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New Neighborhood of the Week: Staten Island

Dave and I first started up with weekend day trips last year after realizing that in 8 years living in New York, there were so many neighborhoods we hadn't even heard of. This year's first "new neighborhood" is actually not a neighborhood at all, but a whole borough; Staten Island.

Staten Island- the forgotten sibling of the 5 Borough family. When we do remember it, we tease it; nothing good is there. In theory. But nestled in this forgotten borough lies gens fit for a Chinese Emperor.

We biked the beautiful East River bike path from our Williamsburg abode to the Staten Island Ferry. For tourists, this free ferry provides a unique way to see the city- and get a cool breeze, relieving you from the otherwise muggy air.

Staten Island Botanical Garden Staten Island Botanical Garden

Staten Island is fabulous for biking. The perimeter of the island is lined with bike paths and the roads don't have nearly as many potholes (which is really not saying much.) From the ferry station, we explored the western side of the island and stopped at Gerardi's Farmer's Market. This lively stand is packed with locals due to its beautiful fresh produce and snacks.

Further west still is the gen of the island: The Snug Harbor Botanical Garden. This giant free complex is full of secrets, including a bamboo forest, green passageways and even a castle with a secret garden modeled after the story. This property was built as retirement community for sailors, thus many original houses still dot the garden.

Staten Island Secret Garden Staten Island Botanical Garden

Further into the garden is the Chinese Scholar Garden where for a mere $5, you transfer to a beautiful Chinese oasis. The garden was the first Ming-style garden in the US. In fact, all of the pieces were originally built in China and transported to the US. After visiting China, I would not have been able to tell the difference between this garden and China.

Chinese Scholar Garden Chinese Scholar Garden

On the Eastern side of the island is the FDR Boardwalk, one of the largest boardwalks in the country. This boardwalk sits right below the Verrazano Bridge. The really fun part about this boardwalk is that if you sit on the beach, you can watch the cruise ships take off into the Atlantic.

FDR Boardwalk NYC view from Staten Island

Overall a lovely day! Looking on a map, I realized that we had only explored a tiny portion of the island. I cannot wait to explore more.

Read 8645 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 June 2014 17:37
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