For New Yorkers interested in getting closer, but not too close to Staten Island, the Museum of the City of New York and the Working Harbor Committee is hosting a boat tour to compliment the museum’s current exhibit: “From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012.″
The tour, which circumnavigates the Island, will look at the past, present and future of the waterfront and its relationship to the city’s marine history. It also provides a nice chance for New Yorkers keen to learn more about the forgotten borough, but wary of setting foot on Staten Island soil (or the nautically inclined).
Rich Marin is big. For more than three decades, he dominated Wall Street, creating some of the industry’s most exotic investments, making billions for his clients, and millions for himself. One of his minions blew a hole in the side of Bankers Trust, a firm Mr. Marin helped transform into a derivatives powerhouse, and still he held on for the ride, becoming the youngest managing director ever at the bank. It all came crashing down five years ago, when the hedge funds he oversaw at Bear Stearns imploded. The rest of the world followed within the year. But there was Mr. Marin, standing amid the wreckage, helping rescue an overzealous Israeli diamond magnate who had plowed $3 billion into prime U.S. real estate just as the frothing market froze over. He rescued the firm, only to be unceremoniously fired two years to the day after he joined.
Now Rich Marin wants to build the world’s largest ferris wheel—in Staten Island, naturally—and the mayor just gave him his blessing.
Did we mention he is big? At the announcement of the project last Thursday, Mr. Marin absolutely dwarfed Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Chuck Schumer, along with the other dignitaries gathered at the ferry terminal. But despite his imposing size—he stands 6-foot-5 and is built like an offensive lineman—Mr. Marin is probably one of the gentlest people on the Street. Were he a real bear, rather than having worked for one, Mr. Marin would be not a grizzly but a teddy. This may help explain his turbulent career.
Finally, a reason for tourists to get off the Staten Island Ferry after taking their free site-seeing cruise. Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will travel to St. George to finalized plans to construct the world’s largest ferris wheel at the northern tip of Richmond County. The oversized amusement is part of a larger hotel and retail complex to be developed by BFC Partners, a local real estate concern.
Mayor Bloomberg touted the new ferris wheel as yet another investment by his administration in the North Shore of Staten Island.
celebrities and drugs
James Molinaro may know who Lady Gaga is but he probably isn’t aware of her fandom, the “little monsters,” and how they might react to an NY1 report that Mr. Molinaro referred to the pop star as a “slut” while launching an anti-drug campaign Monday night.
The performer’s fans are fiercely loyal and may not take well to the Staten Island Borough President’s characterization of their idol, whom Mr. Molinaro said was part of a celebrity culture that promotes drug use, among other things.
A dilapidated farmhouse bedecked with exterior virtues from the same hands that influenced many of the city’s greatest parks might soon become available to the public.
Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for Central and Prospect parks, among so many others, once remade a Staten Island farm to fit his vision of urban pastoral, according to The Times. Perhaps that claim to fame alone is enough to yield renovations from the city. But then again, probably not.
Big Swinging Pods
Who doesn’t want a giant ferris wheel in the middle of Staten Island?
We’re assuming this is the exact inquiry Mayor Michael Bloomberg demanded of his administration after talking with an investment group interested in erecting this enormous asset.
New York is about to be just as green as the Hudson River!
The Deputy Mayor, Cas Holloway, New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced a proposal for solar and wind power facilities in Fresh Kills on Staten Island earlier this week.
There’s a 75-acre plot of land within the massive 2,2000-acre dump-turned-public park available for lease that could be developed into a facility that generates upwards of 20 megawatts of renewable energy. That is enough to power about 6,000 homes. It will double the city’s natural energy capacity.
Staten Island’s Michael Grimm emerged from obscurity two years ago to win a seat in Congress based in part on his compelling personal narrative. Mr. Grimm is a former Marine and a onetime FBI agent. At a time of national anxiety over global terrorism, he was able to address security issues based on his experience and expertise.
But Mr. Grimm’s clean-cut persona has taken a hit in recent weeks amid reports of fund-raising irregularities that should attract the attention of his onetime colleagues in law enforcement. The allegations, it should be noted, concern not just his campaign’s actions, but Mr. Grimm’s personal contacts, fund-raising methods and slippery business practices.
Island of the Ferries
Hopefully this business can be settled peacefully.
The so-called Godfather house in Staten Island has received not one, but two offers, the Post reported yesterday. The sprawling 6,248-square-foot mansion in the Todt Hill neighborhood was used as the Corleone family’s main digs when the The Godfather was filmed back in 1972.
COME ON IRENE
Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a visit to Engine 166/Ladder 86 Fire Company on Staten Island today, to thank the firefighters there for their work and hold his second post-Irene press conference.
With clear skies and the city back to work, the mood was light enough for a daring reporter to ask the mayor about El Bloombito, the parodic Twitter account created this weekend by soap-making stay-at-home mom Rachel Figueroa-Levin. Good humored as always, the administration even posted the clip to its YouTube page, titled “El Alcalde Bloomberg habla sobre su esfuerzo por aprender español.”