north shore business

Wagner College

Wagner College | Holly's North Shore Buzz Realty

Located at 1 Campus Road in the Grymes Hill neighborhood of Staten Island, Wagner College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts college with approximately 2,100 students enrolled. The college was originally founded in 1883 in Rochester, New York as a seminary to train Lutheran ministers. In 1886, it became the Wagner Memorial Lutheran College after a buildingin Rochester was purchased for its use by John G. Wagner in memory of his son. The college moved to the 38-acre former Cunard estate on Grymes Hill in 1918.

Wagner offers several undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences as well as some pre-professional courses of study. The most popular undergraduate majors at Wagner are Biological Sciences, Business, Psychology, Sociology and Theater. The college offers various academic and athletic scholarships and competes at the NCAA Division I level in all intercollegiate athletics.The college also offers public theater performances by their nationally ranked theater program and an art gallery (Union Gallery) open to the public that features works from students, faculty and alumni.

For more information, visit www.wagner.edu

Casa Belvedere

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Casa Belvedere is located at 79 Howard Avenue, in the Grymes Hill neighborhood of Staten Island. Originally constructed in 1908 as a mansion, Casa Belvedere is now a cultural center devoted to preserving, promoting and celebrating Italian heritage. Meaning “house with a beautiful view,” Casa Belvedere lives up to its name as it boasts some of the most spectacular views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the New York City Harbor. Over the years it has housed many families, and for several years it was the official residence of the President of Wagner College. In 2006, it was declared a New York City Landmark as the Louis A. and Laura Stirn House. In 2008, the building was purchased by Gina Biancardi and Luciano Rammaironi, and turned into a cultural center. Currently, it hosts Italian language classes for both adults and children, and offers other Italian-oriented events including wine tastings, lectures, films, cooking lessons, book signings, displays and art exhibits. For more information, visit http://www.casa-belvedere.org/blog/.

North Shore Updates

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As a Staten Island Realtor and a resident of Staten Island’s North Shore, one of my passions is staying up-to-date with North Shore news and local happenings. Within the past year, I wrote about many exciting developments that I think all Staten Islanders should know about; including the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, Lighthouse Point, Staten Island Makerspace, the Stapleton waterfront, and many more. Well, I’m back to give you some updates on some of these, and get you excited about what to look forward to in 2015, right around the corner!

Empire Outlets

You may already be aware that Nordstrom’s Rack, a 34,000-square-foot Rack store that offers shoes, apparel and accessories, is scheduled to open in fall 2016 as one of Empire Outlet’s anchor stores. Although we are still waiting for BFC Partners to release more information about who else will occupy the retail space, there is no question that construction on Empire Outlets is underway.

In fact, Staten Island Ferry commuters may have already noticed some changes and additions to the ferry terminal over the past few months. A sales suite/leasing office for The New York Wheel and Empire Outlets opened up in this past October in the ferry terminal, giving interested commuters information about the 900 rental apartments that will soon be available once the project is complete.

As of December 1st the 300 parking spaces in Lot A, located next to the terminal, will be unavailable until the construction of Empire Outlets is completed. To accommodate commuters, 800 monthly parking permits will be offered for all spaces in lots B and C, and five temporary parking lots will have shuttle service to the terminal.

The five remote lots will compensate for any losses of the 300 parking spaces, and are located at 680 Richmond Terrace, 22 Academy Place, 475 Bay Street, 40 Prospect Street, and 355 Front Street. Shuttle service times will be posted at each of the lots.

Once the project is complete, parking lots designated for commuter use will be available in the newly constructed parking garage.

The National Lighthouse Museum

Making major headway is the development of the National Lighthouse Museum, located at the former US Lighthouse Service Depot and on the future grounds of Lighthouse Point. After 16 long years, the National Lighthouse Museum is finally settling in at its new home located adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry. The museum will be one feature of Lighthouse Point, a development that will include 100 residential units, a hotel, a variety of retail shops and dining options, open space and parking.

Currently, the museum is open to the public, holding educational programs and special events such as lectures, festivals, lighthouse trails and conferences. Site tours are available by appointment. Because work is currently underway on the Educational Resource Center in Building 11, there is no charge for admission. Guests can view the ongoing work being done on the current exhibits and visit the Museum Gift Shop. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed this upcoming spring.

Current exhibits include a Wall of Lights Exhibit, which consists of a variety of over 150 miniature lighthouse models on display, illustrating the many types of lighthouses seen throughout the world. Integrated into this structure is a database that allows visitors to access information about specific lighthouses around the world. Exhibits under construction off-site include the Purpose of Lighthouses, Lighthouse Technology, Lighthouse Keepers, Lighthouse History and National Lighthouse Museum History.

The National Lighthouse Museum continues to provide special events, presentations and lighthouse tours while work is being done on the museum. For more information on how to contribute to the development of the exhibits and the future of the museum, or for a list of upcoming events, visit http://lighthousemuseum.org/

Staten Island Makerspace

This past year I posted two blogs and featured a video on North Shore Buzz highlighting Staten Island Makerspace, Staten Island’s first small business incubator. Sponsored by the NYCEDC, Makerspace takes the “do it yourself” idea to a whole new level as it gives both skilled craftspeople and hobbyists the opportunity to make their ideas come to life.

What was once a metal shop has been transformed into a creative community workspace for artists, craftspeople, makers, and hobbyists… and has certainly made headlines! Makerspace has proven to be as creative and inspiring as promised, drawing in hundreds of individuals with classes, workshops, events and celebrations. Check out their website for a list of upcoming workshops and classes, open to all ages and skill levels. Use Makerspace to “dream, create, make!”

Stay tuned…

Over the next few weeks I hope to continue to bring you more information about new businesses, restaurants and other upcoming events taking place on Staten Island’s North Shore. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy a restful holiday season with your friends and family. There truly is no better time of year!

If you are looking to buy a home or any real estate on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events. I look forward to meeting up with you soon!

What’s New at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

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If you’re one of the thousands of commuters that board the Staten Island Ferry each day, chances are you’ve seen the transformation that has taken place over the past few months. New restaurants, new exhibits, and a sneak-peek as to what commuters and tourists have to look forward to in the near future… the Ferry terminal has been transformed from a drab waiting area to a bright, clean transportation gateway.

So, if you’re heading into Manhattan this holiday season to do some shopping or perhaps some ‘touristy’ things of your own, be sure to allot some extra time to check out what’s new in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

A New Look

The new terminal provides beautiful views of the harbor, high ceilings, and a well-lit, open space. Replacement of the harbor side brick wall with a 40-foot glass wall allows for a perfect view of the ferry boat while it approaches the terminal. Transportation connections to bus, subway, train and car have been improved, allowing for a seamless commute.

Also on display in the ferry terminal are rendered photos of Empire Outlets, giving future shoppers a sneak-peek of the new outlet mall.

Restaurants and Cafés

Passengers at the ferry terminal can enjoy a wider variety of dining options as well. Below is a list of current eateries located in the ferry terminal.

  • Au Bon Pain
  • DQ Grill & Chill
  • Eat-a-Bagel Ferry
  • Island Soft Pretzel
  • Statue of Liberty Deli
  • Subway Restaurant
  • Wateredge

Opening soon in the terminal is a 24-hour restaurant, the River Dock Café, which will not only offer seafood and American fare, but views of Lady Liberty and the New York Harbor.

Leasing Office

Commuters interested in rental options in St. George can also take advantage of the convenience of the Empire Outlets leasing office being located in the Ferry terminal. Along with 30,000 square feet of retail space, the plans for Empire Outletalso include space for 900 rental apartments.

Living Roof

“Green” features have been included in the renovations of the terminal, specifically an 18,000 square-foot living roof. Located atop the terminal building, visitors and commuters can enjoy a view of living vegetation of local flora adjacent from the public viewing area.

The Culture Lounge

One of my favorite new additions to the ferry terminal is the Culture Lounge, located along the strip of restaurants and storefronts. Sponsored by Staten Island Arts, the Culture Lounge serves as their new office, gallery and shop, and is being called a meeting place and a project space for both international and local artists- from visual artists, poets, musicians, writers and performers- to display their artistic projects.

One aspect of the Culture Lounge is the Artists Market, which is located at the forefront of the space. It offers a wide variety of unique, handmade goods, created by local artists, and all within a “New York Harbor” theme. Perfect for tourists looking to purchase authentic gifts and as a permanent gallery for local artists to display (and sell) their work.

Parking Updates

Along with the “new look” of the Ferry terminal, and all of the wonderful things it has to offer, commuters and tourists should also be aware of the parking changes that have recently taken place since construction for Empire Outlets has begun.

Currently, the 300 parking spaces in Lot A, located next to the terminal, will be unavailable for about two years, until the construction of Empire Outlets is completed. To accommodate commuters, 800 monthly parking permits will be offered for all spaces at lots B and C, and five temporary parking lots will have shuttle service to the terminal.

The five remote lots will compensate for any losses of the 300 parking spaces, and are located at 680 Richmond Terrace, 22 Academy Place, 475 Bay Street, 40 Prospect Street, and 355 Front Street. Shuttle service times will be posted at each of the lots.

Once the project is complete, parking lots designated for commuter use will be available in the newly constructed parking garage.

As you can see, there is so much happening on Staten Island’s North Shore! If you are looking to buy a home or any Staten Island real estate and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips.

I look forward to meeting up soon, and have an extraordinary day!

Holiday Fairs on Staten Island

 

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As the cold weather rolls in, Staten Islanders are slowly beginning to swap out their autumn décor for garland and holiday lights.

For most Staten Island residents, part of their holiday tradition involves attending one or more of the many fairs and festivals that take place across the borough. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the season, get a head start on holiday shopping, connect with neighbors, support local businesses, and visit community parishes, schools and other organizations than through these holiday events. You are sure to find great gift items, handmade crafts, baked goods, and perhaps catch a glimpse of Santa.

Below are some of the Holiday Fair events and festivities taking place on Staten Island during this holiday season. Why not check out a few?

November

Friday, November 21
St. Adalbert Holiday Fair
355 Morningstar Road  718-442-2020
9am-8pm

St. Joseph – St. Thomas Holiday Fair
50 Maguire Avenue  718-356-0452
3-9pm

Saturday, November 22
Christ Lutheran Church Christmas Fair
121 Cleveland Avenue  718-984-6595
9am-3pm
Raffles, gift baskets, bake sale, holiday gifts, Vermont cheddar, and more.

All Saints Episcopal Church Holiday Fair
2329 Victory Boulevard  718-948-4702
10am-4pm
Proceeds will go to help animals. There will be homemade food and 50+ raffle baskets.

Great Kills Moravian Church Christmas Craft Fair
74 Hillside Terrace  718-317-7788
10am-4pm
Holiday decorations, bakery, luncheon, and more.

Assumption-St. Paul Christmas Fair
129 Clinton Avenue  718-447-6362
10am-5pm
Visit from Santa (1-3pm) and raffles for designer bags.

Our Lady Queen of Peace Christmas Fair
63 Cloister Place  718-351-0370
10am-6pm
Raffle baskets, craft table, children’s crafts, baked goods, games, food, and pictures with Santa.

St. Joseph – St. Thomas Holiday Fair
50 Maguire Avenue  718-356-0452
10am-9pm

Sunday, November 23
St. Joseph – St. Thomas Holiday Fair
50 Maguire Avenue  718-356-0452
10am-5pm

Knights of Columbus Hall
397 Clark Avenue 718-667-9852
9:30am

Friday, November 28
Alice Austen House
2 Hylan Boulevard 718-816-4506
11am-5pm
Handmade holiday gifts, local artists and craftsmen.

Saturday, November 29
Alice Austen House
2 Hylan Boulevard 718-816-4506
11am-5pm
Handmade holiday gifts, local artists and craftsmen.

Sunday, November 30
Alice Austen House
2 Hylan Boulevard 718-816-4506
11am-5pm
Handmade holiday gifts, local artists and craftsmen.

December

Friday, December 5
St. Teresa School Christmas Fair
1632 Victory Boulevard  718-448-9650
8am-6pm

Saturday, December 6
Christ Church New Brighton St. Nick’s Fair
76 Franklin Avenue 718-727-6100
10am-4pm
Pictures with Santa, and breakfast & lunch.

St. Roch Church Christmas Fair
602 Port Richmond Avenue  718-442-4755
10am-6pm
Gifts, vendors, and raffles.

St. Teresa School Christmas Fair
1632 Victory Boulevard  718-448-9650
10am-6pm

Stapleton UAME Church Holiday Fair
49 Tompkins Avenue  718-273-2857
11am-5pm
Raffle baskets, craft table, children’s crafts, baked goods, food, and pictures with Santa.

St. Christopher School Christmas Fair
51 Lisbon Place 718-351-0902
12-6pm
Santa will be at the fair.

Art & Craft Sale @ Staten Island Museum
75 Stuyvesant Place 718-727-1135
www.statenislandmuseum.org
10am

Art Lab’s Holiday Arts & Crafts @ Art Lab Gallery
1000 Richmond Terrace (Building H) 718-447-8667
11am-5pm

Sunday, December 7
St. Teresa School Christmas Fair
1632 Victory Boulevard  718-448-9650
8am-2pm

Farrell Christmas Fair
2900 Amboy Road  718-987-2900
10am-5pm
Homemade crafts, refreshments, and live music.

St. Clare’s Christmas Fair
150 Nelson Avenue  718-984-7873
11am-5pm

Monday, December 8
St. Clare’s Christmas Fair
150 Nelson Avenue  718-984-7873
9am-4pm

Thursday, December 11
PS 58 PTA Holiday Fair
77 Marsh Avenue 718-761-2155
6-9pm
Photo booth, arts and crafts for kids, and mini bake sale.

Wednesday, December 17
PS 39 Holiday Fair
71 Sand Lane  718-447-4543
8:30am-6pm

Thursday, December 18
PS 39 Holiday Fair
71 Sand Lane  718-447-4543
8:30am-6pm

Saturday, December 20
New to You Vendors Market & Craft Fair
Zion Lutheran, 505 Watchogue Road  347-979-7726
11am-4pm
Santa visit and pictures.

Stay tuned for more information about other holiday events taking place over the next few weeks. Are you looking to buy Staten Island real estate or a home on Staten Island and want to know more? Please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

Check out my website which is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods local businesses, news and events. Take a look at North Shore Buzz for video interviews and what’s happening on Staten Island.

Look forward to meeting up soon! Have an extraordinary day!

Theatre Happenings in Staten Island

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All of Staten Island’s a Stage

Now that the weather finally reflects the time of year, you may be looking for some warmer, or perhaps, more festive things to do. Although I don’t usually like to even mention the holiday season until we are well into the month of November, there is no doubt that the holiday season will soon be upon us. Many Staten Islanders are already well into their shopping, planning and prepping for the upcoming season.

If you’re looking for ways to spend time with family and friends while actually enjoying this time of year, I recommend checking out one of the many performances that local theater groups have lined up over the next few weeks. It might just give you a much needed break from the holiday hustle and bustle, and give you a chance to make some new memories with loved ones.

St. George Theatre: Located at 35 Hyatt Street, http://www.stgeorgetheatre.com.

November 16- Pinkalicious the Musical

November 24- Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

November 28- Amy Schumer

November 29- Tony Bennett

December 2-3- A Christmas Carol by the Puppet People

December 5- St. George Theatre 85th Birthday Party

December 6- Bobby Rydell, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, and the Tymes

December 12-14- The Christmas Show

December 29- Frosty the Snowman

Harbor Lights Theatre Company: The Music Hall at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens; located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, www.snug-harbor.org.

November 7-23- West Side Story

Enjoy Dinner and a Show as the culinary artistry of Celebrate at Snug Harbor teams up with Harbor Lights Theater Company to bring this fall’s performance of West Side Story.

Sundog Theater: Performing at the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts Williamson Theater; located at 2800 Victory Blvd, http://www.sundogtheatre.org.

December 6- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Sea View Playwright’s Theatre: Located at 460 Brielle Avenue, https://www.facebook.com/SeaViewPlaywrightsTheatre

December 5-14- The Placebo Effect

The Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company: Performing at the Conference House; located at Hylan Blvd and Satterlee St., http://www.sistny.org/

December 11-14, 18-21- Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

Center for the Arts, College of Staten Island: Located at 2800 Victory Boulevard

November 15- Alice in Wonderland– Pushcart Players performing at the Williamson Theatre

November 21- John Leguizamo: Latin History for Dummies– Springer Concert Hall

December 6- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens- Sundog Theater performing at the Williamson Theatre

For more information, visit http://www.cfashows.com/

Wagner College Theatre: Main Stage; located at One Campus Road

November 12-15 and 19-23- Merrily We Roll Along

For more information, visit http://wagner.edu/theatre/2014-2015-season/

Enjoy a night out all while benefitting from Staten Island’s local thespians! To find out more about Staten Island real estate, local events, businesses or North Shore news, my website is full of helpful information about Staten Island’s North Shore neighborhoods. If you are looking to buy a home on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Fall! Have an extraordinary day!

 

What Are My Public School Choices on Staten Island’s North Shore?

 

Port Richmond HS

November: a month looked upon fondly as a time spent with family and friends, preparing for the holiday season and giving thanks. However, for parents of school-aged children, November represents one of the busiest months on the school calendar; with parent-teacher conferences, open houses and preparations for school holiday events well underway.

Parents of middle and high school aged children have the added task of looking into the different programs offered by Staten Island schools, and completing that Middle School or High School preference sheet.

You see, gone are the days when a neighborhood school was a “neighborhood school,” where students living within a particular zone attended a particular school. Yes, whenever you buy a home on Staten Island, you are “zoned” for a particular school, but that school is no longer your only option. Parents of students entering ninth grade, sixth grade, and even kindergarten can apply to send their child to any school, regardless of whether or not the child is zoned for that school.

This fairly new school admissions process has allowed schools to specialize in different programs to offer potential students. Read on to find out more about some of the programs our North Shore public middle and high schools have to offer.

North Shore Middle Schools

In the fall, all fifth graders enrolled in a New York City public elementary school will receive customized middle school applications. The application will include all of the middle schools the student is eligible to apply to, and students rank schools in order or preference before returning the application to their current school.

Parents and their 5th graders can visit open houses and information sessions hosted by the middle schools before completing the application. Decision letters are then sent out to parents in the spring.

IS 027– Anning S. Prall Intermediate School: www.is27.org

Located in West Brighton, IS 27 is known as the Magnet School for Applied Learning with Technology Integration. Other than the core curriculum the school offers classes in Engineering, Enterprise and Journalism to its students. IS 27 also offers advanced programs through the District 31 Middle School Scholars Program.

IS 028– Eagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island: http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/31/R028/default.htm

Recently opening, the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island is one of several co-location schools approved by the Department of Education. Sharing a space with IS 49, the Eagle Academy offers a small-school setting that aims to develop a community of responsible young men who respect one another and themselves.

PS/IS 048– William C. Wilcox: http://websites.nylearns.org/ps48pta/default.aspx

Located in Concord, PS/IS48 just recently opened its doors in a brand new building that will house students from grades Pre-K through Grade 8.

IS 049– Berta A. Dreyfus: http://berta49.wordpress.com/

Located in Clifton, IS 49 offers three small learning communities that aim to nurture critical thinking, offers inquiry-based instructional methods, interdisciplinary thematic projects and student-centered activities. Through a collaboration of staff, community, private enterprise, and service learning, students at IS 49 are encouraged to set and achieve higher education and career goals.

IS 051– Edwin Markham: http://www.is51.org/

Located in Westerleigh, IS 51 isdedicated to fostering academic excellence for all students by setting high expectations for the academic success of all learners, and by providing a nurturing and safe learning environment that promotes respect for all cultures in our diverse population.

IS 061– William A. Morris: http://www.is61knights.org/

Located in Randall Manor, IS 61 is known as the Magnet School for Arts and Letters. The school offers honors programs with accelerated courses for high school credit, as well as magnet programs for talented students in the areas of journalism, visual arts and performing arts.

North Shore High Schools

In the fall, eight graders submit their high school application by listing up to twelve programs, ranked in order of preference. Applicants are matched to one of their ranked schools according to admissions priority, method and availability (all of these factors can vary depending on the program you are applying for).

Curtis High Schoolhttps://sites.google.com/a/curtishs.org/home/Home

Curtis offers many academic programs, including the International Baccalaureate Scholarship Honors Program with accelerated curriculum and Advanced Placement courses; Nursing, NJROTC, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Business/Computer Institute, CoOp, Human and Legal Studies, Journalism Institute and School for International Services.

Port Richmond High School-http://schools.nyc.gov/schoolportals/31/r445/default.htm

A diverse population of students makes up a population of approximately 2600 students who participate in programs such as Gateway to Higher Education, Collegiate Academy, Culinary Arts, JROTC, Medical Technology ,TV/Media Production, Institute for Business, Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, and several others extracurricular activities.

Susan E. Wagner High Schoolhttp://wagnerhigh.net/

Located in Manor Heights, Wagner High School offers a wide range of required and elective courses, as well as extracurricular team and club activities.  Students are placed in Learning Centers based on their interest and academic performance. The Learning Centers offered include: Scholars, Institute for Law and Politics, Academy of Finance, Entrepreneurs, Air Force Junior ROTC, Media Arts, Sports Management, Music (Performing Art), Institute for the Theatrical Arts (Performing Art), Visual Arts, Leadership, Academy of the Sciences, Academy of Language and Culture, Exploration, Vocational Preparatory.

The Application and Admissions Process

To help with this process, the 2014-2015 Directory of NYC Public High Schools is available on the NYC Department of Education website. Students who are in the 8th grade this school year have the opportunity to use the directory to browse through the many different programs Staten Island schools and schools city-wide have to offer. Parents can also use the directory to familiarize themselves with the high school admissions process, including how it works and how schools consider students for placement. Click here to access the directory online.

In the end, whether or not a student is accepted into a school or program that they have applied for is based on a variety of different factors. There are admissions priorities, which may include whether or not a student has met a certain academic standard, attended an open house or informational session, or is zoned for that school. Many schools admit students based on a lottery, but some schools include auditions or other requirements as part of the admissions process. Parents should be aware of the admissions policies when applying for different schools and programs (which are all outlined on the New York City Department of Education website).

As a North Shore Realtor, I understand how school choice is a huge concern for many potential home buyers, which is why I am committed to staying current with the programs that the different public schools have to offer and the process behind how students are placed. If you are looking to buy a home or any Staten Island real estate and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

Check out my website for helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events.

Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews to see what’s new and exciting on Staten Island’s North Shore.

Have a fabulous Fall season, and I look forward to meeting up soon!

 

 

 

Where Are The Best Halloween Day Events On Staten Island?

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Staten Island Halloween Events

Halloween: a day most commonly celebrated by children who dress in costume and solicit candy or other treats door-to-door. To me, Halloween is less about the candy and more about connecting with the community. I love seeing the same familiar faces at my door year after year; and having the opportunity to briefly chat with my neighbors about how much the children have grown in just one year. This year, I get even more of a thrill by being able to bring my granddaughter out in costume. I can’t wait!

All season long, Staten Island parks, businesses and organizations have been busy hosting fall events, all celebrating the harvest and leading up to October’s most popular day, Halloween. However, the Halloween events on Staten Island aren’t over yet. Since Halloween falls on a Friday this year, there are plenty of events taking place throughout the weekend that you’ll definitely want to check out.

Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island (FACSI) Cemetery Tour

This event was a huge hit last year! What better way to get a thrill on Halloween night than to spend the evening on a tour of the largest abandoned cemetery in New York City? As a FACSI fundraiser, the cemetery tour at Fountain Cemetery in West New Brighton (Richmond Terrace and Alaska Street) will host an All Hallows Even Ghost Tour. Torches will be placed throughout the 8-acre site, and FACSI staff will introduce the 19th century Staten Islanders who may not be at rest on the historic grounds. After the tour, visitors will be allowed to explore the grounds, on their own.

There is an admission fee for this tour, which is scheduled for 7:30pm on Halloween evening. Contact the Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries at SICemetery@gmail.com or at 917-545-3309 for more information.

Brews & Boos at Flagship Brewery

Come celebrate with Flagship Brewery as they host their very first Halloween party in their tasting room (40 Minthorne St) from 9pm to 1am on Halloween night. Free food, open bar for four hours, music and fun is included with your ticket, which can be purchased here. Wear your costume for a chance to win a brewing lesson with head brewer, Patrick Morse.

Phunky Elephant Halloween Bash

Join the Phunky Elephant for their second annual Halloween bash taking place this Friday night at 1271 Bay Street. Admission includes live music by the John Neilson Trio, a drink ticket and complimentary snacks throughout the night. The party starts at 10pm and continues into the early morning hours with Halloween music and dance jams from a live DJ. For more information call 718-448-4282 or visit their website at http://www.thephunkyelephant.com.

Deep Tanks Costume Party

Deep Tanks Studio, Deep Tanks Butoh, the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, ASPECT RATIO FILM FEST Ann Marie Selzer (ARFF), ISLA Gia Dupree, Staten Island OutLOUD and visual designer OLLIE OXEN are all partnering to throw an entertaining evening of sculptures, performance art, live music, film screenings, costume contests, photographed by Kristopher Johnson photo booth and dancing. Admission is $10 at the door, which includes a drink and finger food. Proceeds go to Doctors without Borders. It all takes place at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, 312 Fillmore Street from 6:30 to 11pm.

The Haunting of Billhop House

Watch the premiere of this new thriller in the basement of the historic Conference House in Tottenville, which is believed to be one of the most haunted houses in New York. “The Haunting of Billhop House,” written by Staten Island playwright Joe Simonelli, will play on Halloween night starting at 7:30pm, November 1st at 8pm and on November 2nd at 4pm. Seats are $18 for general admission and $15 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 347-355-8989.

Halloween Hoopla

Come on out for some Halloween fun at Bloomingdale Park, as it is transformed into Boo!mingdale Park on Halloween Day from 2-5pm on Halloween evening. Activities include a hay maze, pony rides, inflatable rides and more, including a photo spot and costume parade.

A Haunting We Will Go

Join the City of New York City Parks and Recreation before dusk on Halloween evening for one more kid-friendly event, A Haunting We Will Go. Fun for all ages, this event will take place at Cedar Grove Avenue at Waterside Street from 3:00-6:00pm. Come out and enjoy various Halloween crafts, haunted events and games. There will also be a costume contest. For more information, visit the NYC Parks Department website at www.nycgovparks.org.

NYC Pumpkin Smash 2014

Not sure what to do with that old pumpkin that’s been sitting on your front porch? “Smash it, don’t trash it!” is the logo of this community pumpkin smash and composting event. Bring your pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and leaves to PS 9 (1055 Targee Street) on Saturday, November 1st from 11am to 3pm and make them flip, launch, roll, cannonball and ultimately smash before they are added to PS 9’s compost bins. This family-friendly event also offers games, contests, raffles, refreshments, music, face-painting and more. Staten Island Makerspace will also be there to help the children build trebuchets to launch their pumpkins with. For more information, visit the PS9 PTA website.

Art Lab’s Masquerade

Art Lab will host their masquerade and cocktail party on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens from 7-11pm on Saturday, November 1st. Get a preview of “The Scream Exhibition,” inspired by expressionist painter Edvard Munch, before its opening on November 8. The party also includes jazz music by the Lou Hoff Quartet from 8 to 10 p.m., refreshments, raffles and a mask contest. Tickets are $70 at the door. For more information, visit here.

The Halloween House

Lastly, get in the Halloween spirit by visiting the Halloween House, at 278 Caswell Ave. located in the community of Westerleigh. Ralph Payson has hosted this North Shore tradition since 2000. Halloween day check out the live show 7-9pm. For years, this family has decorated their home in anything and everything spooky, and even puts on “Live Action Shows” featuring favorites such as Michael Myers, Pinhead Freddy Kruger, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Chucky. Your Halloween isn’t complete unless you visit this house at some point during the season.

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Needless to say, no matter what you’re in the mood for, there is no better day than Halloween to get out and meet your neighbors. If you do get out there, chances are, candy isn’t the only thing you’ll come home with at the end of the day. Perhaps you’ll run into some old friends, spend time catching up with a neighbor, or even meet someone new who lives down the block.

Either way, if your Halloween adventures take you through Staten Island’s North Shore and you happen to see any Staten Island homes or real estate for sale that interest you, don’t hesitate to contact me. As always, you can contact me on Facebook or Twitter, and my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods , local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Look forward to meeting up with you soon!

Staten Island Traffic, What’s Happening Now?

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Staten Island Traffic Updates

We live in a borough where the majority of commuters drive to work, so it is no surprise that traffic and congestion is a serious issue for Staten Islanders. Add to that the fact that multiple construction projects are currently underway, and you end up with a potentially frustrating situation as you attempt to travel across the island.

Much of my day is spent in the car; driving to and from visits with clients, open houses, Chamber of Commerce meetings, or home inspections. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder; “what are they doing now?”

I have decided to focus on traffic this week, not to complain, but to inform Staten Islanders about the goals, plans, and timelines of these construction projects. Hopefully, these projects will improve our roadways and will make for a much more pleasant trip around the island. Read on to find out more about some of the major projects that are currently underway across Staten Island, along with some new possibilities for our borough’s future.

“Raise the Roadway” Project

Each time I drive around Port Richmond I am in awe as to how Skanska Koch and Kiewit Infrastructure Company plan to raise the Bayonne Bridge’s clearance to over 200 feet (currently, it is 151 feet above the Kill van Kull). Even more amazing, the Port Authority believes it is possible to build a new roadway above the existing roadway without interrupting the flow of traffic between Staten Island and Bayonne.

The project, which began in 2013 and is projected to be finished in 2017, will offer our region many long-term benefits. First, it will allow for larger, more efficient ships to visit our ports, which means cleaner air for residents along the shore. The project will also offer wider lanes, shoulders and median dividers, which will all make the bridge safer for drivers. It will also feature a bikeway and walkway for the entire length of the bridge, and stairs will be replaced with access ramps. The improved bridge also features new piers, a new roadway deck, and new approach roads, ensuring that bridge will last for many generations. The design of the bridge even allows for future mass transit service (like a light rail) across the bridge.

One lane in each direction should be completed by next year, but the entire project (which includes the new roadway, medians and walkway), won’t be finished until the middle of 2017. To stay updated on Bayonne Bridge closings and current conditions, visit http://www.panynj.gov/alerts-advisories/advisories.html.

Staten Island Expressway Access Improvement Project

Anyone who has driven on the Staten Island Expressway understands the massive transformations that are taking place between the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Clove Road. Although this stretch of roadway is only 1.8 miles in length, updating this particular thoroughfare could potentially increase the efficiency of the Staten Island Expressway by improving traffic flow and reducing delays.

The project continues to reconfigure eight on-and off-ramps, moving some of them closer to major intersections in order to take pressure off local roads. Work will also be done on the medians on the Slosson Avenue, Manor Road, Renwick and Hylan Boulevard overpasses.

Some of the changes you may have noticed already include widened shoulders and noise abatement walls, new entrance ramps and traffic patterns, bus/HOV extensions, longer merge points and new connector ramps when approaching the Verrazano Bridge, and the removal of Brooklyn-bound toll booths. The project, which also includes upgrades to bridge and pavement conditions, is expected to be completed sometime in 2015.

New Goethals Bridge

This past May, construction on the new Goethals Bridge began. The new bridge is being built directly south of the existing bridge, and will have six 12-foot lanes, wider shoulders, and a pedestrian and bike path. The new bridge aims to improve the flow of traffic over the bridge into Elizabeth, New Jersey, and will alleviate some of the chronic traffic conditions that the layout of the current Goethals Bridge causes. The old bridge will be dismantled upon the completion of the new bridge, which is expected to take place in 2017.

The Future of Transportation

The developments of Staten Island’s North Shore, including the new tourist attractions like the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets, calls for improved transportation infrastructure and new methods of public transit alternatives. In fact, the North Shore Alternatives Analysis Study (NSAA) is a project sponsored by the MTA to examine such alternatives. Is it possible that some of these may be in the future for Staten Island’s North Shore?

North Shore Bus Rapid Transit

The North Shore bus rapid transit system is an MTA-approved project that would build a bus-only transit line along the Kill van Kull. The eight-stop line would run from St. George to Arlington on a pathway alongside Richmond Terrace.

West Shore Light Rail

If the West Shore Light Rail ever becomes a reality, it would connect to New Jersey’s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail over the Bayonne Bridge, providing Staten Islanders with a much faster connection to New Jersey and the PATH subway service into Manhattan. The line would make stops at nine stations on its way along the Island’s West Shore, arriving into Manhattan in just under an hour. If the West Shore Light Rail is in fact approved, construction on the line isn’t likely to begin until at least 2018.

All of the proposed transportation alternatives, construction projects and improvements to our roadways will result in nothing but positive results for Staten Island travelers and commuters. Even more, for those of you who are looking to invest in New York real estate but may have overlooked Staten Island because of the commute, the improvements underway may make purchasing a home on Staten Island an affordable and sensible decision. Not only are there more real estate options for diverse lifestyles, but the improvements to Staten Island transportation may allow for quicker and easier access around the island and throughout the city.

If you are looking to buy a home on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips. Look forward to meeting up soon!

North Shore Staten Island: What’s Happening Now?

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North Shore Updates – Keeping you in the know

As a Staten Island Realtor and a resident of Staten Island’s North Shore, one of my passions is staying up-to-date with North Shore news and local happenings. Within the past year, I wrote about many exciting developments that I think all Staten Islanders should know about; including the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, Lighthouse Point, Staten Island Makerspace, the Stapleton waterfront, and many more. Well, I’m back to give you some updates on these, and to introduce some more North Shore developments that you may not know about.

The New York Wheel

Although the New York Wheel was originally set to open in 2016, the first spin is now scheduled for early 2017. Construction is set to commence in January of 2015, with site preparation to take place as early as this month. Check out my one to one video with the developer Richard Marin of this tremendous project!

The wheel project will bring a 630-foot observation wheel to the St. George waterfront, along with spacious walkways, a green recreational space, and stunning views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Stay tuned for more updates on this project as it begins over the course of the next few months.

Empire Outlets

Ever since the announcement of the plans for New York City’s first outlet mall, there has been speculation about the retailers that will occupy Empire Outlets. Just a few weeks ago it was confirmed that Nordstrom’s Rack, a 34,000-square-foot Rack store that offers shoes, apparel and accessories priced at 30 to 70 percent off is scheduled to open in fall 2016 as one of the outlet’s anchor stores. In addition to Nordstrom Rack, there has been speculation that Dolce and Gabana, Gucci and Kate Spade may be some of the other retailers that will occupy the space.

Construction on Empire Outlets is expected to begin in fall 2014 and be completed at the end of 2016.

The National Lighthouse Museum and Lighthouse Point

After 16 long years, the National Lighthouse Museum is finally settling in at the former United States Lighthouse Service Depot, located adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry in St. George. Last year I wrote about how the National Lighthouse Museum had to raise $350,000 before the Economic Development Corporation would allow the museum to occupy the historical space. With a generous gift from John A. Catsimatidis, the owner and chief executive of the Red Apple Group, the museum was able to make the deadline and secure the funding necessary for the museum to lease the space and finally have a place to call home.

Even more, a grant secured by Staten Island Assemblyman Matthew Titone will allow the museum to move forward with its plans to renovate and restore the original lighthouse depot to accommodate the museum, which will contain indoor and outdoor exhibits, interactive displays and an educational resource center. The future site will finally give a home to the Fresnel lenses, lamps, navigational aids, light bulbs, buoys and fog signals that passed through its doors decades ago. It will also feature the history of the United States Lighthouse Service on Staten Island, and will tell the personal stories of the lighthouse keepers and their families.

Currently, the museum is open to the public, holding educational programs and special events such as lectures, festivals, lighthouse trails and conferences. Site tours are welcomed by appointment.

The National Lighthouse Museum will be one feature of Lighthouse Point, a development that will include more than 100 residential units, a hotel, a unique mix of retail shops and dining options, parking and open space. Construction on Lighthouse Point is set to begin this fall and be completed by 2019.

The Accolade Condos

For potential buyers looking for a piece of prime Staten Island real estate, there are still many units available at the Accolades, a 101-unit waterfront condominium that is offering studio to three bedroom apartments at prices ranging from $320,000 to over $1 million. Currently, approximately twenty units- including studios, one, two and three-bedroom residences, are still listed at 90 Bay Street Landing in St. George. This collection of waterfront condominiums offers extraordinary amenities, stunning views and unmatched convenience to downtown Staten Island as well as Manhattan and the other boroughs.

North Shore Parks

Among these large projects taking place along Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront, Staten Island Parks are going to get some much needed TLC. Four North Shore parks will receive upgrades this year as part of the city’s “Community Parks Initiative.” A total of almost $17.45 million will be invested in the parks, including De Matti Playground in Rosebank, Grandview Playground in Mariners Harbor, Levy Playground in Port Richmond and McDonald Playground in West Brighton. The city chose the parks based on need, past maintenance, population density, growth and poverty levels. An additional seven Staten Island parks (six in the North Shore and one in Mid-Island) will also get “quick fixes” like painting, fencing and landscaping.

If you are looking to buy a home or any Staten Island real estate and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

Make sure to check out my website which is filled with useful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events.

I look forward to hearing from you real soon! Happy Fall!

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