“We Will Not Go Back” — A March On Staten Island

I attended the National Action Network “We Will Not Go” march in Staten Island this weekend. Thousands of people of varying ages, races, and religions showed up in solidarity to support the family of Eric Garner, and march for overall awareness and change regarding NYPD violence. Although Michael Brown was not the focus of the march, many held signs supporting the community of Ferguson. There were human chains on the sides of the march and volunteer marshals to help keep the peace. And the peace was kept.

There were a lot of laughs and hugs amidst tears and chants unifying people who’d come from all over the country and who up until that event, had never met. There was a feeling in the air of cooperation, love, and optimism that by gathering and joining forces, change can come.

Click on the images below to see photos full screen

All photos by Lela Edgar

‘Mob Wives’ Season Three Captures Hurricane Sandy On Staten Island

VH1’s supertrailer of Mob Wives‘ season three, which debuts January 6, promises all the same death threats, trout pouts, and correctional facility visits as before. But this season there’s something "real" on the reality: Hurricane Sandy hitting Staten Island.

Staten Island is, of course, where all the ladies of Mob Wives (who are really more like Mob Daughters, Ex-Wives And Girlfriends) drink, gossip, and threaten to bust each other’s kneecaps. The first few minutes of this supertrailer are the same-old, same-old, but halfway through filming Sandy hits the Island and we see the real devastation up close.

Drita D’Avanzo (the blonde one) made headlines shortly after Sandy for showing up to some relief efforts on the Island and filming scenes from the show. A volunteer who witnessed her and VH1’s film crew in action told the New York Observer, "She was not well received and was able to clear a hot coffee stand on a cold day in 2 seconds.”

Of course that part will be on the cutting room floor. 

Watch the season three trailer for Mob Wives below: 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Dinner on Ludlow’s Staten Island Pop-Up Feeds 200 Sandy Victims

Two-hundred Staten Islanders affected by Hurricane Sandy sat down to a dinner of herb-roasted chicken, chive mashed potatoes, and beef stew at one-day pop-up Dinner on Ludlow Relief Kitchen. Launched by Dinner on Ludlow in the LES, executive chef John Keller’s home-cooked comfort foods were served last Friday at Guyon Rescue, a 24-hour relief center for Hurricane victims that has saved the lives and spirits of families on the Island these past three weeks. 

Beyond the pop-up, Dinner on Ludlow is continuing to raise money for Guyon Rescue, so grab a table and feed a family besides your own.

Exploring NY’s Top Hidden, Overlooked Restaurants

You, there! Over yonder! Summon that explorer spirit in you, and hop on board that ferry or subway, cause we’ve put together the map you need to discover the top underrated, hidden restaurants in New York. A fan of crunchy, spicy fried chicken? Fresh and crispy, cheese-smothered pizza? Broiled scallops? Fluffy French toast? These spots in each of the five boroughs offer completely different cuisines for you and your very diverse, complex, curious palate. Who needs the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria? Put on those walking shoes, rouse your hunger, and get ready for this merry dining adventure. 

Summer’s Pretty Much Over But You Can Still Go Camping In Staten Island!

The season for beaches and wearing white has drawn to a close, but there’s still one outdoor activity ripe for the attempting—urban camping. Filmmaker and Brooklynite Dean Peterson and his intrepid companion decided to brave the elements in that harshest of rural environments: Fort Wadsworth, in the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.  

“The campsite was only five miles from our apartment in Brooklyn, closer than the nearest Whole Foods,” Peterson narrates. “So all we had to do was jump on the subway and we were headed off to the wilderness of Staten Island.” As silly as that quote seems on its own, it is a bit mind-blowing to think you can be in one of the busiest cities in the world and still be closer to a legal campsite than America’s most popular yuppie grocery store chain.

Despite the very cosmopolitan environment around them, Peterson and pal spend the video doing nature things, like writing “CAMPING!” in the sand, exploring the beach, building a fire, sleeping in a tent and because nothing says “Yay, nature!” like quoting Walden, quoting Walden.

 Watch to get inspired to keep exploring, or, if for no other reason, then because there’s footage of a corgi playing in the waves. And wearing a life jacket. If that same image were a stand-alone snippet on Tumblr, it would have, like, 30,000 reblogs by now. That’s how the Internet works, right? 

Ornery Wild Turkeys: Staten Island’s Growing Neighborhood Gang

On an island eight miles south of Manhattan- venerated for its iconic orange ferry, close-knit Italian community/mafiosos and euphoria-inducing pizza– exists a booming colony of wild turkeys. Yes, an ever-expanding team of ornery, gobbling grouse that has become the borough’s waddling neighborhood gang.

Their presence in Staten Island first allegedly began in 1999, when a woman released her nine pet turkeys onto the psychiatric center’s grounds. Through copious copulation, these beady-eyed feathered fowl have become as ubiquitous as the borough’s gel-slicked guidos, and are causing mayhem. According to exasperated locals’ reports, the head-bobbing turkeys squabble loudly before sunrise, peck and destroy roofs and cars, stand in the middle of traffic, and crap on peoples’ yards.
“It was straight out of Cujo,” dental assistant Gina told the Daily News. “I’m sitting in my car Facebooking on my phone when turkeys jumped on my windshield. I screamed like I was being murdered.”
For some residents, relocation is their likeliest option. “I am thinking of moving,” resident Fara Mitchell told SI Live. “I know everybody laughs; even I laugh. But when I think about it, I cringe. My friends who got married and moved to Jersey say, ‘See what happens when you stay on Staten Island?’”
According to the DEC, there around 100 meaty-beaked, wild waddlers in the island’s Ocean Breeze neighborhood- enough to motivate the state to take action.  Unsuccessful attempts include smearing the eggs with corn oil to prevent hatching, scaring off turkeys with water hoses, and asking residents to vote on the turkeys’ fate via a survey. Options on the survey range from educating residents on how to coexist with their mischievous two-legged neighbors to slaughtering them all and donating the meat.
But according to CBS reports, the turkeys can’t be eaten since they’re known to ingest fertilizer, insecticide and motor oil. Plus, they can’t be relocated to more bucolic environments since they’ve become acclimated to a human habitat, i.e. grazing on their trash and crapping on their lawns. Despite the turkey’s noted poison consumption, residents have been seen stuffing the turkeys in their cars and driving away. Of course, these residents simply prefer a side of animal manure with their sweet potatoes. To each his own.
But like any gang, these turkey terrorizers can’t last forever. It’s time they hit the mattresses with the island’s top Dons. And with enough capos ready and armed, perhaps the gobbling and waddling colony can be, well, how do you say it? Snuffed out.