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Hey Guys,
I moved to the North Shore from the South fifteen years ago precisely because I thought it would never be built up because of all of the houses that were there. Was I wrong! I live on a block with beautiful old houses and one just sold. Rumor has it that in place of this one house on a nice size lot they are going to put up 14 units. I am so distressed. I was traumatized by the development of my native Huguenot when I was a kid -- the incessant buzz of chain saws, the smell of turned earth, the endless rows of concrete foundations where sweetgum trees and ponds once stood -- it happened so fast - from the time I was born until I was thirteen. I leaf through Leng & Davis' history of Staten Island, study the photographs of long bulldozed houses and landscape and mourn. Truly. However, I love my island home. I still can hike the Greenbelt, ride the ferry, sit in Borough Hall Park and hear STaten Island speak to me, or pass me by. Yes, I would love to find a Staten Island like place to live, but for now I have to make the best of what I can. In the span of two hours today I watched a mother and her baby feeding ducks in the sunshine at Allison Pond, sat on a bench at Borough Hall and watched, amazed as a woman sat next to me, whistled and a flock of pigeons descended on the ground before us. She knew them. They knew her, she had named each one (Specklehead, Big Red, Pyramid Back). Her greeting to them was, "Okay guys, you gotta wait 'til 4:45 when that bunch of lousy lawyers leave, then I'll feed you." I swear to God, they up and flew away. The locust tree is turning yellow, the color of the sun washed out in late morning, The maple flames orange; the moon is full, and the Manzo Carting truck just rumbled past and I know I'm home.

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