Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

The Island Stuck to New Jersey

Staten Island, the least known and least populated of New York City’s five boroughs, is a puzzle to most people. Often they only know it as the destination of the Staten Island Ferry, the place where you have to turn around in the terminal to get on the return boat to Manhattan. It is a land of legendary garbage dumps (long gone), mafia deadbody dumps (less long gone), big hair, and big Ange from some reality TV show, (Staten Island being a gold mine for reality show recruiters).

Cedar shake facades in St. George, the urban core of Staten Island.

Cedar shake facades in St. George, the urban core of Staten Island.

Not being a native of this island, I won’t bore you with knee-jerk defenses of its reputation. Yes, in fact, it is the land of reality TV and dumpy vacant lots. But it does have a lot of potential as a alternative urban setting in New York. The North Shore of the island is the most historic part, with a lot of areas that have remained mostly unchanged for the past 50 or 60 years. I have started writing commentary about the changes and the things that remain the same in this area, in a blog called The Rock Across the Harbor. I post information there about new developments and urban planning issues and problems that arise.

There are a few new mega-projects either in the planning stage or already under construction on SI’s North Shore, in St. George there are the New York Wheel and  an outlet shopping mall, and in the next community, Stapleton there is another new large scale project on the waterfront. Presumably, these projects will radically change the island’s character, and it will no longer just be a lost appendage on the coast of New Jersey, but actually become integrated into the life of New York City. Presumably. This is certainly not the first time that such changes have been promised. In the past the promises have percolated for a while then fizzle out and disappeared. Time will tell if that will happen again. In the meantime, my occasional posts are meant to document a personal perspective on those changes and those things that remain the same.  Check out my blog!

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June 26, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment