On Staten Island, one of NYC’s oldest African American enclaves is preserved


via Curbed.com – New York City has always been a collection of diverse communities—and while many have since been paved over or transformed into new neighborhoods, in some places, visible remnants of the past remain. One such place is Staten Island’s Sandy Ground, which—along with Seneca Village, established in 1825 and located in Manhattan, and Weeksville, established in 1838 and located in present-day Crown Heights—was one of three prominent communities that free blacks called home in New York in the pre-Civil War era.

Located on the Staten Island’s south shore, Sandy Ground first appeared on records dating back to 1799, its name referring to the rich soil found throughout the area. Land ownership records show that the first African American residents purchased land in the area as early as 1828. The first documented owner, John Jackson, purchased 2.5 acres; he would later go ont to operate the Lewis Columbia, a ferry that provided service between Rossville and Manhattan—the only direct mode of transportation at that time.

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2017-02-06_11-50-34The winter months are the perfect time to dig in and tackle easy DIY projects for an updated home you’ll enjoy all year long. These five simple home improvement projects are incredibly easy, affordable and can be completed in three hours or less.

Marvelous mirrors

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, you’re looking a little shabby. Mirrors are timeless decor options, but the frames can look dated over time. Breathe new life into an old mirror by painting the frame a rich, modern color that pops within the current color scheme. Another idea is to clean the frame and adhere mosaic tiles along the edge for a crafty, custom look.

Handsome hardware

Old hardware makes any room look like a relic of yesteryear. A complete replacement can be costly, so instead opt to paint existing hardware. Simply remove and clean to eliminate grime. Then use one of 11 colors of Krylon(R) Premium Metallic, like Pewter Gray or White Copper, to create a lustrous, high-gloss metallic finish in just a few coats. A tip for painting hardware is to use an old egg carton. Turn the egg carton upside down, secure the hardware to the egg cups and spray away!

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Garden Get-Together

Saturday, February 25, 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
1000 Richmond Terrace, Building P Lobby
Whether you’re looking to join or start a community garden or are a member of an existing garden looking for support, this event is for you. The NYC Compost Project hosted by Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and GreenThumb have partnered to provide a forum for organizations who support gardens to introduce themselves and provide information.



3e32d0a467880c2f_ps16_d1_extras_4916Moving in with a significant other can be simultaneously thrilling and daunting. Once the joy of getting to spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with your loved one wears off, you feel the reality that you’re going to have to find a harmonious way to combine your belongings and design styles. “Even if your tastes and choices are dramatically different, don’t panic, I’ve got you covered,” HGTV design pro and maker J. Pickens told POPSUGAR. “Trust me — even the greats don’t see eye to eye on all, but compromise and communication are key. Follow my tips for the task of moving in together and you’ll be in it for the long haul.”

Check out J.’s must-read tips to managing moving in together below, then get to packing!


“Use this as an opportunity to ‘mature your surroundings.’ It’s a great time to box up the remnants of your single life, man-cave leftovers, and girlie accessories.”


“Move into a new space or start fresh in a current space — it is important to start with a clean slate. You are building this new phase of your relationship together and it is a great opportunity to create and collect as a couple.”


“Get inspired — pop that Champagne and pull up your favorite inspiration images.” We recommend creating a private Pinterest board together where you can each share products and images you love.

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NYC’s bridges will soon be outfitted with festive, choreographed lights

imageTimeOur reports that the city’s bridges are about to get some extra razzle dazzle.

Seven bridges operated by the MTA will soon be covered in blinking, color-changing lights that may just give the skyline a run for its money. The LED lights are set to be installed later this month. Governor Cuomo discussed the sparkly new addition to the cityscape at a press conference earlier this week.

“We’re illuminating all the bridges in New York City with different-colored lights, and the bridges can then be coordinated and choreographed to music,” said Cuomo. “So literally, you’ll have bridges all across the New York City area that are choreographed. Nothing like this have been done on the planet… Imagine New York Harbor, with all those bridges, and all of it choreographed.”

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Total Money Makeover

moneymakeover_flyerPrecise Leaders will be holding a free Total Money Makeover Series at the St. George Library from January-June. The series is for both adults and youth. Attendees will learn about credit, home buying, budgeting, investments/savings, insurance, and ways to increase their income. The goal is to change financial mindsets while breaking generational curses.

Free food and refreshments, door prizes, and a complimentary copy of the Richest Man in Babylon book will be provided.

Please RSVP at www.preciseleaders.com

Hottest 2017 Home Trends

2017-01-11_14-17-40Pinterest has become our go-to site for all things decorating. Whether we’re looking for some inspiration to redesign our kitchens or in need of the hottest place cards to put at the Thanksgiving table, Pinterest has us covered. As the creative platform inspired all aspects of our lives in 2016, we can’t wait to see what we find in the next year. The site just released its list of the top 10 home trends predicted to take over your boards in 2017 and we’re ready to start pinning! Keep reading to see the hottest home trends of 2017.

Indoor Plants
Plants have been taking over our backyards for as long as we can remember, but this year, searches for indoor plants have climbed over 260 percent.

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2016-12-28_11-08-52via Staten Island Living NYC – Borough President James Oddo is pleased to announce the four dates that he will host free mammography screenings next year on Staten Island. The screenings will take place on January 17th, April 25th, July 26th and October 3rd. The mobile mammography van will be at the Forest Avenue Shopping Plaza in Port Richmond (in front of LA Fitness) from 9:30am to 4:30pm. On the January and July dates, there will also be a van at Bricktown Commons (Michael’s Parking Lot) in Charleston from 9am to 12pm and at Hylan Plaza Parking Lot in New Dorp (near CVS) from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. On the April and October dates, the van will be in New Dorp from 9am to 12pm and in Charleston from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

The screenings will be available to eligible women ages 40 and older who have not had a mammogram in the past year. All insurance plans will be accepted, and co-pays and deductibles will be waived. The mammograms will be free to uninsured women. An appointment must be made to get screened. To make an appointment at the Forest Avenue location, call (718) 816-2133 or (877) 628-9090. To make an appointment at the Bricktown Commons or Hylan Plaza locations, call (800) 564-6868. The screenings will be funded by Project Renewal and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.

Staten Island’s Grandma Chefs

Scaravella got his first recruits by placing an ad in an Italian newspaper seeking “Italian housewives to cook regional dishes,” but over time, his roster has grown by references and word of mouth. “I talked to everybody when somebody gets in, we talk about the concept, I always ask them if you know somebody who wants to cook,” he said. “The concept has just mushroomed.” Though some nonnas are Staten Islanders, most come from Brooklyn, with some traveling from as far as New Jersey and The Bronx to cook at the restaurant.

While the nonnas are the big draw, the restaurant also employs one male “nonno,” Giuseppe Freya from Calabria, who makes all the pasta. “He makes the raviolis, he makes the ricotta gnocchi, he makes tagliatelle, he makes the pasta sheets for our lasagna,” Scaravella explained. “He’s fantastic.”

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