Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stairway To Heaven

Fort Hill is the highest hill in St. George. Fort Hill Castle, on Fort Hill, is the highest house on the hill. Does that make these the highest steps in St. George?

Staten Islander Dan Icolari has launched his own blog called "Walking Is Transportation." St. George (in the North Shore) is extremely hilly and "Walking Is Transportation" explores that in his post: "The Vertical Life, or Hill-Walking on Staten Island's North Shore." Check it out by clicking HERE.

A Google Earth map of New York City

The "stairway" article got me thinking about elevation in St. George. I knew that Todt Hill on Staten Island is the highest point in all five boroughs of New York (and the highest point on the eastern seaboard of the United States south of Maine). I also knew that Fort Hill, where my house is located, is the highest point in St. George, Staten Island. My house is the tallest house on Fort Hill - might it be the highest point in St. George? And, if we are talking about Staten Island having the highest elevations in all of New York City, my house is closer to heaven than most places in New York City. I checked out the elevations on Google Earth. You can see my calculations below. The height of the houses are approximate. I will look into that and report back with actual figures.

My house (Fort Hill Castle) elevation. Ground elevation: 166 feet, Tower elevation: 35 feet approximate, Total elevation: 215 approximate

Fort Hill Park (the highest point of Fort Hill): 207 feet, House elevation: 20 feet approximate, Total elevation: 227 approximate

Todt Hill Elevation: 410 feet

227 feet - 215 feet = 12 feet

My approximate calculations show that there is one other house at a slightly higher elevation on Fort Hill, however, our house is the tallest, therefore they even out a bit. I'm guessing house heights here, but it looks like my house is only about 12 feet from being the highest in St. George, and only about 215 feet lower than the highest point in all of New York City. We have been thinking about raising the height of our tower by about 24 feet so we can get a 360 degree view of the island; currently part of our house blocks some amazing views. Our house tower always seemed kind of squat compared to the rest of the house, so a couple of years ago, I spoke with an architect who said that we would be allowed to do this given the cities rules and regulations on building height. We are already higher than our neighbors so we wouldn't be blocking any other house views. If we do this, our house will easily clear the 12 feet or so difference and would be the highest house in St. George.

After (stretched image)

Van Duzers Visit Van Duzer Street

This is a cute video created by two brothers, Ethan and Ryan, whose last name is Van Duzer. I have always loved to say this street name: VAN DUZER. I only wish that they had walker further down the block as the street gets cooler once you hit Martini Red, The Muddy Cup, and the antique stores. The street is a bit homely and dull closer to the ferry where they were walking. The funny thing about Staten Island is that when you are walking around you discover wonderful little pockets of coolness and beauty.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Japion Newspaper Staten Island Cover Feature

New York's top Japanese newspaper did a cover feature about St. George, Staten Island. The photos here are from their website.
-To read Tomoko Inoue's article and interviews (in Japanese) with the Staten Islanders below go HERE.

Staten Islanders: John Leo and Shawn Bishop-Leo with Tomoko Inoue.

Staten Islanders: Cynthia von Buhler (her dog Miss Jenny Poodles) and Tevah Platt in front of Cynthia's house.