Thursday, July 23, 2009

Honestly, theyr'e not ALL corrupt

Every time I get insane because of the incompetence of the legislature in Albany or the arrogant dictator running the city I deeply love, a dispatch arrives from the west bank of the Hudson and makes me feel so much better. Pound for pound New Jersey has to be the most corrupt state in the Union. I don't think even Louisiana measures up next to the Garden State.

So if you're and New Yorker read the link and feel better. If you're a New Jerseyite just hang your head in despair that you and your neighbors keep electing the same colorful criminals to office and your taxes just keep going up and up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Northern Mockingbird

These avian nightmares have infested the trees about my home and start calling to each other at 2:30 am. As recently as this morning I have been dive bombed by these little monsters for presumably coming too close to a nest. I want them gone. Give me some nice crows that sleep at night any day. I'll even take pigeons.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Lost Houses of Richmond Terrace in New Brighton

Above: 654 Richmond Terrace - 1932

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654 Richmond Terrace - still vacant

Above and Below: 632 Richmond Terrace at the s/w corner of Franklin Avenue - 1932

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632 Richmond Terrace today - still vacant

The Ward House, known also as "the Cement House" - c.1900, it was demolished between then and 1917.

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Where the Cement House once stood - paved over

526 Richmond Terrace - the Vredenburg House (though spelled without the terminal H they were probably related to me and mine) - 1932

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Staten Island....or Lovecraft Country?

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Staten Island or Arkham? You decide. Is this a run down string of buildings on Sentinel Street or just York Avenue in New Brighton?

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Some unnamed street on French Hill in Lovecraft Country, USA or Thompson Street, Stapleton?

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Is that Captain Marsh's second wife hidden on the top floor or is this just a house in West New Brighton?

Can you tell I've been rereading a lot (a lot) of Lovecraft and associated stuff lately? I've even dug out Ramsey Campbell's "Cold Print". Obsessed as I am with aged and lost Staten Island, it's Lovecraft's similar obsession that's grabbing me most strongly this time around reading the stories. So this is my little tribute to a man born on the same date as me 76 years earlier.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Van Duzer Street - from North to South

Running from Tompkinsville to Stapleton and then to Concord and parallel to St. Paul's Avenue, Van Duzer Street is lined with some of the most interesting older houses and buildings surviving on the Island. The street's name is obviously Dutch in origin (street name seem to be the only lasting impression of my forbears founding of this city) but beyond that I don't know specifically for whom it's named. I've only posted pictures from the beginning of Van Duzer at Victory Blvd in Tompkinsville to Targee Street in Stapleton. It's the stretch I'm most familiar with and definitely the most interesting.

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Facing North(ish) on Van Duzer and looking at Victory Blvd.

The original El-Bethel AME Church and as it looks today

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247 Van Duzer Street at between Clinton and Baltic. According to the late Dick Dickenson's edition of "Holden's Staten Island" this little house dates from before 1786. Wow.

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House on the corner of William and Van Duzer with restaurant addition - appears on 1874 map - Many of us know it with varying degrees of distaste as Giggles, the 19th Hole or perhaps Beer Goggles.

292 Van Duzer Street - the Democratic Club c. 1935 - in 1874 it was owned by W.C. Anderson. Today it remains but in a considerably worn down state

Looking west along Van Duzer at Sands Street - in the background is the steeple of Trinity Lutheran Church

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This beautiful house on the corner of Van Duzer and Smith Terrace. In 1874 it was owned by K. Jessup. Today it is much more secluded and sits hidden behind trees.

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523 to 525 Van Duzer Street - in 1932 the wood frame building was occupied by the Eagle Social Club.

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561 Van Duzer Street - This old brick home was owned by J. Oneill in 1874 and Chas. Rosenberg from 1907 to 1917. The old picture dates from 1932

So ends our incredibly edited and short trip along Van Duzer Street. There are some great pictures I left out. Maybe later.