9th Annual Staten Island Zoological Society Ball

9th Annual Staten Island Zoological Society Ball
Coatimundis, sulcata tortoises, armadillos, oh my! The animals at the annual Staten Island Zoological Society Ball were definitely the most exotic guests of all. The attendees were given a chance to interact with and learn about the different animals residing in the Staten Island Zoo. The event honored the outstanding generosity of Elvis Duran (the host of the Morning Show on Z100 radio station), The Bruce G. Geary Foundation and other charitable supporters of the Zoo. With their assistance the “biggest little Zoo in New York” continues to provide its visitors with the educational and entertaining experience, delighting young and old alike.
Ken Mitchell, executive director of the Staten Island Zoological Society, announced to the sold-out crowd of zoo lovers that two long-awaited projects, the Amur Leopard exhibit and Conservation carousel, will begin construction this summer. “These state-of-the-art additions to the Zoo will provide our visitors with enriching new experiences and offer the Society new sponsorship and membership-building opportunities. In addition, we have begun designing a new modern aquarium.”
Elvis Duran shared with us the story behind his unanticipated passion for the Staten Island Zoo saying “It’s kind of a funny story. One time I was offered an opportunity to come to the Staten Island Zoo and do an interview with a kangaroo. After meeting the kangaroo and learning about the other animals at the zoo, I fell in love with it – I was hooked. It’s the only place where you can be hands on with the animals- it‘s a boutiquey zoo.” Unfortunately, because of the poor economy and budget cuts the zoo has been losing the funds that help keep up the collection of the animals and was forced to reduce its staff. Thankfully though, the Staten Island Zoo holds a special place in the hearts of its advocates, who charitably sponsor many new and exciting projects for the community. With these new opportunities, it seems, people couldn’t be more excited about the zoo’s future.  “With the new curator, we have many new, larger animals that will be added to the zoo this year. Everyone’s ready for the new chapter” says Elvis. “This zoo has the potential to be a world class zoo and everyone involved has the drive to take it there. It’s a good time at the zoo.”

Letter from the Desk of Second Saturdays Staten Island

The arts community in Staten Island is growing, so to help guide us to the potential art discoveries on the island we’ve enlisted our borough’s renowned artist, Co-founder and Director of Second Saturday Staten Island, Brendan Coyle, to share his views.

Hello readers,

I’ve been invited by Staten Island Lifestyle to give an update on the goings on of the art community and encourage the growing movement to keep flourishing. The lifestyle we have here, regardless of the choices made by our governing municipality, is precisely nothing else than what we bring into it as engaged members of a community. I saw fit to encourage the tradition of an “art walk” to form in Staten Island in 2010 for several interconnected reasons, and lifestyle (or quality of life concerns) was amongst the top few.

What is an art walk?

Surprisingly few people actually know what I’m referring to when I use the term “art walk”.  On a Second Saturday or First Friday or Third Thursday or what have you, depending on the city or neighborhood you’re in, there is a consistent monthly routine that involves a variety of art galleries, artist studios, cafes and other establishments that display art, music, and performance, all coordinating their opening receptions on the same day. There is decidedly little else in terms of organization. Art walks in many places can be extremely commercial, and in others they are more cutting edge. In Staten Island we have the unique opportunity of seeing a true DIY movement spring up out of the nooks and crannies of one of the 5 boroughs, the “forgotten” one.

Some of the pop-up galleries are spread out over the neighborhood and it takes a little commitment from the gallery goer, a little bit of adventure maybe, to find them. That’s part of the built-in quality control of the design. The galleries have to compete, they have to curate their shows thoughtfully and promote themselves, as well as the art walk at large. There’s a push-and-pull that makes for a healthy community. We are traffic-sharing, but when there’s a critical mass you have to be on your A game. Since the start I’ve encouraged venues (and created new ones) to take on contemporary art, to be experimental and be part of the conversation that is happening in New York. We are New York artists living out here because we seek affordable space, peace of mind, and feedback from an interested and informed community.

I’ve lived here for 7 years and enjoyed the benefits of being in New York and simultaneously experiencing something of a tight knit small town feel that you get in the North Shore. The connectivity of various cultural groups through Second Saturdays has brought some verve to the area that makes it all the much more appealing, and I can see the community coming into its own that way. We’re here and time is ebbing, be part of the conversation.

Sincerely,

Brendan Coyle

www.secondsaturdaystatenisland.com

 

Holiday Light Displays in Staten Island

Holiday Light Displays in Staten Island

Nothing says “Holiday season” like dazzling light displays on the most decorated houses in town. There are people that go above and beyond to bring the holiday spirit to their neighborhood. Every year crowds gather to look at the twinkling lights, tree ornaments, decorative wreaths, nativity scenes, and countless figurines. It’s always fun to tour the neighborhoods and enjoy these festive decorations. The homes definitely make it worth the trip.

Below is a list of home locations in Staten Island to visit:

Sharrotts Rd and Bloomingdale Rd

Collyer Ave and Bland Pl

Kingdom Ave and Algonkin St

Todt Hill Road and 4 Corners Rd

 

If you know of any more, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list. Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Fall Wedding at the Decker Farm

Farm wedding at the Decker Farm

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the Decker Farm for some fresh produce only to find myself in the middle of a perfectly rustic farm wedding. I reached for my phone and began snapping pictures, I couldn’t resist. There was just something about the gorgeous autumn weather and the colors of the changing leaves that created a beautiful scenery. I absolutely adored all the charming details of this wedding.  Flowers arranged in mason jars….. floor lined with wood shavings…..a shoe rack with flip-flops marked “Dancing Shoes” ……and a sweet farm setting! Surely, this wedding created unique and lasting memories for all.

Decker Farm is open for pumpkin picking every Saturday and Sunday through the month of October.

 

 

Second Annual Sneak Peak at Freshkills Park

This past Sunday the Sneak Peak at Freshkills Park attracted many curious visitors. The event is held annually to help people explore and understand what the future holds for the city’s biggest park. People were able to enjoy walking tours, kayaking, a petting zoo, art installations and many other activities. Many came with an open mind to see the progress of the site’s amazing transformation, although some are still skeptical. The city promises to turn the site into an incredible park, featuring space for mountain biking, running, kayaking, and horseback riding, as well as cultural and educational programming. I guess only time will tell…..

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Below are the pictures from the event shot by Dmitriy M