Monday, March 10, 2008

Tag Along with the "Dyker Hiker"

Dyker Hiker

The one and only Kevin Walsh, whose Forgotten NY is one of the truly superb New York City websites, visits Dyker Heights, the Brooklyn neighborhood best known for its over-the-top displays of Christmas Lights. The visit is during daylight hours and not during the holidays, so Mr. Walsh shows a different side of the neighborhood than all those Christmas pics. Here's a sample:
The name "Dyker" presents a bit of a puzzler for Brooklyn lexicologists. In Brooklyn By Name, Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss assert that Dutch farmers who built dikes to drain the area's wetlands in the colonial era gave it its name. However Van Dyke is a common Dutch name and a family of that name did have a hand in its development in the mid-1700s. Strictly speaking Dyker Heights was more strictly defined when the Gowanus Expressway was completed in 1964, as the neighborhood's boundaries can be set at 86th Street (and the Dyker Park Golf Course, where Tiger Woods' father Earl was a pro) the expressway, 65th Street, and 14th Avenue. It's overwhelmingly residential and the only business streets are Fort Hamilton Parkway, 13th Avenue, and parts of 11th. The neighborhood is best-known and most heavily chronicled during the Christmas season, when many locals construct extravagant Christmas displays, especially along 84th Street between 11th and 12th Avenue.
Check it out here.

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