Staten Island – is one of the areas is not as densely populated as the other four boroughs of New York City, and more remote than the other. Staten Island is located on the Hudson River. In another way, it is also called “the island of the States-General.” Staten Island is considered to be the city’s borough of New York City only since 1898. This island, which is located in the southern part of the State of New York, until 1975 was called Richmond because it belongs geographically to this area.
Features of the district Staten Island
The island’s appearance resembles the American heartland. Locals even call it “the forgotten borough”. In their opinion the local authorities do not care about this sleeping area. But the beauty of the island is just that there is not that crazy bustle and crowds of people, inherent in megalopolis. As an exception, the phenomenon can be observed only during the holidays, when performed some public events.
In Staten Island not even find skyscrapers, sometimes crushing by its majesty. Here you can enjoy the patriarchal peace and quiet, where people mostly live in their homes with quiet cozy courtyards. And although this area is built up mainly of one-store houses, it retains all the advantages of a big city.
The history of the district of Staten Island
First time residents of Staten Island were introduced to Europeans in 1524, when Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano made the trip from the east coast of North America to the New York Bay and Narragansett Bay. He crossed the Strait Narrouz and became a pioneer of the island. In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson (Hudson) named the island Staten Eylandt. Name comes from the Staten-General (translated from the Netherlands) – Parliament of the North of the Netherlands Confederation. Hudson also awarded him the status of the trade territory of the Netherlands.
In the period from 1639 on 1655 years The Netherlands have repeatedly tried to take the territory under its control, but this idea failed because of disagreements with the local Indian tribes. In 1620, in Manhattan was signed the first agreement on the new colony of the Netherlands.
Only in 1661 an agreement of permanent subordination of the Netherlands Island was adopted. This event took place in the village of Oude Dorp (translated from the Netherlands “Old Village”). This rule spread on the territories, which was located far away from South Beach, on the south side of the Strait Narrouz, was populated by a small number of Huguenots and Walloons, who came from the Netherlands.
From 1947 to 2001 the island was literally turned into a city dump. Today, hear take place the variety of activities for reconstruction of the area to create a place that is suitable for the construction of the entertainment zone.
Because in this area you can relax from the bustle of the metropolis, it is considered to be “sleeping”. The structure of New York consists of four boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan, where life is literally is bubbling, but on the island of Staten Island, things are quite different. The flow of life is more measured and calm, without the hustle and bustle of the crowds and cars. Until 1960, in the south of the island were even farms. After the Verrazano Bridge was built, which is linked Staten Island with Brooklyn, the area became massively populated. Accordingly, the island lost its past leisurely lifestyle. Since the advent of transport there was a lot of traffic jams, road accidents and as a result, hear it is constantly take place works of road rehabilitation. In spite of this the area of Staten Island is considered to be attractive for the living among the local citizens, especially for those who speak Russian. The Russian-speaking population is about 20% of the total population of the island.
Individual nuances on Staten Island life were reflected in the remarkable feature film, directed by James De Monaco in 2009, which is called:. “Staten Island”
Location of the district Staten Island
Staten Island, including the islands which are located near, covers 151.5 square meters of the earth’s surface, water area covers 114.5 square meters. Strait Narrouz runs along Staten Island and Long Island. Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill – straits, which is separating the island from New Jersey.
District Staten Island is connected with New Jersey through bridges Gotalz, Bayonne, and Outer bridge Crossing. One of the largest suspension bridges Verrazano connects the island with Brooklyn.
In the center of Staten Island, is situated Todt Hill – the highest point of the island. This hill is reaching a height of 125 meters. There is also a Moravian Cemetery, which is now the largest on the island. In 1960, a long time could not decide how to organize the natural zone, which would be protected appropriately.
Now Staten Island can boast a huge variety of green spaces and a variety of natural sites, which are located in the park area of Greenbelt. This Staten Island proudly referred as the “lungs of New York.”
Being as a part of New York, for a long period of formation and development of Staten Island was quite a difficult path of struggle for independence. Therefore, instead of calling the island “sleeping” or “forgotten” area, much more correct to give him the name of the independent island. After all, for over two hundred years old district tried many times to break away from the metropolis. Especially for this were held referendums, the purpose of which was the acquisition of independence. In 1993, the majority of votes were cast for the separation of the island, but this decision was overturned the city administration.
Such a zealous decision of independence was caused geographically, as the island is not closer to New York, but to New Jersey. From other cities it is also geographically removed at a considerable distance, and get there it was possible only by ferry. Only after the opening of the Verrazano Bridge in 1964, the island became a little closer to New York City.
Staten Island Attractions
After the introduction in operation in 1964, the Verrazano Bridge, named after the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, became one of the main attractions of the island. Since the opening of the bridge it was crossed by a huge number of cars. During the crossing of the bridge payment is required for travel in both directions, but the sum was initially quite meager. Gradually travel prices were rising, and until 2008 the payment was for ten dollars. Now the rate has risen slightly and it is $ 15.
The bridge connects the island of Staten Island and Brooklyn and it is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. It consists of two floors, each of which has three lanes for automobiles movement. This design considerably facilitates the trip to New Jersey, from Long Island. Any vessel, both commercial and cruise, on arrival in New York, always passes under the bridge, because the distance from the bridge to the water level, equal to 69.5 m, so it allows.
The bridge was built only for vehicles and for movement of pedestrians it is not designed. During the traditional annual marathon in New York, this rule does not apply to pedestrians. They can use one of the floors of the bridge, and partly marathon takes place on Staten Island. It is because the marathon the bridge is now widely known throughout the world.
The Staten Island Zoo
The zoo is located in the park Clarence Barrett and covers an area of 3.3 hectares. Its opening happened on June 10, 1936, as a “zoo of reptiles” and as the first US institution founded for educational purposes. Due to certain programs, visitors have the opportunity to understand the characteristics of animal life and their significance in human life.
There are the wide variety of rattlesnakes that inhabit in the United States and other countries. Animals that inhabit in the jungle, occupy a dedicated pavilion, where are maintained the natural conditions, which inherent habitats of this species.
In 1969 has been made the reconstruction of the zoo, on the site of which was opened the “Center for children”. It was made under the project of the farm where the children communicate with animals by themselves. Since then, the number of zoo visitors has increased dramatically, especially family with small children like to spend time here.
In 1988 there was a new stage in the development of the zoo, which was marked by the provision of accreditation of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. Its aim was to make conditions as close as possible to the animal’s natural environment. As a result, visitors can observe exotic animals almost in the wild habitats.
For this were built new exhibition halls, the construction of which continues to this day. Thanks to their improvement were created new opportunities for the preservation and growth of many species of animals.
Cultural center in Snug Harbor
Snug Harbor is a collection of nautical theme buildings of the XIX century, which is located in the northern part of Staten Island along the Strait Kill van Kul. One time this area was inhabited by sailors. Today, the city park occupies a vast area of 340 thousand square meters.
Numerous facilities of the complex were created in an eclectic architectural style, as well as neo-Greek, Italian and Victorian styles. The buildings have a unique look and decorate the historic district of the island. Today, for many cultural organizations it is the perfect place for exhibitions, concerts and other festivities.
The idea of creation belongs to Snug Harbor, the captain Robert Randall, who created the park in 1801 for the sailors who cannot serve in the Navy and need “safe haven”. In 1965 the complex was declared a National Historic Landmark. And since 1976, it is acting as a center of Snug Harbor Cultural. Even now, the sailors, who desperately need financial assistance, can get it from Snug Harbor.
Botanical Garden of Staten Island
Garden is located right here on the territory of the cultural complex. The garden consists of the Chinese and the White Garden. Place of the Garden’s location is very original and decorated in a labyrinth and is surrounded by a wall with the castle. Inside the complex is also located Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art – the exhibition, which covers an area of 1400 square meters.
The city park also has collection of Nobel Sea, named after the sailor, painter and lithographer John Nobel, and the Museum of Staten Island, with a collection of historical artifacts of New York. In the city park there is located the Children’s Museum Staten Island Music Hall, which is designed for 850 seats and the School of Fine Arts. Music Hall was created in 1892 and today is one of the oldest Music Halls in New York.
Although the island has no quite brightest sights, still he is known for beautiful and pretty clean beaches. One of them – is South Beach, which creates a magnificent view of the Verrazano Bridge across the Strait Narrouz. Pretty longest beach area stretches to the east of the park area of Staten Island. Boardwalk takes almost two and a half miles, and it is arranged parallel the boulevard Kappodano. This deck connects South Beach with Midland Beach and bears the name of Franklin Roosevelt.
Promenade along the waterfront – it is one of the most favorite places for locals and visitors of Staten Island. In the summer, there is organized various events and fairs. On the territory of the waterfront are cafes, playgrounds, sports facilities. In the warm season here rollerblading, biking, playing bocce ball, as well as swimming on kayak and canoe.
The parks of Staten Island
The numerous parks of the island are the main attractions of Staten Island.
Great Kills Park – is an extensive territory, which occupies an area of almost 580 acres. Park originates from the Haylala Boulevard and stretches along the shoreline and ends at the beach.
The park is famous for its ecological resources. Its name comes from the Dutch word, which translated into English means “many streams.” Here you can relax on the beach, yachting and fishing.
The park area is equipped with a special track for jogging and rollerblading. Children can play freely in the playground equipped with swings, houses and various buildings. Fans of ballistic missile launches, kites, model airplanes and flying saucers can do it in a special field.
Wolfs Pond Park – it is a huge area of green grassy fields where campers happy to come for picnics. Active guests can play tennis, basketball and hockey, because there are specially equipped for these grounds.
The park’s name comes from the English word, means “wolf”. Wolves are not here, but the view of the pond from the top is very similar to a wolf’s head. The northern part of the pond is decorated with lilies. Summer morning, you can watch a picture, which is worth the brush of the artist in the impressionist style – it is the truly breathtaking performance.
Not bad, you can have fun in the Willowbrook Park. Here you can have an opportunity not only to enjoy the outdoors, watching waterfowl in a big pond, but also play football and tennis. And you can fix the rest of the real riding on the carousel with music.
Free ferry crossing “Staten Island Ferry”
To get to the island, you can use around the clock and free ferry. Its pier is located in the northern part of the island. Ships in orange and blue decoration constantly are crossing between Manhattan and Staten Island. To make such trip can be totally free.
The ferry operated by the Department of Transportation of New York. For its services resort more than 18 million people a year.
While walking on the ship, you can enjoy the observing of the most beautiful sights of the island, such as: a view of the Upper New York Harbor, the Verrazano Bridge, the majestic monsters-skyscrapers of Manhattan, the coast of New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty.
On the southernmost tip of Manhattan – “South Ferry” it is located north terminal point of the ferry. It is located in the periphery of the underground interchange Whitehall Street-South Ferry. A St. George on the northern point of the island – is the southern ending station. Travel time of the route is about 25 minutes, and its length – 8.4 km. The intervals between trips are half an hour, and during “rush hour” are about 15-20 minutes. In the early morning hours and late at night boats depart every hour. On weekends, the intervals between departures are half an hour and one hour.
On the ferry there are certain rules in order to avoid overloading. Even if the passengers, who driving particular route, want to make another trip, they are required to cross terminal at the last stop. Also on the lower deck of the ferry you can transport bikes – this service is free. Once upon a time the ferry was permitted to carry cars, for which you had to pay $ 3. But after the events of September 11, 2001 to carry private cars on the ship is forbidden.
With the help of local buses residents of Staten Island can reach almost anywhere in the island. Communication from the Brooklyn borough is possible thanks to the two bus routes, and the island and Manhattan connect the buses express routes. The final stop of basic masses of buses is the pier in St. George. Two routes, which travel through the Verrazano Bridge, finish their way in the Brooklyn on 95th Street.
Express buses mostly go in peak hours and are designed for ease of movement without having to make the transplant for the islanders who work in Manhattan. Directions to such transport are inexpensive, and it is for $ 5. If you need to transfer to the subway and local routes you can do this for free.
Staten Island Railway
District Staten Island – the only one of the five boroughs, where the railway line has no subway lines. Railway road of Island is intercity passenger and is working around the clock. Although the railway-line is not connected to the underground, and it does not belong to the part, but in the diagrams is designated as one of the underground lines.
The road is the line, which is extending along the eastern and south-eastern coast of the island. In order to transfer to the railway from the metro station, you can use mostly free ferry services. On St. George’s northern terminal station of the railway is connected with the south of the ferry terminal. Near the interchange periphery of Whitehall Street – South Ferry in Manhattan it is located north terminal of the ferry.
Railroad formally considered the subway, because it is completely separated from the urban transport. The road, various embankments, cuttings and flyovers pass over land, except for a small tunnel on the stretch from St. George to Tompkinsville. The regularity of the movement of trains varies and depends on the time of day and congestion on the roads from one train per hour at night and up to eight trains in a rush hour.
All transport, including ferry, train and Bus Island, under the control of the transport company in New York.
Despite the wide variety of transport, which is available to the inhabitants of the island, but without a car to do it is sometimes not easy, because the Queen’s area – the most remote of the five boroughs of New York City. So many families have private cars or several (per family member), the better to each day to get to school and go to the supermarket, which is located a few miles from home.
Bridges of Staten Island
The largest bridge Verrazano – it is the third largest suspension bridge along the length, which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island. To drive at the island over the bridge is available for $ 15, and go from there – for free.
In Staten Island, there are another three bridges: Goethals, Bayonne and Outer Bridge, which are leading New Jersey. Over the entrance to the bridge will be charged a fee of $ 13, and leaving is for free. Through Goethals it is possible to reach to Elizabeth City, Bayonne Bridge connects respectively with the city of Bayonne, and Outer Bridge – with Perth Amboy.
The roads of Staten Island
Bridges of the island are interconnected by several speedways. They are called highways. Bridges Verrazano and Goethals are connected to the 278th road that are going from east to west and crosses the island and it is called the Staten Island Express Way.
Outer bridge and Bayonne are connected by 440th road, which is called the Western Highway, and connects 278th street and highway behalf of Korean War veterans. It extends from the junction of Arthur Kill Road and Richmond Avenue and ends with Outer Bridge.
Travelling on all roads on the island is free.
Who lives in Staten Island?
The island is populated of about 500 thousand people, more than 12 thousand people of which according to the same source are the Russian-speaking immigrants, and according to another source, this figure reaches 50 thousand people. Staten Island covers an area of 62 square miles (2.5 times more than Manhattan). The vast population of the island are the Italians (more than 167 thousand people.), and least of all on the island of Hispanics – 18% of the total population of the island.
Earlier in Staten Island lived mostly “white men”; now 32% of the population of the entire population of the island are the national minorities. This figure is on 12% higher than the same figure was 20 years ago. With the growth of the population and any other problems, the most pressing of which was fairly high cost of housing, which is very difficult to buy.
Interesting facts about Staten Island
The island, located in a part of New York for many years, has repeatedly led the struggle for independence. For this purpose in 1993 a referendum was held among its residents. According to the results 65% of the population of Staten Island voted for the independence of the island and its withdrawal from the New York City. But the decision of the population was categorically rejected by the government of the island.
As a result of the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, which were subjected to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, died 250 of the islanders.
Celebrities who were born in the area:
Persons, who were fortunate enough to be born on this island, gained considerable popularity all over the world:
Christina Aguilera – a popular singer, is known for her voice to the whole world.
Alice Austen – the photographer, who belongs to one of the women who was at the forefront of the profession.
Oscar Auerbach – scientist, was defining the interface between smoking and lung cancer.
Albert Baez – physicist, who, along with Paul Kirkpatrick invented the microscope, often used in DNA research.
Thomas Adams – author of the idea of a chewing gum.
Aaron Barr – Third Vice-President of the United States of America.
Joan Baez – daughter of Albert Baeza, a great singer with a magnificent voice, is performing songs in the folk style.
Tony Kantsoneri – known boxer, multiple world champion in three weight classes from 1927 to 1930.
District Staten Island – one of the most attractive boroughs of New York City. This is the most remote place of metropolis compared with the rest of the island is very attractive for residents. The absence of giant skyscrapers and fuss creates a sense of calm and tranquility. This is a place, which you should definitely visit.