If there is anything lovelier than walking home through the "magic land" of Prospect Park South at twilight, it's walking in the unseasonable warmth of a gentle December, passing radiant century-old mansions lit within and without for Christmas. I'm so glad these folks don't bother with curtains, drapes, or blinds.
Not everyone on Marlborough Road went for a classic tree; these folks have a sparkling silver tree twinkling behind Dickensian leaded-glass diamond panes. Gosh, how I yearned for a silver (or better yet, pink!) aluminum tree as a child--while still wanting the fresh, fragrant natural tree that we always got.
For the 29 years that we have lived a block away, I have admired the perfect proportions of this house, like something from Colonial Williamsburg. (And I love blue doors, especially with wreaths.)
Porches and columns of every description are signatures of this neighborhood's sprawling homes. But it's not the spot to look for Disney World-worthy displays of Christmas characters or wattage visible from outer space; head to Dyker Heights for that scene.
When you cross hectic Church Avenue, you leave the magic landmark land behind and enter a somewhat less grandiose level of domestic architecture, but Caton Park is our realm and we love it. The Crazy Stable is looking almost respectable, these days, especially with its fringe of lights. I love the sky at precisely this l'heure bleu, or what I call "Maxfield Parrish light."
As I stepped onto the porch, I heard a gravelly voice moaning and hollering in the driveway...the same unruly singer who has been keeping us up at night carolling lustily. The last two Christmas lights of the evening lit up from atop the fence!