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* '''Staten Island Mall''', located in the center of the island. It has three anchor stores: Macy's,
JCPenny, and Sears. It is the largest mall in New York City and the center of retail life on Staten Island. There are also various shopping centers spread through the vicinity. |+|
* '''Staten Island Mall''', located in the center of the island. It has three anchor stores: Macy's, , and Sears. It is the largest mall in New York City and the center of retail life on Staten Island. There are also various shopping centers spread through the vicinity.
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Revision as of 23:09, 6 February 2008
Staten Island is the most suburban of the five boroughs of New York City. Although still predominantly residential in nature, the borough has changed significantly since the opening of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in 1964.
Staten Island can be reached by ferry from Manhattan. The ferry is the best option for arriving on the island, as it passes by Liberty Island and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor. The ferry is free and operates 24 hours a day out of Battery Park in Manhattan and St. George Terminal in Staten Island.
Staten Island can be reached by bridge from Brooklyn and New Jersey.
- Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects Staten Island with Brooklyn, but you will incur a high toll of US$9.00.
- Bayonne Bridge connects northern Staten Island with Bayonne, New Jersey.
- Goethals Bridge connects Elizabeth, New Jersey to mid-western Staten Island.
- Outerbridge Crossing connects Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Tottenville, Staten Island.
These last 3 bridges have a $6.00 toll payable only when entering Staten Island not leaving it.
A moderately priced option is to take an express bus from Manhattan to Staten Island. The $5.00 fare is payable with MetroCard, Express Bus Plus MetroCards or coin change. Dollar bills are not accepted.
- The X1 and X10 routes run along Broadway in Manhattan (starting at around Central Park South/Seventh Avenue and East 57th Street/Third Avenue, respectively), with the X1 running along Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Avenue to Eltingville and the X10 running along the service roads of the Staten Island Expressway (North and South Gannon Avenues) to Port Richmond. Both routes run daily, the X1 from 3.50am to 1.00am (10.00pm Sundays) and the X10 from around 5.00am to 11.00pm.
- X17 service also runs to/from parts of the South Shore weekdays and Saturdays from about 6.00am to 11.00pm (also running on Broadway in Manhattan).
- Other express routes service to other parts of the island also run during the rush hours in the peak flow direction (to Manhattan in the morning, to Staten Island in the afternoon).
The wait times for an express bus are about 4-10 minutes during rush hours, 15-25 minutes other times. The Staten Island bus map; (service descriptions) covers the routes on the island.
The Staten Island Railway  is somewhat a hybrid of a railroad and a subway line. Fares are the same as a subway ride (US$2.00), and it runs 24 hours. Unlike the subway, it runs on a set schedule, from every 15 minutes during weekdays, to every hour overnight. Fares are collected only at St. George Ferry Terminal, leading many to exit at the penultimate stop, Tompkinsville, and walk up Bay Street a short distance to the ferry.
Bus routes  cover the island pretty thoroughly. There are two types of buses:
- The local buses run routes all over Staten Island and are distinguished by the S before the route number (ex. S55, S78). They have uncomfortable plastic seats and cost $2.00.
- The express buses are distinguished by the X in the coded display on the front of the bus (ex. X1, X17). These buses run from Staten Island to Manhattan, have more comfortable cloth seats, and cost $5.00.
Most routes on the island meet up at the St. George Ferry Terminal. On the South Shore, the Eltingville Transit Center is another major point, with MetroCard vending machines and express service to Manhattan.
Fares can be paid in quarters or dollar coins (if you can find them). You can also use a Metrocard (good for all public transportation in NYC) purchasable at some deli's or at the machines located at the ferry terminal. Buses run close to schedule, but service on Staten Island is sparse outside of rush hours, and even during peak hours, the most frequent headway is 10 minutes. If possible, pick up a schedule for routes that you'll plan to take or check the Guide-A-Ride box for exact times whenever possible.
- Go to a game of the single-A Staten Island Yankees , 75 Richmond Terrace, Tel. 718-720-9265, Fax 718-273-5763, email: [email protected]
- The Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway, . Located in Snug Harbor, it's a fun destination for younger children as well as animal enthusiasts.
- Staten Island Mall, located in the center of the island. It has three anchor stores: Macy's, JCPenney, and Sears. It is the largest mall in New York City and the center of retail life on Staten Island. There are also various shopping centers spread through the vicinity.
While the vast majority of Staten Island eateries are Italian, there are some gems of ethnic cuisine in the St. George and Tompkinsville neighborhoods, the area around the ferry terminal and the Staten Island Yankees stadium. Home to a large Sri Lankan community, St. George boasts many grocery stores and restaurants. Mostly within a mile of each other on Victory Blvd. (and in walking distance from the ferry terminal), the authentic and inexpensive restaurants serve up flavorful South Asian cuisine well worth the trip.
- Lakruwana, 226 Bay Street. One of the more elegant eateries. Its fine decor and delicious meals belie the outrageously inexpensive prices. Sundays offer a lunch and dinner buffet.
- Lakshmis's Restaurant, 324 Victory Boulevard (Victory Blvd & Cebra). Mainly a take-out establishment but has a few chairs and tables. The menu is comprehensive, offering Homemade Roast (Ros) Paan, Achchu Paan, Kimbula Paan, Malu Paan, Malu Roti, Elawalu Roti, Kalu Thothol, and other Sri Lanka delicacies.
- New Asha Restaurant, next door to Lakruwana at 322 Victory Blvd. Offers many of the same items at competitive prices. There are several Sri Lankan groceries that dot the street on the 15-20 minute walk from the ferry.
- Denino's Pizza Tavern, 524 Port Richmond Ave. Arguably the best pizza on Staten Island. It is reasonably priced and has good dishes besides pizza. After a meal here it is tradition during the spring/summer months to walk across the street to Ralph's Ices and get one. Not doing so will not only offend the locals but will also leave just a small part of your stomach unsatisfied.
- Sushi Excellent, 366 New Dorp Ln. Trendy Japanese Restaurant with great service and food. Is somewhat expensive relative to other sushi places on the island but is well worth it. There is semi-private seating available on the second floor with a reservation with both traditional Japanese and regular tables.
- Nurnberger Bierhaus, 817 Castleton. Offers a wide variety of imported German beers and well-prepared, authentic German food. There is an outside beer garden that offers a limited menu, open in seasonable weather.
- Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, 1100 South Avenue, . Easily accessed by the West Shore Expressway. It is newly constructed and is much like any other Hilton in the USA.
- Staten Island Hotel, 1415 Richmond Ave., . Centrally located right off Exit 5 of the Staten Island Expressway (I-278).
Staten Island can be distinguished into two parts: North Shore and South Shore. The South Shore is primarily suburban residential neighborhoods with small commercial establishments usually within five minutes driving distance. The North Shore has more apartment buildings and public housing, called "Projects". These is very little crime in the South Shore and one would be hard-pressed to find a police patrol car there. Some parts of the North Shore, however, have a much higher crime rate and you should not walk around in seedy neighborhoods by yourself. There is also some gang activity there.