Staten Island Sampler
July 2012 Culture Spot
by Annie Bergen, 06/29/2012
With warmer weather comes the opportunity to escape frenetic city life and spend more time exploring the great outdoors. Catch the breeze on the Staten Island Ferry and head to one of New York's most bucolic boroughs, Staten Island.
To aid you on your tour, take advantage of two-for-one admission all month long at NYC & Company's July Culture Spots: the Staten Island Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (for the Gallery & Garden Combo Ticket) and Historic Richmond Town—three destinations that offer unique perspectives on New York history.
Begin your visit at the Staten Island Museum, just a short walk from the ferry landing, and learn more about the ferry—the island's "floating icon"—in an exhibition detailing its 100-year history. The museum's claim to fame, though, is its comprehensive and eclectic natural history collection, including a four-legged chicken, dinosaur footprints, a Fluorescent Mineral Room and the largest showcase of cicadas in North America. All this month, the spotlight is on the visual arts with a juried art exhibition of works by tristate artists. Mention "Culture Spot" to earn 10% off your purchases in the museum gift shop.
New York's naval history is ensconced a short distance away at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. Formerly a home for retired seamen (aka "snuggies"), it's now an 83-acre campus of delightful gardens, 17 in all, plus a maritime museum, concert hall and children's museum. A former snuggies residence, the Visitor Center Galleries, Building C, now houses Island Sounds: A 500 Year Music Mash-Up, an exhibition full of memorabilia from musicians born and bred in Staten Island; the items on display include Ingrid Michaelson's signature eyeglasses and Bobby Darin's bow tie. Finally, don't forget to visit the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, the only one of its kind in the United States. Although admission to the Snug Harbor grounds is free, a two-for-one offer is valid for the Gallery & Garden Combo Ticket, which provides all-day access to the Island Sounds exhibition and the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden.
About a 30-minute bus ride from the St. George Ferry Terminal is Historic Richmond Town, which encompasses more than 25 homes and public buildings situated just as they were when the Dutch first settled there in the 17th century. Special themed tours highlighting life in an earlier America are offered Wednesday through Sunday. Join the Independence Day celebrations on July 4, including a pie-baking contest in which modern recipes compete against "colonial" ones. Parents can also get a glimpse of what raising children was like in the 19th century: antique high chairs, cradles with hoods to keep children safe and rattan potty chairs are among the items in Bringing Up Baby: Children's Furniture and Family Life.
The savings on admission is valid July 1–31, 2012. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, present the discount coupon at the Staten Island Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden or Historic Richmond Town box office. Download the coupon via the link above; the coupon will also be available during the month of July at the Official NYC Information Centers in Midtown, Harlem and the Times Square Alliance and at the Official NYC Information Kiosks in Chinatown and at City Hall. The savings is subject to availability and may not be combined with any other offer, discount or promotion. Other restrictions may apply.
Learn more about these Staten Island institutions as we discuss the highlights with Elizabeth Egbert, president and CEO of the Staten Island Museum; Lynn Kelly, CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden; and Ed Wiseman, executive director of Historic Richmond Town. Listen to the podcast, below, or download the MP3 here (by right-clicking the link and selecting "Save Link As...").