Staten Island Treasure focuses on interesting People and Places and some of the things I love about Staten Island, New York.
If you asked me what I love about Staten Island when I was 16, I would’ve said, “not much”, but as I got older and had a chance to travel and live elsewhere, I soon realized there are many things, I really do love about my hometown, Staten Island, New York.
Yet, Staten Island doesn’t seen to get much love from the millions of tourists that ride the iconic Staten Island Ferry but rarely visit Staten Island’s charming neighborhoods, parks and cultural attractions. Perhaps the the installation of the second tallest Ferris wheel in the world and the opening of the National Lighthouse Museum in Downtown Staten Island will change some minds. Staten Island offers many interesting cultural sites such as, the Chinese Scholars Garden at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Tibetan Museum on Lighthouse hill, the St. George Theatre, Casa Belvedere on Grymes hill, the Alice Austin House and Garibaldi-Meucci Museum in Rosebank.
Too many non-Staten Islanders really are uninformed about the great neighborhoods, schools and attractions found here. I hope this resource will help to dispel some of the negative attributes promoted in films like Working Girl and Goodfellas, (although some of this is true). Staten Island is among the fastest growing places in NYC to live and attracts hundreds of new families every year. A majority of Staten Islanders are college educated and choose to raise their families here instead of moving to North Carolina or parts of New Jersey.
As a north shore resident of Staten Island, who also was born here, one can find differences between the north, mid-island and south shore. I will admit that I’m north shore centric,only because I’ve seen too many south shore residents and some politicians, show no appreciation for the historic, charming and more urban communities located on the North Shore of Staten Island.
The north shore offers more diversity in ethnic backgrounds, architecture and landscape than the rest of Staten Island. It is where I prefer to reside, but “to each its own”. You can find some similarities on the mid-island and south shore, in neighborhoods such as Grasmere, New Dorp and Tottenville. In my experience, many mid-island and south shore neighborhoods are less pedestrian friendly and have an abundance of faux stucco, vinyl siding and brick-face.
I prefer classic and historic homes built around the turn of the century up until the 1930s, with one exception, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home located on Lighthouse hill. Overall, Staten Island is more affordable than most of NYC, has less crime and has good schools. Its also called the borough of parks for a reason, with the Greenbelt, Clove Lakes park, Fresh Kills Park, Walker park, Faber park, Conference House Park, Great Kills-Gateway National park, Heritage Park-a new waterfront park in West Brighton and far too many to mention them all.
If your discussing Staten Island, one can’t ignore the commute between Staten Island and its neighbors, Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey. Unfortunately we do have one of the longest commutes in the country and you can’t return to Staten Island by bridge without paying the Port Authority of NY/NJ a ridiculously overpriced toll. Traveling off hours and taking public transportation, is recommended.
On a positive note, Staten Island has a nice community feeling with lower density compared to the rest of the NY/NJ metro area and is conveniently located near so many great place to work or visit. It takes about an hour (by subway from the S.I. Ferry) to travel to Time Square for a Broadway show and less time to get to downtown hip Brooklyn or Hoboken, NJ. I personally enjoy many of the nearby attractions in the area, such as, north to New Paltz,NY or south to the Jersey Shore in about 2 hours, Newport Rhode Island or Boston, Mass in 4 1/2 hours, and Montreal, Canada in 7 hours.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you find this resource enjoyable and thought provoking…I hope you are tempted to explore some of the places mentioned here; learn something new about its history and people and find a new appreciation for Staten Island.
All the Best,