"The lights and sounds of what has made Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights such special communities each Christmas season are once again upon us." -- Kassar's words not mine
Here's the rub -- Kassar then goes on to describe just a few blocks in Dyker Heights
Jerry Kassar opened his Common Sense column this week with a shout out to the local spontaneous volunteer holiday home decorators that annually make a cottage industry of decorating their cottages in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights for Christmas. But for some reason, Jerry Kasar (sic -- as his name appeared in this week's Home Reporter online editon) did his attempted Saturnalian uplift very much on the downlow ( See ""Common Sense: 'Tis the season" by Jerry Kas[s]ar, 12/2/13, Home Reporter/ Spectator [http://www.homereporternews.com/opinion/common-sense-tis-the-season/article_bd330dc6-5b91-11e3-b21e-001a4bcf887a.html]). The only real praise from Kassar was showered on a few blocks in Dyker Heights not far from Jerry's own home.
I think I get it. For various ulterior motivations, Mr. Kassar wants us to focus on how good things still are and not upon how very much things have mostly gone down hill. If we were to look at the real tinsel and glitter around Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, and include the lower blocks of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, the bitter-sweet nostalgia for a happier and brighter "Christmas Past" will be immediate. For every block that has the old time sparkle of " ... 'Tis the season..." there are many tens of blocks that have lost their luster completely. This is especially notable on each and every business avenue and strip in the areas mentioned above.
Interestingly, Kassar quickly tacked away from his opening theme about bright lights and decorations, and quickly switched to a message of supporting your local businessmen. That's an interesting turnabout, because it would seem that the biggest drop in holiday lumens and wattage throughout the neighborhood is mostly attributable to cutbacks by many of the merchants being touted by Kassar. It cannot be accidental that the only business mentioned by Jerry Kassar was >>> CENTURY <<< the biggest merchant and the biggest commercial strip landowner in the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights area. It is also the anchor store for the biggest B.I.D. in State Senator Martin Golden's district.
I want to say only two more things about >>>CENTURY<<<: 1) their "holiday" decoration is minimalist and their holiday lighting virtually invisible compared to their own very bright red signs; and 2) they are significant contributors to Jerry Kassar's boss, State Senator Martin Golden ( something not mentioned in the infomercial part of Kassar's column).