|Photo courtesy of NYnatives.com|
It bothers me when New York City treats Staten Island as its stepchild, causing the locals to refer to it as “the forgotten borough.” It didn’t help matters when Staten Islanders felt neglected by government and city officials during the initial impact of Super Storm Sandy, which devastated parts of this “fifth borough.”
it troubles me so much because I have fond memories as a kid while traveling
from Brooklyn to Staten Island to visit my family. At the time (circa
1970s), going to Staten Island was as though I was traveling to the country, but
still a short commute away from home. For
me, it was my way of escaping the noise and frantic atmosphere of Brooklyn and getting in touch with nature. I
would go outside and catch and release frogs all day long. Not to mention, it
was the first place I ever saw a possum; I probably would’ve reacted
the same to a martian sighting. Strangely enough, I didn’t see one of those
ornery-looking creatures in Brooklyn until I was 40 years old.
the borough experiencing a tremendous growth population over the years, it has
become more city-like without completely losing its suburban feel; though sadly, many
Gothamites are more likely to travel to California than they are to Staten Island.
countless locals ride the Staten Island Ferry daily to commute into Manhattan for work, most who ride the boat to SI go for the views only, and never leave the vessel except for boarding the return trip to the city. They neglect to venture onto the island and discover St. George, one of the borough’s treasures, and an
up-and-coming part of the island experiencing tremendous gentrification.
was my love of baseball that helped me uncover St. George. In June 21, 2001, Richmond County
Ballpark at St. George — now the permanent home of the Staten Island Yankees, the short-season A affiliate of the New York Yankees — opened for business. I
would attend games between the Brooklyn Cyclones and SI Yankees, often bringing my
nephew Carmine with me. I eventually began to discover the neighborhood’s beautiful Victorian
homes, and numerous amazing places to dine and have fun.
|The Staten Island Yankees in action–credit|
frogs is no longer a pastime for me. I
still visit family, of course, and more members now call
it home, along with several childhood friends. But I always make it a point to
frequent at least one of my favorite spots while there. I can’t pass up eating
at Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern, or new kid on the block, Pizzeria Giove. If you enjoy classic
brick oven pizza, then you’ll love both of these restaurants.
|Denino’s brick oven pizza is some of the best I’ve eaten in the city–credit|
Theater, the Staten Island Museum, among other places. You see, Staten Island does have a lot to offer, especially
its special brand of New York attitude.
Maybe you’ll visit (or revisit) it
someday and look at the borough with a new pair of eyes next time. Staten Island can use your support now more than ever since Sandy’s aftermath
left it reeling.