Staten Island is New York City’s forgotten borough. Most people are aware of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and of course Manhattan in relation to New York City, but very few people think of Staten Island.

If you know us at all, it is probably for The Staten Island Ferry. Tourists use the ferry for a free sail-by of the Statue of Liberty every day.


To thousands of Staten Islanders, however, the ferry is simply transportation for their daily commute into Manhattan. This is a Staten Islander’s first view of Manhattan each morning.

This is the view towards Manhattan, from Staten Island. The tallest building you see in this picture is the Freedom Tower – on the site of the World Trade Center, and it was – at that time – approaching one half of its final height of 1776 (a special number of course here in the US) feet tall.


If you look at a map you would think that Staten Island is in New Jersey. It is certainly closer to anything in New Jersey than New York State – including the rest of New York City. Local legend has it that Staten Island became part of New York State in the late 18th century when Captain Billop won a bet with the Governor of NJ about his ability to quickly sail around the island. In truth it was simple politics and commerce (and the King of England) which decided the matter. However, Captain Billop’s house still exists today and is known as The Conference House. It was here that a conference in which some of our founding fathers met with the British military commander in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Revolution that created the United States.

The City of Staten Island joined with the cities of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Manhattan in 1898 to form the City of Greater New York, better known simply as New York City.

While you may think of New York City as tall buildings and crowded neighborhoods, Staten Island remains the most rural of the five boroughs. It wasn’t very long ago that woods surrounded my house and there was an active farm just down the road from where I live. I often head to one of the many areas of natural beauty to sit, relax or take some pictures. Now is a wonderful time for that as the fall colors are just starting to appear.

Of course, for those of you who think it must be great to live in an area that gets snow, I offer this picture. Care to dig my car out?

And finally, Staten Island looks at Australia, as our zoo celebrated Australian wildlife last summer. This little fellow surprised everyone as he made an appearance the day after his mom arrived here (with the other Australian fauna) to spend the summer.

Front Page Slider: Verrazano Narrows – connects Brooklyn with Staten Island. Opened in 1964, the bridge transformed Staten Island and the population tripled

Giovanni de Verrazzano was an Italian explorer and the first to explore and “discover” NY harbor. The bridge spans “The Narrows” which connects the East and Hudson Rivers with the Atlantic Ocean. It was Verrazzano who made the first European contact with Staten Island. Later, sailing under a Dutch flag, came Henry Hudson.

Staten Island, like the rest of NYC was settled originally by the Dutch. The name Staten Eylandt (States Island) was honoring the Dutch parliament which is known as the Staaten-Generaal.

Staten Island was loyalist (supporting Great Britain) during the Revolutionary War.
© Mark L Fendrick Staten Island New York. USA

Andy Warhol once said that everyone will have 15 of fame. Mark has had more than his share, being in and on the news from the moment he became the first baby ever to be born in a NYC public school. He was news again in March, 1977 when he was one of 42 Americans who spoke to President Carter during a call-in radio show.

After spending half of his professional career in the fashion industry and the other half in publishing today, Mark tells us he is retired, – however  you have to wonder how he was able to go to work with all he does, all the help he is to so many of us.  Aside from his regular work, Mark has been a magazine columnist, a photographer, a magician, and a musician. However, his greatest joy in his life is his (now grown and married) children, and his grandsons. Mark is a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World in Florida and the is little truth to the rumor he sold his daughter to The Mouse just to get a discount. (It really was her idea!)

You can see more of Mark’s photography at Gathered Images (
Mark blogs at Thoughts From the Dark Side (
You can read about his time at Walt Disney World at Reporting From Disney World (