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On 10/23/99 5:41:36 AM, Artful Codger wrote:
>I'm one of those evacuees from
>Staten Island who more than
>half suspects that it would be
>great to live there NOW.

I just returned (about an hour ago) from the an unexpected 3 day visit home due to the death of a relative. I say home, because in my heart no matter where I live, Staten Island will always be home. Even though the trip was for a sad reason, it was the first time in a long time that I really enjoyed it.

The last few times we visited, we were on our way home from somewhere down south and came via the Outerbridge. Driving through the ever-changing south shore usually depresses me immediately and casts a pall over the entire trip.

This time I came from the north and and took my usual root through Bayonne rather than tackling the Goethals during rush hour. I got off the expressway at Forest Ave, and instead to taking the back streets to West Brighton I stayed on Forest. It was an interesting trip down memory lane.

The area from the Plaza to Jewett Ave is totally different from my childhood memories, it's even changed drastically since I left the Island 14 years ago. I think the only business that's the same is Pathmark. But as you travel past Blessed Sacrament and down towards Clove road and as far down as Bard, it's amazing how familiar and homelike it still is. Sure there are some changes, the McDonalds on the corner of Broadway and the new monstrosity that replaced the Kings Arms. Some businesses have changed and some like the Staaten have modernized. But Minckle's locksmith is still there, Lucci's tv, Gregorio's florest, Harmon Funeral Home & my favorite, Pal Joey's. I realize that those like Jim who left so many years ago wouldn't recognized much, but it was so comforting for me to see that although many things have changed on the Island, West Brighton still feels the same.

The food. I ended up bringing a car load of food home. Italian bread, Levy's real jewish rye bread, meat from the butcher, pizza from Pal Joeys, cold cuts and all kinds of good stuff from Alfonso's bakery. Comfort food -- it just taste's so much better when it comes from Staten Island!

It was great to enjoy the Island again. And yeah Jim, I came home saying maybe it would be nice to move back. I don't realize until I'm there how much I miss it. I doubt we'll move back, but I may try to get back a little more often.


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