Is this the island where the Statue of Liberty? Or the one who greeted at the beginning of the Twentieth century, the immigrants came to live the american dream? Nothing of this. Often confused with Liberty, and Ellis Island, Staten Island is one of the five boroughs (boroughs) of New York city with Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx. It is the third largest of them, but also the least populated… And the least known. The visitors know more about the ferry that you can make for free. If Staten Island is definitely not the first place where a street during a first visit to New York, the island has sites that are worth visiting for a day or two.
After a passage of about thirty minutes, the ferry was moored in St George. Hard to believe we are still in one of the largest metropolises in the world. There is not the shadow of a building. The movement is fluid and the streets are quiet, lined by houses with a garden. One of the places in the vicinity is located more to the south, along the coast. Built in 1690, the birth home of Alice Austen (1866-1952) imitation of a farm’s Dutch, is one of the oldest on the island. A museum intimate traces the life and work of one who was one of the photographers in the u.s. the most prolific of his generation.
fifteen minutes of walking, we arrive in the middle of the former military installations in Fort Wadsworth , among the oldest in the United States. Built in 1663, they were used by the British during the War of independence before becoming in 1860 as a place of defense of the port of New York. The forts are not accessible to the public, but the park can be visited at any time. The Verrazano Bridge, the bridge that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn, where runs the New York marathon, overlooks the site of Fort Wadsworth.
The house of Alice Austen, features a museum depicting the life and work of the american photographer. Peter Borghard/Peter Borghard home of Alice Austen, features a museum depicting the life and work of the american photographer. Fort Wadsworth, was for centuries the largest military installation in the United States. The Verrazano Bridge connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. Houses, shops, town hall, church… The historic village of Richmond Town, plunges us into three centuries back. Guided tours allow the curious to better appreciate the historic village of Richmond Town, visiting the shops of craftsmen and the interior of the restored houses. Some of the houses in Richmond Town are occupied by artisans and replenishing of the stores of the EIGHTEENTH or Nineteenth centuries. The Chinese Scholar’s Garden reconstructs the chinese gardens typical of the Ming dynasty. Close to the ferry terminal, the Memorial Postcards is a tribute to the people of Staten Island killed in the September 11 attacks. The National Lighthouse Museum evokes the different technology of lighthouses in the United States. The Staten Island Ferry passes close to the Statue of Liberty The Staten Island Ferry runs 24h/24 and makes its crossing in 25 minutes. A village of the Seventeenth century in the middle of a forest
To make a leap of three centuries back, in the direction of the historic village of Richmond Town , at the geographical centre of the island. The roads pass through forests and fields. Signs warn motorists of the risk of passage of wild animals. Rather unexpected in New York. The village is centred around a court similar to a Greek temple with massive columns. A museum allows you to better understand the traditions and the way of life of the residents, many of whom still lived from fishing and agriculture until the Twentieth century. A guided tour allows the visitor to discover the interior of the houses and thus a better understanding of their mode of life. We enter a hut strewn with rondos of the woods where an old craftsman manufactures toys and furniture that visitors can buy. Just at side, a printer creates posters to the old striking of the paper with the lead characters.
Go back to the north-east of the island. Not far from St George, the cultural center of Snug Harbor , located in a botanical garden, focusing the main museums of the island. In particular, there is the Noble Maritime Museum , which traces the maritime history of the island, or the Staten Island Museum . The latter, housed in a former dormitory for retired seamen, made the connection between art, history and the natural sciences since 1881. Finally, near there, the Chinese Scholar’s Garden restores faithfully several chinese gardens were created in the Ming dynasty (Fourteenth to Seventeenth centuries). Most of the stones, plants and architectural elements have been imported from Suzhou, China.
Before taking the ferry to Manhattan, many places are to visit around the port of St. Georges. The Memorial Postcards pays tribute to the residents of Staten Island killed in the September 11 attacks. Between the two marble sculptures of 9 meters high, on which are represented the postcards sent in by the families of the victims, one sees the buildings of the financial district of Manhattan. Also around the terminal, the museum of National Lighthouse Museum , interesting for who wants to become better informed on the history and technology of lighthouses in the United States. From mid-2019, visitors will complete their visit to Staten Island in the Empire Outlet , a shopping center that will include a hundred factory shops.
How to go?
From South Ferry, at the southern tip of Manhattan, take the Staten Island Ferry. Free, it works 24h/24 and performs the journey in 25 minutes. Passing every 15 to 30 minutes. The island is also accessible by bus or car via Brooklyn by the Verrazano Bridge and through New Jersey by the Bayonne Bridge. To move, the island has one subway line and a network of accessible buses with the tracks of transportation of the MTA, the transportation authority of New York.
Where to sleep?
Lack of tourists, the offer of accommodation is scarce in Staten Island. Among the few hotels include the Hilton Garden Inn, convenient for its proximity to the Newark airport. Three new hotels are scheduled to open stream 2019: Fairfield Inn & Suites (100 rooms), Best Western (80 rooms) and Westin Hotel (175 rooms), very close to the ferry terminal to St George.
5 things to know
The chewing gum was invented in Staten Island. The map of Westeros from the series Game of Thrones is inspired by the geography of Staten Island. Before becoming free in 1997, the ferry crossing cost 50 cents. Staten Island is the only borough of New York city to vote in the majority for the Républicains. Freshkills Park, built on the site of a former landfill site, will be the second largest park in New York city by 2040.
More information from the tourist office of Staten Island (visitstatenisland.com), and New York City (www.nycgo.com).