“Welcome to Staten Island.” A Community Facing the Changes of Rezoning and Concerns of Gentrification

The culmination of my two week exploration of Staten Island’s North Shore-late night ferry rides and White Clam Pizza included.

The Know

By Emmet White

As the ferry bobbles back and forth through the converging New Jersey and New York Upper Bay waters, an off duty, monochromatically dressed firefighter’s radio crackles on and off and a young mother rocks her stroller back and forth. The rest murmur, barely audible. Like a sedated mob on and pedestrian Olympic sprinters off, Staten Island only moves fast for the ferry.

Even the 2:30pm Manhattan departing Ferry creates a frenzy upon arrival at St. George Terminal. Photograph by Emmet White.

But the island’s pace is about to change. Fenced off, empty lots to shining motorcycle dealers to fast food chains with faded signage, the corridor of Bay St. destined for rezoning remains industrial in a postindustrial world. Initially zoned for manufacturing purposes in 1961, traverse down Bay Street today and you will find Americana eateries and a newly installed, clean windowed Urbys Housing development across…

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