Remembering my Forgotten Borough after Sandy


These are the blocks I used to bike through as a kid.  Fox Beach was the detour my sixth grade bus took each morning to pick up a few kids on the way to school. The street was so narrow the bus could barely squeeze by.

These tiny bungalows, once used as summer getaways for the elite Manhattanites in the 1920s, became the blue-collar neighborhoods of my childhood in Staten Island. Tucked away “below the Boulevard,” the streets around New Dorp and Cedar Grove beaches had a feeling that they had been left back in time. Mom and pop delis and restaurants. Hardly any cars came by in these quiet narrow streets a few blocks off the water.

Out the window of my childhood bedroom, beyond another block of townhouses and a wetland field, I could see the ocean. Almost a week ago, this ocean swept into the old neighborhood. My parents evacuated, but neighbors who stayed behind said a wall of water came charging down the block, flooding basements and first floors, and then rushed back to sea as quickly as it came.

I’ve been listening to coverage of Hurricane Sandy. Lots of talk about the Jersey Shore and Manhattan, even Queens. As usual, little talk about my forgotten borough.

Here is a Youtube video posted on Facebook by one of my former high school classmates. Please watch it. Please, in your prayers,  don’t forget Staten Island, the forgotten borough, it’s full of some great people.

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About stacylynngittleman

I have been a reporter and public relations professional for over 30 years, specializing in profile features and investigative longform writing. During my career I've profiled WWII Honor Flight Veterans, artists and musicians and have written on topics that range from environmental and gun control issues to Jewish culture. Click around on my writing samples plus read my blog on my personal life raising three kids over 27 years and three cities.

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