By Mariya Pylayev

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Location: 107 Himrod St.

Owners: Gladys and Julio Franco-Colon

Special guests: Robby Franco-Colon and extended family

In a place like Bushwick, with its industrial landscape and lack of greenery, a little cheery lighting and merry spirit can go a long way. Gladys and Julio Franco-Colon of 107 Himrod St. have maintained this outlook for the 13 years they’ve lived here. Their son Robby, dressed year-round as an angel, only makes the process more enjoyable for them, they tell me.

We briefly discussed the family’s early years of Bushwick living. Those early years were tough, Gladys told me. This, of course, comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the neighborhood’s history of violence and drugs. The house is one of several on the block that has a lawn, an atypical addition around here, and is still equipped with a heavy fence that needs to be locked from the inside and outside. Trick-or-treating, treated today as an activity to be carried out with extreme caution (or not at all) by overbearing parents everywhere, was considered truly unwise in Bushwick over a decade ago. Gladys is happy that things have since changed for the better.

But we didn’t dwell on the past so much. We quickly moved on to other more current, lighthearted topics – decoration placement, photography, and Robby’s singing abilities.

Check out the slideshow below. (You’ll wonder how I kept from pinching Robby’s cheeks off.)

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