Sometimes the forgotten borough, Staten Island is located closer to New Jersey than it is the four other New York City boroughs. It is the most ethnically homogenous area of New York, with nearly 50 percent of its residents being of Italian descent, more than any other U.S. city. But Staten Island is more than just a ferry ride that takes you to and from Manhattan; it too has history and is worth a visit if time permits.
The area is most famously known for the Fresh Kills Landfill, at one point the biggest man made structure on earth, whose peaks were higher than the Statute of Liberty. The landfill closed in 2001 and reopened temporarily for disposal of the World Trade Center debris. The 2,200-acre site is now poised to be transformed into reclaimed wetlands, recreational facilities and landscaped parks.
But Staten Island isn’t only known for a landfill. Visitors can traverse through colonial buildings at the Conference House or Historic Richmond Town. Observe the Staten Island long forgotten through pictures at the Alice Austen House Museum or observe ancient artifacts at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.