Aptly-named the borough of cars, Staten Island is by far the most car-dependent borough in all of New York City. With a constantly growing population, and the city’s worst, most insufficient public transportation system – Staten Islanders, like Frank Camuso and his family, need their cars more than anybody else in the five boroughs. Staten Island has always been the black-sheep of the NYC family –getting the short end of the stick more often, than not, in more ways than you can count. From being home to the city dump, and being called the smelliest borough, to terrible roads, less frequent snow & trash removal – the history of Staten Island has been quite an unfair one to say the least.
However, in recent years the city has begun a bit of a reclamation project on Staten Island, in an effort to raise property values, and simply make life more livable for citizens like Frank Camuso and others in similar situations. Despite recent efforts, to bring more activities, engaging exhibits, industry, and more to Staten Island – the lack of efficient bus routes, and a single railway that ONLY services the Eastern Shore has forced residents like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, to rely solely on cars for their family’s transportation. In other boroughs, like Manhattan and Brooklyn, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find a family of 3 or 4 ride the subway to enjoy a fun-filled, family Saturday. But for Staten Islanders, such a trip besides being next to impossible, would make for a hellish day of delays and frustrations. And now with the public transportation issues, and more and more citizens driving – it has created major traffic issues across the borough on almost a daily basis. The borough president, James Oddo and his staff have looked into recent Staten Island vehicle statistics and some of the results were staggering. While Staten Island ranks 4th in terms of the number of total cars per borough, the small population makes these numbers a bit confusing. If you were to divide the cars by the number of households, Staten Island dwarfs every other borough by a wide margin.
On average, a Staten Island household like Frank Camuso and his family, has an average of over 1 and a half cars. The next closest is Queens, with just about 1 car per household. This is a very interesting number, as on average, the average number of cars per household for the entirety of NYC is far below 1! And when you divide up the stats even further, and break Staten Island into the Mid-Island, and North & South Shores – the South Shore averages almost 2 full cars per household! Well above the NYS state average, and even most national averages. And these statistics seem obvious when one is to look at the traffic on the south shore, as well as the lack of public transportation services. For car reliant natives of Staten Island like Frank Camuso there simply isn’t another option, its either sit in traffic for an hour and a half or stay home. Even the north shore, that has more bus, and even a railway option averages about 1.32 cars per household – close to double the average for most of NYC.
While this problem will continue to worsen, as populations continue to rise, and Staten Island real estate has become a bit more in-demand. As more and more young professionals are starting families, they are trading in their rental apartments for the comforts of a Staten Island “starter-home”. The problem has gotten to be so big that Mayor de Blasio is working alongside Staten Island officials to hopefully bolster the public transportation issues, and possibly even institute a special tax-incentive for those families that can reduce their vehicle use – but of course, like everything else on Staten Island, this initiative is likely to take a long time to get in motion.Read More »
The dairy industry is one of many, billion-dollar industries in the US. And like other farming and agricultural fields across the country, the dairy farmers have their fans as well as their detractors. While milk has become a well-known part of the American diet, many health experts argue that it really shouldn’t be. Many feel substitutes like almond milk, soy milk, and even coconut milk have much greater health benefits, and far less of the negatives on both your health, animals and the environment. Fans of almond milk like native New Yorker Frank Camuso believes that one of the biggest issues is that when we support the purchase of dairy milk, we are directly supporting cruelty to animals, as well as a whole host of negative effects on our environment. Along with his wife Christine, Frank Camuso has made it a point to only purchase almond milk or soy milk for their family as they feel the poor treatment of cows during the milking and the entire cattle rasing process is cruel, and the benefits simply do not outweigh the negative impact on the environment and the lives of these animals. For most individuals like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, these issues were reason enough to make the switch to almond milk, but if the political, environmental, and even the cruelty issues aren’t enough for you to make the switch, few can argue the adverse health effects and harmful effects of dairy-based milk. Here are 5 health benefits of almond milk.
· Enriched Almond Milk is High in Vitamin D
Many New Yorkers like Frank Camuso and most Americans for that matter are deficient in vitamin D. and the fact is that enriched almond milk is a far better source than traditional dairy milk. While both are often enriched and contain similar vitamin D levels, nutrient for nutrient, and fact for fact, almond milk is a healthier choice.
· Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Countless Americans like Frank Camuso suffer from issues like high blood pressure, and many show signs of the precursors of heart disease. Studies show that regular consumption of nuts like almonds shows an exponential reduction in the chances of getting heart disease. Oleic acid the main ingredient in almond milk is linked to beneficial changes in blood lipid levels.
· Stronger Bones
Commercials in our youth always portrayed milk to be the key to strong bones. Many studies show those who drink more dairy-based milk are actually more susceptible to bone breaks – yea, crazy right? Almond milk, on the other hand, is a pure source of calcium, and the added vitamin D speeds up and aids in its absorption. While dairy milk can get you around 30% of your DV of calcium, almond milk gets you over 50%.
· Dairy Free is the Key
One of the biggest reasons people like Frank Camuso make the switch is the dairy-free aspect of almond milk. The fact is that humans aren’t technically able to digest dairy milk. Everyone is at least a little lactose-intolerant – some more so than others of course. That undigested milk sits in the colon collecting bacteria, and causing gas bloating and overall sickness. No lactose means no smelly, uncomfortable bacteria build-up.
· Overall. Almond Milk is Nutritious
Almond milk is much lower in calories, and regular almond milk doesn’t raise the blood sugar within the body. One cup of almond milk is only about 40 calories, 3x less than some cups of dairy milk. Milk is given to young children because it can help them put on weight in a time when they need to grow – while it’s still unhealthy, I do see the merits. For adults like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, the last thing you need to gain an extra 20-30 pounds for no reason.
Make the switch today, almond milk will keep you happy, healthy, and prevent a number of dairy-associated illnesses.Read More »
seems no matter what happens Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine always seem to get the short end of the NYC stick. From being called a garbage dump, as a result of an actual garbage dump, to the lack of amenities, cultural hotspots and more – Staten Island has traditionally been the city’s “red-headed step-child”. While lifelong Staten Islanders Frank Camuso and his wife Christine have made the most of their time on the island, raising a beautiful family, some just can’t seem to shake the stigma.
Grocery chains across Staten Island received huge shipments of the famous Blue Diamond Almond Milk, that just so happened to be tainted with actual milk! The USDA, the United States Food and Drug Administration, announced this week that 145,254 half-gallon containers of refrigerated Vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk, a Blue Diamond product by HP Hood LLC, were sent to retailers and wholesalers in various states, however, most were concentrated on Staten Island. To be honest, we aren’t too sure what the latest statistics are on Almond Drinkers on Staten Island, but regardless, the fact that most of these containers were sent to Staten Island just speaks volumes about the boroughs long history of getting the short end of the stick. All jokes aside such a grave error could have caused catastrophic results, and natives like Frank Camuso are not happy.
A similar occurrence happened in a small California town in 2015, and the results were catastrophic as 4 members of that unnamed town, suffered from an extreme milk allergy, and as a result purchased the tainted almond milk. All 4 cases led to the individuals suffering from terrible dairy related allergic reactions, that had all 4 sent to the hospital for close to a week each. Luckily for someone like Frank Camuso and his family, who actually purchased one of the tainted containers, no one in their family suffers from any such allergy. However, there has already been one reported case of someone suffering from an allergic reaction as a result of the mix-up, thankfully hospital care or additional treatment was not required. So according to the FDA if you are living on Staten Island or areas near the southern edges of Brooklyn, be on the lookout for refrigerated Vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk with a use-by date of Sept. 2. Consumers who bought the almond milk may return it to the retail location where the purchase was made for a full refund or exchange or visit http://www.bluediamond.com to complete a web form.Read More »
With over 11,000 New Yorkers, proudly calling Staten Island home, it should come as no surprise that jobs on the island are often in high demand, and even in higher competition. While many Staten Islanders, like Frank Camuso choose to start their own business and are in fact, creating jobs for others. This new generation seems to have a strong focus on education and finding employment before they can even think about building a dream of their own.
Civil servants or employees represent over 70 city agencies, from teachers, firefighters, police officers, to parks workers, and sanitation workers, these jobs provide many Staten Islander’s a level of stability previously unseen before. Frank Camuso having lived on the island for years, knows a number of firefighters and police officers. “It seems like more than half of my high school class became either a police officer, firefighter, or sanitation worker, it’s a dream job for a lot of on Staten Island” said Frank Camuso. Despite his entrepreneurial spirit leading to a number of business ventures, including restaurants and more on the island, not many shares that drive or the “hustle” it takes.
With civil service jobs currently in high demand, thousands of hopeful’s head to the new civil service testing center in St. George, trying for a shot at one of the few available spots. The last wave of testing saw over 79,941 individuals submit exams for everything from sanitation work, to the park’s department. Many see the guarantee of a good salary, and the ability to retire with a pension as well as other benefits. This makes it hard to pass up, especially for a borough of people who have classically chosen early entry into the workforce over advanced education. With so many applicants and so few openings, many may have to adopt the entrepreneurial spirit of someone like Frank Camuso.
The first big hurdle in becoming an NYC civil servant is with the wait. In the months between July of 2016 and February of 2018, 227,429 people have taken civil service exams, 110,230 of such people took tests in 2016-2017 and 117,199 from 2017-2018 as of February. That’s 7,000+ more applicants, and it seems like these numbers will continue to rise every year.
The sad news is that, while only a small number will pass the exam of their chosen field, an even smaller number will be chosen to join the ranks. After months, and in some cases years of waiting. Frank Camuso knew of a friend who came from a family of civil service workers, and not wanting to limit his chances he applied to multiple agencies; police, fire, parks and recreation, sanitation, and even an exam for train conductors.
He lived as a paraprofessional to mentally handicapped school children for over 10 years and unfortunately, he aged-out of the running before he could receive a call from the FDNY or NYPD. He is still hoping to hear back about becoming a train conductor having taken the exam in 2017. With such a slim chance at making it, it truly seems that the city of New York has turned becoming a civil servant a dream rather than a reality.Read More »
Snug Harbor or Sailors Snug Harbor as it is also known as, is a famous historical part of Staten Island. Snug Harbor is a collection of well-architected, 19th-century buildings within an 83-acre park along the north shore of Staten Island. It was formerly a home for sailors in their old age, but has undergone an amazing renaissance as a historical site, as well as a home for the arts on Staten Island. Staten Island natives like Frank Camuso are happy to see the site being used to celebrate the history of Staten Island, and to allow future generations to have a place to remember the past.
Snug Harbor is not only just a collection of buildings, but is also home to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and the Botanical Gardens. Locals like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine are pleased that Staten Island is taking an interest in its own beautification and has sites they may attract people from other boroughs. This can help create a more stable economy in Staten Island. Snug Harbor also includes 26 historic buildings, using different styles of architecture. From Greek Revivalist, Beaux Arts, Italianate, to Victorian style buildings are all represented in Snug Harbor. And it is thought of as a landmark that pays homage to Staten Island’s seafaring past.
Due to its eclectic architecture, blending a number of different styles in one well kept 83-acre park, Snug Harbor has done well to attract much of the NYC arts culture. Buildings like the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts houses some of the most interesting artistic exhibits in all of NYC, despite this, the arts center is relatively unknown and rarely ever mentioned with museums like MOMA or the Museum of Natural History. Some Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso, appreciate having a center for the arts so close to home, and makes sure to bring his children to the newest exhibitions and to check out the newest events. Other places of interest include the Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, a home for amazing performances such as No More Dances, a play that explores motherhood and a woman’s role, especially as an immigrant. Pieces of art and culture have often been avoided by Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso, but the current internet generation has reinvigorated a love for the arts, and given young people a place to positively enjoy take part in culture.Read More »
Spring is here, it might not seem so with the almost weekly snowstorms in NYC, but we assure you, it is definitely springtime! And with spring comes flowers blooming, birds chirping, and of course the Macy’s flower show! An NYC staple, New Yorkers like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, have been able to enjoy the festivities since March 25th. This weeks marks the ending of the annual show that comes to Macy’s Herald Square once every year.
The flower show has drawn crowds for years now. Whether you are a local, like Frank Camuso, of Staten Island, or an out of town tourist like Jane Argo, a woman who’s family made a 6 hour drive from Virginia Beach just to make it in time for the last week of the show. For two weeks, people have been able to see the most jaw-dropping floral arrangements. The flower show is known to have some of the most beautiful species of flowers around, displaying flowers known for their amazing shapes and vibrant colors, as well as their amazing blooming schedule. Each year the show has a specific theme, this year’s theme being “Once Upon A Springtime”, inspired by fantasy tales, and scenes from your favorite childhood stories. So it would seem unlikely that a flower show would appeal to adults, especially males. But if you ask Staten Island native, Frank Camuso, he is enjoying the festivities as much as his children and wife! Frank Camuso claimed the nostalgia of seeing his favorite scenes fro childhood stories brought him back, and it is a wonderful event he is glad he can share with his family. The flower show is one of the most notable free events NYC is known for.
The sweet smells of Macy’s foliage can be smelled from down the block. But the sweet smells aren’t the only thing attracting people to Macy’s. The flower show is also an amazing time for economic growth for Macy’s and leads to a lot more money changing hands! Frank Camuso and his family each have a shopping bag in hand. Macy’s reports record numbers for revenue during the flower show, as many, despite coming for the flowers, stay for the shopping. The influx in transactions also leads to a ton of seasonal hiring. The current flower show has allowed Macy’s to hire dozens of seasonal hires for part time, full time, and overnight work. Whether its manning the registers, stocking the shelves, or cleaning up flower petals, a lot of happy New Yorkers are earning some extra pocket change this spring. So if you are in or around the NYC area, this is your last week to catch the 44th annual Macy’s Flower Show, its a beautiful sight to see, not to mention its 100% free.Read More »
When most think of Staten Island, the last thing that comes to mind is the beach. In the shadows of NYC’s tallest buildings Staten Islander’s like Frank Camuso, want the rest of New York City to know that Staten Island is home to some of the best, most swimmable beaches in the 5 boroughs. The beaches on Staten Island offer a number of benefits to citizens like Frank Camuso and his wife and children. Beaches like Wolfe’s Pond Park, offer outdoor activities such as hiking trails, sporting courts, and playgrounds for all ages. The beach is also easily accessible by public transportation, or by car, and the perfect atmosphere for family fun in the sun.
Staten Island native Frank Camuso, an avid fisherman, and sailor, enjoys taking his family to the marina every weekend. The beaches on Staten Island are not like those of any borough. Many of the beaches are very famous for their rare fish or animal life. Rare birds, such as the brant, the Laughing Gull, the Herring Gull, and the Gray Gull all call places like Wolfe’s Pond home. In addition blue mussels, horshoe crabs, and Quahog Clams, are rare collectible clams that have some of the most beautiful shells around.
Beaches like South Beach on Father Capadanno Blvd is one of Frank Camuso and his wife Christine’s favorites. The beach has amazing boardwalks, perfect for biking, long walks, and family fun. And the 835 foot long fishing pier is a favorite of fisherman like Frank Camuso and his children. Other attractions in the area include, a skate park, sporting courts, almost, nightly live music, outdoor movies, fireworks and a host of other local events. If you and your family are looking to take a break from the norm, and venture off into a beach you haven’t been before. Staten Island offers some of NYC’s most fun-filled, family oriented, action-packed beaches!Read More »
For years on end, Staten Islander commuters like Frank Camuso, have relied heavily upon express busses as a means of entering the more populated boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The express busses allow Staten Islanders to travel to the “city” quickly and efficiently, without having to be stuck in Verazzano Bridge traffic.
Express busses are also the only means of mass transit for commuters like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, as there are no subways or major railways in Staten Island. Despite this, the MTA has decided it is time to rename the express busses using a new system of naming. The busses for years have been known by the X prefix, as it has been in all of the other boroughs. However, they must know get used to the new way of naming the bus routes using the SIM prefix. A Staten Island native, Frank Camuso, is worried that the renaming will cause confusion for the many friends and relatives that rely on the busses for daily transportation.
Now a normal renaming may not be an issue, but what is causing a major area of cover to Frank Camuso and others is the fact that one bus line is now going to be renamed and will take on 3 or 4 different names, to signify the direction the bus is traveling as well as the area in which it is traveling at any given time. For instance, the X1 express bus, a common line for Frank Camuso ’s relatives, is now going to be broken u into the SIM1, SIM7, SIM10, and SIM22. While the X prefix was used for express bus, the SIM prefix now means Staten Island to Manhattan.
There were formerly 27 different express busses leaving Staten Island, that figure is now over 35. For locals, like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, it truly doesn’t make much sense. Staten Island is already difficult enough to travel in and out of, now it seems the MTA has made it much more confusing. There are only 21 total routes, 11 traveling to Midtown, 8 traveling to Downtown, and 2 traveling to Greenwich Village. So for their to now be 35+ busses on these routes real doesn’t make much sense.Read More »
Staten Island is and pretty much always has been a mostly Italian borough. The Italian citizens of Staten Island, like Frank Camuso, have deep roots within the borough. With some families going back generations on the island. With such a celebrated Italian heritage, it’s no wonder that Staten Island has become an epicenter for the celebration of relatively unknown, mostly catholic, holidays, like St. Joe’s Day. St. Joseph’s day is steeped in tradition for Italians like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, with offerings of good food, family camaraderie, and overall good times.
St Jospeh’s Day is celebrated Monday, March 19th, and is honoring Jospeh, or Giuseppe, who, in the bible was the father of Jesus Christ and husband to the Virgin Mary. Joseph was revered in the city of Sicily during the time of a great drought in the middle ages. As the story goes, Sicilian peasants, prayed to God through St. Joseph, asking for rain to help crops and saving the people. When the drought ended they celebrated God and St. Joseph with a feast, thus the annual feast. As you’d guess, for Italians like Frank Camuso, authentic Sicilian food has a huge part to play. Some legends even say that if you are ever looking to sell your house, then burying s St. Joseph statue in the yard will help make the sale go through much quicker.
One of the biggest attractions for the feast begin with the “Feast of San Guiseppe Cooking Shows” this year, scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, Wednesday, March 14 and Tuesday March 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. ato Trattoria — 1476 Hylan Blvd (reservations required). We asked Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso, their favorite food items for the feast, and most answered immediately with zeppoles, one of the most famous Italian pastries, made with custard filled fried dough. Frank Camuso also mentioned that its imperative that you make sure to save room for desert, with the parade of food that will undoubtedly be served throughout the day, desert is one of the highlights. Besides the pastries St. Joe’s Day is also known for its amazing breads, Fava Beans (symbolizing prosperity), Pasta Con Sarde, and a host of other southern Italian dishes.Read More »
For the past few years citizens of Staten Island have had constant issues with roadway conditions. Local Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso, say it seems like every year the roads are covered with more and more potholes and when one gets fixed, the construction crew causes another three. One the major issues is that these road issues are all over the highest traffic roadways and cause a huge issue to drivers and pedestrians alike, especially when the weather conditions are bad.
The evidence isn’t just anecdotal either, in recent years statistics have shown that calls made to 311 in regard to hazardous roadway conditions have drastically increased on Staten Island, and even more worrisome, is that roadway accidents have increased by a huge number as well. For a family man like Frank Camuso, who fears for his family’s safety this information is more than troubling. Something really needs to be done.
Much of the roadway issues come from salting and the salt trucks that dispense this salt. Garbage trucks and other municipal trucks often go out on snowy days laying salt over the ground in order to make the roads less slick and protect from icing. This is a welcome service and much appreciated, but the irony is that, the same salt and salt trucks that are meant to protect our roads are causing just as much damage to them. Like most Staten Islanders, Frank Camuso drives most places he goes. Whether its for a quick trip to the grocery store, or a night out with his wife, Frank Camuso isn’t a user of public transportation. One of the major issues with the highway and roadway system in Staten Island is that it wasn’t built to truly hold as many people as it does. And many of the roads aren’t well lit, or well “lined”. This causes the roadway dangers to be exponentially worse in the bad weather. Small backroads are much quicker to freeze, flood and be susceptible to major damages. For the sake of Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso and his family, something needs to be done to increase the safety.Read More »