All photos courtesy of Marc McAndrews for Airbnb
The Staten Island home that served as Don Corleone’s residence in the 1972 classic film The Godfather is now available to rent on Airbnb. Located in the neighborhood of Todt Hill, the English Tudor-style mansion was featured in the movie’s opening wedding scene. Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the iconic mob drama, the current owners are renting out the home for the month of August, for $50/night.
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Photo credit clockwise: Adrian Mueller/Casse Cou, Jessica Minghi/Borough Chocolates, Jessica Minghi/Borough Chocolates, Chocolate Noise.
It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to crave chocolate. But the sugar-coated holiday certainly provides a good excuse to indulge. Far beyond the red-wrapped drugstore box, creating the sweet (or bitter) treat is now recognized as a craft all its own. Chocolate purveyors range from the old-fashioned to the eco-conscious to makers who hand-mix exotic ingredients and flavors. If you’re really hooked, you can make an event of it at a chocolate-themed restaurant, factory tour, or private tasting. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute gift for someone special or just a sweet snack, the New York City establishments listed here have something for every chocolate lover–and you can order online or visit the source right in your borough.
Find the chocolate of your dreams, this way
Photo: FAD Holiday Market
Even a pandemic can’t keep a New York City shopper down. The city’s retail landscape may look different now, but that hasn’t dimmed the sparkle of beautiful baubles, clever crafts, and the company of fellow shoppers. While most of the city’s holiday markets went virtual last year, many of our favorites have returned in their fabulous original form. The big Manhattan markets at Union Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle are still impressive, but smaller, more intimate neighborhood gems shine brightly on their own. They’re all great places to find seasonal delights like ice skating, live music, drinks, food, and family fun designed to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
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Credit: Max Guliani for Hudson River Park
Pent-up aggression, post-Halloween boredom, or just a desire to do something useful with your jack-o-lanterns that have seen better days–they’re all good reasons to join in the fun at a pumpkin smash. Post-holiday pumpkins make fabulous compost material, and several (free!) events around the city are offering a chance to “squash” your way to a greener community while teaching kids about composting. To quote Noreen Doyle, president and CEO of Hudson River Park: “By encouraging our community to smash, bash and crash their leftover pumpkins into compost, we can all play an active role in working towards a greener future.”
Pumpkin smashing and more ways to recycle unwanted goodies
Photo by Natalie Maguire via Flickr cc
In 2019, the Staten Island Ferry served 70,000 passengers on an average weekday, running at least every 30 minutes all 24 hours. But in March 2020, the Department of Transportation reduced service to only once per hour due to declining ridership during the pandemic. Starting today, though, full service is resuming. “The Staten Island Ferry knits this city together, and the return of 24/7 half-hour service is a sure sign that a recovery for all of us is underway,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Richmond County Bank Ballpark, photo by Doug Kerr on Wikimedia
America’s pastime will return to Staten Island next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday a plan to reopen the former Staten Island Yankees stadium with a new minor league baseball team. The Richmond County Bank Ballpark did not open in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the waterfront stadium sat empty after Major League Baseball removed the “Baby Bombers” from its parent team as part of a reorganization of its farm system.
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Photo by InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr
As part of their renewed push for Staten Island secession, Republican Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo will introduce a bill to the City Council Tuesday to establish a secession task force. As the Staten Island Advance first reported, the task force would have 18 months to gather data showing the “impact and viability” of the borough’s secession. While Matteo and Borelli say Island leaders and lawmakers—including Borough President James Oddo—have expressed support for the legislation, they are the only council members to support the bill so far.
Photo by InSapphoWeTrust on Flickr
Staten Island officials this week said they will push forward plans for the borough to leave New York City, reviving a fight partially won over 25 years ago. As first reported by the Staten Island Advance, Republican Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo, who represent the borough, plan to introduce two pieces of legislation that would create a committee to determine the logistics and costs of the secession, as well as a commission a study to look at the feasibility of designating county governments within the city. In 1993, Staten Island residents voted to leave the Big Apple, but the measure never went further after failing to pass in Albany.
Sayonara, Staten Island?
The neighborhood of Mariner’s Harbor, near the wetlands in question. Image: Wikimedia cc.
Despite opposition from residents and public officials, 18 acres of forest wetlands near Staten Island’s north shore will be turned into a BJ’s Wholesale Club, a gas station and a parking lot. Gothamist reports that the state has said it will issue a permit to allow the land’s owner, real estate magnate Charles Alpert (operating as holding company Josif A. LLC), to destroy what activists say is an invaluable natural storm barrier in order for the project to move forward.
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Rendering via Department of City Planning
The New York City Council voted 44-2 to approve Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor Rezoning plan Wednesday, SILive reports. As 6sqft previously reported, the city proposed to convert the area between Tompkinsville Park and Tappan Park from manufacturing to residential while constructing 1,800 new units that would house 6,500 residents in the area. About a quarter of the new residences would be income-restricted affordable housing through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program. The rezoning plan has drawn opposition from some community groups and Borough President Jimmy Oddo on the grounds that it would add to the area’s traffic and transportation woes.
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