When in Staten Island, you will find yourself with not much to do. There are only a handful of places to have a good time, but most of them will be filled with rowdy teenagers with fake i.d’s. This sounds fabulous, I know! You would think I would want to talk up my hometown, show everyone how awesome it is. But the truth of the matter is, it is probably one of the least exciting boroughs out of the five. On the bright side, there are a lot of nice Italian families who know how to cook great food. So, I suggest you befriend one of those, and stay very very close on Sunday’s. (That’s when we Italians feast!)
So, if you ever find yourself in Staten Island there are a few do’s and don’ts you should abide by. Here are a few. (Most of them have to do with food, I’m sorry)
Do: Visit Denino’s Pizzeria
This is great brick oven pizza, one of the best on Staten Island. And if I’m not mistaken, one of the oldest too.
This is a seasonal thing. They open during the summer, and some locations close mid October. But the original location, (right across from Denino’s!) closes the very beginning of September. Ralph’s has ventured into some parts of Jersey and Long Island, so you may have had this before. But I promise you, there is no better place to have it than the original, on Staten Island. I mean, who can go wrong with 38 flavors or water ice, and 67 flavors of cream ice!
Don’t: Venture towards the left side of either Ralph’s or Denino’s It is not the best neighborhood, and unless you’re a native Staten Islander, I suggest you don’t try it.
These are the best hero sandwiches you will ever have! Let me emphasize EVER! They are also well known for their pastries, and Italian bread. My personal favorites are the cannoli’s, and their chocolate bread. AMAZING!
Don’t: Ever mistake anything with the word ‘beach’, for an actual beach.
South Beach, Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, Fox Beach, Tottenville Beach, are NOT beaches. Yes they will have water, and yes they will have sand. But NO, you can not step on either bare foot. In fact the sand Is not sand at all, it is ground up silt and dirt. And the water, although very clean on the opposite side (Jersey), is not very clean in New York. My advice, just don’t.
Don’t: Think that your Ford Focus can out beat the newly licensed drivers, who’s mommy and daddy’s bought them a Mercedes, BMW, Mustang …( all high end luxury/sports cars apply)
Because this is a suburb, you will see many people driving. If you think they will abide by basic driving rules however, you are mistaken. See, the average speed limit here is somewhere around 60 (or so everyone thinks). Red lights are hardly considered stop signs, and sticking your finger out the window to flip someone off is precisely a regular event. Everyone drives cars they cant afford, and they will act like you owe them your left arm for even being in their presence.
Do: Take the Staten Island ferry.
While you may see a few homeless people sleeping on the floor in the waiting area, the ride is quite nice, and it’s FREE! Yes, FREE. You can grab a beer if you like (if you’re of age of course) and enjoy the pretty decent view of the Statue of Liberty.
This is where the rich people live! The homes are truly spectacular, but be careful, the road is quite spirally. Starting at no less than a million, these homes stretch far and wide, and there is also a house that keeps an abundance of very strange decorations on their front lawn all year round. Maybe they just really like Halloween? No one has figured it out yet.
Well, if this doesn’t make you want to visit Staten Island, I don’t know what will! But, all jokes aside this is not the worst place to be. If you dare to venture here, give me a call; ill be more than happy to be your tour guide.