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

March 3, 2020

“Gays can march, but not under a banner.”(Larry Cummings) YES! Part of NYC STILL Homophobic


 Gays were Attack on The Last LGBT Pride March in Russia. I am ashamed of Staten Island the church full of priest pedophiles will push to have Gays Kicked out of St Patrick's Parade. What would Jesus say? If you ever read the catholic bible go to the part in which it defines love. Then be a shame. 

Carol Bullock, the executive director of the Pride Center of Staten Island, was hopeful when she went to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament earlier this month to sign up for the local St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The parade organizers had rejected her application for years, claiming her L.G.B.T. community center did not abide by the teachings of the Catholic Church, but she thought this year might be different, she said last week.

And then she saw the misspelled, handwritten sign taped to the door of the church basement.

“Do to the threat of a protest by the gay pride people/politicians/and ministers of other faiths on the holy grounds of Blessed Sacrament Church the parade must move the parade sign-ups to 300 Manor Road,” it said, directing applicants to a nearby building used by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternity.

Ms. Bullock, who was accompanied that day by local religious leaders and members of the Gay Officers Action League, a law enforcement group also barred from marching, said the sign felt like a “slap in the face.” 

When Ms. Bullock went to the second sign-up location that day, she was told the parade on March 1 did not allow gay groups.
 A sign taped to the door of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament by parade organizers.  
Credit...Carol Bullock


It was also a jarring throwback to bitter debates over L.G.B.T. inclusion that marred the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade for two decades before its organizers dropped a ban on gay groups in 2014.

Organizers of the Staten Island parade did not respond to messages seeking comment over the past week. But they have publicly argued in the past that L.G.B.T. groups are not appropriate for a parade dedicated to St. Patrick, who is the patron saint of both Ireland and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Those arguments are similar to ones made for many years by organizers of the New York City parade, which is preceded each year by a special Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
L.G.B.T. groups now participate in St. Patrick’s Day parades both large and small across the New York region and the United States. But in Staten Island, the city’s least populous and most conservative borough, the parade has not changed.

“Staten Island is the last holdout in the city,” said Brian Downey, a detective with the New York Police Department who serves as president of the gay officer's group’s New York chapter. “We are in the parade in Queens, we are in the parade in Manhattan, we are in the parade in Brooklyn. Let us join the parade on Staten Island.”

The New York City parade, held on March 17 in Manhattan, is the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world, with 150,000 marchers and two million spectators annually.

Smaller parades are held each year in communities across the city and region, and in recent years many have followed the Manhattan parade in allowing openly gay marchers.

On Staten Island, where the parade draws thousands of spectators and is a major event for local families, businesses and politicians, Ms. Bullock and others said they want to celebrate their Irish heritage free of discrimination.

Some also objected to their faith being cited as a reason to exclude people at a time when the church has taken a more compassionate approach to homosexuality under the leadership of Pope Francis, who said “Who am I to judge?” when asked about gay priests in 2013.

“Our religion shouldn’t be used as a weapon," said Julienne Verdi, a lawyer who brought her two children, both baptized Catholics, to support Ms. Bullock on Feb. 16. 

Larry Cummings, the president of the Staten Island parade committee, did not respond to messages seeking comment over the past week.

Kathleen MacDonald, the treasurer of the parade committee, hung up when reached on the phone by a reporter. She did not respond to a subsequent message seeking comment.

But in recent years Mr. Cummings has explained the ban on L.G.B.T. groups to news organizations that serve Staten Island or the Irish diaspora.

In 2018, he told The Irish Voice, a newspaper in New York City, that the inclusion of gay groups in the Manhattan parade “has no bearing on Staten Island.”

“Our parade is for Irish heritage and culture,” he told the newspaper. “It is not a political or sexual identification parade.”
 This parade is a major event for businesses and politicians on Staten Island. Credit...Uli Seit for The New York Times

He added: “Gays can march, but not under a banner.”

“Here’s the deal, it’s a nonsexual identification parade and that’s that. No, they are not marching,” Mr. Cummings said. “Don’t try to keep asking a million friggin’ questions, OK?”

That decision has cast a pall over the parade and drawn criticism from elected officials from both parties, many of whom have said they will not march, including Mayor Bill de Blasio; Borough President James Oddo, a Republican; Steven Matteo, the Republican minority leader of the New York City Council; Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat; and Councilwoman Debi Rose, who asked the Department of Education to either suspend school participation in the parade or to make it “strictly voluntary.”

It also drew a rebuke from the chairman of the Staten Island Republican Party, Brendan Lantry. In an opinion piece for The Advance, he said the ban on L.G.B.T. groups had turned the event into a “sexual identification parade” for straight people. Organizers should be moved by the spirit of the pope’s 2013 remarks, he argued.

“If the Church is open and welcoming to gays and lesbians, why not let an organization whose mission it is to support the march in the parade?” Mr. Lantry wrote.

The backlash has left parade organizers increasingly isolated as natural allies have sought to distance themselves, including the Catholic Church and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal order that many on Staten Island view as the parade’s real organizer.

Neil Cosgrove, a national spokesman for the Ancient Order of Hibernians, said that while the parade organizers might belong to his organization, the parade committee itself is “an independent corporation.”

“Their involvement is as individuals and not as Hibernians in the same way that those on the committee may also belong to other fraternal, business or civic groups,” Mr. Cosgrove said. He added: “As such, it would be inappropriate for us to opine on the policies of a separate organization.”
Continue reading the main story

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said the church is not involved in planning or funding the parade. He declined to comment on the organizers’ belief that they are running a Catholic event.

He also said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who served as grand marshal for the Manhattan parade the year after it dropped its ban on gay groups, would not attend the Staten Island parade because of a scheduling conflict.

If any priests attend the parade, Mr. Zwilling said, “they will do so on their own, not as officials of the archdiocese.”

When Ms. Bullock and her supporters arrived at the second sign-up location on Feb. 16 they were greeted by four men who blocked the door to a dimly lit, windowless basement and told them they could only enter in pairs.

The Rev. Bill Baker, a local Episcopalian minister, accompanied her inside, where they said a large group of men watched them plead their case to Mr. Cummings, who has run the parade for many years. The Pride Center was first barred from marching in 2011, Ms. Bullock said.

“I said, ‘We’re here to apply to march in the parade, and he asked me one question: Are you from an organization that has to do with sexual identification?’” Ms. Bullock said. “I said, ‘Yes,’ and he goes, ‘No, you can’t march. This is not a sexual identification parade.’”

The minister said Mr. Cummings cited Catholicism and the example of St. Patrick as the reason they could not join the parade, but he did not elaborate on what he meant.
Ms. Bullock called the ban “a stain on Staten Island” and has asked supporters to refrain from marching in the parade but to attend as spectators, where they can shop at local businesses and wave rainbow flags from the sidewalk as bagpipers and fire trucks go past.

And she said she remains hopeful that next year things might turn out differently.

“The outpouring of support from all over the Island has been incredible,” Ms. Bullock said. “It’s frustrating because the amount of support we have far outweighed what is holding us back.”

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.
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. 
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 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 |

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.


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. 

“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
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:

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