Real Estate

How this ‘Fun House’ became the eye candy eyesore of Queens

What do 40 inflatable flamingos, a skeleton in a garden chair and a human-sized T-Rex have in widespread?

They’re all on the garden of the “Fun House,” in Bayside, Queens, which has turn into the eye candy (or eyesore, relying in your tolerance for kitsch) of the neighborhood.

If you’re searching for somebody in charge, meet the effervescent and eclectic husband-wife duo, Lon, 63, and Joanna Blais, who says her age is “between 40 and death.”

Together they run a personnel and concierge service, act on the aspect and most notably have reworked their in any other case unassuming, quasi-suburban, 2,500-square-foot household house right into a full-time spectacle.

The couple moved into the 1950 Bell Boulevard home again in 2004 after years of condo residing — a second that occurred to coincide with Joanna’s recovery from years of debilitating well being points.

“This house is going to be about fun, celebration,” Lon Blais stated he proclaimed after they moved in.

Soon after, that they had an artist pal paint murals on their partitions and turned the basement right into a tiki bar. But when COVID-19 hit final year Lon determined he was going to increase the festive vibe to the exterior of their home.

“I wanted to give people a reason to smile,” he advised The Post.

The yard and all of its kitchy fun.
Forty inflatable flamingos, a skeleton in a garden chair and a human-sized T-Rex are all half of the enjoyable.
Stefano Giovannini

He gathered each final bit of decorations the couple had laying round from numerous holidays and events and began to festoon his façade.

“It looked like Walt Disney threw up in my yard,” he stated.

Not lengthy after, somewhat lady walked by together with her mom and known as it the “Fun House.” The moniker caught.

Today, with NYC reopened and the worst days of lockdown in the rearview mirror, the Fun House continues to function a rotating cast of inflatable and usually colourful characters of numerous themes.

A painted sidewalk at the house.
An artist pal painted the sidewalks of the Fun House with cheery photos and messages. “Love another,” one observe reads.
Stefano Giovannini

While the typical suspect calendar moments and holidays — Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patty’s Day — are nonetheless celebrated with extra Griswold-esque ornament, any quantity of unrelated accoutrements might be part of the cacophony of kitsch.

A snowman made solely of tires, for example. Or a shed-sized blow-up birthday cake. A Renaissance-reminiscent figurine has been delicately positioned in a large, inflatable T-Rex’s mouth.

Last year, the Japanese Maple tree of their entrance garden died (the symbolism of which was not lost on the couple), so that they honored it by fashioning a to-scale mannequin of the tree out of cardboard wine containers.

An autumnal take on the yard.
The Bayside couple’s bonkers abode honors the seasons.
Lon and Joanna Blais

Last Thanksgiving, they even reenacted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with miniature floats (balloons) and a line of automobiles, a police automotive in the lead and a sanitation truck at the finish of the procession.

Messages of hope are scrawled in chalk surrounding the Fun House walkways and an artist pal painted the sidewalk with cheery patterns. “Love another,” one observe reads. “Stay strong,” reads one other.

‘It looked like Walt Disney threw up in my yard.’

Lon Blais

The Fun House even will get a heat reception on prickly social media.

“Great job! As a former lighting specialist, gold star,” one Facebook remark learn.

“Your house is so nice to see when I’m driving down Bell. It’s true happiness during these times….and I love what you do for every holiday & season!!! Thank you!” learn one other touch upon a Facebook neighborhood group.

Neighbors and passersby gawk and level at the enjoyable scenes. Some add their very own messages in chalk. Others depart contributions to the Fun House in the means of vacation or garden decorations.

“Every once in a while I walk outside and find something that I didn’t put there,” Lon stated.
When requested what his spouse thinks of the exterior adorning fixation, Lon added that she simply rolls her eyes at his efforts, “but in a supportive way.”

A skeleton dressed as a construction worker in the yard.
The couple has a skeleton crew doing development round the home.
Lon and Joanna Blais

Some may name Blais’ pastime inane, infantile or worst of all, in dangerous style — although fortunately they haven’t had any Lampoon-style electrical meltdowns or neighbors angrily dialing 311 as of but. If anybody has taken a dislike to the outlandish Fun House, they’ve saved it to themselves. And fortunately few guidelines exist on the metropolis or borough degree concerning semi-permanent garden decorations.

“The purpose of the Fun House has been just to make people smile through a really hard time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with continuing making my neighborhood a little bit happier even as we come out of the pandemic,” he stated.

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