north shore

St. Patrick’s Day Parade- An Example of North Shore Pride and Heritage

IMG_0580This Sunday, March 6, 2016, marks the 52nd annual Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade, which runs along Forest Avenue from Hart Boulevard to Jewett Avenue, not only celebrates Staten Island’s deeply rooted Irish heritage, but it also captures the unique community feel and enthusiasm that is so characteristic of Staten Island’s West New Brighton neighborhood.

If you’ve ever thought about buying a home on Staten Island’s North Shore, come join us this Sunday and you’ll see exactly why West New Brighton is a great place to live and work.

The Irish; Deep Roots and Long-Standing Heritage

West New Brighton, which is roughly defined as the area around and to the northeast of the intersection of Clove Road and Forest Avenue, was first settled by the Dutch in the 1600’s, and then later by English settlers. Following the American Revolution, waves of immigrants populated the area; first Irish, then Italians, many of which worked at the dry docks and ship repair facilities along Richmond Terrace and the Kill Van Kull.

In most places across the Island or even New York City, knowledge of community history and the stories of the first Staten Island settlers are often times lost as families move in and out of neighborhoods, community demographics change, or former community landmarks become obsolete.

This is not the case, however, in West New Brighton. In this community, deeply-rooted pride in family heritage and history is celebrated and shared. This area has a strong pull on its native residents, and it is not unusual to find families and businesses that have been around for three, four or five generations. From Jody’s Irish Pub on Forest Avenue to Bennett’s Bicycles on Jewett, there is a lot of history and pride in West New Brighton, and plenty of people to tell you about it.

A Staten Island Tradition

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this year in its 52nd year, is just one example of a West Brighton tradition that draws thousands of Staten Islanders (along with politicians and other figureheads) to Forest Avenue for the afternoon. Sunday’s parade may be the most popular event along Forest Avenue, but it certainly isn’t the only event that contributes to the life of this community.

Road races, concert in the park events, little league, block parties, “strolls” along Forest Avenue and parades are only a few examples of the many community events that keep the neighbors in touch, businesses thriving and long-standing traditions alive.

No one understands the importance of community life like Staten Island’s North Shore Expert. Being a part of a family business has taught me a lot about community. The Wiesner family has one of the oldest family businesses on Staten Island. Being a part of this business taught me a lot; from my family’s history and the sacrifices that were made, to understanding how our business shaped the community in which we started. To be a part of the business meant that we were a part of the history of the community, and that is something to be proud of.

I find the same to be true with the families and business in the West New Brighton area. Many of the residents who currently live in this community (not just the families that have been here for generations) understand how they are shaped by their community, and understand the importance of community life.

Loving the Hometown Crowd

IMG_3379And nothing makes a community come alive like a parade. I love the crowd that gathers at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. No need to head into Manhattan when you have a lively, enthusiastic and “hometown” crowd right here on Staten Island. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day; and lining the parade route you’ll find people of all different ages and walks of life celebrating together. My family gathers at the same spot each year, and, year after year we run into the same families. I enjoy “catching up” and swapping stories, sharing with them the joys and the trials the year has brought, and feeling once again that sense of community.

The hometown crowd also brings a big boost to local businesses, which show their enthusiasm for the parade by giving out treats, serving up corned beef or Irish soda bread, and sometimes hosting some of the prominent figureheads of our borough and city. There is so much to be proud of on this special day!

Newcomers Welcome

Although West New Brighton has deep roots and families that have been around for generations, moving in to the community doesn’t make you an “outsider.” In fact, the quiet tree-lined streets also see a lot of walking traffic, and it is not uncommon to know and develop relationships with your neighbors, even if you’ve just moved in.

I also find that West New Brighton appeals to people looking for convenience in their neighborhood as well. Everything you could possibly need is within walking distance; from grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and salons, to pubs, restaurants and fitness centers. For families with children, solid public and private school options are available, as is local music, art and youth sports venues.

The affordability of the homes is also appealing, attracting civil servants such as teachers, fire fighters and police officers from other neighborhoods. For business professionals who might work in Manhattan, there is close access to the Staten Island Expressway or to the Staten Island Ferry for an easy commute to work.

As a diverse neighborhood, there certainly is something for everyone, even if you are not native to West Brighton or even Staten Island. It won’t take long for you to feel right at home. Come join us on Sunday, and you’ll see exactly why so many people call West New Brighton home.

If you are looking to buy a home on Staten Island and are interested in more information, 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.

There are two types of Real Estate professionals ….those who understand the emotional and financial complexity of buying or selling a home…and those who don’t.

St. John’s University

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Located at 300 Howard Ave and overlooking the scenic New York Bay atop of Grymes Hill, St. John’s University is a private, Roman Catholic, coeducational university serving over 2,000 students who are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Founded by the Congregation of the Mission in 1870, the school was originally located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Beginning in the 1950s, the school relocated to its current location to Utopia Parkway in Hillcrest, Queens. St. John’s has a total of six campuses: Hillcrest, Staten Island, Manhattan, Rome, Oakdale, NY and a Paris campus.

The Staten Island campus offers students 16.5-acres of rolling and wooded lawns, apartment-style student residences and a variety of architectural styles. The site of the Grymes Hill campus was originally purchased in the early 20th Century by immigrant John Gans. For over thirty years between 1930 and 1970 the estate became the home of Notre Dame College, a premier women’s college on Staten Island. In 1971, Notre Dame College consolidated with St. John’s University and the Staten Island campus of SJU became a reality, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, business and education.

For more information, visit http://www.stjohns.edu/campuses/staten-island-campus

Winter Activities on Staten Island’s North Shore

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The winter solstice, which occurred this past Sunday, Dec. 21, marked the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. To be specific, winter officially began at 6:03 p.m. when the Northern Hemisphere was pointed at its furthest distance from the sun. Although December 21st may have been the longest night and the shortest day, the good news is that from now until the summer solstice, the days will get longer (and hopefully warmer).

If you’re the type who enjoys the winter weather, then you’ll want to read on to find out about the different types of winter activities that take place throughout Staten Island. Even if you’re not winter’s biggest fan, you may want to check out some of the indoor activities listed below, especially if you’re in the mood for getting out of the house or you’re desperate to find something fun for the kids to do. You may just find the perfect solution to getting yourself (and the kids) out doing something fun and creative this winter.

Ice Skating

Staten Island Skating Pavilion
3080 Arthur Kill Road
Visit Website | 718-948-4800
As one of the only indoor rinks in the city, the Staten Island Skating Pavilion offers public skating sessions on weekends (more during school breaks), lessons, events, games, hockey leagues and even birthday parties.

WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink
Clove Lakes Park- Victory Boulevard west of Clove Road
Visit Website | 718-720-1010
Take advantage of the cold weather at Staten Island’s only outdoor skating rink, which has become increasingly popular with local families. The rink also offers skating lessons, public sessions and birthday party packages.

Staten Island Sledding

Although the small hill at Clove Lakes Park (at the corner of Slosson and Martlings) is known as the “official” sledding spot on Staten Island, but there are plenty of other places to get a sled run in. Many kids (and adults) love sledding down “Dead Man’s Hill” in Silver Lake Park, or taking a ride on the hills on the La tourette Golf Course. Either way, many memories will be made on these sleigh-riding hills.

Another Venue for Skaters (that is, skate-boarders)

5050 Skatepark

354 Front Street

347-857-6007

For teens and young adults, Staten Island’s 5050 Skatepark is the place to be. As the only indoor skatepark in the city, this is a great place for teens (or anyone else) who needs the indoor space to work on their scooter, skateboard or BMX bike tricks. There are open sessions, beginner sessions and one-on-one lessons as well. Visit www.5050skatepark.com for more details.

Cultural Offerings

Staten Island Children’s Museum

1000 Richmond Terrace
Telephone: 718-273-2060 / Fax: 718-273-2836

Located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Staten Island Children’s Museum offers a variety of hands-on educational exhibits such as Block Harbor, House: About It, Portia’s Playhouse, Great Explorations, Bugs and Insects, Ladder 11, Sea of Boats, and DB’s Fantastic Machines. It also provides special programming for children of all ages on a regular basis, such as daily activities like Storytime, weekday programs like Kidz Cook, toddler programs like Artist in Me and weekend family workshops like Up 4 Art. Perfect for anyone feeling cooped-up indoors!

St. George Theatre

35 Hyatt Street

718-442-2900

There is nothing like catching a show at the iconic St. George Theatre. This upcoming week you won’t want to miss “Frosty the Snowman,” presented on December 29, 2014. The theater will also be hosting a series of intimate performances in the mezzanine lounge, ranging from music, illusion, jam nights, original works, cabaret and comedy. Visit www.stgeorgetheatre.com for more details.

Staten Island Museum

75 Stuyvesant Place

718-727-1135

Hosting both indoor and outdoor adventures, the Staten Island Museum is a place for thinkers, doers, explorers and anyone with even just a touch of curiosity. This month the museum is hosting a variety of workshops, including family art workshops, outdoor adventures and bird walks, and even science programs. Visit their website at www.statenislandmuseum.org for more information about upcoming events.

Tibetan Art Museum

338 Lighthouse Ave

718-987-3500

Perfectly nestled on the side of Lighthouse Hill, the Tibetan Art Museum presents the art and culture of Tibet and the Himalayas in order to educate and inspire. Besides offering a variety of exhibits and programs, the museum will also open its doors on weekends in February for guided meditation. Visit their website at www.tibetanmuseum.org for more information.

Staten Island Greenbelt

700 Rockland Avenue

718-351-3450

Staten Island’s Greenbelt has loads of programs available for adults and children of all ages, all year round. If you’re a runner and want a change of scenery, take advantage of the group trail runs the Greenbelt is offering. Or, get your children involved in all of the President’s week activities that will be taking place during their week off from school. Adult artists, little tots and anyone looking to increase their knowledge of the natural world or enjoy Staten Island’s trails should take advantage of these Greenbelt programs. For a list of upcoming events taking place at the Greenbelt, visit their website at www.sigreenbelt.org.

Historic Richmond Town

451 Clarke Avenue

Visit Website |  718-351-1611

Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island’s living history village and museum complex, is alive and kickin’ even in the dead of winter. It’s time to relax by the fire while listening to some of the best folk and acoustic songwriters and musicians in the country. Check the Richmond Town website at www.historicrichmondtown.org for information on the upcoming tavern concerts that will surely transport you back to a simpler time.

Mariners Harbor Library

206 South Ave

Staten Island, NY, 10303

(212) 621-0690

The state-of-the-art Mariners Harbor Library is the first New York Public Library branch to open since the Battery Park City Library opened in 2010. Designed with an exterior of mostly windows and skylights, the 10,000 square foot library is bright and spacious. With no walls, the layout encourages an open community feel. The library contains approximately 17,000 books, DVDs and periodicals, 38 desktop computers, 10 laptops and FREE Wi-Fi. It’s also ADA accessible, has a children’s-only bathroom, a community room, and a garden and terrace. Like all library branches, it regularly hosts programs for all ages, including storytimes, crafts, movie nights, exercise classes and even FREE after-school homework help. To find out more information about New York Public Library offerings, visit http://www.nypl.org/locations/.

Tap into your Creative Side

Staten Island Makerspace

db@simakerspace.com

scott@simakerspace.com

(718) 273-3951

Founded in 2013, SI Makerspace is a non-profit, community co-working space for makers, builders, tinkerers, hardware developers, hobbyists, artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone with a curious mind who wants to make something. For those looking to pursue a hobby or just try something new, SI Makerspace offers memberships to individuals to use the tools and equipment in their facility, and a variety of workshops for adults and children. For more information about their upcoming workshops, visit http://www.makerspace.nyc.

 

Of course, these aren’t the only things happening on Staten Island this winter. The Staten Island Zoo, Staten Island Parks, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center are among my favorite places to visit- even when the cold sets in. If you are looking to buy a home or any type of real estate on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Take a look at my website for helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, photos , local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips.

Have a wonderful holiday from my family to yours!

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!

Shop Locally this Holiday Season on Staten Island’s North Shore

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In just a few days, hundreds (perhaps, thousands?) of Staten Islanders will hit the stores and malls in their quest to get the best price for the items on their shopping lists.

Although I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper, I know many folks who look forward to this day every year. For many, it marks the official start to their holiday season.

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it seems that retailers are constantly coming up with creative incentives for people to buy their goods. And although I am all for a thriving economy, I want to encourage you to support our local businesses by shopping locally as much as possible this holiday season.

This Saturday happens to be Small Business Saturday, an American shopping tradition that has taken place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving since 2010. Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to patronize small and local business, in contrast to the big box retail and e-commerce stores. So, in honor of Small Business Saturday, I have provided a list of my favorite local businesses on Staten Island’s North Shore. These stores not only have great products, but they’re sure to have something on your holiday list.

 

Bakeries/Sweets

Whether you’re heading out to a holiday party or stuck on what to leave for Santa, chances are, your local bakery has just what you need. Surprise your loved ones with their favorite treats and a gift certificate to one of Staten Island’s infamous bakeries.

 

Wine

I’m sure there is a wine lover in your life who would love a bottle of wine, personalized wine glasses, or a gift basket from their local wine shop. Check out these local businesses, who not only provide the best wines, but the best service.

 

Restaurants

Surely, someone on your list has a favorite place to dine at. Or, perhaps you know of a place they would love but haven’t tried yet. A gift certificate to a local restaurant is a perfect gift that not only supports local businesses, but gives people on your list a reason to get out and celebrate!

There are so many restaurants on Staten Island’s North Shore worth listing, but here are some of my favorites.

 

For Kids

Not sure what to get the children on your list? Stop in one of the local toy stores or children’s boutiques and I’m sure one of “Santa’s Helpers” will help you find the perfect gift.

 

Health and Beauty

The gift that keeps on giving sometimes includes a trip to the local salon or spa. I’m sure that anyone on your list would appreciate a few hours of relaxation and much deserved pampering at one of these North Shore locations.

 

Gifted

Still stuck? Check out Gifted at their new location at 717 Forest Avenue. Here you are sure to find a beautifully wrapped holiday gift basket that anyone would enjoy. Also consider a unique fabulous handcrafted gift from the Staten Island Arts Culture Lounge, located at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

This holiday season; please consider supporting one of your local businesses. There are so many benefits to shopping locally: it preserves the local culture, improves the local economy, creates jobs, enriches the community, and helps build relationships by providing a personalized experience.

Best of luck to you as you tackle your holiday shopping list and get your last minute shopping done. If you’re looking to buy a home on Staten Island or purchase Staten Island real estate please feel free to visit my website for information on listings, local attractions, home-buying tips and neighborhood information. You can also connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday, and look forward to meeting you soon!

Jewish Community Center Aberlin/North Shore

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Located at 485 Victory Boulevard, the Aberlin/North Shore JCC has been serving the Staten Island community since 1929. The JCC of Staten Island provides facilities and programs to all Staten Islanders that include educational programs, sports and recreation, fitness, community services and events.

Specifically, the North Shore JCC provides infant and toddler daycare, full-day or half-day Universal Pre-K (UPK), family programming, and community programs.

Since it was established on Staten Island’s North Shore in 1929, the JCC program has since grown and expanded. Currently, there are two more Staten Island locations: Bernikow/Mid-Island and Avis/South Shore. New programs have developed to serve the needs of the community, including day camp, music programs, fitness and sports programs, and education.

For more information, call 718-475-5290 or visit http://sijcc.org

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!

 

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!

PS 30, The Westerleigh School

Located in the heart of Westerleigh, at 200 Wardwell Avenue, this neighborhood school serves Westerleigh residents in a zone that is bordered by Victory Boulevard on the south and Forest Avenue on the north (east and west borders vary). Over 800 students in grades K-5 attend this school, with full-day Universal Pre-K classes offered as well. According to their website, located at www.ps30.org, “the mission of the PS 30 family is to provide each student with a diverse education in a safe and supportive environment.” The school strives to support students at all educational levels, and work with parents and caregivers as valuable partners in education.

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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