Every Christmas residents of the predominantly Italian-American community of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn try to outdo each other for the most epic light display. And they're certainly not about to let a little economic meltdown spoil the festivities; this year's displays are as spectacular as they were in the year 2000, when the hilarious documentary Dyker Lights was filmed. (It airs again on PBS Thursday night!)
Here's a map of the neighborhood, and if you don't feel like schlepping out via subway, Brooklyn's own Tony Muia operates a tour bus from Union Square to Dyker Heights, with a quick stop in Bay Ridge, where resident Sam Maloof proudly waits outside his blinding light display and welcomes the tour. Every year Maloof employs a crew of four workers to put up the lights; they work from November 2nd to December 5th. And his average electricity bill for December? $5,000. But you can't put a price on a child's wide-eyed look of wonder, now can you?
Once in Dyker Heights, the bus--which broadcasts excerpts from the Dyker Lights film during the ride--stops again and Tony leads passengers around to the most impressive displays in the neighborhood. Finally, the tour culminates with a stop at Mona Lisa Bakery for dessert before heading back to Manhattan.