Happy 350th Birthday, Staten Island!

22 Aug

Staten Island is 350 years old today!

Way back in 1661, a petition was written by 19 French, Belgian and Dutch families and presented to the Council of New Amsterdam.  It asked for land grants, religious freedom and economic opportunity.  Peter Stuyvesant granted permission and thus, Staten Island was born.

In the years since then Staten Island has had to put up with quite a bit of scorn and I  find that kind of annoying.  Once a long time ago my faux boyfriend and I tried to buy a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was on sale there and because of that I did some time getting to know the place.  Word to the wise:  it’s more than just a landfill.

It’s got big Victorian homes, massive amounts of parkland, tons of trails for hiking and the highest point in New York City.  It’s also the only borough that is entirely alone.  Even my beloved Manhattan shares a border with the Bronx.   Of course this isolation makes it pretty inconvenient.  There’s no subway and well, after all, you can’t overlook that landfill….

But in general, I hope that today of all days, we give our oft-forgotten borough a little love.  It’s not like you turn 350 every day!

Let’s commemorate this occasion with a little Wu-Tang Clan.  Staten Island is where most of them were from – and they are responsible for giving the nickname of “Shaolin” to the place.  So here’s 1993’s “Protect Ya Neck” from their very first record.  It’s not 350 years old, but I think it’ll do.

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