Staten Island was rural. I lived on Hawthorne Avenue, I believe it was Westerleigh, for some time back in the late 20's and on the next block there was a truck farm called Casio's (probably spelt incorrectly) that was advertised as the biggest truck farm in N.Y. I remember all the ripe tomatoes we picked off the vine and wiped them on our sleeve before we ate them.
As for an Island accent, I believe we all had them, my speech instructor in college tried to change it but living in Texas for 50 plus years and in Mississippi for seven accomplished the trick.
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