Battery Carousel will start rotating by August ….

CurbedNY article After years of delay … the signs up at the Battery still say “Opening 2013!”… the SeaGlass Carousel is scheduled to open in August, 2015, according to reports in CurbedNY and Untapped Cities. Perhaps it was delayed because of the seemingly endless landscaping work being done in the park … or maybe it was financing – the Curbed article states that “As of late May, deep-pocketed patrons still had the opportunity to sponsor a fish for a mere $100,000.” The nautical themed carousel is unique with some interesting features. The ride will cost a very reasonable five dollars, so it should prove to be very popular among the tourists who walk by this park in droves, just looking around for something to do. . Untapped Cities article New structures and landscaping in the Battery are getting their finishing touches, so that the park, which has been a torn up mess for several years, is beginning to sign with renewed beauty. For more description of the ride experience and the carousel’s structure, click on the photos to be directed to the relevant articles.

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Front Street has potential!

A well built and pleasing industrial structure from 1912.

Long considered just a littered and potholed alternative route for Bay Street with no appeal either esthetically or commercially, Front Street has lain hidden in plain view along Staten Island’s North Shore ever since the demise of the dockyards that once operated there. With the opening of the URL complex of housing and retail that is fast approaching, there is now talk about the potential for the building stock directly across the road from the URL site. There are some historic industrial buildings there that are presently being used for back road commercial activity: auto repair, warehousing, etc. There is certainly a place in our island economy for such businesses, but probably not on a major pedestrian and commercial roadway, which is what Front Street will soon be.

Here is the latest article on the topic from the Staten Island Advance on line, SILive. 

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The pleasure of a stone wall

photo from St. George Civic Association

photo from St. George Civic Association

People have strong opinions about stone walls, they can denote stubbornness, isolation, incremental projects… Stonewall Jackson, The Great Wall of China,

But the beauty of a stone wall is not discussed all that often. In St. George there are many stone walls, and they add an esthetic element to the terraced lawns, hillsides and public parks here. The long stone wall at Curtis High School is an example of the typical St. George stonewall, both in its make-up and in its history. It deserves to be considered for preservation in its own right.

Curtis High School is extremely overcrowded. But instead of considering the construction of another high school in the area, the School Construction Authority continues to add piecemeal expansions of Curtis. Not a great policy in any case, but in the latest proposal, the existence of that historic stone wall is threatened.

The St. George Civic Association has created an online petition directed to the New York School Construction authority, urging them not to remove or damage the historic stone wall on St. Mark’s place in order to build an additional annex.

Here is the petition. Sign if you can!

The Place at St. George Terminal where No One Ever Goes

The upper level that most people don’t even know about. It is greatly underused. Is it sad or is it beautiful, or just blah?

A stand of metallic trees

A stand of metallic trees

Then entrance almost no one uses. A friend asked me to meet her here once… and then was furious when it took me a half hour to find it.

Then entrance almost no one uses. A friend asked me to meet her here once… and then was furious when it took me a half hour to find it.

I have actually seen tourists sitting here… good for them!

I have actually seen tourists sitting here… good for them!

Those trees

Those trees

Silver Lake: a reservoir of water and a fund of fresh air

There is a cool, fresh feel to the sunny air today, as midAugust brings the first inkling of summer’s end. And with many people, like myself, just back from vacations, it does seem like the seasons are beginning to change. So this is a great time to look at our natural environment. There’s no better place to start than Staten island’s first park, Silver Lake.

The serene stillness of Silver lake

The serene stillness of Silver lake. Although Silver Lake Park is the most accessible large park on the island, it is not visited by large numbers of people.

NYC Water Supply maintenance building mid lake

NYC Water Supply maintenance building mid lake

Many people know Silver Lake as a reservoir of drinking water and as the end of the line for New York City’s Catskill water supply system. That happened in the early years of the 20th Century, as the island’s population grew. Nowadays, the story is a bit more complicated, as the city decided during the 1960s to bury the drinking water reservoir below the lake in covered storage tanks. The work was completed in 1971 and thus the present lake is not part of the island’s water supply, but merely what covers it.

One of the slightly overgrown park paths

One of the slightly overgrown park paths

                                                      Silver Lake Park was the first city park to be created on Staten Island, but it was quickly overshadowed by Clove Lakes Park just to its south, and today a walk in the park is a quiet, solitary experience.  Cleanliness is maintained in a satisfactory way, but the vegetation is in desperate need of care.

Beyond these trees is the awe inspiring panorama of the lake, but from these benches it is hardly visible

Beyond these trees is the awe inspiring panorama of the lake, but you would hardly know that from these benches

The trees around the lake have grown so thick that panoramic views have been blocked off almost entirely by lush greenery. A thorough re-landscaping of the edges of the lake could really enhance the appearance of the park. However, even without this kind of intervention, the park is a spectacular sight and is remarkably calm and quiet in the midst of the busy North Shore. It is surely a joy for the people who visit it from all over the island and from the surrounding communities, many of them filled with large, beautiful homes.

Along Haven Esplanade

Along Forest Avenue and Haven Esplanade,  homes are large and impressive.        havenEspl1

Cinema under the Stars returns to Casa Belvedere

kryptoniteThe Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere is bringing back “Cinema sotto le stele” with the first screening Kryptonite! scheduled for Thursday, June 27, 2013.

Every Thursday Night, starting June 27 through September 5

Screenings Begin at 8:00 PM

                                                        Ten Evenings Featuring Some of Italy’s Most Celebrated Comedies in the past five years

Plus An Homage to Anna Magnani, on the 40th Anniversary of her death with the screening of “The Rose Tattoo”

Films will be shown in Italian, with English subtitles

Admission to the film festival is Free.  Everyone is encouraged to bring a beach/lawn chair or a blanket.  Donations are welcome and appreciated.  Refreshment stand will be available.  Parking is located directly across the street in the lot at Notre Dame Academy (unless noted otherwise).

 

Staten Island 100 years ago

Staten Island1900TMPAmong the cool maps available for free download and use at the US Geological Survey’s website, I found this historic map of Staten Island. Some interesting facts that become apparent immediately are the great expanses of undeveloped land and the extent of uninhabitable swamps. The towns along the North Shore on either side of St. George are there, as are New Dorp and Tottenville, but little else. And notice the huge amount of marshland on either side of the Arthur Kill in New Jersey and Staten Island.