Overview of Staten Island
Staten Island is one of New York City's five boroughs. It is the third largest, least populated and most suburban of the boroughs. The island was once very rural but has slowly grown to become rather more urban and has slowly grown to become part of the city at large. Once, it was covered in poultry and dairy farms, but these mostly disappeared by the 20th century, with a few exceptions.
Distant History of Staten Island
Long before people came to the island, Staten Island was buried beneath a huge sheet of ice, which was part of the most recent of the ice ages. However, as the ice retreated, it was quickly populated. Nomadic American Indians visited, chasing large game, and eventually, a tribe settled there.
In the early 1500's, the first Europeans visited Staten Island. Nearly a hundred years later, the Dutch began to attempt creating permanent settlements, but tensions were high between the European and Native American populations, and each settlement was destroyed. It wasn't until the mid 1600's that a permanent settlement was created - one that wasn't destroyed and still has vestiges remaining of it today in the Old Town, which can be found along Old Town Road.
Transportations to the Island
Getting to Staten Island was once much more difficult than it is today. Now, several bridges, including the Verranzo-Narrows Bridge, the Goethals Bridge, the Outerbridge Crossing and the Bayonne Bridge make reaching Staten Island easy. These bridges connect to Staten Island from Brooklyn and New Jersey. There is also a free ferry, the Staten Island Ferry, that connects the borough to Manhattan.
The Staten Island Ferry is popular with tourists, who take advantage of it for it's outstanding views of lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The ferry transports more than 20 million people each year.
On the island, residents living in New York can use the bus system to get around Staten Island. They can also use the railroad, which makes a stop there. However, this borough does not have an underground subway system connecting it to Manhattan and the other boroughs. It is the only one of the five which doesn't.
When moving to New York City, one of the first considerations is shopping. But not just clothes-minded shopping or the shops available for tourists. The good news is the island has dozens of supermarkets, grocery stores and delis, many of which are open all night long. The city also has many Greenmarkets (open air markets) and flea markets, which are ideal for shoppers who want fresh foods or the best prices. Of course, when living in New York, you obviously want to keep up on fashion. For a combination of expensive and inexpensive shopping, consider The Staten Island Mall, The Woodrow Shopping Plaza, and Macy's. Like much of the rest of NYC, boutiques and independently-owned shops are also sprinkled across the island.
The wide variety of restaurants found in the rest of New York can can also be found in State Island. From pizza to spicy Middle Eastern food, just about anything residents could want is readily available. Steal and seafood restaurants, Latin and Spanish restaurants, American-style restaurants, pizzerias, Italian restaurants, Asian joints and fast food restaurants are available. The island has over 402 restaurants to choose from... enough for one per day for more than a year.
Yankees fans are in luck because Staten Island is home to one of the Yankee's minor league teams. On a game dame, you can pass by and cheer along with other screaming fans.
In part of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, individuals can visit the Staten Island Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens hold more than 20 individual gardens, including a Chinese Scholar's Garden, reminiscent of the Ming era. The "Secret Garden" can be reached by crossing a drawbridge that spans a moat and walking through a three-story castle, which is designed as a maze. Other gardens include the Rose Garden, butterfly gardens and sensory gardens. The grounds also host a pond.
The Staten Island Children's Museum provides a wide variety of exhibitions that allow children to develop and enhance their natural curiosity. Exhibits include huge games of checkers, chess and dominoes that allow them to walk among the pieces. They can also explore larger-than-life bugs and insects by climbing through a person-sized ant farm. Outside, they can play on a boat when the weather's nice.
The Saint George Theatre hosts national tours, musicals, concerts, comedy performances and children's shows. The theatre is closed on Sundays unless a show is scheduled.
Interested in experiencing traditional Colonial life? The historic Richmond Town is a village that was essentially frozen in time, back in the 17th century. Residents of this historic village operate NYC's oldest operating farm that features original farms, homes and buildings, including a historical museum. One of the U.S.A's oldest homes, originally built on Staten Island, still stands. Today, it's over 350 years old.
Moving to New York's Staten Island can be beneficial for one's career opportunities. It can also be the perfect place to discover your likes, dislikes and goals for the future. Staten Island is a way to experience New York living at its best. Here, you can find unique restaurants, adorable boutiques and amazing entertainment options. The best part? You're only a short - and free - ride away from Manhattan and the rest of New York City.
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