Although Staten Island is easier to reach by car, it is worth taking the free ferry crossing. The 25-minute crossing guarantees not only a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, but also of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor.
In the immediate vicinity of the St. George Ferry Terminal are some of the most interesting sights – such as the Staten Island Museum and the historic St. George Theatre. In the spring and summer, the Staten Island Yankees, who are represented in a lower league, also play baseball here. A little further, meerkats, lemurs and other animals give the Staten Island Zoo a friendly face. The approximately 3.2 hectare zoo houses, among other things, the largest collection of rattlesnakes in the USA.
Staten Island in New York is best known for the Staten Island Ferry. It is one of the five boroughs of New York and although it is not yet a tourist hotspot, it has more to offer than just a fun cruise. It is the place where New York’s only fashion outlet can be found and there are a few museums.
Many Native Americans lived on Staten Island thousands of years ago, long before Europeans arrived. The first western visitor was an Italian and later, in 1609, the Englishman Henry Hudson was commissioned by the Dutch to explore the island. The island is named after the Dutch “Staten Generaal” (the collective name for the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament), as a tribute to this institution. It took a while for the settlement to be in full swing, as there were some battles with the natives. In the end, an “Old Town” was founded and since then the population has slowly grown to almost 500,000 people.
Staten Island can be reached with the free Staten Island Ferry. It passes the Statue of Liberty and offers a great view of the Downtown Manhattan skyline. The ferry departs from the top of Manhattan twice an hour. It is worth taking this free boat trip once. Many people decide to get on board right after the crossing for the return trip to Manhattan. However, there are also a number of things to do near the ferry terminal, so you can take a later boat back and see some of Staten Island first.
If you are not looking for a ferry at the pier of St. George in the north of Staten Island and recognize the skyscrapers of the metropolis in the distance, you can hardly believe that you are in the same city, which for the world seems to consist solely of Times Square and the canyons around Fifth Avenue.
James McBratney is a Staten Islander – by conviction and by birth. “My parents come from here, all four grandparents too,“ emphasizes the tall Irish-born innkeeper, who runs a traditional Italian pizza place regardless of his origin. His “Jimmy Max” is usually fully booked for lunch and dinner. His classic is a pizza with thin dough, tomato sauce and basil. “They are no better in New York,” says James, referring of course to Manhattan. Its skyline is less than nine kilometres away.
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Is Staten Island a part of New York City?
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Is Staten Island a good place to live?