Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A Visit with Frank 'Frankie Christmas' Bianco

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

It’s hard not to get excited about Christmas when visiting Frank “Frankie Christmas” Bianco. 

The 52-year-old longtime East Village resident, who moved here from Brooklyn in 1980, welcomes me at the door of his fully decked out apartment on Avenue D, where he lives and works as the boutique building’s manager.
He’s painstakingly laid out more than 9,300 lights and six Christmas trees, ranging in height from 2 to more than 7 feet tall, and has a winter wonderland inside the one-bedroom space, complete with music, lights, pine scent, decals, garlands and ornaments.

Drinking a (perhaps) nontraditional beer, Frankie shows me around his space, pointing out special ornaments and his Christmas stockings, and his 30 snowflake tattoos, and custom Santa backpiece, which is truly amazing, in addition to flash pieces dedicated to the holiday elsewhere on his body.
We have a seat at his holiday-themed table to chat about Santa and Christmas and how his obsession with the holiday came to be.
 
When and how did your fascination with Christmas start?

My fascination with Christmas started with my mom who always made Christmas special. As a teenager I started helping my mom with decorations and then I always wanted to go bigger and better. 

Can you walk us through the process of decorating your apartment? When do you start/finish?

I start decorating in September, as it takes close to 100 hours to decorate. It’s more about laying things out and ordering what I need.

What’s Christmas Eve and Christmas Day like for you and your family?

My family is so spread out these days that I won’t know what I’m doing until a couple of days before Christmas. 

What do you friends, family and neighbors think of your decorations? 

Everyone loves it. My family and friends love it and they all know where to go to get into the Christmas spirit. Most of my neighbors stop by and bring their friends to see my apartment. 

Any other holidays pique your interest the way Christmas does?

I enjoy all the holidays throughout the year, but nothing even comes close to Christmas!

Have you ever decorated other locations — commercial, residential, or religious spaces?

I’ve never decorated anywhere else. 
 
Do you have any special plans for next Christmas?

I’m already thinking about how I’m gonna decorate next year…I want to do a tree with Swarovski crystal snowflakes.

18 comments:

Tom Clark said...

Frank is my building manager and pal...you couldn't meet a nicer guy if ya tried!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe this is the East Village. The apartment is too clean. Where are all the killer dust bunnies? Still, I'd like to give this guy an eggnog.

Anonymous said...

This is so fab!

J Mcccowan said...

A Good Super always hard working truly the "Illustrated Man". Agree with Tom generous too a fault. A good Bloke he is enjoyed with many a Tenant on a Summer Roof party always present with his beer cooler in hand. In short A Jolly Good Fellow

Deb said...

Fantastic !! He surely has the Christmas spirit !! And I thought I over decorated 😆 Hurray for Frank ! 😍

Stacie J. said...

H/t to Rachel for helping facilitate this interview!

lasirenanyc said...

What a celebratory guy !! How fabulous !!!

Sam C said...

Rachel is the best!! Love this.

Anonymous said...

And my wife thinks I go overboard! This is fantastic...

Anonymous said...

Frank is the best super ever born!

Anonymous said...

I love how he decorates. Why not go big on Christmas? It's fun. I also love how modern and clean his apartment is. I want to move in! Merry Christmas!

Elizabeth Heir said...

Is he the real Santa?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have never seen such passion and devotion for Christmas. Good on him!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what his walls look like when all this comes down?

La vie est belle said...

Inspiring!

Luistoosexyrawr said...

I love it, frankies apartment is too fire. If I were in a bad mood and walked in I would immediately be in a cheerful mood.

Danielle said...

I am the general in the War on Christmas. Frankie Christmas, by the grace of your snowflake tattoos, you have succeeded in melting my militant heart. Consider this a detante. Wishing your joyful spirit a safe and wonderful holiday.

James said...

In display we can often find the spirit of Christmas. When I was a young lad my mother took me to see "the Tree" watch the ice skating. But also we visited the retail windows of Macy's and Lord and Taylor Christmas Display. I always favored the Lord and Taylor one. Much these days is lost but we still have the "Tree" and "It's a wonderful Life". These are hard times for many so Go over the Top Frank with your celebration we all enjoyed the piece except the Grinch :).