Showing posts with label Staten Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Staten Island. Show all posts

August 29, 2016

Staten Islanders in NYC are Killing Themselves at Rates of 29 a Yr


 STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- In one decade, 290 Staten Islanders took their own lives -- an average of 29 people per year.
Since 2004, the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DOH) has recorded at least 20 suicide-related deaths per year until 2014, the last year that data is available. 
The year with the most recorded suicides was 2012 with 33 suicide-related deaths.
The rate of suicide in New York state also peaked in 2012, with 8.4 deaths per 100,000 New York state residents.
The incidents are intentional suicides, such as self-inflicted gunshot wounds, jumping from a bridge or hanging, for example, as opposed to accidental suicide, such as an unintended drug overdose.
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner (ME) reports that depression, history of schizophrenia and anxiety are common factors that lead to suicide, and that many children of suicide victims deal with at least one mental illness.
Additionally, 23 percent of individuals who have committed suicide made a previous suicide attempt within the past year. 

In comparison to the rest of New York City, the raw number of Staten Islanders who took their own lives is the lowest. 


Queens had the highest number of suicides in 2014, with 141 suicide-related deaths, followed by Manhattan with 138, Brooklyn with 125 and Bronx with 66.
However, Staten Island had the second highest death rate per 100,000 residents in 2014 at 6.1 residents. Queens' death rate per 100,000 residents was also 6.1.
Suicide data by borough NYC.png 
Manhattan was first, with a rate of 8.4 per 100,000 residents; Brooklyn with 4.8 residents and Bronx with 4.6 residents.
DEATH BY HANGING MOST COMMON
Almost one-third of suicides are from hanging and 18 percent result from jumping from a high place, according to a report from the city DOH.
New York City's firearm suicide rate is the lowest among large metropolitan areas, according to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Suicide methods in New York City vary by gender, the city DOH reports; 93 percent of firearm-related suicides are among men, but 45 percent of women's suicide are by intentional poisoning. 
MEN MORE LIKELY THAN WOMEN 
Recent data from the state Department of Health shows that men are more likely to commit suicide than women.
Intentional Self-Harm NYC 2014.png 
In 2014, 7.1 Staten Island men per 100,000 residents committed suicide, compared to 4.3 women per 100,000 residents. 
SEVEN SUICIDES SO FAR IN 2016
Seven Staten Islanders have taken their lives so far this year, according to Staten Island Advance records. Those reports are of suicides that occur in public places, so the actual number is likey higher.
The victim was identified as John Guattrocchi, 57, of Westerleigh. He was found in flames on a North Shore street on January 17.
He died five days later as a result of injuries from the fire.
Just two days later, a Bay Terrace man took his life in a wooded area of Great Kills.
According to the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Richard Thompson, 52, was found hanging dead from a tree in Jack's Pond Bluebelt between Cleveland Avenue and Hillside Terrace on January 19.
In April, Charles Miller, 44, was found in Gateway National Recreation Area in Great Kills with a gunshot wound to the head.
The former Corrections captain penned a 10-page letter to his wife, Alana Miller, which included instructions on the suit he wanted to be buried in.
Miller was set to retire for the Department of Correction next year.
Two months later, an 84-year-old Great Kills man jumped from the upper-level of the Staten Island Mall.
Francesco Colina used a chair, which he dragged from a nearby store, to jump from the second floor on June 28. He landed in front of the Gap on the lower-level of the mall.
Colina was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze in stable condition and was pronounced dead a short time later.
August has been a particularly devastating month on Staten Island; there have been four suicides so far, with three in just one week.
3 young Staten Islanders took their lives this past week
Community shaken amid deaths of 13-, 27- and 38-year-olds.

Milinazzo's disabled vehicle was found on the span of the bridge at 4:30 a.m. that Monday morning, shortly before the morning rush hour.
A suicide note was found on the front seat of the vehicle.
The father of two was reported missing the same day, however, his body wasn't discovered for four days, when a New Jersey fisherman found his body floating in Raritan Bay.
Aracelis Abreu Leung was found unconscious in the back seat of a Buick SUV at 7:42 p.m. on August 10, in the rear parking lot at 66 Old Town Road in Dongan Hills, according to a law enforcement source.
Her lifeless body was discovered by her husband.
Authorities found multiple suicide notes in the back of the Buick, as well as a compressed tank of nitrogen.
The next day, August 11, 13-year-old Daniel Fitzpatrick hanged himself in the attic of his family home. Daniel's older sister discovered his body around 5:30 p.m. that evening.
Fitzpatrick left a suicide note, which the young boy penned in July, stating that he was bullied relentlessly and his school ignored his complaints.
"The teachers [at Holy Angels Catholic Academy] ... they didn't do ANYTHING!" he wrote of being bullied at the school. 
City teens who reported attempting suicide also reported additional mental, physical, and social health risks. For example, 27 percent of teens who attempted suicide reported being bullied online in the past year, according to the city DOH.
A close call came eleven days later, on August 22, when authorities rescued a 17-year-old male bicyclist from the span of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge shortly after midnight.
The Brooklyn teen was threatening suicide at the time, according to a spokeswoman from the NYPD. 
The emotionally disturbed teen was found wandering on the catwalk on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
He was transported to Staten Island University Hospital for evaluation. 

Kristin F. Dalton | kdalton@siadvance.com

August 16, 2016

13 yr old S.I., NYC Bullied Boy Buried, The Alleged Bully Suspended 2 Days



 One of the last pictures taken of 13 yr old Victim of Suicide Danny Fitzpatrick

 

The funeral service for the 13-year-old Staten Island boy who committed suicide after being bullied in school will be held this week, according to the funeral home.

A wake for Daniel Fitzpatrick will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Harmon Funeral Home, 571 Forest Ave., in West Brighton.

The funeral Mass for Fitzpatrick will be held at 11 a.m. at the Sacred Heart R.C. Church, at 981 Castleton Ave., on Wednesday, according to the funeral home.

Fitzpatrick, a student at Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge,  committed suicide after he was bullied by fellow students, according to a letter he wrote before he died. 

His father claims in a video posted online that school staff did nothing to stop the abuse.

"He and I went to the school, went to the principal," his father, Daniel Fitzpatrick, said in a video posted to Facebook on Saturday.

"All I got was, and all he got was, 'You'll be fine. Is he in counseling? You have to try harder, Danny.'"

A GoFundMe campaign started by Fitzpatrick’s sister to help cover the funeral costs had raised more than $100,000 as of Monday afternoon and the excess funds will be donated to anti-bullying and suicide awareness groups, according to the fundraising page. 

A spokeswoman for the diocese told DNAinfo New York over the weekend that the school tried to address the family's concerns, including giving counseling to Fitzpatrick.

One of the students accused of bullying was suspended for two days and the school's principal, Rosemarie McGoldrick, met with all of Fitzpatrick's classmates to discuss bullying, the spokeswoman said.

In his video posted to Facebook, Fitzpatrick's father called the boy a "kind, gentle soul" and his tormentors "monsters."

"To the parents of the boys that tormented my son, all I have to say is, I hope you never, never have to feel what my family is going through right now," said Daniel Fitzpatrick.

"You get to hold your children every night and day for the rest of your lives, and their natural lives. I don't get that anymore. Your little monsters took that from me and my wife and his sisters."


Background to this story
 
A 13-year-old boy from Staten Island was found hanging in the attic of his family home after writing a letter about being relentlessly bullied at school, the New York Post reported.
In his note, Danny Fitzpatrick detailed the bullying he had experienced at the hands of five other children who attended Holy Angels Catholic Academy with him in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
"They did it constantly," Danny wrote, adding that he had asked his teachers for help, but had received none in return.
Danny leaves behind a distraught family, including parents Maureen Mahoney Fitzpatrick and Daniel Fitzpatrick, who said that instead of helping their son at school, officials at Holy Angels Catholic dispatched child welfare investigators to their home.
"They called [the Administration for Children's Services] on us," Maureen Fitzpatrick told the Post.
"Danny told us they [administrators] were asking questions: 'Do Mom and Dad drink? Do they feed you? Do they have clothes in the house? 'Next thing you know, 7:30 at night, I have an ACS officer at my door, and my son told him, 'I just want a friend.'"
Danny's letter explains that he had "lots of friends" at one point in time, but eventually, things changed.
"At first it was good lots of friends, good grades, great life," he wrote. "I moved and went back but it was different. My old friends changed they didn't talk to me they didn't even like me."
Although Danny's letter does mention one teacher who was kind to him, the Fitzpatricks maintain that school officials badly missed any opportunities they had to help their struggling son — like the time he wound up in the principal's office with a fractured pinkie after some classmates tried to fight him on the playground.
Maureen Fitzpatrick said that instead of supporting the boy, they put him in a room with the children who had attacked him and questioned them all on what had happened.
"How do you conduct an interview with the victim and his attacker in the same room?" she asked. "If he said what happened, it would come back to him tenfold."
Maureen Fitzpatrick added that at the end of his life, there was no one that her son fully trusted.
“I’ll never have my baby back," she said.

(Nicholas Rizzi and Paul DeBenedetto)

June 28, 2016

Brexit Fever Staten Island Wants Secession from NYC




The world has Brexit fever, which is both a metaphor and an actual virus that causes xenophobia, nationalism and demagoguery in its sufferers. Now that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, plenty of geographic regions are wondering "Hey, why don't we go it alone?" Texas? New York? Uh...Alaska?
New York City councilman (and Trump campaign apparatchik) Joe Borelli took to Facebook to beat the drums of Staten Island secession once more on Thursday. If he gets his way, does that mean that Staten Islanders who move here become transplants?
On Facebook, Borelli applauded Great Britain's vote, taking it as an opportunity to revive the dream of an independent Staten Island, "regardless of cost":
The CSI that Borelli was referring to isn't the hit CBS drama, but rather the College of Staten Island, which studied the issue in 1991 and 1992, then released a paper in 1993 endorsing the decision. Buried in there is the gem that back in 1992, 68% of Staten Islandites thought the city would be a worse place to live in five years, which haha, whoops. 
If you're too young to remember, or just didn't pay attention to New York City politics before you moved here from Davenport, you should be aware that the potential for New York City becoming four boroughs instead of five is a possibility. The 1993 vote for secession got 65% of the "Yes" vote, and Staten Island only remained a part of the great city of New York due to Mario "The Good Cuomo" Cuomo's insistence that any referendum be approved by the state legislature, which ultimately didn't grant the island its independence. Since then, the idea has been revived occasionally but hasn't gone anywhere.
"Regardless of cost" is certainly an interesting way to look at whether breaking away from the city is a good idea, but when you've got a bad case of freedom fever you're too busy throwing up blood to really think things through. The comments on Borelli's Facebook post suggest the idea still has plenty of support, so get ready to spend the rest of the summer talking about Staxit. 

June 4, 2016

Is Racial Hate Crime Coming Back to Staten Isl. NYC?



                                                                         
Dayshen McKenzie died of an asthma attack while running for his life.

Dayshen McKenzie died of an asthma attack while running for his life.

 (FACEBOOK)









Is hate crime coming back to Staten Island, the fifth borough that makes up the City of NY? I sincerely hope not. Those were day in which I was ashamed to live here and cursed the time I decided to come back to my borough from FL. 
I remember posting and at one point being a target my self of the ignorance and hate which are the two prime ingredients to make someone go after another person because they are black, Mexican or Gay. I mentioned those specific groups because they were the ones that some hispanics and white kids went after not too long ago. After 2012 the wave of crimes seemed to go away. There was a lot of negative coverage from the press and community groups at the time which I think it gave some of the younger guys doing this a chance to grow up. I hope we are not having another crop of these idiots.

When we have hatred being spewed from the top political office seekers in the nation I am truly surprised we don’t have more of this.

The victim in this case was a 19 year old asthmatic black young man. There is no question that he was chased and that caused or was one of the causes to his death. The question would be why was he chased? I hope the police has not forgotten how to deal with this problem.  In the past the Police Dept is brought detectives from Manhattan to investigate. This is not surprising because you need experience investigators that can weed out non racists details and ask the right questions and go after all involved to get the details.
For that they need cooperation from witness’ so they can go after the people responsible.

The below report came from AP and originally posted by the local CBS affiliate in New York:

New York City police are investigating the death of a black teenager as a hate crime after he was reportedly chased by a mostly white group shouting racial slurs.

Dayshen McKenzie, 16, of Staten Island, who had asthma and a heart condition, died last Friday of an asthma attack after the chase, The Daily News reported. The official cause of death is pending.

A friend, 19-year-old Harry Smith, told the paper it all started when their group and another group got into a dispute over a girl. He claims the other group left, came back in three cars, and started chasing them. Smith said the suspects used “a lot of racial slurs” and one displayed a gun.


The group dispersed, with McKenzie running a quarter-mile away to Spartan Avenue, where he collapsed, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

Former police officer Diane Fatigati found the unconscious teen laying in her neighbor’s backyard and tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

“I revived him once with the help of one of the teens and then he went out again, I revived him again,” Fatigati told 1010 WINS. “Police came in, told us to put our hands up, we did and they took over.”

EMS responded and rushed McKenzie to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“I pray for this kid every night,” Fatigati said, adding the boy’s mother reached out to her and invited her to McKenzie’s funeral. “She wants to give me a hug and I’m more than happy to oblige her.”

Fatigati told the Daily News the group chasing McKenzie and his friends consisted of young white males and one Hispanic male, and two of the cars had Pennsylvania plates.

In the initial investigation, police said there was no mention of racial slurs being shouted or someone waving a gun. They are now investigating the death as a hate crime, 1010 WINS reported.

McKenzie’s mother, Tisha Richardson, said she wants justice and that someone should be held accountable.

Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon issued a statement saying, “We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dayshen McKenzie during their time of grief. This office takes any allegations of a hate crime seriously. At this time, we have spoken with members of the NYPD who are investigating and we will continue to speak with them as this matter continues to be investigated.”
 
Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” that more facts are needed.

“We cannot rush to judgment on this. We need to know more,” de Blasio said Friday morning. “We just don’t know enough yet to determine what happened here. I think it is important that people take a breath while the PD has a chance to really investigate and get right to the facts of this case.”


April 15, 2015

Ferris Wheel Wars Vs.Staten Island and Dubai


                                                                           
 Proposed Staten Island Ferris Wheel

New York City this week will officially break ground on a spot near the Staten Island Ferry terminal where the world’s tallest observation wheel will rise — unless Dubai builds a bigger one first.
The Dubai Eye started erecting its 690-foot wheel a week ago. “They’re definitely ahead at this moment in time,” said Will Armstrong, president of Starneth LLC, an engineering firm working on both the Dubai and New York wheels. The 630-foot New York Wheel seeks to dethrone the 550-foot High Roller in Las Vegas as the tallest in the world. 
View image on Twitter
 High Roller, at 550ft, it's the world's tallest moving observation wheel #lasvegas
But with so many moving parts, the competition could be fierce.
“Anything could happen to delay it,” Armstrong said of Dubai’s lead.
After it opens in the second quarter of 2017, the New York Wheel estimates it will host 3.5 million riders each year, with a likely ticket price of $35 for the 38-minute ride. The $500-million project will include state-of-the-art technology in the climate-controlled cabins, permanent bar cars, a 20-seat dining car, and a nightly light show with its $7.5-million LED lights. The adjacent complex will offer a 4D ride, a beer garden, an amphitheater and a hotel. Naming rights haven’t yet been sold, but they are up for grabs, company officials have said.
Regardless of which project beats Vegas first, others are already queuing up to build higher, Armstrong said. His company alone has 36 potential projects in the pipeline, about one-third for massive “iconic” sizes. And how often do clients ask to build a record-setter? 
 Indeed, New York and Dubai are part of a gold rush of giant observation wheels that have sprung up in the wake of the surprising financial success of the 15-year-old London Eye, which was originally built as a temporary novelty. 
Since 2001, six wheels higher than 150 feet have opened in the United States, with at least two more scheduled to open this year. Proposals have also been put forth for San Diego, Dallas and Jersey City, N.J. Another Las Vegas project, the 500-foot high SkyVue wheel, started construction in 2011 but remains on hold, developer David Baffin told Mashable.
The appeal extends overseas. Of the world’s 20 tallest wheels in operation, the only U.S. appearance is the High Roller. China claims eight spots, followed by Japan’s seven and Singapore, England, Australia, Vietnam with one each. The 400-foot Orlando Eye will eke into the Top 10 when it opens in Florida next month.
The wheel in London, now branded as the Coca-Cola London Eye, has chalked up more than 60 million visitors, according to a company spokeswoman. The standard adult walk-up ticket is about $31 for the 30-minute ride, with add-ons available for fast-track entry, champagne, whisky, chocolate or a private “Cupid’s Capsule” for two people. 
London

 
“The London Eye was kind of like proof of concept - it showed you could make observation wheels a profitable, year-round attraction that doubled as a symbol for your city,” said Nick Weisenberger, the author of the book “Observation Wheels” and the website observationwheeldirectory.com.
New York City is banking on goosing its own tourism numbers — it hosted 56.4 million visitors in 2014 and is aiming for 67 million annually by 2021.
The New York Wheel’s goal is to attract some of the 3.6 million tourists who ride the free Staten Island Ferry each year, according to the calculations of the Independent Budget Office of NYC. Most of them currently take the 25-minute ride over — with excellent views of the Statue of Liberty — only to depart minutes later on the next ferry to Manhattan.
If they can get out of the terminal, Staten Island could lure tourists to its other cultural offerings such as the sprawling Snug Harbor cultural center built at a 19th Century sailors retirement home or the Yankees’ minor league waterfront stadium.
But no one should be waiting for Staten Island to turn into the next Brooklyn, which over the past decade turned into its own tourist destination selling all-things artisanal.
“You can’t compare it to Brooklyn,” said Marty Markowitz, the former borough president of Brooklyn, who is now the vice president of borough promotion and engagement at NYC & Company, the city's official tourism group. Staten Island will need to build on what makes it unique, including its amazing Italian and Sri Lankan food, he said. “Everyone’s got their own schtick.”  
Indeed, New York and Dubai are part of a gold rush of giant observation wheels that have sprung up in the wake of the surprising financial success of the 15-year-old London Eye, which was originally built as a temporary novelty. 
Since 2001, six wheels higher than 150 feet have opened in the United States, with at least two more scheduled to open this year. Proposals have also been put forth for San Diego, Dallas and Jersey City, N.J. Another Las Vegas project, the 500-foot high SkyVue wheel, started construction in 2011 but remains on hold, developer David Baffin told Mashable.
The appeal extends overseas. Of the world’s 20 tallest wheels in operation, the only U.S. appearance is the High Roller. China claims eight spots, followed by Japan’s seven and Singapore, England, Australia, Vietnam with one each. The 400-foot Orlando Eye will eke into the Top 10 when it opens in Florida next month.
The wheel in London, now branded as the Coca-Cola London Eye, has chalked up more than 60 million visitors, according to a company spokeswoman. The standard adult walk-up ticket is about $31 for the 30-minute ride, with add-ons available for fast-track entry, champagne, whisky, chocolate or a private “Cupid’s Capsule” for two people.

December 27, 2014

Staten Island, The Quiet New York City



October 27, 2014

Staten Island Zoo on Sundays


                             I’M  Loooking at you pal!
Ostriches are the largest living bird species, with the largest eyes of any land vertebrate. This one resides at the Staten Island Zoo. Oct. 26, 2014. (Staten Island Advance/Virginia N. Sherry)

 
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Over 80 years ago, some good folks embraced the vision of a state-of-the-art zoo on this borough's North Shore and -- amazingly -- made it happen here, within a few short years, in the middle of The Great Depression of the 1930s.
From the outset, the zoo named this as one of its goals: "To instill in children an understanding and appreciation of living creatures."
For generations of Staten Island families, that goal still resonates, as parents and grandparents trek their kids to the zoo where they, too, were introduced to the wonders of reptiles, fish and other living creatures in a setting both informative and inspiring.
NWS ZSIGHTSView full sizeAfrican Grey-Crowned Crane at the Staten Island Zoo, Oct. 26, 2014. (Staten Island Advance/Virginia N. Sherry)
Early Sunday afternoon, the kids were out in force at the zoo, some of them still in strollers and others romping about on their own, excited to see the endangered Amur leopards and African grey-crowned cranes, a pair of American bald eagles, screeching black-and-white ruffed lemurs and long-necked ostriches, the world's largest living species of bird.
"She loves the zoo," said Alison Lacle of Westerleigh, whose daughter Gabriella, 4, was in tow and admitted a soft spot for the leopards. "She's been coming here since she was able to walk."
Four brothers from Bayonne, N.J., accompanied by their grandmother, Terry, who did not want to provide last names, said they had been enjoying the zoo for three hours.
"The leopards were pretty cool," said Owen, 10, the oldest. "But I'm sorry that such an amazing animal like that is in danger of extinction."
His brother Ben, 8, said he enjoyed the otters. "They were very playful and really funny," he said.
Click here for eight historic facts about the Staten Island Zoo that you may not know


If you are alone and might need company at the Zoo. You might find me willing to to take around there. Adam* 

September 27, 2014

Staten Islander Joins 'Saturday Night Live Regulars’ {Pete Davidson}

 Great Kills native Pete Davidson is joining the cast of NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

STATEN ISLAND in NewYork City — This weekend’s premiere of “Saturday Night Live" will have a familiar name in the opening credits.
Great Kills native Pete Davidson makes his first appearance on the iconic sketch comedy show Saturday, Sept. 27, after joining the cast less than two weeks ago.
At 20, he’s one of the "SNL's" youngest members.

Davidson spoke to the Advance the day NBC announced he would be added to the cast. At the time, he wasn’t sure if he would appear in any skits, but said his name would appear in the credits.

"I'm freaking out a little but I'm excited," he said at the time. "It's such a crazy thing you never thought would ever happen."
The son of Scott Davidson, a firefighter who died during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has been performing stand-up since he was 16 years old. After touring the country doing shows at colleges and comedy clubs, he made his standup TV debut on AXS TV's "Gotham Comedy Live" before appearing on Comedy Central's "Adam Devine's House Party."
The comedian's young age is often the subject of his standup comedy and humor. He appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in April to talk about his quick rise to comedy success.

"I just dropped out of college," Davidson told the late night host of his departure from St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. "That's my big move this year."
He joked during a standup routine that he couldn't get past "dorm life."
Comedian and actor Nick Cannon discovered Davidson when he cast the 17-year-old newcomer on MTV’s "Wild 'n' Out."

"That kind of just gave me a buzz," Davidson said in a previous interview with the Advance. "People would look at me a little differently."
Cannon and Davidson went on tour together and co-hosted radio station 92.3 NOW's morning show, "Rollin With Nick Cannon." Last year, he guest starred on FOX's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and made his film debut this year in Cannon's "School Dance."
Davidson attended St. Joseph's School, then Tottenville High School before transferring to a school in Brooklyn. Growing up on Staten Island gave him a certain resilience, which has helped him along his career in comedy, he said.

"It's one of those places where you have your few friends and everyone else doesn't like you," he said. “It helped me develop a thick skin, which helps in stand-up when jokes don't always go the way you want them to go or people don't laugh or they don't agree with everything you say."

Davidson's name isn't the only new addition to the show. Former cast member Darrell Hammond will now announce the credits. He replaces longtime SNL announcer Don Pardo, who passed away in August at 96-years-old. Pardo had read the credits every year since the show began in 1975.

Davidson also joins Colin Jost — another Staten Island native, who will co-host the parody news show Weekend Update with Michael Che.
"SNL's" 40th season starts at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. “Parks and Recreation" actor Chris Pratt hosts the show and musical guest Ariana Grande will perform.

Davidson joins the cast of season 40 that includes Che, Kate McKinnonBobby MoynihanCecily StrongAidy BryantVanessa BayerTaran KillamJay Pharaoh,Beck BennettColin JostKyle MooneySasheer Zamata and Kenan Thompson.
 Quotes and source of information:  silive.com

November 6, 2013

Staten Island NY All the Beauty of Nature None of The Isolation of the Country


Kendall Waldman for The New York Times
A bucolic hillside neighborhood with a link to a celebrated 19th-century poet offers privacy, big old trees and easy Verrazano Bridge access.

It’s not surprising that the 19th-century transcendentalists were attracted to Emerson Hill on Staten Island: The neighborhood still has a measure of the natural beauty of the wilderness that first attracted those poets and philosophers.
Abounding in beeches and oaks of great height and age, the area is named for William Emerson, a former resident and a brother of the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was a frequent visitor along with the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. Up a hill that has only two unassuming entrances, this neighborhood of just over 100 houses hidden in thickets has retained anonymity even by the standards of an island borough — a kind of side benefit of its geography. 

 


By ALISON GREGOR
Before George Marchese bought his four-bedroom home here about a decade ago, he had never heard of Emerson Hill.
“I lived on Staten Island for 10 years, 12 years, and I didn’t know it existed,” Mr. Marchese said. “I used to drive by it all the time, and one day there were balloons out there at the bottom of the hill, where it says ‘No Through Traffic,’ and it looks like a giant driveway. A sign said ‘Open House,’ and I said: ‘What the heck is this? You can go up this hill?’ ”
Mr. Marchese did, and made an offer on the house as soon as he saw its tree-trimmed property and the sprawling views from its back deck.
“To the left was the city, to the right was New Jersey, and right in dead center was the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge,” he said, “and it was so beautiful. The agent came out and said, ‘You want to see the rest of the house?’ And I said, ‘No, I just want to make an offer.’ ”
The current estimate for that house, for which Mr. Marchese paid about $900,000 a decade ago, may be almost $1.2 million, he said; it has appreciated far less than he had originally hoped. But the value has been in enjoying the property, where sightings of deer, raccoons, opossums and birds are frequent, he said.
“We’ve loved every minute of being here,” said Mr. Marchese, a tree consultant by trade, adding that the house, just minutes from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, gives him easy access to all the boroughs for his work. “We have all the holidays here, and the kids love it. The grandchildren come and run around this house in the trees — it’s like a castle for them.”
Mr. Marchese says that Emerson Hill reminds him of a rustic mountain town in Italy, and for good reason. Spread over about 150 acres, the neighborhood has winding streets that in some places are too narrow for two cars to pass. Many houses are on terraced properties and perched high above the street.
Styles range from Swiss chalet, English Tudor and center-hall colonial to the more contemporary; many houses have pools. In that, the area is comparable to nearby Todt Hill, one of Staten Island’s most affluent neighborhoods. But Emerson Hill has a less manicured, cultivated feel.
Residents can join a homeowner’s association; its fees maintain some of the landscape as well as street lamps and entrance gates at the foot of the hill. But the gates are always open, Mr. Marchese said.
“There’s no guard or anything like that,” he said. “You can just drive right up. Everybody’s pretty nice here.”
What You’ll Find
The area is a haven for professionals, mostly doctors and lawyers, from different ethnic backgrounds, said Catherine McCarthy-Turer, an agent with Stribling & Associates who as a child often stayed with a close relative in Emerson Hill. “I spent the majority of my childhood there,” she said, “and it’s this incredibly bucolic setting that’s remained really unchanged for decades.”
In area it is typically seen as bounded by Clove Road or the Staten Island Expressway to the north and Richmond Road to the east. Of the two entrances, one is on the north side at Emerson Drive, the other on the east side at Douglas Road. The neighborhood, consisting of those roads and several others that branch off, has about 105 families, according to Larry Lettera, a president of the Emerson Hill Civic Association.
“Douglas Road is the main road,” Ms. McCarthy-Turer said, “and you have all these sort of small little roads that jut off of that, and some are hidden little treasures.”

The neighborhood once consisted of several large estates; it didn’t formally come into being until the late 1920s and early 1930s, at the hands of a prominent Staten Island developer named Cornelius G. Kolff. Its history is still apparent in the layout of its streets. Ms. McCarthy-Turer said that Overlook Drive, where she stayed as a child, was once a lawn-bowling green for residents.
Kendall Waldman for The New York Times
17 Wilsonview Place
A four-bedroom four-bath home with bridge views and a pool, listed at $1.175 million.
(718) 605-5800
 

“The original estates were really quite large,” she said, “and then over time some have been broken up. New houses have been developed slowly over time — and they’re quite large houses, ranging in size from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet.”
What You’ll Pay
The neighborhood consists solely of single-family homes, of which there are typically only a handful on the market at one time; in early November there were five. There has been limited development, in the form of teardowns of older, smaller housesmake way for larger ones.
“It’s the kind of area where people come, and they stay,” said Traci Cangiano, the owner-broker of Cangiano Estates in Staten Island.
Prices start at around $800,000 and top out at several million dollars, brokers say. Of the few sales so far in 2013, the highest price, $820,000, was paid for a 3,000-square-foot brick-and-stone colonial on an 11,000-square-foot lot on Douglas Road, Ms. Cangiano said.
The Commute
Emerson Hill, fairly centrally situated, is “extremely peaceful and secluded — a private oasis — yet it’s two minutes to access the Staten Island Expressway and five minutes to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and intoBrooklyn,” Ms. McCarthy-Turer said.
It takes about 20 minutes to drive into Lower Manhattan, and about 30 to reach Midtown. The Grasmere station of the Staten Island Railroad, which takes commuters to the ferry on the North Shore, is about a five-minute drive or a 20-minute walk; other commuters opt for the many express buses that stop at the foot of Emerson Hill, among them the X10, X14 and X15.
What to Do
Residents describe Emerson Hill as a retreat from the busy world where your yard is a park. But it isn’t as cut off from activities as that image might imply. Pastosa Ravioli, an Italian specialty food company, is a few blocks away on Richmond Road, as is Carol’s Cafe, which also serves as a culinary school. The Richmond Country Club in neighboring Todt Hill, a short drive away, has swimming, tennis, golf and dining.
For more shopping options, Richmond Avenue is home to the Staten Island Mall, one of the largest on the island, about 15 minutes’ drive. Ms. Cangiano says residents will have easy access to the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets, the shopping center to open on the North Shore sometime in 2016.
The Schools
The area has several private schools, as well as a public school, No. 48 William C. Wilcox, in a new building on Richmond Road. The school currently serves prekindergarten through Grade 6 but will be adding Grades 7 and 8 in coming years. Chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2011, Wilcox got a B on its latest city progress report, with 77.2 percent of tested students showing mastery in English and 87.3 percent in math, versus 47 and 60 citywide.
Many children from Emerson Hill go to private schools like the all-girls’ St. Joseph Hill Academy and the Staten Island Academy. Both teach prekindergarten through Grade 12. Just north of the Expressway from Emerson Hill are the Staten Island branches of St. John’s University and Wagner College.
The History
Though sometimes described as being in Todt Hill, the two Longfellow Avenue Tudors used as the Corleone compound in the 1972 movie “The Godfather,” are considered by many to be neighborhood landmarks, said Constance B. Lane, a longtime resident.

Featured Posts

Immigrant Married to American CitizenTrump Backer is being Deported

 Trump promised if elected President he would get rid of the rapping, stealing, drug importing Mexicans and illegal immigrant...