SEA CREATURES INVADE STATEN ISLAND BEACH
Well don’t pop the popcorn just yet. Actually, the preamble was just a description—slightly salted by the spooky holiday spirit, perhaps—of the newest addition to Staten Island’s gorgeous Midland Beach. Last week, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Borough Commissioner Thomas Paulo in welcoming Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, Midland Beach Civic Association members, Community Board 2 Chair Lou Cavarone, and local residents to dedicate the beach’s brand new entrance plaza.
The 4,800 square-foot plaza was funded with $990,000 from former Borough President Guy V. Molinari. Parks’ design team—Jason Yu, Renata Sokolowski, and Mike Browne—created several elements with whimsical sea-themes, including benches with lobster armrests, decorative paintings, and a wave-patterned shade structure with signs depicting sea horses, sea stars and other sea beast. Parks has also planted self-sustaining and drought tolerant Wind rose and Blue-stem grass which provide habitat for coastal birds. The designers also made certain to incorporate beautifully the beach’s existing Black pine trees into their plans.
The centerpiece of the plaza is a giant bronze loggerhead sea turtle supported by a bronze arch column with a carvings representing the indigenous sea life in Staten Island’s waters, including striped bass, fluke, flounder, lobsters, crabs, sea stars, and mud snails. The sculpture is surrounded by low-flow spray nozzles for cooling down during the summertime. Work began on the project in July 2001 and was completed September 2002.
Speaking at the event, officials and community members cheered the beach’s incredible turnaround. Borough President Molinaro offered one such anecdote about Midland’s rebirth. Years ago, the office of the Borough President received a letter from an irate resident who lived next to Midland Beach. The woman complained about the then-unsightly beach area and its unsavory visitors. Years later, the Borough President’s office received a letter from the same woman. This time, the constituent complained that the capital improvements to Midland Beach had attracted too many Staten Island families and was creating parking congestion in her neighborhood.
Demonstrating the playful potential of the plaza area, kids from P.S. 38 climbed the turtle statue like cleaning shrimp over coral. As a grand finale, the crowd circled the statue as Parks turned on the low-pressure spray shower so everyone in attendance could enjoy a short ceremonial spray.
Written by Eric Adolfsen
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, November 7, 1989)
BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: PARK TOP IN PAYMENTS
Of the agencies which process more than 300 invoices each month, Parks has recently ranked top in making prompt payments to vendors, according to reports from the Department of General Services (DGS).
DGS monitors 41 city agencies to ensure that they comply with a mayoral mandate that agencies pay bills within 30 days. Vendors will discount their services if payments are made within a month.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins."
Edgar Allen Poe