New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dyker Lights

There are Christmas tree lights, and then there is Dyker Heights. This Brooklyn neighborhood (between Bayridge and Bensonhurst) is known worldwide for its elaborate Christmas light displays - click here for more photos. PBS did a 2001 documentary detailing the phenomenon. Apparently many of the displays have been motivated by various family events and crises. When I first visited this area in the 1980s, I had never seen anything remotely like it. The predominantly Italian neighborhood is quite affluent - many of the homes are mini-mansions. The premier block is 84th Street between 10th and 12th Avenue. Here, the traffic becomes bumper-to-bumper as gawkers cruise slowly down the block. In addition to the myriad of lights you will find: animated characters, motorized dolls, miniature villages, armies of illuminated soldiers and choirboys, live Santa, free toys, huge nativity scenes, synchronized music, and computerized displays like that of Robert DeLauro who, with Light-O-Rama software, a programmable microprocessor and computer in his basement, controls 10,000 lights using 32 extension cords. Apparently, extravagant computerized displays are becoming more common nationwide - check out the home displays on planetchristmas.com.

10 comments:

susan said...

You know, when I think of Brooklyn, I never think of regular houses with yards. I guess the only way I'm acquainted with Brooklyn is through TV and movies and it seems to always be depicted with brownstone townhouses.

So, seeing homes with yards was a surprise to me! I bet it is to most people. Thanks for showing a different side of Brooklyn.

Brian said...

There are a number of neighborhoods in Brooklyn with unattached homes with yards, driveways etc. They feel like a fusion of NYC borough and the suburbs. It's a good environment for those that want elements of both worlds.
Brian

Kate said...

It's interesting to me to see how widespread this practice is; actually, from the blogs it looks like it's worldwide. Quite a display! Thanks for the extra photos.

Anonymous said...

just amazing better than the rubbish we have! gets you in the christmassey mood!

Anonymous said...

Hola soy boricua y por casualidad me encontre con tu pagina y tus fotos me encantaron muero por visitar new york espero visitarlo pronto... congratulation por tu pagina....

DwD said...

it reminds me of the similar one in austin, tx

Anonymous said...

The christmas spirit intent is great, but...it seems a bit cluttered for my personal pic-compositional preferences. Not bad though. I like some of your other pics much better than this one.

Cynthia said...

Talking about cluttered, and Brian this is a suggestion for a holiday-themed photo, have you seen the seasonal decor at Rolf's, the German restaurant- tavern on 3rd Av. and 22nd St.? I walked by there today and immediately thought what a great image for this blog it would make.

Kala said...

ok, this house is simply amazing - I thought Ive seen some cool light decors but this is the best Ive seen thus far!

Brian said...

Yes, the photo is cluttered and so wasn't the display of that house. I also preferred some of the other images, but I chose this one because it was so over the top.
Cynthia - I will check out the restaurant.
Brian