Anyhoo, it all appears on the next page...
So, I'm lumping all my Staten Island material here. Links to all my bits, for your one-stop shopping convenience, you know, just how Pathmark or the A&P used to be (Hey, another SI reference! And dating as we speak!)
Anyhoo, it all appears on the next page...
A cranky piece I put on Associated Content back in 2004.
SIM Staten Island
I've been working on a new simulation computer game, but I need to BETA test the logic programming, so I thought I might run it by you, if I could. I'm trying to make it as realistic as possible.
The object of the game, as it is of all the simulated games, is to run an entire borough, to develop and care for its citizens and keep things running smoothly.
In keeping with a tradition of, when mentioning Staten Island, pretty much only referencing the Staten Island ferry, here's another ferry-based bit from that time when more people started to ride the boat back in the 2000s, from a posting on the old Associated Content website...
Newbies on the Ferry
Well, I can’t help but notice that the Staten Island ferry is getting more crowded these days. Asking around, I’ve learned that many of these newcomers are refugees from the express bus who have abandoned the construction-clogged artery that is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Well, ahoy mates and welcome aboard!
It seems many of you are unfamiliar with our sea-faring ways and the things you will encounter on the ferry (i.e. tourists; what are they and why won’t they get out of my way?} so I think it’s time to produce a primer for you landlubbers.
Once they announced the Staten Island dump was going to be closed, I wrote a piece for the NY Daily News in 2/96. Here it is...
Okay, so, the city is now actually planning on closing the Fresh Kills Landfill. After decades of promises and plans, Staten Island will no longer be refuse-r friendly. Of course, the question is "Then what?" Sure, there's no more garbage coming in, but what about the borough-busting mounds of it we have now?
Obviously, now's the chance to take this pile of sow ears and turn it into a pile of silk purses. I'm not talking about some lame idea like drilling for "natural" gas. Yeah, like Brooklyn Union is salivating for a crack at this. And Mobil and Texaco are going to come sniffing around next waiting for all those tuna sandwiches to congeal into oil. No, no, me and the guys sat down and thought long and hard on this.
A bit from the SI Advance when the city stopped charging a fare on the Staten Island Ferry 8/97
The most amazing thing has happened. Somewhere along the line, people in Manhattan decided that the Staten Island Ferry is as important as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge. Yes, like our brethren New Yorkers, we are now permitted to cross a major body of water for free. The Staten Island Ferry fare as been voided and nullified. It's been removed and given the gate, 86-ed, negated, cancelled, shown the door, deep sixed, given the bum's rush and assigned to Davy Jone's locker.
Commuting is a pain enough so why do they have to keep throwing up new huddles for us to clear? I spent all weekend and Monday and Tuesday dealing with late ferries, train construction and missed connections, but this morning’s commute was the topper.
So, I’m already running late this morning, but hey, since the job is freaking out about hours worked and OT, fine, I’ll just get the next train. Unfortunately, I choose to let the local pass and made my way to the station to catch the express train to the ferry. And we wait. And wait. The train is 5 minutes late. Seven minutes late. Ten minutes late. The train never came. I’m not exaggerating for dramatic effect, it never came. The train that should have been our express ride to the ferry 15 minutes earlier blew by our station in a frantic effort to get the half-empty train to the ferry terminal in time to make the 8:15 boat. Its delay caused the local behind it to come late.
So when that train finally arrived, we get onboard and headed to St. George. Sure, the 8:15 is long gone, but it’s 8:25, so you’d figure we’d catch the 8:30 boat, right? I mean, after all the train station and the ferry terminal are the same building. But no. There’s construction, still. The whole train terminal is a bottleneck. Plus you have people standing in the bottleneck who are waiting to get on the train we’re exiting. Although how they expect to get on the train before we get off and can’t because they’re blocking our way, I don’t know. So, we miss the 8:30. Heaven forbid the ferry wait a minute to get the train passengers because they have to maintain their precious on-time record. What’s that you say? The next boat, the 8:45, the Molinari, isn’t here yet and it’s 8:45? You mean they don’t get underway until 8:55? Oh, sure, no problem, I’ve already missed two boats, why not make it like I’m missing a 3rd?
Staten Island has two major pieces of transportation and they can’t even bother to co-ordinate their transfers? When they run right, they’re fine. But have one thing go awry and the whole system implodes with no flexibility or resources to get themselves back on track (figuratively and literally).
And that’s just to get to Manhattan. I don’t know how the people who go uptown do it.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.