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lunar year of the fire monkey 2016

  • Firecracker Ceremony in Sarah D. Roosevelt Park

In 1997, former Mayor Gulliani banned firecrackers in Chinatown as part of his “broken windows” policing policy. Before the firecracker ban, during lunar new year, dragons would dance menacingly in front of storefronts until the owners came out to throw lit firecrackers at them. The dragons would then dance mockingly on top of the firecrackers and then go on to the next store front. In 2003 Mayor Bloomberg allowed the reintroduction of firecrackers at officially sanctioned events, giving us the firecracker ceremony in Sarah D. Roosevelt park.

The firecracker ceremony never starts on time because innumerable officials must give innumerable speeches to thank innumerable people in two languages. The firecrackers are strung on a high wire which is not quite high enough to let everyone see. But even with the wait and partial view, the firecracker ceremony is more than worth it for the the sound and the crowd.

After the firecracker ceremony we wandered through Chinatown, where dragons still danced in the streets and confetti filled the air. We looked in the shops, grabbed a bite to eat and tried to be respectful when we peeked into a few temples. It’s was an interesting and fun day.

Dyker lights 2016

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. We try to go every year. The best lights are on 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street.

Many households must pay un sacco di soldi to professional decorators to compete with their neighbors. Many of the houses are huge and must have more storage space just for Christmas decorations than we have in our whole apartment.

The lights tend towards the over the top, if not just crazy. As one reviewer pointed out, Clark Griswold is alive and well in Dyker Heights. See 27 Things you didn’t know about the movie, Christmas Vacation HERE and Christmas Vacation Official Merchandise HERE

We always set out looking for a cute restaurant to eat at in the neighborhood, but the business district still baffles us a bit and everything seems to close early. One year we stopped in the Tasty Pastry Shoppe on 13th Avenue and the pastries were indeed very “tasty”.

More Dyker Heights info. HERE and info. for other NYC Xmas lights HERE