Well, Thanksgiving is officially over, and that means Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! The big tree in the Staten Island Mall was lit this past week, and now it's time for Borough Hall's tree lighting festivities, one day earlier than the lighting at Rockefeller Center and much closer to home.

[Graphic source: statenislandusa.com]

The Borough Hall Christmas Tree Lighting will take place this upcoming Tuesday, December 2nd at 6:30pm in the plaza outside of the building in St. George. Bring the family, everyone is invited! There will be Christmas caroling, a visit from the North Pole, and books for children who attend.

The weather forecast for Tuesday evening looks to be clear but cold, with temperatures in the 30s. Thankfully, you'll be able to…

1530 Views, 0 Comments

A large retail development is in the works to revamp Hylan Plaza, aiming to turn New Dorp into Staten Island's new "downtown hub."

[Graphic source: kimcorealty.com]

Kimco Realty, owner of the Hylan Plaza shopping center, has posted plans for a new, multi-level complex called "The Boulevard." Development will allow for the addition of nine new buildings to the site on Hylan Blvd at Ebbits Street, while only keeping two existing buildings. Since the work is still in the conceptualization phase, a spokesperson for the company was unable to determine when construction would begin. It is not known which of the existing stores in the space will remain there.

Currently, Hylan Plaza is home to about 32 stores. "The Boulevard" will have ground-level…

2114 Views, 0 Comments

A longstanding icon of Staten Island and a resident-favorite bakery, Holtermann's is the borough's oldest family owned and operated business.

[Photo source: silive.com]

Claus Holtermann, a German immigrant and the bakery's founder, began in 1878 by going door-to-door with a basket, selling baked goods from his shop. As business grew, Claus' son, Albert, eventually built a brick storefront by hand in the 1930s. This building still stands and serves as the operation's current headquarters on Arthur Kill Rd in Great Kills.

[Photo source: silive.com]

Albert passed along the reins to his two sons, Albert and Clifford. Albert (Junior) passed away in 2002, but Clifford, 88, and his wife, Ethel, still lend their hands to the business from time to…

1800 Views, 0 Comments

Did you go ice skating last weekend?  One of my readers reminisced how “life was much simpler in those days” as she ice skated on Brady’s Pond and Cameron Pond in Grasmere.  Another reader remembered skating on Allison Pond, “taking dates to the War Memorial Skating Rink at Clove Lakes” and also weekend skating with his children.  I remember having cold toes and warming up in front of bonfires at Martlings Pond with my older sister.  She had tried out for the Silver Skates competition and dazzled everyone with her figure eights all over the pond.  Do you have any memories you would like to share?

  As I think of everything I am thankful for each day, I urge my readers to remember those in our lives who are in need of companionship, maybe a telephone…

2093 Views, 2 Comments

The latest in a series of health initiatives planned by Staten Island Borough President James Oddo calls for students to quit sugary drinks for one month. The "Sodabriety" Challenge has been issued to four area high schools: Staten Island Tech (New Dorp), St. John Villa Academy (Fort Wadsworth), Staten Island Academy (Todt Hill), and Susan Wagner High School (Manor Heights).

Within each school, a Challenge Advisory Council was formed, comprised of ten students and two teachers, designed to promote the campaign and encourage other students to sign up. Participants were asked to fill out surveys before beginning the challenge and once more after they have completed it in 30 days. The incentives offered here are better health and awareness of the negative…

1526 Views, 0 Comments

Fifty years ago, on November 21, 1964, ceremonies were held in Brooklyn for the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Master builder Robert Moses realized his vision of connecting Staten Island to the rest of the boroughs by overseeing the construction of what was then the longest suspension bridge in the world.

[Photo source: silive.com]

Today, in light of the anniversary, a celebration will be held at The Overlook at Fort Wadsworth. Festivities include a 50-gun salute by the New York State Veteran Corps of Artillery, and FDNY Fireboat display in the harbor, and a performance by the acclaimed P.S. 22 Chorus. MTA President James Ferrara, Chairman Thomas F. Pendergast, and other officials will be on hand. Later this evening, a cocktail reception…

1240 Views, 0 Comments

The Staten Island Greenbelt's original 5K run, "Fall Flat," returns this Saturday, November 22. Here's to hoping that runners don't take the race's title too literally!

The fun run will take place in Willowbrook Park and is suitable for beginners and walkers as well as seasoned runners. The race will be professionally timed, and an awards ceremony will follow. In addition, race apparel will be provided for registered participants. Refreshments will be served during the run. 

[Photo source: sigreenbelt.org]

The race begins at 10:00am at the park entrance on Eton Place, near the carousel. Runners will follow the 'White Trail' and will circle around Willowbrook Lake. The 'White Trail' is mostly flat, hence the race's name, and has recently received…

1372 Views, 0 Comments

What did you do last weekend?  Meet the Greyhounds, adopt a precious kitten or watch TV wrapped up in a warm sweatshirt or sweater sipping hot cocoa?  This weekend will warm up a bit so get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. 

On Saturday, 11/22, Tai Chi classes are outdoors in the Meditation Garden at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, 338 Lighthouse Ave. Call instructor, Bob Murphy at 646-765-4694 for information.   

Help your children to move away from TV and computers with FREE Zumba classes every Saturday for ages 5-12 at 11:00 a.m. and 13 and older at 12:00 p.m. at the Berry Houses Friendship Club, 211 Jefferson St.  Call 718-979-0010 for info. 

Meet the Parkside Outdoor Boot Camp at Silver Lake at the corner of Forest Avenue…

1673 Views, 0 Comments

Community safety concerns? Real-time news updates affecting your area? There's an app for that! Borough President James Oddo presented a new, free smartphone app today which he hopes will encourage Islanders to become more engaged with their surroundings.

The new app for smartphones and tablets is called "BP Assist." It will allow residents to report quality-of-life issues, such as potholes, broken street lights and signs, area flooding, andother concerns. The app will also provide news and updates for our area, from street closures, to upcoming events, important borough contact information, the ferry schedule, and more. 

BP Assist is available, free of charge, for Apple and Andriod devices. All submitted issues are sent directly to Borough Hall…

1249 Views, 0 Comments

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and you've been putting all of your energy into creating the perfect menu and buying your ingredients early. But what about the house? How are you going to add that extra bit of charm to your table, your living room, your home?

We here at Gillani Homes have found some interesting and unique design ideas to give your home just what it may be missing this year. All of these inspirational images can be found on our Pinterest page. Here are some of very easy do-it-yourself festive ideas sure to bring your family together this holiday:

Homemade Cinnamon Candle
Wrap a candle in cinnamon sticks. No need for glue,
just tie them up with some twine or string. Whether
or not the candle is scented, it won't matter, since
the aroma…

1249 Views, 0 Comments