Age-old holiday spirit lives on West 11 Street

West 11th Street is filled with vintage holiday spirit.

For the past 15 years, the Gravesend block’s 53 homes havebanded together to do something special for the season. This year,families decided to have an 18th century theme and decorated homeswith personalized natural wreaths.

We don’t like plastic and we try to keep it easy, explainedGeorge Frenzel, president of the West 11th Street BlockAssociation. It makes everything look nice with all the differentwreaths.

Some families decorated the wreaths with family initials ortrinkets, like vintage firemen.

We have a Jewish family that even put up a wreath for us,Frenzel said. Everyone wants to be a part of it, feeling some kindof camaraderie. It’s a good way to look out for one

Volunteers gave out seven hand-made baskets to those who lostloved ones or had to be hospitalized this year. They also knitted11 wheelchair throws for wounded vets returning from Iraq andAfghanistan and donated 25 plush toys to their children.

The block also donated two bags of toys to Toys for Tots, aswell as sports equipment, games and other toys to the BrownsvilleMission for Inner-City Kids and gave holiday gifts to seniorcitizens at the Holy Family Nursing Home.

Although residents come from very different backgrounds, theyall dressed up in 18th century period costumes, as a nod to LadyDeborah Moody, who founded the city of Gravesend nearly 370 yearsago.

We are the only English foundation in Brooklyn that we know of.The city was all Dutch back then, Frenzel explained. We are kindof proud of our heritage and wanted to do something. It’s nice thatwe dress up a little bit to give a flavor of what we aredoing.

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