Introducing Tabloid Tours: This stop, Staten Island

For a couple of years now, a bunch of us from amNewYork and Newsday have made a tradition of going on extensive, well-researched walking tours of city neighborhoods every few months. We've taken to calling them Tabloid Tours, given our respective editorial homes and our fascination with sordid tidbits we learn along the way. (Every time we're outside a Stanford White building, we think about this.) The deal usually involves one of us researching the neighborhoods, with that person serving as the tour guide. But inevitably, we find we've all done some research and we share our passions, and explore spots we didn't expect to encounter. We've hit up Harlem/Hamilton Heights, Murray Hill, Elmhurst, the Lower East Side, and have even piled into a car and looked for traces of New York City history upstate in the Catskills.

Our most recent sojourn was to Staten Island, where we had a whirlwind day that took us from St. George ferry terminal to Tottenville, the southern tip of the island, and, for that matter, of New York state.

Here are some tour highlights:

St. George

The World Trade Center memorial near the St. George terminal is a stirring tribute to the 270 residents of the boroughs who died in the Twin Towers. It perfectly frames the World Trade Center site.

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St. George Historic District

If what you know of St. George is just the ferry terminal, you're missing one of the most architecturally fascinating neighborhoods in the city, the landmarked St. George district. St. Marks Place is particularly special with its Shingle-style gems, but wander around several streets back there, including Westervelt Avenue and Phelps Place.

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For sale? We'll take this Westervelt gem ...

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Shingle-syle delights on Phelps Place ...

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And this Art Deco treat -- the Ambassador Apartments -- is not to be missed, at 30 Daniel Lowe Terrace ...

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We were pleased to run into Kevin Walsh of Forgotten NY, definitely one of our walking-tour heroes. Here's his superb report on the apartments.

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Nearby, a statue of St. Paul holds court outside the Pauline Books and Media ...

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Snack time! Time to eat the donuts at Country Donuts near the ferry

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Port Richmond

 

Port Richmond's downtown is being revived by Mexican immigrants, even as old-school places stand guard. You must come here, no questions asked, to enjoy a pie at Denino's. Here's more in our recent City Living entry.

Lunch at Denino's

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The calamari was so good, our intrepid photographer Andrew Wong didn't have time to snap a full plate ...

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And now down to business. Two beautiful pies that were promptly inhaled ...

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And it's closed this time of year, but Ralph's Italian Ices would have been perfect for dessert, and it's just across the street ...

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So we decided to try some wonderful, fresh-baked bread at Melone Bakery. The aroma from blocks away sold us before even taking a bite. Here's Lauren Johnston's take on the visit ....

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The Mexican presence is unmistakable ...

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Tottenville

A bus ride and transfer later, we were in Tottenville, the southernmost point in New York state. We didn't really fully appreciate this Victorian, former oyster-trade town, as it was already dark and quite cold, but we got a sense for the place and plan to come back. For one, we missed The Conference House, where colonists, including Ben Franklin, on Sept.11, 1776 famously decided to keep the fight going against the Brits. Get the lowdown in our City Living profile.

The view of New Jersey, a short boat ride away across the Arthur Kill ...

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The historic Biddle House. A curious local grilled us to no end, seemingly not understanding why we were taking photos of this house at night. We were on the up and up, as this photo proves.

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We stopped for some good pastries at Silverio's on Amboy Street ...

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And went back in time at Egger's, an ice cream shop on Amboy Street ...

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The Staten Island Railway

For most of us, it was our first time on the Staten Island Railway, which looks like an "F" train that lost its way.

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It was interesting to see a Staten Island map in the slot normally reserved for a map of the subway system ...

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The seats have become canvas boards for scratchiti enthusiasts ...

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Manahatta!

We boarded the infamous Andrew J. Barberi for our return trip. We knew the ferry that was involved in the deadly crash in 2003 had been returned to service, but glimpsing the big letters as we boarded was a chilling, unexpected sight.

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Approaching Manhattan ...

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Our day was capped by a fine midnight meal at Harry's Cafe in the Financial District ...

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We were awed by this beautiful wine-rack display ...

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Photos: Andrew Wong, Elisabeth Stuveras and Rolando Pujol

Text: Rolando Pujol

Tags: Real Estate , staten island , stuff that's cool , pizza , food , tabloid tours , signs , old school , history

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