How many times have you wondered if American Christmas is really that over the top? And how many times have you wondered if they really decorate their homes so big that they trigger real challenges with their neighbor? And you may have wondered maybe where it’s possible to see all those houses? The answer is Dyker Heights in New York City!
Dyker Height is located on the outskirts of Brooklyn, about 10 minutes by bus (the B64 to be precise) from the Coney Island Subway stop.
Don’t think that “suburbs” means mundane and simply residential place: Dyker Heights is a very rich neighborhood indeed, with beautiful townhouses and luxurious sports cars.
At Christmas, all the wealth of the tenants of these beautiful houses , is flaunted with beautiful decorations and lights that make the neighborhood, the favorite set of tourists and instagrammers for their Christmas photos.
How did the Dyker Heights lighting tradition come about?
The first to start the tradition (or challenge) of luminarias in Dyker Heights were…2 Italian families (who would have thought it right? LOL).
The two families in question were Spata and Polizzotto, and these distinctive exaggerated decorations started out as a way to remember and honor a bereavement in the family (the mother, in Spata’s case, the husband, an expert in Christmas lights, in Polizzotto’s case).
The tradition soon conquers even the neighbors, the neighbors of the neighbors and the neighbors of the neighbors and here comes the challenge.
It must be said that the house of Spata, is certainly, even today, the most exaggerated, decorated and photographed.
You’ll recognize the house by the Italian flag of lights, the life-size toy soldiers, and the banner that still reads, “in memory of Angelo Spata.”
Want to take a Dyker Heights walk? Check out our Reel on Instagram and leave a like to let us know you walked with us.
Organized or do it yourself tour?
We have been to Dyker Heights on our own and can assure you that it is absolutely possible.
There is no itinerary to follow and you just walk around simply being guided by the lights you see in the distance.
However, the flow of people is well organized and controlled by the police cars that are constantly on patrol.
Compared to Manhattan in this area you won’t find public Wi-Fi, so if you don’t have 4g…. you’ll have to postpone your Live and Instagram Stories!
Speaking of Christmas and Instagram, find out which are the most beautiful spots in NYC to take your Christmas photos,read this article!