Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Forget about Macy's! Over-the-top Holiday Decorations on Staten Island

On December 24, 2006, The Advance listed a few Staten Island houses known for their over-the-top holiday lights. Prodigal Borough set out with our holiday guests, Michelle Auerbach and Aaron Morris, on Christmas eve in search of these and other extravagantly lit homes. When it comes to Christmas lights it doesn't matter if your home is a small brick contemporary, MacMansion or an antique victorian. This is the time of year to make your house stand head and shoulders above the rest purely based upon your creativity and willingness to pay Con Ed some extra cash. We were not disappointed. By far the most remarkable street was Philip Avenue, a small dead end street that you'd probably never venture down. However, when we spied Santa's sleigh and reindeer flying across the street in mid air we decided this street needed closer examination. These pictures do not do these houses justice. One house had even removed their huge front door and placed plexiglass over it so you could view a bizarre Christmas tableaux. Even their large second floor window was a huge diarama. There were more animatronics on this street than in a Macy's window display. The house with the reindeer flying towards it had a frightening singing Santa and Snowman with a large repertoire of holiday songs. They were on motion sensors so we had to drive back and forth to make them go on. Take our word for it and go see these for yourself. Hopefully, they will still be lit through the new year. The houses the Advance chose were nice but nothing in comparison to our first prize winning street, Philip Avenue. Second prize goes to the house with about 50 lifesize angels in the yard. (Does anyone have the address for this one?) It was hard to photograph those due to their high fence but in person it was exceedingly tasteful and pretty. There were are some strangeness while we drove around including houses with dozens of reindeer and some yard nativities. At one house on Forest Avenue visitors to the front door must duck under an enormous lit wisemen procession to enter. We put up a lone animatronic deer on our second floor tower balcony which cast a fine antler shadow and could be seen from blocks away. However, we were shamed by Staten Island holiday light creativity so we'll have to do better next year.