Speaking of Staten Island, I have a good amount of family living there. Most live in the Huguenot section, but we have some relatives who live on Todt Hill and Grymes Hill. Staten Island is an interesting place. I’m not quite sure it is a place I’d ever want to live, but I have spent many hours there. Back in the day, our family even operated a warehouse in the Port Richmond area. But over time, they moved everything to New jersey, because the tolls went from $4 to almost twenty.
Staten Island News shows just how much the island is like a small town. If your daughter is having a Sweet Sixteen, it will probably make the paper. But don’t be fooled. There are close to a half million people living on Staten Island, and it’s only getting more congested by the year.
I don’t want you, dear reader, to get the wrong impression. Staten Island is a part of New York City, one of the five counties that make up NYC. And while the island is mostly bedroom communities, Staten Island still has a lot to offer. If you’re a beachcomber, there are miles and miles of shoreline. If you are looking for Broadway, antique shops, and culture, you probably want to hit Manhattan, instead.
I’ve never lived on Staten Island, and I don’t regret it. Just not my thing. We grew up in Livingston, New jersey. But Staten Island does have some interesting cultural spots, like the Tibetan Museum and Sailor’s Sung Harbor. These are really gems and unique spots.
But, for the most part, it’s just houses and more houses. I’ve been to every neighborhood driving around with my cousins, and I’d say that, for the most part, that’s what Staten Island is.
I am not knocking Staten Island. There are some really beautiful areas. It’s just that the traffic makes traveling on the island a mess. Why would I want to move to a place where I have to sacrifice over twenty hours a week trying to get back and forth to anyplace else?
Staten Island news also includes the latest in shopping malls set to open. I kid you not. I forgot to tell you that part. There are about a million shopping centers, way too many for the size of the borough. Everyone talks about new shopping malls set to open like it’s some amazing thing. If you’re getting the impression that Staten Island is somewhat devoid of meaningful culture, you might be onto something.
Grymes Hill is breathtaking. My cousin lives up there, in a villa that looks straight out of Italy. Her views are of the Atlantic Ocean, and she gets to see the sun rise over the water each morning. You’d never believe you are within the city limits. NYC never looked so incredible.
But again, if we are going to meet for brunch, she’s always late. The highways on Staten Island are a parking lot, and there isn’t much you can do about it. It builds Patience. Even visiting, I get antsy sitting there in traffic. And, it’s not just rush hour. It’s most hours that people are awake. I’ve driven to my cousins’ homes at night and it’s only thirty minutes away. But during the day, it’s an hour-and-a-half.
Traffic is really a big issue for Staten Islanders. The main highway was redesigned a few years ago. They removed some exits and entrances, and added others. It did very little to alleviate the traffic issues. The thing is, Staten Island did not develop in any kind of way that you could say was methodical or planned. The infrastructure cannot keep up, and the building boom never ends.
The worst part of it all, they removed these overpasses that passed over the highway, some project that was abandoned in the 1960s. It was a great vista for taking in the views. Of course, the overpasses did not affect traffic in the least, though it was claimed that they were an obstruction to drivers.
I am not making fun of Staten Island. It’s truly a unique place, and my cousins insist they’d never move, even with the sky-high property taxes, traffic, and other NYC-related issues. To me, it’s just an odd place that I enjoy visiting, but whenever I’m driving back home, I am thankful that I didn’t end up rooted there. My own parents never said a good thing about Staten Island, and thought my relatives living there were insane. My father was adamantly opposed to the warehouse staying on Staten Island, and that’s part of the reason we moved that facility to Linden, New Jersey.