STATEN ISLAND – THIS PART OF NEW YORK IS WORTH MORE THAN A FERRY RIDE
Staten Island is a New York borough that’s worth a lot more than just a peek from the ferry terminal. This is where suburban greenery meets great beaches, where you can enjoy art and culture, experience history and everyday American life – and all of this in peace.
One of New York’s most famous landmarks is a venerable lady: Miss Liberty, the Statue of Liberty, stands on a small island in the middle of the harbor. Anyone who hasn’t seen her hasn’t really been to New York City. But admittedly, most tourists look at the landmark, at least from the water. With the ferry ” Staten Island Ferry “Doesn’t that even cost anything. The crossing is free and connects the residents of New York’s southwestern borough with Manhattan. Ferries leave the St. George Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan every quarter of an hour. Advanced fans of the Big Apple will certainly not stop at the crossing.
The oldest village is a single open-air museum
Perhaps it is the many parks and the comparatively few people (only around half a million New Yorkers live on Staten Island) that sometimes give the borough the attribute “boring”. It’s a shame, because visitors miss a lot. For example, the two oldest surviving school buildings in the USA are on Staten Island. ” Conference House “(298 Satterlee St.) was completed around 1680,” Voorlezer’s House “(Arthur Kill Rd. Across from Center St.) dates from 1695. Both buildings are now open to the public as museums. The “Conference House” takes its name from an important conference during the War of Independence. The founding fathers of the USA, including Benjamin Franklin, met here with the British Admiralty shortly after the declaration of independence was signed. At that time the British still controlled the area around New York, which they later lost. Today it is worth taking a long walk through the museum park, some of which is located directly on the water. The two buildings are part of the historic Richmondtown on Staten Island, which is the only large open-air museum with over 30 buildings from the late 17th to the early 20th century.
A story with light and shadow
For a long time, however, Staten Island was just a pretty village, cut off from the rapid development of Manhattan. That only changed in 1964 when the world-famous and imposing Verrazano-Narrows-Bridge opened. The elegant bridge connects Staten Island with Brooklyn and thus also with Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge. Nothing stood in the way of an economic upswing.
But the bridge was not a one-way street. With the new transport connections, the city administration suddenly had new opportunities to dispose of New York’s constantly growing mountains of rubbish. The Fresh Kills landfill has been there since 1948, and it has grown steadily. The landfill was only closed when the residents protested massively because of the strong methane evaporation. Before the renaturation began in 2003, Fresh Kills recorded one last, tragic time that no one needed anymore: The rubble, rubble and ashes of the Twin Towers after the attack on September 11, 2001, are stored here. But not only That. The terrorist attack also killed nearly 300 people who lived on Staten Island and took the ferry to work every morning. A memorial was erected for them not far from the ferry terminal. It symbolizes two huge angel wings. In the skyline they fill exactly the gap that the twin towers have left.
The year 2012 also brought a visit to Staten Island. Hurricane “Sandy” left a swath of devastation that has not yet been completely closed. The large-scale reconstruction is not only planned, it is already in progress. As an absolute highlight and magnet for visitors, the largest Ferris wheel in the world was to be built here, which should accommodate over 1400 guests per trip. The project was discontinued in October 2018 due to funding problems.
Museums worth seeing away from the gears
Granted, the museums on Staten Island have a lot of competition in Manhattan. Still, art lovers will definitely not regret a trip to the southwest. In the ” Staten Island Museum “(75 Stuyvesant Place) you can expect not only large scientific and historical collections but also great art, including works by Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol.
The district also shows a heart for children. In the ” Staten Island Children’s Museum “(1000 Richmond Terrace) the youngsters can not only admire child-friendly objects, but also play and go on a journey of discovery. Definitely a tip for everyone in New York with children.
For everyone who needs a little distance from the hustle and bustle of New York, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art “(338 Lighthouse Avenue). This truly magical place not only takes you into the artistic world of Tibet. In the meditation garden, you can relax in almost monastic silence and come back to your senses.
Beach vacation on Staten Island
For a beach vacation in New York? Yes, you can on Staten Island. In addition to a wonderful sandy beach, there is a wooden promenade. This “boardwalk” is the fourth longest of its kind with a length of 2.3 kilometers. From here you have great views, not least of the elegant bridge to Brooklyn. While fishermen and anglers frolic at the south end, at the “Ocean Breeze”, the meeting point of Staten Island is waiting at the north end of the promenade – the dolphin fountain or dolphin fountain.
Staten Island in a nutshell
- Free ferry service every 15 minutes from Bay Street / St. George Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan
- Southwestern borough of New York
- Accessible free of charge on the Staten Ferry Island from Manhattan
- In the oldest district of Richmondtown, over 30 historic buildings and many parks await visitors
- A memorial for the victims of the terrorist attack of September 11th was erected not far from the ferry terminal
- Great art by Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol at the Staten Island Museum
- The Staten Island Children’s Museum is a great place to visit for travelers with children
- Find peace and relaxation in the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
- Wide sandy beach with the fourth longest wooden promenade in the world