staten island

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.

Dina: Eltingville

Dina: Eltingville

Having worked with Dina on her last home sale, it was a pleasure to be helping Dina again. This time around she was looking to down size and already found a home to move into. A strategic plan of action was set into motion to market and sell her beautiful home so she may move into her new home in a specific time frame.

In between fostering dogs for Louie’s Legacy and preparing for her move this is what happy client Dina had to say about her home selling experience:

Selling your home can be very overwhelming. With all of Holly’s experience and knowledge of every aspect of real estate made this life change for me much easier! She made a point to be on top of every single detail that went into selling my home. She is always available for any questions and concerns I may have had! I would only ever recommend Holly for anyone’s real estate needs whether buying or selling your home.

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/.

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!

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!

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!

Lessons Learned from my Granddaughter

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This weekend I had the joy and pleasure of bringing my granddaughter and daughter along with me on the Out of Darkness Community Walk in Clove Lakes Park. Accompanying us were my two dogs, Bello and Coco, as well as hundreds of members of the Staten Island community. As we walked to support and raise awareness about suicide prevention, I couldn’t help but take away some very important lessons from one of the most important people in my life, my granddaughter.

Slow Down

It is amazing what will happen when we take time to “pause.” Our lives are full of busy schedules, demands, deadlines, to-do lists and at times it seems like it will never end. And, honestly, it will never end as long as we let it. This weekend I was reminded that it is my best interest to not let a busy schedule run my life, and that by taking a ‘real’ break every once and a while, I open myself up to a world of blessings.

Spending the afternoon with my granddaughter is nothing new to me, but this weekend I realized that when my mind is not 100 % present with her, then I am missing out on a lot. Just watching her take in the beauty that surrounded her at the park, her excitement when we encountered another person or dog on the path, observing her track a falling leaf or a squirrel that ran in front of us… these are all things I would miss if I didn’t take some time to just slow down and be present where I was.

As a busy person, this is a healthy reminder to me; even when it comes to my career. As a Staten Island realtor, my life is full of deadlines, negotiations and busy schedules. The idea of ‘slowing down’ doesn’t seem practical, but it is necessary when it comes to communicating with my clients. In order for me to be able to listen to my clients’ needs, I need to be present and listening. I also encourage my clients to step back, observe and take in the surroundings of a specific neighborhood. This process can help buyers find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood- one that meets their specific needs and can also help sellers find the right buyer for their home.

Enjoy The Beauty Around You

IMG_2062My granddaughter has also recently taught me that there is beauty in what I might consider to be boring or typical. Through the eyes of a child, everything is new and everything is amazing. I tend to take advantage of the things I encounter on a daily basis, and every now and then, Ava’s excitement for the simple things renews my sense of wonder.

For example, on my walk through Clove Lakes Park with her this weekend I got a chance to truly take in how beautiful that park is. Usually, I am jogging on those very same trails, with a million thoughts (and my to-do list) running through my mind. This weekend I got a chance to slow down and take in the natural beauty that surrounds me on a daily basis.

I hope that today you will take the time to stop and see the beauty that surrounds you. Who knows, today you may find newly-found beauty on a walk in the park, through a friend, even along your morning commute. When was the last time you walked through your neighborhood to look at your neighbor’s houses, adorned in beautiful fall decorations? Sometimes it seems that only a child notices the wonder and excitement around us. You never know what you’ll find when you slow down and take the time to look for it.

Play

Children are social beings. They love new faces, and are not afraid to invite other children into their play group or engage adults in conversation. I didn’t realize how isolated my adult life can be at times until I watched my granddaughter interact with new people this weekend. Her friendly smile, her excitement to see young children her age; it all reminded me of the importance of getting out and engaging with my community.

As a North Shore Realtor, this is one aspect of my job that I love: I always get to meet new people, engage with the community and connect with others. Sometimes, the people I meet end up becoming lifelong friends.

I encourage you to get out into your community and “play.” It is way too easy to confine ourselves to the same circle of friends, family members, co-workers or routine. Getting out into the community and meeting new people can open up a whole new world for us. What I love about Staten Island is that each neighborhood and community has a ‘heart and soul’- a unique dynamic that makes it special to its residents.

Need help finding out what is going on in your community? My website is full of information on upcoming events that are taking place within the many communities of Staten Island.

Every Day Can Open Up A World Of Opportunity

Ava is officially walking, which has turned our world upside-down. We are so excited for her as she is able to explore the world from a whole new perspective! It is amazing to see how much confidence she has gained, just by taking a few small steps. This leads me to my last point- sometimes that’s all it takes- a few small steps, to open up a world of new opportunity.

Whether you’re pursuing a new career, interviewing for a job, or looking to buy a new home, it only takes a few steps in the right direction for amazing things to happen! If you are looking to buy 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 about what’s new and exciting in the North Shore community and surrounding areas.

I look forward to meeting up with you soon!

Westerleigh Park

Westerleigh Park

This small, quaint park has a lot to offer in history and charm.  Formerly named “Prohibition Park,” the site of Westerleigh Park is bordered by Maine, Springfield, Neal Dow, and Willard Avenues.  It was donated by the National Prohibition Party to New York City in 1907, with the understanding that it would be used for public recreational purposes and events.

Over a century later, the park and its supporters continue to do just that for its residents. The Westerleigh neighborhood have successfully preserved the ‘simple-life’ philosophy of the late-19thand early-20th centuries by keeping traffic and noise levels low, and community life active and close-knit.

Lined with wooden benches and green lawns, the park is home to many different types of foliage, and contains a central bandstand that hosts many concerts, theatrical productions, children’s events and festivals throughout the year.

For more information, visit www.westerleighpark.com.

New Attractions on Staten Island’s North Shore

Memorial Day weekend marked the opening of New York City’s beaches, including the four Staten Island beaches at Midland Beach, Wolfe’s Pond Park, South Beach and Cedar Grove. If you haven’t been down to the beach lately, I highly recommend a visit. This year, beach goers get to enjoy a new attraction at the Boardwalk at Midland Beach: Fantasy Shore Amusement Park.

As far as Staten Island Amusement Parks go, the only one I have heard of is the Happyland Amusement Park, which operated at South Beach from 1906 to about 1935. Since then, most Staten Islanders have been traveling down to the Jersey Shore to places like Point Pleasant to get their fill of attractions, rides, food and entertainment.

Is it possible that something similar may be in store for Staten Island in the upcoming years? With all of the North Shore developments and the “Staten Island Renaissance” in full swing, it wouldn’t surprise me if we soon heard about major plans for Staten Island’s beaches. Perhaps Fantasy Shore is just the beginning of a new wave of attractions to hit Staten Island beaches?

Get Back to the Beaches!

New York Carousel Entertainment, the park’s operator, hopes that the park will eventually become a permanent fixture, and will expand beyond kids’ rides; offering thrill rides, food, and merchandise as well. For now, however, the company has been given a temporary license agreement by the city Parks Department to operate the amusement park.

Opening just a few days ago, the seaside attraction offers kid-friendly rides such as the “Verrazano Viper” and “Tea Side Sea Cups,” among others. Supposedly, there is a rollercoaster ride as well. The park’s location is near Seaview Avenue on Father Capodanno Boulevard and will be open on weekends until June 25, and then daily throughout the rest of the summer. There is no admission to get into the park, but you will need to pay per ride.

With so many wonderful parks and green spaces on Staten Island, hopes are this new addition will draw more people out to the beach.

Conservation Carousel

Fantasy Shore isn’t the only ride to open up on Staten Island’s North Shore. Very soon, the Conservation Carousel will offer rides for children at the Staten Island Zoo. The carousel features endangered species such as the Komodo Dragon, koala and polar bears, the rhinoceros, and pink flamingos. As an educational tool, it aims for fun but also to teach children and parents about these species and the importance of conservation.conservation carousel

Hopefully, the carousel will be ready in time for the Conservation Celebration at the Staten Island Zoo, set to take place on June 1. Both the carousel and the new Amur Leopard Exhibit (one of the largest outdoor Amur Leopard exhibits in the country) are recent additions that are sure to bring more visitors into the zoo.

The Big Picture

Although these attractions may seem small in terms of the much bigger plans for the North Shore (Empire Outlets and the NY Wheel, for example), they are both examples of how Staten Island is finding a spirit of renewal and revitalization. Whether it be through the restoration of our beaches after Hurricane Sandy, or improvements and upgrades to our only zoo; the investments being made here on Staten Island lead me to believe that we have an extremely promising future ahead of us.

Staten Island has always been a wonderful place to live and work. If you’re interested in buying a home on Staten Island, now is the perfect time to look. If you check out my website, you’ll find tons of information about the different neighborhoods, local businesses, news and upcoming events. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter, and, 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 complexity of selling or buying a home…and those who don’t.

Look forward to meeting up soon!

Easter Hoppenings on Staten Island

Easter is almost here, which means this week is sure to include plenty of egg coloring, egg hiding and hunting, and last minute photo ops with the Easter Bunny.  Image 3

On Staten Island’s North Shore, you don’t need to have a backyard to enjoy an Easter egg hunt. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy this spring tradition this upcoming week. Heading out to one of these events is a win-win for everyone: you get to enjoy the warm spring weather while watching your children and grandchildren search for brightly colored eggs, and you get an opportunity to spend a day out at Staten Island’s most scenic parks and recreational spaces, museums and libraries.

Below is a list of some of the Easter Egg Hunts and other Easter egg activities in Staten Island this week. Of course, you could always head out to one of Staten Island’s many parks and make your own Easter egg hunt—hiding those decorated orbs within trees, bushes, among flowers and beside rocks.

Either way, get your Easter baskets ready and enjoy this week!

Sp-EGG-tacular Day! 
Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South Avenue between Arlington Place and Brabant Street

Tuesday, April 15 from 11am- 2:30pm
Enjoy Staten Island’s newest library as they host an egg hunt. There will be two sessions- one for ages 6 and under, and the second for ages 7 to 11. There will also be crafts and face painting.

Greenbelt Easter Fest  
Greenbelt Recreation Center, 501 Brielle Avenue
Wednesday, April 16 from 4-6pm
Enjoy the Staten Island Greenbelt Recreational Center with a “Search for the Golden Egg,” face painting, arts and crafts, egg decorating and games. There will even be a special appearance by Peter Rabbit and his friends to culminate the day.

Easter Egg Hunt 
Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Avenue near St. Patrick’s Place
Saturday, April 19 at 11am
Bring a cardboard egg carton and transform it into a festive craft. Afterward, hunt for eggs and meet the Easter Bunny. This event is best for children ages 3 and up. Prepaid reservations required, so call 718-351-1611 ext. 281 for more information.

Easter Eggbot Decorating
Staten Island Makerspace 450 Front Street, Unit B- Entrance on Thompson Street
Saturday, April 19 from 1-4pm
Bring a few undecorated hard-boiled eggs and watch the Eggbot (an open-source art robot) print decorative designs on your Easter eggs! This event is free and is open to all ages. Bring some eggs to share!

Pictures with the Easter Bunny 
Staten Island Mall: Lower Level JC Penney Wing
April 4-19 from 10am – 8pm on Monday-Saturday; 11am-6pm on Sundays

The Easter Bunny isn’t just for kids anymore! This Easter tradition has expanded to include pets. Even more, now families have the option to get a professional family portrait taken in front of a spring backdrop. Visit the Easter Photo area for details.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home on Staten Island’s North Shore, make sure to check out all the helpful information on my website. We can also connect on Facebook or Twitter.

Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, resources that can be useful to potential Homebuyers and Sellers. Staten Island attractions, local businesses and North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips.

Look forward to meeting you soon! Enjoy the wonderful weather!