Thursday, December 4, 2014

Splainin Staten Island to a Stranger – Eric Garner’s Turf

Eric Garner Death Site - Bay Street
Google Street Map

It is hard sometimes to explain Staten Island to strangers. The area where Eric Garner was brought down to keep the streets clean of poor people selling loosie cigarettes or joints is a seedy area about three blocks from the Staten Island Ferry and Borough Hall.

Downtown Staten Island if you can call it that is a bunch of public buildings, small businesses, a Technical High School, an academic High School, courts, all up against the side of a hill, small mountain, steep as any street in San Francisco.

It is an area of high foot traffic during the day from those various high schools and courts. The Ferry building itself is a major transportation hub, the primary one, and second to that is first stop away from that transportation hub to areas south and west along Bay Street, the main coastal road to the Verrazano Bridge and Victory Blvd (the old Philadelphia Pike) - where Eric Garner was hanging out in his local free lance business activities.

Eric Garner was hanging around a seedy urban strip mall with hair dressing shops, fast food, Gypsy Cab Co., etc. and the center of activity across the Tompkinsville Park.  

This used to be the center of an old forgotten Victorian era town when Staten Island was still mostly farmland and small burb towns until 1964 and the opening of the Verrazano Bridge.  Even though looking seedy and having the feeling of a slum, the average house in this neighborhood, probably an old wood frame shingled house is $400-500K among the many apartment buildings. Location. Location. Location.

Across the park is the local Welfare and Food Stamp Office for the Borough in an old car dealership building on Bay Street.

Victory Blvd. Off Bay Street - Tomkinsville Park - Bus Stop
Google Street Map

A whole lot of activity during the day all about. And a lot of police in police cars patrolling from the nearby 20th Precinct Building on Richmond Terrace – same street – Bay street with Borough Hall (local City Hall - Marriage Licenses, building permits etc.) at the Ferry Terminal the dividing line on that main coastal road on the North Shore of Staten Island.  

An area you might walk through if you want to, safe enough, but after 5 PM you don’t want to walk around the area.

A lot of police and firemen live in Staten Island. No indictment was possible on this Police home turf in their burbs and $700K+ houses beyond this coastal slum town by the Ferry.

Pan Around per Google from Eric Garner’s run in with the former mayor’s policy to sweep all poor people off the streets from 9 to 5 in this local hub of public buildings and government functions.

Google Street - 360 degree View:

Google Maps


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