Port Richmond, Staten Island, My Hometown

This is a video I made of photos and footage that I took around Port Richmond, Staten Island, NY, where I live.

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13 thoughts on “Port Richmond, Staten Island, My Hometown

  1. Gayle, Ain’t it the truth! Youth is too busy reinventing the wheel. I think that knowing that I’m going to be history gives me a greater appreciation of it.
    We engaged a woman in Ireland to research my maternal grandmother’s family. Her enthusiasm for her work was obvious. She and Rindy hit it right off. We had run into a wall on our own. We couldn’t reconcile my Grandmothers age with the ages listed on a ships manifest. Mary laughed and said ” They told those people what they wanted to hear”. My Grandmother lied about her age. Further investigation bore this out.
    Mary also told us how she had always had a love for family history. She recalled her brother saying “Mary, why are you interested in these people, they’re all dead!”
    I’m reminded of Bibo Baggins saying that stepping onto that road outside your door, you never know where it might take you.
    The Journey is the reward.

    Peter

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  2. Gayle, It’s sad to think how much has been lost, when we (collectively) don’t pass on to our children the accumulated knowledge of our families. Today’s culture needs to be new, better, faster. It was no different for me growing up. The new, better, faster crowded out the old. I never heard about my grandparents. Would I have listened? There was so much going on, and it really seemed to be all about me, not someone in an small black and white photograph
    I think that the adults in my life, having made it through the Depression and the Second World War, didn’t want their children to suffer those experiences. Things were going to be better. Things were always “great”. I think they did the best that they could. I can’t love them less for what I think they didn’t do.
    The internet is a remarkable tool. We continue to find so much about our families. Rindy gets energized when she gets on to a thread of information.
    We have a daughter. She will be 30 years old in November. We want her to benefit from her ancestry.

    Peter

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    1. Peter, learning about my ancestry has made me feel like I’m part of something larger than myself. On one side of my family, I’ve been able to trace back 2000 years (on Ancestry.com) which has given me a renewed interest in history. I have an 86-year old cousin who has lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but none of them are interested in their ancestors. We’ve noticed that interest seems to be something that comes late in life. However, we’re saving up lots of photos and information for them for when they do become interested.

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  3. Gayle I was stationed in Idar-Oberstien in the west near Luxembourg. On a small kaserne, no combat arms, good relations with the locals. For a young married couple there was no better place to be. We were away from family, friends and everything we knew and took for granted. It fortified a relationship that would be tested following Vietnam.
    Your Family Album shows strong women (“The Rockies may tumble, Gibraltar may crumble, they’re only made of clay”) on the frontier.
    I was awarded a Bronze Star Medal (Meritorious Achievement) in Vietnam. Seeing the certificate of your Fathers award (mine looks just like it) and his photograph reminds me of family and friends fathers when I was growing up. Faces that were young, handsome and confident. I can only hope that future generations will not have the compelling motivation that created those Heros. Perhaps I fear that future (or present) generations won’t have what it takes.
    Perhaps I should have more faith in the future.

    Peter

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    1. Peter, I never knew my father got the Bronze Star until a few years ago. An historian who lives in Tennessee found his certificate at an estate sale and got in touch with me and sent me the copy. I still have my father’s Purple Heart. It’s wonderful you have a great relationship with your wife. Something very rare. Do you have children? The Internet has been such a Godsend to me. I’ve discovered my entire family history (something my family never talked about) and met interesting people.

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  4. Gayle, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, your photographs prove that. Maine is a beautiful place. Four distinct seasons, a breathtaking coastline, countless lakes and mountains, yes beauty is in abundance here.
    I served a year in Vietnam. I served Two years in Germany prior to that. I was fortunate to have my wife, Rindy, with me in Germany. We had a wonderful time there.
    We returned to Staten Island for the Bicentennial, July 4th, 1976. We attended a party in one of the tall apartment buildings on the hill in St. George. It was a remarkable experience. The ships, the weather, the sense that everyone was on the same page that day. It was a good day to be a New Yorker.
    I’m 63 years old, isn’t it good to be alive.

    Peter

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    1. Peter, yes it’s great to be alive. I lived in St. George, SI at the time of the Bicentennial and remember all the beautiful ships. My father, who was a professional Army Officer, was stationed in Germany after WW II. My mother and I went to Germany to live with him in 1946-47. We lived in Budingen, where there are still lots of American service people, I believe. My father was discharged from the Army in 1951 after having his leg blown off in Korea.

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  5. Gayle, We live in western Maine. We left New York in December of 1975. I was honorably discharged from the Army in 1971. I had been out of the country for three years and was unable to successfully reintegrate to life on the Island. I’ve never regretted leaving, yet I’ve never lost the love for such a great City. Thank you for sharing some of what’s happening.

    Peter

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    1. Peter, nice to year from you. I’ve never been to Maine, but it must be beautiful there. Were you in Viet Nam? I lived in St. George, Staten Island in 1975-76 and was attending Richmond College here. In ’77 I returned to California but came back here in ’84 and have been here ever since. It took me lots of years living here in Staten Island before feeling at home and that I just wasn’t visiting, but I love going into the City and exploring with my camera. I’m 69 years old.

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  6. A sincere apology for poor editing. Tart Avenue should be Taft Avenue. The Bayonne Bridge, probably the most graceful Erector Set project ever completed. We could see the top of the span from a small porch at the rear of our 3rd floor apartment.

    Thanks again,
    Peter

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    1. Peter, I’ve only lived in Port Richmond for two years and I wouldn’t know “Tart” Avenue from “Taft” Avenue, so I didn’t notice the mistake. It seems like a Freudian slip. Funny! Do you live in Texas? When I opened my email from you there was an ad that came with it advertising homes in Wichita Falls, TX?

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  7. Such a rich garden of thoughts and ideas.
    My wife and I rented an apartment on Tart Avenue in the early 1970’s. Your video of Port Richmond was a treat. I visited your site a few weeks ago from a link re James Joyce. He wanders around Dublin, you around New York. I appreciate you both.

    Thank You,
    Peter

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