian-Amer­i­can her­itage, in­clud­ing stops at a nearby bak­ery for can­no­lis and hot choco­late. Among the bus vis­i­tors this year was Jeanne An­drews, 66, who trav­eled from Vin­cennes, In­di­ana, to ex­pe­ri­ence Christ­mas in the Big Ap­ple. She went to see the tree in Rock­e­feller Cen­ter and the win­dows at Macy's, but this was dif­fer­ent. "I like this be­cause it's so per­sonal. Every fam­ily has some­thing dif­fer­ent," she says. "I love it. I just think it's spec­tac­u­lar."

— AP Pho­tos

In this photo, a gi­ant an­i­ma­tronic Santa Claus tow­ers over tourists tak­ing pho­tos at the elab­o­rately-dec­o­rated Poli­zotto man­sion in Dyker Heights neigh­bor­hood in the Brook­lyn Bor­ough of New York.

In this photo, a pri­vate home in the Dyker Heights neigh­bor­hood of the Brook­lyn bor­ough of New York is elab­o­rately dec­o­rated for Christ­mas.

In this photo, Dyker Heights res­i­dent Lucy Spata, whose elab­o­rate Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions along with those of her neigh­bors, draw thou­sands of on­look­ers to the Brook­lyn Bor­ough neigh­bor­hood each hol­i­day sea­son, stands in front of her home in New York.

In this photo, a sign warn­ing spec­ta­tors not to come onto the prop­erty is hung in front of a lighted creche dis­play in the Dyker Heights neigh­bor­hood of the Brook­lyn Bor­ough of New York.

In this photo, a sign in front of a dec­o­rated house warns vis­i­tors to keep off the premises in the Dyker Heights neigh­bor­hood of New York.

In this photo, vis­i­tors to the Dyker Heights neigh­bor­hood of the Brook­lyn Bor­ough of New York gather in front of Lucy Spata’s house.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.