Staten Island needs more people like Gina Biancardi-Rammairone. Ms. Biancardi-Rammairone and her husband, Luciano, purchased the glorious Great Gatsby-like mansion and surrounding land on Howard Avenue and plan to make it into an Italian Cultural Center. In a Staten Island Advance article (click on the headline above to read the full story) Ms. Biancardi-Rammairone states that she frequently drove by the mansion and always admired it. We here at Prodigal Borough can relate to that. Our three Staten Island favorite mansions are Kreischer Mansion, The Pavilion, and this Howard Avenue home. (The Pavilion is still available for sale and would also make a great cultural center or museum).
"We're not going to live here," explained Mrs. Rammairone, who grew up in The Bronx and holds a master's degree in business administration from New York University. "I want to turn it into a not-for-profit. I want it to be a place about Italian history and culture, art and fashion, with classes in cooking and wine tasting. Make it a tourist destination. My life-long passion has been to educate young people about the positive aspects of being Italian. Sometimes there seems to be a disconnect, with people identifying being Italian with 'The Sopranos.' That's a negative stereotype. My dream is a big dream, a grand vision, but I feel the Staten Island community will embrace it."
WE do embrace it. Bring it on.