I think a little known fact about Staten Island is that it has beaches. Maybe it’s not that it’s not known but that people don’t want to bother with having to get there. Either way when you hear New Yorkers talk about going to the beach, they usually mean the Rockaways or Coney Island or somewhere further out on Long Island, they never mean Staten Island.
But, there is a pretty good looking beach. The boardwalk could use some serious TLC, considering if physically moved under my feet and yellow cautioned tape lines it to let you know where not to walk, but the beach itself was nice. It felt like a typical Atlantic Ocean Beach, with beach grasses and dunes and piers. (Of course if you took the second or two to look West instead of at the ocean, all you’d see were a major roadway and parking lots, but let’s talk about the nice part). And, then there’s the spectacular views of the Verranzo Bridge leading into Brooklyn.
Part of what made it so pleasant was the lack of crowds. If you’ll recall I was a bit overwhelmed by all the people at Coney Island on a rainy day, so it was nice to see the beach on a nice day be used, but not overcrowded. Children scavenged for seashells on the beaches. Men sat with their fishing poles on the pier. And, couples lounged in chairs.
I’m really not a big beach person—all the sand!—but if I were I’d probably consider busing over to Staten Island.
Staten Island get a bad rap as it being a place where there is nothing to do. It is weird. But, that weirdness is part of what makes it special, and apparently there’s at least something there to do—like go the beach.