I love this project. I moved from Midland Beach to Tompkinsville in Staten Island on Sunday. Thanks for the ride, Laura! I went from living with a couple in their 20′s to a couple in their 70′s (well, Alan actually just became a UFO – more on this later). My new room was the Verazanno Room, aptly named for its view of the Verazzano bridge. One of the nice things about Staten Island is there is more space, so I had my own bed for a second week in a row.
Dovie was my connection in Tompkinsville, who I may have met when I was very little, but had not seen in years. She was my aunt’s bridesmaid. I interviewed Dovie and asked why she decided to host me, and she responded “because your Aunt told me I had to!” She had some great one liners throughout the week and I really enjoyed getting to know her. She knew my great grandmother and grandfather, both people whom I never met in my life.
Dovie has a lot of stories about New York. She moved to New York in the 60′s and lived on Jane Street. She remembers seeing people like “Bobby Dylan and Joanie Baez” playing at the Bitter End and knows a New York far different from the city I have learned from over the past year. If I ever find the time, I will transcribe and post the interview. It’s great.
Alan is a recently named UFO, which stands for United Flying Octogenarian. It’s strict, you actually have to have a flight at age 80. He and Dovie regaled me with stories of all the places they have flown to, but I’m most interested in flying down the Hudson at night which they both described as spectacular. I also learned about the $100 hamburger, when you fly somewhere for lunch and the fuel costs make it that expensive of a lunch.
Dovie and Alan have it figured out in my mind. They split time between New York, Nova Scotia, and Puerto Rico. The best part ? They fly privately to each place. I may get a ride down the Hudson one of these days.
Since I was hosting my parents in Clinton Hill the following week, they offered to have my Mom and Dad come for brunch. I think it is nice to connect people in this way and my parents agreed. My Dad even heard stories that he hadn’t heard before about his family.
I took Dovie and Alan to Vida, a restaurant right around the corner. The restaurant was excellent though we’ll have to go back for the Tiramisu cheesecake. We had a lot of meals at the dinner table, candlelit, which I’ve found the best way to eat at any dinner table. And how about the commute? As Dovie says, “you get to take a sea cruise to work every day.”
After 2 weeks in Staten Island, I can’t believe I had never been there before. There is plenty to see and do so take a day this summer to check out the Forgotten Borough.
- Basilio Inn Restaurant, Staten Island (thenycnomad.net)
- Midland Beach, Staten Island (thenycnomad.net)
- Staten Island Double Hit-and-Run Killer to Serve No More Than Five Years (streetsblog.org) [sickening]
- B&C Morning Show: Lou from Staten Island Sings For Inge… And We All Liked It (via CBS New York) (techweev.com)
- NYC Nomad Meetup on June 6th – A Good Cause! Sliders! Prizes! Picklebacks (thenycnomad.net)