Spotlight: Staten Island

Whenever someone hears NYC first thing that comes to mind is Times Square, Maddison Square, Central Park and of course Statue of Liberty. There is so much more to the metropolises than that! For example, Staten Island. Staten Island is the southernmost borough of New York, in which there are a total of five boroughs throughout the great city of New York. Staten Island connects to the lower portion of Manhattan if you enjoy taking the ferry.

staten Island Fort Wadsworth
Annabel Ruddle

There are so many reasons why you should visit Staten Island, but we suggest – getting lost on Staten Island. Not in the sense that you are freaking out because you are lost, it is getting dark, you don’t have any money and your phone is dead – no that is scary and obviously, that won’t make for an enjoyable experience. But the concept that when you visit Staten Island you go with an open itinerary. You will be surprised by what you will find throughout this borough if you just meander around.

For example, The Staten Island Greenbelt. Outside of Central Park, most people don’t think about nature, parks of substantial size in New York City. Well, the Staten Island Greenbelt is BIGGER than Central Park, sitting with a plot of land more than 2,500 acres!

Or Italian culture – to hear this you’d think Brooklyn, right? Wrong! Staten Island is home to one of the largest Italian-American population within the five boroughs. Check out the Italian Culture Foundation’s: Rome Through Richmond Town, Casa Belvedere, and the Italian Club of Staten Island Foundation. And of course, we couldn’t forget to mention – FOOD! If you don’t try some Italian food from one of the numerous family-owned and operated restaurants you are missing out! There are very few places in the world that can compare to true Italian cuisine, but Staten Island is one of those few locations.

When you visit Staten Island one thing that you might see more than any other New York Borough is the sense of community. It might be hard to get that when you are standing in the center of Times Square but over in Staten Island, there are nearly 100 buildings or parks dedicated to the community. These were built with the belief that “together we are stronger” since for hundreds of years New York state and New Jersey fought over who would own the “rights” to Staten Island. During that time and since then the inhabitants of Staten Island believe that community, home, and family are the most important things in life. You will see evidence of this while you wander around here. People will ask you where you are from, where you are trying to get to, and if you need help.

With less than 500,000 residents, Staten Island is on record for being the least populated borough in New York City. Here you can enjoy nature, get away from the crowds, take the ferry for free and experience a lesser-known and more industrial side of New York that we believe you are bound to love!


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