Text and photos by Stacie Joy
We last checked in with the undisputed king of East Village Christmas, Frank “Frankie Christmas” Bianco, at this time last year.
This year Bianco, a Brooklyn native who has lived here since 1980, welcomed us back to his winter wonderland apartment on Avenue D with an update on the lighting schedule...
“This year, I shattered my previous record and was able to put up a total of 11,875 lights, about 1,500 more than last year. To finish by Dec. 1, I usually start decorating as soon as the Labor Day weekend finishes. For the last couple of months, it took me about 200 hours to complete each room in my apartment. I usually spend an hour or two each night of the week decorating and get the bulk of it done on the weekends, where I may spend up to eight hours decorating.”
What else is new?
“It’s a tradition to get at least a half dozen Christmas tattoos every year since moving down to the LES. I have 11 new snowflake tattoos and the Grinch’s hand holding an ornament. Similar to my Christmas tattoos, I always make sure to add a few new decorations to my apartment as well. I purchased a Christmas Tree from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world located in Frankenmuth, Mich., and my favorite new addition, a Swarovski 2021 snowflake ornament.”
What can we look forward to next year?
“In 2022, I’m somehow putting up more lights than I did this year! It’ll be tough, but I’m confident I’ll be able to [string more than] 12,000 lights. I’ll also be returning to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland to find new additions to my collection, and most important spread the Christmas Spirit!”
Read our Q&A with Frankie from last year at this link.